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Old July 15th, 2006, 06:42 PM   #1
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Hells bells... SD or HD for a new camera???

My beloved DSR250 is almost 6 years old and I feel it's time to get a replacement. The problem is, I still can't decide whether to get one last SD unit or jump into the HDV world. The issues with both are manifest... SD will be "on the way out" sometime (who knows when?), but it's cheaper, proven, and I've yet to have anyone ask for HD. Heck, I've never even had anyone ask for 16:9.

As for HD, well... it's the future, but the Blu Ray/HD DVD wars haven't even started yet so we don't know what format will win... and it will probably take years to declare a victor. And then there are the low light issues, the latitude issues, etc.

Any suggestions are appreciated. I've been doing this for 12 years and know my stuff when it comes to the technology, but I have no idea when HD is really going to become "necessary", and when SD will be a liability to my business (as in "Oh, you do't shoot in HD? Well, forget it."). Will a new SD cam get me by for another 2 or 3 years? Or am I gonna start getting asked about HD soon? And even then, do I choose Blu Ray or HD DVD as a delivery format?
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Old July 15th, 2006, 06:55 PM   #2
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The way I saw it, why limit yourself? I got the HD100, thinking that shooting in HDV and downrezzing would produce at least as good an image as a SD cam. And at the same time, it will give me some experience with HD and the equipment to do it if the need arises. In any event, it leaves my GL1 in the dust.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 09:00 PM   #3
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SD or HD

My own opinion, for what it is worth, is that SD is "workable', meaning many/most client are satisfied with SD. If a customer wants HD, rent an HD camera and charge more. Charging more for HD give clients an option for cost control and depending on what the video need is, many/most will opt for SD.

Just my opinion...

PS. However, I would look into buying a used, low hours SD camera. DSR 390's are excellent.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 09:20 PM   #4
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I agre with Keith with everything hes written here, and as youre used to the form factor of the shoulder mounted ENG type cameras, youll handle the JVC quite well. Yoll notice the weight is considerably less, so you wont do ur back in ;)
ALso considering the DSR250 is quite old now, i can only assume youve had the unit for at least 3 or so years, (maybe more if u bought it brand new) so yor investment with the JVC will prolly be jsut as long, if not longer than ur existing relationship wiht the Sony. This futureproofs your investment for HDV format later, so u wont need to upgrade for a while.
All teh HDV cams shoot SD in 16:9 nowadays anyway, so even if ur still shooting SD, it doesnt matter where u go, youll still get good results. Be aware that some clients dont want 16:9 as they feel theyre "losing" the picutre with teh block bars (they dont understnad that this is nuance of 16:9 on a 4"3 tv)

There are many variables to consider, but IMO, i wouldnt jump the wagon (now anyway) unless its absolutely vital
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Old July 15th, 2006, 10:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Rankin
PS. However, I would look into buying a used, low hours SD camera. DSR 390's are excellent.
Yeah, B&H has a great deal on one. But if I stick with SD, I'll go with a new XL2 because of the warranty, auto focus, image stabilization, native 16:9.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 10:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
ALso considering the DSR250 is quite old now, i can only assume youve had the unit for at least 3 or so years, (maybe more if u bought it brand new)
I've had it for almost 6 years... bought it new. Haven't had even the slightest problem with it, but at this point I have to consider that it might be primed for a major problem, and I don't want that to occur in the middle of a wedding.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 02:30 PM   #7
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I'm wondering... would the JVC produce better still image prints because it shoots true progressive? Is anyone offering prints from their HD videos?
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Old July 19th, 2006, 08:07 AM   #8
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i always offer stills on cd..
as for Progressive.. yes, results are better (ie no interpolation u see.. ) BUT, this is all dependant on shutter and exposure, as your susseptible to motion blur if ur shutter isnt set correctly..

People usually freak out when i hammer on 1/250th for that Gladiator look (theres so much motion that 1.250ths still gets me that schmick detail) , and its PRISTINE, and ppl freak when they see stills which look better than their photogs.. also, with Slowmotion, running a faster shutter in progressive mode yields sharper an far more acurate results, considerin the stream is in fact 50i (or 50p as the JVC and HVX allows.. )

I would only recomend it once u start getin the hang of the camera, progressive shooting and the nuances of the framerate itself...
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Old July 19th, 2006, 02:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Edmunds
Yeah, B&H has a great deal on one. But if I stick with SD, I'll go with a new XL2 because of the warranty, auto focus, image stabilization, native 16:9.
Hi Bill,

I have been shooting with the DSR-250 for 3 years. Before that I had the XL-1 for 5 years.

