Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Professional Camcorders › What camera would you suggest?
October 17, 2017 at 9:15 AM #95676
I have been using 2 Sony PMW-EX1Rs for the last 5 years making lecture videos for a college. We have a nice studio built now and I am looking for a new camera to replace these. They have been good and given us a good images, but with all the new tech that has come out since they were first released its about time to replace them.
I am looking for a professional camera that I can use in a low-light studio. Typically, I record in 1080p/30f, though I take it down to 720p/30 in post. I do a lot of greenscreen work and think a chroma-sampling of 4:2:2 would be awesome. My budget is around $7000. Any suggestions?
October 17, 2017 at 11:37 AM #216307
Assuming you got on well with the EX1’s, why not look at something like the Sony HXR-NX5R and buy two? Very similar to how your old ones worked, and the look of the stuff they shoot is quite similar?
If you want to move to separate stuff, I’m quite a lover of the BlackMagic Designs cameras, as I have some old B4 mount glass to hang on them. I’ve not even had to spend my own money because a colleague hires them to me quite cheaply!
November 8, 2017 at 9:24 AM #277854
With the NX5R I’m still not getting that 422 sampling, which with the amount of Green screening I do is a must have.
I have looked at the BlackMagic Designs cameras. They are great cameras and I think the URSA would be amazing, but I would have to do major changes to my workflow to make it work.
I have been doing some research and am thinking about getting 2 Sony Z150s and a Canon XC15 for run and gun. I don’t need the 4k but the codecs and 422 sampling are winning me over. Does anyone have experience with these cameras and can tell me yay or nay?
January 17, 2018 at 8:28 AM #278125
Good afternoon everyone!
I'm new here and I joined 'cause I would like you to guide me and give some advices about what camcorder I should buy.
I'm not a professional but I'm looking for something for this level. I have a JVC Everio GZ-HM30BU I bought in 2012 and I would like to move on. I would like to be able to manualy handle focus and iris, amoung other settings.
So, I started to read and watch some videos on internet and I have 3 models in mind.
a) Panasonic AG-AC90
b) Sony HXR-NX5R
c) Sony PXW X70
It would be so helpful if you could give me your impressions or share you experiences about these models or tell me whether I should consider other brands and models.
Thanks in advance!
January 17, 2018 at 9:56 AM #278126
My preference would be the NX5, because I quite like the images and the feel of it, but the other two are pretty similar – and the Panasonic is available quite cheaply at the moment. They do have manual focus, but I don't like it much because it is a continually rotating dial, not a proper focus ring – so you can't use it to preset distances like you can on a real lens. The Panasonic is quite old now so is it worth buying second hand? probably. I like the NX5 the least – but would be happy with the other two, depending on price.
January 17, 2018 at 11:19 AM #278131
Hi paulears! Thanks for replying. One question: what do you mean when you say "I don't like it much because it is a continually rotating dial, not a proper focus ring"?
And when you say "real lens"?
Is there different types of focus ring? Different ways of manage the focus ring?
January 18, 2018 at 10:45 AM #278143
January 19, 2018 at 2:37 AM #278146
With detachable lenses, focus is a mechanical adjustment, so there is a scale where you can set a focus distance which will be accurate. On film sets you see focus checked with tape measures! On permanent lenses focus is usual powered with a servo, and there is no direct mechanical link so the ring is just a rotary knob. Turn it one way, it focuses out and the other focuses back, but you need to do it visually. Sony introduced the XDCAM format quite a while ago, originally recording to special disks. The broadcasters lived it. The other format is newer and has some spec differences that's all.
January 19, 2018 at 6:43 AM #278147
There really isn't much difference between NXCAMs and XDCAMs nowadays. As far as I can see looking specs wise, NXCAM has more options for recording in AVCHD codec than XDCAM so unless you are very reliant on recording to AVCHD, then I would just choose whichever camera gives the most bang for the buck!
