What 1080p model of camcorder is recommended? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 06-13-2009, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I've done a LOT of reading the past week or so on HD camcorders and I'm still confused as to what brand to purchase. I want something that's going to be a quality 1080p camcorder.

We're expecting a baby boy this summer and that's got me all excited to go out and buy a 1080p camcorder. However, I'm almost totally unknowledgeable as to what to look for.

1) Is there a brand to stay away from? (sony, JVC, sanyo, canon)
2) I assume they all have microphones (although stereo mics are more $$$)
3) Do they all record in mpeg4? Or does it vary greatly? (.mov, .avi, .mkv ?)
4) From what I've read, they all seem to use Lithium Ion batteries as well. Is it like a PS3 controller, where after 4-5 years, you have to buy an entire new unit?

These are just some thoughts and questions I have... Please feel free to add your own. I'd like to hear from some HD camcorder owners directly if possible. I'm in the $600-800 price range CAN. I'm not so much interested in the fancy effects or photographic quality still photos... just really good video and some decent sound with an HDMI/USB output on the camcorder.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 56 Old 06-13-2009, 06:22 PM
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You can get plenty of 1080i camorders, but not 1080P One of the highest resolution 1080i Cams recently released is the Canon HF S10 / HF S100
You can read about them here:

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...view-36389.htm

the only difference betweent the S10 and S100 is that the S10 has 32GB of internal memory and and SDHC card slot, wheras the S100 only has a SDHC card slot. (32 GBof SDHC memory at the transfer rate needed for full HD video would easliy cost you the difference.)

You can pick up some 1080i cams in the price range you quote, but you may be greatly dissapointed with them.

Columbia SC
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post #3 of 56 Old 06-13-2009, 06:33 PM
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The Sanyo HD2000 (or FH1) is the only consumer camcorder that records in 1920x1080, 60p; the rest are at 60i. The video quality is superb but there are some quirks. You should test it out to see if you are happy with it.
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I'm happy w/ my Sanyo FH1 for home movies.

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post #5 of 56 Old 06-13-2009, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses... a couple things that kinda surprised me....

1 ) I thought if the resolution was 1920x1080 that was "full" HD? I wasn't aware of the 60p and 60i or what that stands for. I know one is progressive and the other interlaced, but why the number 60?

2) The camcorders that claim to be 720p, are they not better quality than 1080i, which is really just 540 lines?

I guess judging from the responses, it might be appropriate to just wait a bit more. I definitely want something for the long term and it doesn't sound like there's much in the price range judging by your posts.

Thanks!
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post #6 of 56 Old 06-13-2009, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldkwok View Post

The Sanyo HD2000 (or FH1) is the only consumer camcorder that records in 1920x1080, 60p; the rest are at 60i. The video quality is superb but there are some quirks. You should test it out to see if you are happy with it.

When you say 60p, are you talking 60fps? Or is that a completely different spec on the Sanyo HD2000. I thought 60fps would be overkill for most home videos, would it not? Isn't televised programming only at 24fps?
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post #7 of 56 Old 06-13-2009, 08:29 PM
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I have the Sanyo HD2000. The video is smoother than my other cams that record at 30fps or 24fps. That is true even though the software renders the 60fps clips at 30fps. I save the original clips because at some point in the future the software will be able to render 1920 x 1080p at 60fps.
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post #8 of 56 Old 06-13-2009, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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So everybody with a Sanyo HD2000 is happy with the quality and craftsmanship of it? Are you able to boost the colour on the video to make things more vibrant, or is it a pretty simple camcorder with few options? I see it is going for $600-700 on eBay, which is a lot less than I was expecting to see. How is the battery life? Can you have a backup battery ready to go?

I don't see any reviews of this model on epinions, but there are at least a couple Sanyo camcorders that are listed as FULL HD 1080p. (ie. Sanyo 1080p Camcorder VPC-FH1)

I think I'll just buy from Staples or London Drugs where I know I have a good 15 days to play with it.

Thanks.
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post #9 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 03:18 AM
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The CANON EOS 5DMK2 DSLR.

A bit pricy, but you will not regret it. No only is the 5D2 the best video quality you can buy for under $50K, you can also take superb 21Mpixel still photos of you new bub.

What is not to like about the 5D2 ? Has industry leading low light performance, 38Mb/s .mov H264, CF card.

