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Old December 9th, 2010, 12:45 PM   #1771
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I saw the d7000, the rolling shutter wasn't bad, comparable to most other dslrs, if you're set on a video camera, try the panasonic tm-700. Does 1080p60. honestly, save your money and wait for NAB.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #1772
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Anyone know of any camcorders that fulfill these requirements?

I'm looking for a camcorder to replace my Sony TRV-120 which I got like 10 years ago. Unfortunately, I'm having a lot of trouble finding a camcorder that fits all my requirements.

I'm looking for an HD camcorder that can easily be carried around by me while still filming. In other words, probably a handycam. (basically: If I can walk around while holding it in my hand and recording things, that's good)

However, the specific requirements are...

1) Cost $1,000 or less.
2) Have battery life of at least 3 hours, and when I say battery life, I mean what I'll actually be experiencing, not what the company advertises. If the included battery doesn't do it but you can order another battery that does fit the bill, that's fine, as long as the camera and the battery together do not go over the maximum price.
3) Be compatible with Final Cut Pro.
4) Have an optical zoom of at least 20x.
5) Have a viewfinder.

1) Cost $500 or less.
2) Have an optical zoom of at least 32x.
3) Have a display that is not touch controlled, or at least not *only* touch controlled; that is, have the option of controlling it or setting menu options via buttons. I really don't like touch controlled displays much because it just causes it to be smudged.
4) Be able to record in 720p, either in addition to 1080 or just 720p, as I doubt I'll really be needing to go as high as 1080 (which takes up way more space).

Any suggestions? It'll primarily (but not only) be used to record things at anime/gaming conventions for putting on YouTube. The TRV-120 still works well, but it's only standard definition and I'm really starting to notice the inadequacies in that format.

Here's some videos I took at a recent convention if you want to see exactly what I'm going to be using it for.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #1773
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This should get you started: Camcorders, Video Cameras, Digital Video | B&H Photo Video

You can change search criteria in the nav bar on the left of the page. The product reviews are very helpful as well.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 11:28 AM   #1774
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With those price criteria I'd look at the Panasonic SD700 or TM700 or the Canon HFS200, HFS20 or HFS21 or the Sony CX550.

None will tick all your boxes but these are generally regarded as the "best" consumer priced cams around at the moment so that's where I'd suggest you start your research.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 01:56 PM   #1775
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The biggest issue I'm having is finding camcorders that both have a viewfinder and an optical zoom of at least 20x (yeah, I know digital zoom can go much farther, but I don't like to use it due to the degraded image quality). I see ones that have viewfinders but a zoom of less than 20x, and ones that have a zoom of 20x or over but no viewfinder. I really like the viewfinder and zoom on my current camcorder, and I'd hate to have to lose the viewfinder or not be able to zoom much on a new one. Even if I can't get one with a zoom as good as my current one (32x), I'd prefer to at least have a 20x.

The frustrating thing is that camcorder searches don't seem to have any kind of check to only search for ones with viewfinders, meaning I have to look at all of them manually (and sometimes it's hard to tell due to the angle whether it does have one or not).

As a note, some camcorders I've seen are advertised as having a "dual range zoom". What does that mean and how does it compare to a "regular" zoom?

EDIT: Okay, having looked at them some, the TM700 looks to be my best bet, but I'm having trouble figuring out its compatibility with Final Cut Pro. It seems that its 1080p60 recording needs third party software to work with Final Cut Pro, but is that true of its "regular" recording also? (and if you don't know, where should I ask?)

EDIT2: Because I have nothing but questions, I do have one more: Some camcorders have the microphone be on the top rather than on the front (like my current one has it). Does this affect the audio recorded in any noticeable way?

Last edited by Michael Stone; December 17th, 2010 at 01:02 AM.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #1776
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Well, for anyone curious, after consideration I've decided to get the TM700. Thanks for the advice!
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Old December 26th, 2010, 12:03 AM   #1777
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Found Some Cash For Startup

Hello All!

I got about $600 now after christmas (I'm a very broke University business student) and am interested in getting into video as a hobby and doing some shooting on campus for various organizations. I've done some research and I'm not afraid of tape as I have a Macbook Pro with all the firewire ports and access to all video software needed (Adobe Suite) from campus. I'm also probably leaning towards used as I don't care to much about this for professional career, more as hobby trying to put time and effort in to produce somethign I'd be proud of, also to be used as a learning tool for the future.

