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HD and UHD ( 2K+ ) Digital Cinema
Various topics: HD, UHD (2K / 4K) Digital Cinema acquisition to distribution.

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Old November 29th, 2019, 09:20 AM   #1
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Budget 4K Camcorder

Hi Everyone,

Interested in purchasing a budget 4K camcorder. I have it down to:

1. JVC GY-HM170
or
2. Canon Vixia HF G50

This would be used primarily for church services. I'm currently using a Sony HVR-Z1U, but would like to upgrade and get something a bit more compact as the size can be a bit distracting for some people. I'm looking for 4K so I can do region of interest in vMix for times I have to operate audio in another part of the church away from the camera. I have thought about a PTZ camera, however there are times we record services in other locations so a standard camcorder would be easier to deal with.

I do like some of the features of the JVC (full size HDMI, XLR audio, etc), but reviews seem to be acceptable at best. Has anyone compared both of these cameras in the past? Is one significantly superior than the other in picture quality? The camera would be tripod mounted and audio comes in via a separate capture device so audio features not really necessary most of the time.

Thanks
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Old November 29th, 2019, 04:07 PM   #2
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Re: Budget 4K Camcorder

Mark, I'm a bit in the same position - reviews made me drop the JVC from consideration, G50 reviews also not brilliant - just wondering why you eliminated the Sony AX100/AX700?
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Old November 29th, 2019, 09:45 PM   #3
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Re: Budget 4K Camcorder

Only reason I disregarded the others was price. B&H has a few used JVC GY-HM170UA units for $899-999 USD, and the Vixia HF G50 new is $1099 USD. Unfortunately for me, I live in Canada so with exchange and duty, etc brings them to max budget. The other models are just enough out of budget not to look at since we have to upgrade some other equipment as well.

I have used the GY-HM200, which is the same camera only with HD-SDI, streaming feature and the audio XLR handle, but that now comes with the 170. I never really had a problem with it for the few times, but the reviews do scare me off a little. I really don't like the mini and micro HDMI connectors so I was leaning a bit towards the JVC as it has full size HDMI. I'm using a Vixia HF M500 for wide shot, so maybe a second Canon would be good for consistency in picture though. I'm still trying to work things around to get a PTZ but with the cost of a good controller, it once again brings it out of budget.

Thanks.

Mark
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Old December 1st, 2019, 12:54 AM   #4
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Re: Budget 4K Camcorder

Thanks Mark. If the M500 is wide enough you might also want to have a look at an FZ2500, which I'm also using, and apart from being bulky (still less than a Z1) and the widest in 4k is 35mm equiv, I'd consider still the best value out there.
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Old December 1st, 2019, 02:02 AM   #5
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Re: Budget 4K Camcorder

I was going to suggest the Canon HF-G60 with the 1" sensor but that would be beyond your budget too, although a bit less (100 US$ or so) than the AX700. Canon Canada advised me that it won't be distributed in Canada, so U.S. import only. However I checked out an XA50 in Lozeau, Montreal the other day - basically the same camcorder plus handle, XLR inputs and Infrared mode. Recorded some clips (in-store) to examine at home and was very impressed with the UHD/30p and (in-camera) HD (30p/60p) image quality - UHD downscaled to HD in post looked even better; didn't test on zoom though. Didn't care much for the 3" LCD screen mind you - smaller than the 3.5" OLED screen on my HF-G30. But same size as the LCD screen on the HF-G50.
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Old December 1st, 2019, 06:24 AM   #6
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Re: Budget 4K Camcorder

Thats for the suggetsions so far.

I did have the JVC on top of my list, but lately I've been slowly moving towards the G50. I would prefer a full size HDMI, but I'm using a mini HDMI for my M500 and it hasn't broken off yet. Also, I'm shooting mostly at 12x zoom with my Z1 for pulpit shots, so the JVC probably wouldn't help as the iris steps down at the extreme end of the zoom. I'm constantly having to shoot at 18db with my Z1. I know better lighting would be something to look at, however as we have a rather traditional style church adding video lights wouldn't be very welcome. The Z1 even at 18DB still looks really clean. I guess Youtube compression helps as well.

Another reason for going with a smaller camera, is that we have some MP101 Bescor remote control heads. I've used one on the Z1 a few times and it is a bit top heavy. Something like a G50 or JVC size camera would definitely be better. Also, as we have customized LANC controllers for the heads, we would need LANC on our camera.
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Old December 1st, 2019, 04:33 PM   #7
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Re: Budget 4K Camcorder

Haven't checked out the HF-G50; they had one on demo in Lozeau but my time was taken up with the XA50. However, I've read reviews that the low light performance is not so great.

Last edited by Bryan Worsley; December 1st, 2019 at 07:32 PM.
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