Decisions, decisions....

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by S Akky, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    Matej Artac put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    Originally I was also leaning towards the 'big S' as I had been pushed in
    that direction by friends who had more experience of digital video. In
    fact for the first couple of days' research, I was only looking at Sony
    units like thew pc109, hc40, hc85, pc330 and hc1000.

    Once I started considering different manufacturers (and had a shortlist of
    about 20 cams) Canon did come high up on my list. I was particularly drawn
    to the colour reproduction capability using the RGB filters to separate the
    colours.

    http://tinyurl.com/5wuf6


    The MVX25i was at the top of my list as i thought it would give a good
    image without the cost of a 3 (decent sized) ccd cam, however an online
    review of the NTSC variant of the NV-GS400 made me think that the
    difference in quality really was worth it.

    http://tinyurl.com/4x8wc
    TBH I chose one of the bottom, middle and top of my price range - I was
    told at the showroom that "you or I wouldn't notice the difference in image
    quality between the pc109 and the gs400". I wasn't sure how seriously to
    take this advice. Personally I feel that after editing and burning to a DVD
    at a decent bitrate and viewing on a large tv I WOULD notice the difference
    between a single 1/5" CCD and 3 1/4.7" ones. The canon has a 1/3.6"
    2.2Mpixel CCD and combined with the colour reproduction, I felt it would be
    a decent compromise. Bearing in mind this is the same company that makes
    the XL1S - by all accounts a top-notch cam I felt I couldn't go wrong.

    Having never had a camcorder (never mind a digital one) before, I have
    nothing to go by short of buying a miniDV tape shooting some scenes in
    various conditions and viewing results on DVD. Is the Panny REALLY that
    much better in terms of quality when viewed on tv? Is it worth the extra
    300 quid?
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #21
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  2. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    :::Jerry:::: put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    TBH my next step was to look at some magazine reviews - any
    recommendations? I have looked at Tony's site in the past and found he put
    out a lot of useful information for the beginner (I wouldn't put myself in
    that category as I do have some technical knowledge about digital video) so
    i wouldn't knock it it is hady for someone to have the basics all arranged
    in one place.

    As far as 'a diatribe of personal views' is concerned - he makes it clear
    that is is all based on personal experience and is his own opinion. I would
    be interested to know where your views differ from tony's regarding my own
    situation.
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #22
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  3. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    :::Jerry:::: put fingers to keyboard and typed...

    Should have read this before responding to your earlier post! I'll
    certainly have a look to see if they have covered the models I'm
    interested in.
    Really? Fair enough they would use different video standards, but in
    terms of relative video quality I would have thought that it would give
    you a good idea of what to expect from PAL models.

    Fair point.

    <snip>
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #23
  4. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    Tony Morgan put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    Point taken mate, but I chose one from each price range to find out
    whether the difference in quality (video and features) is (1) noticable
    BETWEEN the ranges in real world terms and (2) justifies the price
    difference.

    One of the reasons I chose PRC direct (no, they're not paying me for this
    plug!) is that their showroom is a five minute walk from where I work. I
    would have the opportunity to have a play around with the cams before
    purchase.

    Agreed about the LCD quality as it would help my sisters use the thing,
    but personally I would prefer to shoot through the viewfinder if it gives
    a sharp enough image to be able to use the manual focus of the Canon and
    the Panny.

    With the largish CCD 1/3.6" and the colour reproduction capabilities of
    the Canon, I feel it would give a decent picture. Having had no practical
    experience of digital video I would have to seek the judgement of someone
    who has had a chance to shoot with it. Is there anywhere I could download
    sample clips (ideally not compressed out of all recognition!)?
    TBH I prolly won't be using tripods to start with and as my siters will
    also be using the cam, image stabilisation is high on my list. With the
    larger CCDs, I realise that there is no longer as much image degredation
    as there used to be with electronic (digital) image stabilisation, but
    the Panny's Optical system does appeal.
    Personally I wouldn't go for the smaller cams for the same reason (I only
    put it in because my sisters liked the look and size of it!). As far as
    the Sonys are concerned, they were on my list but I felt the Canon to be
    a better buy.
    That is where the other posters come in! Anyone had experience of the
    MVX25i or similar Canon?
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #24
  5. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    :::Jerry:::: put fingers to keyboard and typed...

    I'd have to agree with you about the LCD, I'm not exactly at the stage
    where I'll be carrying monitors around! :) Which cams have a decent
    adjustable, sharp viewfinder?
    Again, point taken but I'm not quite at that stage yet, I'm purely a mobie
    cameraman at the moment - out of interest how much do steadycams cost
    nowadays? ;-)

    Actually, all joking aside, after I typed that last sentence, I had to have
    a look at steadycams on Google and this cropped up:

    http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/steadycam/

    Any thoughts?

    <snip, not wanting to get involved in the middle of a flame war ;-) >
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #25
  6. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    Matej Artac put fingers to keyboard and typed...


