Which Camera? And other questions

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by patrick j, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. patrick j

    patrick j Guest


    I'm sure the question "which camera?" comes up quite a lot :)

    So, with an apology in advance, I am asking it again.

    I have very little technical knowledge about video cameras. I'm pretty good
    at filming because I have directed in the past, over ten years ago, for
    some TV companies. However then of course there was a full crew and so
    almost no technical knowledge was needed from me. I just needed a good idea
    as to story, shots required, framing, overall style required etc.

    I'm doing a postgraduate course at University now and for the dissertation
    and some other aspects of the course I will be doing a lot of filming. This
    of course will all be done by myself without a nice crew.

    I'm looking forward to this very much as I have been doing some already
    with the University's cameras and additional equipment. I think, in fact I
    prefer doing it all myself.

    I do have quite a lot of other filming I want to do outside the course (the
    bug has bitten) and when I come to do my dissertation it will be much
    easier to have my own camera than use the University's because I have to
    keep returning the University camera back every 24 hours.

    So I want to buy a camera and the question is, which one?

    I've been googling a lot and reading various things and talking to people
    with more knowledge about this than me (not difficult!).

    A friend who did a video dissertation project last year suggested:

    Sony DCR-VX2100E

    This can be bought for £1369.95 incl vat from here:


    I don't wish to spend more than £1500.

    The video cameras I have been using at the university are not HDV, they are
    simply standard DV, as I think it is called. I think the Sony DCR-VX2100E
    is a standard DV camera as well. I'm wondering if I should explore the
    possibility of an HDV camera?

    Browsing the web, I see that this one:


    Sony HVR-HD1000U

    is HDV and perhaps rather cool. I notice it elsewhere called:

    Sony HVR-HD1000E

    but I don't know the difference an E makes over a U :)

    Another camera that I've noticed is the:

    Sony HDR-HC1

    This is very much liked by Digital Video magazine in their guide at the

    One very important point is that the camera video output must work with
    Final Cut Pro 5.1.4 which is the video editing software I use. It is a few
    years old now but getting 6 would be very expensive and for me pointless as
    it does not add anything of particular use to me.

    In the "Caputure" dialogue of FCP 5 HDV is there but I'm wondering it that
    would be the same as the HDV being used by Sony?

    So now to summarise the questions:

    - Should I go standard DV or HDV?

    - With the HDV work with FCP 5?

    - Which camera?

    Thank you for any assistance given.
    patrick j, Jan 27, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  2. patrick j

    /Tx2 Guest

    On Sun, 27 Jan 2008 21:27:41 +0000 patrick j
    from the village of
    felt we might be interested in the following...

    A good web based forum to try is http://forums.dvdoctor.net/
    I've picked up a lot of tips in there.

    You might also like to consider the HVR-A1(E) as although this doesn't
    perform brilliantly in low light, it does have HD and XLR inputs for
    greater sound recording control.

    It is reviewed here:

    It is also well within your budget.

    We are considering getting one as a secondary camera to a Sony V1E for
    our part time wedding business.

    There are other good review sites on the net which a Google will find

    Hope that helps.
    /Tx2, Jan 27, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  3. patrick j

    :Jerry: Guest

    [ In addition to good advice already given ]

    If this camera has to take you from Uni' into the real world of work
    as well then it might well be worth considering HD, the problem at the
    moment is the fact that equipment at your Uni' might not be (fully) HD
    compatible, if you do buy into HD you might need to shoot onto SD.
    Also check that your own edit software/hardware is HD compatible - an
    HD camera is only the first link in the HD chain IYSWIM.
    One (E) is PAL and the other (U) is NTSC, don't buy the wrong one!


    The other issue you need to remember is that you need a camera that
    offers fully manual control as that is (should be) how you are being
    expected to shoot your dissertations, don't be tempted to go for a
    camera that has full manual control that has functions buried 3 menus
    deep on the touch screen. I have read (pre release reviews I suspect)
    that this is one of the complaints with the above camera...
    :Jerry:, Jan 28, 2008
  4. patrick j

    patrick j Guest

    I will definitely go there and try out roughly the same questions as here.
    That has been very helpful indeed. That camera might suit me very well; it
    has become my number 1 item to be researched. I like it because of the
    camera's I've used the Sony PDX10 has been a favourite. I think I prefer
    small and neat to one for shoulder use. Not least because the camera will
    be transported by bicycle. My dissertation is likely to be shot in Romania
    and I will be cycling to the locations as well as using public transport.
    The small camera is good obviously for that. In addition I quite like the
    fact that the camera could be carried quite discretely in a "normal" bag. I
    have been to Romania a lot and I must say that I have never had any trouble
    there. However it is a very poor place and with that poverty flashing some
    expensive camera around is a bit crass and also does create a temptation
    for someone perhaps.

    So, now I am investigation this one :)

    I have to make sure that it will be okay with Final Cut Pro 5.1.4. This I
    will do at an FCP forum of course.
    patrick j, Jan 28, 2008
  5. patrick j

    patrick j Guest

    I feel these are excellent points you have raised. I am going to check out
    the points you have raised with Final Cut Pro gurus at FCP forums. The FCP
    I've got is 5.1.4, it does list HDV in its video capture dialogue, but I
    have to check that this will work.
    Thank you :) That sorts that one out! Mine will be an 'E'.
    That is indeed something to look out for. I will be looking for easily
    accessible manual controls. I've cooled off on the HVR-HD1000 now because
    I'm being wooed by the HVR-A1E.
    patrick j, Jan 28, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.