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Old August 9th, 2009, 06:57 PM   #1696
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Camera for school

Hello fellow DVinfo.net posters. My name is Jeffrey, first and foremost, I apologize for my horrible grammar and punctuation. Also I am a newbie in terms of learning how to use the camera the right way.

I have been reading you forum for the past 3 weeks to do research on the right camera for my school in Korea. I am a teacher and we will be starting a pre-recorded English news station. The students are very excited because they will learn English as well as learning how to use the camera. I have no idea how to use the camera but I'm going to get some training videos, reading a lot of your posts/topics to get me through this.

Well, here is the situation, the school has a bit of a tight budget (3,000) and we want to get a prosumer camera. Students will be able to learn how to use the camera, edit videos and learn how to speak English. Once we edit the video, we will show it to the whole school. Yes, every classroom has a 60inch screen TV. Gotta love Korea!

What will we be doing? We will have a pre-recorded English news station. I am hoping to get a chroma key for some nice background effects and so on. Is a green muslin chroma key okay for doing weather reports? As in, it will show a map of Korea and they will do the weather reports.

80% of the time we will be indoors, using an empty classroom to turn into a low budget studio. For outdoors, it will be something small, like a student showing the school how to throw an American football or doing some reporting outside of a concert hall. So we don't really need to be outside for anything unless we have to.

I was thinking of a Canon XL2 or Canon XH-A1. On ebay, there is a Canon XL2, Firestone HD,7 inch TV and other goodies for 2,8000.

What do you guys think? Should I get a cheaper camera? Or these choices are fine?

Unfortunately I only have until Monday morning to order something because I am heading back to korea next sunday and I need to make sure I get the item on Friday. I wish I could respond earlier but I had to wait for validation from DVinfo.

Well, thanks for your help and anything you want me to get I will definitely try to get it. I am convince if the principal see these amazing studdents creating their own English channel, he will definitely put in A LOT of money into the studio.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 01:58 AM   #1697
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey Han View Post
I was thinking of a Canon XL2 or Canon XH-A1. On ebay, there is a Canon XL2, Firestone HD,7 inch TV and other goodies for 2,8000.What do you guys think? Should I get a cheaper camera? Or these choices are fine?
For a classroom of students I'd opt for the XH-A1 every time. The XL series was really built around the notion that interchangeable lenses were becoming the in-thing, but it hasn't panned out that way at this price point.

The A1 will offer you 16:9 HDV as a huge boost when you come to fill that 60" screen, it's a much more loved camera than the XL series (whose form-factor takes quite some getting used to).

tom.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 03:55 PM   #1698
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I'm a film making student looking to by my own camera. I dont have all the money I'll need yet, but maybe in a few months I'll be able to buy a camera. I'd rather not spend more than $2,500 for it so I'll most likely find one slightly used on Ebay. I'm looking around to get some ideas on what I want for now though. I've been looking at the Canon XH A1 and that seems to do everything I want it to do which is mostly to shoot in HD, has XLR input and manual lens controls.

The only thing I dont really like is it shoots to tape. I would like to have one that will shoot to an SD or compact flash card just so I can have all the clips broken up and not have to manually do that while editing. Is there a similar camera for around the same price that will shoot to a non-proprietary flash card or hard drive? Or will it just be cheaper to stick with tape?

If I do get the XH A1, would there be any good time to buy one? Like is Canon going to release a new model soon causing the price to drop on it or have people trying to sell it so they can get the newer model?
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Old September 27th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #1699
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I got my XH-A1 last year and I love it. I got mine of Craigs list. I had the same problem when trying to choose a camera when it comes to the format. But I still like the whole tape thing because I will always have a copy no matter what. I would hate to shoot something and loose it.

My friend has a regular camera that shoots hd onto the drive. It is so nice how he can just hook it up and in just under a minute it is uploaded to the computer. No play back or nothing.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 04:52 PM   #1700
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Swanson View Post
The only thing I dont really like is it shoots to tape. I would like to have one that will shoot to an SD or compact flash card just so I can have all the clips broken up and not have to manually do that while editing. Is there a similar camera for around the same price that will shoot to a non-proprietary flash card or hard drive? Or will it just be cheaper to stick with tape?
Steve, if you capture with Vegas (and probably some other NLEs as well) or use HDVSplit, the clips will automatically be broken up. I just captured 18 minutes of footage, which Vegas broke into 170-something individual clips (which makes my job a lot easier, because I just watch it while it's capturing and note the numbers of the clips I want to save, and then delete everything else).
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Old September 27th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #1701
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Go with the A1.Great versatile camera. I have an H1, two a1's ( just picked up my 2nd a1 for under 2k!!) and an HV30. Tape is still cheap and virtually foolproof. Down the road, it would be nice to have a tapeless iption, but for long events, it deosn't make sense yet.
Bruce Yarock
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Old September 27th, 2009, 06:09 PM   #1702
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Bruce, where did you pick up an A1 for less than 2k? All the XH A1 cameras I've seen on ebay are going for around $2,500 at the cheapest.

