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Semi Pro or Consumer

sachin

Standard Member
Hi All,

Since I only have a SD MiniDV camcorder (albeit a pretty good one) I wanted to upgrade to a HD model. The only thing is, it seems to me, that every five years I seem to spend £600 - £800 on a consumer model when there are some pretty nice semi pro ones for c.£3000 that would probably last me 10 years or so. Do you think it is worth re-mortgaging the house and selling my kidneys to buy a semi pro camcorder to take home videos, videos of days out, holidays and family functions instead of spending £800 every 5 or so years? Does anyone not in the film production industry here own a semi pro model?

Thanks,

Sachin
 

sachin

Standard Member
For example could someone tell me the pros and cons of the Sony NEX-VG10E and the Panasonic HDC-TM900? For double the money do you get twice the camera?
 

senu

Distinguished Member
The problem with camcorders now is that you need to ask are you just needing a " memory maker" or are you keen on very well shot video?
Yours is an unusual depature from posts from folk who want to stop at £80-100 max for a "Full HD camcorder with 5.1 sound" and Maybe good stills but fit in a back pocket..:rolleyes::eek: !
What you want to do should determine what you get. Bigger kit may not lend itself to portability but will be a hugh benefit if you use at a Family functions where you are the main Guy ( by default)
For holidays ect .. the TM900 will be more than enough and is guaranteed to be much better than anything your current SD MiniDV can give you

In the past you had Pocket friendly consumer kit, the Higher end consumer kit, followed by Prosumer" / Semi Pro kit
Then Pro kit
In effect you got into a different territory when you spend above £1500 upwards up till £3000 ect
For the extra you got larger camcorders with big fast lenses and larger sensors . with lots of manual controls ability to used balanced Mic input, and as you went upwards lens changeability

Since then it seems you have high end consumer kit , nothing in between then costly kit most folk would nnot buy unless revenue bearing
Along with this came the demise of tape.. slowly because tape was the Pro choice as the Non tape consumer quality evolved and the expensive Non tape Pro kit dropped in price

There is no doubt that a lot of the Consumer higher end kit are capable of very good quality video but smaller build and empahsision consumer friendly features like GPS ,face recognition , smile detectot...:rolleyes: have given way to videography related tools
DSLRs have also muddied the water by offering video capability with large sensors and interchangeable lenses but they are not your typical point and shoot video device!
As Such it may well be a good idea to stick with the likes of the TM900 because the camcorder market is still evolving to the point of not being sure that what you buy now will still be your pride and joy in 10 years time
Otheres may suggest different
For example could someone tell me the pros and cons of the Sony NEX-VG10E and the Panasonic HDC-TM900? For double the money do you get twice the camera?
No you dont
The Sony NEX are a new concept by Sony to use bigger sensors and the concept of fast interchangeable lens to create a "Semi Pro" camcorder . It is loved by some but has not been a runaway hit . I dont have much hands on experience with it.. Some say it is a DSLR video camera shaped like a camcorder!
If you want a cut about the consumer offereings. Panasonics AVCCAM range are worth looking at, and they have released a new range only recently
Some wouuld say the HMC40 is not really better than its TM700/900 mates..
The AG HMC150 is rather very good though and I think, a notch above the consumer models for just about £2500

HTH
 
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sachin

Standard Member
Hi Senu,

Nice to hear from you again. I remember getting advice from you five years ago when I bought my SD MiniDV camcorder and when I had trouble transferring my video to computer.

What I'm interested in is both memories and good video. The thing is my dad has footage of us as kids from about 15-40 years ago and he recently forced us to watch it. :) It was awful. Sure VHS degrades in a way that digital doesn't but it made me think that I don't want to be watching these videos in 20 years time and thinking damn the quality is bad - I wish I bought a better camcorder. I certainly won't be doing anything fancy with the camcorder like producing short films or documentaries or anything but I do like shooting and did take my existing camcorder to my brother's wedding and my sister's one too. I'm sure I don't need a semi pro one but the reason I ask these questions is to see if there is a benefit in doing so as, like I said, I don't want to regret not having got good kit in years to come. I have bought 80 to 100 pounds things before only to regret it afterwards when they just don't produce the results.

