Buying a new camera nightmare?! at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 16th, 2010, 02:13 AM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Pretoria South Africa
Posts: 11
Buying a new camera nightmare?!

I am looking to buy a new camera before the end of the year. At first I was very excited. Now I am just confused and do not know what to buy! I was originally looking at the JVC GY-HM700L17S. ( B&H has a mail in rebate offer till the end of the year for a battery system. )

I am now looking for the best camera I can buy in the same price range. Im fairly new to the video industry so all the specs as listed I understand somewhat, but after some consulting with friends whom have been in the industry much longer than I have it seems that I should rather be looking at Sony or Canon...

Can anybody please help me in my decision as this is a huge amount of money for me to spend so I want to be sure I am making the right decision. I will be using the camera outdoors in africa if that helps clarify which of these will work better for me...

JVC,Canon and Sony of coarse all have their pro's and con's, but what would be the DVinfo users opinion as to which of these are the best? Apparently canon will be bringing out a new camera to replace the XL-H1, does anyone know anything about this new camera? I have been told to wait until they release this new camera as it will be way above the rest? This is a problem as I don't want to wait for the canon not knowing what I am waiting for and miss out on the expensive battery system they offer on the JVC as listed above. The sony that is in question is the EX3. Is there any other cameras in the same price range as these that might be the better option that I do not know about?

Thanks for any advice in advance!

Melcom
Melcom van Staden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2010, 05:50 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
"Best" is a subjective term. So the question has to be, what is the majority type of work you plan to or are doing and what camera fits your needs best?
Are you comparing apples to apples? Maybe not. JVC HM700, compact fullsize camera that shoots MOV or MP4, professional type lens and battery system, requires a heavier duty tripod and appropriate head (means money cost unless you have it) even the bag to carry it in costs more. You mentioned Sony. OK which model. The EX1 or EX3 or the PMW320 or 350? They are all different cameras compared to the JVC. EX1/3 and 320 all 1/2 CMOS cams the 350 is 2/3 CMOS while the JVC is CCD. Better or not? I don't know but they are different. Different as they can be. Better? Depends on what you need for the work you do. Canon? Again different. 1/3 inch but the 305(?) does 4:2:2 and 50 mbps. Is it really necessary? Maybe, depends on the work you do and what you feel you need to complete it.

There was obviously a reason you were drawn to the HM700 which BTW is a wonderful camera especially with the 17 lens (I know a number of folks that have them and love them) it's a good all around cam and gets you the pro lens/shoulder mount for a reasonable price. Is it right for you? Don't know, only you know that.

Keep in mind this business is a money pit. Just when you think you got the latest and greatest, someone else comes out with something newer. You could go broke trying to keep up. Get the camera that fits your needs better than anything else thats out ther NOW then you have the best camera.

Good luck.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2010, 06:31 AM   #3
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Pretoria South Africa
Posts: 11
Don, thank you very much for your response!! As I said I know little enough about it to confuse myself but not nearly enough to make a clarify anything of value. There is 3 questions in my mind at this stage that made me wonder if I should get the JVC or not:

It does not have image stabilizer?
I have never worked with a full shoulder mount camera before but i would think that working in the field
footage should be more stable anyway if the camera is over my shoulder?

It does not have an auto focus option?
Its not that I need an auto focus, but occasionally while shooting on manual focus through brush perhaps, something else might happen around me so when I zoom back out I usually then switch it to auto focus instead of turning the focus ring a million times and then back and forth to different people standing around as they talk or what ever the case might be. ( please forgive my lack of experience here but there is only one way to learn more about this. perhaps a more professional camera handles things like the above mentioned much easier, I dont know? )

What does the mbps really mean? The rate at which a specific sized file is recorded? if its something like that, what difference does it really make to what you are recording? ( sorry for the silly question and again lack of experience and knowledge about this! )

all and all I still believe that I want to get the JVC. The condition here are tough and from what I read the JVC has a much better structure than the EX3. I currently use a Sony VX2100. I do not mind change as long as the change is for the better.

One function that I enjoyed on my Sony is the fact that I could switch from auto focus to manual and then to infinity without wasting any time allowing me to make a minor adjustment to the focus ring.

Thanks for the help!
Melcom van Staden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Red Lodge, Montana
Posts: 889
Melcom:

As Don says, a lot of "best" is subjective. The rest is economics.

As interesting as the HM700 is, that camera may not be the right tool for your shooting style and kinds of things you say you plan on shooting.

You say you are upgrading from a VX2000. The first thing that occurs to me is that you might find a Sony NX5 (or AX2000) more to your liking. The NX/AX are larger and heavier than the VX but smaller than the JVC and EX cams you also have been considering. Also a bit lighter than the Canon 3xx cams, I believe. Coming from your VX2000, the AX/NX control layout will seem much more familiar to you. The AX/NX have the features you said you want for the kinds of shooting you do. The low-light capabilities are close to those of the VX2000. Their "active steady shot" makes for great image stabilization when shooting handheld. If you want shoulder-mounting for added stabilization, you can buy a good rig with a small portion of the money you save over the cost of an EX, Canon 305, or the JVC.

