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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #1
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What would you buy....

I'm upgrading to HD this summer :-)

My budget is around 7500 to 8000 (but that would be pushing it).

I really like what the Canon XL H1a has to offer. Also the JVC GY-HD200U
Also considering the SONY EX1.

Basically two things that are important to me are DOF and 24P. I'm not concerned about size and not being able to fly the camera.

I'm not sure if I should go with a cheaper camera... like a HVX200 and buy a brevis DOF kit.

So what would you do. Cheaper camera with DOF adapter, or nicer camera....

Steve
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Old July 10th, 2009, 01:03 PM   #2
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Hey Stephen,

I wish I have that kind of money to spend right now. If I have that money, I'll buy an FX7 and a Canon Rebel Ts1 and get 50mm 1.4 lens for the DOF, I'll also purchase an HV30 as a 3rd camera and for playback purposes. My purchase is based on getting the quickest ROI and at the same time providing a quality product.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 01:13 PM   #3
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Just depends on your workflow and the main line of work you will be doing. I haven't shot with JVC before, but I think they are great/professional cameras. I have shot with Canon and the Panny though. There are no "bad" cameras on your list. If DOF is important, I think the adapter would get you closer to the image you want...but I haven't researched further into the more expensive cams because I don't have the budget.

JS
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Old July 10th, 2009, 01:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
Hey Stephen,

I wish I have that kind of money to spend right now. If I have that money, I'll buy an FX7 and a Canon Rebel Ts1 and get 50mm 1.4 lens for the DOF, I'll also purchase an HV30 as a 3rd camera and for playback purposes. My purchase is based on getting the quickest ROI and at the same time providing a quality product.
Well I hope you dont get the impression that my budget is a reflection on how well my video business is doing... I have a full time Job in the Coast Guard that doesn't pay to bad and this is also after years and years of begging the wife. I finally won :-) I just dont want to screw this purchase up. It'll never happen again.

Steve
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Old July 10th, 2009, 07:39 PM   #5
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Hi Stephen, I'd suggest for you to:

1. if you already have a HD video cam, get 5dMarkII

2. if you haven't got HD cam, and don't mind the tapeless method, get EX1
reason: xdcam is much nicer than hdv

3. if you haven't got HD cam and want to stay on tape, get xh-a1/sony z7/sonyz5/ this choice would depend on what brand your current camera is. if you have a sony, then go for another sony, if is canon, then canon.

regarding DOF, seriously, I never took my letus to wedding day shoots.. (maybe once or twice) They are too bulky and fiddly for me. I only use them for pre-weddings. so if you're mainly doing wedding day shoots with 1-2 prewedding/year then I think dof adapter is not worth the money.

my 2cents.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 07:50 PM   #6
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Santo...

Thanks for the advice... I probably wouldn't break a DOF adapter out much at a wedding. So your right thats a great way to look at it.
Right now all i have is a DVX100B... I wouldn't mind staying with Panasonic. But I love what JVC and Canon has to offer for the price.

Steve
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Old July 10th, 2009, 07:56 PM   #7
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I think JVC is a very cool and solid camera. but for wedding shoots, I like something simpler and lighter. xh-a1 does just that.

JVC is a more shoulder mount camera IMO, which I'm not really into. but hey, it might be your style!

I can't recal whether jvc already records 1080i/p if it still records 720, then i guess you'd narrow down the choices a lot.

Santo
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Old July 10th, 2009, 08:01 PM   #8
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remember, that while the JVC200 is a great camera and I know you would be very happy with the image quality, you need to power it with either V lock or AB batteries.
Can't have just 2-3 is minimum in my book, 4 would be better.
The IDX Vlock E7 batteries (71 watt) are about $200 each new and a 2 position chargeris about $500. The AB batteries (my personal preferance) Dionic 90s (90 watt) are about $400 each and a Titan 70 charger is about $800. You can also power you're on cam light (if you use one) off the battery so you don't need a belt or battery on the light.
Aslo keep in mind a backupor #2 camera. If it were me and I went with the 200, I'd look around for a preowned JVC HD110. One battery to run it as a 2nd cam and if something WERE to happen to the 200 as a primary you have something similar to use.
Other than that perhaps a look at the Sony Z7 and a Z5. While similar there are enough differences to be, at least in my mind, a wonderful combo.