Camera wise, while the AG-AC90 is not a bad camera, you would probably do yourself a favor if you looked more at the AG-UX90. Much better sensor, pictures look great, and there is a general upgrade in specs from the other camera, around same list price. Like Paulears said you can get a really nice price on it, but you get what you pay for too.
The NX5R is a great camera and you should get good images on it. Just make sure that the codecs fit your workflow.
As for the X70, it is a compact camcorder (handicam for all intents and purposes). It gives great images but lacks an Iris and zoom ring. I would probably go for the new Z90 (check out Doug Jensen's youtube for footage) as it is an upgrade over the X70. It gives great images and the form factor is small making it easy enough to carry anywhere. It will give you professional results, and costs bout as much as the other cameras.
January 23, 2018 at 4:58 PM #278166
Hi Kenny! I've reading and watching testing videos of the Z90. Images are incredible. But, I saw it doesn't have the three rings (focus, zoom and iris) like the NX5R. It only has one ring and you have to select what you want to manage by using a buttom.
As you said, it's like the X70, an upgrade over it. If I'm correct, the big difference is that Z90 is a 4K camcorder.
So, is it worth? I mean, with the NX5R I have more control over the image given by the three rings. So, is it worth to give up on the controls the NX5R gives me in exchange the 4K quality?
I haven't search about the codecs enough, but I believe any of these camcorders's codecs should work. I'm using Sony Vegas 9 Pro for my videos edition.
I also could go for the HXR-NX80 (the NXCAM version of the Z90), but, again the question: is it worth?
Another thing, 4K quality implies more storage disk space for backups.
January 24, 2018 at 6:21 AM #278175
That was what I was warning about the X70 as well as the Z90. You lose some control since you don't have those extra rings (the one ring on the X70/Z90/NX80 is for either Zoom or focus). I would say if you want the experience of having control of those then get the NX5R like Paulears was saying or the Panasonic UX90. I do think it is worth it to have the extra rings just for the control they provide. As for 4k, I would recommend everyone start upgrading that way, but since you seem to be doing this on a non-professional basis (from your original post), if your computer doesn't have the capacity for 4k I'd say don't worry about it. 4K file sizes depend on what codec you use, the Z90 uses a 100mbps codec so the file sizes are very manageable compared to a Canon XC15 where the codec is 305mbps and those files are huge.
Is it worth it to have 4k over extra control? From what info you've provided us I would say you could do with both. I think you would love the images that 4k provides with the control of the rings (Panasonic AG-UX90). If you think 4K is too much, which is okay because 4K is a beast in itself, then I would say get the Sony NX5R or NX100.
It really is up to you. All we can do is give you our opinion on specs and real world experience.
January 24, 2018 at 7:07 AM #278177
Hi friends! I appreciate and respect all your opinions.
I have never had a camcorder like these. I believe, at least in my case, this would be a camcorder for the rest of my life, so that's why I make all questions that comeup on my mind. I'm triying to ask everything and to learn everything about it in order to finally make a good purchase. This is a very expencive product, at least in my country, and I don't think I would have the chance to buy something else like this in the future, either 'cause I didn't like the image or I don't feel comfortable the rings location or the lack of three rings or something else.
As I said, I'm not a professional video maker but I want something with more options than a family handycam.
So, that's why I turn to your knowldge and experience about this stuff and I appreciate it a lot.
February 15, 2018 at 7:47 AM #278289
Hi friends! After several days of research I find myfelf here:
– I dismissed the NX100. It's a great entry-level camcorder, in fact, I was very excited about it, almost decided to buy it. But, I read some bad reviews about it, customers complaining about errors after some month of using or after a year. Some complained about the focusing, others about a stabilization system failure (Error code: E:62:10). After consulting I was advised not to take the risk. So, I sadly dismissed the NX100 and had to move on and look for other models. This is a typical case of "this could happend tomorrow or this could last 100 years without any problem". I know, it's technology, nobody can predict what is going to happen.
