We are considering getting the EX1r, but we primarily need to shoot in SD. We only need to shoot in HD occasionally. The EX1r fits our needs, however it shots in DV-AVI. We work with Final Cut Pro. While the file will import into FCP, it gives us an error about instability. Is anyone working in this workflow? Any tips? Another camera we should consider?
We're worried because we're going to buy several of the cameras to be used for a lot of productions for our department. Some short, some long. All kinds of scenarios... I'm really worried that there is some sort of breaking point in FCP or general instability...
Personally I don't see many situations where choose to shoot standard def. Especially such a poor codec like DV. I often shoot HD for SD delivery. I just but the HD files in an SD Uncompressed timeline. I then have the amazing ability to pan and zoom around the frame as well as just reposition shots. The downconvert looks nice because it's an uncompressed timeline. There's no way DV can match that workflow. The only time I can see using DV is if I were in an ENG situation with SD delivery and turnaround had to be impossibly fast from a laptop in the field.
HD future proofs you footage.
HD in an SD timeline is more flexible.
HD in an Uncompressed SD timeline is better quality than DV.
The only downside is the final render for delivery which is fast on a MacPro though.
I second what Craig said. You can turn on the 4x3 guides for your viewfinder and shoot HD while framing for SD, then crop and zoom if you need to later. The difference in resolution is AMAZING, even on videos that end up on the web in a lossy delivery codec. Start out with the best images you can, and it'll make a huge difference.
Yeah just shoot HD and frame for 4:3. You'll have the huge benefit of being able to greatly reframe and change shots in post without compromising quality while being able to offer an HD version of any project you shoot if desired. HD ain't going away... And the XDCAM codec is only slightly more space consuming than standard DV.
Otherwise, just buy a DV camera if you really want DV. Much cheaper and less waste.