The only negative of the 5D2 is the record time limit of 12-15mins, due to the FAT32 / 4GB max file format (for the MAC users).

Want know more;
http://theeoscars.com/5dblog/
http://wiki.planet5d.com/index.php?t..._video_samples
http://vimeo.com/groups/5DMKII/video.../format:detail
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos-5d-mk-ii-hd/
http://www.cinema5d.com/viewforum.ph...st=0&sk=t&sd=d
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/forumdisplay.php?f=166

If the 5D2 footage doesn't blow you away - you must be dead already !
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post #10 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mondoguitar View Post

When you say 60p, are you talking 60fps? Or is that a completely different spec on the Sanyo HD2000. I thought 60fps would be overkill for most home videos, would it not? Isn't televised programming only at 24fps?

The Sanyo HD2000 (or VPC-FH1) quotes 60p as 60fps while 60i as 60 field/s. I am not familiar with these terms as I also thought that to mean progressive and interlaced respectively. Experts in this Forum may want to explain further on this.

I believe the HD2000 (the pistol grip version) is not yet available in the US while the FH1 which is the normal box format with very similar specs is, so that's why you don't see much of the HD2000. It is good that you can play with the Sanyo for a couple of days to see if you like it as some people cannot stand the poor IS, the major weakness.
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post #11 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldkwok View Post

The Sanyo HD2000 (or VPC-FH1) quotes 60p as 60fps while 60i as 60 field/s. I am not familiar with these terms as I also thought that to mean progressive and interlaced respectively. Experts in this Forum may want to explain further on this.

I believe the HD2000 (the pistol grip version) is not yet available in the US while the FH1 which is the normal box format with very similar specs is, so that's why you don't see much of the HD2000. It is good that you can play with the Sanyo for a couple of days to see if you like it as some people cannot stand the poor IS, the major weakness.

Sorry, what does I.S. stand for?

Seems the only difference between the FH1 and HD2000 is the picture resolution, which I'm not all that concerned about. Very few retailers are selling either model here, so they must be pretty new. I might have to drive to Calgary as Best Buy has one, or else order off eBay (which I'm leary of for this item).

As for the Canon's. I know with the Canon camera's they were always known for their low battery life. I'm interested to hear how the Sanyo's are in that respect. I'm sure most people would hate to be filming something, have the battery die, and then not have a 2nd battery as a backup. If that's the case, that could become a major annoyance. Can the battery be removed and replaced easily or no?
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post #12 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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...and what format does Sanyo use for recording? Are they saved as .mp4 .mov .avi?

I'm hoping to use my upgraded 500GB PS3 for some storeage and playback.
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post #13 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepster returns View Post

The CANON EOS 5DMK2 DSLR.

A bit pricy, but you will not regret it. No only is the 5D2 the best video quality you can buy for under $50K, you can also take superb 21Mpixel still photos of you new bub.

What is not to like about the 5D2 ? Has industry leading low light performance, 38Mb/s .mov H264, CF card.

The only negative of the 5D2 is the record time limit of 12-15mins, due to the FAT32 / 4GB max file format (for the MAC users).

Want know more;
http://theeoscars.com/5dblog/
http://wiki.planet5d.com/index.php?t..._video_samples
http://vimeo.com/groups/5DMKII/video.../format:detail
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos-5d-mk-ii-hd/
http://www.cinema5d.com/viewforum.ph...st=0&sk=t&sd=d
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/forumdisplay.php?f=166

If the 5D2 footage doesn't blow you away - you must be dead already !

I can think of a few cameras.
Sony PMW-EX1
Sony PMW-EX3
Sony PDW-F800
Panasonic HPX-2700
RED One,
RED Scarlet S35,FF35
RED Epic S35, FF35

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of incorporating video in to stills and vice-versa, but the reasons you mentioned, plus no AF on video mode, lack of ergonomics for taking videos, no 24p mode, crappy audio features show there is much room for improvement before ditching the camcorder. I really hope Sony and Canon make a EX3/XLH1 look-alike camcorder that can record in 4K, with 2160x3840 and 1080x1920 compatibility, with 24p,25p,30p,48p,50p,60p compatibility, using ExpressCards, and a 35mm width sensor. Even if they just started out using a 35mm sensor in the current camcorders, that would be great. But the main advantage of that is DOF control, and an adaptor is adequate for that right now, and you only need that for fancy cutaway shots.
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post #14 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepster returns View Post

The CANON EOS 5DMK2 DSLR.

