best HDV video camera to purchase under $1,000.

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    • #43769
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I am new to the forum so maybe this question has been asked. I shoot a lot of scenery video of waterfalls, rivers mountians, etc. I do a fair amount of editing of the raw footage,add music and make a finished product for inspiration or just relaxation. I currently use a Panasonic 3ccd camera but am considering upgrading to high definition. I use aCasablanca Prestige stand alone editor to make my finished product. Now the question. I was told that to get the best footage for editing I should use a camera the uses mini DV tape instead of the other mediums. Is that correct? Second, it seems they are getting harder to find. Any recomendations for a good quality mini dv tape camera that shoots in high def?

      Thanks Nick

    • #183379
      AvatarchrisColorado
      Participant

      I was told that to get the best footage for editing I should use a camera the uses mini DV tape instead of the other mediums. Is that correct?

      That’s rigged. They were probably biased just like me and anybody else you’ll find. I’ve used a few different formats and I don’t like MiniDV. I use Flash Media most of the time. The Flash Mediacameras areall under $1,000 in the winter issue of B&H catalog.But then, it’s not HD. I say Flash Media. I’m biased.

      Second, it seems they are getting harder to find.

      I’m pretty sure the reason MiniDV is getting harder to find would be because other people are lazy like me and want to get their footage on their computer easier than capturing off tape. HDD and DVD are getting common. And Flash Media. I’m biased.

      Any recomendations for a good quality mini dv tape camera that shoots in high def?

      Well, look at the above mentioned issue of B&H. Most of the consumer level MiniDV cameras are under $1,000(keywords: consumer level).

      I’d go with AVCHD, no tape, cheaper cameras. You can get them as HDD(hard drive) or DVD.

      I don’t see the big deal with HD. I’d stick with your 3CCD camera.

      Actually, I’d buy a better Flash Media Camera. I’m biased.

    • #183380
      AvatarRyan3078
      Participant

      I currently use a Panasonic 3ccd camera but am considering upgrading to high definition.

      If you want an HD camera for under $1000, it’s going to almost definitely be 1 CCD or CMOS.

      For under $1000 I have heard good things about the Canon HV20, but you won’t get any decent HD cameras until you start to hit the $3000 range.

      I was told that to get the best footage for editing I should use a camera the uses mini DV tape instead of the other mediums.

      That can go either way. If you use tape, you’ll have to replay it in real-time to import it, but the quality is top notch. If you go for a hard drive camera, quality is lowered, but you can import footage simply by dragging the media files onto your hard drive. Additionally, some hard drive cameras use their own encoding format, which can make it difficult to edit on a 3rd party system.

      If you have $1000 now, I’d wait and save up money for a Canon XL2 or similar camera – at this rate, HD footage and Blue-ray isn’t going to be in demand for a good 3-5 more years.

    • #183381
      AvatarRob
      Participant
    • #183382
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      “I was told that to get the best footage for editing I should use a camera the uses mini DV tape instead of the other mediums.”

      Not true. To get all the digital information onto a small tape like miniDV, the video has to be compressed. Not that I think miniDV is bad, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best medium. I guess it is at the consumer level, which is what you want, but don’t let people tell you its the best medium for editing.You have to do research about the recording codecs available to find out what’s best for you.

      I wouldn’t go for a camera that records to DVDs.

    • #183383
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      On a lot of levels, everyone you talk to is going to have an opinion on what’s best; seems to me that one of those things that’s a really good idea involves finding out what feels good in your hand and which controls and formats are easiest to use

    • #183384
      AvatarBruce
      Participant

      What you have now and what your budget is suggests you are looking at consumer grade. There’s actually some pretty good choices for under $1000.

      Canon HV30 does both standard def and hi def on MiniDV tape, and does a very good job of it. A lot of folks doing commercial work with something like the Canon XH-A1 or similar grade “prosumer” cam will have the HV30 to run as a “B” roll or second camera, or just to take with them when they don’t want to play “pack horse” with larger, heavier stuff.

      I had the predecessor to it, the HV20 for awhile and liked what it did, I shot 2 projects with it before selling it off to help finance a couple of Canon HF100’s which do AVCHD on flash media. I often work in windy and very dusty environments and felt vulnerable to wind blown dust and sand getting into the tape mechanism.

      HDV is best edited on a fairly recent dual core processor based computer as it begins to place some heavier demands on computer resources, AVCHD will require a very fast dual core or a serious quad core machine, and many software packages are just now getting with the program as far as AVCHD editing.

