Need Help finding the right camera

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    • #43911

      I’m somewhat new to the filming side of things and need some advice. I have an opportunity to begin shooting for an outdoor fishing show, 99% bright daylight, outdoors, so I bought a Sony EX1. In the past all the cameras I’ve been around and used as b roll camera’s were tape, mini DV. The show has been shooting on HDV Camera’s and we’ve basically shot everything, then sorted it all out in post.

      I’ve pretty much blown my budget on the camera itself, and I’m a bit worried about the capacity cababilities of the EX1, even with the 32 gig SxS card (which is very expensive, would need to buy two, maybe 3) I’m worried I’ll run out of space during a shoot. I know I can dump the footage during the shoot onto a laptop / external drive to clean out the card, BUT, during the heat of the battle durng the shoot, and sometimes small space on the boat, it’s not idea.

      SO, I’m wondering if there is another super camera out there that shoots true 1920x1080p HD but not to SxS card or hard drive, but to tape. I’m assuming Mini DV keeps you me in the HDV world?? If so is there a “BEST” camera I should be looking at in the $5k range??? Needs to be managable, somewhat portable ex ex…

      Any help???


    • #184021

      thanks guys

    • #184022

      SO, I’m wondering if there is another super camera out there that shoots true 1920x1080p HD but not to SxS card or hard drive, but to tape. I’m assuming Mini DV keeps you me in the HDV world?? If so is there a “BEST” camera I should be looking at in the $5k range??? Needs to be managable, somewhat portable ex ex…

      Any help???

      Panasonic AG-HVX200A P2HD Camcorder, Sony HVR-Z5U Pro HDV Camcorder and the Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder are your available options if you are strict about 1080P and tape.

      If you can live with 720p and or 1080i you’ve got a better range of options. Unfortunately, now that tape is mad cheap the camcorder co’s are forcing us to go solid state. Not that it’s bad (just expensive for now and I don’t like being ‘forced’) because solid state has its advantages. I just think that since we have the advantage of both formats (tape and solid state) why can’t we keep them?

      Anyway, those models I initially mentioned can be found for less than $5.5 – 4k at B&H Photo-Video depending on what kit and or accessories you choose. Next time, weigh out your options before ‘blowing your budget’ on a single piece of gear. It will save you money and headaches later. Good luck!

    • #184023


      The Panasonic AG-HVX200A can record to tape, but only in standard definition. If you’re shooting HD, it goes to P2 card or to a hard drive. Also, I’m not sure that any of those camcorders record 1920×1080. I think they all have some compression.

      My understanding is that the “Big Boys” shoot with cameras that have an HD/SDI port (or maybe an HDMI port), which outputs an uncompressed signal which is then fed into an array of hard drives — one hard drive alone can’t record fast enough to get the high bandwidth signal from a truely uncompressed 1920x1080p video feed. (You might look up RAID, as it pertains to an array of hard drives. Also check capture cards from Black Magic Design)

      Of course, this is getting into serious money. Are you sure that HDV or AVCHD camcorders won’t do? Unless you’re doing a high-budget national network show, a little compression should be OK. The Panasonic AG-HMC 150 is a really nice AVCHD camcorder. The Sony HVR-Z5U, HVR-Z7U, or HVR-V1U are very good HDV camcorders.


    • #184024

      No quick and easy solution to this but this is one that I am using.

      Two options

      1) Sony SBACUS10 if you want to overcrank footage with the SxS card. You will need a 12v portable battery (like those for videocam lights), a power head (like that for the EX1 ac) connected to the 12v. This will allow you to transfer the SxS data via USB on the road. This is the more expensive option if you need overcranking on call and you can afford at least another or two SxS.

      2) M&R adapter cards from efilms in australia. a few SDHC cards.This option does not allow you overcranking but you can shoot as much as you can afford with a couple of these adapters and a handful of SDHCs.

      This is what you have to get.

      NEXTO ND2725 + internal HDD e.g. Fujitsu/Hitachi 250gb 2.5″

      Reason it has to be the NEXTO is that it is currently the FASTEST OTG transfer system out there. Pulling out 16-32gb of data from SxS cards take a long time and you want to save as much time as possible. This system transfers 16gb of data in about 12 mins flat via the SBACUS10. This is real world test I did myself and not from the website.

      I’ve not tested 16gb of SDHC direct on it yet because my M&R adapters hasnt arrived yet but I dont think it should be a problem.

      Box comes with a built-in battery and an external battery (+ lighter socket charger et al) so theoretically you can shoot and transfer around 160gb or 500 mins of footage on the go.

      Its not the cheapest system out there but it sure beats buying 10 SxS cards.

    • #184025

      THANKS GUYS!! A lot of great info for me to mull over. I think I made a hasty decision with the input of some friends in the know, but in the end, I think I “over-bought” my EX1 as I think it is to much camera for what I need right now. However, I think having it, and shooting with it is only a good thing since the camera is awesome, shoots fantatic footage, it’s going to look awesome on the ocean. Still have some time to make a change, which I may do, but I’ll continue to mess with it.

    • #184026

      Actually, here’s another question: Would I be better off selling the EX1 and replace it with an easy to use HDV camera? I’m not trying to compare the two, BUT, I shoot with a Sony HVR-A1U, smaller mini DV camera that shoots 1080i and I gotta be honest, the footage looks awesome! It’s not a very good low light camera, but the stuff that comes out of this camera during the day and early morning especially, looks great. The problem I see myself having is scaling up, meaning the footage shot with an HDV camera most likley won’t be allowable for broadcast on networks like Discovery and the like?? Am I wrong about that?? Is 1080i enough? Is an HDV camera on par for TV broadcast’s??? If I sell my EX1 for a “simpler” camera (something I don’t have to change the gama’s in ex ex..) what would I get? AND, lastly, is the full auto button on the EX1 something that does the camera justice?? I hear not…thats probably the only way I’ll know how to use the camera, so people tell me it’s “to much camera” for me…I think they might be right??? Thoughts?

    • #184027

      Auto? What’s that? People use auto? A camera like the EX1, with its slate of manual controls and configurations is going to give a person what they need for professional broadcast quality production.

      Lesser tools work, but in the hands of a professional producer who knows his tools.

      The camera, especially for a person wanting to do Discovery, PBS, National Geo, etc. isn’t going to make an inexperienced or amateur look any better, maybe worse, to the big boys. Especially if the footage reflects that the producer has been depending a LOT on auto settings because he/she doesn’t know the limits of the camera’s capabilities, and how to get every ounce of the tool’s performance capabilities.

      Being new to the industry and receiving an opportunity to produce with or for an established fishing show is quite a coup – learning to use the EX1, and letting the people on these shows know you have pro level tools (to a greater or lesser degree) will get you more options than if they realize you are depending on the auto settings of a consumer level camcorder.

      I’ve heard somewhere that some company in Australia (I have NO idea how to find out the name) is actually selling an affordable adapter that isn’t the sweetest workaround in the world, but allows a person to stick an SDHC card into the adapter, into the SxS slot, bringing the expense of recording media down to a dull roar.

    • #184028

      Here is a link I found just googling SxS slot SDHC Adapter.

      It gives a very good description of the method used and where to get the adaptor. 56 minutes on a 16G Class 6 SDHC is impresive. And Fry’s is selling the Kingston version for under $30 right now.

    • #184029

      That’s it! That’s the one, talk about something that is going to convince Sony to let go of their proprietary madness and get with the program – universal recording medium on SDHC. I like it. Although the EX is too much for my palate so I will likely be going for the HM150 Panasonics sometime this year.

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