I have 7 HD cameras, but only


I have 7 HD cameras, but only one pro, the others prosumer or consumer. The Sony A1U is my pro workhorse and I still use it a lot. I very much like tape, especially now that prices have dropped. The main reason is archive. If my computer crashes, hard drive fails, I always have those tapes. Hundreds of them stacked in racks. It is true that the newer flash drive cameras have better quality, but not by that much. I regularly mix formats and cameras. HDV is fine for me. I also shoot a Panasonic GH2 hacked to 150 Mbps from its native 27, and like it a lot. But I’m not great at backing up personal and family clips, so I’m worried about losing some clips forever. My A1U with mic and light mounted looks professional, shoots great, and gets lots of comments. You XH-A1 is even better and if the clips satisfy your quality needs, keep it and keep shooting. I’m still selling stock clips shot with the A1U, so it satisfies some commercial customers. I’m always buying 3rd generation to keep the cost down. Now eyeing a GH4 for 4K, but that cost has not come down much. Put it in a cage or rail system, add an external mic, and it looks very professional. I got a Canon studio TV lens, f1.4, for a steal on ebay and put that on GH2 (or eventually GH4), in shoulder or tripod mounted rail system, and nobody notices the small still camera format camera I’m using. For online or DVD, the 1440×1080 is just fine. If you have work for 4K and can make more $$, invest. I find the only limit I don’t like with tape is the one hour recording time. With a fast 128G card I can shoot for hours. That and tape real time transfer to computer vs much faster digital card transfer. If the transfer time or 1 hr limit isn’t a factor for you, stay with what you have. Let your customer’s demands tell you when it is time for change. Don’t change just for the sake of change, or to satisfy camera envy. The latter is a trap you’ll never get out of.

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