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Camcorders

Posted: Tue, 7th Aug 2007, 11:01pm

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Biblmac

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Hi I am an inexperienced movie maker who has no idea anything about cameras. But let me cut to the chase. I have a sucky camera right now, wich has very poor image quality. I want one where at least I can see what is going on and it isn't all pixtelated. I use the Effects Lab Lite program and I am pshyched to use the neon light engine to create lightsabers and other effects but the camera I have now is not cutting it. You see I made light sabers out of wooden rods that I painted a handle on and my camera is just not picking it up well enough. Anyway I am looking for a new one that is under $200 and I was looking at things like the Cannon ZR500, Sony DCR-TRV280 8mm Camcorder (what does 8mm mean anyway?), and the Sony DCR-TRV280 Digital-8 Camcorder. And I don't know which one is actually worth it.

I appoligize if there is already a forum on this topic but, I didn't want to use all my time looking for one when I might not find one.
Posted: Wed, 8th Aug 2007, 8:33am

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Avenging Eagle

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For starters 8mm means it records onto an 8mm video casette tape. This is analogue technology and has been far surpassed in quality (and versitility) by digital. So, firstly, you should be looking at digital cameras.

Secondly, i have to say, you budget is rather modest. $200 is under £100 and i can't imagine finding a good camera for that price in the UK. If you were to save up for a while, even until you got $400, you'd have so many more options and alot better quality.

AE
Posted: Wed, 8th Aug 2007, 12:45pm

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petet2

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Digital 8 records digitally as mini DV but i would still recommend you get a mini DV camcorder. In the UK you can get mini DV camcorders from £150 so you should be able to get something for $300 I would have thought?

Yes you can pay a lot more but to get started I would just recommend cheap mini DV camera. It's better to be filming and learning rather that waiting for a year to save up!
Posted: Wed, 8th Aug 2007, 2:40pm

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Biblmac

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What do you all think of a Canon ZR 700?
Posted: Wed, 8th Aug 2007, 3:17pm

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Frosty G

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I have the Canon ZR800 and I personally love it. It's good for a cheap camera and I don't think there is much difference in the models.
Posted: Wed, 8th Aug 2007, 3:29pm

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FreshMentos

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I think that looks like a solid entry-level camcorder. Besides that Canon camcorder, Sony makes some decent handycam consumer cams. As a beginner to film making, I wouldn't try to spend any more than $400 on a camcorder. Good luck!
Posted: Wed, 8th Aug 2007, 4:18pm

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LightsCameraAction

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Another option would be to get yourself onto ebay with your budget....


http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/JVC-Mini-DV-MiniDV-GR-D720-Digital-Camcorder-Cam-Camera_W0QQitemZ230157253350QQihZ013QQcategoryZ11724QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Buy It Now of £140 which is about $280



http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Panasonic-PV-GS59-MiniDV-Camcorder-w-30x-Optical-Zoom_W0QQitemZ150147496271QQihZ005QQcategoryZ11724QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

This is a Panansonic ex-demo MiniDV camera for £90. It is in Israel so I would check it out thoroughly before parting with any cash and use paypal so you are covered but the seller does have a + feedback 90% in over 1000 transactions.
Posted: Wed, 8th Aug 2007, 4:52pm

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crazymonkey01

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Biblmac wrote:

What do you all think of a Canon ZR 700?
I previously owned a Canon ZR80. It was a great camera. But I would recommend a ZR800 over the 700 because of the addition of a Mic input.
Posted: Wed, 8th Aug 2007, 10:07pm

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Biblmac

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I found this on ebay and want to know if you think it is worth it, whether it will work, will it run properly, ect. Here is the link: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Canon-ZR-850-MiniDV-Camcorder-Mini-DV-ZR850_W0QQitemZ290147045280QQihZ019QQcategoryZ20330QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Posted: Wed, 8th Aug 2007, 11:54pm

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doppelganger

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look at the guys feedback... no
Posted: Thu, 9th Aug 2007, 2:43am

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Frosty G

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Whats wrong with his feedback? It read 98% positive with over 2000 positive hits. I am genuinely asking because I've never used ebay before and there might be something I am missing.
Posted: Thu, 9th Aug 2007, 3:33am

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Tim L

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I don't have any experience with the ZR800, so I can't personally recommend it or recommend against it. I do have a little Canon Elura 100 that I am satisfied with, but I think the ZR800 is a step below the Elura 100 (which was discontinued last year).

However, if you want to make movies, I agree that a microphone input is essential. Once you have the camcorder, you may end up disappointed with the sound quality (in some situations, not all). Then you can save up for an external mic.

