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Old September 10th, 2012, 01:53 PM   #1
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New camera. What are your thoughts?

A friend of mine is looking for a new camera, he currently has a Sony Z1 and wants to invest in a new camera. Basically there are four choices, well maybe five if you add a Sony NEX, all of course with pro's and con's.

Canon XF300/305 with 422 colorspace and 50 Mbps MPEG2, 18 x zoom
Panasonic AG-HPX250 with 422 colorspace and 100 Mbps AVCIntra, 22 x zoom
Sony PMW200 with 422 colorspace and 50 Mbps MPEG2, 14 x zoom exchangeable
JVC GY-HM750 with 411 colorspace and 35 Mbps MPEG2 (XDCAM-EX alike), 14 x zoom exchangeable
Sony NEX-FS100 with single chip APS size and 420 AVCHD (28 Mbps) recording and 11 x zoom exchangeable

He is a favorite of shoulder mounted cameras, so from that perspective the JVC is best, all the others are handhelds, but the picture quality of the JVC is the least. The NEX is also handicapped by the AVCHD format and the 420 colorspace. The PMW200 is handicapped by the small dimensions, which gets very top heavy when equipped with an on-camera light, shotgun and wireless receiver. The Panny uses very expensive P2 cards.

Well, all have pro's and con's. Where would your thoughts go initially, disregarding price.?

Intended use is vacations, documentaries, and other hobbyist video's. No real WEVA or pro use.
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Old September 10th, 2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

Uhh, is 422 necessary for vacation video and no pro uses? Wow, standards have really gone up in the consumer market.

Well, shoulder mount is to me the opposite of what he should be looking for, with uses described. Not that shoulder stabilzation is bad, its just that it can be done in so many ways with add ons, and you don't have the bulk and obtrusiveness in other situations. It may not even be an issue with stabilization in modern cameras.

For needs described, I would suggest rethink, looking at Sonys like th NX 70u (water and dust proof) or VG20, or Canon's such as the XF100 or XA10. AVCHD is what you are dealing with on these, but you idea that it is a bad thing is whats wrong.

If you really need 422 for these rigs, Black Magic Shuttle 2 would work with them.
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Old September 10th, 2012, 02:53 PM   #3
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

Here is the camera for you Harm

Sony HXR-NX70U NXCAM Compact Camcorder HXR-NX70U B&H Photo Video

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Old September 10th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #4
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

I hear you, and thanks for the comments, but he comes from a background of a Sony DSR-200, then went to a Z1 and hated the drawbacks of a handheld coming from a shouldermount. He considered a EX1/3 but the ergonomics turned him off.

Today at the IBC we looked at the various cameras and this was the shortlist we came up with, as shown above. The drawback of a full shoulder mount like the PMW-350 or Panny 371 are multiple, despite the fabulous picture quality. The sheer size, weight and the problems you encounter with such obvious pro cameras in public places (do you have permission to film here, where is your license...?) are distinct disadvantages.

We sometimes do multiple camera shoots (not very often though) and use green screens for chroma keying in studio environments and that is were 422 color space comes in handy. (I use a Canon XF300 myself).

Another important consideration is packing weight and size for international flights. The camera has to be handled as hand luggage.
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Old September 10th, 2012, 04:25 PM   #5
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

Shoulder mount

SHAPE SPIDER 1 SP2100 B&H Photo Video


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Old September 10th, 2012, 04:52 PM   #6
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

Looking at the calibre of the suggested cameras in the original post, and speaking as a Sony NX70 owner since day one..... I really don't think an NX70 is in the same league as any of these cameras, either quality-wise or physically!
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Old September 10th, 2012, 05:12 PM   #7
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

They were overkill for the described need, but Harms post stated additional pro needs that weren't really indicated.
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Old September 11th, 2012, 01:42 AM   #8
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

