What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past decade? at DVinfo.net

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Old November 12th, 2012, 08:21 PM   #1
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What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past decade?

What has frustrated me the most was wanting to find one camera that handles many different applications, then finding much lower cost cameras that may have one overlapping speciality similar to my camera excels at, thus driving down the value of the service I offer by having a more versatile and expensive camera.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 09:51 PM   #2
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Re: What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past dec

Not the past decade, more like the past 3 years. The DSLR form-factor. It's not comfortable to shoot like that! I want a camera that goes on my shoulder, or rests in my hand with a strap. The Scarlet's form factor mimics the DSLRs, which isn't good at all. The Blackmagic camera..well let's not even go there.
With the advent of smaller technology, the shoulder mount camera form factor is going away. I personally love a camera on my shoulder, because it's steadier and more comfortable. Why don't manufacturers realize this?
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Old November 13th, 2012, 01:08 AM   #3
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Re: What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past dec

Then add in the marketing. Somebody out there makes those cameras work, particularly for lower budgeted commercials. Market a couple success stories to sell 10,000 cameras even if those camera sales don't fit as well for what each individual camera person wants to do.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 02:55 AM   #4
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Re: What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past dec

Ditto for me!! I admire the footage these guys take on their dinky little DSLR's but give me a decent weight shoulder mount camera anytime. I tried a DSLR and it was just too tiny to hold decently (I do lots of handheld at weddings) and how the heck are supposed to do a tilt/zoom with the bride signs the register!

The only other issue I had was with Panasonic's new AC-130 where the autofocus doesn't work all the time. (drift and lockup) and the autoiris doesn't do any shutter changes so you have to manually rush to the camera and change ND filters in the middle of a wedding ceremony and you get a big flash on the footage....I don't mind manual cameras at all (use mine a lot in manual) but when I'm shooting solo with two cameras I do need a camera that can look after itself while I'm shooting with the other 30' away!! By all means market a camera that's got NO auto functions but if it has auto functions then they should work!!

Chris
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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:04 AM   #5
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Re: What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past dec

Would be interesting if the camera could be "locked" via f-stop, at say f 2.8, then the camera auto functions such as exposure, shutter and gain structure automatically work together to maintain proper exposure at f 2.8.

This could help the auto focus function work better if the f-stop never changes since that would mean the depth of field would not change. Actually a 2.8/4 split would be even better, but that might be giving up too much exposure flexibility.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 05:20 AM   #6
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Re: What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past dec

My HMC82's actually work exactly like that in auto!! That's why I love them. The iris runs from open to about F2.8 to F3.5 and then an auto ND filter starts to come in gradually so the exposure is seamless..if the light increases then the default shutter at 1/50 starts to increase and can go as high as 1/2000....I can go from bright sun into indoors and get almost seamless exposure control ...once the light drops, the shutter progressively slows to 1/50 and then the ND gradually drops out and the iris then reverts to open and gain starts being applied. It's a really nice system outdoors cos a cloud can go over the sun and I'm still sitting at the same aperture ..just less shutter and/or ND.

It's a known fact that 1/3rd chip cameras start losing IQ around F8 so most manual operations need to go no more than F5.6 ...with 1/4" chips to get a high IQ you need to limit your aperture to a max of F3.0...even in manual iris the camera still applies the auto ND filter system as soon as the iris is closed more than F3.5 or even less ....for user simplicity the display actually shows the aperture as an F stop between open (F1.8) and F11 but at F11 the iris is actually still at F2.8 or F3 and the ND filter inside is full in (probably 1/64) and shutter is increased. It's easier to show a "pseudo" reading of F11 rather than show the iris as "F2.8 + ND 1/64th" which would confuse the operator and take up far too much space on the EVF!!

On other models you actually need to manually click in ND filters if you aperture exceeds F8 otherwise you get a massive amount of image degradation!! In full manual on other models I've actually selected a high shutter , left the ND filters off and lifted the iris to F11 and the video looks like a consumer toy cam!!!


