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View Full Version : I've got $4k - which HD camera???



Finster
01-19-2009, 09:20 AM
If you had to by an HD camera THIS MONTH and you had $4K USD, which one would you buy?

Usage: short documentary-type stuff ... interviews ... indoor/outdoor b-roll; I might even have a shoot in Africa this April. I have a Mac Pro Quad w/ FCP.

The max I have is $4K, so I'll need a little breathing room for an extra battery or two, and maybe a wide angle lens?! :)


BTW - I'm not looking to start a debate! Just opinions/thoughts please. Thanks.

Finster
01-19-2009, 09:27 AM
BTW - I've found a few threads discussing similar topics (WHICH CAMERA SHOULD I BUY!), but most of the recommended cameras seem to be priced OVER $4K.

sean90291
01-19-2009, 09:35 AM
HV40 (the new version of the HV20/HV30, which allows for 24fps without specialized software). Add an adapter and you're still well under your $4K and you can buy some lights or a good mic.

I shot this with the HV20 and Redrock adapter: http://vimeo.com/965503

:-)

Finster
01-19-2009, 09:43 AM
Woah. An adapter never even crossed my mind. I would have to buy this kit, right? ...

http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.472981/it.A/id.404/.f?sc=2&category=700

sean90291
01-19-2009, 09:47 AM
That is the one I used (without the flip...the flip is a nice addition).

But there are other adapters. It's worth researching.

Note that adapters require that you have an interest in really learning about setting up cameras. They're not "point-and-shoot." You don't just turn them on. I hated Shop Class in high school, but I was motivated enough to learn the hardware and within a week of playing around I was shooting some nice stuff with the Redrock. You have to be a bit dedicated though.

If you're doing drama or comedy, an adapter is really valuable. If you're doing personal stuff like family Christmas videos or documentary, then an adapter isn't necessary and just complicates your life. What are you buying the camera for anyhow?

Capt Quirk
01-19-2009, 09:49 AM
While JVC really pissed me off, there is an HD100 with Wide Angle, IDX batteries, light, and other stuff for $4k in the Market Place section. It is a new guy, just signed up so that he could sell his gear, but you never know. Just to let you know, I spent about $4k just for my HD100, so the rest of the stuff is close to $1k in itself.

Finster
01-19-2009, 09:56 AM
What are you buying the camera for anyhow?

See my first post. Documentary-type stuff. I have a gig lined up with an organization that supports a local children's hospital. They want a 4-5 minute promo video, which they're going to use for fundraising purposes.

This is my first REAL freelance project. I've worked in video here and there - I started off with the DVX100A. Lately I've been using the HVR-Z7U. But the company I work for 30 hrs/wk won't let me use either one of these cameras for my freelance work. Punks!

sean90291
01-19-2009, 10:08 AM
Ah. Sorry, I didn't read your first post carefully enough. I think an adapter for documentary work would be problematic.

Plus, if you're showing up on set for a client, and they're paying you something "real," they probably want to see that you have something that looks like a "real" camera too. Even though the HV40 gives better pictures than we could have hoped for at that price point, it still looks like something you use to film your friends getting drunk in Mexico.

Jack Daniel Stanley
01-19-2009, 10:10 AM
HMC-150 no question.
It's across between the DVX and HVX, shoots 1080, good in low light, looks like a professional cam (form factor like DVX/HVX), and you get three hours on a 32 gb SD card.

The quality for the price is unmatched and there really are no compromises that I have heard. You don't get ghosting in low light like you do with the some of the under $1K canons. It's a pro camera just uses a codec that's not as widely accepted / ubiquitous as DVC-Pro HD.

If you really like your DVX, this is the one, esp. for docs with the long run times on insanely cheap media, better low light performance, cinegamma that you already know / like.

Plus COMPLETE PROFESSIONAL manual controls. HMC150 has them HV-anything, doesn't

Leo Versola
01-19-2009, 10:22 AM
HMC-150 no question.
It's across between the DVX and HVX, shoots 1080, good in low light, looks like a professional cam (form factor like DVX/HVX), and you get three hours on a 32 gb SD card.

The quality for the price is unmatched and there really are no compromises that I have heard. You don't get ghosting in low light like you do with the some of the under $1K canons. It's a pro camera just uses a codec that's not as widely accepted / ubiquitous as DVC-Pro HD.

If you really like your DVX, this is the one, esp. for docs with the long run times on insanely cheap media, better low light performance, cinegamma that you already know / like.

Plus COMPLETE PROFESSIONAL manual controls. HMC150 has them HV-anything, doesn't

And there just so happens to be a mint one for sale in the Marketplace for $2950...

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=158899

Finster
01-19-2009, 10:22 AM
Wow - adapter, JVC, and AVCHD. I never would've considered any of these! Glad I posted here.

OK, I really need to research the HMC-150. I do love Panasonic, although I've been enjoying the Sony Z7U lately. Still, I could easily convert back to Panasonic! :)

Thanks for the tips.

yommytacoe
01-19-2009, 11:29 AM
For documentary type work, the XHA1 may be a better choice than the HMC150. If you are doing a "documentary in africa" as you mentioned, it will be easier to store tapes than to dump footage off of SD cards.

ChipG
01-19-2009, 11:47 AM
HMC 150 would make a great camera for shooting in Africa, SD cards are so cheap you can buy 10 of them for $300.

If you want to sell the footage you do not use in your doc about Africa to make some money I'd buy a used hvx only because the 4:2:2 dvcpro footage is worth more and in more demand than avchd 4:2:0 footage. You'd need to shoot 1080 30p (biggest demand) onto P2 for your clips to bring top dollar via stock footage house so you'll have some workflow issues to deal with. If you have 2 16 gig cards and a laptop you can pretty much shoot forever, my 16 gig cards take 8 min to download to my laptop.

You can buy a used hvx with a 16 gig card and a few batteries for around $3000, add $600 for an extra 16 gig card, a backpack and a polirizer and your about there.

If you don't care about selling off your footage for top dollar go wth the hmc-150, remember though extra batteries aren't cheap for the hmc 150 so if your going to need 6 of them that'll cost you about $900, 6 hvx batteries = about $200.

acoelho1
01-19-2009, 06:06 PM
Canon 5D Mark ii... Better in low light then any camera on the market. Despite its limitations, a great little cam and it shoots great stills as well. Also, you dont need an adaptor!

ChipG
01-19-2009, 07:46 PM
You'll need a shoulder mount setup for the 5D so you can mount a shotgun mic etc., the audio is just ok with that camera if you use it to record. The rigs I have seen like the Zacuto rig for it are heavier and more bulky than a hvx or hmc. I'd consider it for shooting a doc in Africa but remember by the time is all setup it's like shooting with a shoulder mount hpx500.

Finster
01-20-2009, 05:34 AM
Canon 5D Mark ii... Better in low light then any camera on the market. Despite its limitations, a great little cam and it shoots great stills as well. Also, you dont need an adaptor!

:) I was wondering if someone would suggest the 5D Mark II! I'm definitely a Canon dude. Currently I own the 40D. Very curious to see how the Mark II evolves.