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Old December 27th, 2009, 02:15 PM   #1711
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
But the biggest difference (for me) is the dof issue. Cameras with tiny ľ" 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.
I can't speak for anyone else here, but for me shallow depth of field is more of a minus than a plus. I'm not trying to imitate film - I'm shooting video with no apologies. I'm generally much more interested in capturing real life, as realistically as possible - not altering it for artistic purposes. Basically, I want my video to bring the viewer right there, as if they were looking through a (perfectly clear) window in person, for the experience to be as close to having actually been there as possible (an art, in and of itself, when you stop and think about it).

I like the deeper depth of field from smaller sensors. It (usually) looks more realistic, and also makes focusing much easier (a big plus when shooting real life events as they happen, where there are no second takes). Of course, the downside is less sensitivity in less than ideal lighting.

Aside from low light issues, I absolutely love the HMC40 (and it's not really as bad in less than ideal lighting as I think a lot of folks make it out to be - gain is surprising clean, which makes a real world difference). The images are sharp as a tack. You really have to spend quite a bit more to get the ability of acquiring sharper images (think EX1 at least). Focus is easy compared to 1/3" chip cameras. It also shoots 720p60 (and every other common HD flavor), which is fantastic for capturing real life in motion (nice and smooth, like reality, without the judder of lower common framerates - also great for slo-mo).

I would like to see one of the major camcorder manufacturers come out with an (affordable - at least under $4K) AVCHD camcorder, using 3-1/3" imaging chips, with the same resolution offered by the HMC40, for the ability to shoot tack sharp images in dimmer lighting though. I'm really hoping Canon will come out with something like that real soon (fingers crossed).
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Old January 15th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #1712
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First big camcorder advice for student :)

Firstly, happy new year to everyone.

I'm a student looking to go into freelance work after university, and just got a bonus of £1500. So I thought I'd spend that money on a cam instead of kebabs. I'm UK based, so it must be a PAL camera, and 2nd hand is a good idea because I'm poor.

I'm looking at low end prosumer. Preferably HD, unless you guys can convince me why a good SD camera is a good idea?
The Sony FX7 is perfect but really rare to find 2nd hand for some reason?! FX1 is a bit out of my price range.
Was looking at the Panasonic HMC40, can be found at £1200 new. I know some may scoff and say...'why not just get the HMC150', but again, out of my range.
I was looking at an XL1s...damn cheap used. Only SD I know, but is the quality and price comparable enough to make it a good choice?

Also, looking at buying a 35mm adapter in the future...probably a twoneil or similar. Will the XL1s take a twoneil, or does it require another adapter? Also, If you change the lens on an XL1 to a manual zoom lens, in theory you'd get more depth of field right? Without an adapter?

Anyway, thanks for your help guys, I'm freely open to any suggestions, so start suggesting

:)
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Old February 13th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #1713
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camcorder help

Iím planning to get a HD camcorder(1080p) and I need advice. But going through this forum I am very confused on which camcorder to get (HF200, hv40, HDR-XR500, hv30 and t2i).I saw some people said t2i is good if you are recording and taking pictures. But the problem I have with it is that I need something I can walk, run and hold one hand with like the hv40 camcorders. I have a budget of under $1,200 but if I have to buy t2i I donít mind spending money little more.

Iím looking for:
- Camcorder that records good in low light, DOF and in the night
- Easy to carry, walk and run with if you are recording.
- Has good zoom(10x+)

Please help me
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Old February 13th, 2010, 09:28 AM   #1714
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Dear Ali,

Take a look at the Canon HFs10, HFs11, or the soon to be shipping HFs21.

These may fit your needs.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 01:14 PM   #1715
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Or the current XR500, CX500, or soon to be released XR550 and CX550 - particularly for low light quality and OIS (optical image stabilization, since you mention shooting handheld while moving), these may beat the Canon.

Be aware that the new Sonys have a much wider wide end of the lens range, so you may have to consider how much zoom you use/need.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 08:25 PM   #1716
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I need a camcorder

I am looking for a camcorder for home use. Here are the things I would like:

1. I have a 1080 plasma HD tv and would like the camera to have HD capabilities.
2. I want to record to SD cards
3. I would like the option to record in 24p and 30p
4. I would like the biggest cmos sensor possible
5. I would like to spend $500 or less

Please let me know if anyone has a recommendation for this. Thank you.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #1717
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which camera should I use?

Used a sony pd 150 on my last 88 feature, but my son lost it. So, next project is in August. Looking for:

1. auto focus
2. true 24p
3. true 16.9
4. want to shoot on mini dv

What camera does anyone suggest?

Please email me: firefighter Tim Andrew at: pilotfire@sbcglobal.net
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Old May 16th, 2010, 07:36 AM   #1718
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School camera

We are in the progress to buy a new camera for our school. Because we are a city funded art school (secundairie education / high school) we are limited in budget and subject to numerous rules.

