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Difference in camcorders?

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Robert Storm
Difference in camcorders?
on Mar 16, 2008 at 10:45:01 pm

First off, I'd like to apologize, I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this post. I'm just looking for advice about camcorders in general, not specifically cannon or panasonic camcorders, so I posted here..

I'm looking for a camcorder around $800-1200, but I'm not really sure how they all differ. I mean, obviously I'm going to want something that'll shoot 1920x1080 @ 30fps (am I safe calling that 1080p30?), and that has a decent battery life, and records to a convenient media. But I have no idea what difference the size of the sensor and the filters make. I mean, I'm assuming bigger is better? And what else should I be worrying about?
It'd be great if you guys could give me some suggestions...and maybe [kindly] let me know what forum I should've posted this in.

Thanks,
Robert Storm



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Steve Wargo
Re: Difference in camcorders?
on Mar 17, 2008 at 4:43:09 am

You may want to inquire at the HDV forum.

1. And yes, it's 1080i 30p.

2. The larger the imager, the more professional image.

3. Filter size is only related to the size of the threads on the front of the camera.

4. Make sure you get something with a mic input and a headphone jack.

5. Stop apologizing and worrying. It'll give you ulcers. We're not looking to attack anyone.

5. Have a nice day.






Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Robert Storm
Re: Difference in camcorders?
on Mar 17, 2008 at 7:01:24 pm

Ah cool, thanks! I've been comparing more cameras, and I've been getting more confused..
2. I was looking at the JVC GZ-HD3, which has a 1/5" 3CCD sensor, but I noticed that several of the cameras that are $3-400 cheaper are using 1/2.7" CMOS sensors (like the Canon HV20). As I understand it, these 1/2.7" CMOS sensors will be better, but they're on cheaper cameras?

Also, the HV20 has image stabilization, but its still cheaper than the GZ-HD3? The only other difference I can see is that the GZ-HD3 has 60 gigs of onboard memory, whereas the HV20 uses the HD miniDV tape stuff. I'm just mostly confused about the price difference.
And then there's the Sony HDR-HC7, which doesn't seem to perform as well as the HV20?

Is this one of those things where I just have to go into a camera shop and try them out to see which one I like best?

5. Haha, thanks. I've been flamed too many times on some other forums, so I wasn't sure how the people were here =)

Thanks,
Robert Storm



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Steve Wargo
Re: Difference in camcorders?
on Mar 18, 2008 at 3:31:06 am

Don't know a thing about the other cameras but the HV20 is a sure winner for the money. We shoot mostly with big stuff and some smaller stuff but when we want the tourist look, like at the NFL Experience at the Super Bowl last month, we get an HV20 for the day.

Tape is the most dependable and the easiest to store.

It does have mic and headphone ports but isn't that camera way more then you first claimed that you wanted to spend?

We don't flame anyone. We are the nicest people on the web. I have won the lottery every week for 20 years. Oh, and we never lie either.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Robert Storm
Re: Difference in camcorders?
on Mar 18, 2008 at 5:47:50 pm

Hmm. I can see where tape would be easy to store and all, but I've used it once before for a project, and it took a lot longer to get the footage onto the computer than the (cheaper/lower quality) camcorder that had an internal hard drive.
Is this ever a problem for you?

Nah, none of those cameras are out of the pricerange =)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/481076-REG/Canon_2059B001_VIXIA_HV20_...

Most of these cameras shoot at 60i, but some have a 24p or a 30p mode, does this mean that when I'm shooting at 60i, I'd have to deinterlace the footage? Because the camera I'm using now (when I can't borrow a better one) is 15 years old, and I have to deinterlace the footage every time..which is kind of a pain.