– I started looking at the Z90, like you said it's a broadcast camcorder so I moved to the NX80, professional, not the level of the Z90 but not a common costumer camcorder level neither. Thing is, here, in Argentina, the cost of the NX80 is the same, more or less, as the NX5R. Checking the Sony Store, I found the cost difference is USD 950 (NX80 cheaper than NX5R). So, putting the 4K quality aside ('cause I won't edit 4K videos), are they the same? I mean, obviously they aren't, but, they have different bodies, different control settings. I know this will be a personal decision based on my needs and the future use I'm going to give it, but, I would like you to give me your point of view: If you would have to make your choice now between the NX80 or NX5R, what would you choose?.
By the way, comparing the sensor of the NX80, a 1" sensor, with the NX5R, three 1/2.8 sensor, does the NX5R have a good quality image in low light?
– Another offer I got is the X70 for USD 2800. Is it a good camcorder? Does it worth? Does it have things that were corrected or improved in the NX80 or Z90?.
– I also was looking at some JVC models, like GY-HM620U. Are JVC models good camcorders? Should I keep JVC models in mind?
I don't know much about JVC, I know the GY-HM620U is a professional broadcast camcorder. Is there any JVC entry-level camcorder I should look at?
Yes, it will take time until I find the ideal camcorder for me. But, I prefer to do this, a research. There's no perfect cam, but I need to feel comfortable and convinced. Meantime, I keep reading, asking, watching test videos.
February 15, 2018 at 8:30 AM #278290
You definitely do not want to rush into choosing a camera! Take as much time as you need to find the perfect fit for you! You might also see if there is a camcorder store near you where you can test out the cameras for yourself.
I can't comment on JVC camcorders, though I have heard good things about them.
As for the X70, it is the model that the Z90 and NX80 are based on. The NX80 and Z90 are upgrades of the X70. It is a great camcorder, but I have heard from owners that if you are thinking about getting it, you might as well upgrade to either the Z90 or NX80. They have several enhancements for a small bump in price.
This is just my opinion, but while the NX5R is a great camera and will give you good images and control, you might want to get the NX80. Since you said you would be using it more recreationally, it is ideal in its size it small and light and easy to take wherever you want. It also has great auto-focus when you need it, but also has the ring when you want to practice manually focusing. You may not record in 4k for a while but it is becoming a standard along with HDR across many platforms so it gives you room to grow, expecially since you pointed out that whichever camera you buy it may be the only one for a while. You still get all the controls of a professional camera even if some are condensed into the menus. That's only my opinion, but definitely see what others say about the other cameras as well!!
February 22, 2018 at 10:03 AM #278325
Hi friends! I'm still researching. Don't worry Kenny, I won't rush into choosing a camera. Time is not important.
First of all, as for the option of testing out the camcorders by myself, it's not avaiable. All stores bring the equipment if you order it first. The reason? Well, acording to them these are expensive camcorders to have them in stock. They bring them if they are sure you'll buy it.
Well, as for the models we talked before, I've been looking at the X70. It has varied comments, some good and some bad. I believe these issues were resolved in the NX80, so I read about this new version of the X70.
I was surprised to see the NX80 also has negative comments. Yes, I know what must be thinking: "All models have negative comments. It's subjetive. All depends on the experiencie of each customer."
But, I read them all.
So, I found some customers complained about the focusing and others about a touch screen failure. You know, about these camcorders, the X70 and now the NX80, the touch screen and the removable XLR handle unit are things I never liked of them.
As for the touch screen, I think is not something for equipment like these. It's something delicate or fragile and I dont't like to leave my fingerprint on it everytime I have to change something.
As for the removable XLR handle unit, I was never in favour of removable things. I'm sure they are made to bear everything and to last, but I have the feeling it's going to break.
I'm not saying I'm dismissing the X70 or the NX80, but, I keep in mind the negative comments and also the fact the X70 is quite old now, the only thing positive I see is its price.