My question is, what should I be looking at for about around $500 used, allowing me some room to buy a mic, and tripod as well. Probably will try making home made jib or glider. Would trying to land a Canon HV30 a good option, or try and stay SD card based? I'd very much apreciate the opnion of those who have come before me.
University of Windsor student. Trying to find funds for gear...
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Old December 26th, 2010, 02:23 AM   #1778
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The TM700 is a mighty fine camcorder for the price Michael, but the constantly-whirring, in-built fan gets its noise recorded onto the soundtrack. When used with an external mic all is fine, but the special shoe means you have to use the supplied bracket and it all gets a bit messy.

In-built mics on top or on front are much the same thing - ok for ambient sounds and little use for anything else unless you're filming really close to the noise.

Dual zoom range is invariably brochure-speak for digital zoom - i.e. how much picture degredation can you tolerate?

The 700's 1080/60p mode is indeed outside the AVCHD spec and FCP will (I suspect) not like it at all. Tests show the 50i and 50p modes are almost indistinguishable on screen, yet one is a far higher bit rate than the other (and your cards won't hold as much).

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Old January 28th, 2011, 11:30 AM   #1779
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Last request for recommandation I swear!

I realize that this is redundant of my past post but as it has been a while I want to reiterate what I am looking to do, what I have and what I am able to spend. Some of this has changed which is why I didnt follow through on past recommandations.

I am looking for a video camera to use to try and teach myself... well how to shoot. I know little to nothing about video production outside of home videos. I am looking for something that is versital meaning I would like it to do just about anything well. It doesnt have to do everything the best but good enough to produce usable video.

I plan to use it like I said to learn, but to learn for the purpose of creating website videos, area tourism videos (waterfalls, people skiing, wildlife, etc.), action sports videos, green screen shoots, and also to use with 3d animations created with 3ds max. Ill expand this list hopefully as my skill level increases.

Initially will probably be doing more of the area tourism type stuff and next video advertisments for the internet. For the area tourism stuff this to me requires something semi compact as things like the waterfalls requires some work to get to the best shooting spot. Meaning I think that it needs to fit into a back pack so I can hike and climb.

Another thing that was mentioned regularly was having both auto and manual controls seen as I want to use this as an education. They said that learning to use these manual controls is very important and I agree.

In past posts recommandations have been strong towards the XL2. Then it switched to an HD. I think I agree that getting a used HD is better seen as my budget has increased ever so slightly and that keeps me in the now for a while hopefully. Other posts have suggested the other 50% of producing good video, like audio, light, tripods, etc. With this I am gathering that the camera should have XLR inputs for good audio. As I dont know much about tripods or mics, feel free to throw your two cents in about those also, keeping in mind trying to jam all of this into a budget. I think for my current situation those are the 3 most important pieces ( camera, tripod, mic).

Recording media - tape, disk, card, harddrive? I seem to be leaning towards card or harddrive - pros cons?

If it helps,

I have the Adobe CS3 production suite to use for production, editing, sound (also have adobe audition) etc.

I have a budget of about $4000.00 right now. If I find that this is surely something that I am going to go further with this number will increase down the road to purchase more/better equipment.

If anyone has any good suggestions about which camera is a solid starter camera that will do the things listed above or anything mentioned above, or if you need more info let me know.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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Old January 28th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #1780
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Lots of cameras shout that they have 'full manual control', but some (like the TM700 we were talking about earlier) make menu-digging a required degree-level skill.

I'd suggest a camera like the Sony AX2000 should suit you. It's file-based, bang up to date, has a long zoom and will take proper XLR microphones. But the best thing from a learning pov is that all the controls have buttons on the camera, there's no menu-hunting required.

You can run the camera in full auto to start with and you can slowly introduce the manual disciplines as you progress. So you might start with auto-everything except focus. Then you might want to play with the ND filters, the iris, gain and shutter speed. You can lock down the white balance and set the audio levels manually too.

It's a fine camera because you can make it behave. Remember that cameras in the grip of their automation are being controlled by a fast acting, accurate, intelligent idiot. The auto iris is trying to make snow grey and dark woods lighter. Auto white balance wants to constantly hunt to 'correct' what the lens is seeing. Auto focus is just looking for the most contrasty item in the v'finder - so that'll be the picket fence behind the girl, then.

