thinking of new camera - ideas?

wandering journalist wrote on 5/13/2010, 6:51 AM
so... my Sony HVR A1U seems to be getting a little long in the tooth, mostly it's in the shop a lot lately. I'm off to the digital imaging show in Toronto this weekend and thinking, hey this might be a good time to take the plunge and spring for a new camera (will sneak this one by my wife) Budget is $4,000 - $6,000. I tend toward Sony and Panasonic. Now here's my head scratcher... solid state or tape based? I'm still a big fan of tape... but since the problem with my current camera is the head unit I'm wondering if solid state may be the way to go now? Next question is... do I open my self up for a world fo hurt from a computer/editing point of view if I switch to solid state?

Thanks for any help,



Grazie wrote on 5/13/2010, 7:13 AM
Dale, you're at the other end of the same boat I'm presently slopping about in.

I'm considering the Z7 against the X5 - and THAT's how confused I am about this. What's the "reach" on the Z7? What's the possibility of AVCHD being a better format to handle on the Vegas Timeline? I do like the option of a tape backup on a shelf. Trouble with the Z7 is that if I want more reach than I am used to then I'd have to pony-up for more reach. And another lens? Well . .. argghhhh.....


rs170a wrote on 5/13/2010, 7:49 AM
Dale, I can only speak for myself but my next camera will definitely be solid state, mostly because decent tape-based camcorders are becoming harder to find these days and I love the flexibility these units offer.
Some solid-state ones still do have a tape drive in them so that's a consideration.
One word of advice about the show is that it's sponsored by Henry's and I'm pretty sure that you can do better price-wise if you shop around.
With the exchange rate being as good as it is these days, a check of prices at B&H in New York is always a good thing to do.
Tom Pauncz, a regular poster here who lives in Toronto, is a good guy to touch base with.
Click on his name for his contact info.

psg wrote on 5/13/2010, 7:58 AM

I went through the Z7 analysis about 8 months ago. It was a challenge (the NX5 had not yet come to market). As I was doing the research, there was certainly a view that HDV was a dying format.

But in the end it was about the maturity, flexibility, the ergonomics of the controls, the dual recording system (CF for editing / tape for archiving) and the low light capability of the Z7 that tipped the scale.

It's been a workhorse for me since the purchase. Now my video work is only a part-time business at the moment, so I clearly have different needs then someone who does this full-time.

Grazie, you've been so generous with your advice and help over the years on this board I'm more than happy to return the favor if you have any quesions I can answer about my Z7 experience to date.
Grazie wrote on 5/13/2010, 8:04 AM
psq, thank you - wanna go-off line with this? I'm happy to speak here, it's just our friend started this thread and I don;t wish to hijack it?

Mostly I don't wish to feel "cramped" with the 12x, and as such I would then need to purchase an alternative lens to get back up to 20x that I am used to. I saw Tom's 270 here in London when he came over. I've tried and tested it too - I can't do shoulders - just can't do it - I've tried. So the Z7 is getting real close.

mountainman wrote on 5/13/2010, 8:45 AM
take a look at the Z5. Same guts as the z7, longer lens. Add the recording unit and you've got the best of both worlds. This camera takes great pics and does well in low light. jm
Guy S. wrote on 5/13/2010, 12:47 PM
If you can swing $6800 and wait a bit, the Canon XF-300 warrants a close look. It shoots MPEG2, has 4:2:2 color space, a 50 Mbps data rate, and uses the .mxf wrapper (which Vegas really likes).

I saw this camera at NAB and its image quality looked stunning. Canon's demo set was much more dimly lit than any of the others, so I would expect the camera to do well in low light.

If you're looking for a more direct replacement for your A1U (similar form factor), I also liked the image quality of the JVC GY-100. It records MPEG2 at 35Mbps to SDHC and the price just dropped $1k and can be found at B&H for $2800. Philip Bloom shot some footage with this; it looks great and you can find it on his YouTube channel.
Grazie wrote on 5/13/2010, 2:46 PM
Yeah . . been following the dribble of info and then the 7th April stuff from Canon. Might be able to play with it next week. £7,000 for a 1/3" chip camera without a lens cap and no interX lenses - far too rich for me. Mind you, I'll be able to use my existing batteries though . . . . on the Canon XF 300 output.[/link] pages on Canon[/link]

UlfLaursen wrote on 5/13/2010, 8:31 PM
Hi Grazie

I am looking at the XF300 too. As soon as it hits Denmark, I'll have one to test from Canon, think it will be end June.