Chris, I edit on final cut pro. I never thought about looking for a way to have it auto break up the footage as it captures. I'm not sure if final cut offers that or not, but I'll play around with it and see if it does.


I still love tape, I just hate how I spend half the editing process just capturing and breaking up the footage.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 12:29 PM   #1703
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If you aren't going to be making a purchase for a few months, I'd suggest keeping an eye on how the HMC40 fares, once we start getting significant feedback from early adopters.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 02:06 PM   #1704
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Thanks for the suggestion on the HMC40, I didnt even know about that. I've been reading about it for the past hour or so and I'm starting to really like it. Its within my price range at around $2,000 on B&H. I'm going to start making a 10 minute short film in about a month (first film I've ever directed) and if I can get that in a few weeks I'll be ecstatic. Only problem is at $2,000 for the camera alone, that will leave me pretty much broke.

That camera also only has 3 1/4" CMOS chips. I'm used to shooting with SD cameras that use 3 1/3" CCD chips. How would the three 1/4" CMOS (in HD) chips compare to 1/3" CCD chips? For a student thats still learning and on a tight budget would there be any noticeable difference? I've looked around a little and it seems like the only real difference would be with low-light situations and I dont really plan on doing anything in low light.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 01:44 AM   #1705
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Originally Posted by Steven Swanson View Post
That camera also only has 3 1/4" CMOS chips. I'm used to shooting with SD cameras that use 3 1/3" CCD chips. How would the three 1/4" CMOS (in HD) chips compare to 1/3" CCD chips?
A good question Steven. There's the obvious answer that as 1"/3 chips have a 78% greater surface area than " chips they'll be better when light levels drop, and this is especially marked if you've come from the big pixels on a PD170 SD CCD (say) to the very tiny HD pixels on a " chip.

But CMOS are better in low light than CCD (size for size) and modern amplifiers are far less noisy, so you might tolerate +15dB of gain up in the new camera where +6dB was looking grainy on the old one.

But the biggest difference (for me) is the dof issue. Cameras with tiny " chips really struggle to include differential focus shots, and it's this 'all in focus' look that yells video pretty loudly.

If you took a poll on this site and asked if anyone who'd got a camcorder would ever consider buying another one with smaller chips than they have at present, I'm betting 90% would give that a thumbs down.

tom.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 05:43 AM   #1706
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Steven,
It was a freak situation. A college kid had it on craigslist, sking 2k. I got in my car and raced over there (1 1/2 haors away). It's great for the multicam shoots, becayse now i have 3 cameras with the same exact look, plus the hv30 for a lockdown. rhe other thing I'm thinking of doing is leaving my letus extreme on one of the a1's, always ready to use.
I also have a super clean Siny FX1, which is a great camera. I recently had the tape transport mechanism replaced, which , makes it good to go for quite a while. If you're interested, pm me.
bruce yarock
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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:01 AM   #1707
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Camera recommendation?

Hi,
I currently have a Canon XH-A1 which I like a lot; I have a project coming up soon and I have the opportunity to get a new camera.
I'll be filming falcons hunting (where falcons fly after birds in the wild), so I need a camera that is fast, that can zoom to pretty extreme length, is somewhat durable/reliable, supports SD/CF and can zoom a long distance (16x zoom or higher I would say).

I find the XH-A1 ideal because it goes to the 35mm equiv of 600mm; It would be the perfect camera except that it is not solid state (SD card/CF card). The HDV tapes are a bit of a nightmare in my opinion.

Also ideally a camera which is of a similar size to the XH-A1 or smaller.

Thanks for any suggestions,
Sam
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Old September 29th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #1708
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Remember, the zoom ratio (the "x" factor, if you will) is largely meaningless unless you know where the lens starts and ends.

The Sony V1/FX7 goes to a 35mm equivalent of about 750mm and is a bit smaller in form factor than the XH-A1, even though the zoom ratio is the same 20x. The FX1000 is also 20x, but starts wider and ends wider. But obviously both are still tape (although you could put the MRC CF recording unit on either, just as you could with the A1).

FWIW.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 07:34 PM   #1709
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Tom, thanks for that information. I'm not sure I want the HMC40 now. I want a camera that will last a few years and will work great in many situations. Since I'm a student I dont have the funds to keep upgrading my camera every year or two. I think I may save up for the HMC150 now since it has the bigger chips and uses CCD vs the CMOS the HMC40. I'll keep researching it and see if I will be fine with the HMC40 though.

Also, if I do get the HMC40, I'll defiantly get the XLR adapter for it which I think costs $350 or around there. With the average price of the camera being $2,000 the total cost for it would be around $2,350. I've seen the HMC150 for around $2,800 used. thats only around a $450-$500 difference.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 07:18 AM   #1710
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Can u help me choose a camera?

I want to buy a camera.
1. I can budget ab 6000 $ for the whole kit
2. I'd like to make documentaries, shorts. Maybe for film festivals in the future.
3. It's my first camera
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