New Camera to go with my Canon 7D at
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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.

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Old October 29th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #1
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New Camera to go with my Canon 7D

Hello all I'm getting ready to sell my Sony FX1 and get a tapeless camcorder to go with my 7D footage and I have these two camcorders in mine.

Canon VIXIA HF S21
Panasonic HDC-HS700K

The Canon shoots in 24P and the Panasonic only shoots it 60P I believe. The Panasonic seems to be the better camera after reading reviews but I'm just worried about editing on a 24P timeline and mixing the footage. I only shoot family stuff and stuff for my church I just want to have a extra camera for footage. can you guys suggest which would be the better camera?

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Old October 30th, 2010, 05:31 AM   #2
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Since this is a Canon forum, I guess you'd expect me to suggest the VIXIA HF S21.
However, since you're coming from the FX1 - which I also use, as well as the Legria HFS100,- you are going to miss the manual controls that the FX1 gives you. I suggest you get hold of the Panasonic and have a play with it. At least, you'll get a proper focus ring, unlike the Canon...
As for 24p/60p etc, since I'm lucky enough to use PAL cameras, I don't have that concern ;-)
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Old October 30th, 2010, 10:45 PM   #3
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Thank's for the reply. I like the panasonic allot the only thing I'm worried about the the 60P footage and being a pain to edit and mix with my 7D footage. Plus adobe premiere Pro cs5 don't have a preset for the 60P footage. Thank's again for your reply
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Old November 4th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #4
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really hard to tell, both are very good for the price,
if you shoot more outside, Panasonic being 3 chips has better color,in 60p, though it's heavy on the system;
Canon being one large chip, to my eye, has better low light
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Old November 4th, 2010, 11:35 PM   #5
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I'm in the exact same boat as you Chad, looking for a tapeless camcorder to match with my 7D.

Are you planning to use it as an unmanned 2nd camera? If so, the amount of fine manual control compared to the Panasonic might not be too much of an issue - if you're just doing "set it and forget it".

I would think the Canon HFS21 would be the better match color-wise to the 7D.

I'm kind of leaning toward picking that up on my next trip to Japan because it has peaking and zebra levels (and in Tokyo I can find it for about $200 less than B&H)
Todd Mizomi
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Old November 5th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #6
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HFS21 OR HFS20, either one you will not go wrong, i have the HFS20, and thats only because when i went to get the HFS21 they had none in stock so i took the HFS20 with me instead, but then again i am biased, even my email says canon in the name, go figure. I am loving this little camcoreder its my first one, but i have had all Canon DSLR'S in the past, this video stuff is addicting.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 07:13 PM   #7
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OK, let me sound contrarian. I appreciate the move to go tapeless. But do it for the sake of workflow and not that you're under some delusion that the capture medium defines the image. Going from an FX1 to a consumer camcorder is far more of a switch than simply changing media. Despite how nicely the Canon Vixia cameras perform, and they do have a place in professional production, you give up a bunch of capability that the FX1 has. Image quality produced by the FX1 is nice right out of the box but you also get a lot of image tuning capability. Unfortunately, the FX1 was never famous for its low-light capability but that's what your HDSLR is for.

Rather than taking an arguable step backward, you can move to an alternative. I see a bunch of Canon XH A1 models on Craigslist for around $2K. Yes, I know, it's HDV and uses tape. But once you add a digital video recorder such as a Firestore, you have your tapeless workflow without giving up the capability of a pro or near pro camera.

Personally, I use a Sony HDV camera, HVR Z5, with a Firestore DTE hard drive recorder. Not only do I have a tapeless workflow but I have a redundant capture on tape that assures me I won't lose any recording. Being professional means never having to say you're sorry. Plus I have the benefit of the world's simplest archiving method: label the tape, put it in a box.

Furthermore, sticking with that philosophy, I can leverage the investment I've made and, with but a relatively small investment, I can "upgrade" to an even higher grade camcorder simply by acquiring a recording device such as a Convergent Technologies nanoFlash to capture the 10-bit HDMI signal at bit rates up to 200mbps. A scalable upgrade path is assured for me. The images caught at high bit rate from a competent HDV camera rates with anything you might see from, say, an EX-1 or the new Canons costing upwards of $7K and higher. With the Vixia, you can only be assured of depreciation. (Yes, theoretically, you can capture the HDMI signal from the Vixia but the image can be only marginally improved given a single image sensor chip.)

Perhaps some exploration on eBay or Craigslist and weighing costs, benefits and risk might lead you to a more satisfying buy.

Dave Burckhard
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