Camera for Action Sports Films

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    • #71043

      So I have read over many forums and reviews but I am not having much luck on deciding the best camera for my needs.  I am looking to get into more serious action sports video and hoepfully even make a small film down the road. Mainly Mountian biking, snowboarding, and wakeboarding. I have been using various action cames and DSLRs, but really want to step up in quality.


      I also plan to do some other work, to actually make a little money and reputation, in small comercials and music videos for local bands and venues. Mostly promotional videos for web distribution. 

      I know overall CCD is superior for fast moving subjects, which will be my primary subject for videos, but CCD appears to be going away, at least in the pro-sumer lines.


      Currently my budget is looking to be around $1,000. I have looking primarily at used HDV cameras since they appear to be CCD and in my price range.


      Some quick notes overall: I would prefer a newer model, but it seems no one has a newer model CCD camera in my price range, or even in prosumer lines. Recording to SD or HD would be prefered but I beleive I can use a computer or external recorder to overcome that. Smaller form factor would be prefered since I will need to get into awkward positions at times to capture the shots I want. I already have a conon t3i so I am not looking for any other DSLR as options. I am really leaning towards CCD since I will be focused on action sports.


      So basicall the list below is what I have found to be good options. 


      • Canon XH A1(s) – Its a conon and has 20x zoom lens. Great reviews etc. Would prefer the S but a little harder to find and usually a little more so top of my budget.



      • JVC GY HM100- New model and specs look good, but a little high on my budget. But if the extra $ is really worth it for the picture quality etc then I would feel ok spending more.


      • Sony HVR-Z1u- Usually a few hundred dollars more than the XHA1 so i am not sure if it would be worth the extra $ or if that extra $ would be put to better use for other equipment I will need.


      • Sony HDR-FX1 – No 24p(f) mode. I would prefer to shoot some material in 24p to get more of a film/movie look.


      Lasty I was looking at the


      • JVC GC PX100- Newest model of the list, but CMOS. Altough claims are that the camera has built in technology to help overcome rolling shutter issues. I am sceptical of this and even if the camera can produce the same quality image as the others, but for the price and having a newer model is tempting.


      If there are any other models out there that I may not have dicovered please provide recomendations. 


    • #208969

      I have an XHA1 and I'll tell you what I would not do, I would not depend on it's plastic body to survive a drop, especially if taken to a ski hill and it was frozen. Static shots would be fine, I've done that using hand warmers wrapped around the tape and battery compartments. I've also had the humidity warning go off while I was recording in a green house. Great camera but it's not a sports camera. Besides, you don't want HDV tapes, go for a CF or SD camera and get a metal body. The Canon 60D was similar to the T3i except the T3i (4 and 5 too I believe) are plastic bodies.

    • #208970

      " Panasonic AG-HVX200 – Selectible framrates, and P2 card storage "       Well I can tell you that I really like mine! The P-2 cards are expensive and a person can't have too many on hand . . . or at least have a way to offload and re-format the cards ' in the field ' ( P-2 card reader and laptop are fine ). At least you don't have the picture problems associated with AVCHD format. For really tight places I'd seriously consider a GoPro, since the HVX-200A is not exactly a ' small ' camcorder.

    • #208972

      Yeah I have a SOny action cam for the real on the mountian and POV view stuff. Really wanted something for the stationary shots.


      I would like to stay away from HDV tapes, but I havent seen many options for HD prosumer model cameras in the 1-1500 dollar price range

    • #208981

      Thanks for your input here and on AVS. THe BMPCC is looking really tempting right now. I do enjoy the flat image that i captures and the ability to really push the image in post.



    • #208975

      Hi Aspire – I still recommend a used VG30 camcorder body over any other of the old HDV tape or P2 cameras.  And the $995 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and $1200 Panasonic AG-AC8 shoulder mount are other possible options in your price range, depending on how much extra rigging you want to buy and how much work you want to do in post.


      In my view, you will get higher quality images out of the sensors in modern cameras than out of the XH1A or HVX200.


      Please see my complete answer over on the AVS Forum.


      Good luck with your decision!



      Hybrid Camera Revolution


    • #208990

      Glad I could help.  The BMPCC does take a lot of work, but for me, at least, the images are worth it.


      Best of luck!



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