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Old November 23rd, 2015, 03:02 PM   #1
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What camcorder would you buy?

Scenario:

1. You have a budget of $4500.
2. It will be your only camera for multi-use, run and gun, and documentary work.
3. Formats need to be accepted by major broadcasting companies.
4. It needs to be portable for carrying on aircraft.

Please respond with the camera you believe would be best suited for this roll and why you chose it. Or if you already own a camera that you believe accomplishes this better than the current offerings please tell us what it is and why you believe it is the best choice for you.

Cheers,
Greg
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Old November 27th, 2015, 10:16 AM   #2
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

Nobody has any idea of what camcorder they would buy with $4500??? Nor does anyone currently have one they use for ENG/documentary work that they believe is ideal for what they do? I must be in the wrong place...
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Old November 27th, 2015, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

You could make a list of camera's that have the broadcast approved formats you need which are within your budget, should be easy enough just by looking on the manufacturers website and go through the specifications. Size of the camera is also mentioned so you can see what camera's fit, incl accessories, your camerabag.
If you list those camera's here I"m sure you will get more response.
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Old November 27th, 2015, 11:03 AM   #4
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

Hi Noa,

I am trying to get people to post what THEY would purchase with the $4500. To me that seems more appropriate than have people guess what my needs are. Plus I believe you get a better sense of the equipment that way because people that are already using the gear have a better idea of what they want. They would probably recommend something entirely different for someone else. It always amazes me when I put up posts like this on various forums. It seems people are more willing to tell others what to buy but have no idea what they themselves would buy. Either that or they simply don't read the post and what is actually asking. I guess it goes beyond the 10 second attention span. *shrug*

Cheers,
Greg
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Old November 27th, 2015, 11:27 AM   #5
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

Just trying to help you get an answer, if you would list all available camera's that have broadcast approved codecs and cost less then 4,5K (I guess there are just a few so would not be that hard to make a list) then the owners of these camera's might jump in and give you real world advice.
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Old November 27th, 2015, 02:37 PM   #6
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

I love these questions... AND I have an answer!

Since you didn't mention 4k being important, nor high frame rates... my answer is...

A

used

Canon

C300!
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Old November 27th, 2015, 02:38 PM   #7
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

Is your proposed budget of $4500 just for a camera, or does it include the other items you would need as well, like batteries, media cards, lenses, tripod, so forth?
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Old November 27th, 2015, 02:57 PM   #8
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

I believe the Canon xf300 is on the BBC HD approved list and you can get it now for 4K so within Greg's budget, the c300 is out of the question I think as you have to factor lenses in as well and that will bring it quickly above 4,5K.

Eventhough the xf300 has some years on it it should be well suited for "multi-use, run and gun, and documentary work" and still small enough to fit a small bag for airtravel.
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Old November 27th, 2015, 03:23 PM   #9
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

Okay, controversial choice, but I'd settle for the camera I have, the GH4r. Yeah, I know not very run n gun, but I've gotten use to working it that way. Great codec. Use the extra dosh to invest in glass for a variety of situations. However that's a very personal choice than a recommended one.

Looking further, I'd be torn between the DX200 from Panasonic and the URSA mini. Perhaps more expensive than the budget suggested, but both are worth it. With the Blackmagic mini, alas I'm still on the fence with this company. The DVX200 feels like a great run n gun camera and its predecessor was highly thought of. I'd lean to that if I had the cash.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; November 27th, 2015 at 11:31 PM.
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Old November 27th, 2015, 03:48 PM   #10
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

But the main question is, do any of these camera's have codecs that are accepted by major broadcasting companies?
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Old November 27th, 2015, 05:54 PM   #11
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

This is what I use.

Sony Alpha a7S
Sony E PZ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens
Sony XLR-K1M Adapter and Microphone Kit
Sony NP-FW50 Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batterys
Cards.

I also have the Sony 28-135 f4 lens

Goes in a backpack on a plane

I use this for broadcast, no problems. If you need 4:2:2 get some sort of recorder.
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Old November 27th, 2015, 11:30 PM   #12
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
But the main question is, do any of these camera's have codecs that are accepted by major broadcasting companies?
I imagine that depends on the broadcaster. Personally I think the budget of $4500 to be too cheap for a true broadcast quality camera. Something like the C300 and in that price range would be considered acceptable. Of course an external recorder could turn cheaper cameras into broadcast worthy cameras, but would this still be considered acceptable. My GH4 can output 4:2:2 via its HDMI port, but no broadcaster would look at this camera except as a B camera for drone and small space use. Up the budget and the options are better.
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Old November 28th, 2015, 01:26 AM   #13
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

I never understood what "broadcast quality" actually means,like why is there a list of approved camera's for the BBC where the xf300 is a part of, if you have a dslr and a external recorder that has a codec similar to the xf300, would that then not be accepted because the camera is not on the list?
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Old November 28th, 2015, 02:00 AM   #14
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I never understood what "broadcast quality" actually means,like why is there a list of approved camera's for the BBC where the xf300 is a part of, if you have a dslr and a external recorder that has a codec similar to the xf300, would that then not be accepted because the camera is not on the list?
A very good point! If we are talking about making programmes for broadcast then the required quality levels and acceptable codecs will limit the camera choices, but if we are talking about news footage, then even mobile phones wil be useable. The content will always outweigh quality for news footage, just look at the recent footage from the Paris attacks. I shot a fire on a boat with a Panasonic SD700 and that was broadcast by ITV and BBC on their local news programmes.

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Old November 28th, 2015, 07:47 AM   #15
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Re: What camcorder would you buy?

When it comes to news, then there's no criteria as Roger says. It would be silly to even suggest it as even poor mobile phone footage is better than no footage at all.

I haven't seen the BBC's latest list, but I imagine criteria isn't just on codec, but on other factors like handling of noise, any issues or problems with the camera (aliasing or moiré) and dynamic range. Theres no reason a GH4 couldn't be included; in fact I hear its used on Top Gear. However I think when people consider broadcast quality cameras, its functionality must also be taken into consideration. A GH4 isn't run n gun. If broadcast is defined in anything above 50mbps and 4:2:2 colour, then with an external recorder there's plenty of choices. A C100 with external recorder would do the trick, being quite functional and professional. However a DVX200 would do just as well here and has 4K. Still my preferred choice within the $4500 budget. It doesn't have internal 4:2:2 but can output 10 bit 4:2:2 via HDMI if required.
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