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Thread: Newbie question

  1. #1

    Default Newbie question

    Hi guys, I am now on the verge of purchasing a camcorder after years of using cameras in a semi-professional capacity. I have narrowed it down to two, although I am open to other suggestions. The two I have my eye on are;

    The Canon HV20 & the Sony SR5

    However there are a few things that are concerning me about both, and wondered if you could give me your thoughts.

    Specifically I want to shoot underwater, and often in low light conditions (rainforests, etc.) I've heard mixed reviews on the HV20 saying that the low light isnt that good. On the other side of the coin I obviously want the best quality possible & everyone seems to lean towards the Canon in this area. I also use a Mac & have come across a lot of postings about compatibility issues with them & the Sony formats.

    Bottom line, as mentioned, my primary concerns are the highest quality in this range, in semi-low light conditions. I would like the ability to add a light, and maybe a microphone (but the latter isnt a deal breaker). I'll be editing most of my footage on a mac, so transfering the data easily will also be a concern. Capturing in slow motion is also a must, but i understand that most have this as pretty much a standard.

    That's about it! So any suggestions or comments anyone has, I'd be very grateful.

  2. #2


    I'm relatively new at underwater video and video in general. Doing my research I had to ask myself some questions. What type of housing do I want? Mechanical or Manual controls?

    Not to take you away from here, but there is a lot of good info on Scroll down to the Underwater Video forum. Checkout the subforum about housing manufacturers and see who makes what type housing for what camcorders. Sony has the most of everything.

    I was looking at the HV-20 myself and ended up with an Sony HC-7. I wanted a housing with electronic controls and because the HV-20 doesn't have LANC connections I couldn't find a suitable housing.

    I might make some suggestions on a housing, too. Having been around a few now I think Light&Motion is very hard to beat. It depends on what your wallet says. They aren't cheap.

    You can get manual housing from almost anyone and they are a bunch less money. If you plan to travel pay particular attention to the weight of the housings by different manufacturers. Some weigh as much as 20 lbs. Some others, like my SeaTool weigh in at less than 4 Lbs. Much better when traveling by plane. The airlines aren't getting looser with weight restrictions.

    In general I'm saying to look at housings first and camcorders second.

    One on-line retailer to check out for some possible ideas is B&H Photo Video | Digital Cameras, Camcorders

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