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Just got my new Sony...WOW!!!.......

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by fcat, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. fcat

    fcat
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    Just took delivery this morning of my new Sony DCR-PC55E WOW it this thing small for a mini dv camcorder! it the same size as a packet of cigarettes but a bit thicker.

    Looks fantastic, if it performs as well as it looks it will be a cracker!!!

    http://www.unbeatable.co.uk/CatalogueItem_25180.html
     
  2. ksteed

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    I was going to add a thread tonight to see if anyone had purchased one of these. I was going to pick one up at the weekend so am looking forward to you letting us know what you think of it.
    I am suprised how cheap it is really, shame it does not record in widescreen format.
    Look forward to your opinion.

    kev
     
  3. fcat

    fcat
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    HI Ksteed

    I havent really had chance to use it yet, first impressions after "playing" with it though

    It really is incredibly small!

    Menus are very accesable through the touch screen

    Recording button on the LCD screen is a nice touch.shame they didnt put a zoom controll on there though.

    Zoom lever is small but easily controlled with the thumb.

    Most of the controls are done by the touch sensative screen, playback controlls, menus etc, theres actually only 5 buttons on the exterior! Zoom, on/off, Record, Photo shot, eject.

    Has DV in and out, comes with docking cradles that has connections on for USB, IE1394, DC in (will charge whilst docked) AV in and Out. It also does analogue to Digital passthrough, playsback NTSC recorded tapes!

    My hands are pretty big and when holding the unit my finger does tend to rest naturally just a bit close to the lens.

    One thing i am a bit puzzled about is the battery slides into a slott thats integral in the camcorder, the slott is the exast size for the battery thats supplied with the camcorder, however , looking on websites for the high capacity battery reveals that its 3mm thicker, this means it wont fit in the slott!!

    LCD screen is great, very crisp

    Tape transport seams quick, 4 seconds to eject (or load) from pressing the eject button

    5 seconds for camera to turn on from pressing the on button, seams long to say but its ast enough.

    I opted for the balck one, its more like a very deep dark blues, and its like a metalic paint effect!!! They actually make them in Silver, Black, Red and White

    For the money its actually a LOT of camcorder, i have found in the past that having a smaller camcorder you use it a lot more, this one is certainly great to carry around in your jacket pocket(even fits comfy in my jeans pocket!!) and just take it out and start shooting!!
    Would i recommend it?? from what ive seen so far , definatly.

    Once you see it in your hand you'll want one Ksteed,

    Fcat
     
  4. JayX

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    I've never got the whole "need a tiny cam" thing personally, I've always wanted the biggest cam I can get! There's a reason professional cams are that size, I find with these miniscule cameras you're pretty much paying for size over the quality of the internals. For the same price you could get a bigger cam that would probably shoot better images, plus the heavier the cam the better you can do a lot of shots with (definitely for stability reasons)

    Not knocking you for your purchase, you seem really happy with it, it's just something I personally don't understand. I'd have one as a 3rd cam (already got 2 :D ) just to have in my rucksack or something at all times, but if I know I need a camera, I have no qualms with lugging round either my fullsize beast (generally in a big metal flightcase) or my smaller, but still 3CCD and prosumer, one in its soft case in my rucksack.
     
  5. fcat

    fcat
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    I think it depends on your needs and what your using it for.
    I just want it to have in my pocket when i go on vacation or at friends partis etc. Ive no need at all to lug a big camera around just to have the picture a fraction better quality or a fraction steadier. For what the average person wants it for i would think size is of HUGE importance. I know for a fact that if i had to lug a larger camera around ide use it a LOT less than i would a small one.
    Just been able to take it outa your jacket pocket, push a single button to turn it on and on to start filing within 10 seconds is exactly whats needed for most people.
    If i was filming weddings, using one for a business etc then it would be a totally different thing. As it is, the footage will probably be transferred to a DVD , given to a few people who were at the party/on the vacation, they'll watch the dvd , enjoy it and probably not view it again! the last thing i want to be carrrying around on a vacation is a big metal flight case!,lol

    cheers
    Fcat
     
  6. JayX

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    Heh thats where we differ, if I knew I was going to somewhere like the Bahamas again, I'd forget the clothes and just take the flight case! The colours out there combined with a nice big lens/CCD array would be heaven.

