OT: tiny violins please, camera recommendation?

Jeff_Smith wrote on 3/30/2010, 2:36 PM
My car got broken into last night and my Canon HV30 was stolen. I need to shoot a friends 8pm vegas outdoor hotel wedding (second camera) in ten days. I might take my PD150 for some low light stuff, unless someone wants to buy it ;). Any suggestions for a ~$800 camera. The Sony CX550VE looks decent at its price point, but I was hoping not to spend quite that much. I read that John Cline has a Sanyo FH1.


busterkeaton wrote on 3/30/2010, 2:43 PM
I would go with the Canon HV40 since you are familiar with it that line of cameras already
$650 on amazon
John_Cline wrote on 3/30/2010, 3:00 PM
The Sanyo is an amazing pocket-sized "point and shoot" h.264 1920x1080 HD camcorder that can shoot 60p or 60i to SDHC cards.

The FH1 is tiny and I carry it with me pretty much everywhere just in case I see something interesting to shoot and I've even used some of its footage in projects. It looks much, much better than any of the "Flip-type" HD camcorders and certainly better than a $400 camcorder should, but it is really no match for an HV30, HV40 or CX550.
Byron K wrote on 3/31/2010, 10:41 AM
IMHO the Xacti HD2000A and FH1A have great slow motion at 1080p 60fps but difficult to edit in Vegas 9. I think these are the only cameras on the market in their price range that can do 1920x1080p 60fps.

Severe limations of this cam:
- the image stabilization is near non existant.
- manual focus is in steps so to fine tune focus between steps you'll have to move fwd or backwards about 2ft.

As John stated, the FH1A is so small and cheap that I carry mine in my backpack all the time. Initially I wanted the HD2000 which is even slimmer and people carry them in their pockets. But Amazon had a Christmas deal on the FH1A, for $390 + you get a 32Gig Kingston SD (Free) so I went w/ the FH1A! (:
Jeff_Smith wrote on 3/31/2010, 3:21 PM
Thanks all for the replies.

As I mentioned I need a new cam by the 9th for a wedding. I just checked B&H where I buy most my stuff, but they are closed until the 7th. Any recommendations for other online stores to buy from. B&H is great, they refunded me $75 on my HV30 after they lowered their price a month later, they did the same for my wifes G11, great return policy etc. BTW, Canon repaired my stolen HV30 (transport lockup) 14 months after I bought it. turn around was 9 days.

busterkeaton wrote on 3/31/2010, 4:41 PM
try amazon or jr.com
LReavis wrote on 3/31/2010, 5:14 PM
also - regarding the Sanyos: I have both the FH1 and HD2000. Both perform surprisingly well in low light (better than my Sony HC-1s), but the HD2000 lens is f1.8, whereas the FH1 only provides f2.4. Moreover, only the HD2000 has external mic. jack.

Editing in Vegas hasn't been a problem for me, for I always re-encode all video from whatever source to either Cinescore or (more often) PicVideo. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that using a common codec for all video has been one of the changes I've made that has totally eliminated crashes during rendering (at least so far - I haven't rendered a long, complicated .VEG for months; I edit the PicVideos in 8c and render in 9c).

If I have shaky hand-held footage from a Sanyo, I also run it through the New Deshaker before I render to PicVideo. Obviously, the intermediates are much larger (especially if I go with Cineform) than the original .MP4s from Sanyo, but I just bought a 2tb disk for only $140! I see no reason to fuss about a few extra GBs in my video files.
John_Cline wrote on 3/31/2010, 7:21 PM
NewEgg has the HD2000. If you don't mind the pistol-grip form-factor, it is a better camera than the FH1 because of the faster lens, external audio inputs and a headphone jack.


If you shoot 60i on the FH1 or the HD2000 the files load right into Vegas and work great. The 60i files will also play perfectly on the PS3 directly from the memory card. Vegas does have trouble with the 60p files, in fact, I see Sanyo has dropped 60p from their new cameras.

I was in a very dimly lit club last night and several really good local musicians that don't normally play together got on stage and it turned into one of those unplanned magical musical moments. I had my FH1 with me so I shot it and it pulled a great image out of not much light at all. Apply a little Neat Video noise reduction and the footage is very usable and the audio is quite good, too.
Jeff_Smith wrote on 3/31/2010, 8:24 PM
John, I picked up a refurbed PS3 a few months ago, I just use it for blu-ray and a couple games. I don't understand: " The 60i files will also play perfectly on the PS3 directly from the memory card." Is this via USB from the cam to the PS3?
John_Cline wrote on 4/1/2010, 2:29 PM
The camera uses standard SDHC memory cards, the PS3 can read them with an inexpensive USB memory card reader or you can put the files on a USB flash drive (memory stick) or a FAT-32 formatted USB hard drive. Although I've never done it, I'm 99% sure that that camera can be plugged into the PS3 via a USB cable.

