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Family Holiday Camcorder?

Posted: Thu, 1st Jul 2010, 7:04pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Hey Guys, I know there have been a lot of forum topics on different camcorders, however I am looking for one between a budget of around £500 to £600 to use on holiday and also to do some amateur filming around the house after the holiday

Hope someone can help,

Cheers!
Posted: Thu, 1st Jul 2010, 8:59pm

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ben3308

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Hey, I think a good choice for you may be the DSLR Canon Rebel T2i, known in Europe as the Canon 550D.

It's a still camera with video functions, and despite only having a 12 minute total recording time, my folks have found it a joy for their trips to Disneyworld, on vacation, or my younger sister's soccer matches. The ability to get crisp, film-like video of family events with a decent onboard microphone in HD, AND be able to take awesome 35mm SLR still images on the same camera is wonderful for the family man.

That, and, with the kit lens and a good 16gb card (which will give you 49-60 minutes of footage), it runs about 900 dollars, so is well within your price range.
Posted: Thu, 1st Jul 2010, 10:25pm

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pdrg

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There's a lot of value in what Ben says, you get a lot of camera for your money, but I would actually suggest a tape-based camera for going on holiday unless you're also carrying a laptop with a huge hard drive, or you can get a stack of memory cards. 12 mins of video eats up 4GB of storage, so you need a lot of cards if you like to not have to worry about how long you're filming for, and if you also want to record school plays etc, 12 mins may be inconvenient.

Tape-wise, you're looking at HDV, so the most popular camera here in that bracket was the Canon HV40 (or its friends HV20/30 and who knows, maybe there's an HV50?) - you can buy a stack of tapes for a couple of quid each, record upto an hour on each, and then only worry about editing when you get home.

So, it depends on how you think you'll shoot, basically. And if you're taking a laptop. Have a lovely holiday!
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jul 2010, 10:23am

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Arktic

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I agree with pdrg* - whilst the 550D is an amazing camera for film-making, for holiday videos I would say it's not the best choice.

Like pdrg says, you're likely to eat up the space on your memory cards pretty rapid if you're anything like me and my friends (we shoot *loads* when we're on holiday, I think I came back from a week's holiday in Texas with four or five tapes - and I would have shot more, only my camera's battery ran out, and my charger didn't work in the US).

Also, if you're rushed / not careful, the 500D's shallow DoF can mean that you end up with footage that's not quite sharp. I've known this to happen to experienced film-makers who are in a rush, let alone someone who's just on holiday, trying to enjoy themselves and capture some spontaneous moments! And you might also run into some issues with rolling shutter etc - which isn't a problem when you've got time to work out your camera moves and such in advance, but for a holiday vid, you often don't have that luxury.

I'd second the recomendation of an HV20 - you can get one second hand on eBay for £450 from what looks like a very reputable seller - 324 transactions, 100% positive, no negatives ever. Looks like it's in good condition, comes with a bunch of extras (wide angle adapter, extra batteries and the like). If I were in the market for a new holiday camcorder, that'd probably be my weapon of choice smile

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Arktic.

* - I'm just going to make this part of my auto-signature or something from now on....
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jul 2010, 12:25pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Hey guys, thanks a lot for the suggestions.

I think I will probably go for something tape based like the HV20 Arktic and pdrg suggested just due to being able to easily film a lot more without changing all those memory cards. Even though the Canon 550D does look pretty awesome!

Cheers guys
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jul 2010, 8:33pm

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ben3308

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Yeah, I want to further the suggestion of the HV20 (or HV30/40, if your blood runs richer) as it's a fantastic little HD camcorder with a wonderful tape-based workflow.

My only mention of the 550D as that kind of camera is because, contrary to what I thought would happen, my folks got one to record my sister from time to time and its range in photos ended up being a huge plus for them - so basically, they've gotten more succinct/less footage in video recording (which is good for them, as they almost never review family footage) but also have some nice still images to boot.

If you're not wanting any stills as a result, I agree that there's not a camera I can recommend higher than the Canon HV20.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jul 2010, 9:10pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Hey again guys, I was just wondering because I have been looking around where to buy a Canon HV20/HV30 rather than somewhere like ebay.

