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Old March 24th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #1
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The 5K HD Camera Question

Hi folks, please don't yell at me for yet ANOTHER question like this...

I am used to using an XL-1, and now am ready to move up to HD. I know there are many reccomendations, but I haven't seen a definitive thread... if you can point me, that'll save us all a lot of typing :)

I have 5K US (I am in Canada - but it's too damn expensive to get gear here), and want to know your thoughts. I am using it for independent film making, mostly just a hobby - but you never know! :)

I lean to the XL H1 (or it's approximate) because it works like the Xl-1, and I know how that feels in my hands. However, am I being sentimental? Is it crap these days (my knowledge of these things is about 2 years old now)?

I see the Panasonics and Sony's are now 1080p vs. i, and I was always interested in adding my many Nikon SLR lenses to the thing - maybe using the RR systems... so many ways to play this thing.

Anyway, if you had 5K and could buy a camera (and or a lesser? camera and accessories), and needed it for May/June 2010 - what would it be?

Your input would be appreciated!

TMS
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Old March 24th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #2
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For making narrative film?

Canon 7D
Rails
Mattebox
Follow Focus
3-4 Lenses
24bit audio recorder


If I was in this solely to make films, there is no way I'd be looking at a 1/3 chip camera any more. None. Yesterday's news. IF you need to record live events, interviews lasting longer than 12 minutes, or need to run and gun, then my choices would be different.

You say you've already got Nikon SLR glass, so that makes things even easier. All that Nikon glass will adapt right over.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 04:27 PM   #3
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Wow! Never thought about that!

Will check that out. I can't ever see me using more than a 10 minute shot...

Thank you so much for your input! Anyone else think this would be the way to go?
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Old March 24th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #4
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Know the strenghts and weaknesses of a DSLR-V before you jump in, but for a fraction of your budget you could grab a Canon T2i AND one of the top of the consumer line Canon, Panny or Sony videocameras, and still have plenty left over to upgrade your computer to handle AVCHD video... You can get a lot of bang for the buck nowadays, image quality wise.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 06:35 PM   #5
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Define what you are your needs first!

Well one word of caution, If you do buy in U.S incase something goes wrong with the equipment, you will have to go back to U.S to get it fix. The Canadian wont cover warrenty if it was purchased there. I'd say its not worth the hassle trying to save money.

Other well your query dont define what your need is. other then being a hobby.
what are you trying to get out of the equipment?? what kind of style are you shooting??

I agree with the gentlment above, Canon is releaseing the HF S21 which is a great Prosumer Cam that can shoot Native 24P, along with a 7D or T21 A solid lense, a few bells and whistle like stabalizers, follow focus, mattbox, upgrading your computer to handle AVC should be good a good start!

All you will need is talent, dedication, and if thats there anything is possible.

M. T. Zaheer
Mississauga
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Old March 24th, 2010, 07:18 PM   #6
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The computer is a non issue, with a big Mac Pro on the Horizon... very capable with the Adobe suite of goods.

Mohammed, I understand the US/Canadian warranty challenges, but those are challenges of the past, with plenty of US aftermarket insurance firms warranty-ing products like this anywhere in North America. However, that's not really a focus here - but thank you for your insight.

I like the idea of the DSLR, but know they will be fraught with challenges - for if they weren't, the manufacturers woundn't continue to make video cams.

Ok, here's the status of my needs - 'narrative' film development (new phrase!), Manual obviously, hoping to work with fixed focal length lenses from my Nikon's - external sound capture (maybe?), and if possible straight through to digital storage and forego the tape (not really important). However, the cleanest image I can get with largest colour depth (4:2:2) as we do a fair amount of compositing work in AE and real manual focus, not servo'd.

I also own an HV20 which is great - but really not a great machine to try and control in any way, without backstands and endless twiddling with screen informative settings.

This is what I think... am I missing something... and no one has said my emotional affections to the XL HV1 is a dumb thing... but I do like the specs on the 7D.

So far, thank you all for your input.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #7
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I understand the US/Canadian warranty challenges, but those are challenges of the past...
Not according to Dale...

