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Thread: First Semi-Pro Camera

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    United Kingdom

    Default First Semi-Pro Camera

    Hello Eveyone,

    I'm here looking for advice. I'm currently a student entering into my third year of university in the UK studying Film and TV and I'm looking to buy my own semi-proffessional camera. My Budget is between 2500 and 3000 and absolute maximum ($3600-$4300 on the day of posting). I have several questions that I've found through hours of researching and looking at the many cameras around.

    I would like to go HD but is it entirely necessary?

    I have been looking at the Canon Xl-H1A but this is way out of my price bracket new, several are on Ebay just about within my price range, is it worth going second hand or am I asking for trouble there?

    In a similar vein to the HD question, how does the Canon XL 2 stack up in comparison with the Xl-H1a?

    As you may have noticed I've looked at the Canon XL series alot, is this the best way to go for what I want? I've also looked at other brands too, JVC, Sony and Panasonic, how do they all stack up?

    Do I even need to spend as much as I've budgeted or can I get similar quality from slightly cheaper cameras?

    Sorry about the length and all the questions but it's going to be a while before I finally scrape together the money to finally buy a camera and I want to ensure I get something that will last me a good few years after university doing my own projects. Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.

  2. Default

    We own a Canon XH-A1 and you could not find a better "starter" pro camera in the cannon range.

    Yes the manual focus control is a bit jittery but it has pretty much everything else you would want.

    I would suggest the XH-A1 to you over the XL-H1A.

    3 reasons to go for the XH-A1

    It is expensive enough to do everything you could want to do as a pro without the serious expense.
    It is cheap enough so if (god forbid) something were to happen to it you won't break down in tears.
    You can still do "HD"

    As for the HD question let me share a few thoughts:

    When you say you would like to go HD, what is it for?

    DVD production? (which would be blu ray production if it is in HD)

    I personally would say you need to consider the concept of HD very carefully. There are several different discussions on this fourm that would be helpful to you in making the decision.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    United Kingdom


    Thanks for the advice Ben, I'll have a trawl through the HD forum bit later to day to see, Mostly looking at using the Camera for Webcasting and DVD production. I'm guessing for these true HD isn't possibl. Do you tend to notice the difference between whats been made on a HD camera and what has been made on a standard definition 3ccd camera for these purposes?

  4. Default

    What size screen have you got?

    If you are displaying it on anything small than a 42" than you won't see a huge difference. You might see a difference in colour and sharpness but for the % of gain it does not justify the price.

    Anything bigger than a 42" and it does look much better.

    For webcasting you could try using Full HD. But how are you going to display it? youtube only goes to 720p last time I checked. There might be other content providers who go higher but I think you would have to fork out the money for it then. (but I am sure other's would be able to advise you better.)

    Out of interest do you have anything that can be viewed on youtube that you made previously?


    AHHH! Youtube does now display 1024.
    Last edited by bigben654321; 06-13-2010 at 11:49 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    United Kingdom


    We'll probably take the youtube Root for webcasting, only if things get off the ground could we start to justify anything else. We do have some Uni work from 2nd year that we hope to put on Youtube just trying to get them to export to a usable size. Last time our 3 minute was exported to a file of about 10gb so kind of impractical there considering the biggest project was 12 minutes. Used Sony PD150s for the year we just finished which are alright I guess but really nothing to write home about.

    Forgot to answer, my personal Screen is a 19" HD
    Last edited by MattlUK; 06-13-2010 at 02:21 PM.

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