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Video camera reccomendation

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Scott Gaskin
Video camera reccomendation
on May 30, 2012 at 10:15:47 am

Hi,

I wasnt quite sure where to post this question but I'm wondering if anyone can reccomend a good all round prosumer video camera that gives me manual control that doesnt cost the earth. Say around £2000? I am fairly knew to video but would like the option to shoot professional quality video with control over apperture and DOF etc. Do I go DSLR or a dedicated video camera. I here there are some disadvantages with the DSLR's as regards to camera shake due to its small size and difficulty in viewing your video as you are filming etc so i do prefer the idea of holding a dedicated video camera.
Can anyone please advise?

many thanks

Scott


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John Young
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on May 30, 2012 at 2:30:01 pm

Hi Scott.
Can you tell us a little more about what you are planning to use the camera for?
DSLRs are great, but only for certain types of uses. I would guess that with that budget, you will have to set some priorities to see which camera features would be best for your purposes. If you can tell us what those purposes are, we can better help you set your priorities.

John


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Scott Gaskin
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on May 30, 2012 at 7:24:09 pm

Hi John,

Many thanks for your reply

I will most likely be using it for music videos and recording live gigs but would like to find something that can be a good all rounder if that is at all possible. I think its important that it can shoot well in low light too especially for live gigs that are usually in doors and dark
Many thanks for your response

Thanks again

Scott


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Steve Crow
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on May 30, 2012 at 3:34:41 pm

Yes handholding a DSLR can indeed introduce shake but that's where a tripod comes in also I've seen some impressive short clips accomplished without a tripod or other stabilizer just using a lens with built-in image stabilization or vibration control - not a solution for an interview, for that use a tripod.

My Canon T2i /550D allows me to view live video on the LCD at the back of the camera no problem. Can also, of course, play back previously recorded clips on the camera so I'm not sure what others told you.

Traditional videocameras do indeed have advantages over HD DSLR cameras and some filming situations are just not HD DSLR friendly. But overall, despite all the additional headaches, they are sooooooo worth it! :-) Budget wise you can't beat the price and the sensor size you'll get with a HD DSLR is HUGE compared to those found on a traditional videocamera. If you do decide on the HD DSLR route, I'd suggest buying either the T2i/550D, T3i or 7D body onlyand then for the glass buying, ideally a 50mmm 1.4 lens from Canon or their cheaper 1.8 50mm if cost becomes an issue. There's so much other gear to buy but these bits will give you a sound, affordable foundation on which to build.

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Brent Dunn
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on May 30, 2012 at 5:29:47 pm

There are a lot of really good cameras now in the $3,000 range. The Canon 5D MkIII would be great, but it may be out of your budget, since you'll also have to buy lenses.

I probably wouldn't buy a DSLR for my only camera since you may be filming long events, seminars, etc. I'm not sure what your plans are, but this should be part of the decision.

You can go online to bhvideo.com and research their cameras. This will help you get educated and narrow down your search.

I personally would find a camera that records to SD cards or Compact Flash, since the media is getting less expensive. Most of the newer cameras use the AVCHD recording format, which is common in newer editing software.

You also need to figure in other items such as a good tripod, extra batteries, media (sd cards, etc.) Editing software, editing computer, the cost keeps growing.

Good luck.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Scott Gaskin
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on May 30, 2012 at 7:59:49 pm

Hi Brent,

Thank you for your response.

I did look at the Canon 5D Mk 2 and the cheaper 7D model. Does the full sensor make much difference to the video quality? also in your opinion, do you think there is much difference between the Mk 2 and Mk 3 in regards to video quality?

I will be using the camera mainly to shoot music videos or live gigs. Thank you for the link, it is really useful. There seems to be some good prices on prosumer camcorders. I have listed 3 below that seem very reasonably priced and wondered if you could advise on any of them? Also would you know what the difference in quality compared to the typical DSLR's mentioned above would be?

Sony HXR-MC50U Ultra Compact Pro AVCHD Camcorder - $1,449.00 SD card

HVR-HD1000U Digital High Definition HDV Camcorder - $1,449.00 mini DV

Sony HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV which is just under $2,000

Sorry for all the questions but any help is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Scott


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Brent Dunn
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on Jun 4, 2012 at 4:43:30 pm

The FX7 and 1000U do not do well in low light. I would stay away from HDV. The newer cameras have better imaging and an better sensor. I don't know anything about the 3rd camera.

Yes the 5D Mk III does perform better than the Mk II and much better than the 7D, 60D, etc. Here is a test shoot using the Mk III. It's incredible in low light at high ISO settings. You can record up to 30 minutes continuous on the Mk III verses only 11 minutes on the other cameras.

vimeo.com/38897047

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Scott Gaskin
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on May 30, 2012 at 7:36:12 pm

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the info, its much appreciated.

What I meant about viewing the video was not to do with play back, (apologies for bad explanation) it was to do with the fact that most dedicated camcorders allow you to pull LCD display out and twist it around to view what you are recording from different angles etc. For example if you were filming very low to the floor you would most likely need to rest your head on the floor to see what you are filming! same with if you were reaching over something you will have the same prob unless you have got a monitor of some kind.

Thanks again for your advice

Scott


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Steve Crow
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on May 30, 2012 at 8:20:54 pm

I think its the T3i or 660? That has a swivel screen similar to what you are talking about. I dont see that feature as very useful for outdoors where you will need a loupe to see the screen which will lock it in place

I wouldnt be shy about choosing the 7D over the 5D M2 or 3 - full frame is nice but you have lots more to buy if you go the HD DSLR rout

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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John Young
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on May 30, 2012 at 9:42:09 pm

The cameras you listed have convenient video functions (auto focus, audio controls, etc), but each one has a much smaller sensor than a DSLR. A DSLR on the other hand has a much bigger sensor than those on your list, but can be tougher to get good footage on it.