Once again, this is for files shot at 60i or 30p, the camera's 60p files will not play on the PS3, they must be converted first. I usually convert them to 60p WMV.
corug7 wrote on 4/1/2010, 8:49 PM
I have an hd2000a and it is a fantastic camera with a great deal of tweakability. For the price it is a real bargain, and I believe Amazon has them for well under $500 US now. They are not easily adjusted on the fly, however, and most of the footage from them needs transcoding to open in Vegas. I personally would look into the new offering from Panasonic, the TM700. The 1080p60 mode on it was recently reviewed on camcorderinfo.com and they reported nearly 1000 lines of resolution, and it has a multifunction ring for focus/zoom/etc. I love my HD2000a for pocketability, picture quality, and very good low light ability, but you aren't going to be able to do a rack focus with it. If you need instant editability, Hdv is still your best choice.
John_Cline wrote on 4/1/2010, 8:59 PM
Like I said, the 60p modes from the Sanyo cameras and even the Panasonic TM700 are not readily editable in Vegas or any other NLE that I know of. The 60i files from the Sanyo load directly into Vegas and edit just as easily as HDV.
Jeff_Smith wrote on 4/1/2010, 10:14 PM
I have been looking at the TM700, a bit of a jump in price point, but surely worth it. I did read a review that said that there is a small inner fan or moving part that is picked up in the audio, ie major design flaw, anyone else know about this?
Jeff_Smith wrote on 4/1/2010, 10:52 PM
Here is an avs link regarding the fan noise on the TM 700
Byron K wrote on 4/3/2010, 1:54 PM
Reply by: John_Cline, Date: 3/31/2010 5:21:30 PM
NewEgg has the HD2000. If you don't mind the pistol-grip form-factor, it is a better camera than the FH1 because of the faster lens, external audio inputs and a headphone jack.

That's a pretty good deal but pls keep in mind that the HD2000 and FH1 are foreign models and may not be supported by Sanyo US if it needs repair. HD2000A and FH1A are the American models. The only difference is the HD2000A and FH1A have iFrame 640x360 format "invented" by Apple. (;

Also search Amazon, prices are slowly dropping on these. I'm keeping an eye out for a good deal on a 2nd one.
John_Cline wrote on 4/3/2010, 2:07 PM
The HD2000 and FH1 models are sold in the U.S. with a full Sanyo warranty. The "A" vesions were released later and added the iFrame recording mode (which is 960x540, not 640x360.)

For what it's worth, The Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 was ultimately selected by Camcorderinfo.com as their "2009 Winner for Best Value."
LReavis wrote on 4/3/2010, 3:18 PM
thanks for the link regarding the TM700. I wasn't aware of this camera - but after spending a few hours reading about it, I think I'm going to buy one.
Laurence wrote on 4/3/2010, 6:39 PM
For what it's worth I absolutely adore my http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=3974&review=canon+powershot+sx1Canon SX-1 IS[/link]. I got mine http://www.adorama.com/ICASX1R.htmlrefurbished from adorama.com for $399.95[/link] including shipping. Not bad considering that http://www.adorama.com/ICASX1.htmlthis[/link] is their regular price.

In good light the picture is stunning even at full zoom. The digital zoom uses the extra pixels in the sensor to give you a useable video image at 40x. In darker environments you can't zoom in nearly that far without a lot of video noise.

Audio is stereo with either manual set level or AGC. No external audio in unfortunately but the built in mics sound surprisingly good.

Pictures are good for a point and shoot but not nearly as good as a DSLR.

The preview screen is 16:9 and can be articulated every which way.

What I really like about this camera is that you look like you're shooting pictures when you are actually shooting video. You get really natural reactions out of people because they only worry when it looks like you are going to press the shutter button. There's none of that "why are you shooting video now?' that you get when you are holding a video camera.

Rolling shutter is about the same as what I get on my HVR-Z7 and the video looks fine blended into projects with the more expensive camera.

Footage is 30p, cRGB and previews slowly on a Vegas timeline. Cineform Neo Scene or Neo HD fixes all three of these problems at once.

I use it for both stills and video. There is one button for each. The optical stabilization is very good. It works well with a Canon flash pointed up at the ceiling for stills. It has facial recognition which I really like for both stills and video.

I really love this camera.
corug7 wrote on 4/3/2010, 7:41 PM
A couple corrections:

The original HD2000 was never released in the US by Sanyo. The FH1 was. All original HD2000 cams sold in the US were Grey Market imports and it is well documented that Sanyo will not honor the warranty. The HD2000a is the updated version sold here.

It includes the iFrame format, which is 960x540, not 640x360.
John_Cline wrote on 4/3/2010, 11:20 PM
I stand corrected.
Byron K wrote on 4/4/2010, 12:43 PM
Reply by: John_Cline, Date: 4/3/2010 11:07:56 AM
(which is 960x540, not 640x360.)
Reply by: corug7, Date: 4/3/2010 4:41:05 PM
It includes the iFrame format, which is 960x540, not 640x360.
Thanks for the correction.

Also, for those that are considering this camera, there's a 10 second gap in video when the video reaches the 4 gig file limit as the camera starts another file. This can be a deal breaker for those who require longer continuous shoots. Length of time can vary depending on which mode you're in.

In the different modes, a 4 gig file works out to about:
22 minutes in Full-HR 1920x1080 60 fps (60p)
32 minutes in Full-HD 1920x1080 60 field/s (60i)
43 minutes in Full-SHQ 1920x1080 30 fps (30p)
57 minutes in HD-SHQ 1280x720 30 fps (30p)
2hr 45 min in TV-SHQ 640x480 30fps (30p)
LReavis wrote on 4/5/2010, 5:07 PM
does anyone know if the TM700 also shows this gap at the end of a 4-gig file?
Jeff_Smith wrote on 4/6/2010, 6:42 PM
LR, have you found an answer to your question? I see you bought it, so you will find out one way or another.
LReavis wrote on 4/6/2010, 7:05 PM
You're right - I decided to go ahead anyway. Once I test it, I'll post my observations here.
Jeff_Smith wrote on 4/13/2010, 5:52 PM
So my TM700 showed up today, too bad it did not show up for the wedding I was suppose to shoot with it ( I am not a wedding videographer, just did it for a friend).

Any suggestions on the best rendering settings I should use for uploading to youtube or vimeo. I have a test video uploading right now.