Barring that you could give me the money and I'll spend it as wisely as possible and let you know how it works out ;-)
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Old July 10th, 2009, 08:18 PM   #9
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If it was my $7K, and I was dropping it on a single camera I'd get the EX1 ($6200), a couple Hoodman SxS adapters ($50 each), 4 16GB class6 SDHC cards ($50 or so each), and a couple BP-U60's ($250 each).

It's so much more fun spending someone else's money than your own.

Why the EX1 over the others? Size of the chips, variable frame rates, superior codec, superior low light performance.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:32 PM   #10
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I still cant wonder if the RED Scarlet would be a better buy if/when it comes out. 7K may be not enough tho for extra battereis and memory cards.. but the features you get for the money is amazing. 4K, 120fps 3K/2K, near uncompressed quality... but..I would agree it depends on the work you're doing. I keep thinking for wedding videos I wanted to get the RED (assuming I'd ever have that much money) for the quality I'd get to work with. I am realizing now after on this forum in 2 days and have read 100+ posts, that the end result is almost always on DVD.. so why spend 7K+ on a really good potentially movie camera for weddings if the end result is going to be mostly DVD with some Bluray (which is still mpeg-2 or h.264).

I then started looking at other options..perhaps something that can get me going sooner (as I still dont have any camera to work with other than my cheap JVC DV). For 4K, the Sony XR500 + the nanoFlash setup looks pretty impressive. I am guessing another 1K on batteries and flash cards. But you get HDMI output (I think the Sony XR 500 has that) with the same compression as the EX-1 I think.. I am not 100% sure if the codec used by the nano is the same. For stationary work, you can build a small Shuttle computer for under $1K with the intensity card from black magic and use CineForm codec to get even better quality.

So it really depends on the use I suppose.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:45 PM   #11
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$7k-$8k

1 HMC150 ($3600 with extra batteries and sd cards)

+

1 5DmkII with some lenses (about $4000 with 70-200 2.8 IS lens and a Sigma 24-70 2.8)

Few extra hundred for batteries and cards and maybe even the zoom h4n.

I have pushed dark dark dark HMC150 footage at 12db of gain up in post and it held together VERY nicely. Much more than an XH-A1/s. I would consider even 2 HMC150s. Great cam.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:03 PM   #12
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I'm confused about the HMC150.. it's 1/3" ccds, yah, but for $3500, it stores in h.264? Why do pro cams store in such a highly compressed format? It may look good on playback, but these cameras are being used for editing purposes.. H.264 from my understanding is the worse format to use if you plan to edit the video. Is there an option to store in other formats?

I wish there was a good quality 3CCD/cmos camera that was just pure HD-SDI output for around $1500, that you could then hook up to the nanoFlash or one day CineForms recorders. AT least then you're getting really high quality HD output and not crushing it with horrible compression like H.264.

The Sony XR500 and Canon S100 seem almost the right choice.. great optics for 1K, can store H264 if need be, but with HDMI outs, and a nanoFlash, you're getting better quality video than the highly compressed H264 from the HMC150 and similar cameras.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:27 PM   #13
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Highly compressed format is not an issue. Transcodes quite quickly to ProRes in FCP or you can use toast if you have a mac. Cineform is also available to handle conversion.

It shoots to SD cards, EXCELLENT in lowlight, light in weight, and has CCDs. I really think it's king of the camcorder market below EX1 price range. I didn't even mention XLR inputs, ability to switch sound imports on the fly, etc etc etc.

