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Old September 26th, 2005, 06:17 PM   #886
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Appropriate camcorder for sporting events?

I've been doing sporting events for a community TV station with 4 Sony PD170s, and have been disappointed by their performance, especially at indoor hockey games. Sony seems to crush the blacks too much (even at 7.5 IRE); I'm not too fond of the colors it gives me too. The predominant white floor of the rink and the horrible arena lighting conditions don't help either.

Today, I learned that we will have the budget to change our whole infrastructure. My boss is in love with the XL1, and never really liked the Sonys... My guess is he'll most likely want to push for the XL2. Not that I don't like the XL2, but I like to keep my options open, budget permitting. I have to keep in mind that some of our camera operators are not all professionals. I have been eyeing the JVC 5100 with its full auto feature... point, focus, and shoot! (Not that easy, I know, but an option nonetheless)

So my questions are as follow: What camera in the 4k to 8k price range is best suited for sporting events? Auto focus is a nice touch for the uninitiated, but very unforgiving for certain shots. If going the manual lens route, what sort of lens, and camera settings, should I require to get the widest DoF as possible, so as to minimize constant focusing of fast action sports?

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Old September 26th, 2005, 09:08 PM   #887
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Cant really tell you much about other cameras but i do use the XL2. One thing that i like about it is that allthough it looks like this monster cam that must be really hard to use it is really good in fully automatic mode in case you need to have somebody use it who has no idea.

One thing i do use it for is for ice skating and it gets really good results. In case of a skating rink you simply set it on manual anyway as the lighting doesnt change.
Michael Salzlechner
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Old September 26th, 2005, 11:22 PM   #888
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I'd go for the XL2 for a lens with real reach and solid IS system if you are using it handheld.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 01:56 AM   #889
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If you're looking at a camera in the $4,000-8,000 range, you should probably look to be doing more than just point and shoot with it, in my opinion. If you're unhappy with the colours, a camera of that cost should have quite a few video settings you can tinker with to get everything looking just the way you like it.

About the depth of field and focusing requirements you mentioned, adjusting the iris increases or decreases the depth of field. So, if you crank the iris and set a matching shutter speed, you should be able to get the greatest depth of field possible and thus reduce the focusing needed.

The Saskatoon Blades - WHL hockey team in the city I live in - own a Canon XL2 and use it for game tapes and webcasts. The guy who runs is is strictly point and shoot because he doesn't really know a lot of what the camera can do, but it sounds like he's pretty happy with the results so far.

What kinds of sports do you intend on shooting? With hockey, there's obviously high contrast between the players and the ice so you'll want a camera that can have its contrast adjusted. Also, regardless of the sport, you'll probably want to shoot in 60i mode (pretty much every camera will) because it'll give you the smoothest results.

The XL2 might be a good option for you. See if you can rent one from somewhere and test it out.

Mark Utley
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Old September 27th, 2005, 09:32 AM   #890
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I've been supporting hockey here in Dayton, The Dayton Bombers, starting on my 7th season. If you're not necessarily needing 16x9, you might want to consider the Panasonic DV200. It is a full size camera with both full manual and automatic settings. We got it with a Fuji 20x manual lense and the thing rocks. You can tweak anything you want to. It has 3 1inch CCDs which really helps out with resolution and low light levels. You can run it hand held or get the studio controls and run it like a full studio camera. It records on full size DV tapes, so you can get upto 3 hour tapes. It doesn't do 16x9 or 24p or 30p, but it does have 16x9 guidelines in the viewfinder for framing something that you would either letterbox or adjust later in post. I highly recommend it.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #891
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We shoot all sorts of sporting events: Soccer, football, baseball, and basketball. Hockey is but one aspect, but probably the most problematic because of the high contrast range. Our shooting standard is 4:3 60i, so 16x9 24p is a nice to have for other productions, but not a necessity. (Don't care for HD either) The Panasonic DV200 is a good camera, I have used it before. Alas, it is discontinued. And getting 4 of them 2nd-hand is a big hassle, not to mention potential problems.

The XL2 is a nice choice, and will try to get my hands on one to try it out. How do all of you XL2 users like the 20x lens in manual focus mode? Is it easy enough to get accurate focus using the color viewfinder, or would you suggest the BW CRT optional viewfinder? Is the peaking function usable? Is the free running focus ring problematic? I have heard that in auto focus mode, the lens tends to focus hunt on wide shots. Is this so?

My fear of using the JVC 5100 is that it might not be as solid as it looks. True, not true, who knows? Can it take on some moderate abuse? On the other hand, I have been looking at the Panasonic convertible cameras (AW-E650 series). All added up with all of the necessary options, it comes just shy of the price of the JVC 5100; and there are no RCUs included. Itís probably more robust, but has no recorder, and is not a full-fledged shoulder mount cam that can be reused in other productions easily.

While on the Panasonic side, the DVX100 seems to be an option, except for it's limited 10x lens. I believe the XL2 and the DVX offer an advantage over many other cameras because of their image customization capabilities (such as black stretch, gamma curve, etc). However, as stated above, the 10x lens is limiting. Has anyone tried the 1.6x Century Optics tele adapter? How is the quality? Any loss of resolution? Any vignetting present?

