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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » Camcorders (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Camcorders
Steve Kraus
Film God

Posts: 4029
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 01-09-2003 02:50 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm looking for a new one, probably mini-DV although that's not etched in stone. Which do you like or dislike and why?

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Paul Linfesty
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1378
From: Bakersfield, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 01-09-2003 02:59 PM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm curently shooting with the JVC GY-DV500. we were able to aquire it for not much more than a Canon XL-1, and with good filters added to the (interchangable) lens, the harshness of the image is softened to where the image can look as good as a much more expensive one. I prefer camcorders with manual settings and XLR inputs, which this unit has. The menu settings can be difficult, though, as you have to keep going through a number of sub-sets to get what you want. I also like the fact the zebra stripes can be changed to different ranges, depending on what I'm shooting.

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Lionel Fouillen
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 230
From: Belgium
Registered: Nov 2002


 - posted 01-09-2003 03:48 PM      Profile for Lionel Fouillen   Email Lionel Fouillen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I bought the Canon MV500i this summer. My budget was low and I'm very satisfied with this model. So far I've used it with TDK tapes. Although there is only 1 CCD, the picture quality is very good. Sound is excellent but some people may find the motor noisy (personally I don't notice it when I use an external microphone).

The stabilizer is very efficient. Focus and shutter speed can be either automatically or manually adjusted. Both viewfinder and LCD screens are in color. Black/white and 16/9 photography are available. Digital zoom is '360' but I never use it and even turned it off, relying on the optical zoom: only '18' but this is already a big zoom. There is also a picture correction for filming surfaces with high reflected light, like snow or sand: I tested it and it works great.

You can also take still pictures which will be recorded during 5 seconds on the tape. For a few more bucks, model 530 (I think) allows taking stills on an included memory stick which makes them easier to import into a PC.

The only thing I don't like is the lens. It is not interchangeable and only allows the use of dedicated Canon filters and Tele/Wide add-ons. Now, as the saying goes, 'You get what you pay for' so if you want professional quality and flexibility, you may want to choose a more expensive and sophisticated model. But the Canon MV500i really offers a lot for what it costs...

When I was younger I had a Super-8mm Canon camera. Now I have a Canon camcorder and a Canon scanner connected to my PC. I realize I've always been extremely satisfied with Canon products.

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Paul Mayer
Oh get out of it Melvin, before it pulls you under!

Posts: 3835
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Feb 2000


 - posted 01-09-2003 05:24 PM      Profile for Paul Mayer   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Mayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This Paul will second the other Paul's comments about the JVC GY-DV500. I rented one about two years ago to record a friend's concert in Hollywood. Excellent pictures with the supplied (and interchangeable) Fujinon ENG-grade 18:1 zoom--much better pictures than the Canon XL-1. SMPTE time code on the tape (unfortunately not jamable, but it has BNC TC outputs), and continuously variable shutter speed (easy to visually sync up to video and computer displays). It's configured and balanced like an ENG camera so it does handheld work really well. But it's almost as big and heavy as an ENG camera--you will not be stealthy while carrying one, but you will get great pictures. Excellent price-to-performance ratio at the +/- $4000 (US) level.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17656
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 01-09-2003 07:36 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
You need to buy Panasonic's AG-DVX100. It will run you about $3500ish. I am so positive that this is the camcorder that you will end up choosing after checking out everyone else's recommendations that I'll tell you right now that you don't even have to bother checking out the other options. [Wink]

It is a MiniDV, 3 CCD and shoots at 24P with a built in 3:2 for 60i NTSC output. Any camcorder that doesn't shoot at 24P will have that "video" look to it, hence my reasoning why I like this one and dislike the others.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16091
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-10-2003 12:01 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think a very highly tweeked RCA TK-45 color camera and Ampex Quad machine(in half size semi rig) will definately outperform any of those handycorders you guys are looking at......
I bought a Canon something or other DV camcorder and its been in the shop more times than there have been tape cassettes through it! I finally gave up on it........The display is nice though!
Mark

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Steve Kraus
Film God

Posts: 4029
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 01-10-2003 10:32 AM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I haven't decided whether to take the plunge into "pro-sumer" land or just get something more basic in the $1-1.5K area. The logical question is what do I want to do with it and the answer is that I have no specific plans. My last video camera was a two piece portable Beta. Max not Cam!

