Camera Advice

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    • #56167
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      Hello All–I’m looking to buy an HD video camera in the $2000-$3500 range for use as a freelancer. I have a Final Cut Express on my IMAC at home, and would like to buy something where ingest is simple without transcoding. I’m interested in DSLRs but between audio and hand-held downsides, I wonder if that would work for me. I’ve shot extensively on SONY XDCams, and liked those. But they’re not the only good camera. I’d like a couple of XLR inputs on it, and prefer by far shooting on cards instead of tape. Thanks in advance for whatever counsel you can give.

    • #206949
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      Please be orderly about your response here, folks. Don't everyone chime in at once, just take your turn and be civl (insert smiley face here).

    • #206951
      AvatarCville
      Participant

      VTexan

       

      i read your post the other day. The way I read it you already know about Sony so I could offer no help since I am a Sony shooter. I think they have a couple in that price range that could work for you. 

       

      I might suggest you post up a couple of camera models you think may meet your needs and see what some of the users have to say about them. 

       

    • #206954
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      A Panasonic HPX-170 would be my choice, although a couple P2 cards would put you over your " budget ". I absolutely love my HVX-200A and the HPX would be a wonderful mate to it if I really needed a second camcorder.

       

      I'm sure you will be flooded with positive advice from the foaming-at-the-mouth DSLR fans, but if you're accustomed to handling a " real " camcorder you might find a DSLR requires a bit to much futzing around and compromise in the way of extra lenses, not-wonderful audio recording, poor monitoring, AVCHD codec, etc. But all that may be a small price to pay for the all-important " depth-of-field " gimmick . . .  which CAN be achieved with a good camcorder . . .

       

      Rick Crampton

    • #206957
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Hi VTexan, the $3425 Sony NEX-EA50 will give you the large-sensor "DSLR look" with the shoulder-mounted ergonomics of a camcorder.  It records to inexpensive SDHC/SDXC cards. It has dual XLR inputs and a servo zoom as well.  Yes, you will have to transcode from AVCHD+, but you can do it easily within FCP. Here is what this camera can do:

       

      http://vimeo.com/62976246

       

       

      This camera doesn't require any compromises to make it behave like a camcorder.  It is a camcorder – with the large sensor and interchangeable lens advantage of a DSLR.

       

      It also shoots 16.1MP photos, if you'd like the ability to take high resolution stills on the set.

       

      If you really want a camera with XLR inputs that shoots FCP compatible .MOV files below $3500, you  will want to look at the $1950 JVC HM-150U.  With the JVC, you will lose the depth of field control available from large sensor cameras.  Here is what this camcorder can do:

       

       

      If you don't mind attaching a $349 Tascam DR-60D recorder (see review here) to the bottom of a "DSLR-style" body to get your XLR inputs, the $1298 Panasonic GH3 shoots to 1080/60p .MOV files, which can be imported directly into FCP without transcoding, and can produce images like these:

       

      Music Video:

       

      Narrative:

       

      Documentary:

       

      Hope this is helpful,

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

       

       

    • #206960
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      I've hit the mother lode of advice. Thanks a lot folks; much to go through and study. I sure appreciate the advice.

    • #206961
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      WOW! I just read the buyer's reviews of the Sony NEX-EA50 camera

      here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=NavBar&A=getItemDetail&Q=&sku=887069&is=REG&si=rev#costumerReview

       . .  and they're all over the map!

       

      RWC

    • #206978
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Interesting. Users at Amazon and Adorama uniformly love it.

    • #206991
      AvatarTunguy
      Participant

      What a pity that the NEX-EA50U does not have ND filters!!

    • #206997
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Yes – it's unbelievable to me that Sony left the ND filter out of both the FS100 and EA50. Especially at their price points.

       

      But this guy seems to have addressed this problem, at least for adapted Canon lenses – and for not a lot of money:

       

       

      Cheers,

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #207000
      AvatarAviv Vana
      Participant

      If you can handle focusing on your own the DSLR's are the way to go to get the best images.

      This is coming from a cinematographer of course.

      They will save you in lowlight and get you great looks with the DOF. All u would need is a juicedlink xlr adaptor and maybe something to make holding it easier. Though a monopod can solve 90% of your situations. 

       

      Good luck!

    • #207008
      AvatarTunguy
      Participant

      Bill, Thanks for posting those fantastic examples.Am I right in assuming that the JVC 150 has an advantage having CCD's rather than CMOS? Looking at the clips done with it, I dont see any rolling shutter with the panning views.

    • #207013
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Hi tunguy, you are absolutely correct.  The $2K JVC GY-HM150's CCD sensor eliminates CMOS "jello".  But, you would have to give up the shallow depth of field "look" of the large sensor cameras.