I checked out the Canon website but they didn't seem to have them so any help?
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jul 2010, 9:11pm

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DVStudio

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I saw this topic yesterday, but couldn't find the time to write a reply, but I agree with Arktic and pdrg on the HV20. Ben's advice is worthy however if you were looking to use it for film making or photography, as the 550D/T2i is a great HDSLR.

That being said, my advice would also, what, third what the others said and be that of buying an HV20/30/40 HDV camera. Tapes have more recording time, less set up involved, and are easy to just grab and go. Plus, they'll save computer space and the hassle of having to swap cards and copy the media off of them. The HV20+ cameras are relatively inexpensive now and offer some of the best HD footage from consumer cameras.

Just be sure to get the PAL version if you're in Europe or the NTSC one if you're in the states. Could prevent some aggravation later.

Best of luck with whichever camera you go with.

Cheers
DV

P.S. And a well deserved +1 pdrg buddy

Edit: Just saw your post, must have been as I was writing mine. Amazon has some (an HV40 for $800 at least on their US site) and possibly Newegg or B&H (HV40 for $649 here). If you buy from reputable seller, as Arktic pointed to, you should be alright on Ebay. Plus they have some kind of insurance/ backed guarantee that you get the product you're looking for, or at least that's my understanding.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jul 2010, 9:25pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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DVStudio wrote:

I saw this topic yesterday, but couldn't find the time to write a reply, but I agree with Arktic and pdrg on the HV20. Ben's advice is worthy however if you were looking to use it for film making or photography, as the 550D/T2i is a great HDSLR.

That being said, my advice would also, what, third what the others said and be that of buying an HV20/30/40 HDV camera. Tapes have more recording time, less set up involved, and are easy to just grab and go. Plus, they'll save computer space and the hassle of having to swap cards and copy the media off of them. The HV20+ cameras are relatively inexpensive now and offer some of the best HD footage from consumer cameras.

Just be sure to get the PAL version if you're in Europe or the NTSC one if you're in the states. Could prevent some aggravation later.

Best of luck with whichever camera you go with.

Cheers
DV

P.S. And a well deserved +1 pdrg buddy

Edit: Just saw your post, must have been as I was writing mine. Amazon has some (an HV40 for $800 at least on their US site) and possibly Newegg or B&H (HV40 for $649 here). If you buy from reputable seller, as Arktic pointed to, you should be alright on Ebay. Plus they have some kind of insurance/ backed guarantee that you get the product you're looking for, or at least that's my understanding.
Hey cheers man, some real good advice there smile

Ill go check out amazon and stuff and tell you if I get one!
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 1:56am

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Toruk Macto

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Don't write out the Flip Ultra HD yet - it is a wonderful camera, shoots in full HD (1920p-1080p), has wonderful audio, great low light performance, and is really inexpensive for the quality.
Internal memory space is really long, you don't need to worry about that.
It helped me a lot into I moved into DSLRs. And you can use your leftover money to save for an T2i or 7D one day smile
That my recommendation...really simple for holidays, good enough for 'amateur filming'. smile
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 2:50am

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Serpent

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Agreed, Flip HD is wonderful. +1 Really easy to use. Make sure you get the one with storage needs taken into consideration time you might be away from a computer to upload.


This is somewhat of a reiteration, but more of a summarization of the advantages/disadvantages of the 3 best consumer options for different kind of casual shooting.

Basically all three have advantages: do you want extreme convenience and a really cheap price for a pretty good looking image, do you want a tape workflow that's more in the $500 price range where you can have "infinite" storage and shooting time? Or do you want to create BEAUTIFUL vacation videos, artful quality, but more like $1,100 for all the accessories you need (LCD viewer, SD, cheap monopod, and batteries if you want, bare necessities for "run-and-gun.")

Basically at each level, you will have to think more. Flip is brainless, a baby could literally use it, and it fits in your pocket. HV series is easy to use barebones, but you have to set up the tape and stuff like that. HDSLR you have to think about focus, which changes everything in the vacation setting (you don't want to stop having a good time so you can set up a shot).

If you are making a montage of your vacation set to music, and that's your thing/way of remembering the moment, I think the HDSLR is the best choice unless you really don't want the bulk of a camera/camcorder and choose the Flip. If you really want to just have something to get the full moment, I'd say the Flip is the best choice. If you want somewhat of a mix of better footage and ease of use in vacation setting, and/or you plan on shooting more amounts of footage at a time, then the HV series is probably the best.




