I am not sure if a thread like this has started, but if it has then the Mods or MAGIX staff can merge it. But I wanted to start a thread like this because I’m always interested in the kinds cameras people have used to film with and how they go about getting the video they’ve filmed into VEGAS Pro. Because I know we have to sometimes convert our videos or deinterlace our videos in programs like HandBrake (which I currently use) and then possibly convert it into another format, then import into VEGAS Pro to commence our editing.
I have used various cameras in my lifetime. The first camera I ever used to film video was an Olympus digit camera that was more geared towards taking photos. But it could film video but only at 320 x 240 (4:3) @ 15fps (frames per second). I then moved onto a rather interesting camera that was made by Sony. I cannot remember the exact make and model but I actually thought it could film in ‘FullHD’ - 1920 x 1080 - because it had the ‘FullHD’ logo on it. But, unfortunately, it said ‘FullHD’ photos. Well, I was quite disappointed but decided to keep the camera anyway. It filmed video at a way lower resolution than the 1080p I thought it did @ 640 x 480 but at 30fps (at least I got a somewhat decent upgrade in resolution and frame rate from my previous Olympus camera.
MY FIRST EVER PROPER VIDEO CAMERA AND FILMING IN 16:9 WIDESCREEN
It was back in 2008 when I bought my very first proper video camera that was made by Sony. It was a Sony DCR-DVD810E and it filmed with rectangular pixels when filming in 16:9 widescreen and so it was true widescreen. When I played back the video, after importing any video that I had filmed, the video was filmed 720 x 576 (576i) resolution and interlaced and would the player would stretch out the video to the resolution of 1024 x 576 (16:9) so, when I imported into VEGAS Pro, I would setup the project with a resolution of 1024 x 576 and run all my videos through VEGAS Pro in this resolution and deinterlacing them then export them out to the 1024 x 576 resolution.
FINALLY, A TRUE ‘FULLHD’ VIDEO CAMERA
After 4 years, in 2012, I finally got myself a genuine ‘FullHD’ 1080 video camera that didn’t try to deceive me with a label that just looked like it filmed in ‘FullHD’ but didn’t actually. This was quite an upgrade for me. Going from filming in SD (720 x 576 > 1024 x 576) to a resolution of 1920 x 1080 was awesome! It filmed in 1080-50i and I didn’t know that you had to convert it down to 25p when deinterlacing and so I just deinterlaced to 50p and it played back quite smoothly. So, I effectively was working with 1080-50p video and edited it in VEGAS Pro without any problems. This 1080i video camera was none other than the Canon Legria HF G10.
The reason I went with Canon for this camera was that it was the only camera, within my budget, that allowed full manual control over everything, of which I wanted. It was considered a prosumer camera (or something like that) and Sony’s video cameras at this time didn’t allow full manual control. They did produce good quality but I really wanted that full manual control. So, the Canon HF G10 was my pick and choice (and it’s still going strong today).
SWITCHING GEARS TO 4K
Having an iPhone that filmed in 4K30 and a video camera that filmed 1080i, I felt the need to upgrade. This wasn’t like a “I must have it” upgrade, but I felt my camera gear was lacking in the resolution department and I wanted to upgrade. Now, in 2018 4K cameras were saturating the market and I knew there were several options and cameras to choose from. Because of having a Canon video camera, I looked at their options. But they were quite expensive for the 4K cameras they had. I saw a video on YouTube comparing the Canon video camera that I was looking at (and almost considered buying) with one of Sony’s 4K cameras.
To my surprise the Sony camera performed way better than the Canon did in almost every situation, especially when it came to low light situations. I came to realise, amongst the many great other reasons, the main reason was because of the 1” CMOS sensor, whereas this Canon camera had a, if I recall correctly, 1/23” CMOS sensor. I didn’t know how to read 1/23” correctly until I came across a site that explained it and that’s when I discovered that the sensor size of this Canon 4K camera was only 0.3” and that settled it for me. I was going for the Sony and I did. And that Sony 4K camera is none other than the Sony FDR-AX700 (I had looked at its predecessor, the FDR-AX100, but it had a rolling shutter issue that the newer FDR-AX700 didn’t have).
The Sony FDR-AX700 has been a joy to use. But there was one unexpected thing that I noticed. Having filmed in interlaced rather than progressive for so long, I noticed some noticeable flickering when filming in 4K25. I researched this and found out that this was normal for filming progressively instead of interlaced, and to get less flickering and more smoothness I needed to film in 50p. Well, I knew this meant that I’d have to drop the resolution to 1080p because the AX700 didn’t film in 4K50. I then suddenly realised why some people were complaining about this camera only filming in 4K25/30 instead of 4K50/60. Nevertheless, I didn’t let myself get disappointed. The camera was still great, it’s 1080p video quality I found to still be a heap better than my Canon HF G10’s 1080i quality, due to the Sony AX700 obviously having a 4K sensor.
But, through doing some more research, and with it being mentioned on the Sony site, it was recommended to use this camera on a tripod when filming a 4K to reduce the flickering (caused by handheld filming I guess). So, I bought myself a fluid head tripod made by Manfrotto and I have no buyers remorse at all with camera or the tripod. One great thing I realised is that video that comes out of the Sony FDR-AX700 is so clean, even in low light and on dark or black objects. I was quite impressed by that. So, yeah, a great camera that I’d highly recommend to anyone if you’re in the market for good and proper video camera.
NOW ONTO CAMERAS YOU GUYS HAVE USED AND CURRENTLY USE
Now, I’m interested in other people’s cameras that they use and have used in the past and what you liked and didn’t like about each camera that you’ve used as well as any troubles you’ve had with them along the way.