The ZR800 has a mic input, but not the ZR830 or ZR850. Also, the ZR's can shoot in widescreen mode. NOTE: ZR800 does NOT have digital still photo mode -- but it does have a mic input.

Here are two very trustworthy places to order from (in the US):

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/478924-REG/Canon_1880B001_ZR800_Mini_DV_Camcorder.html

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16830120090&Tpk=zr800

Tim L
Posted: Thu, 9th Aug 2007, 6:23pm

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Biblmac

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Does anyone know what do high def cameras have better sound? or even dvd camcorders?
Posted: Thu, 9th Aug 2007, 7:43pm

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pdrg

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Biblmac wrote:

Does anyone know what do high def cameras have better sound? or even dvd camcorders?
HDV still records 2-channel 48kHz as far as I know, and the onboard mics still stink. The only way to get decent sound (even shooting on a pro-HD format, etc) is with an external mic just out of frame, and even then it'll be good upto (say) 95% of the time (ADR the rest of the time)
Posted: Fri, 10th Aug 2007, 3:33am

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Tim L

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HDV uses MPEG-1 Audio Layer II compression for audio, whereas regular DV uses PCM/WAV type audio (basically uncompressed?). I've heard people make disparaging remarks about the audio format in HDV, but I don't know how much of that really has any merit.

Re: DVD camcorders -- I think some can record in 5.1 AC3 surround sound.

But overall, I bet the mic quality and the in-camera preamp circuits, etc., have more to do with quality (or lack of it) than the recording mode and compression. Any camera with an external mic capability is going to be a better choice than a camera that can only use the built-in mics.

Tim L
Posted: Fri, 10th Aug 2007, 2:03pm

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pdrg

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Tim L wrote:

HDV uses MPEG-1 Audio Layer II compression for audio, whereas regular DV uses PCM/WAV type audio (basically uncompressed?).
Oh, Ok - fair enough smile Thx for the tip

Re: DVD camcorders -- I think some can record in 5.1 AC3 surround sound.
If that's the case, then that's the biggest waste of money you could have as a feature for a camcorder! 6 channels digital surround recorded from a device where half of the device is shielded by the cameraman's bodily noises, etc! Please let it not be true...but I don't doubt it, some marketeer added the feature, not an engineer I'll bet wink


But overall, I bet the mic quality and the in-camera preamp circuits, etc., have more to do with quality (or lack of it) than the recording mode and compression. Any camera with an external mic capability is going to be a better choice than a camera that can only use the built-in mics.

Tim L
Spot-on. Amen, bro!
Posted: Tue, 14th Aug 2007, 9:30pm

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Biblmac

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Hi,
I am back, What kind of mic should I use to put on a camera lik the Canon ZR 800. Cause I was at BEST BUY yesterday and the guy I talked to said that any mic that fit in the port, (He gave me an exact size I just don't remeber it). Is this a good idea or is there a special mic that works best.
Posted: Wed, 15th Aug 2007, 5:25pm

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pdrg

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Frankly any mic that'll fit that you can afford will give you better results than you'll get off the onboard mic. The 'best' mic you could buy would cost more than the camera, so get yourself whatever you can afford and keep it just out of shot whilst taping
Posted: Thu, 16th Aug 2007, 1:51am

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Biblmac

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Ok how about this shotgun mic. http://www.onecall.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=27164
Is it too good to be true
Posted: Wed, 22nd Aug 2007, 10:27pm

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Biblmac

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Does any one know of a Mini DV camcorder similar to the Canon ZR series with a mic input for under $300 (USD). Thank you. And what is shutter speed.
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 2:20am

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szczepanski

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In combination with variation of the lens aperture, the shutter speed regulates how much light the camera will record. For a given exposure, a fast shutter speed demands a larger aperture or more light to avoid under-exposure, just as a slow shutter speed is offset by a very small aperture to avoid over-exposure. Long shutter speeds are often used in low light conditions, such as at night.

Shutter speed is measured in seconds. A typical shutter speed for photographs taken in sunlight is 1/125th of a second. In addition to its effect on exposure, shutter speed changes the way movement appears in the picture. Very short shutter speeds are used to freeze fast-moving subjects, for example at sporting events. Very long shutter speeds are used to intentionally blur a moving subject for artistic effect.

