Please help me choose an HD Camera

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    • #43543

      Hi guys! I’m a newly graduated film major from the University of Michigan, and my father is putting money towards an HD Camera for me as a graduation gift… but I just can’t decide what to get!

      I’ve tried to find as many sample clips as I can online, but it’s just not enough to go on.

      What I’m looking for is a semi professional camera. I want to try for the closest "film-look" I can get… so 24p will most definitely be my final output, via post or the camera itself. I’ve used Gl1’s, Gl2’s, and dvx100’s in the past, but I’m a big fan of HD and would rather not go this way unless people absolutely think it’s the right thing to do, possibly with an xl1 or something along those lines.

      Anyhow, my budget is 1000 dollars from my dad and up to possibly another 1100 from me, though the less I spend on the camera, the more accessories I can get, etc… Anyhow, my requirements are as follows. For format, I do not care. I find 720p beautiful, 1080i, great, and pretty much any framerate fine, as long as I can turn it into 24p later, as I love that filmy-slowness, lol. I also want manual focus controls, and as many other manual controls as possible. While I have to admit the Canon HV20 footage I’ve seen online looks amazing, I don’t want a "camcorder" like that body-style. I want something I can really upgrade the lenses on, if possible, and at least a lens hood, etc… something that will be more professional for making shorts and such. I’ve looked at the JVC gz-HD7, but can hardly find any sample clips. I’ve found 1ccd vs 3ccd doesn’t really matter as much as overall image quality to me. I am very experienced with computing and will probably be able to get a good post image out of most cameras with time, but just don’t know what route to go.

      I wanted the hdr-fx1, but I fear it may be just a tad too expensive… even though I’m totally open to used cams from ebay.

      My main question is what do you guys think of the JVC HD10 cameras? A little old, but I’ve found one for 1400, and it has the pro features I like, such as a great build-quality, xlr inputs, great lens upgrades, etc… would this camera be sufficient? I saw a film trailer "Kenya," that was shot on the hd10 and it looked pretty good, though perhaps a slightly bland look in terms of color variation.

      Please help me guys! What do you think?

    • #182635

      I just wanted to add that I’m seeing a ton of films made with the canon xl1/xl2… are they really that good? Should I just forego my HD-fetish and get one of these beauties? Gotta admit I do love the body-style and features…

    • #182636

      Not that anyone’s seen this… but my budget is now up to around 2800-3000… please help me decide!

    • #182637

      This forum sucks. }:-@

    • #182638

      Well, right now, HD isn’t at its fullest, though it is a trend that will become standard. HD DVD burners and Blue-Ray burners as well as players are costly items to consider as well. In addition, you would want a fast computer and lots of hard-drive space. Of course, you can downgrade HD to SD, but right now wouldn’t be the most opportune time, for a budget like that. For HD to be fully exploited, there has to be the complete circle.

      Nonetheless HD cameras are great, and look very good, but you can get a much better SD camera for the same price.
      I’ve been working with the XL2 for a while now, and it has many professional features, and a very beautiful image. It has all the manual features you would expect from a prosumer camera (aperture, shutter speed, a zoom ring, focus ring, and more). In addition, it records 24p in a 2:3:3:2 pulldown, and is a very good value for its price. Honestly, if I were you, I would go with a nice SD camera.

      Do some research and figure out if its really worth it to go HD, and good luck.

    • #182639

      I would recommend the Sony HVR-V1U eventhough it’s out of your budget, but it is possible to pick it up for $3500. Just wait a lil and save to get it and end all this. Remember that lighting is essential and HD cameras are terrible in low lighting, you’ll need a good lighting package regardless of what HD camera you choose. Lighting…$500-$1200. You can also go the cheap route and buy a bunch of headaches opposed to just a few headaches.

    • #182640

      If you budget is limited to $1000 or less
      I may suggest Canon HV20.
      Canon HV20 HDV camera is good and simple for consumer-level user,
      but not a pro camera of cause.
      It can shot 24p but I had hard time with using 24p streams.
      So I shot interlaced 29.97 1080i, than deinterlaced and resized to 720p.
      You may have some problems with drivers for HDV cameras to transfer video
      to PC. But it is possible to resolve (see my other post on this forum).
      Once Firewire is connected the drivers gets installed and you can
      transfer HDV video to PC using for example free program capDVHS
      Canon HV20 is probably one of the best "consumer" HDV cameras on the market.
      I managed to make good HD video with it using tripod if sunlight is good.
      See for example video of Moscow Circus performance on
      HD video sharing web site

    • #182641

      Buschdogg Wrote:

      …my budget is now up to around 2800-3000… please help me decide!

      If you can swing it I’d say go with either the Sony FX1 or V1U, or the Canon XH-A1. There are cheaper HDV cameras which might be okay for starter purposes, but the three I mentioned would suit you better long-term.

    • #182642

      I would recomend a Canon XH A1 because it is right around you price range and I think it is even better that the Z1u and V1u. The v1u uses CMOS which is a chip that needs alot of light to produce a decent image and the xh a1 uses the regular CCD’s which are the best right now. The xh a1 is used on many shows and offers a 24f function which is almost like the 24p mode on other cameras. The xh a1 has XLR ports and BNC cable jack, built in mic with shock mount, and 20x optical zoom, to name a few cool feachers.
      I hope this helped.

    • #182643

      2010 HD Camera Guide ReleasedRED, Genesis, Phantom

      As we enter the digital revolution, are you ready to thrive? Ive just released the 2010 HD Camera Comparison Guide and am excited to show it to the forum. This compilation of interviews on digital cinematography is uncharted information from working professionals in the field and will bring peace of mind and confidence to those looking for more technical knowledge and confidence on digital motion picture camerasincluding the RED ONE, Phantom, Genesis, EPIC, Mark II, Panasonic AG-HVX200

      Please visit for audio clips, industry news or to purchase the CD.

      The Guide is an uncharted resource on the power and flexibility of digital technology so you can use your time to shoot! The interviewees have touched on the quality and caliber of the RED ONE as a revolutionary camera at its price point, how HD technology integrates with CGI work, the collaboration and role of the cinematographer, lighting for HD cameras, shooting ratios, image quality, camera weight and ergonomics and other topics.

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