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-   -   Need to upgrade camcorder in kit (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/532903-need-upgrade-camcorder-kit.html)

Mike DiFilippo October 19th, 2016 09:02 PM

Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
Currently I have a Sony HVR-Z7U that I use for ceremony and my "vital" reception parts (intros, first dance, parent dances, toasts) for all of my creatives I use Canon DSLRs but being a one man setup I like having the focus, zoom, and unlimited record time that I get from using a camcorder. Using the memory card unit is a great way to not be stuck capturing tapes but I think it is time for an upgrade and for a camera truly meant for card recording.

With that said, doing the research is daunting, between the multitude of sensor options, what each brand claims to be "low light" as well as with cameras becoming more compact it's tough to fully understand the controls simply from online research.

Right now I have no need for 4k and I'm not sure I will have that need in the next 3-5 years (maybe I'll be proved wrong but based off of what I've seen I don't believe it will be). What is important to me is low light, simple adjustment of manual features; Gain, F-Stop, Kelvin White Balance (these need to be able to be changed during recording easily), some form of manual focus, I need to be able to override focus if it fails during shooting, currently on the Z7 it's a bit finicky but is do-able.

So my thoughts;
Canon XA30
JVC GY-HM200 (or 170 not sure if there is a difference other than the streaming options?)
Sony HXR-NX100 (haven't looked much into it but does look pretty good)
Open to any suggestions in this price range, really the sub $2,000 price range.

Thank you!

Eugen Brinzoiu October 20th, 2016 12:40 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
From those 3 selections ...
I vote for Sony.

Noa Put October 20th, 2016 01:13 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
I don't recall where but I read somewhere the nx100 is a poor lowlight performer, maybe a owner can jump in to contradict me?

Noa Put October 20th, 2016 01:20 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit

Originally Posted by Mike DiFilippo (Post 1922524)
Right now I have no need for 4k and I'm not sure I will have that need in the next 3-5 years

If you mean no clients will ask for 4K delivery just yet I have to agree, I still have a hard time explaining the advantages of a blu-ray over a dvd to a client, from a technical point of view however in the way you can use 4K to your own advantage as a solo shooter using more then one camera during a ceremony or speeches you don't know what you are missing :) As a solo shooter 4K has been a godsend for me, I don't use 4K on all my camera's, only on those which shoot unmanned and where I have no time to check up on them once they are rolling during a important one time event, like the vows. I now just set that camera a bit wider, doesn't have to be exactly level either if I didn't have the time for that while setting up the tripod and I will just choose in post how I want to frame the shot without any visual loss in quality. If I want a more close up I can just do that and the shot will match just fine with my other camera's. It has changed my way of shooting and the extra options I get in post dramatically.

Steve Burkett October 20th, 2016 01:54 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
Actually I had 3 of my clients last year ask for 4K files and 4 of my clients this year have requested it. I was also recently contacted by someone who is exclusively looking for someone who films in 4K to film their Wedding next year. Its still a small margin but one I think will only grow over the next few years, especially now that 4K blurays are starting to appear.

As to the original question; I'd stick to the Canon if you're looking to match the Canon DSLR footage to it easily. Sonys colours are harder to match as I've found from experience. Can't speak for the JVC footage as not invested in any of their gear. The Sony does seem to have more exterior controls and a more traditional, user friendly layout for them. Frankly for low light, none of the cameras you suggest will do much to excel in such conditions and will compare badly to your DSLRs. Stump up more cash and you could get the C100, which would work much better with the Canon DSLR's and offer excellent lowlight. A mark 1 could be got quite cheaply if 2nd hand,

Admittedly I'm not a fan of Canon DSLR's for filming anything frankly; though for closeup beauty shots, they work a treat I have to admit. Must be a pain matching the footage to the traditional camcorders. I have a regular client who asked me to re-edit an interview shot with a Canon DSLR and a Canon 1/3" sensor camcorder, with the client's main objections concerning how the 2 cameras didn't match. Alas after trying several attempts, nothing I could do could make both cameras seem identical to the clients satisfaction, so the interview was re-shot. Had the original interview been shot with a Canon DSLR and a C100, no doubt there'd be less an issue.

Noa Put October 20th, 2016 04:06 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
Ofcourse 4K will be requested more and you can sell it if you promote it, I"m only saying that if you don't promote it and stick to HD that can easily last you another few years like Mike suggested.
Maybe a Canon xc10 might be a good option as well for Mike?

Roger Gunkel October 20th, 2016 06:19 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
I agree with Noa about the value of 4K for editing options, as it is so easy to crop a shot to exactly what you want in post while still maintaining full HD quality. There is also the ability to produce zooms and pans from the full 4K frame.

I've been asked a couple of times by wedding clients about 4K because they have bought a 4K tv, although they are totally unaware of how they will play the footage as there is currently no suitable delivery format for consumers.

