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Old October 11th, 2009, 11:25 AM   #1
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Waiting for new solid state camcorders?

Hi all,

This is my first post - woop woop! I've done some searching and am amazed at how much info there is on this site.

Seeing as I would be adding to a very long list if I just asked about what semi-pro camcorder is best at the moment, I've decided on a more specific question to help me decide what to do - how long might it be before Sony or Canon come up with a solid state format replacement for the FX-1000 or XH-A1? My budget is 3000 and under.

I know people can't give an exact answer, but anyone think that's likely. I would be going in for the panasonic HMC-151 or it's little brother the HMC-40 at the moment, but they don't have the 20x zoom and nor does the new JVC. The FX-1000 and XH-A1 ones aren't properly progressive though are they either (?), and I think memory cards is where I want to go...

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Old October 11th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #2
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you can find solid state recorder giving a 2nd life to your current camera.
they are usually expensive, but since they could be used for your next camera too, it could be ok to spend the money now and get a backup recording immediately.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 12:36 PM   #3
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My current HDR HC1 is not really up to what I want from it any more, so I wouldn't want to make an investment to try and improve that.

The other attraction for a new solid state camera was AVCHD, which I didn't mention.

I think I need to remember if I'm making an upgrade I want to be able to adopt an established format that can be edited on a relatively new, but not brand new editing system. Who would/wouldn't invest in a new HDV camcorder now, and who thinks AVCHD is superior and why?
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Old October 12th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #4
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As far as AVC-HD goes, it has advantages and disadvantages. Biggest advantage is compression efficiency - lower bitrate than MPEG2 for a given quality level.

Biggest disadvantage is the power needed to edit it natively - effectively you need to transcode for editing.

The initial reason for it's introduction was to enable reasonable quality solid state recording using (cheap) SDHC cards instead of (expensive) P2. And the highest bitrate version (as used by the HMC40 and 151) achieves better than HDV quality at lower than HDV data rate.

But the use of an EX and adaptor, then the new JVC cameras, have proved you can easily get 35Mbs MPEG2 on to the same cheap cards. So far better quality than AVC-HD or HDV, AND the ease of MPEG2 editing, AND still able to use cheap SDHC memeory. The only drawback is not getting so much on each SDHC card, but the cards are so cheap that I'd still call it a sweet spot.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 07:09 AM   #5
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David's assessment seems dead on to me. I'd agree that you'll need to transcode your footage for editing on all but the most robust computers. You'll need to factor that into your workflow before you decide what to do.

Flashcams at this level are really coming into their own now. AVCHD has major traction in the market and there are no new codecs emerging at the moment to replace it so look for the technology to stay relatively stable for a while. While I have no specific insight into future products, it's logical to assume that there will be more AVCHD products in the coming months. Something from Canon would seem likely.

New product announcements tend to group around major shows, so expect things to start popping around the NAB in the spring.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 03:02 PM   #6
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Ross -

As noted, you need to consider how robust your editing system is... HDV was pretty good on a dual core AMD 6000+, AVCHD not so much. I'm working on assembling a Core i7 at the moment and it's comfortable, though I'm still not able to get really high resolution previews (think re-using my older video card is a mistake...). If you're patient and understand the limitations, you CAN edit native on an older system - did I mention PATIENCE??

I was skeptical of tapeless, but at the moment I wouldn't think of "going back" - I am using XR500V's at the moment, and waiting for the same thing you (and a bunch of us here!) are. I'd love and EX1, but not in the budget, and the HMC150 certainly looks quite good (look around on DVi and you'll find lots of "field reports" on it).

I'm really waiting on something from Sony using the EXMOR "R" sensor(s), tapeless, and manual control... but it's hard to say whether there will be such a beast or not. Logically, you'd think that the "big 3" would all release something sooner rather than later, but I'm still scratching my head as to why Sony utterly and miserably failed to release an Alpha HDSLR this year... so until there's an actual product release, you can only go with what's actually available.

Not sure that "helps", but at least you know you're not the only one in the same pickle!
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Old October 15th, 2009, 07:10 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone!

Input much appreciated. I've realised that if I'm going to go in for an AVCHD model, now or after any new releases there may or may not be soon (fingers crossed!), I'm going to have to commit to a system upgrade too...

Until now video has been a serious hobby, but I want to be able to produce more professional results now. I've also found out my iMac G5 is unable to handle ACVHD because it's a power pc - just a few months before they introduced intel processors. So, looks like I've got some saving up to do.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 10:55 AM   #8
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maybe sonys 'big' announcement in a couple of days http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-x...9:announcement

or finally a release date for red scarlet at the end of the month?

could be worth waiting for..
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