The only negative of the 5D2 is the record time limit of 12-15mins, due to the FAT32 / 4GB max file format (for the MAC users)

But there must be software to join mp4 files. I have software that joins wmv files flawlessly. Could you not just record 16 or 32 GB's worth of video and then join them up?

The one negative I see right now to HD recording is storing them reliably. The videos are so massive, by the time you get little league games, birthday parties and all the other events, you'll have a stack of blu-ray discs 12" high. lol I don't trust saving them on HDD's, I've had too many fail.
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post #15 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevypower View Post

I can think of a few cameras.
Sony PMW-EX1
Sony PMW-EX3
Sony PDW-F800
Panasonic HPX-2700
RED One,
RED Scarlet S35,FF35
RED Epic S35, FF35

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of incorporating video in to stills and vice-versa, but the reasons you mentioned, plus no AF on video mode, lack of ergonomics for taking videos, no 24p mode, crappy audio features show there is much room for improvement before ditching the camcorder. I really hope Sony and Canon make a EX3/XLH1 look-alike camcorder that can record in 4K, with 2160x3840 and 1080x1920 compatibility, with 24p,25p,30p,48p,50p,60p compatibility, using ExpressCards, and a 35mm width sensor. Even if they just started out using a 35mm sensor in the current camcorders, that would be great. But the main advantage of that is DOF control, and an adaptor is adequate for that right now, and you only need that for fancy cutaway shots.

Over on the REDUSERS forum, most owners of the REDONE and the 5D2 believe the Canon 5D2 is better. The RED SCARLET is not yet available.

The Sonys and Pannys you list are inferior.

Only the Sony F23 is regarded to be consistantly better, but is approx $250K !!!

BTW, the REDONE will cost you $50K to get going, whereas the CANON less than $4K for a better result.

As for 24P, why ? 24P = flicker.

All blu-ray players and TVs sold world wide willplay 30P.
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post #16 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mondoguitar View Post

But there must be software to join mp4 files. I have software that joins wmv files flawlessly. Could you not just record 16 or 32 GB's worth of video and then join them up?

The one negative I see right now to HD recording is storing them reliably. The videos are so massive, by the time you get little league games, birthday parties and all the other events, you'll have a stack of blu-ray discs 12" high. lol I don't trust saving them on HDD's, I've had too many fail.

You can use a 32G CF card, just not record more than 4G for any one take. For most people, this is not a problem.

The professional wedding photographers are all selling their cameras and are now all buying Canon 5D2s. Their solution for long takes (eg long speeches) is to use a separate audio recorder (eg the Zoom H4N - has mikes and XLR) that records continuously. For the few seconds it takes to restart the recording on a new file, you can edit in a cut away (you should really be doing this every few minutes anyway).

Countless commercials, music videos and wedding videos are now being shot with the Canon 5D2.

BTW - the inboard audio recording is quite good, once you have defeated the agc and are using good high gain mikes/preamps. Beachtek have a audio solution specifically for the Canon 5D2 - includes XLR connections.

For $4K, the video quality is so good from the Canon 5D2, you will not want to look at anything else.
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post #17 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 05:58 PM
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I believe this is a camcorder forum, so the inferior Sony's and Panasonic's are allowed here.
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post #18 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mondoguitar View Post

Sorry, what does I.S. stand for?

Seems the only difference between the FH1 and HD2000 is the picture resolution, which I'm not all that concerned about. Very few retailers are selling either model here, so they must be pretty new. I might have to drive to Calgary as Best Buy has one, or else order off eBay (which I'm leary of for this item).

As for the Canon's. I know with the Canon camera's they were always known for their low battery life. I'm interested to hear how the Sanyo's are in that respect. I'm sure most people would hate to be filming something, have the battery die, and then not have a 2nd battery as a backup. If that's the case, that could become a major annoyance. Can the battery be removed and replaced easily or no?

IS is Image Stabilisation or anti-shake. Sanyo uses Electronic IS while most of the rest uses Optical IS which works better. Wonder why Sanyo does not switch over to OIS.

The main difference between the HD2000 and the FH1 is the form factor. My Blog lists some other differences but probably won't affect the end result too much.

The battery for my HD2000 lasts about 2 hours at the highest resolution or roughly 12GB of video. For normal holiday videos, it should last for a day. If you use it for recording concerts or sporting events, you will probably need a spare battery and it is easy to replace.

