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Old June 27th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #1
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From Sony PD170 to which HD camcorder?

Which HD camcorder would make happy a user who is accustomed to the solid feel and pro-level operation of a Sony PD170?

Thanks.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 12:45 PM   #2
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Well the successor to that model, I would say, is the HVR-V1U.


That's a great place to start. Same menus, ergonomics, great HDV camcorder with support for 24P and 30P, in addition to the regular 60i.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 12:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Herbet View Post
Which HD camcorder would make happy a user who is accustomed to the solid feel and pro-level operation of a Sony PD170?

Thanks.
Depends on what your requirements are.

If they are the same body configuration (size and weight) along with camera optoins and control. And ne that is pretty much ready to go right out of the box. Then I would say go for the Sony V1U. As it had built in XLR's, lots of picture control features, same size and weight as PD170 etc. A PD170 user should be able to pickup and run rght away with this one.

If you are alright with a larger camera body with better low light abilities then go for the Z1U.

If you are a control freak who loves to tweak the picture to know ends. Then go for the Canon XHA1. The Canon camera has unlimited camera options on it to tweak your picture settings (almost overhwelming). But you will have to tweak teh camera settings right out of the box and Canon cameras are know for picture options and controls, but not too gerat right out of the box.

Keep in mind that with any HDV camera on the market right now, you will not get the low, light sensativity that you will with a VX2100 or PD170 camera. An on camera light of some sort is recommended (which I always ran with my PD170 anyway) in order to get great low light images.

But video needs light so that point is moot to me.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 03:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Craig Irving View Post
Well the successor to that model, I would say, is the HVR-V1U.


That's a great place to start. Same menus, ergonomics, great HDV camcorder with support for 24P and 30P, in addition to the regular 60i.
This is great. Thank you very much.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 03:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
Keep in mind that with any HDV camera on the market right now, you will not get the low, light sensativity that you will with a VX2100 or PD170 camera. An on camera light of some sort is recommended (which I always ran with my PD170 anyway) in order to get great low light images.

But video needs light so that point is moot to me.

The review I just read said that low-light performance was exceptional.

http://www.hdvinfo.net/articles/sony/firstlookv1u.php

Anyway I see no point in continuing further with SD video. Everyone has an HD TV or wants one.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 12:01 AM   #6
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Georg, what Michael said is true. There aren't any HDV cameras that can match the PD/VX Sony cameras. My last camera was a VX2000 and it probably has at least two f-stops more light sensitivity than the V1 at the same noise/gain level. The good news is that the V1 retains better color when the gain is turned up so hope is not lost. I have not been able to test this yet, but the noise reduction software from neatvideo.com is supposed to do a good job of getting rid of gain noise. If the noise is removed, the V1 should have a nice image in low light. One advantage that the V1 has is the ability to get one more f-stop of light sensitivity by using 1/30 shutter at 30P. The VX2000 goes to 15 frames per second at 1/30 shutter which doesn't look so great. At that shutter speed, the V1 can still produce 30fps which is acceptable in special situations.

Regardless of low light issues, the V1 is a better camera in every way. It has a familiar feel (actually, even better) to the PD/VX cameras but the image in decent light is far better. I think the strength of the V1 over almost every other camera is the rich yet accurate color. It is possible to get great color saturation with the V1 without noticeably blurring colorful objects. The PD/VX cameras can't touch the color of the V1. Also, the lack of smear is a nice benefit of CMOS imagers. If you have a backlit subject, the light areas in the background won't blur into your subject. If I shot a wedding at the beach with CCD cameras, the couple standing in front of the sea/sky would start to get overwhelmed by the strong backlight. With the V1, the more definite outline of backlit subjects may even allow a luminance key that could be used for sky replacement.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 09:14 AM   #7
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So if what I'm hearing is correct, the benefits of the V1 camera outweight its low-light shortcoming vis a vis the PD 170?

If you had a PD 170 right now, would you sell it and purchase the V1, given that you could have only one camera?
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Old July 1st, 2007, 09:21 AM   #8
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Review from user on bhphoto

I'm taking the liberty to reproduce here what seems to me to be a very informed review of this camera posted by a purchaser on bhphoto.com. This review may make me stray from a purchase of the V1.

Moderator note: Please don't copy/paste content from other websites since this creates a copyright issue for us at DVinfo. To read the B&H review, go to this link and click on the "Read Reviews" tab:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...#goto_itemInfo

Thanks,

-Boyd
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Last edited by Chris Hurd; August 13th, 2007 at 09:58 PM. Reason: removed content copied from another website
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Old July 1st, 2007, 09:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
The VX2000 goes to 15 frames per second at 1/30 shutter which doesn't look so great.
I think you're mixing apples and oranges here. I have a VX-2000 and an HVR-Z1, and the 15 fps progressive mode on VX-2000 is a separate, unrelated menu option. You can use 1/30 shutter speed in normal 60i mode on the VX-2000 however you will lose resolution. When you go to 1/30 sec shutter on that camera it does something called "field doubling" which causes the same data to be written to both interlaced fields. So you can use 1/30 sec shutter speed, but it will reduce your vertical resolution by about 50% on the VX.

Now of course the V1 is true progressive scan, so there is no quality loss when using 30p mode.

The Z1 is also an interlaced camera, but if you are shooting standard definition you can still gain an f-stop by lowering the shutter speed to 1/30 second. The Z1 also does field doubling at 1/30, but this is done at full HD resolution. So you still get 540 vertical lines, which is more than enough to give you the 480 needed for full quality standard definition.

I think my Z1 is about 1.5 f-stops slower than my VX based on personal experience. But you can close this gap by adding gain which is very acceptable on the Z1. 6db or even 9db gain boost is almost imperceptible on the Z1, and I frequently use 12dB when shooting dark performances. I shoot HDV but use the camera to downconvert to DV and capture standard definition over firewire.

I haven't used a V1 myself, but I gather it's slightly slower than the Z1. So if low light is very important to you then you might want to "audition" both cameras and see what you think. Here's a collection of threads about the Z1 in low light which might be of interest: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=54414
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Old July 1st, 2007, 10:07 AM   #10
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Xha1

I purchased a canon about 4 months ago and it was the best move I have ever done. I really feel that it is the best HDV camera on the market. Have tested a HVX 200 side by side and sent it back it just was not up to par. Canon gives the operator complete control, it even lets you turn the green power button off. I can not say enough about this camera it is increciable. It is true about low light, you have to run a light no question. But your imiage quality is uch better, it is so much sharper even though it may be a little darker.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 10:39 AM   #11
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This is not helpful because info is lacking. Which Canon are we talking about here? How does it compare to the V1? The last time I checked out Canon camcorders (G2) I was quite disappointed with build quality, and I understand little has changed in the price range I'm looking at.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 01:30 PM   #12
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This is not helpful because info is lacking. Which Canon are we talking about here?
He's talking about the Canon XH-A1 (which Michael mentioned in an earlier post). Visit our forum here for extensive discussion: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=138

Also see the XH Series Watchdog here for a good introduction: http://dvinfo.net/canonxh/watchdog.php
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