Quote:
The Panny uses very expensive P2 cards.
They are not expensive, they are reliable, big difference :) Also if you are buying camera's in that price range reliable media at that cost shouldn't be an issue.
Quote:
and use green screens
Then you need a 4:2:2 camera for better results, so the last 2 camera's are not good a good choice.
Quote:
The sheer size, weight and the problems you encounter with such obvious pro cameras in public places (do you have permission to film here, where is your license...?) are distinct disadvantages.
All mentioned camera's are camera's that will be noticed and could cause problems in area's where you"d like to keep a low profile.
Quote:
Another important consideration is packing weight and size for international flights. The camera has to be handled as hand luggage.
All mentioned camera's are big and bulky (considering they are "handycams" and leaving the jvc out of consideration) You also state that the PMW200 is handicapped by the small dimensions and yet smaller size is important?
Quote:
he comes from a background of a Sony DSR-200, then went to a Z1 and hated the drawbacks of a handheld coming from a shouldermount. He considered a EX1/3 but the ergonomics turned him off.
If he hates the Z1 because it's a handycam he will hate all the mentioned camera's as well, except the JVC, if you look at formfactor only.

It looks to me your friend wants a camera that doesn't exsist :) I also agree with Chris that these camera's are somewhat overkill for the intended use, probably his best bet will be the Canon xf105, good for green screen use, multicam shoots and it's small and light.
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Old September 11th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #9
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

Noa,

I said P2 cards are very expensive. I admit they are reliable, but their price per hour recording time are a factor of around eight times more expensive than comparably reliable CF cards, at least over here. When you need about 4 P2-64 GB cards or 4 CF-32 GB cards, that price difference adds up.

4 x $ 690 or 4 x $ 85 makes quite a difference.
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Old September 11th, 2012, 01:13 PM   #10
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

P2 cards are build to withstand a nuclear attack and they easily will serve you as long as you have your camera and since they have a proven reliability this is considered an investment equally important as your camera. If you consider to buy a HPX250 then P2 is part of the deal. Why did you then put it on your list of options if you find that the media is too expensive? And what did you think of my suggestion of getting a xf105?
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Old September 12th, 2012, 03:01 AM   #11
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

The XF100/105 would definitely be my choice for my B-camera to supplement my XF300. Nice compact and almost the same image quality as the bigger ones.

I told my friend he should try the JVC first to experience the shouldermount and ergonomics and seriously consider the drawbacks of manual focus only and the limited colorspace. I believe he already removed the NEX from this shortlist.
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Old September 12th, 2012, 07:51 AM   #12
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

Limited colorspace is only an issue if you plan to do green screen and lots of color correction, the fs100 however is a camera he might reconsider again, it breaks down to a small package if you take the lens, mircophone and viewfinder off, would fit nicely in a smaller bag. with some added accesoires you can turn it into a semi shouldermount as well though the viewfinder is at the wrong location. But then again price does add up quickly once you invest into accesoires. The Jvc is allready older technology, I"m sure it produces some nice filmic images but it needs light to perform.
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Old September 12th, 2012, 10:33 AM   #13
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Re: New camera. What are your thoughts?

Harm, I'm with you and Noa on the XF100.

It has everything else your friend wants except shoulder mount -- and as pointed out already, "travel size" and "purpose-built as shoulder mount" are essentially mutually exclusive criteria. He needs to make an either/or choice on that.

I'm sympathetic because I lamented that the XL line didn't continue on into the tapeless age but between the small form factor of the XF100/105 and how good image stabilization is these days, I don't feel I'm compromised because my small XF105's don't sit on my shoulder. It is his choice, of course, how to weigh priorities, but seems that for all the other benefits, your friend could get a third party shoulder mount device if he really wants to put a camera on his shoulder.

And of course you know well that the XF300 is not really designed to be a shoulder-mount camera and yet is pretty darn big to be handheld camcorder. He'd have twice the mass, volume, and cost to lug around and would then be obligated to get a separate shoulder mount kit.

FWIW, I routinely do multi-cam events with a mix of XF105 and XF305. The very small form factor of the 105's makes them so easy to pack and transport, and in the edit suite the image quality between the 105 and the 305 is not perceptible to me. Although the custom picture settings are unfortunately not compatible between 100 and 300 lines, it isn't difficult to match them up pretty well.

And since you guys do work together, having a common -- and very simple, quick -- work flow sending Canon MXF files from standard CF cards into Prelude or PPro would be a plus.
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