View Full Version : Which Camcorder?!?!

03-03-2005, 12:11 AM
Hey. you must hear this a lot or might have gone through it youself. I have a camcorder, a Digital8 Sony DCR-TRV140, and it is completely falling apart on me. the white balance, the exposure, the iris in the lense, you name it! I've been looking into buying a new camcorder for a long time, but i just cant seem to choose one. one moment i feel like im ready for a low-end prosumer or high-end consumer camcorder, then the next i think i should just get a 400 jvc and put a shotgun mic on it. and with all of the different camcorder reviewers out there, all telling you different things, its so difficult to choose. any suggestions?

p.s.-agree or not, but, god, a good one costs an arm and a leg! (for me anyway) actually, at this day and age, they really are very inexpensive compared to 10 years ago. going crazy here!

03-03-2005, 02:22 AM
This is a very similar thread:

Also see this one:

03-12-2005, 11:51 PM
Wait till NAB this year to buy anything. HD is just picking up speed and the SD cams will be falling in price very shortly. If you need a deck, then get a cheap camera and wear it out, but I'd hold off on spending any real money right now. If doing any shooting, you should be renting the better gear - make the rental house take the hit on the depreciation.

03-13-2005, 09:06 PM
NAB? think whatever that is will drive down the prices of GL2s?

03-13-2005, 09:21 PM
lol NAB is short for the National Association of Broadcasters Convention held in Las Vegas every April. It's where all the manufacturing and support industries for tv and film display their new gear and softwares (which subsequently diminishes the demand for the old stuff - dropping prices).

I have a GL2 and it makes beautiful pictures, but the tape mechanism is a bit fragil. I just had the idler gear replaced by Canon (under extended warranty) after using it for about 15 mo's. Had it not been covered, the repairs would've been under $250, but thats still a lot to shell out - just out of warranty for normal use. Had to do over again, I'd probably get a pd-150/170 and choke on the additional cost. The 30p mode (frames mode) of the Canon is simply stunning though, so it's a toss up between reliability and performance. For DV25, Canon makes a very high quality picture for about a grand less than you'd pay in a sony or panasonic. The XL2's are spectacular for their cost, but I couldn't justify spending 5K on SD technology right now.

With how much you pay up front, if you're only going to be shooting for a month or so, then I'd get a long term rental of a Sony DSR-570 or go up to DV50 and rent a Panasonic SDX-900 (the SDX is capable of "splooge yourself, good" pictures). You'll spend the same amount of money as the GL2 would cost you to own, but you'll get a far better image out of it in the end. For something more sporatic and impromptu, you'll be better off logistically speaking to buy into a camera and own it.

03-13-2005, 11:22 PM
i love the GL2, i shoot with the GL1 occasionaly, and shoot with the GL2 at my church and school. i love it. if i could afford a DVX-100 i would, nayone know how i could find a good deal on one?

is the tape problem idespread? ive read some reviews on the GL2, and that was the biggest complaint, the tape feed sucks.

03-14-2005, 01:57 AM
Unless you're printing to film, there is nothing about the DVX that's better than the GL2. 24p can be faked (very well) in Media Composer Adrenaline and Xpress Pro Avid systems with native plugins (they come with the apps free).

The gama representation of the GL2 is actually closer to that of the SDX900 with simple white balance correction. The DVX is capable of stunning color, but it takes far more work to set up to be accurate. You probably think I'm talking out my ass, but we did a test when I was out in Rockport with none other than the DP for Entourage, Steve Fierberg with the GL1, dvx, and sdx all on tripods and switched between them while having them composed on the same subject. The lowly GL1 beat the dvx for color accuracy with no more than white balance being adjusted. The DVX was especially bad with purple (since purple is one of the tougher colors to reproduce with video - that says a lot). All three cameras were feeding analog out their composite outs to a calibrated 27" tv.

As for the tape feed problem, I wasn't aware of it until I suggested the camera to someone else and they came back with all these reports of problems. It wasn't too much longer after that, that my camera decided it wanted to eat a clients tape shot in India. The repairs would've been pretty cheap considering the price of the camera, but it's still unnerving to have happen, and I wonder if in and additional 15mos I'll be sending it back again.

If you do shoot with these, be sure you either get a beechtech or the Shure xlr adaptor. They do feed phantom power into the ground and it needs the filter to remove it from a regular mic. Stay away from the 1/8" output mic's since there's no easy way to integrate a filter into those connections.