At the moment we are looking serous at the Canon XH A1s (pal version), I only read about good experiences with this camera and at 3500 Euro it would just fit our budget, maybe stretch it a bit but possible. If there are camera's at the same price-quality range you can recommend, I would like to hear about them.

Besides the manual options for the audio visual classes, we would like a good performance in low light to record theatre and dance productions and maybe some concerts.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 09:46 AM   #1719
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On a low budget, I'd start to think about DSLRs.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #1720
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Luka,

I have upgraded from a Sony V1E (pretty similar to the Canon XH A1 in size) to a Panasonic HMC41E.

For GBP 2000 (before VAT) you can get the camera with XLR adapter (so you can use proper professional mics). It offers a good balance between size and function - it has a lot of manual control. It is also smaller, and shoots to SDHC cards. Or you can save money and not get the XLR adapter, it's around 1800 GBP that way.

I can't compare to the Canon XHA1, but the picture quality is better than my V1E was, at least in good light. But then I'm an outdoors shooter, so light isn't a problem.

Of course there are compromises on a smaller camera (only one combined zoom/focus ring and no direct user-controlled ND filter, a 41mm-not-very-wide-angle-lens that only has 12x zoom) I'm still getting used to it, but I think it's well worth considering for students if you are set on a traditional video camera rather than D-SLR.

Of course you can find flaws when compared to (say) a Sony EX-1 or Z5, but come off it - they cost two grand more!
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Old May 16th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #1721
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Hi Mike.

We are indeed looking for a traditional video camera instead of a d-slr.
I will look intro the Panasonic HMC41E

Thanks for the info
and feel free to suggest more models that compare well with the Canon XH A1s sprecs.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 08:38 PM   #1722
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Luka,


Do not rule out a Sony fx 1000, it gives the same picture quality a a Z5 but a thousand less in expense.

HD is so focus dependant the quality of the lcd and the view finder make it a lot better than most cameras in its price range.

While I am a Canon camera buff, I did not buy the xha1 because of this particular issue. It produces an exceptional image.

Sony | HDR-FX1000 Handycam HDV Camcorder | HDRFX1000 | B&H Photo

this shows how good they are in low light:

YouTube - Sony HDR-FX1000 / HVR-Z5 Low Light Test

do a little research, you might be surprised!!


Oh yea, if you need xlr connectivity then you can get a juice box for under 200 dollars!!! Or you can get a mini to xlr cord for 20 dollars.

Dale Guthormsen
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Old May 19th, 2010, 03:18 PM   #1723
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Originally Posted by Luka De Smet View Post
Hi Mike.

We are indeed looking for a traditional video camera instead of a d-slr.
I will look intro the Panasonic HMC41E

Thanks for the info
and feel free to suggest more models that compare well with the Canon XH A1s sprecs.
Luka,

Just a thought on the HMC41E. There's an offer for current purcashes purchases in the UK that bundles it with a high capactiy IDX battery, training book by Barry Green, Edius editing software and a 16GB class 6 SDHC card. You can pick up the entire kit including XLR adapter for 2000GBP before tax.

Of course, there are other cameras - the FX1000 and others are superb if you can pay a few more Euros and the larger form factor can be an advantage. Dale is right to recommend it, it is a very good camera.

Depending on the students, something like the smaller Panasonic, with the advantage of SDHC card recording alone, may would be more suitable.

To be fair, I would point out that the LCD display is smaller than the FX1000 (but still pretty good, and I really like the waveform monitor feature for exposure), but the Viewfinder isn't a patch on the FX1000.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 06:32 AM   #1724
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Hi Mike and Dale,

On off the numerous rules I most comply with to get city funds to buy the camera is that I'm limited to local shops (to support the local economy) and can not buy from the internet. Nevertheless, I can use internet prices as guidance / reference.

Will look into the Sony HVR-Z5U, Sony FX1000 and Panasonic HMC41E
The Z5 will be probably over budget, but the FX1000 has a chance, only I miss a proper XLR input and on the HMC41E haves the same problem (+ I can't find a good informative review on it)
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Old May 21st, 2010, 11:47 PM   #1725
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Originally Posted by Luka De Smet View Post
Hi Mike.

We are indeed looking for a traditional video camera instead of a d-slr..
There's something really traditional, it seems, about the Canon 5D Mark II. Check this out:

Canon 5D Mark II Shoots Season Finale of House | PhotographyBLOG

Check out your options - the best thing to do may be to buy a Mark II, and then maybe a lens for your stage performances. I am currently thinking of buying one myself, and they look incredibly powerful.

I hate Hollywood, but House is a respectable show on all levels - acting, writing, and production.

This is my first post, so please obliterate me if I am speaking garbage.
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