I hope that helpss!
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 2:31am

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Biblmac

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yes it does but kinda confusing
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 2:33am

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szczepanski

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Too make it easier, with a higher shutter speed you will get better quality and less blur.
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 3:36am

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Biblmac

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Thanks but still does anyone know of any camcorders simalar to the Canon ZR 800? Anything helps
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 3:46am

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szczepanski

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Biblmac wrote:

Thanks but still does anyone know of any camcorders simalar to the Canon ZR 800? Anything helps
Well the Panasonic PV-GS230 is very simialar but it only lacks one thing, and that is the mic-input. The Panasonic PV-GS230 is actually a little bit better but it doesn't have the mic-input.
I'm also looking for a MiniDV Camcorder but i think my budget is a fairly bit larger than yours, I was looking at the PV-GS500 but i can't find the Camcorder on any Australian websites or stores, or even the Panasonic website it's self, so if anyone can find a place/website (even in the UK or US) could message me. thanks smile
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 9:49am

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david311272

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hi i was thinking of getting an hdr-fx1 hdv handycam but i cant seem to find one for £1000 any ideas i need one with the same picture quality and with mic jacks £500 is ideal for one but i can go to £1000.

thanks

david napier
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 10:49am

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Bflat5

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Biblmac wrote:

Ok how about this shotgun mic. http://www.onecall.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=27164
Is it too good to be true
I have that mic for my camera. It's ok, but for the price don't expect too much. It works best with the zoom.

I wish I knew about this site before I jumped into the whole video thing. I've had camcorders before like VHS and Hi-8, but a few months ago I decided to buy a digital camera.

I did some research and compared features, prices, etc. but where I failed (kind of) is not really knowing what features I actually needed. I dropped a little over $1000 on the camera, but the one feature I found that I need isn't on it and that's the external mic.

If you're on a tight budget I'd hold out and save a little more to get a good camera. I wish I would have done that now. Just a few weeks longer and I would have been able to buy the latest upgraded version of the camera I bought with the mic jack for the same price!
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 3:45pm

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FreshMentos

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david311272 wrote:

hi i was thinking of getting an hdr-fx1 hdv handycam but i cant seem to find one for £1000 any ideas i need one with the same picture quality and with mic jacks £500 is ideal for one but i can go to £1000.
You won't be able to get a FX1 handycam under at least $3000. If you bought one for $1000 it would either be a scam or there is something wrong with it. As for a camcorder with similar quality, they would be in the same price range as the FX1 or even more expensive.

If you're interested in getting an HDV camcorder a good one that's not too expensive is the Canon HV10

There is a used one at BH for around $600 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/800533249-USE/Canon_1194B001_HV10_2_76MP_CMOS_HDV.html
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 4:09pm

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Biblmac

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Hi I am curious about the hd camcorders. Is the resolution better than a mini dv such as the Canon ZR 800
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 4:25pm

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FreshMentos

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Biblmac wrote:

Hi I am curious about the hd camcorders. Is the resolution better than a mini dv such as the Canon ZR 800
Well it is called "High-Definition" for a reason smile

But the HDV format is pretty new and has its share of issues; like getting pixely during fast movement and not being able to perform well in low-light areas.
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 5:38pm

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Merrick

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From what I've heard it still sounds better to stick with miniDV. Don't forget the Panasonic GS series. They have 3CCD; that means they record better color.
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 5:45pm

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Atom

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Merrick World wrote:

From what I've heard it still sounds better to stick with miniDV. Don't forget the Panasonic GS series. They have 3CCD; that means they record better color.
That's one reason not to get it and why people play it up. They hear the words "3CCDs" and immediately think it's great. You have to have a good lens and image sensor for the 3CCDs to really give you all you think you're getting. And the GS just won't.

Chances are, you won't even think it's 1CCD.
Posted: Thu, 23rd Aug 2007, 5:48pm

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ben3308

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The 3CCDs are the good image sensor, stupid.

But yes, I'll agree; without a good lens or good color pickup (though Panasonic is known to have some of the best), you don't have a very good camera.

I know there's a price disparity between the two, but when shooting GS and GL2 side-by-side, the GL2 totally whoops the GS's ass. Big time.
Posted: Fri, 24th Aug 2007, 8:38am

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szczepanski

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The Panasonic GS series is really good because of it's 3ccd.
But this is where the problem comes in, Panasonic no longer sell the GS400 and the GS500 for some reasons ( i don't know why). And they are the only two that have a mic-input. So.. yeah. sad

Also about the canon ZR 800, i have been reading some reveiws about it and found out that it has poor quality in night mode, so if your thinking making films in the dark, i wouldn't recommend the canon ZR 800. But then again, im no expert, this is what i've read.
Happy Buying smile
Posted: Fri, 24th Aug 2007, 4:14pm

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Atom

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szczepanski wrote:

The Panasonic GS series is really good because of it's 3ccd.
No, they aren't. In fact, they are really IMO shoddy cameras to begin with. Like I said, people even without experience with the cam hear the words 3CCD and immediately say it's "really good because of it's 3CCDs."

