Camcorder Decision

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    • #43155

      Hi everyone. Currently a video art/ film student, i’m looking to start seriously producing pieces of work and accordingly want a high-end camcorder. However at this point i feel like i don’t need/want a professional camera but rather something more portable/high-end consumer.

      I’ve done a bit of research and narrowed my choice down to these two camcorders:

      SONY HDR-HC9

      Canon Vixia HV40 (or perhaps 30)

      I’m leaning toward the SONY because it seems to have more manual control/ better focus. On the other hand the Canon, while apparently more flimsy/cheap-feeling, does have the Cinematic/24fps mode which is a very appealing feature.

      Any advice or suggestion of another camcorder i may have overlooked is greatly appreciated.



      p.s. My budget is about $1000

    • #180839

      Personally, I’d go with the sony which provides the more natural features and better performance in low light. Now about the 24p finagle, I wouldn’t chase after it as a necessary feature. Shooting 24 frames merely subtracts 6 (or in some cases 34) frames from each second of footage. If a boss demands it, then I’d go with the Canon which is the only one of the two that allows you to shoot anything progressively.

      BTW, you won’t find a camcorder that records a true 60p mode until you get around the $4k and above range.

    • #180840

      Thanks for the quick reply! In retrospect i see you’ve had to answer the 24p question manyyyy times already so i apologize haha.

      However…on that topic of over-posted questions, i’m afraid i still don’t truly understand the whole MIniDV vs Flash vs HDD debate. Our school’s equipment is all tape/miniDV, and from what i’ve read it’s apparently better for editing and long-term storage. That being said, i’ve read posts which promote flash/HDD because of the overall convenience (lighter, better battery usage etc) … and supposedly the decreased quality level in terms of editing etc is not that noticeable/large of an issue at the end of the day. Plus from my own observation it seems like most companies are trying to move away from tape as the newer/high-end consumer camcorders with better features are mainly flash/HDD. Would it make sense to sacrifice tape/MiniDV for an otherwise newer/better quality camcorder or should i stick with tape-based options? And if so, is Sony’s HDR-HC9 then still my best/newest available option?

      Thanks in advance.


      p.s. If i were able to raise my budget to say $2000, would there be any lightweight professional cameras you could recommend? …i.e. like Sony’s HVR-A1U but newer (it seems to be from 2001)

    • #180841

      MiniDV continues to be the “old man” of video production, and is considered to be the most reliable in terms of media interchangability and editing. The classic assortment of DV/MiniDV camcorders currently (or used to) have the leadamong pros and serious hobbyists. For the most part, tapes continue to be the most reliable in terms of recording format, recording DV-AVI at 25Mbps. The initial quality is better, but is reduced to a fraction of the quality with the production output.

      TV, Web, DVD, Blue-ray, or Theatre are most of the sources which video ends up. All mentioned above, with the possible exception of theatre, utilize some sort of MPEG-2 codec (or something of lesser quality) normally at 8.0 Mbps or less. HD broadcastformats range around 18.0 Mbps.

      HDD (Hard disk drive) camcorders use the MPEG-2 or AVCHD (most HD non-tape camcorders are AVCHD) codec. The bitrate for most standard definition hard disk camcorders is typically around 8 Mbps, which matches the typical video bitrate of DVDs.MiniDV enthusiasts like to balk at the MPEG-2 format as being highly unsupported. Many freeware and software creaters now support MPEG-2 and AVCHD formats, while the support is still growing.

      Flash Memory camcorders typically go by the same trend of recording formats as HDD. They typically record SD video at MPEG-2 or record HD video at either MPEG-2 or AVCHD. Flash memory can refer to a camera’s internal solid state memory, a slot for interchanging memory cards, or both. HDD camcorders will often have an SDHC memory card slot.

      The common debate over MPEG-2/AVC vs. DV-AVI continues forward by some peoplewhile many are simply going with HDD or flash memory. DV-AVI is a “simpler” format which generally poses an easier time with editing. Though serious shooters like to argue in this way, most NLEs are now capable of handling MPEG/AVCHD formats just the same as DV-AVI.

      The HVR line of Sony camcorders will probably work fine with your situation. Check for the best deals online before you start purchasing. Sony HVR-A1U at –

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