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Old July 17th, 2004, 12:28 AM   #436
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Check out an Optura 300- they produce beautiful video for $729 (BH)
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Old July 23rd, 2004, 06:24 AM   #437
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Help in choosing a new Camcorder

In want to get more seriously into DV mainly for making promotional videos for various businesses I am involved in. About 2 years ago I bought a cheap JVC model a GR-DVL 157E to get started. This has given surprisingly good images but it is time to move on. I have been looking at the Canon MX2, the XL1S, Sony PD10 and a host of other prosumer models. With few exceptions all of the videos will be shot outside and some when I am out sailing. The dampness causes problems for the JVC as it switches on a condensation compensation circuit which flattens the battery and renders the camera useless until I take it home. Having read lots of reviews I am leaning towards the Canon MX2. I am quite prepared to spend the 1600 or possibly more but I don't want to end up wishing either I had spent more money and got a better camera or much less money and got something that was smaller and gave almost as good image quality. How will the MX2 handle being used at sea? Will dampness or salt spray be a problem? Opinions and advice would be gratefully received.
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Old July 23rd, 2004, 11:18 AM   #438
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I am not positive, but I think almost all camcorder now have condensation monitoring, and will turn off when internal humidity is too high. You could definitely correct for this by getting an underwater housing for whichever cam you buy, but they are clunky, make adjustments more difficult, and are pricey. They are completely water proof, though, and you could take them on dives (up to the housing's depth rating).

You might also try a simple high-end rain guard. I'm not sure if that would knock out enough internal humidity to keep the cam on though.

You might want to check out the upcoming PV-GS400/NV-GS400. It's at the lower end of the prosumer models in price (street will be US $1,350 pretty quickly), but has tons of manual control.

...as for the rain guard/underwater housing, I don't know of any companies off the top of my head, but a quick Googling should get you started.
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Old July 23rd, 2004, 12:30 PM   #439
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Assuming you mean PDX-10 instead of PD10? Also maybe XM-2 (like GL-2) instead of MX2?

The PDX-10 is a nice little camera and it's greatest strength is high quality 16:9; is that something you need? It would be better than the XL-1s or GL-2 if you want to shoot widescreen. It's also smaller than either of those (MUCH smaller than the XL-1s), especially if you remove the XLR block and mike. But if you don't particularly care about widescreen you could make a good case for your other choices.

Other advantages of the PDX-10 are its DVCAM recording mode, high res black and white viewfinder, large high res LCD screen and pro audio features. In the US it's considerably less expensive than the XL-1s and roughly comparable in price to the GL-2. The Sony VX-2100 would also have a price in the same general ballpark. Is there a reason it isn't on your short list?

The PDX-10 needs more light than some camcorders, but it sounds like that might not be a problem for you. Visit our forum for in depth discussion. I know a number of people use the PDX-10 or it's consumer cousin, the TRV-950 (just discontinued and replaced by the HC-1000) for underwater work specifically because they fit into enclosures they like. But those things ain't cheap! Talking a quick look at B&H they range from around $2,800 up to about $7,700! Sort of makes you view the camera as an "accessory" to use with the case...
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Old July 26th, 2004, 03:37 PM   #440
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Many thanks Jesse and Boyd for your helpful suggestions. Sorry about the confusion over model numbers. I have seen quite a lot of footage shot on various round the world yacht races like the Vendee Globe or the Volvo Ocean race. I wonder what cameras they used? Any idea?

My yacht is pretty dry except when shooting the occasional shot of the bow crashing into the waves, so, I don't really need total waterproofing, just the ability to cope with dampness. I wonder whether a much smaller camera like a Sony DCRPC330 or the larger Canon MVX3i at the bottom end of the prosumer market, might be worth considering. Would the video quality from such camcorders be noticeably poorer that the models you suggested?
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Old July 26th, 2004, 11:21 PM   #441
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I haven't shot with the specific models you are mentioning, nor am I acquainted with their respective feature sets. The best advice I can give is to check out a website like www.camcorderinfo.com . They have reviews of almost every single make and model of camcorder over the last few years. The reviews have gotten much more accurate and lengthy over the last year.

A site like this is dvinfo.net is good for, well, DV info, but is limited by the knowledge of the users and what equipment they have used or have extensively researched. While camcorderinfo's user base is not as advanced, their staff tries to get out info on all the models.

Check that site for a plethora of reviews.

The cameras we have mentioned are 3CCD cameras and therefore will have better color repoduction than the models you have listed. The ones we mentioned also have some room to grow into for a videographer (options and features you'll be glad you have later). Check the review for the PV-GS400 on camcorderinfo. It would really suit the needs of anyone that wants to do some lower end professional/extreme hobbyist work.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 05:56 AM   #442
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John.
Our first camera was an XL1 which we are still using regularly.
We use this and an XL1s for numerous projects including wildlife.
Some of our locations are during the winter months in very adverse weather conditions, rain, hail and snow etc.
I know it's not quite the same as being at sea, but we've never had a problem keeping our kit dry. We use Kater Rainguards.