In a nutshell, they all have different advantages, it all comes down to what you're aiming to do. Me, personally, I just like to have a 5-12 minute or so montage of cool stuff from the vacation set to music, with some dialogue. The HDSLR is so easy, and I only take myself out of the moment for a second. The price you pay for getting really cool looking videos that people would be more likely to want to see and reminisce to. I never understood when people want to capture every single moment and then never edit the tape or anything. But to each his own. I love doing that on a film set though, so we've got two Flip HDs on our crew for behind-the-scenes to capture as many moments as we can. And Flip is by far the best of the 3 in its ability to do that, with ease of use, size, infinite focus, and single button controls.

Anyways, those are my thoughts in what I think are easily the three best camera choices under $10k sans the other video SLRs in the Canon EOS line.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 12:24pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Thanks for the advice serpent, really good!
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 4:07pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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I was thinking the Canon LEGRIA HF21 Camcorder for 539.99?
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 4:11pm

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Serpent

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Then you thought wrong and ignored everything everyone said. wink If you are aiming for the $500 range, get an HV20. If you want tapeless work flow, get a T2i or a Flip. HDD and Flash camcorders tend to suck and aren't really worth it.
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 5:34pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Serpent wrote:

Then you thought wrong and ignored everything everyone said. wink If you are aiming for the $500 range, get an HV20. If you want tapeless work flow, get a T2i or a Flip. HDD and Flash camcorders tend to suck and aren't really worth it.
Ha I know! I just dont really trust ebay as a place to buy expensive stuff!
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 5:36pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Serpent wrote:

Then you thought wrong and ignored everything everyone said. wink If you are aiming for the $500 range, get an HV20. If you want tapeless work flow, get a T2i or a Flip. HDD and Flash camcorders tend to suck and aren't really worth it.
Ha I know! I just dont really trust ebay as a place to buy expensive stuff!
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 5:47pm

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Serpent

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You don't have to use ebay.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/597424-REG/Canon_3686B001_VIXIA_HV40_High_Definition.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/675617-REG/Canon_4462B001_Canon_EOS_Rebel_T2i.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/655735-REG/Flip_Video_M2120M.html

Who said you had to use ebay? And trust me, it's worth the extra $150.
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 6:00pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Serpent wrote:

You don't have to use ebay.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/597424-REG/Canon_3686B001_VIXIA_HV40_High_Definition.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/675617-REG/Canon_4462B001_Canon_EOS_Rebel_T2i.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/655735-REG/Flip_Video_M2120M.html

Who said you had to use ebay? And trust me, it's worth the extra $150.
Yeah but im in the UK so want to get one here due to postage and some cameras not having full working in the UK or something?
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 7:35pm

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pdrg

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http://www.acecameras.co.uk/asp/web/recorprod/1/product/15379/cat/1546/ph/cat/keywords//recor/1/SearchFor//PT_ID/1/product.asp or http://www.jessops.com/online.store/categories/Digital%20SLRs/products/Canon/EOS%20550D%20with%2018-55mm%20IS%20Lens-77142/Show.html?cm_mmc=PrismaStar-_-DigitalSLRs-_-all-_-all for the T2i/550D

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flip-Mino-High-Definition-Camcorder/dp/B003AIL2ME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1278272067&sr=8-1 flip 2010

But I do agree, I'd be cautious buying a secondhand camcorder on ebay. Shame, as new the HV40 will be more like £800-odd on amazon...
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 8:50pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Hey Guys,

Ok right now im thinking I want to get a camcorder more towards filmaking, but because I dont have the budget for the Canon 550D..I was thinking what does everyone know about the Canon 500D or Canon 450D?
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 9:01pm

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DVStudio

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Yeah there are plenty of other placers to purchase an HV40 and in some cases even pick up the older HV20 model.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/597424-REG/Canon_3686B001_VIXIA_HV40_High_Definition.html
I also posted the same one in a link on the previous page, however I guess it must have been overlooked by the OP. wink

Maybe it's just me, and correct me if I'm wrong, but you may actually find you'd have better results (or at least an easier time) using an HV40 than the 450D. Could be wrong, but that's just my opinion. Plus you still need the memory/flash cards, time to set up and frame shots, etc. If you want the camera for vacations, holiday, and film making the HV40 is going to cover all 3.

