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video quality for SD: T2i vs DVX100b?

jd55's picture
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 01/09/2012 - 7:58pm

I want to buy a decent entry-level camera for shooting video. My dilemma is that I would like to get the Canon T2i / 550D, but I don't think my computer is powerful enough to edit HD video (laptop, Core 2 Duo 1.67GHz, 2GB ram, standard video card) but I think it would be fine for editing SD footage. So my lack of budget for computer upgrades is pushing me to get a DV cam, like maybe the Panasonic DVX100b, which will produce great video that I can actually work with, but sadly no HD. The downside is that if I ever want to jump up to HD, I would need a new camera.

So I'm wondering if the Canon takes comparable video in SD? If this were the case, I would buy it, so that if one or two years from now I upgrade my editing system or gain access to HD editing systems through school, I'll be glad to have the HD camera. Plus, the T2i has the major advantage of also being a great camera for stills. So basically, if you wanted to produce decent films over the next year in SD, would you buy the DVX100b or the T2i? Thank you.


dellwovideo's picture
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 05/20/2011 - 6:35pm

Kudos for being realistic about your laptop. I wouldn't throw HD at it either.

As for cameras- let me say there is no all purpose, perfect for everyone and everything camera. Think hard about what you intend to do with your camera when considering the right one for you. And will it serve your needs three years from now? Five years from now? Who is your audience? Who are your clients?

If you already had a T2i I wouldn't recommend dumping it for the T3i. But since this is your first camera I would whole heartedly demand you beg, borrow, or beg harder to get the extra cash for a T3i over the T2i.

It does have less than full HD with an SD/VGA setting at 640 x 480 (30p (29.97) and 25p fps.) So your laptop ought to manage for now. Plus it has all the HD juice you need for later.

THE MOST IMPORTANT reason I recommend the T3i is the variangle screen (or as I call it - the flippy outyscreen on the back.) I use that ALL THE TIME. Well, not ALL the time, but I use it at some point during every shoot I've done with it either still or video. And it has manual audio controls (even if they are a little user unfriendly.)

So should you get the T3i or the DVX100?

This is my two cents -Iwouldn't pay a dime fora mini-DV camera right now because you're not going to make a dime with it. I sold my entire XL1 kit for $600 and was happy to get it. I'm sure the Pannyis an excellent DV camera but it's still a DV camera. Clients want HD - not SD. (Is the DVX100b reallytwo grand??? You can buy a T3iAND a basic productionkit or newlaptopfor that.)

The T3i is a camera you can one day make money with. It's not an event camera - it's a production camera. (Although I do use mine as a second camera for weddings.) HDSLRs are just not ergonomically suited for events without an unreasonable amount of modification. But if you want to shoot commercials, short films, etc. - the T3i will do it.

Oh, and it's a pretty darn good still camera to boot!


jd55's picture
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 01/09/2012 - 7:58pm

Thanks Joseph. For the record, I can get the T3i or the DVX100b for about the same price: $800 (the DVX would be used, the T3i would be new).... without any extras.The consumer in me prefers the DSLR over the DVX, but pragmatically I just don't know... inferior audio capabilities, the apparent need for costly lenses, and other extras. The shotgun-mic-friendliness of the DVX combined with the dual XLR inputs on the side seem really nice. And truthfully I expect to make $0 with either camera, so I'm much more concerned with my ability to use it to develop skills as a filmmaker than I am with pleasing clients. So I can't shake the feeling that a dedicated video device like the dvx100b would be a safer choice...Would you happen to have any samples of the T3i's 640 x 480 footage?


Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Jesse, sorry I just came across this topic now. I have both t3i and dvx100b. I was just wondering how you made out with your quest, which way you went, your findings etc.

its a tough one I think. I bought the t3ibecauseI felt a need for astillcamera and liked the idea that you can change lenses.

but apparently the t3i can also shoot really great video.. Ihaven'thad such luck. I shot some test video and it came out choppy. not even usable. So then I was told it was my card, so I bought a 36GB # 10 card and the first few clips just STOPPED after like 10 seconds! took it back to Canon, they puttheircard in it and it recorded fine, so then I took the card back to where i bought it and tried to show them that itdoesn'twork and that their card was a counterfeit, but in fact it proved me wrong again and worked fine!

Id hate to be on a video shoot and fine it ot onlyworkpart time (like me lol)

it takes great stills, so I imagine that it would takegreatvideo.

but the dvx can take great video too but youreallyhave toknowhot to use it. I bought a book about gettingthemost from your dvx. there are lots of tips in it that make thedifferencesbetween ok video and great video.

the audio of course it great. I love the slr jacks and a tape can record an hour or more if you put in on long record.

the longest an SD card can record in the t3i is supposedly 29 minutes, soyou'dneed a lot of cards to capture enough footage for a movie for sure, but I guess itspossible.

I have not tested files from the t3i in my computer yet either. my mac seems to be lowing down. I have jammed it with as much ram as it will hold 8GB, but it seems slower than when I only had 4GB. Ive got LOTS of space on the drives, 320G on one 2TB on the other but its still slow rendering IMO

Id like to get a solid state camcorder but one withinterchangeablelenses get expensive. Panasonic has the f100 I think its called but it uses 1/4 lenses and I was talked intothet3ibecauseI would beableto share lenses - more compatibility, so I want a camcorder that can share lenses with.

little reluctant to make any move becauselikelyneed a betercomputeralong with a better camera, and not too damn sure about mac anymore either! might just go back to pc premiere pro like intheold days!

mac really did it. now alltheirsoftware needs INTEL processors.. Im on "Power PC" processors so Icannotupgrade anything.

maybe you can talk me into selling the dvx if youhaven'tgot one already. mine has less than 200hrs on it.


Rick Crampton's picture
Last seen: 5 months 6 days ago
Joined: 08/20/2009 - 1:08pm

I bought my DVX-100B in 2008 after wrestling with the question of the practicality of aHiDef alternative, the HVX200A, which at that time was over $ 5K. Times and opinions change, and when the HVX200A became $ 3K in closeout sales I went for it, even though I only had maybe 50 hours on the DVX. Having used the HVX for standard def shooting, I vastly prefer it to the DVX. I have never run tape in the HVX, getting about two hours on a 32G P-2 card. The HiDef quality from the HVX is supurb.

HVX200A's have been sighted on eBay for $ 1500 to $ 1600. The HPX170 ( currently new @ around $ 3K )is very similar to the HVX, but does not have the ability to run MiniDV tape. I vastly prefer the DVC-PRO (HD or not) to the AVCHD file format. AVCHD is a computer horsepower hog. The greater compression with AVCHD allows for cheaper, smaller memory cards, and many feel the P-2 workflow has its drawbacks, even though there's less video compression.

The question is: do I hang on to my DVX for a second camera, or should I try to sell it?

Rick Crampton


brunerww's picture
Last seen: 1 day 16 hours ago
Joined: 06/09/2011 - 6:40am
Plus Member

gldnears - I suggest you get what you can for your DVX and upgrade to the HPX170.  Especially if you have moved away from tape and don't shoot with the DVX much.

 

And, since you don't like AVCHD (or AVCCAM), and you already use P2 cards, the HPX is pretty much the only game on town.

 

You can get an E+ used HPX170 at Adorama for $2625, or a new one for $3340.

 

Used prices are better at Amazon, but they use 3rd party suppliers and I'm not as confident of their return policies.

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

Hybrid Camera Revolution