       

      To get rid of rolling shutter on a large sensor CMOS camera, you'll have to spend a whole lot more money for one of the new cameras with electronic "global shutters" – such as the $29k Sony PMW-F55 or the $4K Blackmagic Production Camera πŸ™‚

       

      Hope this is helpful,

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

       

       

    • #207021
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      I recently read a review of the 4K Blackmagic camera ( either Videomaker or TV Technology ). One of the negative aspects of this camera was ROLLING SHUTTER!

       

      So the struggle continues: large sensors mean " shallow depth of field "? Maybe the SDF golden quest comes at the expense of rolling shutter and AVCHD codec? SDF may be more " easily " achieved with a large sensor camera, BUT IT IS NOT impossible to schieve in a 3 CCD, 1/3" sensor camera if you know what you're doing! Does joining the SDF crowd make one a more " professional " videographer? Is SDF a " look " which should dominate one's productipons? Isn't SDF more applicable to dramatic productions? What about sports?

       

      When will we begin to appreciate our videos in terms of their subject content and construction, and less in terms of razzle-dazzle technicals?

       

      Rick Crampton

    • #207024
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Understand your point, Rick, and in general I agree. But cinema goers and TV viewers expect the shallow DoF field look in narrative motion pictures – so, as a producer, I try to give the customer what he or she wants. If I don't, it costs me money πŸ™‚

       

      FYI – Videomaker reviewed the 2.5K BMCC with the conventional shutter,  not the new 4K Blackmagic Production Camera with the electronic global shutter (designed to eliminate the rolling shutter problem – we'll see), which was released last week and is not yet available to reviewers.

       

      Best,

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #207025
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      okay . . . then the review I read was in TV Technology . . .

    • #207027
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Rick – the recent  tvtechnology.com review was also of the 2.5K camera – and doesn't mention the rolling shutter. Unless there is a review of the brand new 4K camera out there that I am not aware of? If so, can you provide a link?

       

      Thanks,

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #207029
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      The April 12 issue of TVTechnology had the review of the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera, it appears. I throw away the mag as soon as I've finished reading it, so I don't have a hard copy reference; and I don't subscribe to the online version, so that may be why I can't access the article to read it. But the Cinema Camera was reviewed and I did read it . . . but since I wasn't all that much interested in the camera I sorta glossed over the article. BUT I do remember, perhaps it was in their evaluation box of pros & cons, " beware rolling shutter ".

       

      I hope this gives you enough information

       

      Rick Crampton

    • #207030
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      SPOOKY! I noticed that when I pasted the Blackmagic camera name which I copied from the headline of theTVTechnology review article in the previous post it came up as a link! So I clicked on the link and behold, there was the complete article. I scanned over the text and sure enough there was no mention of " rolling shutter " . . . . so maybe I dreamed it? Or maybe the online version has been " samitized "?

       

      Rick Crampton

    • #207031
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      The Videomaker review does mention it.  Rolling shutter is indeed a problem for the 2.5K camera, I am not arguing that.

       

      What I am saying is that the electronic global shutter is supposed to eliminate rolling shutter on the 4K camera – but that camera is so new that there are no reviews on it yet, so the jury is still out πŸ™‚

    • #207032
      AvatarTunguy
      Participant

      Sorry about going on with this issue of rolling shutter, but I think that the appearance of the "jello effect" virtually negates the creative benefit one gets from the DOF. So, if it IS. Possible to get the shallow depth of field with the smaller sensor CCD camera ( as you said- "you just have to know what you are doing") then ( and considering for the most someone like me is not filming drama), does it not make sense to get a high end CCD videocamera?

      even with my Sony FX 1000, I can get a somewhat shallow DOF if the lighting is good.

      Otherwise, the CCD videocamera for most of one,s shots for all the advantages of a proper videocamera and use a DSLR  sparingly as a second camera for when definitely wants shallow DOF or filming in very low light.

      any thoughts?

    • #207033
      AvatarCville
      Participant

      I know this has gotten a little off topic but with so much talk about rolling shutter and dof how come no one makes a large sensor ccd? Or do they?

    • #207035
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      " The Videomaker review does mention it. Rolling shutter is indeed a problem for the 2.5K camera, I am not arguing that. "

       

      I'm really not " arguing " any of this. I went back to the article in question in TVTechnology and read it this time; and yes, it is a review of the 2.5 K Blackmagic. I guess what threw me off was the picture of the thing which somehow I associated with the 4K camera.

       

      If I have any " argument " it's with the number of novice vidiots who think that they absolutely MUST have a " film look " and insist on shooting 24P; and the same crowd who go roaring off in persuit of the Golden Fleece, shallow depth of field; as if these were the only two features required to certify them as professional videographers.