So, regarding Sony, the NX5R is leading my list so far. I didn't found negative comments about it. Just a few customers mentioned the fact it's not 4K and that it might not be the best investment in terms of creating higher resolution content down the line. But, I didn't found negative comments which mention software or physical failures. That's why I placed first on my list, while the only negative thing I could say about it it's the price, but I keep it there 'cause I know I could go fot it.
About others brands, well, I didn't have time to look at JVC, but, one thing I read about is they are a bit noisy, I mean, their cooling fan is a bit noisy. But, I didn't have time to read about image quality, their performance in low light and stuff like that. What I do know is that their price is a bit high, even a bit higher than the NX5R, taking the prices published in the JVC web page as reference.
As for the resolution, well, as I said I don't think I'm going to edit 4K videos so far. I know it's all turning to 4K but I think it's not for me right now. I think I even wouldn't be able to edit this kind of resolution and I don't have in mind upgrading or buying a new Pc.
As far as I could see in Tv, news channels use Full HD camcorders, Sony, Panasonic, Canon. I think I didn't see them using 4K camcorders.
I'm not and I won't be a professional journalist, but I take them as reference. If they use some of these cameras it's because they are good.
Have you heard about these issues with the NX80 / X70?
Have you heard about issues with the NX5R? Is it good to have this one as "highly possible" acquisition?
So, that's all at least for now. Thanks!
February 24, 2018 at 7:24 PM #278341
One question: what's the difference between NTCS and PAL sistems?
I mean, for example, the NX5R has two version: NTCS and PAL. What should I choose? Will I notice any difference in the picture if I'd choose the system which is not used in my country?
February 25, 2018 at 5:53 AM #278344
Realistically, the difference now is no longer critical at all, unless you need to squirt you video in analague to a conventional colour TV through the antenna input – and I guess we don't really do that any longer. UK PAL TV had a frame size different to US NTSC, and had different subcarrier frequencies and methods of handling the interlaced pictures and how colour was derived. Now we are in the digital domain – it's mainly historic. So 25/50 frame rates are what PAL used and the US ones, were based around 60/120, with the wierd sub-standards of drop frame 29.97.
If you have a file created on a camera in the UK, we would normally use 25 or 50 fps because it matches everything else we have – old displays VT machines etc, in the States, 30/60 makes sense. However – both of us could happily use the other system nowadays. The differences between PAL and NTSC were mainly because we handle the colour information differently – with digital files, this doesn't matter any more. Computers and other display devices only look at frame rates – so the cameras that have compositve video ouputs will be one or the other, and sticking NTSC into a PAL CRT monitor doesn't work!
February 25, 2018 at 7:28 AM #278349
Hi Paulears! So, basically, what you are saying is that it doesn't matter the camcorder version I buy, it could be NTSC or PAL, I won't notice any difference nowadays, unless I need to do something like you described: "Squirt you video in analague to a conventional colour TV through the antenna input."
But, as I'm going to work directly with digital files I could buy any of these systems. Am I correct?
March 13, 2018 at 9:01 AM #278456
Hi friends! Well, I've been suggested to go for the Z90.
Most of the suggestions were based on the new 4K resolution. But, there's something I don't understand.
I've told not to choose the NX5R due to the time it's been in the market, I mean, the time it's pased since its lauch date. Other people told me it's still a great camcorder and it worth going for it.
So, my doubt is, why the NX5R, an almost 1 year and half old camcorder, is more expensive than the Z90, a 5-6 month old camcorder?
The prices I got them from Sony's webpage:
NX5R (Launched September 2016) – 3249 USD
Z90 (Launched December 2017) – 2799 USD
If this difference is correct, then, there must be something the NX5R offers and the Z90 doesn't.
What do you think?
March 13, 2018 at 10:42 AM #278457
The NX5R does offer extra features that a full sized camcorder would be able to support over the Z90 which is a compact camcorder. That extra bit is paying for the bigger battery, LED light, slighty larger display, and most importantly, the lens which is larger, faster and has a longer optical range than the Z90.