And so on.

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Old January 28th, 2011, 12:07 PM   #1781
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I as usual appreciate the lightening fast responses from this forum. In doing some quick research on your Sony AX2000 suggestion I see that it is an AVCHD format. I have read that Adobe Preimer CS3 doesnt play well with AVCHD. Is this something that I should worry about or is there an easy conversion.

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Old January 28th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #1782
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AVCHD can be sluggish on older PCs and Software. If you can spend just a bit more, you could get a Z5U ($3700 after rebate at B&H) plus an MRC1k card recorder (5 for sale here at DVInfo in the Classified section, as of yesterday, for a little over $500 each) and have all the benefits of recording to cards in an easier format (HDV/m2t) plus have tape recording available to you as well if you wish. That's what I'd personally recommend, and no, it's not just because I own a bunch of 'em.
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
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Old January 28th, 2011, 04:38 PM   #1783
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I'm guessing a good camera for you is the Canon XF100.

Canon XF100 HD Professional Camcorder 4888B001 B&H Photo Video

If you think you'll be working more professionally the XF105 might be the thing. The main difference is HD-SDI, and I don't think that matters to you. I did want to mention it though so you knew it was out there.

These cameras have a decent codec (8 bit 4:2:2) record to common affordable high performance media.

They make good pictures and have manual operation features.

They are small.

They have XLR

This is a solid beginners camera that will give you good results in all the areas you mentioned.

The big thing though is learning how to focus quickly and effectively, and how to follow and rack focus- and frankly you'll never truly grok that with a prosumer camcorder.

Oddly however you can get it with a crappy DSLR video camera. The DSLR movement eschews a whole pile of important features in video cameras, taking their production techniques back to those of classical film making in many ways.

Sounds like a mess right?

They... well I should say WE are making those trade-offs purely for an affordable large sensor camera. Having a large sensor helps create the look of 35mm film- which is effectively a large sensor.

I don't think you ever truly learn focus until you work as a 1st AC on a Super35mm sized sensor. (or bigger... if you want a challenge! Be wary though, some of the best 1AC's in Hollywood routinely blow focus on IMAX and cameras like the Canon 5D mark 2.)

You put up with all that crap to create a certain look- but frankly I don't think you are there yet. Just know that there is something more to learn and master on this journey.

Get an XF100 I think.

As to XLR... XLR isn't whats so special. Its just an audio connector. The main thing is that it has a neat electronic trick to seriously limit the amount of noise collected by the long antenna known as a cable.

The important thing about XLR isn't the connector, but rather what connects to it.

You just can't find any quality microphones that connect using some other standard. (Well... there is AES, but a single Schoeps with an AES interface would more than wipe out the budget we are talking about.)

OK... so there are the caveats- microphones and wireless systems worth using for professional video connect most commonly via XLR, and that's why you need it.

Another reason to spend a bit under your budget. A $4000 shooting kit should include at least one decent microphone.

Also... get a light, or two. A fresnel and a flourescent softlight (like Cool Lights or Kino Flo)

Best of luck and good shooting!
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Old January 29th, 2011, 10:58 AM   #1784
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Yes, that Canon XF100 does look interesting and I've not read up on it before. The blurb reads, 'In contrast to a typical 6-blade iris, the XF100's 8-blade iris captures extraordinarily smooth out-of-focus "bokeh" for a more attractive image effect. The additional blades also reduce diffraction of light passing through the iris, allowing for the use of smaller apertures while maintaining image quality.'

Now the first part - about the bokeh - I can accept, but more iris blades giving less diffraction effects? C'mon Canon, don't feed us this BS or we'll go off you.

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Old January 29th, 2011, 12:02 PM   #1785
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I'm wondering what they really meant re the extra blades reducing diffraction - only thing I can think of is that more blades means a somewhat better approximation to a circular aperture which might reduce the sharp intersection angles between the blades which MIGHT reduce diffraction effects at the intersections of the blades. Maybe!

Hard to tell, but I suspect they were thinking of SOMETHING other than pure BS.

Last edited by Jim Andrada; January 29th, 2011 at 07:35 PM.
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