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Old October 30th, 2006, 12:11 PM   #1
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How do these camcorders differ?

HVX200
XL H1
Betacam
DVCam/DVCPro (1/2", 2/3")
Digital Betacam


How big is the image difference?
Whats so different about them?
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Old October 30th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #2
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How big is the image difference? Some of these are standard definition video. Others are high definition video. Are you clear on the difference between standard definition and high definition?

Whats so different about them? Well, let's see...

HVX200 -- a compact, all-in one camcorder which records high definition 720p and 1080i video in the DVCPRO HD format to on-board flash memory cards. It also has a standard definition DV tape transport as well.

XL H1 -- a modular camera system with several proprietary interchangeable components, which records high definition 1080i video in the HDV format and standard definition video in the DV to an onboard Mini-DV tape transport.

Betacam, DVCam/DVCPro (1/2", 2/3"), Digital Betacam -- all of these are modular camera systems with several industry-standard interchangeable components, and all of which record standard definition video to an on-board tape transport. Betacam is an analog video tape format. DVCAM, DVCPRO and DigiBeta are digital video tape formats.

That's the short answer. Simple online research will produce more in-depth answers. Hope this helps,
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Old October 30th, 2006, 02:40 PM   #3
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Thanks Chris,
I'm interested in the actual image difference, whether it be SD or HD.
The main question for me is, should I buy a HVX200 or XH1 (RED maybe?) to shoot low- to medium budget music videos or should I rent digibetas/dvcams, and spend my cash on something else?

So how big the image difference would be in GOOD hands? With the best lighting crew, 35mm adapters etc etc.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 11:15 AM   #4
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Please help , this is a really important question to me
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Old November 1st, 2006, 12:59 PM   #5
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Itís really about what you are shooting. I know this isnít the answer you are looking for but unfortunately itís the truth of the matter. I wish there was one prosumer camera that was perfect in every way, that was strong in every area but there isnít. I personally donít have much first hand knowledge about these cameras so I am only writing to tell you that there are other people out there like you. I personally decided to buy a Canon XL2 for my shooting. I really wanted to buy one rather then rent, just for the convince of it. Being able to just go out any day and shoot whatever was something important to me. It is a GREAT camera but if I have to come up with something I donít like about it it would be the compression and artifacting, but that will happen on ANY camera you use (other then extremely high end ones, but then you have to have a lot of technical hardware). I may be bias but I like my XL2 much more then any other camera I have used because the image can be manipulated so many ways in camera where as (as for as I understand) most other cameras donít have many image controls, so most of the image manipulation has to be donít on a computer. Anyways what do you really need? Is widescreen important? Is 24p important? Is HD important? Figure out your requirements and then find a camera that meets those. If you need help finding a camera post your requirements and someone on here will probably help you out.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 02:08 PM   #6
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A few months ago, we had a somewhat similar and complicated issue we had to address--what camera should we buy??? We looked, talked and argued about, tried, and researched about different cameras, DV or HD, this brand or that, etc. etc.

Eventually, we decided on getting the Canon XL2, because we were familiar with it, it delivers excellent images for us, and is compatible with our current editing system (didn't need to buy additional hardware/software). For what we wanted to shoot (documentaries, corporate & event projects, short films) we're more than happy with our XL2. (But we could've either bought the HVX200, the XLH1, or a 2/3" chip DV cam; but chose not to, and instead spent our money on other equipment.)

Think also of how you want to distribute/deliver your final project--would it be DVD, output to film, shown on HDTV, etc.?

Sorry, if this isn't the advise you want to hear, but just wanted to relate the experience we went through in choosing a camera.

Best of luck!

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Old November 1st, 2006, 02:40 PM   #7
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Thanks, guys,

First, I have used XL2, and I am not really satisfied with it.
I shot on digibeta, and there IS a difference in quality)

Widescreen is wanted, but its not a must, and so isnt HDV.
24p would be cool, too.

I am going for the best look digital can offer (95% of my work are music videos),
so the question is, should I get a camera or rent it everytime?
Is HVX200 really THAT good?