Chris
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Old November 13th, 2012, 09:27 AM   #7
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Re: What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past dec

The amazingly short shelf life of products, coupled with the advent of online reviews. New product appears, rave reviews, forums go wild, you buy one. Then problems appear in the reviews, defects appear, manufacturer loses interest and brings out a new version - everyone goes mad, and the previous best buy vaporises. This happens so often now, that doing a search often brings up forum topics that initially are positive - then as you read through the months, a bit of dissent appears, then the forums just stop dead!

Twice I have almost entered the credit card for what for me would be a major investment, but chickened out at the last minute, only to then see a new model appear and breath a sigh of relief.

Video wise however, this rush for the latest products has worked for me when people dispose of their old kit, with few hours on the clock in good condition. Careful buying has brought me two JVC ProHD cameras ideal for what I need (not want).

I still go for new products though - I'm just more selective - and never buy unless I can almost guarantee new business - business I would not have had before.

So my latest buy is a Behringer X-32 digital mixer with cat5 connection to digital stage boxes. This I can use on jobs because of the audio features - I'm putting together a video/audio package, as it can record multichannel direct to a computer - so it will be a PA/Recording/video package - which is what we tend to do but rarely all in one go. This I admit is a gamble. So far it's rave review time, with a few dissenting voices, so I've taken the chance!
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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:32 AM   #8
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Re: What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past dec

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
My HMC82's actually work exactly like that in auto!! That's why I love them. The iris runs from open to about F2.8 to F3.5 and then an auto ND filter starts to come in gradually so the exposure is seamless..

Chris
I didn't want to re repeat your entire comment because of space considerations but thanks for taking the time to present such awesome info.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #9
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Re: What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past dec

Paul, I wonder if there will be a slowing down point to the perpetual bringing in of newer and different models. I wonder what could cause that happen.

Going back to the film world, the film itself allowed for people to keep a camera for a long time and still get decent results. I wonder what the corollary will be for digital imaging.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 02:52 PM   #10
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Re: What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past dec

Lets see... the price that is just a little more than I think it should be <wink>....

And the inverse... prices that are just cheap enough that any idiot can buy a camera with ZERO idea of how cameras work, and then spout off all over the internet how it's FLAWED, and the manufacturer is a fraud, etc. etc. etc. RTFM or learn how cameras work or go back to yer cell phone! Sometimes there are "gotchas" that are sorta dumb or frustrating, but by and large, it's amazing what you get for the price of admission.


We are at a "lull" in the market as HD settles in and every soccer mom and her dog have a 1080p cell phone... next "stop" 2k/4k!

Buying ANY technology is a frustrating exercise, as there's always advances, and being on the bleeding edge is always especially "interesting".
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Old November 13th, 2012, 08:58 PM   #11
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Re: What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past dec

There are some people who know enough to do an average job at best with the new gear that is available, but because they did it themselves, it rivals anything the most knowledgeable and experienced professional could do.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 02:38 AM   #12
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Re: What has frustrated you when buying/using digital video cameras over the past dec

My biggest frustration is people not the kit, they try to cut corners and re-invent the wheels thinking that throwing new technology at everything will improve their results.

Don't get me wrong new technology can assist and help in a lot of cases but these forums and a lot of productions are full of basic problems as people try to use kit without the basic knowledge to achieve decent results.

What is worse is the arrogance that whatever has happened in the past is now irrelevant and there is a real anti experience attitude from certain people who think they know better without even understanding the fundamentals of production.

This is now more prevalent in non technical people who now think that all you have to do is buy a camera and a piece of software and it instantly makes you an experienced self shoot producer/director.

We can forget about the skills of a cameraman, sound recordist, focus puller or editor as one person can now do it all but I am afraid the results show the limitations in this and then trying to bodge together solutions to well defined production techniques by using the wrong kit and technology just because it is cheap and available magnifies these inherent problems.
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