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New camera shortlist - looking for advice

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Chris Newberry
New camera shortlist - looking for advice
on Jun 30, 2014 at 2:59:00 pm

Hi there

I'm looking at buying a new HD camera. Looking at the prosumer market and spending around £1500.

I wanted to put this in a general thread for camcorders but couldn't see one - if I'm mistaken I'm sorry.

I'll be editing in FCP 7 and probably FCPX (will be upgrading to it in next few weeks if all goes to plan)

I want a camera to shoot outside and inside and get best quality for that price range.

The three cameras I've cut it down to are:

Panasonic AG-AC90

JVC gy-hm150e

Canon xf 100


The two I'm most favouring are: AG-AC90 or the HM150e

So my questions really are:

1) Anything better out there that you know of in that price range?
2) What are peoples faves out of the ones mentioned?
3) Any tips, tricks or things I should be looking out for?

Many thanks in advance


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Noah Kadner
Re: New camera shortlist - looking for advice
on Jul 1, 2014 at 1:34:54 pm

Both the AC90 and 150 are fine choices, if I had to pick one I'd go 150. But to be honest, as of 2014 and on, those cameras are limited in chip size, lens capability and resolution. They feature relatively small HD chips with fixed lenses and are shooting HD resolution 1080p max. So, you're not getting 4K which is exploding this year as a resolution and you're not getting shallow depth of field which is also highly desirable.

For the budget you have to work with you could afford a Panasonic GH4 and a nice lens or two. You'd get 4K resolution, way higher data rate in HD than any of the other cameras you mentioned and the ability to use basically any lens in the universe via MFT adapters.

Noah

Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic AC160/130.


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Chris Newberry
Re: New camera shortlist - looking for advice
on Jul 1, 2014 at 1:43:24 pm

Thank you - thats very informative and very helpful.

My only problem with DLSR's is the lack of XLR/decent sound recording options and I hear about a lot of issues if you do a lot of run and gun filming i.e auto focus, handheld isn't really an option etc

Is this all true or just mistaken advice from the internet?

I'd love a DLSR as, like most, I love the cinematic look - but I need something that I can get going with and get HQ results with sound as important as visuals. The filming I'll be doing won't allow me to have a sound person or ability to have a separate sound unit.


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Patrick Murphy
Re: New camera shortlist - looking for advice
on Jul 1, 2014 at 2:49:19 pm

It really depends on what type of shooting you will be doing.
If you are shooting a lot of interviews and b-roll and you know your way around a camera, you'll be happy with a DSLR. It's not the most convenient way to shoot, but the image quality, choice of lenses, etc. make it a great alternative.

Cameras like the Panasonic AG-AC90a and the Canon XF100 are more entry level video cameras. Their audio connections are simple, their lenses are adequate but not great. But they do create good images and if you're shooting long form, events, sports, or you want something that you can pull out of a case and shoot quickly. They make a lot of sense



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Chris Newberry
Re: New camera shortlist - looking for advice
on Jul 1, 2014 at 4:54:24 pm

Thanks again really good to get a different perspective - even if it does confuse my decision making! ha ha

I'll be shooting interviews, live events, weddings, basic corporates (for bigger stuff I always hire in crew and equipment).

I need something I can trust to capture sound and vision to level that is professional if it isn't the most beautiful creative footage.


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Noah Kadner
Re: New camera shortlist - looking for advice
on Jul 1, 2014 at 10:34:06 pm

Well no camera is point and shoot good out of the box- if you leave everything on autofocus and autoexposure you'll get a lot of unusable footage. Practice makes perfect. And secondary audio is easily captured via a Zoom recorder that gives you XLR audio input and can easily by clipped onto a tripod or your belt. If you're not totally sure- try renting a camera or two over a weekend and seeing how you go.

Noah

Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic AC160/130.


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Chris Newberry
Re: New camera shortlist - looking for advice
on Jul 2, 2014 at 9:23:36 am

Thanks Noah - interesting stuff and good advice!

I'll look into it more!

Many thanks


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: New camera shortlist - looking for advice
on Jul 3, 2014 at 10:15:12 pm

I second the GH4. Also you can get Panasonic's YAGH interface and have all of the I/O you could ever want. XLR and Timecode and even quad link SDI for 4K output.

Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
2008 Mac Pro 2.6 Ghz 8 Core, 10GB RAM
AJA IoXT, Blackmagic Intensity Pro, Blackmagic Mini Monitor
Adobe Production Premium CC, Avid Media Composer 7, Final Cut Pro Studio 3


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Chris Newberry
Re: New camera shortlist - looking for advice
on Jul 4, 2014 at 3:59:51 pm

Thanks! So confusing! But honestly thank you it does help! I shall take a look at stuff you mentioned


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Dave Haynie
Re: New camera shortlist - looking for advice
on Jul 4, 2014 at 5:41:07 pm

[Chris Newberry] "y only problem with DLSR's is the lack of XLR/decent sound recording options"

Practically everyone using DSLRs for video are getting good results with auxiliary recorders. I have a Zoom H4n -- kind of the go-to standard these days, though not when I bought it -- and it's just dandy for DSLR video. You can hook in two XLR mics, record to 24-bit uncompressed audio, and feed the output to the camera's 1/8" jack if you need to. It's been awhile since I counted on on-camera audio for much more than sync, anyway, for any serious video work.


[Chris Newberry] " I hear about a lot of issues if you do a lot of run and gun filming i.e auto focus, handheld isn't really an option etc"

Actually, pretty much all of the m43 cameras do video autofocus as well as any camcorder. The DSLRs, largely, do not... aside from the Canon 70D and some of the mirrorless models from Sony.

But yeah, the workflow is different, and I'd honestly still grab my HMC40 with two XLR mics (at different gain levels) mounted on it for any "run and gun" type shooting.

The other major issue with most true DSLRs (Sony, Canon) is that they're still locked to the European tax avoidance limit of 29'59" continuous shooting. Even for USA models. They used to blame these limitations on sensor heating, then on file size limitations, but it's clearly now just a malfeature of many of these. Of course, you don't find these limits on Canon or Sony's dedicated -- and much more expensive -- camcorders (EOS C, etc).

Panasonic seems to have dispensed this limit. The m43 format is the only one I'd consider other than full DSLR... I love my Canon system, but I can fit an Olympus body and 5 very good lenses in the space of the 6D and one normal-zoom... and it weighs less. There's lots of motion here for video, too: Panasonic GH4, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, JVC's new m43 camcorders, etc. And about twice the native lens selection of any other mirrorless line. I don't have a video m43 body yet, but I started with a small Olympus some years back, as a secondary camera system, but also because even then m43 looked like it would be a very interesting ecosystem for video.

-Dave


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Chris Newberry
Re: New camera shortlist - looking for advice
on Jul 7, 2014 at 5:13:53 pm

Thats very interesting - thank you very much. As with everything else I shall look further into it and take it into account

I think, tho, DLSR to get it to where I need it to do my work may just prove a little too expensive... but I shall see...

Thanks again


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