I am not going to shoot on film for the next 1.5 - 2 years.

Maybe Im running around too much, but still I need help
Thanks everyone
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Old November 1st, 2006, 04:08 PM   #8
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The XL2 will look kinda blah if you donít tweak the image, but if you tweak the image it will look better (in my opinion) then any other prosumer camera out there. Iíve never used any Digibetas but I have been on a shoot that used one. Personally I didnít like the final video (but I think it was that the camera operator wasnít that smart with the camera). I also have never used the HVX200 but I have heard many things from friends of mine. Some love that the camera stores its HD stuff straight to P2(?) cards then those are transferred to a hard drive. Others/most hate that you canít get just put a tape in and shoot HDV footage. I personally have never liked the idea of using hard drives to store video other then 4:4:4 video, but that is just a personal preference. It just seems like to many things can go wrong, but the same can be said about tapes. As far as renting/buying, like I said, I would (and did) buy a camera. You tend to learn that camera and know after a while what to set your settings to without even looking at the screen.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 04:41 PM   #9
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I own a vx2100 for like 3 years, and I feel it like its my third arm.
I know I can get the final video to look like I want it to, but I cant get the extra pixels out of nowhere. I mean, the 1/3" is good, but 2/3" is better))

That said, HVX200 vs. DigiBeta = ?
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Old November 5th, 2006, 05:14 AM   #10
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Please guys, I need someone to sum it up,

DigiBeta vs. HVX200, who wins and why?
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Old November 5th, 2006, 08:39 AM   #11
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Quote: Please guys, I need someone to sum it up,

DigiBeta vs. HVX200, who wins and why?Quote
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I can try to answer some of your questions and concerns but there are plenty of very knowledgable guys here that perhaps could steer you right if i get anything wrong!

Firstly what you see when you use a 1/3rd sensor with appropriate lenses is roughly about i/5th to 1/6th of what you would see compared to the red camera under development with appropriate lenses. Example a 50mm lens viewed on a 35mm still camera is roughly what the human eye sees. Thus the FOV is limited with a 1/3rd sensor camera. The amount of available light going into a small 1/3rd sensor is also very limited compared to a large sensor format such as s35mm as on the red camera (just as an example). Some people state that resolution on it's own is perhaps not enough. When Canon (as an example) came out with their XLH1 they had increased the resolution from the sensor without increasing the size. This then means that the same sensor is producing an image with far more pixels so the pixels have to be smaller. The size of the pixels as well as the number makes a big difference to the low light qualities. Though modern methods in a brand new camera usually improves, so the loss is either minor or not too noticeable. Some say the XLH1 is at best similar to the XL2 in low light testing.

I think (all theory based knowledge by the way) and i am new to all of this! that if the canon xlh1 comes out with a body only camera you could do worse than buying the body only (IF they do come out with body only!!) and buy the new HD 6x wide angle zoom at $3,000 which seems really good value. That combination might work quite well. maybe others could comment.
Price wise and looking at your options with a view to staying at a prosumer price range that might turn out to be the best deal at this present time.

If you are demanding great resolution, great dynamics and lattitude and fantastic low light qualities then pricewise the red camera is streets ahead of the competition in many peoples eyes. A half inch sensor is not going to show that much difference with FOV and low light, but a 2/3rds will. However if you price the sony xdcams and a suitable HD lens you will find it is actually more expensive than the red camera. Thats just my take on things most people know more than i do but if it helps there you go.

One big advantage with a 1/3rd sensor though is focusing. It is easy to get a decent DOF with a 1/3rd sensor camera. It is a completely more difficult thing to do with a s35mm sensor/and appropriate lenses. There are ways round most things (this i am finding) but some things are just a fact of using the camera/sensor/ and you either go that route or not. The red camera is a fully manual camera and will take a long time to master if you are like me new to all of this. The 2/3rds cameras would be much easier by comparison (from what i have read). Hope this helps and remember to double check what i say beginners can lead you up the wrong path if they have not been learning properly, though there are a few experts like Greg and gibby that are only too willing to help you out when they have the time.

