HD or not HD……. that is the question

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    • #44920

      I would appreciate your words of wisdom in regards to whether I should move my business in to the HD world of video. I need a new camera, I am using Sony VX2000 & VX2100 cameras, and I am interested in purchasing the Canon XH-A1 HD camera. I use Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 to edit. I have researched the XH-A1 and I really like the features but my customers are still in a Standard Definition mode. Should I go for the HD camera, or just wait to go HD and get another Sony VX2100?

    • #187495

      HD is becoming more prevalent. Even if your customers are SD today, it seems likely that someday one of them will ask you about switching to HD. It would be nice if you could respond: "Why, yes! I’ve geared up for HD, and would be happy to show you what HD can do for you."

      I notice the SD camcorders you already have are known for their good low-light performance. So I suspect you’re an event videographer, doing a lot of wedding receptions. I have no idea how well the XH-A1 performs in low light. One of the forum members here has said repeatedly that the Sony FX1 is a good choice if you’ve got to shoot low light with HD.

      Something to keep in mind: Switching to HD might require getting a more powerful computer.

      Just my 3 cents worth, 🙂
      Ken Hull

    • #187496

      How bad do you need a new camera?

      To really take advantage of HD, you need the whole circle:

      HD camera
      Editing software and system capable of HD streams
      HD DVD or Blueray disc burner
      Clients that have HD DVD or Blueray players.

      Like you were saying, the last quarter of the circle is typically the loose link.

      High Definition will become the norm, but the transition is going somewhat slow.
      I would wait to buy the camera. Prices for HD equipment are only getting cheaper, so there’s no risk in that.

      If you do need a new camera immediately, I’d pick up an HD one, but otherwise, as long as your clients don’t want it, you shouldn’t need it…. yet.

    • #187497

      I got my HD camera before I could edit or view HD but all the other HD parts came later.
      Because I could still shoot in HD and output in SD without any extra workflows.

      I would guess that one day HD would become the norm so it’s safe to say you’re not buying into a fad or bad technology.

      There is more to it than the camera itself as Spencer has said but it sounds like you at least have the editor if not more to handle HDV.

      Burners and players are the biggest "issues" [to me anyway] right now as they are still a little pricey.

      Make the move because at least you’ll be able to offer both HD and/or SD from one system [camera, computer, editor….]
      Once you see your own work in HD on a big HDTV, you’ll feel like you can do anything.
      No joke.

    • #187498

      Yeah, I’m starting to change my mind. It probably would be a good idea to go HD. You can probably charge a little bit extra for projects done in HD as well. Just waiting on the burners/players to get cheaper. 🙂

    • #187499

      Thank you all for your responses. You are correct…. event photography and I have done some infomercials on a small order basis that are delivered on DVD to the clients. I love the low light capability of the Sony’s especially for weddings. I have the computer power to handle HD and I use all Sony computer equipment because of the easy integration with my Sony VX model cameras. I have never tried to integrate a different model camera such as the Canon using my Sony computers but they are all running XP Pro and hopefully my Sony computers won’t play unfair when using a Canon video camera to firewire my video in to Adobe Premiere Pro 2. I have the HD TV and a Toshiba HD DVD player but not the burner……. and I am still somewhat confused regarding which HD format will be the ultimate winner! So now it is down to the Sony FX1 or the Canon……? PS….. I love the multi camera feature of Pro2!!!!!

    • #187500

      I’m using the apple tv to get around the format/burner headaches.
      I tack a few hundred bucks to the project and deliver content on the appletv.

    • #187501

      It’s a tough question, isn’t it – to go HD or not? I posted the following message on the IMDb boards yesterday. Rather then re-type, I"m going to simply repost…I hope no one minds.


      Let me tell you two short stories. A few months ago I went to the local high-end video gear shop. I wanted to pick up a DVX100b to shoot 24p. The owner, is well known in the D.C. filmmaking community as being a straight and honest guy, told me that the gossip on the street is that this was the last production run on the 100b. After this, HD only. Also, he said wtih teh mandatory conversion of televisions to HD in the very near future, it would help to be ahead of the curve. Made sense to me.

      A number of distributors post on by messageboards and I"ve gotten to be friendly with them over the years and they’ll speak to me pretty bluntly off the record about the nature of the industry. Most aren’t even taking standard sov productions any longer and asking that if you’re going to shoot, then shoot HD. To them, it’s a more marketable product.

      Today, I purchased the Canon A1….with these things to think about, it made more sense to me to wait and pull together the extra grand and buy an HD camera.

      take care,


    • #187502

      Well, I am thinking more and more about HD….. Can Adobe Premiere Pro handle the video editing and mix it with Standard, then output it to Standard?

    • #187503

      Spencer Stewart Wrote:

      HD DVD or Blueray disc burner
      Clients that have HD DVD or Blueray players

      These aren’t the only options. There are plenty of HD-capable tape formats. Also note that if you are doing a production for broadcast, your client doesn’t need a HD player of any sort, just one of your target stations does.

    • #187504

      ARichards Wrote:

      Also, he said wtih teh mandatory conversion of televisions to HD in the very near future, it would help to be ahead of the curve. Made sense to me.

      Hmm? The only mandatory ‘conversion’ I know of for the US is the DTV conversion (note: there is no H in there) for non-lptv non-exempt broadcast stations.

      rcflyer: I don’t know about Premiere Pro, but I just got back from DV Expo and NewTek’s SpeedEdit looks promising.

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