Other then that, camera options are limited in the under 10K range. The Sony DSR390 is discontinued, and it's replacement the DSR400, although superior in some ways, is a lot more expensive. The Pany DV200 would have been a nice option, alas... The XL2 seems to be more and more the only way to go. Am I missing something???
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Old September 30th, 2005, 03:32 PM   #892
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Choice of camera for feature film xm2/pd170


I am planning on shooting a feature film towards the end of the year and wanted some advice on the following:

I have access to an XM2 or a PD170, i own the xm2 so i have experience in using it and know what kind of pictures it can produce. i havent used a pd170 though.

Has anyone had experience with both these cameras who might be able to give their view on which would be most suitable for a feature film, pros and cons etc...

Also, do people on this board who shoot on a canon, shoot interlaced or frame mode?

Finally, assuming a good story, acting, well shot etc... would shooting hdv give the film much greater sellability? anyone have any experience trying to sell dv/hdv films?

thanks for reading, i look forward to anyones comments

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Old October 27th, 2005, 04:10 AM   #893
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What cam to buy?

I hope this is the right place for my question....

I am buying a DV camcorder, maybe a HDV?

I have concidered the following models:

Panasonic DVX100

Canon XL2

Jvc GY-HD100

Panasonic AG-HVX200

I'm doing fiction stuff and will mainly be shooting 24p, what I seek is good picture quality and a cam that can create pictures as filmlike as possible.
Also I require a good sound option on my cam.

First of I will only be shooting DV (cause I will be editing the projekt on a PowerBook), but later on HDV might be really nice......

I hope somebody can help me or refer me to a place where the same subject is being discussed.


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Old October 27th, 2005, 08:12 AM   #894
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I really like the HD100.

Don't have one but if I had the money, I would buy it in a heartbeat.
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Old October 27th, 2005, 12:36 PM   #895
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Hello Anders,

I think the best thing for you to do is first to tell us your budget.

The cams you listed are all great cams.
My opinion is that maybe if HD isn't a must, don't look for one.
Be sure if you need it or not, because it's an extra expense.
As I have none of the cameras you talked about, I'll just talk about what I've heard about them.

Panasonic DVX100: great filmlook, but also the oldest model of all the models.

XL2: best SD cam, but pretty expensive of course. It's like the DVX but somehow sharper, interchangible lens system, somehow better audio options, but the filmlook is told to be not as good (out of the box I mean!) as the DVX. It's a more difficult cam to master then the DVX, but you should be able to get better results.

HD100: filmlook, but no option to go interlaced. completely manual lens, but is reported to be not that great, and the other option is a lens of 13.000 dollar. Is reported to look very filmlike, but also some people had some problems with them (look at the boards of the camera)

HVX200: isn't out yet. Is very expensive, no interchangible lens system. HD post production should be pretty expensive (in comparison with editing usual DV). I think it's like a updated DVX with some very nice extras (and I know that's kind of an understatement, but if you're only going for SD production, maybe for the price difference you should better get a DVX and a good tripod or microphone or...)

You really have to decide what you need
(interchangible lenses? HD(V)? ...)
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Old October 27th, 2005, 08:21 PM   #896
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What cam should I invest in?

I just sold my gl1 because I didnt like the grain and the low resolution that the gl1 tends to produce. I skate & film and I was just wondering what cam you guys would suggest. I would like to have a cam that has alot of manual controls and a cam that produces a high quality image. I was thinking about getting the HC1 or the vx1000 but im not sure about what cam I should get. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old October 27th, 2005, 10:25 PM   #897
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Well you didn't mention what purposes you need the camera for. Is it for work or play , or both? How much is your budget? If you want to go HD with fairly good manual control, go for the Sony HC1 thats out, its a really really good price for the fact that it is HD. If you don't care about HD as of yet, go for a used vx2000 or perhaps a vx2100. All this dependin on your budget, and your purposes. But you can't go wrong with the cams i mentioned...
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Old October 27th, 2005, 10:30 PM   #898
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There was another thread that went through this recently. Same scenario. A skate vid guy who was debating a couple of cams. Do a search for it.

I think he ended up going with the GL2 because he also wanted to use it for family ocasions.

I say GL2, anyway. With a fisheye.
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Old October 29th, 2005, 07:49 AM   #899
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Hi again.

Well first of, my budget i around 5000-6000$, but spending lesser would'nt hurt me....hehe.

I think I'm concidering either the xl2 or the dvx the most at the moment, because the jvc is a bit more difficult to use (the manual lens, etc) and also for HDV it might be good to wait a bit until the format has really entered the market and becoming a knovn and used standard like DV.

But I as i have read I could get a bit better pictures with the xl2 compared to the DVX.

The DVX has around 450.000 px pr. CCD

The XL2 has 800.000

I don't know excactly what this means? It all ends up in DV in the end right?

Also the XL2 shoots real 16-9, which means alot as most of my stuff is done in 16-9.

But the DVX is smaller and easier to handle, and also has a nice flip-screen LCD.

But regarding the filmlook, you said the DVX should be better. But am I right that both cams can shoot real 24p?

Hard to choose......


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Old October 29th, 2005, 11:03 AM   #900
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Anders, do not bother with pixel count. I worked witx XL2 and DVX100 and i must say that both are capable of producing brilliant picture. My favor is DVX because of the form factor. XL is just too big for me travelling around all the time (actually I am working with XM2 a lot, but at this moment I am using DVX for some educational stuff). XL2 is great, but will you ever think of buying other lens? Off course if you want real 16:9 XL2 is better, but the best way for you is to try them both and then pick up your favour one. And for the rest of the money you can buy extra batteries, mics, decent tripod etc...
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