During the summer months we still find the need to cover-up the cams in certain conditions and this can cause a greenhouse effect in sunshine judging by the condensation apparent on the inside of the Rainguard. We always make sure there is good air circulation obtained by leaving the bottom of the Rainguard open and have never experienced any problems. I think the secret is to make sure the air is able to circulate so condensation doesn't build up too much.

You might consider also a PD170 which is proving to be a fabulous piece of gear and evenly matched to the Canon's.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 12:18 PM   #443
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$4000 - which camera????

ok team
this is how it breaks down. Myself and a chum are putting together a small production studio and we need to get all the equipment.
Top of the list is the camera. Just as everyone else is, i am after the 'film look.' We've put aside approx. $4000 and the panasonic HD range is looking attractive, but i'm open to suggestion and to stretch the budget by several grand. Most important things are 16:9 and progressive capabilities.
Any advice would really be appreciated, even if its to hold off for 6 months because somethings going to happen in the hd world. Either way thanks
henry
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Old July 27th, 2004, 12:20 PM   #444
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You're about 5 years too early for a 4k panasonic HD camera lol. 16:9 progressive would be either the XL2 or the DVX100A.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 01:40 PM   #445
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Re: $4000 - which camera????

<<<-- Originally posted by Henry Jefferson : the panasonic HD range is looking attractive -->>>

Like Glenn said.... what Panasonic HD??? The only high def camera anywhere remotely close to your price is the JVC single chipper as discussed in this forum. Many people assume that the next company to roll out a low priced HDV camcorder will be Sony since they showed a non-working prototype 3-chip camera at NAB. But that's probably a year or more away, and they were talking about a $5,000 price tag.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 01:52 PM   #446
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You asked for a 16:9 and progressive capabilities for 4 grand? Well, the JVC HD10u is your camera to buy right now.

You'll get people throwing eggs at you if you buy it, but if you email me I'll point you to some footage online that will BLOW YOU AWAY that was shot with the HD10u.

Also, an added bonus if you buy the camera...all your footage will be 100% compatible with Panny's 4 grand HD camera that comes out in 5 years!

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Old July 27th, 2004, 03:56 PM   #447
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I'm in the same predicament except I onlyl have about $3500 for the cam. There are just too few choices in this price range!

I've got the PD170, DVX100A, and yes even the JY-HD10U on my possibilities list. If none of these pan out I'll buy a GS400 until something better comes out.

Christopher, I see you have a PD170 and JY-HD10U for your business. I'm guessing you use the PD170 for low light weddings and the HD10 for widescreen? BTW - I'd love to hear your thoughts on these two cams and also see some footage from the HD10!
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Old July 27th, 2004, 04:41 PM   #448
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David,
Both cameras you mentioned for John are obviously proven winners, but I think he was looking to spend a little less. John,
Check out the highest end consumer cams from the big companies, Panasonic PV-GS400, Canon Xi, Sony DCR-TRV950. They'll all be a huge leap up from your JVC, and leave some room to grow into without having to spend a few grand (XL1/PD170). The next level up from thoise would be the Canon GL-2, Pana AG-DVC30 (or 60), and the Sony DCR-VX2100. The GS400 is really looking like the best value, right now, especially if most of your shooting will be in good light. (outdoors + daytime = good light)
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Old July 27th, 2004, 05:35 PM   #449
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Thanks guys for the feedback. Since I placed the post I have had quite a bit of feedback from another forum I belong to from users of the Canon XM2 raving about how pleased they are with their camera and pointing out some of the benefits I was not aware of. Again they pointed to the use of a rain guard, which is a product I never knew existed. I am going to make a decision soon so I will let you know how I get on. Cheers everyone.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 04:56 PM   #450
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I want it all (in a camera)

Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum, but I've been lurking for a while. I'm getting ready to buy some DV gear and would like a little advice.

I'm the lead VFX artist on "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda". Which is shot on 3perf 35mm, telecined to tape at D1 widescreen with 3-2 pulldown.

I'm looking to get a camera that has the resolution and color info to be able to do tracking and some greenscreen work, at D1 widescreen, at 24p. I'd like to be able to do my own VFX tests...

I'd also like to be able to use the camera to shoot some local TV advertisments (bob's used cars...), and be able to do consumer family stuff too.

I'd also like to spend less than what the xl2 will cost (especially as the xl2 needs another 1k for wide angle). These are the camera's I'm looking at:

XL2
DVX-100a

(and I also like the pv-gs400 as it meets most of my requirements other then 24p , and people would laugh if you showed up to film a commercial with it)...

Thanks for any advice.

Mike
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