As a long time Panasonic video cam user, I will also add a vote for Panny cams as they are missing from your list, particularly the new FZ2500, which would come within your price range, give you the manual flexibility you require, ease of use and unlimited recording time.


Mike DiFilippo October 20th, 2016 06:31 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
Wow thank you everyone for your responses! Quickly; 4K I'm in the same boat as Noa, most clients still don't even bother going with Blu-Ray with me, heck some of them don't even own DVD players. Digital delivery is an option down the road but there is no way I could see digitally delivering someone 4K (at least with the way we deliver, aprox a 90 minute final piece).

As far as 4K for the ability to do work on post, yes this could be a great option but between storage and the handling of the files I'm not sure it'd be worth it. If the camera has 4K I have no issues, future proofing is always a plus.

As far as trying to match the low light capability of DSLR I'm realistic, and know I can't do that at the price range I am talking, I am just looking for something better than my CURRENT Sony HVR-Z7.

The issue with the C100 or XC10 is mainly the zoom. Yes I could setup 3 cameras and not worry about zooming but now my setup, storage, and editing has increased by 3.

Let's go with an increased budget, but still looking for a traditional camcorder; suggestions?

Steve Burkett October 20th, 2016 07:29 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
Well I've a couple of Panasonics I could recommend: HC-X1000E & DVX200 - the latter is certainly more expensive, but has a larger micro 4/3's sensor.

Frankly, if you're sticking to fixed lenses, then low light is always going to be an issue at some focal lengths. You'll have to compromise on one of your requirements as there's no perfect camera even if you are prepared to spend a bit more that offers great low light, fixed zoom lens, and lots of external buttons for manual control; not unless you're prepared to pay thousands.

Out of your original choice, I'd go for the Sony. It has a 1" sensor and its external controls are more suited to 1 camera operation. Of course lowlight isn't going to be exceptional, but I think if you're realistic about your expectations, it won't disappoint.

David Barnett October 20th, 2016 08:03 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
MIke, I'm coming from the Sony Z5U and it was suggested to me to check out the Sony X70 which I ended up purchasing. A small little camcorder setup which packs a punch. It's got XLR inputs, manual control buttons for Gain, Iris, and Shutter, and built in ND filters. It's good in low light, able to goto 18 possibly 21 with little graininess, and overall is better in low light than my Z5U. Zoom is sufficient for large churches, being down the aisle. Picture Profiles like the Z5U which are preset pretty well. It also has a 4K upgrade for future use, so it will project forward many years before becoming dated, although I admit it will likely become my B-cam when I dive more into 4K.

The only drawback I've found it the zoom/focus ring on the lens is shared, so there's a button you push to switch between the two. Takes some getting used to and isn't ideal for run & gun. Also the XLR input cannot be split, so I can't do Channel 1 XLR, Channel 2 on camera mic. I liked shooting that way just as a precaution. Now tho, I just use a Zoom H1 as more my backup audio, plus my B cam.

Mike DiFilippo October 20th, 2016 08:16 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
David that is very helpful thank you. I did briefly look at that camera. When you mention the XLR can't split is that only the case when using the on camera? I'd most likely look to use a short shotgun as my "On camera" and then for ceremonies I run a wireless lav, right now on the Z7 that gives me one channel dedicated to the shotgun and one dedicated to the wireless lav.

Thanks again I appreciate the insight and will add that to my list. Right now on the Z7 I don't go above 9DB so hearing that 18 is possible is great.

Noa Put October 20th, 2016 09:03 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
If you don't need xlr then the sony ax100 is also a very good option, basically a x70 but without xlr and less options to tweak the image.

David Barnett October 20th, 2016 11:00 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
Mike, I've thought about that but never did use it. I'll check but I'm pretty sure it would take Input 1, Input 2. I actually use the shotgun which came with my Z5 for most non-important stuff, prep, photos etc.. But never used it with the wireless in that way. Maybe my first wedding with it. I guess I've just gotten used to it and went all in with it and the Zoom. I tend to shoot down the aisle and get a hissing noise in most churches.

Steve Burkett October 20th, 2016 11:51 AM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
One important feature to consider, given I assume you're running just the 1 camera for Ceremonies, is dual SD card slots. Though HDV tape can have their issues, they're less likely to just stop recording due to file corruption, system crash or just general error. Whilst rare, I've had a few bad occasions even shooting HD where the camera stopped recording. Of course, running multiple cameras, though annoying, it's not as serious as if I was running just the 1. I would take dual recording as an essential if filming with just the 1 camera.

Mike DiFilippo October 20th, 2016 04:27 PM

Re: Need to upgrade camcorder in kit
XLR is most certainly a must, but thanks Noa. Steve - That is where my issue is right now, I typically will run tape as well as CF card but the card is on "add on" and I like the idea of upgrading to a camera that is fully dedicated to solid state recording (SD or CF) and of course dual recording is a great option for media redundancy. Looking at my upcoming jobs I am going to stick with my current combo and see if anything new comes about in the upcoming months and where I am money wise.

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