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Re: purchase recommendation

COW Forums : Sony DV

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Jeff CarpenterRe: purchase recommendation
by on Mar 30, 2006 at 6:24:03 pm

You're about to enter the dreaded zone of "HD or not-HD."

I went through the same thing a few months ago and eventually decided to buy an SD camera. My reasons were:

* No easy way to deliver HD footage to clients, thus hard to charge extra for over SD.
* Current HD cameras in that price range have worse low-light ability and I shoot events.
* I couldn't work with HD footage without upgrading my monitors and I/O system on my computer.
* My current firewire hard drives would have to be replaced with something faster.
* The HD cameras are more expensive. MUCH cheaper than before...but still more than SD.

So for me, I decided that I'd have to spend a lot of extra money to work with HD and I wouldn't realyl get anythig out of it. I haven't had one bride yet ask me about HD video. It's just not important to them yet.

I understand that I can buy an HD camera now and use it in SD mode, but the way I figure it, by the time I'm ready to shoot in HD there will be something twice as good at half the price out there. So I decided to wait.

But that's just me. You might decide that HD is the way to go. It's up to you to make that call. Once you figure it out, however, here's your rundown:

If you want to stick with SD footage then Sony's PD-170 is the place to go. Easy.

If you are considering HD then you have two different paths to take. Either Sony's HVR-Z1U or the Pannasonic AG-HVX200. Deciding between THOSE 2 is a whole other can of worms that I'm not going to get into here. If you want to talk about that, let us know a bit more about what your current setup (shooting and editing) includes and what your workflow is. Do you work alone? Or do you ever share footage with other editors? Stuff like that. At your price range it's probably the Z1 that you'll look at, but you should at least compare the two.

Anyway, sticking with SD is going to be much cheaper for now and will allow you to buy more accessories. That's the other thing I thought about. I decided I'd rather have SD video shot on a great tripod with more lights and better mics than have HD video with cheaper accssories backing it up. That's another important factor and for that alone (based on your price range) I think you're better off with a PD-170.

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