    Unless I see some sample footage, I'll have to shoot some of my own -
    I'll probably go to the stor when I'm free and do that, it's the only way
    I'll know for sure.
    Again, I'll have to spend some time playing about with them.
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #26
  7. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    John Russell put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    I did (briefly) consider cams such as the Canon XM2, XL1s and the Sony VX
    models, however the price and the looks on my sisters faces when I showed
    them scuppered that idea!
    I agree and unfortunately a lot of consumers look at all the big numbers
    and lose focus of what's really important.
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #27
  8. S Akky

    :::Jerry:::: Guest

    You might have to send off for a (paid for) 'reprint' of the test.
    No, NTSC and PAL are of a totally different quality, one reason why the USA
    broadcasters have been going down the HDTV route over recent years and we
    haven't I suspect. BTW. NTSC pre dates the PAL standards by quite a few
    years.
     
    :::Jerry::::, Aug 23, 2004
    #28
  9. S Akky

    :::Jerry:::: Guest

    Price is a valid point, but the "looks on my sisters faces" are not (easy
    for me to say, I'm not related !..), never buy a camera because it looks
    'kool', some of the biggest piles of crap are often dressed up to look
    'kool' by the marketing men - and this isn't just limited to video.
     
    :::Jerry::::, Aug 23, 2004
    #29
  10. S Akky

    Dave R Guest

    The 109 does not have a true 16:9 mode. It crops the top and bottom of
    the image, to get the correct shape.
     
    Dave R, Aug 23, 2004
    #30
  11. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    :::Jerry:::: put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    Any idea where I could find lists of contents (on the web or otherwise) to
    see wich issues cover which models/model ranges i'm interested in. Ideally
    I would like to read a 'head-to-head' article covering pros and cons of
    several models.
    Sorry, I prolly didn't make myself clear. What I meant was that the
    relative performace of NTSC models compared with other NTSC models would
    give you an idea of how their PAL counterparts would perform against other
    PAL models. e.g. A Canon GL2 is better than a Optura 40 therefore you would
    expect the XM2 to give the MVX25i a similar trouncing.
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #31
  12. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    :::Jerry:::: put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    I've already explained that to them and they understand that point along
    with being wary of silly digital zoom figures, but somehow I don't think
    they'll be happy wandering around with a large 80's style shoulder mounted
    cam! Unfortunately as they will be using it as well, size (and to a (very)
    small degree, style) has to be a factor in my decision.

    If I bring home something like an XL1S, XM2 or VX2100 (much as I'd love to)
    I'd have to face their wrath and become the proud owner of a new arsehole -
    and that's not something I really want to go through, I'm still recovering
    from last time! ;-)
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #32
  13. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    Dave R put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    Ok, didn't realise that - which cams would you recommend that give a
    true/anamorphic 16:9 without going into pro/prosumer prices.
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #33
  14. S Akky

    :::Jerry:::: Guest

    Camcorder User magazine has a list of available / relevant reviews that they
    have carried out - http://www.camuser.co.uk/reviews/ might be of some use to
    you :~)
    Oh right, I see, I'm not sure if it follows though....
     
    :::Jerry::::, Aug 23, 2004
    #34
  15. S Akky

    :::Jerry:::: Guest

    Just remind them who is buying it (assuming you are of course) and if they
    don't like it they can go and buy their own 'kool toy' ! :~)

    <grins, ducks and runs>
     
    :::Jerry::::, Aug 23, 2004
    #35
  16. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    :::Jerry:::: put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    Cheers for the link, I'll have a good look.

    I really would have thought it would, apart from video system aren't most
    of the important bits the same? If not, I may have to rethink my choices
    having looked at some of the PAL reviews.
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #36
  17. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    :::Jerry:::: put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    You obviously haven't met my sisters! :eek:P
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #37
  18. S Akky

    :::Jerry:::: Guest

    I hope it is, but I didn't even know that page existed until you made me go
    deeper into than their home page !...
    The important buts are the video system etc, IMO every other thing about a
    video camera (or camcorder) is secondary as if it doesn't do what it's meant
    to then what it handles or looks like is rather pointless IYSWIM.
     
    :::Jerry::::, Aug 23, 2004
    #38
  19. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    :::Jerry:::: put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    None of the models I'm interested were on it - never mind eh! I still might
    have a little look at similar cams.
    Agreed but by 'video system' I meant in terms of lines of res (625/50 vs
    525/60) output to the tv. What I was trying to say (in a really round-about
    way) was that by looking at reviews of NTSC cams (which I've been basing my
    choices on) I could guage what equivalent PAL cam to choose.
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #39
  20. S Akky

    S Akky Guest

    :::Jerry:::: put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    None of the models I'm interested were on it - never mind eh! I still might
    have a little look at similar cams.
    Agreed but by 'video system' I meant in terms of lines of res (625/50 vs
    525/60) output to the tv. What I was trying to say (in a really round-about
    way) was that by looking at reviews of NTSC cams (which I've been basing my
    choices on) I could guage what equivalent PAL cam to choose.
     
    S Akky, Aug 23, 2004
    #40
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