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Old November 17th, 2011, 03:07 AM   #1
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Move from GL-2 to HD camcorder for outdoors work

I've been using a GL-2 for years and I'm finally ready to move to HD. Budget is $3000 for the camcorder. I'm looking for some suggestions on HD camcorders that do well in the outdoors and rough and tumble. The ability to hang a long lens on the front and night vision is a plus to film wildlife.

I also need a good smaller handicam in HD, the GoPro looks like it will fill that need.

Editing will be on Windows 7 with Adobe CS5.

Or would I be better off to wait for the new Canon 1D X due out in March, they say it can shoot 29 minutes of video? MSRP is $6800. This will fill both my camcorder and camera needs so the budget for both is close.

Thank you.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 07:14 PM   #2
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Re: Move from GL-2 to HD camcorder for outdoors work

If you're already considering the HDSLR route, I'd advise you to take a close look at the Panasonic Lumix GH2. Here are a few selling points:
1. There are inexpensive adapters available for both Canon EF and Nikon F mount lenses.
2. Native Micro 4/3 lenses can autofocus well.
3. It has an Ex. Tele. Conv. mode that crops just the necessary pixels from the center of the sensor giving you a lot of magnification with no loss of light or resolution (5.2 x 35mm lens focal length in 1080p, 7.8x in 720p).
4. It can record 720p at 60fps for nice slow motion shots.
5. The firmware is easily hacked to record higher data rates.
6. The footage is beautiful and crisp in 1080p and 720p (even unhacked).

There are definitely disadvantages, too, but the Ex. Tele. Conv. mode alone for wildlife could be a big deal. Just take the 35mm focal length of your longest lens and multiply that by 5.2 (or 7.8 if you're shooting 720p) and that's the equivalent zoom you get while in that mode.

Anyway, just my 2p. I've started using a GH2 exclusively since I got it. My Canon XH-A1 is now sitting in its box waiting for someone to buy it. Good luck with your search!
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Old December 4th, 2011, 09:06 AM   #3
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Re: Move from GL-2 to HD camcorder for outdoors work

I use Canon DSLR's for my outdoor work. I have a 5D, 7D & T3i with a variety of lenses. My favorite is the 7D with a Sigma 50-500. The 7D is built to take the abuse and the 50-500 performs superbly. I will admit that following focus is a problem, weakness that takes some time to work around.

Good Luck & Enjoy
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Old December 5th, 2011, 10:36 PM   #4
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Re: Move from GL-2 to HD camcorder for outdoors work

Similar to Kent, i too use the DSLRs for videos.
Currently using the 5D and T3i from canon and D7000 of Nikon. Lenses i mix and match with the longest being 800 f/5.6 Nikkor AIS and most versatile being the 100-400 canon L IS , along with them i use the Macro, the 17-40 and the 50 mm for few of the videos.
I think they produce good results , the manual focus is something we need to get used to but when you start getting it right i guess its a lovely experience.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 04:35 AM   #5
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Re: Move from GL-2 to HD camcorder for outdoors work

Thank you for the replies. I've narrowed my choice down to the Panasonic GH2 and Sony A 55/77. The issue is I'd really like to put my hands on an A77/A55 before making the final selection but there are none available in the stores at this time. I may just get the GH2 and try the Sony later when it becomes available.

The dust issue with the Sony A55 has me concerned so the A77 may be my only option with the Sony line.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:10 AM   #6
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Re: Move from GL-2 to HD camcorder for outdoors work

Hey Jesse,

Fancy meeting up with you here, haven't talked to you in a couple years.

I tried a few different cameras when I went to HD but got a Sony VG10 about a year ago and love it. I haven't seen the need to upgrade to the VG20, the 60p would be nice but I'll stick with 30p for now. The VG is a great run and gun camera.

I have the kit lens and the wide angle that would blow your mind from a ground blind, that thing is wide. I have the new 50mm 1.8 coming for low light and have high hopes for it. I've been just using the wide angle 2.8 for low light since anything I would shoot self filming in low light would be close and thats worked well for me in the past.

I know no one camera fits everybody even if they are after the same job but the VG has been great for me and so far the E-mount glass is working good and cheap. The VG is actually small, just a bit smaller than my GL2 but easy in the woods and breaks down to fit in a small pack. So far I've beaten the heck out of it and its still ticking. I did screw on a after market aluminum plate on the bottom to make up for a weak tripod mount but it was only 20 bucks.

Anyway food for thought and I also am on windows 7 with CS5.

Woody

P.S. I'm not doing R&D for Magnus anymore, just video now.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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Re: Move from GL-2 to HD camcorder for outdoors work

I started with the 7D and then T3i, mostly with the Sigma 50-500 but I have a host of other EF mount lenses from wide angle to tele's.

I also have a GH1 and GH2 with the 14-140, 100-300 along with adapters for all sorts of vintage lenses.

I keep both systems for stills and video, the Canon system mostly for stills. The GH2 with the Tele-EX feature + 100-300 is great for wildlife. I do wish for more reach. The GH1 (with hack) works well with 14-140 for wider shots.
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