    I can see where you're coming from with regards to parties etc, personally I'm really paranoid at taking my equipment into that kind of environment.. easily broke or stolen, and with such low CCD sizes (1/6" single CCD) that most have, the picture usually only turns out barely watchable anyway I found in the past (my friend used to have to shoot everything in the students union on nightmode. yech!) Thats my problem tho, I generally film a lot indoors, and for that you need a big camera full stop. Unless you're working on analog video of course. As stated if I had the budget for another camera and I didn't want another big cam (which, I probably would mind!) I'd have a lil thing for "always on me use" but I can't say I'd ever drop down that small for primary use. I'd love to see one with all the accessories on it tho :D (Beachtek XLR box, Mattebox, Shotgun mics :D) I reckon it'd look pretty cool :)
     
  7. fcat

    fcat
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    <<<<<<Heh thats where we differ, if I knew I was going to somewhere like the Bahamas again, I'd forget the clothes and just take the flight case! The colours out there combined with a nice big lens/CCD array would be heaven.

    Im sure the colours are great etc but somethign like that no matter what camera you use is not going to be appreciated unless your there in person. How many times do you hear people say " the video doesnt do it justice, you had to be there to see it" ?


    <<<<<<<<<I can see where you're coming from with regards to parties etc, personally I'm really paranoid at taking my equipment into that kind of environment.. easily broke or stolen,

    Yeh i could imagine it not being much fun having to keep an eye on your flight case all the time while trying to enjoy the atmosphere:) mines just in my pocket, safe as houses :D


    <<<<<<<<and with such low CCD sizes (1/6" single CCD) that most have, the picture usually only turns out barely watchable anyway I found in the past (my friend used to have to shoot everything in the students union on nightmode. yech!) Thats my problem tho, I generally film a lot indoors, and for that you need a big camera full stop.

    Im guesssing here but ide presume most people buy camcorders and use them more on holidays than anywhere else. that being the case lighting etc should be fine. How many camcorders do you see for sale on these forums and on ebay for sale only used once on holidays or only used a couple of times!

    <<<<<<<<<Unless you're working on analog video of course. As stated if I had the budget for another camera and I didn't want another big cam (which, I probably would mind!) I'd have a lil thing for "always on me use"


    Again thats what a camcorder is to 99% of the people its a camera just to have with them to take a few videos when there on holiday, family gatherings etc, your in a fortunate posistion due to having 2 camcorders, most people only have one and thats why most people opt for the smaller one to always have on them to use! I myself have 3 and there all small so whats that all about,lol


    <<<<<<<<but I can't say I'd ever drop down that small for primary use. I'd love to see one with all the accessories on it tho :D (Beachtek XLR box, Mattebox, Shotgun mics :D) I reckon it'd look pretty cool :)[/QUOTE]

    But thats not what 99% of the general public want! (or probably even know about!, shotguns to them dont mean mics!) hence their not designed for those type of add ons, if you want those type of add ons your more than just a member of the general public who wants to shoot a few videos, to you its a hobby and somethgin that interests you and the cameras you have suit you for that reason.

    :thumbsup:
     
  8. Mr.D

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    Crikey talk about lens envy!

    I personally think that most of the larger laughingly called "prosumer" cameras have more to do with attracting a certain type of buyer rather than representing any massive improvement in image quality over the handycams.

    I'm considering buying one of these little sony's precisely because its so small its more likley I'd bother to use it.

    If on the other hand I'm shooting something serious I'll round up a film crew and an arri. I won't whip out an unweildy XL1 or pd150 say and delude myself that I've somehow become David Lean.
     
  9. fcat

    fcat
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    lol, the Sonys just right for what you want:)
     
  10. Timse1981

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    Now you have had the camera for a few days what do you think of the camcorder? The camera seems quite good for what I would possibly use it for taking pictures of railways. I dont want a large camcorder that I need a massive bag to carry round. I would like a camcorder that is easliy carried around with reasonable picture quality.
    Thanks

    Tim

    PS I suppose the trouble with reviews is that one person might say a camcorder has mediocore pictture quality and sound interferance. But a second person might find the noise level and picture quality acceptable.
     
  11. fcat

    fcat
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    I really havent used the camera as such yet, im going away for a week later this week and will be using it then outside, probably shoot a couple of 60 minutes cassettes, ill let you know when i get back what the qualitys like

    cheers
     
  12. Timse1981

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    OK Fcat,

    Thanks

    Tim
     
  13. klr10

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    Actually I am David Lean :D :rotfl:
     
  14. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    "mainframe engineer" thats rather quaint !

    Do you meet with a bunch of other enthusiasts and discuss restoring the coolant systems of Crays? :D
     
  15. klr10

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    Yeah, you're right - I guess I should change that. I was for a very long time (15 years) but now I work on these little toy things... I'll do it now - :rolleyes:
     
  16. klr10

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    No - it was Amdahl water cooled and we do sometimes still get completely :censored: and wonder what happened to all the old faces :rolleyes:
     
  17. Wayne Moule

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  18. Timse1981

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    Wayne,

    I cant find any prices for the Sony DCR-PC1000E. Do you know where it is for sale?

