I have just bought an HXR-NX5U after coming to my senses and turning away from the camera I would really like to buy - the PMW-F3. I will be running tests on it for the next week to make sure it will do most of the things I want using this low-end HD camera.
I have two questions about accessories -
1.) Field or studio monitor/type
I realize I will have to be more sensitive to image now that I am moving from DV to HD and that leads me to the monitor question. Marshall monitors were mentioned in a training DVD I got with the camera. What brand would people recommend and do you really need a field monitor if you do presets on your studio monitor before hitting the field? Also how much do you have to pay to get a decent monitor?
I was using a Panasonic 100A and found that hand holding it I could still get a fairly stable image. I do a substantial amount of hand holding since most of my work is done documentary style. In HD I know cameras are more sensitive to motion. With that in mind, is there a brace or mount that is preferred? What about the steadycam setting in the menu options? Would they give me enough stability for my needs? Should I consider some sort of Steadycam-like device? What would be a ballpark cost for a brace or mount or Steady-cam that you think would help me cherry out my camera?
First, get the FMU128 Flash drive. You'll be glad you did once you have it. Second, buy a lanc zoom controller for your tripod. Libec sells one for $89 that I have and it works great. Otherwise, operating the camera on a tripod is awkward.
As for HD monitors, I'd suggest either IKAN of LCD4Video.com. The HDMI monitors are fine but if you can afford it I'd go with one that accepts HD-SDI. Make sure to get a monitor hood for it. Keep in mind that the camera's LCD is phenomenal and I rarely use my monitor.
Get s good COATED UV filter. I can't stress the COATED part enough. Otherwise, you'll get a glare ring when any light shines into the lens.
Finally, I think you'll be very pleased once you fine tune the image by setting up your picture profiles. The image looks like crap in the default setting right out of the box. Very flat and washed out. First time I shot I was sick to my stomach and thought I had wasted $5k on a crap camera. Nothing could be further from the truth. It produces amazing images and my clients have been VERY impressed with it once I convinced them to give it a try. The 1/3" chips and AVCHD format has been a tough sell to clients but once they've given it a shot, it's become the most requested camera now.
Thank you so much for your response. I did buy, when I bought the camera, the 128 GB Flash Memory. I also bought a Tiffen UV filter protector. I will give serious thought to the handle zoom control. For establishing shots where I am looking for production value and interviews, I use the tripod. Beyond that point, I do a lot of hand holding. That is why I asked about a brace, steadycam or the steadycam item in the menu. I went through a training video that came with my camera and did lots of menu settings but I left many of the picture controls in factory settings. My thinking was that I would like to control picture 'look' in post and providing an unfiltered video image might allow me more flexibility. Is that a good way to go?