Oh sure, the TM900 is better than my SD one, but what I'm wondering is what's the difference between the TM900 and more pro ones. I can see that there may not be that much from what you are saying.

thanks,

Sachin



The problem with camcorders now is that you need to ask are you just needing a " memory maker" or are you keen on very well shot video?
Yours is an unusual depature from posts from folk who want to stop at £80-100 max for a "Full HD camcorder with 5.1 sound" and Maybe good stills but fit in a back pocket..:rolleyes::eek: !
What you want to do should determine what you get. Bigger kit may not lend itself to portability but will be a hugh benefit if you use at a Family functions where you are the main Guy ( by default)
For holidays ect .. the TM900 will be more than enough and is guaranteed to be much better than anything your current SD MiniDV can give you

In the past you had Pocket friendly consumer kit, the Higher end consumer kit, followed by Prosumer" / Semi Pro kit
Then Pro kit
In effect you got into a different territory when you spend above £1500 upwards up till £3000 ect
For the extra you got larger camcorders with big fast lenses and larger sensors . with lots of manual controls ability to used balanced Mic input, and as you went upwards lens changeability

Since then it seems you have high end consumer kit , nothing in between then costly kit most folk would nnot buy unless revenue bearing
Along with this came the demise of tape.. slowly because tape was the Pro choice as the Non tape consumer quality evolved and the expensive Non tape Pro kit dropped in price

There is no doubt that a lot of the Consumer higher end kit are capable of very good quality video but smaller build and empahsision consumer friendly features like GPS ,face recognition , smile detectot...:rolleyes: have given way to videography related tools
DSLRs have also muddied the water by offering video capability with large sensors and interchangeable lenses but they are not your typical point and shoot video device!
As Such it may well be a good idea to stick with the likes of the TM900 because the camcorder market is still evolving to the point of not being sure that what you buy now will still be your pride and joy in 10 years time
Otheres may suggest different

No you dont
The Sony NEX are a new concept by Sony to use bigger sensors and the concept of fast interchangeable lens to create a "Semi Pro" camcorder . It is loved by some but has not been a runaway hit . I dont have much hands on experience with it.. Some say it is a DSLR video camera shaped like a camcorder!
If you want a cut about the consumer offereings. Panasonics AVCCAM range are worth looking at, and they have released a new range only recently
Some wouuld say the HMC40 is not really better than its TM700/900 mates..
The AG HMC150 is rather very good though and I think, a notch above the consumer models for just about £2500

HTH
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Those old VHS vids were the best your dad could get. The quality wasn't that good, but then we watched analogue TV with ghostings etc. No doubt our demands will push quality in the next 30 years. Be prepared for your children to be disapointed, as you were. (but didn't say?).
The consumer camcorders have fancy features but relatively poor sensors, hence Pana gives you three - but they are small.

I have an NEX5 and it is up and running in about 3 seconds - it has a massive sensor and whilst the pixels aren't that fabulous it does mean it works well in low-light. The ability to interchange lenses is a real bonus and was the main reason for choosing that model (having seen my results on the big screen in-store). The video was almost "better than real" which is saying something. I bought extra batteries (cheap at £9) and memory SDHC 16G=2hrs, case and lens adaptors.
When making short films (as I intend) the ability to switch lens and shalow DoF is of huge importance. The sound quality is quite good, now I've fixed a "dead-cat" to the beast. Also there is no internal fan and you can't hear the autofocus either. I use a palmTrack to record sounds.

The alternative I toyed with, was Canon DSLR, but these are expensive and heavy.
(Canon DSLR appear to be standard kit for wedding vids.)

You say you don't want to produce serious films, so I guess a good camcorder, like Pana700 or 900 should do you just fine. Just be aware it won't do "special". Alternatively there are plenty of others at lower prices. The NEX5 is 2/3 the cost of Pana700 but has fewer features. and a poor zoom range.
...Hope that helps.....
On balance you are better buying a cheaper model every few years. rather than an expensive Pro-model that will be out of date very soon after.....er, IMHO.
...Hope that helps.....
 
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