You will hear a lot of people talk about what DSLRs can't do, and they are 100% right. But I focus more on what they can do. We have a Sony EX1 and Canon 60D at my company. And more and more I find myself choosing the 60D for a variety of situations because I know that if I do everything right, I can get some really quality shots out of it. (Which I can do with the EX1, but in my opinion, it is to a lesser extent.) And for shooting live music in a dark club, a DSLR is usually a good choice (low light, small size).

However, I will recommend that you think very hard about audio. Especially for live music, even if you image looks amazing, if your audio sounds terrible, it will ruin it. For live music shoots, quality audio is a higher priority for me than video.

As far as which DSLR to go with. I will put my 2 cents behind the Canon 7D.

John


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Noah Kadner
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on May 30, 2012 at 10:43:10 pm

I'd go Canon T3i, Panasonic GH2 or Canon 60D. And get a Zoom H4 audio recorder for great audio. Then you need optics, microphones, tripods, etc.

Noah

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


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Bill Bruner
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:39:04 am

Scott, with your budget, I'd go with one of Noah's suggestions - all of the cameras he recommends have hinged, rotating LCDs (like a camcorder). Both the 5D and 7D have fixed LCDs - so you wouldn't be able to rotate the LCD up, down or flip it 180 degrees to face forward. This forces you to buy a monitor to get high/low angle shots or shoot self-portraits.

Something else you should know - the Canons all have a 12 minute continuous video clip duration limit. If you plan any concert or event coverage in addition to your music videos, you should keep that in mind. The GH2, like a camcorder, has no clip duration limit.

As for the small sensor camcorders you listed in an earlier post (Sony HXR-MC50U, HVR-HD1000U and HDR-FX7) - these are all fine camcorders that will produce great interlaced video with deep depth of field, and at least two of them shoot to card instead of tape - but modern cameras produce something called "progressive" video, which has twice the effective frame rate of interlaced video and looks more cinematic and less 'videoish' to most people. Same thing for the shallow depth of field provided by the large sensors of DSLRs and (expensive) large sensor interchangeable lens camcorders.

Here is a comparison of the T3i and the HDR-FX7 that might be helpful in seeing the differences:





Good luck with your decision,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Noah Kadner
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on Jun 1, 2012 at 9:39:54 pm

My 7D and T3i both shoot way more than 12 minutes- but if you're in the UK this is artificially limited to 29 minutes by law.

Noah

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


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Bill Bruner
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on Jun 2, 2012 at 3:39:53 am

Noah, I can't speak for your cameras, but according to the 7D's specs at Canon USA: "Continuous Shooting Time: Approx. 12 min.(Full HD); 12 min. (HD); 24 min. (SD)"

Sadly, all Canon DSLRs (except the 5DMkIII) are limited to 12 minutes of continuous video shooting in HD due to the file structure they use when recording (FAT32), which limits file sizes to 4GB and does not allow file spanning.

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Steve Crow
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on Jun 2, 2012 at 4:43:40 am

Hi Bill,
I'm not 100% sure of this but my understanding that the file size/time limit is different across the globe like in Great Britain since it also has a lot to do with taxes and government regulation in addition to the technical aspects which you brought up.

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Bill Bruner
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on Jun 2, 2012 at 3:21:52 pm

Steve - In EU countries, cameras that can record video for more than 30 minutes are taxed as camcorders, which is a higher rate. As a result, all manufacturers limit their "DSLR" and point and shoot cameras to 30 minutes or less of recording when exporting them to the EU area.

To confuse the issue, some manufacturers have not done the work to deal with technical limits on continuous recording (Canon [12 minutes*], Nikon [20 minutes]), and some have made a policy decision to market their cameras with the same recording time worldwide (Sony [30 minutes]).

I've omitted Pentax and the other minor players, but they all have recording time limits.

Only Panasonic uncripples their cameras and gives them unlimited video recording time outside of the EU area. My Panasonic Point and Shoot FZ150 has unlimited recording time, for crying out loud, but a $3000 Nikon doesn't? I won't buy any of these cameras until the manufacturers lift the recording time limit outside of the EU.

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution

*except for the 5DMkIII [30 minutes]


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Steve Crow
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on Jun 2, 2012 at 3:30:56 pm

What a great overview, thanks Bill!

Although it would be nice to have the option to film longer - it's not a deal breaker for me since I mainly film interviews and short sequences. Also the overheating issue comes into play the longer you record. Speaking of overheating I think I am going to start a new thread on a related topic, thanks for reminding me!

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Sangye Ince-Johannsen
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on Jun 3, 2012 at 8:30:17 am

GH2 should be the obvious choice. $650, no recording limit, and firmware hacks that make it easily exceed the performance of any DSLR. The only areas where it can't quite match, say, the 5D mark III, are lowlight performance (although some hacks bring it damn near close), and shallow depth of field. Since you're also considering getting a small-sensor camcorder, I assume that neither of those are absolutely essential.

I had a 7D for two years before selling it and picking up a GH2 a couple months back. Never regretted it once. Spend the extra cash on good lenses, like the Voigtländer 17.5mm and 25mm f/0.95s, Zuiko 12mm f/2, or your favorite flavor of vintage glass.


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Brent Dunn
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on Jun 4, 2012 at 4:50:24 pm

Wow, I never heard of the 30 minute tax. That's crazy. I guess that's why Canon's new MkIII has a recording time of 29 minutes 59 seconds.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Scott Gaskin
Re: Video camera reccomendation
on Jun 4, 2012 at 11:08:42 pm

Bill,

Many thanks for the advice and uploading the video.

Scott


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