View Full Version : Starting out - what type of video camera?

03-05-2009, 05:16 AM
Hello everyone, this is my first time on the forums and i have had a quick look around and was wanting to know if you could help me out.

Firstly i am looking at getting into film making, and wanted to know about what camera to buy.

Also if someone could give me a rundown of what camera types there are ie hd,dv etc and if any major film have been filmed with any thanks.

I have used VHS camcorders in the past and was wondering do you feel i should buy a cheap video camera to get the feel of and then move up from there, if so what type.


03-05-2009, 11:25 AM
There are three things that are VERY important when getting a camera:

Three CCDís or CMOS
Manual controls for the iris, shutter, focus and white balance.
A microphone input.

The JVC GZ-HD7, the first of the JVC HDD cameras is now a little over
a year old and discontinued, but Iíve seen them for sale on line. A really
nice Fujinon lens makes a huge difference and full manual controls is
important. Three 1/5í 16:9 progressive scan CCDís are pretty impressive
for a camera in this price range. It has manual controls, a mic input and
an excellent focus ring which is surprisingly rare on small cameras. It
records directly to a built in 60GB hard drive. The issue here is the MPEG-2
compression (TOD). Itís not compatible with many NLEís so youíll need
to convert the TOD to QuickTime or AVI.

The GZ-HD6 can record 1080/60p through HDMI - pretty impressive.

The GZ-HD40 is a bit of a disappointment. I like that it records using AVCHD
compression which makes it compatible with most NLEís but it loses the
important focus ring. And itís so small.

The Panasonic HDC-SD100 uses a 3-CMOS array and records 1920 x 1080
video in the AVCHD format to SD and SDHC memory cards. I like the ring
on the lens that controls zoom, focus, white balance, shutter speed, and iris
and it actually has a viewfinder in addition to the LCD screen. Very important
it has both a mic and headphone jack. I found it difficult to handle with all
the cables attached (mic, headphones and monitor) but itís a camera with
all the basics.

Close is the Canon HV20. It records in HDV (1080i) and 24p (60i), has a mic
input and manual controls of white balance and focus but it uses one 1/2.7Ē
CMOS sensor rather than 3 CCDís. And itís so small the handling is difficult.

The HV30 adds a 30f (Canonís ďframe modeĒ) in addition to 24p.

The Sony HDR-SR12 has a mic input and a good sized 120GB HDD. It uses a
1/3Ē CMOS chip and like the Canon is really small. Because of the input placement,
the mic cable kept getting in my way. The HR9 (which records to tape) is also
a nice, very small, camera with the essentials. Again the mic input is just below
the lens which is rather poor placement, in my opinion.

I like the Sony HD1000U, it has all the essentials. The touch screen is too unusual
for me - Iím old school - but it works quite well. I like that itís a shoulder mount
camera. It only uses one CMOS Sensor, but the image was very nice.

Baghead, Panasonic AG-HVX200
Cloverfield, Panasonic AG-HVX200
Inland Empire, Sony PD-150
Open Water, Sony PD-150
The Anniversary Party, Sony DSR-500
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, Canon XL-1
28 Days Later, Canon XL-1S
Pieces of April, Sony PD-150
Bamboozled, Sony VX 1000 PAL
Book Of Life, Sony VX1000 (NTSC)
The Celebration, Sony PC7 PAL
Chuck & Buck, Sony VX1000 PAL
The Cruise, Sony VX1000 NTSC
Dancer In The Dark, Sony PD 100 & Sony DXC D30WS PAL
Everything Put Together, Sony VX1000 PAL
Final, Canon XL-1 PAL
Chelsea Walls, Sony PD100 PAL
Full Frontal, Canon XL1s PAL
Hotel, Sony PD 100 & PD150 PAL
Julien Donkey Boy, Canon XL1 PAL
Time Code, Sony DSR-1
Supersize Me, Sony PD150
Lonesome Jim, Panasonic DVX 100
November, Panasonic DVX 100

03-05-2009, 07:10 PM
so are they sd or hd cameras?
do you think i should get an old dv, or super8 camera first off to get a feel of it first before jumping in?