Plus, if you're really just starting out with film making (noticed you have anything in the cinema or whatever, not that that means much) going straight to the HDSLR might not be the best idea. If you have the cash and are using it for stills or hard core film making, go for the T2i (550D) but if not that may be your best bet. Of course, correct me if I'm wrong Serpent or pdrg.

Cheers,
DV
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 10:09pm

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pdrg

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The 550D is a great choice if you're going to be more filmmakery, and the price is exceptionally good. The 450\ etc either shoot at a lower resolution and/or framerate, the 550D is the first to offer native 1080p/25fps, albeit on a 2/3rds sensor. I wouldn't suggest a slower framerate than 25fps, as you'll have to duplicate fields, or speed up your video to look silly(!), so perhaps one of the other HDSLR manufacturers offering 720p/25 fps may have something more suitable to your budget?

The problem we're hitting is that the 550D is incredibly well-priced, considering it has the same video capabilities of the 7D at twice the price, so everything priced below the 550D falls much shorter for video (althoug are still often awesome consumer DSLR stills cameras).

Can you sit it out a while? Other manufacturers may bring out direct competitors on the 1080/25p front which will have to be aggressively priced to compete?
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 10:21pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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pdrg wrote:

The 550D is a great choice if you're going to be more filmmakery, and the price is exceptionally good. The 450\ etc either shoot at a lower resolution and/or framerate, the 550D is the first to offer native 1080p/25fps, albeit on a 2/3rds sensor. I wouldn't suggest a slower framerate than 25fps, as you'll have to duplicate fields, or speed up your video to look silly(!), so perhaps one of the other HDSLR manufacturers offering 720p/25 fps may have something more suitable to your budget?

The problem we're hitting is that the 550D is incredibly well-priced, considering it has the same video capabilities of the 7D at twice the price, so everything priced below the 550D falls much shorter for video (althoug are still often awesome consumer DSLR stills cameras).

Can you sit it out a while? Other manufacturers may bring out direct competitors on the 1080/25p front which will have to be aggressively priced to compete?
Hey man, you and DVStudios have made some pretty helpful points. My only problem is im looking to get the camcorder some time in the next 2 weeks so waiting it out isnt really an option for me, also looking at places such as B&H in America the prices are extremely good $649 but somewhere like Amazon in the UK the cheapest I can find is £749.99?

Any suggestions for the Canon Vixia HV40 around 500-600ish if you can find it wink
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 10:51pm

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DVStudio

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Hey man, no problem. Just curious, is that figure in Euros or USD?

Hey man, you and DVStudios have made some pretty helpful points.
We make a pretty good team buddy wink

Here's a product reseller's list from Canon for the UK. Plug in your city and such and it will give you some local dealers to browse through for good prices. if nothing strikes you there, perhaps one of these other ones will:

-Some used HV30s available here for £600 or so

-never tried this site personally, but maybe this discounted HV30 link or HV40 one will help out?

Hope that helps man, best of luck

DV
Posted: Mon, 5th Jul 2010, 2:00am

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Serpent

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You WILL get better images than any of the above on a 450D. Because it's a still camera only. wink
Posted: Mon, 5th Jul 2010, 11:39am

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StupidLikeAFox

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Serpent wrote:

You WILL get better images than any of the above on a 450D. Because it's a still camera only. wink
Haaa I see, dont think I will be getting that one wink Right Im pretty sure im going to go for a Canon HV40 once I have enough money to get it, cheers for the help guys!
Posted: Mon, 5th Jul 2010, 11:39am

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StupidLikeAFox

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Serpent wrote:

You WILL get better images than any of the above on a 450D. Because it's a still camera only. wink
Haaa I see, dont think I will be getting that one wink Right Im pretty sure im going to go for a Canon HV40 once I have enough money to get it, cheers for the help guys!
Posted: Mon, 5th Jul 2010, 1:00pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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UPDATE HELP!

Alright guys so I have once again gone against your choices just due to my budget, I have heard good things about the Canon Vixia HF20 and have seen once on ebay for £400ish which is right on my budget

I have looked at test footage and stuff and it looks like a nice, good camecorder?

So what do you guys think, if any of you have one/had one?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Canon-Vixia-HF20-HD-32GB-15X-Zoom-Digital-Camcorder-/360246292071?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Camcorders_Professional_Video_Cameras&hash=item53e05a2e67#ht_6012wt_1139
Posted: Mon, 5th Jul 2010, 9:44pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Right final time! Im pretty sure im going to get the Canon Legria HF200, its off a reliable site and within my budget.