Michael
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Old November 5th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #12
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OK, Ivan, it's possible you won't find a clear cut answer, because there isn't one. A friend of mine has a Sony digibeta (£12,000.00). He shoots broadcast programs and documentaries. Plus, he has filters worth around £6,000.00, impressive, eh? His lighting equipment might weigh another 20 - 30K. The camera is not the only thing that makes a good quality footage. In fact, you might need to look a bit further. Providing, you do have a budget concern, please read on.

All the cameras you mentioned will give you a good quality image, including XL2 (that's your answer!). First question is, what would be acceptable for your target audience? You might like Canon XL-HD, but do you really need it? Second question is, what's your workflow? Digibeta workflow is quite expensive. HDV costs less and DV is less still. So, you have to account for the cost of editing, including the time it takes to capture/encode/author/render (these are important - you don't want for rendering a half hour piece to take all night).

Finally, as long as you have a great sound, no one will care about the image.

Best,
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Old November 5th, 2006, 05:10 PM   #13
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whoa, impressive
well, trying to sum it all up:

The output is going to be SD.
I need the best quality possible, shooting strictly music videos.
Sound is the last thing I need in my case.
The clarity of the image is what I'm after.
Our team can create perfect lighting on set, great color in post etc.
The label/the band will pay for the Digibeta workflow (Betacam, Digibeta, DVCPro, etc etc).


Should I buy a camcorder (under $10000, unless its RED, if thats even an option), or should I rent Betacams, Digibetas, DVCams etc?
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Old November 7th, 2006, 07:01 PM   #14
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Right, Ivan, you seem to be getting there...

It might help to hire a shrewd producer (in UK, they charge 10-12% of the budget - negotiable of course) or to become one yourself.

1. You should not suffer a loss. That is to say, whatever you choose, you under no circumstances are parting with your own cash. Please, don't forget your fee also (unless you're working solely for pleasure).

2. If your quote is accepted, whatever the amount, you will be expected to provide top quality (like 35mm) video by the band. Therefore, do not quote cheap. Regardless, whether you quote $2,000.00, $5,000.00 or $20,000.00, the expectations will be exactly the same. Offer to do it for free, and they will expect even more.

3. The band can choose for themselves what they want. For instance, you can discuss with them possible formats (35mm, 16mm, s16mm, DigiBeta and so on) and to provide them with rough estimate and samples of how the output would look and how long it will take. They all have seen music videos on the telly and since they are paying they are qualified to make a decision.

For a great music video which is not expensive (in UK this might cost between £2,000.00 and £5,000.00) my personal favourite would be to shoot on Super 16mm at 25fps (this suggestion is likely to cause an explosion from 24 frames die hards - unless you are an indie freak, I would ignore them - quite a lot of commercial 35mm films are shot at 25fps), then to dub to DigiBeta and DVCAM - so, both are done at the same time and have synchronized timecode. Music videos are normally not very long and with a good planning you might be able to get away with not spending too much on film. Shooting on 35mm will cost a lot more (say, between £6,000.00 and £12,000.00 and upwards in UK), however when dubbed to DVCAM, the footage looks amazing - broadcast music videos from Sony have budgets around 20K - 40K, they go even higher (up to 80K - 120K) becase they use effects a lot in the post, also they're dubbing to and editing on uncompressed HD).

Editing can be done in DVCAM (authoring for the web and perhaps a DVD/VHS) and much later, if required and if the band are paying for it, you can do the online in DigiBeta for broadcast.

Having said that, whichever format you shoot, you can always dub and edit in DVCAM. In fact, you might be entirely happy with results without doing the online in the original format. And if you're not doing the online in the original format, you even can edit in MiniDV.

Renting s16mm camera with a camera man might prove cheaper than buying.

There you are, ready to make a budget decision now?

Folks, let's wish Ivan good luck with his video and wait for his posts.

(http://homepage.mac.com/videoreel/)
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