    Thanks

    Tim
     
  19. JayX

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    Often I hear that. Generally due to people using cheap cams on fully auto mind! A good camera in full manual operated by someone who knows what he's doing + good post work can make a scene better. Ever watched a behind the scenes extra on a DVD where it looks like crap (cheap set etc) then the DVD looks great? There ya go. I know a pro photographer who removes all unwanted things from his work before they go to print (people, trees etc) and they look 100x better for it.

    Well I take my flightcase to gigs most weeks, and not once has anyone ever tried to make off with it. Nobody would dare try! Been hit plenty of times where my pocket is tho, one direct hit will break your LCD or lens, and its not that hard for that to happen.

    Plenty. Why? Because people realise cheap miniDV cameras are useless for indoor shooting!

    To some, sure. You could fit my prosumer cam in a small bag tho, not your pocket granted. Most people out and about on holiday take a bag with them, especially women. Half these people would buy the slightly bigger camera in an instant if they realised the £200 on top they were paying was because you could lose it up your arse if you sat down in the wrong place, not because of any quality increase :p


    indeed, anyone mounting those kinda accessories on a tiny cam are nutters.. still wanna see it for fun tho! like people who attempt to make their cars twice the size by adding lots of pointless plastic, would amuse me for a few minutes.

    The one thing that strikes me as bizarre tho, you're standing up for your camera.. and rightfully so... but before you've even used it?! this entire thread is based on the "its so small, isn't it cute!" factor .. thats utterly bizarre in my mind! The second I get a new camera, its on and shooting video (preferably with another camera balancing on top for contrast :D).

    I'm not quite sure if this one is for real or not.. seriously. You can't tell the difference between a £200 handy cam and a £1500 prosumer cam?! Please, don't ever even THINK about hiring out an Arri! The world has enough disasterous imagery in it already ;D I personally have one prosumer and one procam. obviously the procam is lightyears ahead of the prosumer, but it matches perfectly for a 2nd cam shoot, and as the audio will be off cam1 (xlr'd) as long as the lighting is good enough for it, much more interesting than just the procam on its own.

    And DV is a great format.. best not to mention your dislike of xl/pd's to people like Lars Von Trier or Steven Soderbergh!
     
  20. Wayne Moule

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    Release is April 2005, £995.

    Google for it.
     
  21. Wayne Moule

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    Would you say it's about as big as an audio tape, as I don't smoke?

    What's the battery life like using the LCD all the time?
     
  22. Roy Mallard

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  23. JayX

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    Understatement of the century, I'll bet its bigger than half the flipping kids! Still, everyone else will have nice badly colour balanced shaky footage whilst yours will look like Chariots of Fire :D

    Sad thing is, in 20 years time you know the equivalent of the 570 will be about as big as a fag packet :) And in 3D :D
     
  24. Mr.D

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    Well Steven Soderbergh didn't mention using DV at all the last couple of time I worked with him and Lars von Trier can't afford me but is probably the last person on the planet who would regard the differences between a consumer and prosumer miniDV as being worth commentary. He would quite happily use a pixelvision camera if one was to hand... he might even prefer it.
     
  25. JayX

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    His next film will probably be done with one of those lego cameras knowing him ;)

    I think von triers mix of DV and Film is one of the things that made Dancer in the Dark an absolutely incredible film. Soderbergh used XL1S' for Full Frontal. Crap film most will say mind, so doesn't really back up my comments ;)

    Personally I liked the use of DV (albeit in uncompressed form) in Collateral, whilst others didn't.
     
  26. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I do not regard DV as the same format as 24p HD video which is what Collateral was shot on although about a third of the film is also shot on 35mm and to be honest the HD shows its weaknesses. The whole film would have benefited from being shot on 35mm.

    Its great that you can go out and by a decent camera that gets you to about broadcast quality for under 3k thats you can pull into and out of your PC but DV has its problems. The colour resolution is awful and the aliasing on diagonals really upsets me when I see it on TV . It just screams that they shot something on DV. Its usable as a pro format but only just. I stil think betasp looks better 90% of the time.
     
  27. Roy Mallard

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    24hr party people was shot on pd150, 28 days later was shot on Xl's, these were by establised directors who could have had the budget for HD or even 35mm had they needed it, but wanted the grittiness of DV.

    the most affecting peice of motion footage I've ever seen was a BBC video nation series called 'looking for kat', which was shot by a recovering junkie going back onto the streets of London to try and find her homeless pal. It was shot on video 8 with no technical aptitude at all, but it was the footage that grabbed you...

    At the risk of being massively contraversial, what is broadcast quality?.
    Was all the footage of 9/11 and the tsunami broadcast quality?.
    Did some news editor sit and ponder, "well, I bet you the mobile phone that shot this wasn't 3 chip, so it gets cut".