Keep in mind, the 5dmk2 uses h.264 compression as well as it's codec....and we all know how ugly those images look right? ;)

You're saying you get better image quality from a sony xr500 than an HMC150? Wow.

The .mts file that the HMC150 records is NOT what you HAVE to edit with. Transcoding is the name of the game unless you have a VERY beefy machine. I would spend some time checking out some HMC150 info before spreading misinformation that Canon HFS100 (that is what you meant by S100 right?) or the sony Xr500 kicks out better quality than the HMC150.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Randy Panado View Post


You're saying you get better image quality from a sony xr500 than an HMC150? Wow.


The .mts file that the HMC150 records is NOT what you HAVE to edit with. Transcoding is the name of the game unless you have a VERY beefy machine. I would spend some time checking out some HMC150 info before spreading misinformation that Canon HFS100 (that is what you meant by S100 right?) or the sony Xr500 kicks out better quality than the HMC150.
No..I didn't say that you can get better quality directly..I believe, from what I've read, and various footage shots I've seen on the net, the image clarity directly from the HDMI outs on these cameras with minimal compression using CineForm will be BETTER clarity (I did say quality.I meant clarity) than that of any camera using H.264 compression FOR EDITING. That is, H.264 loses a lot of detail during compression by combining many frames at once to try to cut down on file size. It does look great on playback, for sure, but once you compress that uber image that the higher end cameras provide.. be it HDV or AVCHD, you're losing a lot more visual information than if you took the image directly from the HDMI or HD-SDI port of any camera. Because of that..for the price, I would bet.. not my life on it, but would bet that the quality of the Canon S10/S100 and Sony XR500/520 using the HDMI out and either a nanoFlash or preferabbly the BM Intensity board and CineForm, would provide a better overall clear/more detailed picture. The colors may not be as good, the low light may not look as good.. true..but the far less compressed video from those ports I would take any day over a H.264 compressed video, transcoding or not. I know you can take an H.264 video, and convert it to any format, including the CineForm and such. So you CAN edit it "easier". But once it's been compressed to H.264, you've lost a ton of detail that you wont lose if you take the HDMI outs of the $1K cameras and use a much better compression algorithm. To be fair, as I understand it now, the nanoFlash uses the same (or similar) Sony codec used on there $3K+ cameras using Long GOP Mpeg2 compression.. so its still being compressed quite a bit using the nanoFlash..but not nearly as much as AVCHD does.

My point was.. if I were to spend the money.. I'd rather opt.. for the 1K camera and the 3K nanoFlash.. or if you didn't need maximum mobility, a small Shuttle computer with Intensity in it, costing about 1K to build a computer like that, with CineForm codec, and get really clear quality. There must be a reason many people are using XDR Flash, soon nanoFlash, and many others use small Shuttle like computers with Intensity and the HDMI out ports. There's a market for it for a company to build PC cards and small devices to store HDMI output to.. because we certainly can't use those to record from DVD/bluray players due to HDCP.

Now.. don't misread that.. I know and absolutely agree the camera you mention and others are "better" in terms of optics, manual capabilities, low-light performance, etc. But, for the money, depending on your use.. I'd get more for the money if I could. If you're purely doing a green-screen shoot for example, then the small Shuttle with Intensity card and a Sony XR or Canon make great sense to me.. a studio/tripod mount with AC power near by, etc.. why not. If you need to do portable shoots like weddings or stock footage shoots or some on location stuff, then for the budget conscience, the nanoFlash with one of these I listed seem to be a very good alternative given the better clarity of the image. And from what I've seen the color isn't bad. Now if I had the money, 8K or so, I'd opt for the RED Scarlet. 2/3" sensor, 120fps 3K, 60fps 4K, similar quality to the CineForm codec right from the camera to its flash cards.. all in a portable package... I don't think there is a camera in that price range near as good. If it holds up to the hype. :)
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:27 PM   #15
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It looks like there is not really a clear winner in this price range currently.

Im waiting for the next sensor iteration on the Panasonic 1/3" sensor cameras.
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