      Once you zero in on a camcorder you think you might like, do some serious searching for websites with reviews to get a general idea of what they do, then check out users reviews on B&H listings and on amazon.com. You can learn an awful lot from both the positive comments and the complaints (keeping in mind the latter may be generated more from lack of willingness to learn the product).

      Then once somewhat familiar with camera specs start looking for software. Again search the web for reviews and users comments on various forums, then go to the software company’s website and pay attention to the minimum and suggested computer specs for editing HDV and AVCHD with their product.

      Then when you make the purchase decision it will an informed one, not what others tell you to get.

      I’ve been using Pinnacle Studio from the late ’90s to edit DV, MiniDV, then HDV, and may continue to use it for AVCHD although I’m editing a project on an old fort with Cyberlink PowerDirector. Both of these programs were fairly early adopters of AVCHD when the “big names” weren’t really getting with it. I teach Defensive Handgun Shooting Skills and produce my own training videos primarily as a handout for my students.

      Last year I participated in 10 video challenges and even brought home a first place win, as a learning experience this route is highly recommended and is sometimes described as “free film school”.

      Good luck in your quest.

    • #183385
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      JVC HD3 and above is HD and 3 CCD and thanks for the information on B&H, I found JVC HD6 for $800, two models better than I was looking for.

    • #183386
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hey, the Canon HV20 and HV30 are really good HDV camcorders. I use a Canon HR10, which records HD videos in mini-dvds and it uses the avchd compression. I edit the AVCHD in vegas pro 8 smoothly and easily as any other format.

      Hope i have helped πŸ™‚

      Caio

    • #183387
      AvatarEarlC
      Member

      Bif’s, and most of Ryan’s, and shippocaio’s responses gave you some level-headed, solid information, suggestions and advice. While Mr. Colorado isn’t WRONG in his assessment, and is obviously very happy with his format of choice, I do not think it is necessarily the answer to all things. Nor is mine, for that matter. But…

      I lean heavily toward the Canon HV30 (HV20’s replacement) based on a lot of input from web site and mag ratings as well as heavily positive comments form various video-related forums by people actually using them. As I’ve said elsewhere, this is likely an entry-level first step into HD production for me.

      What appeals to me most about the HV30 and its MiniDV tape format, is that it shoots HDV and not AVCHD. Compared to other similarly priced cameras and/or their various formats for acqusition (hard drives, static recording mediums, DVDs, etc.) although many, MANY people using AVCHD find it quite acceptable, I am shy of using its more highly compressed video.

      This may (or not) cancel out the argument regarding compression that occurs on MiniDV tape. I would much prefer the higher quality, lower degree of compression in shooting HDV (notwithstanding the MiniDV tape issues, as there are options to recording the signal to a portable hard drive system as well).

      I think Ryan is not totally accurate in his 3-5 year BluRay or HD predictions, and most definitely disagree with spending under a grand for an HV30 (or whatever) now, rather than spending anywhere from $1,700 to $2,700 for a GL2 SD format (and I have and use a GL2, as well as two Canon XL1).

      On the other hand, you do have the option to shoot (I believe native) widescreen 16×9 on the GL2, but it remains an SD format. I don’t know that SD is going to be the platform of delivery for independent video production THAT much longer – and I STILL shoot and deliver that way, but not for much longer.

      Yes, CCD/CMOS wise I’ll be taking a step backward, going from the GL/XL to the HV30s. Current finances dictate that I spend most of my discretionary funds for a high-end Mac dual quad, 8-core, and up the memory and storage there, update my FCP to the current iteration, etc. rather than spend all my money on cameras in the $4,000 (and up) range just to get into HD production.

      I am receiving more and more demand of, if not HD, then at least widescreen from my more affluent clients. Those who have widescreen HD units in their livingrooms, and even a second unit in another room, are asking for the 16×9 native format. I believe, however, that because many of their players have uprez or alternative playback options and deliver pretty decent quality from their older SD libraries, many of my people are associating widescreen with high definition.

      Like has been said, everyone has an opinion, some subjective, some even possibly objective. You can compare, investigate and check out all the options until you are blue in the face, but sooner or later you will have to commit based on your own best judgement. It is time consuming, but trying to get some “hands on” experience with the various cameras and recording mediums falling within your budget limits will go a long way to reducing your “regret” factor later.

    • #183388

      If you want an HD camera for under $1000, it’s going to almost definitely be 1 CCD or CMOS. For under $1000 I have heard good things about the Canon HV20, but you won’t get any decent HD cameras until you start to hit the $3000 range.

      Nope, the JVC HD7 is 3 CCD and it sells for around $700.

      But I do aggree that if you plan to make a living with your camera then you need to spend at least $3000. The JVC HD110 is a great starter rig.

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