       

      Now obviously one's prefered style of production would/should influence choice of cameras. I just can't imagine trying to use a DSLR with all the attendant doo-dads which are necessary for good sound, monitoring, focusing, etc, in a one-man field documentary where one doesn't have the luxury of " time " to do so . . . .  strictly because they gotta have that shallow depth of field.

       

      Each camera design comes from what the manufacturer sees as giving them a marketing advantage ( price not being the least of which ) and the features they offer are heavily promoted. Often many of these features have a negative counterpart. Single chip CMOS most often means rolling shutter . . .  but single chip also means that color sampling is achieved by dyeing an array of pixels on the sensor ( a dicey proposition ) and then sorting them out mathematically.

       

      Network news cameras such as used in high profile sit-down interviews such as 60 Minutes, mostly use large, expensive, " shoulder-mounted " cameras ( albeit on a tripod ) which use three 2/3" sensors. The best of both worlds in the " depth of field " department.

       

      My hobby shooting style would benefit from a shoulder-mounted camera as opposed to my DVX-100B and HVX-200A which are in themselves limiting as to steadiness of shooting and portability. Perhaps if I were shooting dramatic productions with a crew I might see the wisdom of a DSLR . . .

       

      Rick Crampton

    • #207051
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      I expect that on most all shoots there will be a crew of one: me. A real percentage will probably be fairly run-n-gun, a lot of wide shots on events, and probably a fair amount of interviews. I like shooting music and enjoy doing it hand-held more than on sticks. Given all that as premise, DSLR just doesn't seem like my solution. The trick for me at least is in wading through all the other options. I want really good pictures, ease of use, the ability to shoot at least semi low-light and the ability to get it into my Imac quickly. I sure don't feel the need to rush into trends either. 

    • #207089
      AvatarJoseph
      Participant

      NX5U? It's a bit over your budget but seems like a really nice, well respected camera.

       

      Also, the new Canon XA-20 might be an option if you don't mind touch screen menus. It leaves you a little budget left over for a good mic or two.

    • #207098
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      The Sony is real impressive, but a review I read noted its poor performance in low light. One of the things I expect to shoot is a night parade. The Canon looks real good, but is brand new, and not even available 'til June. I'd really like to buy within the next week or 2. I may have to wait; we'll see.

      Research continues…

    • #207169
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      The more I look at this the more I wonder if designing my purchase to fit a Final Cut Express editor is the wise thing to do. 

    • #207199
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      VT – the more I look at what you want to do (handheld low light video of music performances, a night parade), the more I think you are looking for the Panasonic GH3.  Its .MOV files will import directly into Final Cut, and it is great in low light with fast lenses.  Here are a few examples.

       

      Indoor low light music performances:

       

      Copter/Steadicam:

       

       

      Tripod:

       

      http://vimeo.com/62549056

       

      Handheld:

       

       

      Night Exterior (not a parade, but lighting should be similar):

       

       

      I am a one-man-band too – and I avoid DSLRs because their sound monitoring, recording time limits and autofocus issues make them a challenge to deal with in a run and gun situation – but the GH3 is not a DSLR.  It is a no-compromise video-centric camera that is as easy to shoot with as a camcorder.

       

      Good luck,

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    • #207210
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      Bill–

            I watched the videos and was very favorably impressed. Then I clicked on the link to see the Panasonic and was surprised to find what sure looked like a DSLR to my eye. The reviews are almost universally positive. I watched a B&H instructional video on it, and continued to be impressed. I still see audio problems–I like a pair of XLRs on a camera–and there's the whole hand-held thing to figure out. Different stabilizing rigs for different sized add-on lenses. Then of course, the which lens to buy decisions. 

           Keeping up with the changes in video is a full time job itself.

                                 Jack

    • #206994
      AvatarTunguy
      Participant

      Bill, Thanks for posting those fantastic examples.Am I right in assuming that the JVC 150 has an advantage having CCD's rather than CMOS? Looking at the clips done with it, I dont see any rolling shutter with the panning views.

    • #207009
      AvatarLeanMeanGreenScreen
      Participant

      Hi, My name is Jason, and I have an unused JVC GY-HD200u for sale. I purchased it brand new, but never had a chance to use it. I purchased some extras for it as well. It is in unused, immaculate condition. This happens to be the exact same model that is used in filming “America’s Most Wanted”. I originally purchased it to film a documentary, but as soon as I received it, my back went out, and I will not be able to use it. As I said, there are extras I purchased separately for it, such as a Pearstone flight case (which holds everything), the upgraded Anton Bauer battery pack and mountable charger (allowing you to save on battery power simply by plugging it in), and a Rode M1 Shotgun Microphone. I really need money right now, so I would like to sell all of it together for $3,500 o.b.o. my cell is 1 – (7 one 7)- 8 two 9 – 1 three 88. Thanks!

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