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Old January 10th, 2013, 12:04 PM   #1
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Decent video camera for second camera?

Folks, I wonder if you have any advice for me. I've tried a few camcorers as my second camera. Currently using a canon HF-10 which is about £400/500. The difference in quality between it and my canon 550D with Sigma 30mm f1.4 is VAST!

To the point where I feel bad for my clients. If the footage from my HF-10 was all I had, the clients maybe wouldnt mind. But when you jump from one to the other in a timeline, its painfully contrasting!

Can anyone help? Is there ANY options out there that can get anywhere near DSLR quality for under £800? (it is just my secondary angle after all). It makes up about 2% of my finished product, I dont feel it justifies the big bucks (even if i had it).

Suggestions welcome!
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Old January 10th, 2013, 01:36 PM   #2
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Re: Decent video camera for second camera?

The HF-10 is well in the consumer line of camcorders.

We have an HF-G10 which mixes quite well, although you do have to turn the contrast down in post by a good 20% and use manual exposure when ever possible.

The only thing that's going to match a 550D perfectly is another 550D, and frankly they can be had cheap now too. Add magic lantern firmware and it will run for the duration of the card / battery without you needing to keep pressing the button. if the battery won't last long enough, get cheap grip from ebay and add a second battery. We had a 550D + Grip + 2x batteries and a 32GB card quite happily cover a long ceremony & speeches.

Of course, even the 550D struggles in lower light compared to other cameras around now, and you need to be going shallow DOF to be able to open up. This does make unattended cameras more problematic ;)
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Old January 11th, 2013, 03:59 AM   #3
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Re: Decent video camera for second camera?

Dave! Did you just say Magic Lantern allows for continuous recording??? How did I not know this! a second DSLR will likely be bought then!
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Old January 11th, 2013, 06:40 AM   #4
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Re: Decent video camera for second camera?

Dave - again is this true - will magic lantern allow me to run my 5D III for longer than the 29 minutes than it's locked down to?

Pete
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Old January 11th, 2013, 06:53 AM   #5
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Re: Decent video camera for second camera?

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Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
Dave! Did you just say Magic Lantern allows for continuous recording??? How did I not know this! a second DSLR will likely be bought then!
Yes, magic lantern does exactly this. You will get a 2-3 second gap in the recording every 12 mins as the camera stop recording and the ML kicks it back in, but I never had a problem working around those 3 second gaps.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 06:54 AM   #6
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Re: Decent video camera for second camera?

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Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
Dave - again is this true - will magic lantern allow me to run my 5D III for longer than the 29 minutes than it's locked down to?

Pete
Not sure of the state of Magic Lantern on the 5D3, but it shouldn't be that hard to find out....
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Old January 11th, 2013, 09:18 AM   #7
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Re: Decent video camera for second camera?

Oh, the gap is still there then? Ah well, at least it means I could effectively use a dslr as my second camera!

Still, though any suggestions on video camera though? The best two I hear of is the Canon HF G10 and the Panny X900, is that right? Or is there better still under $1000 / £800
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Old January 13th, 2013, 12:01 AM   #8
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Re: Decent video camera for second camera?

I use a Canon 7D as my primary DSLR, and a Panny X900 as my second camera. They do indeed mix quite well and the X900 shoots incredible video for such a non-assuming, small form factor camera. It does not, however, have a setting for 720p. It only shoots in 1080. So as long as you are shooting in 1080/60i on your Canon, you're good.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 06:14 AM   #9
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Re: Decent video camera for second camera?

Hi Guys - after a tip from Peter Riding i picked up a Panny TM900, which I believe is the forerunner to the X900 but fares better in comparisons - second hand price is higher than than the X900

Panasonic HDC-TM900 Comparison - Panasonic HC-X900 Camcorder Review

It's just arrived today and initial tests show a sharper and cleaner an image in low light than the Sony A1E that I've bought it to replace - It also records 1080/50p so will edit in nicely with my Sony Ea50
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