When, while 3CCDs are terrific and a very important element of a camera, not the end-all.
Posted: Fri, 24th Aug 2007, 5:12pm

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pdrg

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Atom wrote:


When, while 3CCDs are terrific and a very important element of a camera, not the end-all.
I'd have to agree with Atom here, there's a lot of important elements in an ideal camera - when you get the lot together, you pay a lot of money, so it's always a comprimise for your budget, and picking on any one feature to say 'It has x so it must be good' plays into the hands of the marketing people...

3CCD
24fps
HD
Progressive shooting
Zeiss (designed!) Lens
External Mic port
XLR external mic port
interchangeable lenses
2/3rds CCD
External monitor support
Dolby 5.1 surround recording support
Tapeless
Build quality!
User-bit-timecode
etc etc

Most of the above have great value in a machine, but not at the expense of the others - no one feature 'makes' a camera, it's always a combination weighed against price.
Posted: Fri, 24th Aug 2007, 5:51pm

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Biblmac

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How much better is the Canon Elura 100 from the Canon ZR 800? Does anyone know? It would be a big help thanks. biggrin
Posted: Fri, 24th Aug 2007, 7:15pm

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pdrg

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Biblmac wrote:

How much better is the Canon Elura 100 from the Canon ZR 800? Does anyone know? It would be a big help thanks. biggrin
You're choosing between two pretty low-level cameras, and as above, what you gain on one front (eg low-light capabilities) you'll lose on another (eg zoom range). Frankly I'm sure they're both fine, in as far as they go - consumer-level cameras with plenty good enough features and capabilities for shooting home movies - just don't expect dazzling professional results as you just won't get them.
Posted: Fri, 24th Aug 2007, 8:47pm

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Biblmac

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What about a camera like the Canon HV20. How much better is that other than its hd capability.
Posted: Sat, 25th Aug 2007, 5:39am

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Atom

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Biblmac wrote:

What about a camera like the Canon HV20. How much better is that other than its hd capability.
The HD capability is all the better you need in that cam. The not only is it ridiculously small and sexy, but I believe it does 1080i in native 16:9 too for a great price.

If you're seriously considering it, by all means go for it.
Posted: Sat, 25th Aug 2007, 5:42am

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Bryce007

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pdrg wrote:

...you'll lose on another (eg zoom range)...
Zoom range? That almost entirely doesn't matter. Anything past 10X is plenty.
Posted: Sat, 25th Aug 2007, 5:50am

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Serpent

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pdrg wrote:

'It has x so it must be good' plays into the hands of the marketing people...

3CCD
24fps
HD
Progressive shooting
Zeiss (designed!) Lens
External Mic port
XLR external mic port
interchangeable lenses
2/3rds CCD
External monitor support
Dolby 5.1 surround recording support
Tapeless
Build quality!
User-bit-timecode
etc etc
Erm, although a couple things you listed are gimmicks, most of that stuff is stuff you should look at. If it has X, that doesn't mean it's good, but if it has A-Z it very well could be. If you are shopping for anything, you need to do research, ask around, read feedback, read reliable reviews, do comparisons, and learn what each feature listed is and what features you should be looking for and why. Because believe it or not, not everything listed is a gimmick. FXH is going to have an Ultimate Camera sticky at some point, so this will definitely point users in the right direction. If I were looking in the $1,000 price range, I would look at the Canon HV20 right now. Read some reviews, check it out, do some research. People are raving over it for good reason.

Bryce007 wrote:

Zoom range? That almost entirely doesn't matter. Anything past 10X is plenty.
I agree completely. But I only shoot films with my camcorder. If someone was interested in longer reach for their kid's sporting match, bird filming, nature filming, or other things that require long distance, I'd imagine a longer lens with higher optical range is something they'd want to look at. This is just an example of some features being useful to some, and useless to others. Long shots in filmmaking don't require a long "zoom range" really. That's why you need to know what features do what things, and what you'd look for. I can't stress research enough. Whenever I spend my money, or even my parents money, I spend days researching my stuff to get the most out of the money. I like having good stuff and you aren't going to get it if you spend no time researching and doing something as ridiculous as trusting a Best Buy employee's opinion.
Posted: Sat, 25th Aug 2007, 4:29pm

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Biblmac

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Thank you guys that was a real help. biggrin
Posted: Sat, 25th Aug 2007, 5:09pm

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pdrg

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Serpent wrote:

pdrg wrote:

'It has x so it must be good' plays into the hands of the marketing people...

