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Old January 24th, 2010, 08:17 PM   #1
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Looking for a prosumer HD Cam

Hi,

I recently sold my XL2 and I am looking for a suitable replacement. The camera will be used for wildlife documentaries and sports films ( ie.skateboarding ). It must be HD and have mic inputs...

Tapeless work-flow is not a must, I actually enjoy working with minidv. So far I've considered the canon XH A1, any other suggestions within the same price range?

Thanks
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Old January 24th, 2010, 08:41 PM   #2
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Short answer, I recommend either the Canon 7d/5d mark ii or the Canon XL-H1
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Old January 24th, 2010, 08:52 PM   #3
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The H1 isn't in the same price range as the A1. In the same price range as the A1 you could consider the Sony FX1000 or the Panny HMC150.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 09:20 PM   #4
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As of now I'm leaning towards the xh a1...simply due to the fact that I can use my old 72mm filters with it. The HMC150 looks nice but I'm assuming it is a tapeless work-flow, which is pretty expensive to get started right?

A lot of my subjects are going to be shot in low light conditions, such as early in the morning on rivers. So low light shooting capabilities will be an important factor, and I've read the xh a1 does great in those.

The sony looks nice but does it have external mic inputs?

As well I'd prefer something in the 2-3k dollar range, most likely a used but well taken care of camera.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 09:31 PM   #5
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I'm not sure what you mean about it being expensive to get started using tapeless. You mean buying a few cards?

The FX1000 has a stereo mini plug for external mic input. If you need XLR you can add an adapter or move up to the Z5.

For low light, the A1 isn't even in the same league as the FX1000, from all reports. And all three cams mentioned have 72mm filter threads, so not an issue.

All that being said, you'll probably love the A1 -- everyone who has one seems to.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 10:09 PM   #6
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Yeah when I say its expensive to get started tapeless I'm refering to p2 cards costing a fortune...firestores still seem a bit up there as well( although sooner or later I would like to grab one ).

Low light is a big deal...fx1000 looks interesting...
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Old January 25th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #7
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Yes, P2 cards are exorbitant, but most tapeless cams today use much less expensive cards, like cheap CF or SD cards. The HMC150 uses SDHC cards; the new Sonys will use Memory sticks and/or SD cards as well. Cheap.

The new Flash recorder that mates with the NX5 is only $250 after rebate and requires no cards. Cheaper still.

The FX1000 is a good value because you can start out using conventional tape and then pick up the MRC1k CF recorder and go tapeless in the future if you so desire.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 07:38 PM   #8
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I think I'm just about sold on the fx1000...the best prosumer hd low light footage, huge lcd for focusing and of course the option to go tapeless in the future. lack of xlr inputs is the only thing that I don't like about it, but the fact that they can be added later is promising.

The fx1000 quality looks a little consumer camcorderish though in some of the shots I've seen. I guess post processing has a lot to do with it. On the other side of the coin I've seen shots that look like they belong on the big screen from it...
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Old January 25th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #9
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Chris,

I have the xlh1 and the fx 1000. The H1 will be better if you want to change lenses, have more professional control over your image. Much easier controls.
If you get the xlh1 then I would also recomend that you get the fu1000 view finder for the higher resolution and peaking function.

the fx 1000 makes beautiful images, has reasonable control of image, and the view finder and peaking are down right superior to the canon! The buttons and adjustments are kind of fiddly and hard for me to work easily.

In HD the focus is the most critical factor in my book, the sony wins out in this factor four fold!!


I love them both, for different reasons.

for general video I would go with the fx 1000


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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:42 PM   #10
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The H1 is an $8,000 camera. If I had $8,000 to spend I'd buy an EX3. Or an EX1 and some really nice extra stuff. Or two NX5s.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 12:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Baird View Post
The camera will be used for wildlife documentaries and sports films ( ie.skateboarding ).
Shooting outdoors (in daylight), an HMC40 can deliver images that will make any HDV camcorder look pretty lame by comparison (and for a lot less money).
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Old January 27th, 2010, 01:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Baird View Post
I think I'm just about sold on the fx1000...the best prosumer hd low light footage, huge lcd for focusing and of course the option to go tapeless in the future. lack of xlr inputs is the only thing that I don't like about it, but the fact that they can be added later is promising.

The fx1000 quality looks a little consumer camcorderish though in some of the shots I've seen. I guess post processing has a lot to do with it. On the other side of the coin I've seen shots that look like they belong on the big screen from it...
FX1000? Are you joking? This shouldn't even be up for discussion in this price range...

Sony | HDR-AX2000 AVCHD Camcorder | HDRAX2000/H | B&H Photo Video

Why would you buy an FX1000 when it's successor is available for a couple extra hundred bucks and is probably better in nearly every way measurable. Consumer tape is at the end of it's life cycle. Why would you want to saddle yourself with that at this point? Heck even your 72mm stuff will work. Better lens, XLR, better audio codec, better manual controls, better sensors, tapeless, better video codec...
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Old January 27th, 2010, 02:12 AM   #13
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The AX2000 has the exact same lens and chips as the FX1000, but you sure are right about all that other stuff...
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Old January 27th, 2010, 02:19 AM   #14
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The AX2000 has the exact same lens and chips as the FX1000, but you sure are right about all that other stuff...
Weird. I thought they were newer for some reason. Looking at the photo, the lens does look the same, and the specs on the sensors line up too. Well, even with that, I'd do it for the tapeless and XLR alone. Not to mention the LPCM and AVCHD.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 02:28 AM   #15
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I believe the FX1000 and AX2000 share essentially the same imaging block (perhaps improved slightly in the AX2000). AVCHD compression pretty much blows away HDV though, for image fidelity, assuming it's a reasonably decent H264 codec implementation. Panasonic's AVCCAM H264 implementation apparently yields equal (or better under stress) image fidelity than Sony's XDCAM-EX MPEG-2 (from testing Barry Green did).

I doubt Sony is going to sell many FX1000s (unless they slash the price) after side-by-side images from both camcorders start circulating - same thing with the Z5 and NX5U. By the end of the year, prosumer HDV camcorder sales (in general) may very well wind up being just a small fraction of what they are right now.
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