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Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-10-2003 01:26 PM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a Sony VX1000. I works pretty well. It has three chips and firewire in/out. There are several 3 chip cameras on the market now and in choosing between them you might want to consider things like the cost of the batteries and chargers etc. I don't know about the other brands but Sony gets some pretty good dough for their stuff. DV tapes have come way down in the last couple of years. I get TDKs at Costco for pretty cheap now. They used to be about $25 each. I'd advise a rewinder gizmo too, so you don't put a lot of wear on the transport part of the camera

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10661
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 01-10-2003 05:37 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm still sitting on the fence in terms of which camera setup to buy. The problem is not so much the cameras as it is other areas. The format war with many various recordable DVD types is a big obstacle. I want to be able to shoot, edit and burn to DVD --and have the DVDs work reliably in any standard DVD Video player. The current drives on the market don't produce a reliable enough DVD disc.

Panasonic's 24p camera would be at the top of my list on models to buy. But I do wish it could shoot in native 16:9 format. I'm wondering when such 3CCD video cameras will arrive.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7952
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-10-2003 06:09 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Sony HDCAM unit is pretty nice. It can shoot 24p or 60i and there is a modified version which can accept Panavision lenses. All versions accept matte boxes, follow-focus units, and other standard accessories. Native AR is 16x9. The whole thing is very lightweight, too; it weighs less than most standard Betacam units. The only little problem with it is the price, though. Well, that, and the fact that HDCAM will probably be obsolete in a couple of years. Otherwise, I can highly recommend it for home use (but not for feature film production). [Smile]

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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Film God

Posts: 3977
From: Midland Ontario Canada (where Panavision & IMAX lenses come from)
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 01-10-2003 06:12 PM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Author's Homepage   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Scott, what about feature video productions?

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Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-10-2003 06:45 PM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Bobby
I just started messin with non-lnear editing on the computer. I got an IEEE 1394 (firewire)Adaptec card and some real simple editing software for $45 !!! Course I had to buy a large hard drive as it takes about a gig of hard drive for 5 minutes of video. But it works! I can download DV in real time, edit it and dump it back to the camera. When this stuff first came out at the consumer level it cost a bundle. Now it's cheap! I'm going to install Adobe Premeire this weekend and start the learning curve.
The future is here! Whoopee!

[ 01-10-2003, 10:31 PM: Message edited by: Greg Mueller ]
[ 01-10-2003, 10:31 PM: Message edited by: Greg Mueller ]

[ 01-10-2003, 10:32 PM: Message edited by: Greg Mueller ]

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Bill Carter
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 162
From: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 01-10-2003 08:16 PM      Profile for Bill Carter   Email Bill Carter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey Mark...

Have you got any good Ampex quads for sale? [Wink]
I'll pass on the TK45...
I've got Norelco PC-70's.

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 01-10-2003 10:08 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I personally do not like the "look" of television shows shot with the Sony 900F HDCAM 24P camera. Much as they claimed to look as good as film, shows like "Max Bickford", "Titus", and "100 Centre Street" still betrayed their video origins: clipped highlights without detail, pasty fleshtones, lack of real sharpness, etc.

As far as feature films...maybe digital cameras will look better than film a long time in the future, and in a galaxy far, far away. [Roll Eyes]

I really like my Kodak DX3700 Digital Camera. It's very convenient and takes nice pictures. But for important stuff, I still shoot 35mm FILM. [Cool]

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5242
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 01-11-2003 12:20 AM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
But for important stuff, I still shoot 35mm FILM.
Me, too. I have a Mitchell BNCR, but it's a little tough to get those handheld shots! [Eek!]

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