Is there a reason you need or want interchangeable lenses? How important is it for you to have interchangeable lenses and auto capabilities? The Canon 305 and Sony EX3 have auto capabilities that the JVC lacks, but maybe the economics favor buying the JVC with another lens?

Is flash-banding an issue for you? That is, are you making interlaced video while a lot of photographers are popping flash pictures? With CMOS sensors, your camera may record the flash on the upper or lower half of a frame instead of a complete white out of the whole frame. This is very annoying to some videographers. For others (myself included) flash-banding does not matter. If flash-banding matters for what you do, the JVC has CCD sensors rather than CMOS. So, the question you need to decide for yourself is whether the flash-banding issue important enough for you to want to get CCD sensors in the JVC while giving up auto-focus switching capabilities?

As far as whether Mbps matters, the answer is: sometimes for some people. It depends on what you do for editing and what you need for delivery. More Mbps gives you more data to work with in editing. In some situations, you may have a bit more color, a bit less noise, etc. Depending on what kinds of shooting and editing and delivery you do, the differences might be subtle or they might be crucial.

I am not sure what you meant by "The condition here are tough and from what I read the JVC has a much better structure than the EX3." Are you talking about business conditions being tough or are you talking about difficult environmental conditions (such as rain and wind) or are you talking about having to lug a camera around all day? When you say that the JVC has better "structure" do you mean build quality or are you talking about things like balance? All of these things can be important, especially balance, when you are lugging the cam around all day doing hand-held or shoulder mounted shooting while on the go.

That said, there is nothing better than actually laying hands on a camera to see how well it works (or does not work) for you. Are there any nearby places where you could rent any of these cameras for a day?
Jay West is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2010, 09:55 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: London Ontario
Posts: 94
Melcom, yours is a very tough question. I had the same questions once.
My answer was a Panasonic, a brand yet to be mentionned in this thread.
The recording rate was a factor for me. Broadcast requireents often specify a rate
Of 100 mbps and the HPX170 I bought does record at that rate.

Best advice I can offer is look at cameras in your price range that meet what technical
Requirements you have, then read as much as you can about them in these forums.

I am very happy with my HPX, but it can't do everything. For instance, it's small 1/3
Inch sensors mean it doesn't have the depth of field or low light capabilities of cameras
With larger sensors. Ever price out a proper 2/3 inch camcorder? :)

For me adding a Canon DSLR (and a prime lens with a wide aperture - a "fast" lens)
has filled in the blanks for me a bit.

Good luck. I'm sure lots of reading will uncover your best choice.

BTW, you have a beautiful country. I rode a motorcycle around there and in Botswana
Last year.
__________________
Regards,
Thane Silliker, London, Ontario
Thane Silliker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #6
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Pretoria South Africa
Posts: 11
Jay and Thane, thanks for the advice!

When I talk about the structure of the camera I'm talking about the build quality...? Is the build on the JVC stronger than that of the Sony and perhaps the Canon?

Unfortunately I haven't found the JVC here yet but I can get my hands on the EX3. When I had it at my disposal however I did not really spend time working with the camera as I was at that stage not uncertain about what I wanted to do. Thats when I started looking around more...

Some of the features like interchangeable lenses are not that important, but I do think it makes the camera more versatile which can mean better value. One of the reasons the JVC attracted me from the get go was the fact that it records .mov. I use fcp so it makes life easy. I am not scared of change as far as the ergonomics go. I want to upgrade my camera and if that means in my price range that I have to change I would love to take it on!

How does the image quality compare between the EX3,HM700 and the XF305?

The auto functions that the JVC lacks I could get used to IF functionality of the camera itself is easy enough to compensate for what it lacks. Does anyone have any experience regarding this matter?

Yes Thane we do indeed have a beautiful country and I love it here!! Touring in Africa I amazing!!
Melcom van Staden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Harare Zimbabwe
Posts: 162
JVC in Africa

hey buddy,

I've used my JVC (the old 110, not the new 700) for five years, in the toughest conditions our beloved Africa can throw at it - cyclones in Mozambique, street fighting in Mogadishu, refugee camps in eastern DRC, Sandton Mall (!).

It's barely let me down - and nothing that can't be fixed easily. It's a proper, serious, fully functional camera, with full manual flexibility and an ergonomic form that makes shooting a pleasure.

There's a great support network in SA - Inala broadcast helped out a lot for me at one point (Tel +2711 206 8348).

The JVC community here on DVinfo is awesome, too - a staggering resource of knowledge.

Well, I guess you worked it out: I reckon go with the JVC.

All the best, and maybe see you on the road. What kind of stuff do you shoot?

