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Old April 19th, 2012, 09:27 AM   #1
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True 24mm camcorder that's travel size

I'm traveling to Marbella Spain to capture a 4 day party event and need to shoot in close quarters frequently. I need to take a small HD travel camcorder (3 lbs or less) that will give me down to 24mm wide angle (35mm equivalent). I'm starting to think unless I use a DSLR there isn't such an animal out there, unless I want to use a wide angle lens attachment (which I absolutely don't want to do). I would like it to have provisions for stereo inputs either stereo mini-pin or xlr. Maybe this is one of the reasons why people are moving to shooting HD videos with DSLR (full frame Canon EOS 5 MkII/III)? Why do all the cheapo but very capable camcorders stop their wide angles at like 26.9mm or something?
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Old April 19th, 2012, 04:51 PM   #2
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Re: True 24mm camcorder that's travel size

My 5DMII with 50mm Sigma and Z-Finder is > 3lbs.

A DSLR is not a camcorder. If you have no experience shooting with one, it's going to be finicky at best. Keep in mind you have no power zoom with a DSLR and iris is a click wheel or stepped ring. Zoom and focus rings are not so smooth either.

Most people don't do audio with the DSLR but use a dual system instead.... more batteries and boxes.

This experience might be yours: cheap doc camera solution

Is that 1.9mm focal length difference really that important? How do you even calculate it to that accuracy?
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Old April 20th, 2012, 05:08 AM   #3
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Re: True 24mm camcorder that's travel size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Call View Post
Why do all the cheapo but very capable camcorders stop their wide angles at like 26.9mm or something?
In a word: money. It costs real money to take a long fast zoom down into the wide end and to keep the image sharp and barrel distortion free. I know of no camcorder that goes down to 24mm, but there's a few 28mm versions about. Then you could buy a mild wide-angle converter for those times you found yourself backed into a corner.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 06:44 AM   #4
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Re: True 24mm camcorder that's travel size

Thanks for your responses. The answer is there doesn't appear to be any small travel size camcorders that go down to 24mm (35mm equivalent). I wonder if there are even any fixed lens prosumer camera's that go down there. I can appreciate the fact that it does cost more to take zoom lenses down to 24mm wide angle territory, however I for one wouldn't have any problem paying and extra $500 for a camera like this if it would do that. I do have a Sony NEX 500n which when used with a 16mm wide angle prime is 24mm (NEX 500n has a 1.5 lens multiplier). I guess I mentioned the Canon EOS 5 MkII because I own one and have used it to shoot several indoor & outdoor events. So I do know what you mean about how cumbersome it is.
Do you guys have an idea what is the lightest weight hand held HD 1080p camcorder that will get down to 24mm? I wonder if it's even under 10 pounds? I guess it's probably some kind of pro camcorder with interchangeable lense capability costing a minimum of $5000+ oh well. Yes I think that 22-24mm wide is what I'm looking for at these events. Space between VIP tables and filming the action just physically requires you to get real close. It wasn't that big a deal back in the day when I use to shoot events with my Ikegami HL-DVV7AW and a $6000 wide angle lens, but I have medical issues now and was hoping to get something under 5 pounds actually closer to 3 pounds. That why I had the orignal question. I'm not trying to get anyone upset as much as find a solution.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:35 AM   #5
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Re: True 24mm camcorder that's travel size

While you may be interested in paying extra for a wider wide end, I think the line of thought is that most buyers would not. Therefore, to accommodate those who would, wide angle accessories are made to serve the whole market. This lets them compete on price against those manufacturers that don't provide as wide a wide end. So to get it with the conveniences of a proper camcorder, I think you will have to stomach adding a wide angle adapter. I've been doing that for every camera I've owned since 1999 except my XH-A1.

Take a look at the Panasonic line of consumer 3-mos cameras. The current model is the HC-X900M but it has a 28.9mm wide end and Panasonic makes a .75 wide angle conversion lens that gets you into 22mm territory.

Don't be put off. That line of cameras produces quality images using it's 3x1/4" sensors including 1920x1080/60p at 28mbps. It's also one of the few cameras under $2000 that lets you control iris with a lens ring instead of silly little knobs or worse yet, buttons and click wheels. I had a TM700 for a while and I could put it in auto focus, manual WB, manual iris then with one hand, operate the zoom and iris using the histogram to judge exposure. Very "handy" and safer when shooting from a moving vehicle.

Last edited by Les Wilson; April 20th, 2012 at 10:26 AM. Reason: corrected focal length
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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:50 AM   #6
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Re: True 24mm camcorder that's travel size

I'll echo Les' recommendation and suggest you nab an SD900 before they all disappear. Its 35mm lens ends up being a 24.5mm when the 0.7x is screwed on. It's much cheaper than the X900M but is essentially the same camera - and better in many ways (look at the test results).
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Old April 20th, 2012, 08:05 AM   #7
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Re: True 24mm camcorder that's travel size

Thanks I'll check it out!
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Old April 21st, 2012, 12:58 PM   #8
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Re: True 24mm camcorder that's travel size

There's a new "player" on the market that may meet some of your specs. Just now appearing in the retail chain it may be in short supply for a bit.

Olympus OMD E-M5 with 12-50mm "kit" lens. the 12mm end is a 24mm equivalent. With THIS "kit" lens and a UV filter on the front, it makes a "splash proof" (I've seen a video of an Olympus exec pouring a bottle of water over the camera with flash, then picking the camera up and shooting flash pictures) pretty much weather sealed camera. Format is Micro Four Thirds so it takes the entire line of Olympus M4/3 and Panasonic's (Lumix) M4/3 lenses.

All I can find on the video is:

1920 x 1080 (60i from 30p output), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)

Audio is stereo and it does take external mic's.

I have no idea whether or not there is a PAL version. The early tester's video I have seen was shot in Malaysia with a camera loaned from Olympus Malaysia. The above video frame rates will work for me as I'm in NTSC region and already work in 60i and 30p.

I have one on pre-order.

B&H listing with description and specs:

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds Digital V204045BU000 B&H


And dpreview specs page:


Olympus OM-D E-M5 Hands-on Preview: Digital Photography Review
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Old April 21st, 2012, 09:39 PM   #9
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Re: True 24mm camcorder that's travel size

The new Sony NX-30 goes to 26mm
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Old April 21st, 2012, 11:42 PM   #10
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Re: True 24mm camcorder that's travel size

All the new Sony consumer cams like the CX760 etc go to 26mm and you could leave the wide angle lens on as it is not that big, adds about 1" to the length. This camera or the CX760J that is the basis of the NX30, also has an incredible stabilizer. The lower models in the range go to 26.8mm. With the wide angle this would take you to about 20mm.
Ron Evans

edit. Length with wide angle is about 7.5" and total weight about 2lbs.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 08:30 AM   #11
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Re: True 24mm camcorder that's travel size

Thanks for the suggestion on the Olympus OM-D E-M5. I did check it out on BHP. Now I'm rethinking how I'll shoot this event, I may just decide to use still shot camera for all up close event situtations and then periodically capture the event feel with a camcorder where the 24mm is not really that big an issue.

Then at least I can use my entire set of Canon/Zeiss wide angle zoom glass on my EOS 5 MkII. However I'm now looking at the new set of compact professional camcorders Sony, JVC etc to see if they'll start getting closer to 24mm at the wide end. Most of them seem to go down to 29+mm.
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