3CCD
24fps
HD
Progressive shooting
Zeiss (designed!) Lens
External Mic port
XLR external mic port
interchangeable lenses
2/3rds CCD
External monitor support
Dolby 5.1 surround recording support
Tapeless
Build quality!
User-bit-timecode
etc etc
Erm, although a couple things you listed are gimmicks, most of that stuff is stuff you should look at. If it has X, that doesn't mean it's good, but if it has A-Z it very well could be.

pdrg wrote:

Most of the above have great value in a machine, but not at the expense of the others - no one feature 'makes' a camera, it's always a combination weighed against price.
Just for the record.
Posted: Wed, 5th Sep 2007, 3:31am

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Biblmac

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Hi I am back and wanted to know if Canon (or any other major camera provider) has made an out dated version of something like the Canon GL2. Anything helps. Thanks biggrin
Posted: Wed, 5th Sep 2007, 3:50am

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neoglitz

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HV20 is great! I picked one up recently and the more I use it the more I love it. CMOS has nice colors and green/bluescreen stuff easily seperates. For the money, it is outstanding. I shot Switch Twisted with it.


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Posted: Wed, 5th Sep 2007, 5:20am

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Atom

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Biblmac wrote:

Hi I am back and wanted to know if Canon (or any other major camera provider) has made an out dated version of something like the Canon GL2. Anything helps. Thanks biggrin
Uhh.....are you kidding? Maybe......I dunno.......GL2 would sound like the successor to.....I dunno........the GL1. (Which, IMO, I wouldn't recommend in this newest generation of lower prices and new prosumers. Maybe 2 years ago I would've, but not anymore.)

Serpent has TS (90% of these guys won't even know what 'TS' is......tsk tsk....the days have passed me by smile) GL1, maybe he can give you some info.
Posted: Wed, 5th Sep 2007, 11:46am

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doppelganger

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Atom wrote:


Serpent has TS (90% of these guys won't even know what 'TS' is......tsk tsk....the days have passed me by smile) GL1, maybe he can give you some info.
I wouldnt say 90% cause I knew and I came here either right before they left or when they left, but then again I praised them when I saw DXM.

Anyways I was going to get a gl1 cause it was cheaper and I heard someone on here say it was the same as a gl2 with less manuel controls, but its not. I'm not the one to go on and on about the gl2, because I've never used one in my life, but just look around the forums and theres tons of people praising it. I mean its got its own thread!
Posted: Wed, 5th Sep 2007, 4:50pm

Post 49 of 53

SilverDragon7

Force: 2265 | Joined: 29th Jun 2006 | Posts: 1990

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Sadly, I don't know what a TS is, please inform me?
Posted: Wed, 5th Sep 2007, 11:17pm

Post 50 of 53

doppelganger

Force: 134 | Joined: 16th May 2006 | Posts: 1157

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Member

SilverDragon7 wrote:

Sadly, I don't know what a TS is, please inform me?
TWISTED STUDIOS!!! You cant tell me you've never seen DXM its not in the cinema anymore but thats no excuse I searched for ever on the enternet and finally found a copy... so go on, start searching.
Posted: Thu, 6th Sep 2007, 12:04am

Post 51 of 53

ben3308

Force: 5210 | Joined: 24th May 2004 | Posts: 6433

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Fool Skool 1-3, Fool Skool X, Pharmacide, DXM, and most of the inspiration the Atomic/De-Evolution/CPO Studios/other now 17/18-year-old crews got from watching videos on this website.

Niko and Sam are legendary. So much so, Splinter Cell was honorarily called "The Gorsky Assignment" as an homage.
Posted: Sun, 9th Sep 2007, 7:00pm

Post 52 of 53

Biblmac

Force: 852 | Joined: 12th Jun 2007 | Posts: 1513

EffectsLab Lite User Windows User

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Hey guys I have been looking at the Canon HV20 and just found a website that has it for cheap! I just want to know is it for real??
Here's the site: http://www.usaphotonation.com/products.asp?product_id=14282&engine=googleads&gclid=CLSw0r2Ht44CFRO-hgodMlFxzg

Thanks Guys! biggrin
Posted: Sun, 9th Sep 2007, 7:13pm

Post 53 of 53

Fill

Force: 1257 | Joined: 1st Jul 2005 | Posts: 1652

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Gold Member

Rating: +1

I'll save Ben the time and do this myself:

Always check Http://www.resellerratings.com to see if the store you are interested in is legitimate

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/USA_Photo_Nation