I have researched it and it looks like a decent HD camera that I could use, any one else opinion?
Posted: Mon, 5th Jul 2010, 11:02pm

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pdrg

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Frankly, whatever makes you happpy! My only concern is that your comeback for ebay is pretty naff - if something is defective, well unlucky you, more or less. In my opinion, secondhand camcorders are overvalued on ebay, but take that as you will wink

That first 550D link was £699 incl VAT for the camera and zoom lens, fwiw, but yes we seem to pay more for stuff here than in some places... most tedious!
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 8:04am

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Arktic

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I'll just repeat what others have said - if you want to go tapeless, then either get a Flip HD camera (great value point-and-shoot), or a 550D (great value professional level camera, with all the foibles that go along with HDSLRs).

Don't buy the HF20 - AVCHD is a complete bugger to work with, as are HDD cameras in general. I've yet to meet someone who's used one and then stuck with it over a tape or memory card workflow.

The initial eBay link I posted to the HV20 + all those accessories is still there; that is still my recomendation. And it's got a 'make an offer' function, so you can probably buy it for around £400. I disagree about eBay being unsafe - as long as you're sensible, steer clear of offers that are too good to be true, and make sure you only buy from decently rated UK-based sellers, then you'll be fine.

pdrg wrote:

My only concern is that your comeback for ebay is pretty naff - if something is defective, well unlucky you, more or less.
I disagree with you for once, pdrg! eBay's buyer protection (especially if you pay with PayPal) is pretty comprehensive; if the item is not as described (and defective is covered by that) then it's pretty easy to recover your money, imho.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 1:06pm

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chbaum

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Hmmm, that's interesting... I'm also considering switching to HD (coming from good old SD tape). And I still wonder if to get a camcorder for amateur filmmaking AND holiday / school work or to get a 550D.

- As a camcorder I would have considered a Canon HF S21, the biggest beast they've got in the consumer market these days. It's got internal memory AND can address two SD cards, including 60i / 25p / 24 fps modes, manual modes, nice sound quality and all those fancy automatisms you need for point and shoot and holiday stuff. So I'd be ready to spend abput 1000 euros on this.

- But of course this'll be AVCHD as well.

- While on the other hand, the 550D has superior filmmaking qualities, but it can't motorzoom (holidays!), it can't record lengthy school concerts, it can't autofocus in video mode, and for the first few months I'll have to stick with the kit lens, so no additional lenses / zoom capabilities and so on.

- In addition, I thought it's AVCHD as well? What else could it be? Don't all those tapeless Full-HD cameras and camcorders use an MPEG-4 codec? AVCHD is such a codec, isn't it? So this can't be an argument for the 550D...? All MPEG-4 workflows will be pain in the butt compared to tape.

- Tape would be a nice workflow, but when I switch, I'd like to switch to Full-HD which no tape can really provide (it's just upscaled when put out).

Best regards,

Christian
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 2:54pm

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Arktic

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550D records to H.264 compressed QT files - which provide amazing image quality, but which are terrible for editing with. Most people transcode the files to something like QT ProRes - which is a much smoother process than I've ever seen with an HD camera like the HF20.

Tape would be a nice workflow, but when I switch, I'd like to switch to Full-HD which no tape can really provide
Not sure what you mean by this - HDV isn't *true* HD, but it's not terrible. And there are tape systems that do provide true HD, such as HDCAM / HDCAM SR (though you're not likely to encounter HDCAM at consumer level equipment!)

Sorry I can't answer the rest of your points, but I'm really busy at the moment! Might reply later in more detail if I get a chance smile

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 4:35pm

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chbaum

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Yeah, that's my point: AVCHD *is* H.264, and it *is* horrible to work with. But it's the same for DSLR and tapeless camcorders. So there's no pro or con here. I will have to deal with it if I switch to HD...

Question is, what's best for me? Camcorder or 550D? If camcorder, I'd go for tapeless true HD, which has its downsides, but you CAN point and shoot with autofocus and motorzoom if you WANT to. On the other hand, DSLRs can NOT autofocus in video mode, they can NOT motorzoom, BUT they have superior image quality, and even holiday videos look special and arty if you want them to.

