Camera upgrade advice please!?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by bbqforce10, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. bbqforce10

    bbqforce10
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    Hi

    I've been using a Sony HC94e and whilst I've been fairly pleased with its performance there are some limitations with it that is making me think of upgrading to a more professional level camera.

    I'm pretty new to the camcorder world so would appreciate any advice.

    Ideally I want a camera that has an adjustable zoom speed, enabling me to do smooth zooms at a steady rate.

    I also want to be able to do pull focus shots so would need a camera with easy to use manual focus controls, and I guess ideally with a focus ring on the lens.

    I will be shooting a lot of interiors, and whilst sometimes I will use lights, other times they may need to be naturally lit (or with household lights on), so a camera that performs well in low (ish) light conditions would be good. The Sony that I have is showing its limitations here, with quite a lot of noise and lack of colour.

    Wide angle lens - My Sony has a 45mm lens and I've been using it with a 0.6 converter giving 27mm....this is still a little narrow. I guess in an ideal world I'd like to be able to go to around 20mm.

    Regarding format, I guess miniDV but am open to suggestions. I'm not particularly worried about HD at the moment but would it be worth getting an HD camera to future proof things? Especially if I ever wish to produce anything for broadcast. I've been told about the Panasonic cameras using P2 cards, and I think Sony and others offer memory stick / hard drive options...are these the way forward?

    Apologies if I am asking a lot....but would really appreciate some guidance as there seem to be so many cameras out there!

    Would be prepared to consider secondhand kit.

    Budget is £1000- £2500 (ideally at the lower end to start with!)

    Thanks

    Adam
     
  2. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    I tend to not look at the pro models in that price range much as I get envious...

    The P2 camcorders are expensive - some as much as £30,000.
    I think this is the cheapest one
    http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/public/view_item_cat.php?catalogue_number=panasonic_ag-hvx200
    The cards themselves are expensive too.

    Sony, Panasonic, and Canon all have HDD/flash models using AVCHD. None of these are considered pro models (AVCHD is a consumer format). But some of these cams have things like focus rings etc. Probably not better in low light than your HC94 though.

    Sony and Canon also have pro HDV models, and "semi pro" ones which use tape which are in your price range.

    Sony has a new flash memory XDCAM EX model, similar to the Panasonic P2 range... but over your budget
    http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/public/view_item_cat.php?catalogue_number=sony_pmw-ex1_pk1

    With your budget I think you'd be best off with a HDV model, like the Sony FX7 (which strictly speaking isn't a "pro" model, the V1 is the pro version)
    http://www.purelygadgets.co.uk/show...32&wysiwyg=1&gclid=CPzD6Pqrj5ECFSHQXgod_Fjolg

    Or the Canon XH-A1
    http://www.digitalrev.com/en/product_details.php?item_id=1489
     
  3. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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  4. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    What is "Pro" can mean different things; to me a model is pro if it comes from the professional/business arm of the supplier (rather than from the consumer division). By that definition the FX7 isn't pro (I said it wasn't), but the V1 is, and that is under £3000. The Sony HVR-A1 is also pro and under £1500... though that still seems alot to me for what is a glorified HC1, when you can get a HC7 or HC20 for less than half that. Though if it meets the users requirements it shouldn't really matter if it is a Pro model, or a high end consumer "prosumer" model.

    I do agree that is a good price on the Canon A1 though...

    And I agree if you are looking in the £1000- £2500 range and want good low light and pro features it needs to be tape. In the £500-£700 consumer range the performance of HDV vs. AVCHD is close, and you can argue both are options. But in this higher range, you need to spend much more (for the likes of the Panasonic P2 or Sony EX models) to get away from tape.
     
  5. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    i think the fact that some shops sell them as pro when they are not confuses some,wish i could afford one,hell no i doubt i could carry one far.

    but they are semi pro no argument,most wedding video people use semi pro cams as they deliver good performance but a pro cam is way above the fx-7 v1 and canon a1 price range.
     
  6. senu

    senu
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    To be sure even stopping at the FX1 and VX 2100, I get strange " Pro looks" when out and about
    The "baby" HC1 with its hood actually looks like a yet to grow up Pro

    Pro does give better quality but does it exist to satisfy the yearnings of the Pro (at a cost ) to someone who wont use 1/2 the Pro features and whose output target may not know the difference.. ? Yes

    It makes a case for lusting after the Z1 ( which is still High end "Semi Pro" bristling with Pro features and some cal outright Pro anyway) but realising that the FX1 isnt a poor relation at all:D
     
  7. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    i read on a site somewhere of a chap who had just bought a canon hv10 and he said it had definitely had more resolution than his z1,z1 etc have many pro features but for a true pro one would have to go to the sony hvr-hd1000e etc.
     
  8. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Looking back at the wish list of the OP:

    - Smooth steady zoom

    Models like the FX1/FX7 have a ring control as well as a rocker. If you are shooting on a tripod, a good Lanc control for the zoom will give you the most control. The zoom rockers on these physically larger camcorders also give more control than those on small models.

    - Wide angle

    The FX7 35mm equiv us 37.4 in wide screen mode. The FX1 is 32.5. I think the Canon A1 is the same as the FX1 (both have a 4.5 lens with 1/3” sensor… Canon doesn’t do the 35mm maths for you). So these are slightly wider angle than your typical compact model.

    - Low light

    The FX1 and the Canon A1 especially with 3 large sensors should match or better the HC94 in low light… though the HC94 is pretty decent there. Note that models like the HV20 or HG10, whilst very good, won’t be better than the HC94 in low light.

    - Focus ring

    You can get a focus ring on a few of the compact models, but it is rare. These larger models (FX1/FX7/A1) have a focus ring.
     
  9. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    the canon a1 is way above the fx1 as regards semi pro cam ,i think the thing that puts me off it slightly is the fact there are so many settings and options regarding picture settings,but again many use it with the hv20 on double shoots.regarding the fx-7 which i own thats a [more expensive]consumer cam.the ex1 great if a smaller one is ever made but it does not have interchangable lense option like true pro cams.the canon hL1 does but i would still put it upper semi pro.
     
  10. bbqforce10

    bbqforce10
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    Thanks for all of the advice so far everyone......plenty to think about and some interesting models to investigate further.

    Adam
     
  11. senu

    senu
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    It is also rather more costly unless Canon have brought down its price and Sony have insisted of keeping the FX1 costly after all this time
    Unfortunately it seems that Between £7-800 and £1500 there is a barreness in camcorders choice.. Such that there is a very clear demarcation between Semi Pr Pro and consumer ( albeit higher end)
     
  12. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    not much difference going by the price of the one mark showed us,
    http://www.digitalrev.com/en/product_details.php?item_id=1489 i agree about little choice between 800 to 1500£.
     

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