Theat being said the Z90 has its own advantages though being newer. It's lighter, more portable, cheaper; it has slow motion up to 120fps; the sensor has 14 megapixels stuffed into the sensor for better image quality in good light; The optical zoom is shorter, but the Clear image zoom (which is just as good as optical) goes to 24x, and the Digital Zoom (which I would use sparingly) goes out to 48x. All which leads into the previous arguements I guess lol.
To be honest, they are both great cameras, and I don't think you could go wrong with either one!
March 15, 2018 at 6:47 AM #278479
Hi! I was looking at the NX5R specifications on its manual and I see the following thing:
In order to record using the XAVC S HD codec I need a SDXC card.
Now, the slot A accepts “Memory Stick PRO Duo” and SD cards, while the slot B accepts SD card only.
A SDXC card, is a SD card? I mean, will slot B accepts a SDXC card?
So, if it does, it will be able to record in XAVC S HD using both card slot, right?
March 15, 2018 at 8:53 AM #278483
Yes a SDXC card is a type of SD card. There are two types SDXC and SDHC. The differences between them boil down to read and write speed, how fast and much they can record to the card at a time. SDXC type will write much faster and honestly you should just not even worry about SDHC cards.
Yes both slots will, and you should only use, SDXC cards. There is no need to use the other cards unless you are recording in SD for some odd reason.
Memory stick Pro Duo is a holdover from the Standard Definition days, so no need to even think about it!
Yes you will be able to record XAVC S HD to both card slots!
March 30, 2018 at 10:28 AM #278544
Hi friends! One question, in case I consider the NX5R or the Z90 equipments too much advanced for what I'm going to do, what do think about the Sony FDR-AX700?
It's NX80's and Z90's little sister, but I think, as far as I could see in internet (YouTube and stuff like that), it's a great semi-professional camcorder. I think it's a step foward of the common cheap home camcorders. I believe it would be a good intro to manual settings, such as focus, iris and zoom (althought it has only one ring), gain, white balance and stuff like these.
In case I need pro audio I think I can attach one to the MI Shoe connector. It has 2 card slots which will allow me to do relay recording or backup recording like the NX5R.
Also, as far as I could see it has a good image stabilization.
And of course, its affordable price would allow me to buy some extra stuff, like mics, battery pack, carry case, etc.
What do you think?
May 16, 2018 at 8:07 AM #283063cire39Participant
if your wanting low light you might want to look at the eva1?
May 22, 2018 at 6:20 PM #283707BabsdoprodParticipant
I currently use the Sony AX100 4K camera for my home videos and upcoming barrage of Youtube stuff and I would consider it the most “fun” camera I’ve used in a long time, especially coming from DSLR cameras and even my new RED One MX. It’s just a joy to use and the footage looks really great and there’s always the external recording option if I ever wanted higher quality or simply Prores. Plus the 4K night vision mode for messing around with the scary ghost hunting look is a treat! It doesn’t have XLR recording without the outrageously expensive adapter Sony makes so I just use a little Zoom H4N when I need external audio. If you need footage examples, look at my Youtube page for my Fatal Frame 5 gameplay videos under Babs Do Productions.
July 30, 2018 at 8:11 PM #71105268BreendaParticipant
hello, Iam a new finger on camera. And I am a girl and interested in photography. If there any camera recommended for girls? Thank you advanced!
August 3, 2018 at 8:27 AM #71105707
Hey Breenda, welcome! What is your budget for a camera?
January 16, 2019 at 3:15 AM #72006649sheryl_gaskinParticipant
Sony PXW-FS7M2K W/SELP18110G 4K Camcorder
Sony HXR-MC2500 Shoulder Mount AVCHD Camcorder
Panasonic AG-UX180 4K Camcorder
Canon XF405 Professional 4K Camcorder
These camcorders are best in the market, you can go for any of these according to your budget
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