Newbie question about SD vs HD camera

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    • #47899


      I’ve never done any video before and I want to document a trip I’m going on and also make it like a documentary where I interview people at the event I’m attending. My hope is that I can get the video played the following year at their amateur film festival. My questionsare do I have to shoot in HD to be current? Do I need a prosumer camera to acheive my goal or can Iuse something like a consumer camcorder?This may be a one time project so I’m not terribly worried about getting a camera that will bring me to professional level in the future. Having said that obviously I won’t be investing a lot of money in computer/editing hardware. I think my main concerns with this project will be low light situations, sound quality, and my own level of inexperience. Any suggestions for camera/other equipment that would suit this type of project with a complete newbie?



    • #197079

      “My questionsare do I have to shoot in HD to be current?”

      Nope. HD will never be mandatory for consumers. It will be much like color TV. Consumers today can still use a back and white TV if they choose to do so.

      No one will takes “points” away from you at your film festival just because it’s SD instead of HD either. Storytelling is about the story, not the technology used to tell the story.

      “Do I need a prosumer camera to acheive my goal or can Iuse something like a consumer camcorder?”

      I suppose you could get away with a consumer camera. The benefits of a prosumer camera would be mic inputs (so you can record audio with a better mic rather than the on-camera mic), and image control. Consumer cameras tend to “average” the exposure/focus, which may result in slightly less-than-desireable results. Since this is a one-time project, I don’t think you NEED a prosumer camera. Just have fun making your prject with a consumer level camera.

    • #197080

      Thanks so much. I’ve been looking at either buying a used PanasonicDVX-100a (which is SD)that is for sale near me or buying a new Canon Vixia HV40. This Canon has microphone input capability.


    • #197081

      I would actually go with the DVX. It shoots a great SD image and any computer can handle DV footage these days. I’m assuming you’re going to submit an SD DVD to the festival anyway.

      If you think you’re absolutely going to need HD for future home videos, and if you’re just stuck on the idea that HD will make them “better,” then go with the Canon.

    • #197082

      Hi! What software are you intending to use? I have a Canon HG20 and it is -ok I guess. I like the external mic input and the SD card recording. The HD I save as an option -if i would get out of memory cards. So far have I not editing yet, only saved a lot of documentary stuff, but I am confused over what editing software to choose. It seems like not every editor can take the canon hd format… Right???

    • #197083


      You’ll have to look up NLE programs and their “System Requirements” on the company website that created it. There will be info as to whether it supports mac, pc or both, RAM requirements and so on. Also it should list what cameras or formats it will support. Canon uses the ‘F’ scan rate (i.e. 24f, etc.) vice the ‘P’ (Progressive scan rate) or ‘I’ (Interlaced) that all other cameras use. Your intended software should have that listed if it supports it.

      Far as software itself goes, if you have little or no experience editing stick with the entry level stuff like Final Cut Express (mac), Movie Studio Platinum (pc) and the like. Inexpensive, easy to learn and use with just enough controls to make a serious enough looking project. Those two programs support a lot of different cameras, so you might want to look into them.

    • #197084

      Thanks very much Rob!

    • #197085

      So I’ve looked into the Panasonic a bit more and the seller tells me there is 1100 hours (a lot of it used as a VTR).This seems like a lot…still worth buying?

    • #197086

      If someone only recorded 1100 hours, i wouldn’t consider that a big deal. But if they used it as a tape deck, then they’re fast forwarding and rewinding and rewinding through a lot of tapes. Cameras shouldn’t really be used as a tape deck like that.

    • #197087

      Again, thanks very much Rob.

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