Author Topic: HD camera  (Read 3234 times)

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MacGuffin

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HD camera
« on: May 07, 2009, 05:23:15 PM »
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So I have a Panasonic 100B, which I have enjoyed, but am looking to upgrade to HD. Any recommendations?

I'd like to stay with Panasonic, unless someone convinces me otherwise. So is there a big difference between the 200 and the 200A?

And other than eBay, any other sites for great deals?

Thanks.
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matt35mm

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Re: HD camera
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2009, 06:32:59 PM »
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Well, the HVX200 is a pretty good camera (I don't know what the differences between the 200 and 200A are), but my favorite camera is the Sony XDCAM EX1, which you can find here:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/520761-REG/Sony_PMWEX1UC_PMW_EX1_XDCAM_EX_SxS.html

It's definitely more expensive by about $1000-2000, but if you're looking to drop this general amount of money, I would recommend researching this camera as a serious option.  I've had extensive experience with both the Panasonic and Sony, working at my university's film department lab and on a few films that have used each of these cameras, and the Sony is just much, much nicer to handle.  The Sony has many useful features that the Panasonic doesn't have, such as a 16:9 HD LCD screen (if you're the type to hunt for images and really want to fall in love with what you're seeing on the LCD screen like I do, this is significant), and programmable focus/zoom--this is a really useful feature that lets you program the focus/zoom for, say, the beginning of a dolly shot and the end of the dolly shot, so that when you make the dolly move, the camera will automatically adjust focus in time with your move to keep the subject in focus.  It does the job of a focus puller; really handy if there's only one person operating the camera.  As you experiment with this feature, you'll be able to do some fairly complicated and cool camera moves by yourself.  AND it'd be really useful if you use a crane and can't touch the camera, doing a shot like starting on a close-up and zooming out as you crane up and tilt down, simultaneously adjusting focus to hold on the subject.

Finally, the image is significantly better.  I'm a fan of the CMOS sensors, which I think produces a much smoother, film-like image than CCD sensors, especially when you shoot into light (more film-like lens flares).  And there's a quality to the grain/noise that is a lot more film-like and less digital looking than the Panasonic.  I THINK (but am not sure) it's also higher resolution, being proper full 1080p, where I think the Panasonic gives you a lower res.  And I'm under the impression (this is from memory, I haven't re-done the research) that the Sony has native 16:9 sensors, whereas the Panasonic might be 4:3, meaning that nothing is cropped/stretched to achieve the widescreen image, meaning higher-resolution.

Depends on what you want to do with the camera.  If it's for a film where the image quality and joy of use is important to you, look into the Sony.  If it's too expensive, then the Panasonic is still clearly a really good option.  If it's just for regular camcorder use, like filming the trip to Disneyland, then you don't even need the HVX--the cheap HD cameras produce pretty damn good quality images for the size/price.

Personally, if I were in the position to afford an HVX, I would stop buying food/drink/drugs/prostitutes/blu-rays for several months to be able get the Sony instead.  The difference is that it's so fun to touch and handle that it's impossible to let it sit and collect dust in the corner, which I might do with the HVX.

MacGuffin

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Re: HD camera
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2009, 06:53:40 PM »
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Thanks for the help, matt. I tried looking into that Sony, but could not find any such info or listing on eBay, Amazon or cnet. Is there another model name it goes by? If could find it at a better price...

I did find this deal for the Panasonic that I'm now leaning towards. If I sell my 100B, I'd only have to pay half the price. They are currently out of stock, however:

http://www.zoommania.com/descript.asp?prodid=AGHVX200A


I'm still confused by all the model numbers 200, 200A, 205, 205A though.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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matt35mm

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Re: HD camera
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 07:47:15 PM »
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Yeah, I don't know why the Sony is so hard to find right now.  I don't know of any other name it goes by.

BUT!  Do not buy from zoommania.  That price was suspiciously cheap so I did a quick search and came up with this:

http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7594_102-0.html?threadID=260137

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Zoommania

Basically bait-and-switch fraud.

Ravi

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Re: HD camera
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2009, 05:45:06 PM »
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Well, the HVX200 is a pretty good camera (I don't know what the differences between the 200 and 200A are), but my favorite camera is the Sony XDCAM EX1

I like the EX3 better than the EX1.  Its basically the same camera, but the viewfinder is on the side instead of in the back like on a consumer camcorder.  It has 1/2" sensors and records on SxS cards, which you can put into the Express card slot of a MacBook Pro.  Great image quality.  The HVX-200 is good too, but it has a 1/3" chip, so the depth of field isn't quite as shallow with the stock lens.  IIRC its a little noisier than the EX3 as well.  A 16GB card will hold 57 minutes of video.

The EX3 does proper 1080 on 60p/60i/30p/24p as well as the PAL equivalents, but you can overcrank only in 720 mode.

I also love the peaking function to check focus.

My one complaint is that it is front-heavy, and it takes a toll on your forearm after a while, but I compensate for that by holding the lens up with my other hand as much as I can.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 03:24:41 PM by Ravi »

matt35mm

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Re: HD camera
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2009, 07:17:46 PM »
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Yeah!  Camera geeks unite!

MacGuffin

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Re: HD camera
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2009, 09:42:33 PM »
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I ended up getting mine here:

https://fumfie.com/pshow/?id=37.6
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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pete

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Re: HD camera
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2009, 10:16:55 PM »
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dude you'll regret not getting the ex3.
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Reinhold

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Re: HD camera
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2009, 11:11:34 PM »
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i adore the hvx200, but would recommend the 200A because the 200 sucks in low light.
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

MacGuffin

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Re: HD camera
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2009, 12:19:28 AM »
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dude you'll regret not getting the ex3.

Having never worked with it or knowing anything about it until now or knowing a place to buy one from at a resonable price, I doubt it.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Reinhold

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Re: HD camera
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2009, 12:07:04 PM »
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they're great cameras. i mean, they're incredibly functional (SDI-out, easy to navigate menus, lightweight for the size and ergonomically designed) and they produce a spectacular picture with practically no effort. plus the shape of the camera makes it easy to keep stable (plus the image quality aids in post-stabilization). i'd buy one if they weren't $8k.
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

 

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