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Old March 24th, 2010, 07:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Ok, here's the status of my needs - 'narrative' film development (new phrase!), Manual obviously
Ok, the 5D/7D/T2i and the GH1 give you this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Smith View Post
hoping to work with fixed focal length lenses from my Nikon's
All of the above cameras give you this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Smith View Post
external sound capture (maybe?)
$300 bucks for the Zoom and that's a done deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Smith View Post
if possible straight through to digital storage and forego the tape
All of the above cameras give you this.

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Originally Posted by Terry Smith View Post
However, the cleanest image I can get with largest colour depth (4:2:2) as we do a fair amount of compositing work in AE
Uh oh. To get 4:2:2 color, you're going to need 2 things. First a camera with an uncompressed HDMI out or SDI out, and a way to record it. The cheapest way to record a 4:2:2 signal off HDMI or SDI is the Convergent Nanoflash at $3k. If your budget is fixed at $5k, that means you need a camera that can output to the Nanoflash for $2k, and that doesn't exist. There are no full raster 4:2:2 cameras for under $5k. There are some 4:2:2 cameras for under $5k, but they are not full raster. Either the budget has to move, or your requirement needs to flex.


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and real manual focus, not servo'd.
Any of the above cameras offer this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Smith View Post
This is what I think... am I missing something... and no one has said my emotional affections to the XL HV1 is a dumb thing... but I do like the specs on the 7D.
The XLH1 offers SDI out. And Genlock, and timecode. And that's awesome. But it's still a 1/3" camera that is several years old and is likely at end of life. It demands more light than any of the newer cams on the market, and if you put a 35mm adapter you're going to need to give it another 1.5-2 stops of light. Its going to record to HDV which is not full raster and not really very good for compositing. So, you'd need an external recorder to take advantage of the HD-SDI out... and that's an extra $3k minimum. And even WITH that, you're still putting it through a set of sensors that are years old at this point.

So you've got a very large camera, on a long set of rails, with a 35mm adapter on it, and a second lens, along with a an external video recorder, and if you want 24bit sound, an external audio recorder as well. There is a good reason people are moving away from solutions like this very, very quickly. Something like a T2i will give you the 35mm image, in 1/5 the space and weight and less than 1/5 the price. Heck, even if you don't LIKE it much, you can sell the thing for nearly what you've paid for it and walk away. I guarantee you if you bought a T2i, used it for 2 months and decided it wasn't right for you, you could put it online and sell it for $100 less than you paid for it within a couple days. Think of it as a 60 day, $100 rental. You've got the glass, so there's really no risk at all.

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So far, thank you all for your input.
The DSLRs aren't the right solution for everyone. Not by a long shot. But if narrative shooting is your forte, they deserve a REAL hard look. And truthfully, I am not aware of a way to get 4:2:2, full raster recording for less than $5k. And certainly not with selective DOF.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 08:26 PM   #9
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Perrone - you rock.

Simply stated, that is the single best response I have ever had to any posting ever.

Thank you for your sincere effort to help me out, and the 4:2:2 is a bitch, I know. Compositing is still ok without it, just thought it would help... sort of like shooting RAW.

My only disappointment is that Nikon doesn't make a similar camera, as wow, what a way to kill two birds with one stone (so to speak).

Thank you again for your awesome time and effort in helping. Kudos abound!

TMS
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Old March 25th, 2010, 06:30 AM   #10
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Perhaps you should just wait!

Wait for the new Canon Procam thats set to be due soon in the future.
its not too far off from what you have now, it will be able to capture using Pro mpeg2 codec up to 50mbps and a 4:2:2 colour.

not sure if it will be around budget perhaps a little higher but that sounds like your fit!

Zaheer
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Old March 25th, 2010, 08:18 AM   #11
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Wait for the new Canon Procam thats set to be due soon in the future.
its not too far off from what you have now, it will be able to capture using Pro mpeg2 codec up to 50mbps and a 4:2:2 colour.

not sure if it will be around budget perhaps a little higher but that sounds like your fit!

Zaheer
It's still a long-GOP codec which isn't the best for greenscreen work, it still looks like it will have a servo'd lens, it's going to be above his budget most likely, he can't use his existing glass on it, and it's still got 1/3" sensors.

So why should he wait?

I know this camera seems to excite the Canon videocamera faithful, but to others, it looks like way to little, way too late.
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