Rob
Robert Adams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2010, 12:13 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Jay andThane pretty well answered your questions but just as a re-hash, a shoulder monted camera doesn't always make for more stabile footage. I've know people thru out the years that couldn't hold the camera steady if their life depended on it. After trying to hold on tight for about 20 minutes or so your arms get a bit tired and the legs give way (at least mine do) so it's a relative thing. I have a DVRig that I used on my DSRs and my JVC5000 that really made a hugh difference.

Anyway, no auto focus, no image stabilizer. You need to know the camera like any other, you need to know which way to turn the "knobs" BUT having said all of that the JVC HD and HM series of cameras are very good for most general purpose work. I've used them at weddings, seminars, talking heads...all sorts of work. I don't own them I rent them when needed and they fill the bill quite well.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2010, 02:07 AM   #9
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Pretoria South Africa
Posts: 11
Robert, thanks for the great advice!! This was a big factor why I was leaning towards the JVC in the first place! Thanks for actually confirming that the camera is indeed the build that we need down here!!

So nobody knows anything about the new canon thats coming?

At this stage I am going with the JVC!! BUT, can someone please tell me about the picture quality and size between the 3?

Thanks,
Melcom
Melcom van Staden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2010, 02:16 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: BOCa raton fl
Posts: 342
hi

I just purchased the Canon xf 300 and i am blown away by its build quality and the best camera I ever had in a long time . I had the JVC 700 with the 17 lens and the camera was ok but compared to the canon it is not in the same class . Believe me I was a JVC guy for years but when I tell you to at least look at the Canon please do. I just did a shoot with it for two days and the lens is awesome , it has also better low light capabilities. Incredible build quality too.

Doug
Doug Tessler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2010, 07:23 AM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
The Canon XF isn't an interchangeable lens. It's also a handycam form factor and not a semi shoulder like the EX3 and HM700.

Right away, I see the JVC has a couple good things going for it that the others can't touch like 4.3 inch LCD, both SDHC AND SxS. A proper set of BNC connectors and professional power system are not to be glossed over either.

Rather than trying to find "the Best", try to find "the best for you". Lotsa people here with hands on experience with the cameras can help but if it's possible, there's nothing like renting one and trying it out in your world.

Last edited by Les Wilson; November 19th, 2010 at 09:17 AM.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2010, 09:52 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Melcom, if you haven't seen this thread, I notice a poster John McDonald was headed to Africa with an HM700 and might be of some help...FYI

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/jvc-gy-h...-gy-hm700.html
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 1,384
I took a couple of rails, a plate and a handle and made a completely usable shoulder mount for the XF300. I also tried an offset to use the viewfinder and if I didnt wear glasses it would be perfect.
If you have not seen the quality the XF is capable of, you really need to. I have used the ex1/ex3 and they are great cameras but the Canon IMHO looks a little better. As far as interchangeable lenses, I can't think of a reason to change the XF as it's one of the best I've used. And no doubt Canon will have an interchangeable version of the XF at some point.

Oh...the image stabilization and auto focus options are quite incredible too. And the LCD is 4" and can swivel to be viewed on either side of the camera. Very handy stuff! And the big battery lasts over 7 hours. Dual hot-swappable CF card slots means unlimited record time.
(can you tell I'm extremely pleased with the XF?)
__________________
A7RII, C100, 1Dx, 5Dmk3, 70D, Kessler goodies, Adobe, Pro Tools and more!
Robert Turchick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
No matter what you do, a rear VF design does not have the same weight distribution and handling characteristics as a side mounted VF as in the XL, EX3 and HM700 designs. The HM700 sits on the shoulder right out of the box. Interchangeable lenses are great. I wish I could afford one. These are apparently important factors to the OP and he's getting an HM700. This thread ought not turn into a camera war.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2010, 06:44 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Red Lodge, Montana
Posts: 889
Les:

Good point, generally, but I haven't seen anything here that looks like a camera war, to me.

I hope that nothing I wrote came across that way.

Every camera represents choices and trade-offs. Melcom has given us a list of features he would like to have and indicated the kinds of cameras he has been considering. As far as I can see, all the suggestions above are all aimed at helping Melcom clarify his choices (and maybe his thinking) as he looks at moving up from his current VX2000, which he seems to like. As I saw it, folks were offering suggestions for things that could get him some things he wants that he does not get with JVC700. Those other cameras all have tradeoffs, too, and lack features found on the 700. Sometimes there can be ways to work-around the apparent trade-offs such as ways of making a shoulder mount for a Canon XF300. Maybe that work-around is something that Melcom wants to deal with and maybe it will not be. But it helps him sort through his choices to know that he can do that but, if he really wants a "shoulder cam," the viewfinder/screen may not be as useful to him as the large side-mounted eyepiece.

As was said at the outset, this thread is not about "what is best" but "best for whom for to do what where on what kind of budget?"

Melcom:

Your questions about Canon's replacement for the XLH1 have got lost in traffic. You might get more information if you put that specific question into a separate thread and maybe tried separately posting it the XLH1 forum.
Jay West is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:52 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network