But do I have the time to shoot arty holiday stuff AND edit it, so it becomes really great? Or would a DSLR just be wasted on me because I'm not that much into lenses and image composition and so on? Probably yes... Unfortunately, all those test videos on Youtube are so "simple and camcorder like" for the HF S21 and so BEAUTIFUL for the 550D that my aesthetic sense screams "DSLR!!!" again...

A tough choice... *Sigh*

Best regards,

Christian
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 8:51pm

Post 35 of 36

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Arktic wrote:

550D records to H.264 compressed QT files - which provide amazing image quality, but which are terrible for editing with. Most people transcode the files to something like QT ProRes - which is a much smoother process than I've ever seen with an HD camera like the HF20.
I edit native/without transcoding in Vegas with very few problems. Just sayin'. I know many other people that do, as well. And I have on almost everything I've done with the camera. It really isn't all that terrible to work with. Again, just sayin'.

One other notch to add to the 550D/T2i's belt. Premiere, Vegas, and FCP all have the ability (albeit you might not want to) edit natively with the h.264 .mov files without transcoding.

And even transcoding- it's no big deal. Nothing worse or terribly more time-consuming than real-time capturing that you get from tape, that's for sure. wink

chbaum wrote:

But do I have the time to shoot arty holiday stuff AND edit it, so it becomes really great? Or would a DSLR just be wasted on me because I'm not that much into lenses and image composition and so on? Probably yes... Unfortunately, all those test videos on Youtube are so "simple and camcorder like" for the HF S21 and so BEAUTIFUL for the 550D that my aesthetic sense screams "DSLR!!!" again...
These sort of worries are perfectly logical, but pretty null as well- as even with a motorzoom and autofocus, tapeless camcorders have an equally-as-frustrating process of conversion/acceptability/use.

But really, more than that, I can speak from personal experience that the 550D/T2i works great even for the non-auteur. My parents bought one to record family vacations and sporting events with mine and Ben's younger, adolescent siblings- and they are definitely not tech/camera savvy people and have still got overwhelmingly great results.

And they love it for that. Soccer games, trips to Florida, etc.- they've shot video (and photos) almost everywhere and got better results than I think anything else they could've bought. I'm really happy they went with the 550D/T2i, and I know they are as well. Really. The perceived 'limitations' of the camera (16 min takes, SD card storage, .mov workflow) I think actually work better for the non-initiated into filmmaking as well, as it sort of creates a restraint to the ever-boring 'I left the camera on and put it to my side for 30 minutes' sort of home video I think we all too often see.

But even then, that's not as much substantiation as it is just an extra note about the camera.

Great camera, great use. You'd be short-sighted and naive not to get it if you've got even a minor inkling that it might work for you. smile
Posted: Wed, 7th Jul 2010, 2:00am

Post 36 of 36

pdrg

Force: 5405 | Joined: 4th Dec 2006 | Posts: 4143

VisionLab User Windows User

Gold Member

Yes, you're right AVCHD and H.264 are both implementations of the same spec (MPEG4v10). The bitrates of the cheaper cameras is lower, so you'll see (if you have eyes for it, that is) more artifacting at the lower bitrates. They tend to be the cheaper cameras, aimed at the slightly gimmicky end of the market, etc. The 550D records at a whopping 44Mbps (XDCAM HD - eg an EX1 records at 35Mbps, although XDCAM HD 422, with the increased colourspace is 50Mbps). IIRC it's still 4:2:0, but I may be wrong.

Lack of autofocus whilst recording is an anti-issue - you should never be using autofocus anyway - it has to 'search' for focus, so creates those horrid focus wibbles periodically. If you use digiprimes you'll manually focus anyway, and have a nice wide focal range to set razor-sharp focus planes for your arty shots and rack focus. And with respect, anyone who wants to motorzoom in a shot should be shot - nothing looks less Hollywood than a zoom shot. Dolly good zoom bad.

Some people find native AVCHD degradation unnoticeable on the 44Mbps files, although rest assured, all long-GOP formats do degrade when edited natively (a mathematical certainty) which is why you may prefer to use an NLE with a specific bi-directional editing codec (eg DNxHD which is free, you can use it in most programmes which can read the MOV container format) if you're going to be pushing the files hard, heavy editing, effects, grading etc smile

If I were you, 550D, the features you're worried about missing only make films look cheap anyway!