    Whilst theres no excuse for shoddy footage when the occassion permits that it can be done properly I think a lot of people get caught up on the kit and forget about the content.

    Digibeta wouldn't make '3 non-blondes' any better (talent, comedy, ideas might) and yet the likes of the Sopranos would still be worth watching even if it were shot on u-matic (go on somebody please jump to the defense of u-matic)

    I'm currently expermenting with HDV, it won't ever compete with the results I've gotton from a (hired) Panasonic AJ910, but your more arthouse directors (you guys left out Mike Figgis! & Darren Aaronovsky) will probably do some of their best work on this format.
     
  28. Mr.D

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    Totally disagree. 24hour party people was shot on a PD150 and a couple of digibeta cameras. It was shot this way precisely because they did not have any money . They originally wanted to shoot on super16. They tried to get us to do their VFX work for a stake in the film and we said no! Having worked myself on Michael Winterbottom's previous films.

    28 days later was shot on an XL1 primarily to keep costs down and it caused no end of problems in post production. The footage had to be heavily processed to the extreme point of compositing in sky plates to replace blown out original photography and compression artifacts . They didn't even use the frame mode on the camera half the time and relied on a motion estimation based non-reatime deinterlacer to get the footage into frames The Dop is on record as saying he wished they had shot the opening scenes in London on film.
    I like the film a lot and I like the way it looks as I feel they get away with it if you ignore the shots that are completely blown out and crushed. It would have looked better on film and would have offered much more control over how the final image looked. they could have achieved a similar look without the ugly artifacts.

    Reportage footage is a totally different beast and fulfills a completely different role but even then there are cases when footage is rejected as being too low quality for transmission.

    The bare knuckle fighting documentary that caused an uproar years back and was subsequently never shown consisted of so much poor quality vhs camcorder footage that it was in no small part responsible for it being rejected for broadcast.

    Umatic has terrible flat blacks.

    You could shoot a film on a single tube CCTV camera with a plastic lens. You might occasionally get an interesting looking shot out of it but it will be an accident. Accidents can be fine but ideally you want to shoot with something that affords you a high level of adaptability and control and delivers a robust image.
     
  29. Roy Mallard

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    Yep the contrast ratio for DV and even DigiBeta is poor compared to film, but then thats why we have loveley sekonic meters and nice arri lights is it not?.
    But when you get down to it, it's only really another stop at each end, so that a charcoal suit may become black, or a very faint silver cloud may appear against a flat sky...

    Resolution wise, yep yer absolutley right, although most cameras I've used in the last few years have got over the jaggy diagonals (in fact only the very early vx1000's and dsr-200's really bothered me with this)...

    When you say you are a fan of 24p, then I take it you are using DVCPROHD and that you only ever shoot drama?. If so, fair enough, horses for courses.

    24p is a nice effect that suits certain subjects, but it's the camcorder geurillas latest tool (rememeber the not quite right widescreen masking that was deriguer a few years ago?) and is subsequently over used, especially giventhat the vast majority of those who will see thae footage are still using 50hz interlace tellys.

    I was told a very different version of the 24hr PP story but thats another matter... along the lines of sony wanted a dv feature to compete with 28days and made an offer that couldn't be refused...

    I am not going to argue that DV is as good as film, however I disagree with the original assertion that prosumer cams are no better than consumer cams.
    Unless you go to the top end of the market then DVCPRO and DVCAM and DV are pretty much varients on a theme. The lens on my 570 cost the same money as 2 xl2's, yet the guys who use cooke's sneer at my industrial lens.. where does it end?. For ever Avid user who sneers at final cut pro, theres a quantel user who'll sneer at avid.

    I think we can all agree that ultimately it is down to the aptitude and production values of the crew, not only in matters technical... I gave up telly work because a) the money is rubbish and b) the ideas are worse.

    I now take better holidays, drive a better car and have more fun than my former contemporys. Show my 5 prime time tv shows and I'll show you at least four closet alchoholic directors.
     
  30. Mr.D

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    I'm not knocking video per se. I just don't happen to regard DV as being all that nice a format. ; smeared misregistered colour especially reds doesn't go away no matter how well exposed things are.

    My main beef is with the guy knocking the little sony camcorder for not being "prosumer" when I don't happen to regard your XL1s PD150s and VX2100s as being particularly high end anyway. I'd be quite happy walking about with the little sony , I wouldn't feel I was missing out by not having an XL1 and an anamorphic adaptor.

    However I wouldn't choose to shoot a film on an XL1 either. I wouldn't get out of bed unless it was at least super16 or HDcam and even then I'd still wish it was 35mm.

    So I don't see why anyone should get elitist about the sony not being prosumer . Its missing the point.
     

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