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Thread: Another 'new camcorder' post :P

  1. #1

    Default Another 'new camcorder' post :P

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if you guys could help me in my choice to buy a camcorder! I've been having lots of fun the past couple of years being part of my university's TV society (http:lutube.tv if I may plug lol). I'm now itching for a camcorder of my own. I've been looking at the Canon HF100... and have actually tried buying it online twice... only to have emails sent back saying they have non in stock -_-. As it happens though I'm rethinking whether getting a HD cam is a good idea - even though the society has HD cameras, we often find ourselves filming in lower res so the computer can actually handle the footage in editing and it doesn't take up masses of gigabytes.

    So basically I'm after a good quality cam but not necessarily HD, probably something that can record on SD cards (unless you really recommend DV tapes. I've used both in the past... the quality probably is better but I find getting the footage off 'em a tad tedious), and something with a mic input. Ideally I'd like a somewhat versatile camcorder - something that isn't going to give me a terrible picture if the lighting is just a little on the dark side, and auto-focus that isn't going to blur constantly (certainly I should get used to using a bit of manual focus as well, but in the news/entertainment programs I've helped to make so far its often been useful to set up quickly and get a good picture without much hassle). 500 is about my limit.

    With all this in mind, what camcorder should I get? Would the Canon HF100 do the trick? Since I'm after good quality and not just a cheap cam, should I invest in a camcorder that can film in HD even if I don't always use it? For that matter, do you always have a choice with HD cameras? I was trying to work out whether the Canon actually offered the opportunity to film in lower res. What are your thoughts?

    Cheers,

    Luke

  2. #2

    Default

    the industry is going HD so my advice to you and anyone really, is to get the best camera that you can afford.. For now Id say miniDV is the way to go.. A mic imput is kinda hard to fine on SD cams and even on consumer HD cams.. Id get the HD even if you only use SD for now.. The quality will still be better and you'll be glad you have HD when your ready to use it
    Wil

    Software Used:
    TGV Edius 6, TGV ProCoder 3, DVD Lab Pro. 2

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ChapmanProduction

  3. #3

    Default

    I haven't used the HF100, but it looks pretty decent, I recently purchased a Panasonic SD-9, which is similar, although hasn't got the audio inputs you need.

    Just thought I'd share my thoughts on someone who owns an SD card based AVCHD camera, I've been using mine for the last 3 months whilst backpacking in the Americas, shooting in many different situations and environments, and I'd definitely recommend it for this type of use.

    SD cards are much easier to get hold of, store and backup than tapes, the size is fantastic, ideal for grabbing a couple of quick shots and tucking it away again.

    I wouldn't want to shoot a feature film on it, but for everyday use it is the best camera I've owned, I've had 4 tape cameras before this one, and I wouldn't go back to tape now.

    The editing of the footage is not that big a deal, I've been transcoding to DV and editing on my low powered netbook whilst on the go, and I'm looking forward to getting back to a desktop PC for some HD editing too, it has been surprisingly straightforward so far, and with most new editing apps supporting AVCHD it should get easier.

    The Panasonic gives me a choice of resolution to shoot in, I'm sure the Canon would too, but it's all encoded in AVCHD anyway, so I assume it will still take a fair bit of processing power to edit it natively whatever resolution I shoot in, as such I just shoot in the top resolution all the time.

    I don't think there's a better alternative for the price, especially if you are going to be using it as an everyday camera and not just for documentary/news type stuff.
    Panasonic SD9, Panasonic NVGS-75, Canon MV600i

  4. #4
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    Default

    Whilst there's a few people on here that are dead set against using anythign but tape, the Canon HF100 is one that really stands out, even though the manual focus setting is very fiddly.

    It's been a long time since there has been one camcorder in particular that stands out way above the others in the 500ish price bracket, but for the time being, that's the one.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Before you decide on the HF100 have a look around for a HF200 which is a more up to date model and has a new processing chip. In shops it is priced at 699.99 but you may see it lower online or maybe on ebay. Again, as said above it would have been a great camcorder (both models) if Canon had put some type of manual focus control on the body, that would have made it a great camcorder but unfortunately it falls flat on it's face at the last hurdle if manual focus control is important to you.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank ya all for your responses.

    Thanks for pointing out about the HF200 Nikosony, didn't realise this model was out. I've just ordered one now (for around the same price as most of the HF100's were going for anyway - 570 I think it was). It said they have 'em in stock so hopefully third time lucky!

    Luke

  7. #7
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    Default

    Ooh, thanks for the info!

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