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Recommended Camcorders

Discuss everything related to stock video and After Effects projects on RevoStock!

StoneFaceMedia
 
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Recommended Camcorders

Postby StoneFaceMedia » Tue May 26, 2009 6:45 pm

Hello,

Just joined the site as a newbie after becoming very interested in shooting & selling stock footage.

After seeing all the awesome work others are creating I feel it necessary to upgrade my camcorder (Sony DCR TRV740). Is this a must or are others getting away with using similar hardware ?

Can anyone point me in the right direction and advise on what to look for to get the most bang for the money.

Thanks so much and cant wait to get started,

Jeff

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RevoStock1
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Re: Recommended Camcorders

Postby RevoStock1 » Wed May 27, 2009 5:40 am

Hi StoneFaceMedia. First of all, welcome to RevoStock! Happy to have you on our site!

RevoStock is really looking for cameras that are of Prosumer quality or better. The Sony you mentioned doesn't appear to be a Prosumer camera. As consumer cameras improve, we have been willing to make some exceptions with some of the better consumer cameras that are coming out as long as the video produced is the same quality as a prosumer level camera.

If you can upgrade I would recommend it. We can always check out your footage though to check the quality level.

Thanks and let us know if you have other questions!

Craig


StoneFaceMedia
 
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Re: Recommended Camcorders

Postby StoneFaceMedia » Wed May 27, 2009 6:33 am

Craig,

Thanks for the feedback. I'll try a few samples soon as an experiment. In the mean time, can you recommend a few different models of prosumer camcorders to start investigating?

Thanks,
StoneFaceMedia

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soundprostudios
 
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Re: Recommended Camcorders

Postby soundprostudios » Sat May 30, 2009 8:51 pm

A couple of the most popular high def 3 CCD prosumer models currently around are the Canon
XHA1 (now the XHA1-s) and the Panasonic HVX 200 (now HVX 200a....I think). Both are good cameras with a reasonably low cost. There are also still popular standard def cameras like the Canon XL1-s or the DVX100a.

There are of course many more prosumer cameras on the market....a good place to get a feel for the market is likely a online retailer like B&H to at least get a feel for the costs and general features. Lots of other sites like dvinfo and dvxuser will give you reams of info on cameras.

If on a tight budget then something like the Canon HV30 I believe is also acceptable here on Revostock but I'll let a moderater speak to that. From what I hear it is a great little camera in terms of image quality but would lack several manual control features.

Hope that helps to get you started,

All the best,
James Hooey


StoneFaceMedia
 
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Re: Recommended Camcorders

Postby StoneFaceMedia » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:22 pm

James,

Thanks for the reply. The search has narrowed to a choice between the Sony HVR-V1 and the Panasonic HVX-200. If anyone can comment on these two side by side it would be much appreciated.

Thanks also for the B&H recommendation. I'm finding that resellers like "RogersCamera" and "BingoCameras" offer prices too good to be true. B&H as well as Abes of Maine appear much more reputable.

Thanks again and best regards,
Jeff

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Murphymedia
 
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Re: Recommended Camcorders

Postby Murphymedia » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:53 am

Jeff,

I own the HVX200 and before that shot with the Sony Z1 for 2 years. I don't think it differs much from the V1.

In my opinion the HVX is superior, because you can shoot multiple formats on the P2 card and it also has tape. The color space of DVCPRO HD 4:2:2 is much better than HDV. The HVX also under- and overcranks.

One thing that I have found problematic with the P2 is shooting long form. the file sizes are big and sometimes takes long to capture from it's native .MXF to QT. If you have Adobe CS3 or up then you can edit native .MXF file with them, but it is still a little unstable (at least with CS3). But like with anything with experience you find the ins and outs of these things.

In my opinion the HVX is definitely the way to go, but it also depends on the type of things you want to film.

Hope that helps :)

Kerry


StoneFaceMedia
 
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Re: Recommended Camcorders

Postby StoneFaceMedia » Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:14 am

Kerry,

Can you explain "under/over crank" you referred to with the HVR-V1 ?
Not to sound too much like a newbie but how can I get up to speed with all the different formats, technology, terminology, comparisons. Are there sites that explain is easy to understand terms, it can be mind boggling ?

Regarding the HVX-200, the idea of having both tape and P2 storage is nice (tapes are cheap on a tight budget but have room to grow & use P2 when price falls).

Can the tape store the same formats as the P2 card ?

Regarding filming content, initially it will be outside shooting, wildlife, nature, structures and anything specific to the are we live as it is unique.

Thanks again :) ,
Jeff

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Mark Fogarty
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Re: Recommended Camcorders

Postby Mark Fogarty » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:08 am

Jeff

I too own an HVX-200 and can answer a couple of your questions about it. The "over/under cranking" Kerry is referring to is in regards to the HVX-200, not the Sony camera.

