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Moving to HD camera decision

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Chuck Noland
Moving to HD camera decision
on May 14, 2011 at 1:06:10 pm

I am looking to step up my cameras to HD. The work I did with my equipment was for corporate training and my own marketing work as a independent software rep so, I'm not what you would call a professional videographer. I had always had Canon cameras and felt comfortable moving to a GL1 and XL1s when they came out. I've been away from shooting anything for awhile but am planning a new business that will need to incorporate video a great deal more than my past endeavors. My Canon's are still just fine for video I'll use for the web as you just don't need the high resolution and the monster files that go along with them.

The business I plan can quickly grow and there would be a definite need for HD with a possibility of creating a show that could be pitched to some of the DIY type cable channels. Being away from looking at cameras for a couiple years it's just natural to look first where I'm comfortable and that is with Canon. I'm certainly not married to tape as the future roaring in seems to be doing a phase out of that medium. I've looked through some posts and see the usual holy wars about cameras but would like some feedback on moving to a serious (no, not a RED, I'm not talking 60k serious) that would be more than I need today but let me and my business grow into its full capabilities. Of course the first thing I looked at was a Canon XLH1 simply because it was a comfort zone with the same body style as the older XL1 I was used to but the body style that the 300 and 305 use, and their competitors, seems much more friendly to work with.

So, would I, or should I, consider moving away from Canon? Keep in mind, I know next to zilch about the panasonic, JVC's, and Sony cameras so I'm not being a wise guy with that question, just really want to know from folks who use the HD cameras for a living and have to put their livelyhood on the line what they think. I'm quite happy to stick with the Canon family but would like to know it's my best decision. Thanks


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Al Bergstein
Re: Moving to HD camera decision
on May 15, 2011 at 1:30:45 pm

The fx100 is a great bet if you are staying canon, but Panasonic have some nice cameras in the 3k to 5k range, plus some new ones coming out in the fall.

Alf


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Neal Klaeser
Re: Moving to HD camera decision
on May 16, 2011 at 4:01:45 pm

I believe that I am in the same boat. I edit with FCP and would like to know how if you shoot native HD how would you deliver an SD copy on DVD? I currently shoot SD with DSR250's but would like to move away from tape based recording.


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Al Bergstein
Re: Moving to HD camera decision
on May 16, 2011 at 4:14:48 pm

It's easy Neal. I shoot HD all the time, and have needed to make DVDs for showings I've done. DVDs are SD by nature. When you go to create the DVD you simply choose either SD or Blu Ray, depending on your device & machine. Apple of course is not supporting Blu Ray natively in FCP, but you can get tools to work around it. You can output BR but they don't support burning it inside FCP. Toast can do it for you. Or move to Windows, where support is a no brainer (G).

You then create the DVD and it plays on any DVD player (hopefully). No different than you do now. Certainly there can be minor issues, but it's not any more a problem than shooting what you are now. The upside is that your quality looks better (IMHO) as you are capturing to begin with at a higher quality. If you make it look good, it will look great. Moving to Blu Ray then allows you to actually output HD quality.

Alf


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Neal Klaeser
Re: Moving to HD camera decision
on May 16, 2011 at 4:21:01 pm

Thank you for the post. So, when you ingest and edit, you edit in HD and then when you output the file from the timeline is when the program becomes SD. Do you know how Canon's files import into FCP? Also, the SD DVD will either have a center cut or a letter-box?


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Al Bergstein
Re: Moving to HD camera decision
on May 16, 2011 at 4:50:20 pm

Yes, you edit in HD. Remember, if you are in SD now, you may need a more powerful computer to edit. I use either Windows 7 with 8 GBs RAM and a lot of storage, or a MacPro with lots of RAM & Lots of storage (G).

The 300/305 XDCAM files import natively into FCP. No need to transcode to ProRes, it doesn't 'help'. There is a L&T add on from Canon to do that import, works fine. Only place where you might find an issue if you are using multicam editing in FCP, where all the formats need to match. I've had problems using Multicam where even with everything Prores the JVC 700 that I was having help me could not be used in the multicam editing, where I was bringing in HMC150 AVCHD & transcoding it, along with 7D footage. For some reason the JVC footage, while MOV, still needed to be transcoded to match the other footage. I gave up on doing all that work, and just hand edited the short footage.

Alf


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Larry Watts
Re: Moving to HD camera decision
on May 17, 2011 at 4:43:08 pm

We just bought the Canon XF 305 and with 4.2.2 color space, 50Mbs, and Canon L glass you can acquire amazing footage for an amazing price. Check the BBC decision about these cameras.

Larry



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Neal Klaeser
Re: Moving to HD camera decision
on May 20, 2011 at 12:08:46 am

How long does it take to import footage?


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Al Bergstein
Re: Moving to HD camera decision
on May 22, 2011 at 12:26:29 pm

Into what? Not much longer than with my hmc150. It depends on a lot of variables.

Alf


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Wade Sellers
Re: Moving to HD camera decision
on Jun 8, 2011 at 8:38:29 pm

If you can find a Sony PMW-EX1, I think it can't be beat. Research it, but it's a simple, GREAT, camera and easy learning curve on the workflow.


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Chuck Noland
Re: Moving to HD camera decision
on Jun 10, 2011 at 12:34:32 pm

Well, for sticking my toe in the HD water I'm leaning toward the new Canon XA10. Plenty of features and a price that leaves me room to seriously upgrade my computer. I'm comfortable with Canon quality and performance and its using easy to find and relatively good priced memory cards compared to some of the other brands is appealing as I hate it when companies force you to buy their "special" memory cards, it's just not necessary. I'd rather not jump too quick at a $6k to 8K commitment till I feel more comfortable working with HD and then the XA10 will make a great "B" camera.


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