The reason I'm chiming in is because at our first Tulsa Workshop in April one of the videographers brought their XL-2. I used it for a particular demonstration and was really shocked at how hard it was to find focus through the viewfinder. It was terrible.

If I were in your situation I would strongly consider the JVC or the Sony Z1. The JVC is probably the closest to your DSR-250. I have played around with the JVC at a couple of trade shows and there is a lot to like about the camera, except for the lowlight capabilities.

I think you would be much happier with the JVC than the Canon XL-2. Not that the XL-2 isn't a good camera, but coming from the DSR-250, I think you would be let down by the XL-2.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 02:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mark Von Lanken
Hi Bill,

I have been shooting with the DSR-250 for 3 years. Before that I had the XL-1 for 5 years.

The reason I'm chiming in is because at our first Tulsa Workshop in April one of the videographers brought their XL-2. I used it for a particular demonstration and was really shocked at how hard it was to find focus through the viewfinder. It was terrible.

If I were in your situation I would strongly consider the JVC or the Sony Z1. The JVC is probably the closest to your DSR-250. I have played around with the JVC at a couple of trade shows and there is a lot to like about the camera, except for the lowlight capabilities.

I think you would be much happier with the JVC than the Canon XL-2. Not that the XL-2 isn't a good camera, but coming from the DSR-250, I think you would be let down by the XL-2.
Mark,
Thanks for the advice. I'm in a quandry -- I have tried the JVC and found the viewfinder very inadequate for my sadly nearsighted vison. The screen was so small in 16:9. I've tried the XL2 and found its viewfinder better (for me) than the JVC, but I must admit I did not do a lot of testing. I used to own the Z1u and it had a good viewfinder, but the low light was awful. I think I'm going to have to accept that if I go the HDV route, I sacrifice low light ability. I might just get a DVX100b and wait for HDV to improve.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 02:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bill Edmunds
Mark,
Thanks for the advice. I'm in a quandry -- I have tried the JVC and found the viewfinder very inadequate for my sadly nearsighted vison. The screen was so small in 16:9. I've tried the XL2 and found its viewfinder better (for me) than the JVC, but I must admit I did not do a lot of testing. I used to own the Z1u and it had a good viewfinder, but the low light was awful. I think I'm going to have to accept that if I go the HDV route, I sacrifice low light ability. I might just get a DVX100b and wait for HDV to improve.
Wow, I really liked the JVC viewfinder, especially the focus assist. Oh well. The manufacturers could make this whole thing so much easier on us if they would just release the next generation of HDV. You know the ones that are better in low light ;-)
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Old July 19th, 2006, 02:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mark Von Lanken
Wow, I really liked the JVC viewfinder, especially the focus assist. Oh well. The manufacturers could make this whole thing so much easier on us if they would just release the next generation of HDV. You know the ones that are better in low light ;-)
The colored peaking function was great on the JVC. I just found the image to be tiny. Now the XL2 has a bigger viewfinder but lousy peaking. Ho hum.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #13
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So... get an XL and an HD100, put them in a quiet room with some Barry White playing softly, and see what comes of the union?
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Old July 20th, 2006, 03:05 AM   #14
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Bill,
I got a monochrome viewfinder (fu-1000) for my XL2, and it helps quite a bit.It's at least 2 times the resolution and bigger than then the stock viewfinder. The only problem is that if you screw up on white balance (use a wrong preset), you have no idea until you get home and watch the footage.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 05:31 AM   #15
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this is where, IMO, the JVC shines..
Despite its shortcomngs, its one of the best thought of HDV units to hit the market.

JVC knew there would be focus issues hence the focus peak function, which IMO of probably it saving grace above all else.
The lens could have been better, however with this much control one really doesnt need much else.
Even with a small finder, or even if ur vieing through the LCD this peaking is visible.

For alot of people, its only a matter of time until they get used to it.
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