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OT: What video camera do you use/recommend?

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Nigel O'Neill
OT: What video camera do you use/recommend?
on Jul 29, 2015 at 12:58:30 pm
Last Edited By Nigel O'Neill on Jul 29, 2015 at 12:58:58 pm

I am looking to replace my Sony Z1P war horse with something a bit more contemporary. I do a lot of live theatre work, so the following are my criteria:

  • 12x minimum, up to 20x servo optical zoom
  • Card based recording
  • Able to produce low noise images in low light conditions
  • XLR input(s)
  • Connection for a pan handle zoom controller (LANC or similar)
  • SDI or RCA video out
  • Independent control of iris, shutter speed, zoom, focus, gain and white balance.

    I have used both the Sony EX1 and Sony NXCAM NX5, but have found that the Z1P outperforms both in low light conditions (produces a virtually noise free image) and well as colour accuracy/reproduction.

    As I live in 'the land down under', the camera would need to record in PAL, but I am assuming most camera models are made for both markets i.e PAL/NTSC

    I would like to keep it below USD$5,000

    My system specs: Intel i7 970, 12GB RAM, ASUS P6T, Vegas Pro 12 (x64), Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, Vegas Production Assistant 1.0, VASST Ultimate S Pro 4.1, Neat Video Pro 2.6


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Bob Peterson
Re: OT: What video camera do you use/recommend?
on Jul 29, 2015 at 4:01:26 pm

My most recent camera is a Canon HFG 30. Although it doesn't meet all of your specs, it has been a very impressive camera for a modest price. It has things like 20x optical zoom, but lacks things like XLR inputs. What I have been most impressed by is its focusing system. It includes face detection, and will lock onto a subject if you simply touch the view finder to show it the subject. It also seems to have a clearer and better image in terms of exposure and color than my older XH-A1 which is a pro level camera. For audio, my main recorder is a Zoom H4N which accepts XLR input. I rarely use the audio recorded by the camera for anything other than synching the video from multiple cameras. Thus, the lack of XLR is not a problem for me.


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Blaise Douros
Re: OT: What video camera do you use/recommend?
on Jul 29, 2015 at 9:12:15 pm

The Sony X70 might be a good choice - as a bonus, it shoots a 10-bit 4:2:2 codec.

Only thing it might not have is a LANC input, can't remember off the top of my head whether it does or not.


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Mala Kas
Re: OT: What video camera do you use/recommend?
on Jul 30, 2015 at 7:47:55 am

Hello,
i am wondering if the Z1 is a better Low Light Performer than the ex-1.
The ex has a 2/3 sensor and the Z1 "only" has a 1/3 sensor.

I mean i had the Z1 by myself and the LL Performance is acceptable - good, but i think the Ex-1 goes better at l-l situations.

For your case:
I would go with a pana
AG-AC 160 or the new DVX200

or have a look at the Canon xf 300 / 305

would be better for you spending a couple of bucks and borrow them before you buy.

regards


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Nigel O'Neill
Re: OT: What video camera do you use/recommend?
on Jul 30, 2015 at 9:51:00 am

[Mala Kas] "The ex has a 2/3 sensor and the Z1 "only" has a 1/3 sensor"

The Z1 has 3 CCD's. I just found the EX1 image grainy in low light situations, plus I have had lots of gamma issues with the EX1. Purple satin fabric would come out ruby red and almost flat. I found it a very difficult camera to match with my Z1.

My system specs: Intel i7 970, 12GB RAM, ASUS P6T, Vegas Pro 12 (x64), Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, Vegas Production Assistant 1.0, VASST Ultimate S Pro 4.1, Neat Video Pro 2.6


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David Shirey
Re: OT: What video camera do you use/recommend?
on Aug 5, 2015 at 8:27:07 pm

[Nigel O'Neill] "Purple satin fabric would come out ruby red and almost flat"

I've been using EX1's since 2008 and know exactly what you mean. There was a graduation I used to shoot every year that had a green satin drape on the table for the diplomas and it always came out sort of flat and brownish. Weirdest thing.



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Aaron Star
Re: OT: What video camera do you use/recommend?
on Aug 5, 2015 at 10:10:11 pm

If you are a Vegas editor, you might consider picking a camera that records to Sony Broadcast level codecs like XDCAM422-HD, XAVC-I 10bit-4096x2160-60p. This would allow you straight up timeline performance and stability.

The new Canon 422 codec is basically XDCAM, so that might be a good choice too.

The old Red One is a not so obvious choice, Vegas supports Redcode native, and the image quality of that camera still surpasses $5K cameras due to the 12-bit capture abilities.


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Danny Hays
Re: OT: What video camera do you use/recommend?
on Aug 5, 2015 at 11:07:05 pm

Are you guys manually white balancing your cameras before you record? If a camera is set to auto white balance and sees a lot of a particular color, like green tablecloths, the camera will compensate and can make that green not look right. My first video camera didn't have a manual white balance capability and I was getting into chroma keying so I painted a wall in one of the rooms of my old house green. When I video taped me in front of it the green color was probably 75% of the screen and in my video, the green wall look almost gray with a hint of green to it. When I do a multiple camera shoot, I make sure all the cameras are manually white balance at the shoot to a white posterboard. Sometimes it's not appropriate to be able to put a white posterboard there and I have actually used someone's white shirt to white balance several cameras. I don't doubt that even with manual white balancing, the colors may vary from different camera models. I normally use Panasonic TM 700s as they give me a pristine picture for the money.

Danny Hays
Samples of my Work can be seen here:
https://www.youtube.com/user/ErnestDaniels/videos


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David Shirey
Re: OT: What video camera do you use/recommend?
on Aug 11, 2015 at 7:35:20 pm

[Danny Hays] "Are you guys manually white balancing your cameras before you record? If a camera is set to auto white balance and sees a lot of a particular color, like green tablecloths, the camera will compensate and can make that green not look right."

I most definitely manually white balance. Trust me it's not like the whole image is off, it's just that one type of fabric for like 5 years straight. Didn't do it on our old Sony DSR-300's in the mid-2000's. There's just something about that one tablecloth that the chips in the pwm ex1's didn't like. Not the end of the world, and unless you had a second camera of a different make you'd have nothing to compare it to, so people watching the video 10 years from now won't be upset.



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