Robert Storm



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Rick Amundson
Re: Difference in camcorders?
on Mar 18, 2008 at 6:14:10 pm

Robert,

The issue doesn't only have to do with the process of getting the footage into the computer. It's an issue of archiving and storage because at some point you will need to back all of that footage up and store it for future use. If you shoot digitally, that means backing up to a hard drive then putting the hard drive somewhere safe and hoping it doesn't crash. Another option is to burn all of the original files to a DVD, either a dual layer standard def (8.5 GIG) or a Blu-Ray DVD (25 or 50 GIG). This system also makes it harder to reconnect footage to your original edit project file. Either way you have a lot of work on the back end.

If you shoot on tape, your back up and storage mediums are done. Yes, it is more work to log and capture the footage but look at it as an opportunity to organize your footage and plan your edit. And remember, people have been digitizing footage for years and still do. It is the dominant workflow in most post houses.

Rick Amundson
Producer/Director/DP
Screenscape Studios
Bravo Romeo Entertainment
http://www.screenscapestudios.com
http://www.bravoromeo.com
http://www.indeliblemovie.com


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Steve Wargo
Re: Difference in camcorders?
on Mar 18, 2008 at 7:43:07 pm

Exactly. It might not seem like much to store now but someday it will be over whelming.

We have over 2500 tapes in our library. I couldn't imaging that being on a disc somewhere.

We have been laying off a lot of old stuff to DVD just to bring the space required down to something managable.

On another note, having been stung by B+H, we don't shop there.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Difference in camcorders?
on Mar 18, 2008 at 10:21:32 pm

Sorry you had a bad experience with B&H, Steve.

We've always had terrific service from them across a wide variety of products from lighting and electronics to stills cameras and lenses.

Good shooting and best regards,

Leo



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Robert Storm
Re: Difference in camcorders?
on Mar 18, 2008 at 11:01:48 pm

Ah, I see about the tapes. Thanks for the help guys, but I'm still a little confused about the interlacing. These cameras are mostly shooting at 60i, right? But some of them have a 30p or 24p mode.. When they're shooting at 60i, am I going to have to deinterlace the footage each time I want to work with it? Because the camera I have now interlaces the footage (its really old..not even digital), so its a pain to have to deinterlace it before I can do anything.


Robert Storm



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Richard Herd
Re: Difference in camcorders?
on Mar 20, 2008 at 9:40:25 pm

May I suggest a link: http://lurkertech.com/lg/fields/



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Todd Terry
Re: Difference in camcorders?
on Mar 19, 2008 at 2:11:52 am

[Steve Wargo] "having been stung by B+H, we don't shop there"

Wow, I agree, that's surprising...

Just goes to show you can get bad service from anyone, on occassion. I've probably given B&H probably pushing $200K of hard-earned cash over the last decade or so, and have never gotten anything but outstanding service from them.

For a while they were putting a lot of used/demo stuff on eBay, and I was buying so much of it that their used manager (a gruff yet friendly fellow named Lou with the thickest Brooklyn accent yooz ever heard) used to call me up out of the blue to let me know what was coming up...

Always found them to be pretty good folks. Maybe not the best prices (sometimes yes, sometimes no) but always have most everything in stock and are easy to deal with.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Steve Wargo
My B+H bummer
on Mar 22, 2008 at 6:33:55 am

MANY years ago (around 10) I bought the assets of a video company going out of business. Part of the deal was that they had put $500 down on a Sony UVW-100B Betacam Camera, soon to be released. The B+H price was actually around $12k.

We needed the camera for a job in Irvine, California, a few days later. I called B+H and talked to the guy handling the account and gave them a debit card number for the payment. I had about $50k in the account at the time. Debit cards had just appeared and the bank's ad said "Use your debit card like cash". So I did. This was 2 days before the trip to Irvine from Phoenix.

I get a call the next morning from the B+H guy who leaves us a message on the recorder that goes something like this: "Mr. Wargo. You are a dead beat! You're credit card is no good and neither are you. Stop trying to steal our cameras. Your order is cancelled and we are keeping your $500 because you are a crook."

