View Full Version : Help with camera decision

02-15-2008, 11:02 PM
Alright, so i've been working with one of those 500 dollar panasonic 3ccd camers gs 250 :huh: (can't remeber what model it is) anyways, looking to get something a lot better. I have purchasing a brand new pc (took me forever to decided between to mac/pc) and looking to get a new camcorder. I have budgeted 5000 dollars but am hoping to spend around 3000. Here is my dilemna, i simply wanting to shoot movies, and picture quality is probably #1 on my list. So is it necessary to get a HighDef camera? Or should I go with film? (I don't know anything about film, remeber its just me at my house, with my computer and no other equipment, so film is doubtful) Please help.

- Need a new camcorder, wanting to spend 3000, max of 5000.
- Always used video and don't know anything about film, but would consider it.
- Using a brand new pc (don't know if that matters)

02-16-2008, 07:40 AM
Just to be clear, are you choosing between high definition video and film? You are not interested in standard definition video? I think film is out of the question, if you want to be autonomous. There are a few HDV cameras in the $3000 and under range. I know Sony and Canon are competing in that range, and both of them make good cameras. If you're not in a hurry, you should be able to stay within your budget and get a camera with an adequate lens, microphone inputs, some kind of high definition recording capability, and all of the manual controls you need. I'd stay away from consumer cameras, but you probably already know that.

I shoot with a Canon XH-A1, which is in your price range, but there are several cameras in the same range of price/function.

02-16-2008, 02:27 PM
If you go with film, don't forget to budget $$$ for the actual film stock, processing and digitization so you can edit it on your computer. For super8, it's about $40-45 for 2.5 minutes of footage. It goes up from there.

As far as HD goes, I like the JVC HD110s at about $5k.

02-16-2008, 03:23 PM
The JVC HD110s is nice, but it's battery hungry. The least expensive, adequate battery system I could find when I was researching it was running around $700. I was all set to buy the JVC, but the $6000 actual cost, plus the fact that the stock lens does not give a very wide field of view at it's widest opening, and another lens was going to cost about $5000, I decided the Canon was a steal.

I still think for a one-person operation, shooting at home, HD video is a much better option than film. I wouldn't even want to pay for the learning curve with film. If I were doing something in film, I think I'd just hire an experienced DP who came with a camera.


02-17-2008, 04:25 AM
Alright great answers, one question, why would i buy a really expensive standard definition camera? Why wouldn't i just get hd? Wouldn't i get the highest quality, even if i was to watch it on a non high def monitor/tv? Also, what are other necessary things you think i should budget, i want to invest in probably a microphone kit (i don't even know if its possible to somehow hook up a mini boom microphone to a video camera, or if u can those lapel microphones, not to experienced in the sound field.) Im thinking canon is my best bet? But i heard great things about Sony aswell... Also, i am highly considering the Jvc hd110, is there anything i should know before buying this camera? After i spend the 5000 or whatever to buy it, what other lenses/mics/lights/ whatever will i need that don't come with it!

02-17-2008, 08:40 AM
The reason you might buy an expensive SD camera is for features and lens quality/interchangeability. Personally, I'd go straight for the HD camera; especially if it had all the features I wanted and could also shoot in SD. The JVC HD110 is a wonderful camera. I've played with one. As with any camera, you will need a good microphone, batteries to suit your needs, depending on where you are shooting and for how long, and 3 zillion little things like cables, lights, stands, clamps, etc. Many of which you may already have. I haven't looked at the current JVC prices and battery options, but bear in mind that you are paying a premium for an interchangeable lens. If you never buy a 2nd lens, that feature isn't worth as much. You do have options, however, that you would not have if you could not change lenses.

Take your time making a decision and look for deals and rebates (legitimate ones, of course!). JVC was running a rebate that offered a free Anton Bauer battery kit, at one time. Also, I bought my Canon when they were offering a $250 rebate. Every little bit helps.

02-17-2008, 12:47 PM
I own the HD110. I've never had the lens problem oakstreet has, but it
does use up the batteries quickly.

I've shot with most of the cameras out there. In the $5,000 range the
decision seems very personal because the camera are all so similar. My
business partner is a Canon user and won't use anything else. I bought
the first pro JVC (the DV500) in 1999 and have been a JVC user ever
since. At my "day job" I use Sony and really like them. And I love the
Panasonic cameras. I have owned the GS250 (a great camera) and I still
use my GS400 all the time.

My personal choice and advice would be the JVC. I think it's an extraordinary
camera. I've used it on features, for ENG and on several reality shows. So
far I can't justify spending $5,000 to $10,000 on a lens so when I need it,
I just rent the better lens.

I know it's not much help, but the bottom line is any of the cameras in your
price range (JVC, Sony, Canon, Panasonic) are going to be great cameras.

02-17-2008, 03:46 PM
I own the HD110. I've never had the lens problem oakstreet has, but it
does use up the batteries quickly.
The JVC was my first choice, the decision for me came down to cost. I saved something like $2500 by choosing the Canon, but I really, really wanted the 720p mode. My experience with the camera was playing with a loaner that the local sales rep dropped off. It seemed that the lens didn't give me as wide a field of view as I wanted, but that was not the basis for my decision.