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Thread: HD or not HD?? Dilemma

  1. #1

    Default HD or not HD?? Dilemma

    Hi, I need to buy a camera, broadcast quality. I have been advised to buy the Panasonic AG-DVX100 which I tried and I like it.
    Someone keeps telling me that I should get instead an HD camera like the Sony HVR-A1E which is also cheaper than the Panasonic.
    I am not too keen on HD (yet), but at the same time I don't want to spend such amount of money for something that may result obsolete in few years.
    Waiting for some advices.
    Thanks

  2. #2

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    The Sony records in AVCHD which is currently hard to edit. You will need something like Vegas or After Effects CS4 to do any editing.

  3. #3
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    I think the Sony does both DV and HD so you have the best of both worlds, don't know if it captures in HD and then gives you the option of DV out through firewire, it would however future prof your camera. The trouble with AVCHD is it does require a fast computer, and new editing software, and the sky's the limit with Premiere Pro CS3 with Main Concepts HD plug-in to the more reasonably price ones like Ulead 11.5 and Sony Vegas programs, neither of which need plug-ins.

  4. #4
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    The sony hvr DOES NOT record in AVCHD - it is a tape hdv / dv cam and as such produces 'editable' video.

    I havent gone HDV yet as I am not hugely imporessed by cameras I can afford. A yar back I decided to spend my o/d on a new camera. I was torn between a s/h fx1e and a pro used sd dv cam ( used bargains to be had). A shoulder mount JVC DV5001E arrived at a very sensible price so I got that and it produces video that is as good as a prosumer hdv cam and it is easy to edit. Easy as in fast.

    Two years is a long time in technology and things get 'obsolete' fast - but what does that mean? A good cam is a good cam. Over the years I have always gone for 'obsolete' and it hasnt cramped my style. HDV may well be 'obsolete' in 2 years aswell.

    A camera is far more than its stickers and its pixel count - pixel whores are everywhere ! What about handling qualities, the lens, build quality, does it 'fit' you.

    And as for 'broadcast quality' - well this is a made up mumble - if you shot a plane crashing on a phone - that would be broadcast quality - and most sub200 cams produce video far in advance of the quality we get through from our broadcasters.

    The pana is a fine camera, so is the sony, I would have them both if i could.

    Have a go on both if you can. ( but do note my sig - lols)

    I really must do a sd / hdv shoot out sometime, just for laughs.

  5. #5
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    Some more guff.

    DV - 25 mbit/sec, frames individually compressed, fast to edit and render.
    HDV - 20ish mbit/sec, frames compressed temporally, like wmv / divx, efficient compression but slow to edit and render.

    HD - 35 to 400mbit/sec - something much better and not so compromised as HDV, simple compression, easy to edit, cannot record on std dv transports like hdv can. Pro, but cameras like sony's EX1 are showing the way forward for better than SD DV recording.

  6. #6
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    Just had a look at the specs of the Sony and you're right it isn't AVCHD, it does DV by down converting the HD to DV, If I was buying one I would be checking the convertion doesn't compromise the qaulity, it could be that they use a higher resolution lens to capture HD and you might get very good results, it's something I would want to find out, I know that to get the best results you have to capture at the resolution of the CCD or CMOS sensor,

  7. #7

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    thanks for the good advices, I think i will go for the panasonic.

  8. #8
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    Hi, I think Mark hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that HDV could well be obsolete in a couple of years but how long does that give DV.

  9. #9
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    Everything is obsolete before you buy it, so you're just kicking yourself saying 'I'm not bothring because it's going to be replaced' because at some point whilst your life is passing by you've got to get off the roundabout and jump into it. With the way technology is it's best to make your purchasing judgments on a value for money/mileage basis, so if my 600 cam lasts for two years before it's going to be obsolete am I going to get more benefit from a 6000 cam in the same time period? Well, no, obviously. So don't let the waters pass you by when you could actually be doing something instead of wishing your life away.

    Anyway, one major reason I went to HD is simply because as a still photograper I'm of a mind that getting something into the camera is only half the battle, the rest is in the darkroom, which includes image manipulation, be it cropping or the 'look' of it. As my subjects are not going to allow perfect in camera framing it's a real benefit to be able to shift things.

    So, with HD simply being big pictures I can fiddle about rendering stuff out as DV without suffering the degradation you get when zooming etc in in post.

    I've also found that for HD cams are simply better at capturing full tones that regular DV cams can. I've had a Sony PD150 and whilst I don't have a quarter of the facilites my HC5 gives better pictures at a quarter of the price, even sharper let alone tonal graduations. It might be less good in low light, but then for my use low light means not enough anyway. It's only a small step up to re-gaining the controls I'd like, but I'm managing OK with them and feel that the next step is actually right up to pro stuff rather than edging my way up through function availability in small steps.

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