Overcranking is when the camera "shoves" more frames through for the same amount of time. So, the HVX-200 will allow you to film 60fps in 24fps mode (or 30)... meaning when you play it back you will get 2 1/2 times slow motion... really smooth... no stutters from post-production slow motion. For an example check out

http://www.revostock.com/Stock-Video-Fo ... on-Man.htm

Undercranking is when the camera "shoves" fewer frames through for the same amount of time, resulting in faster then actual motion... aka. a timelapse. The HVX-200 can create some beautiful shots when you combine it's ability to undercrank along with it's syncro-scan shutter. The camera will allow you to go as low as 2fps. An example would be this...

http://www.revostock.com/Stock-Video-Fo ... se-pan.htm

I would also recommend you watch what Barry Green, the HVX-200 guru, has to say about this topic...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlCAA7CYTd4


Concerning the HVX-200, formats and tapes... you can only film SD footage unto tape... any HD footage must be recorded to the P2 cards. TheP2 workflow is different and takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do it would be pretty hard to go back to tape. The HVX-200 creates .MXF files which are pretty big and can become a challenge to archive. When filming at the highest resolution (1080) you are generally looking at 1gb per minute of footage.

I do really like no longer having to capture footage from tape. I simple plug in my camera (or, if using my laptop, plug the P2 card in) and transfer the files and begin editing immediately. It's so easy to delete clips in camera before you transfer files which will help keep storage space requirements down a bit.

I also like that, since each shot on the HVX-200 is a separate, unique file, it is easy for me to sort through and organize the footage, whether it's stock footage for Revostock, or multiple takes for a storyboarded video.

Kerry mentioned the length of time to convert .MXF to QuickTime... I can't comment on that. I use Adobe CS4 and the footage works smoothly in both Premiere Pro and After Effects. I also have used Adobe CS3 with the footage and had no problems so I can't comment on Kerry's experience there.

A couple things to keep in mind with the HVX-200... it is known to be a less than stellar performer in low-light. For me that's not too much of a problem because most of my work is storyboarded videos using lighting... but it can be frustrating when in an uncontrolled environment.

Also, the HVX-200 gives a softer, grainier, dare I say, nosier, footage than some other cameras (especially compared to the Sony EX1/3). Some people don't like it while others do... I personally like the look... it feels more filmic to me.

Overall I'm am very happy with my HVX-200.

Sorry for the long winded response... hope this helps some.

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postquis design
 
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Re: Recommended Camcorders

Postby postquis design » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:51 pm

Jeff,

Have you looked at the Panasonic HPX 170 ?

No tape transport but other advances compared to HVX 200.... reviews rate it better in low light along with some operational improvements.... check this review out...

http://www.dvpa.com/public/659.cfm

just another option in the $ 5k 'ish retail price range
Image


StoneFaceMedia
 
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Re: Recommended Camcorders

Postby StoneFaceMedia » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:02 am

Ron,

I did take a quick peak at the HPX170 (very enticing), thanks for pointing that model out.

My overall budget is about $4000 which will probably include some extras (extended battery, carry bag, training DVD's, Sony Vegas) so the choices are limited. As such, I hope the Sony HVR-V1 will be a good camcorder to cut my teeth on. I've got to start somewhere.

Having all these choices reminds me of a great video by Barry Schwartz on the "Paradox of Choice"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO6XEQIsCoM

Thanks and best regards,
Jeff

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postquis design
 
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Re: Recommended Camcorders

Postby postquis design » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:41 pm

Jeff,

Check this article out on the Sony HVR-V1 .... it is from back in early 2007... so take note if there have been any updates since then relative to the reviewed version.... don't know for sure but just a heads up.

http://www.dv.com/article/13656

The person writing the review has been around the professional broadcast industry for quite some time and is well known...... and if you haven't seen the article, you will see the depth of his analysis when reviewing cameras..... he puts them on professional test charts to assess their technical performance.

As you get into this craft and research various aspects of shooting..... should you come across his "by-line",... I would take the time and read his material.

Another thought for a camera in your budget range might be the Canon XH-A1 ?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 ... order.html

I believe there are producers here still shooting stock with this camera. Some have added 35mm DOF adapters to it for shallow depth of field.

just some more thoughts and options....

good shooting !

Ron

EDIT: I see Soundprostudios has already shared the Canon as an option above.... sorry for the redundant mention.
A BIG consideration in this price range should also be the quality of the glass that comes on the camera,
whatever camera you choose. So take note of any resolution chart tests. Down at this price range
concessions are usually made by the manufacturers to hit certain price points.
Image


StoneFaceMedia
 
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Re: Recommended Camcorders

Postby StoneFaceMedia » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:58 am

Ron, Mark, Kerry, James, Craig,

Just saying thanks for all the help with camera selection. All the advice and considerations helped narrow down the choices. Ended up ordering the Sony HVR-V1 from B&H due in this week, cant wait to get started.

Also wanted to pass this along if anyone else is thinking about a Sony. Their offering a $500 rebate as well as other intensives if you order before the end of June.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/FrameWork/R ... AB2009.pdf

Theres also a $50 rebate on Sony Vegas

Best Regadrs,
Jeff


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