Looks good so far...

Grazie wrote on 5/13/2010, 10:25 PM
Hi Ulf - Well the guts of this thing are very impressive with the 422 and 50mb/sec. But why-oh-why compromise on things like having only a 1/3" chip camera without a lens cap and no interX lenses, and this for what is going to be the best bite at a wedge of £7k?

IMO Canon have done it again, in the video market, just nearly get there and then they stumble at a basic, for me, making a buyer decision. Oh yeah, AND they've shaved-off some reach from their similar level units from 20x down to 18x - why do this - why? But these are my personal thoughts, grumbles and sad head-shaking; thus far I've only had Canon cameras, but this function reduction and potential price tag is just taking the Michael? And yes it is 422 - and that would be the only reason I'd contemplate it. Now, do I think that SONY will make a repost with a 422 at my wallet level? They have too! Do I wait even further? . . . . . .

Hard . . really, really hard this . . .

Actually, no it's not - fishing on the Gulf or living in the Sudan or . . . . now THAT'S hard this/mine is just middle class angst.

Dach wrote on 5/14/2010, 5:32 AM
I've stuck with Canon since day one, so I'm excited that they have a new camera coming out. I expect that it will be priced at $6K when its the shelves in June.

I was taken by the price, personally I was hoping for $4K, which was what the A1 was priced at when it first came to market. This leave a big price gap between the two models.

It will take a bit more time to put the budget together but I do look forward to getting a XF300.

wandering journalist wrote on 5/14/2010, 5:34 AM
thanks for the tip and the heads up on the Henry's show as well... I check out B&H from time to time but never for cameras, mostly for odds and sods so will have a look
wandering journalist wrote on 5/14/2010, 5:41 AM
Thanks Grazie - I am a stubborn guy I guess when it comes to tape, I have been taking a long hard look at Sony's hybrid that shoots to card and tape... I also like the newish Panasonics that use SD cards now, much more affordable from a media point of view. My concern now is will my Vegas Pro 8 want to buckle over and cry when I start importing footage off a solid state?

Hey - also thanks to poster who suggested a look at the JVC. I checked it out at Vistek's web site... think I will put it on the short list now...
Editguy43 wrote on 5/14/2010, 9:47 AM
One thing that concerns me about Solid state is the toughness of the card slot, I know some people in the still photography world have had problems with the SD card slots on their camera's, and it is only a few years old. Not a lot of long term testing has been able to be done.

One thing I DO like about solid state is not having to capture in real time.. now that is a real time saver and might make me walk to the dark side ( or is that from the dark side) ;-)

Paul B
rs170a wrote on 5/14/2010, 9:55 AM
Dale, two more good shops to check out while you're in the area are DV Shop in Toronto and Hamilton Video & Sound in Hamilton.

Cliff Etzel wrote on 5/14/2010, 10:16 AM
I wish SONY would release a solid state version of the A1U. I love the form factor of the camera. Dual memory card slots is all they would need to do and maybe similar AVCHD implementation as in the NXCAM.

Would fit my needs perfectly. I still use my little HC7's due to nothing having truly gotten my attention yet in tapeless cameras that are as compact as my HC7's - although the recent Canon HFs-21 did make me pause. Compact cameras are the biggest thing for the kind of work I shoot.

Cliff Etzel
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Jeff9329 wrote on 5/14/2010, 11:11 AM
Wandering, solid state is the only way to go. I have been using AVCHD cameras using a SDHC card for 2 years now and it has been wonderful. There are quite a few stories of losing footage for never fully understood reasons, but it has not happened to me yet.

For Vegas, a there is no log & transfer, you just copy the clips to your working directory and start working. I use Vegas 8.0c for AVCHD and have excellent results, although not everybody does.

Every push of the record button produces a new time and date stamped file/clip. IMO is a lot easier to evaluate what you captured and edit projects.

IMO, all the new cameras are similar and very good. Get what you are familiar with to minimize the learning curve.
LReavis wrote on 5/14/2010, 11:48 AM
"There are quite a few stories of losing footage for never fully understood reasons, but it has not happened to me yet."

I accidentally pulled out a USB cable while transferring files to my hard disk, and it corrupted the card. I spent a day or two experimenting with different file-recovery programs, and got a few more files; but I never got them all.

Otherwise, all OK (about 2 years of part-time experience with solid-state cards for video)