Well! That was a great way to start the day. I immediately assumed that the new camera was not being shipped overnight priority as I had specified. It turns out that no matter how much money you have in an account, you cannot actually use your debit card like cash. A quick call to the bank disclosed that one can only use it for up to $7500 in any 24 hour period.

I make a humble call to our guy at B+H and explain the situation. We figure out that the wife and I have two debit cards with different numbers. We put &7500 on one and the balance on another. B+H ships the camera by FedEX with only about 10 minutes to go.

It arrives the next morning and the folly shifts into phase "2".

The packaged lens does not fit. Now what? I know. I'll call my friendly customer service rep at B+H. I call 1-800 pray-now and my usual rep is off on a holiday.

CSR number 2 listens while I tell him that the B+H supplied Canon lens does not fit onto the front of the camera. Here is his reply to the best of my recollection (word for word because I recorded it): "Even a pathetic idiot could figure out how to put a lens on the camera. Maybe you should get one of your kids to help you with that you stupid (mumble mumble)"

I calmly explain that the camera requires an "SX" style of lens mount, according to the manual (Yep, I read it. I am not a real man). He said that he has not received any complaints from anyone else. I asked how many UVW-100b camera/lens combinations he had sold and he said that I was the first one. In my mind, I'm thinking he has a 100% failure rate. He feels otherwise. He repeated the "stupid" part and I asked him to hold.

A very good friend of mine is Tom Bender from Canon, in Irvine of all places. I called him but he wasn't in. I told his associate about my dilema and he confirmed the "SX" lens part. I connected all three of us together using the conference function on our office phone. The Canon rep proceeded to tell the the B+H rep that they had ordered 200 incorrect lenses. The B+H rep said he would check on it and let the Canon rep know if he agreed, and then hung up. He did not call the Canon rep stupid.

I stayed on the phone with the Canon rep and asked if he would provide us a b-stock or a loaner. We were leaving for Irvine about 3 hours later. He declined and said that B+H is on a cash account because of "well, I can't really say". Had Mr. Bender not been on vacation, we would have had a loaner waiting at the hotel where we were staying. I made a few calls and borrowed a lens for the trip.

Not being one to hold a grudge, regardless of anything you may have heard otherwise, I decided to give B+H another try when we bought our F-900 from BandPro. I needed some filters that BandPro did not have in stock, specifically, a 4x5.6 blue sky grad - horizontal of course. A call to B+H disclosed that they had a #2 blue sky grad. I asked the delightful CSR to verify that the grad was horizontal and not vertical. I actually faxed him a drawing of the filter in actual size. He called back and confirmed that my wildest dreams had indeed come true. I payed standard overnight FedEx and the filter that I desperately needed for a rental arrived the very next afternoon. I open the box and, yep, you guessed it (or I wouldn't be telling this tale) it was a vertical grad. I called him and he agreed to accept it back. They kept a 15% restocking fee and did not reimburse my shipping because it wasn't their fault that I needed it overnight.

Part three of the story is that NAB was right after the first incident and I visited the B+H booth to see if my friendly rep #1 was there. He was. I proceeded to ask him if he felt that treating customers ($12,000 customers) like he did was really good for repeat business and customer good will and he told me that they are a huge company and that I am only about a big as a pimple on a camel's ass and that I should leave the hall immediately or he would summon security. I'm surprised that he didn't tell me to leave town.

Please note that I can be a real diplomat when necessary and he was treated with way more respect than he deserved.

So, there it is.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Paul Thurston
The secret
on Mar 27, 2008 at 2:07:55 am

If you ever have a problem again with B&H, feel free to contact Henry Posner via e-mail at:

henryp(at)bhphotovideo.com.





-----------------------------------------------
Paul Thurston
Producer - Director of Photography
Chile


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Steve Wargo
Re: The secret
on Mar 29, 2008 at 6:15:05 am

Thanks Paul.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


Return to posts index

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