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Old March 22nd, 2006, 10:02 PM   #1
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Help me with my buying decision.

After many hours of reading, researching I have narrowed it down:

I am floating down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. I love taking pictures and really enjoy editing movies on my G5 Mac (single 1.6ghz wtih over 1 gig ram) I hope to document the trip, get some exciting footage and some great scenery shots to preserve the memory. I am having trouble choosing... Do I go 3CCD OR HD?

Color vs. Clearity.

Lets break it down:


3CCD - Better color, The colors in the canyon.. It would be a shame to lack color quality. Lower Cost... basically it is coming down to the PV-GS500 from Panasonic ~$700 --- (PVGS400 is hard to find and over $1100) & finally the computer can easily handle the standard DV editing and DVD burning.

HD - Better clearity, It would be great to re-live the experience on my 52" HD television is Crystal Clear "you can see every crack in the wall" Clearity. It is only a few hundred dollars more ($999)


3CCD - Well it isn't HD
HD - Can my CPU handle the HD load? No HD-DVD's so I can't even share the HD experience unless we play it on my Camcorder on my TV.. Will I regret not having an HD on a once in a lifetime trip .

So there you have it. I know I by looking back that the 3CCD might make more sense. But there are so many reviews about Eye Popping Details from the HC1!

It is too bad that there is no way to try these out, even for a day so i could experience the difference. Playing with one at the Dept. Store just doesn't cut it. I have toyed with the idea of buying both, just to be able to answer the question as to which one I like best. Sony's color is supposed to be better than the average 1CCD camera. In a year from now there will be HD-DVD's and I can easily upgrade to a computer that can handle the HD if needed.

I need somebody to tell me... "Shaun, it's too early to buy the HD, Go for the color" Or "Shaun, The Sony image is Killer, and my G5 can handle it", Maybe you have one and the color's great....

Please Help,, Thank You
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 10:17 PM   #2
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I don't know where you say color is better with 3CCD. if you down convert from HDV, you will get a nicer DV product. It depends what cameras you are comparing, too. Finally, the Sony FX1 is three chip HDV, with 16:9 aspect. Brilliiant colors and down convertable right out of camera. Though I haven't seen it personallly, I understand that in good lighting conditions, the A1U is very close to FX1-- and again downconvertable right out of cmera, with HDV still saved on your tape for future use.

In my opinion, there is no comparison at any price point-- unless you are talking about a low end 3 chipper..
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 10:20 PM   #3
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Hd, Hd, Hd...

Shaun, go HD, especially if you are paddling down the Grand Canyon. It is now pretty well established that HD provides wonderful images; downconverted to SD they are equally spectacular. You are going to want to increase the ram in the G5 to at least a couple of gigs if you are importing native HD and editing in same. But, I believe the final result is worth it.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 10:25 PM   #4
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Without a doubt, go HD. Remember you can always downconvert to any format once you have acquired in HD. So just get that HD cam, not only will you be able to capture your trip in more vivid details, you will also be making a smart move by future-proofing yourself (more so than if you got a miniDV cam). This'll probably inspire you to go on more trips!!!
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 08:09 AM   #5
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Thank You

Thank You SO Much...
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 09:28 AM   #6
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does your budget include some kind of water housing? is the glass in that water housing up to hd standards?
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 10:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Shaun Murphy
Will I regret not having an HD on a once in a lifetime trip.
It would be worth capturing these once-in-a-lifetime memories in HD, especially in a place like the Grand Canyon. So I'd say get the HC1 or A1U because they're small, light and relatively inexpensive, and put some of the money you save versus more expensive cameras into buying a waterproof housing. The only caveat is that the HDV codec can be sensitive to jerky camera movements, so consider switching to widescreen DV mode while riding in the raft and then back to HDV for shots on steady ground. (Experiment with that first before you go on the trip!) Plus the single-chip Sony HD cameras seem to suffer in low light in terms of both sensitivity and artifacting, so their images won't be so great when sitting around the campfire in the evening. (Usable, but not as good as the bigger HDV cameras.)

Can you find out if someone else on the trip is bringing a decent SD video camera? If so, maybe you could arrange to trade with them for their best low-light shots versus your HD panorama shots.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #8
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I will be one of the many saying go HD. Your system can support it fine. I've edited hundreds of hours of HDV footage (from a Sony Z1) on a 1.3ghz powerbook.
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