Videos are stored as mp4 files which you can just drag and drop. Since the Sanyo is ahead of its time, currently most video editing software will have problem handling the raw videos at the highest resolution. Viewing the videos in-camcorder or connecting to a HDTV is not an issue (or even to old analogue TV's). You can also very easily burn SD DVD's using Nero 8, the software provided.

The 4GB limit for video is the limitation of the FAT32 file system used for the file. I believe this is a common limit for all consumer camcorders currently.
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post #19 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepster returns View Post

Over on the REDUSERS forum, most owners of the REDONE and the 5D2 believe the Canon 5D2 is better. The RED SCARLET is not yet available.

The Sonys and Pannys you list are inferior.

Only the Sony F23 is regarded to be consistantly better, but is approx $250K !!!

BTW, the REDONE will cost you $50K to get going, whereas the CANON less than $4K for a better result.

As for 24P, why ? 24P = flicker.

All blu-ray players and TVs sold world wide willplay 30P.

24p is the global cinematic standard. Actually the video processing in all the cameras i mentioned are superior. The F23 still uses 2/3 inch sensors if you are basing everything off chip size. But yes it is still superior to a 5d2. And an F35 - just awesome, except still not 4k.
I have played with an EX1 with a DOF adaptor setup, and i have played with a 5d2 with the shoulder bracket kit and lens controllers and i would take the Sony without any hesitation. 5d2 would be nice for stills though, especially as i have a few L-series lenses.
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post #20 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Regarding the Sanyo VPC-FH1 or HD2000, where did all you guys purchase them?

There isn't a single retailer in town that carries Sanyo at all really. The only retailer I found online was Best Buy for $629CAN. It's going for about $580CAN on eBay, so I'm not sure which way to go.
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post #21 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 12:30 PM
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post #22 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 02:37 PM
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Yeah, it even exhibited at IBC two years ago to get into the European Broadcast market. It is a very well known dealer in the higher-end of the market. MSN has a 3,5-5% cash back offer for this store, as linked in one of the other threads.
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post #23 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mondoguitar View Post

Regarding the Sanyo VPC-FH1 or HD2000, where did all you guys purchase them?

There isn't a single retailer in town that carries Sanyo at all really. The only retailer I found online was Best Buy for $629CAN. It's going for about $580CAN on eBay, so I'm not sure which way to go.

Amazon

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post #25 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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My dad's passing through Calgary, I think I'll tell him to just pick it up there. Being in Canada, any place I buy in the states I'll probably have a $50-80 broker fee.

Have any of you tried the FH1 on a PS3 or even Xbox360? I know the sony site says "mpeg4/h.264" is supported, but with divx and some other codec's I've received unexplained errors that just say "data type not supported" for a reason I can't explain.

Would sure be nice to store home videos on the PS3 with the 500GB drive I put in it. Then it's just pick your movie and play it.
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post #26 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldkwok View Post

It is good that you can play with the Sanyo for a couple of days to see if you like it as some people cannot stand the poor IS, the major weakness.

I'm ready to purchase, but the image stabilization is the one consistent negative that this camcorder gets in reviews. Is it really a major issue, even for casual home video usage? Or is this point mainly a concern for the "semi-pro" photographers?
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post #27 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 07:08 PM
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I suppose it also depends on the user and how it is handled. The video becomes shaky at high zoom and during fast panning so if you are careful and do it slowly, it may not be too bad. Maybe the IS in the other brands reduce the shakes more than the Sanyo and thus makes it less noticeable. Users who has used the Sanyo and the other brands may want to comment on this.
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post #28 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldkwok View Post

I suppose it also depends on the user and how it is handled. The video becomes shaky at high zoom and during fast panning so if you are careful and do it slowly, it may not be too bad. Maybe the IS in the other brands reduce the shakes more than the Sanyo and thus makes it less noticeable. Users who has used the Sanyo and the other brands may want to comment on this.

It's hard for me to believe that ANY brand would allow you to zoom in 16x, have it handheld and not have extreme shakiness to the video. Even with a tripod at full zoom, you'd have to be very careful with movement or not have any movement at all... afterall, it is HD resolution so it SHOULD be very sensitive.

I think for just a casual use camera for family events, this is perfect. If a tripod improves things, then that's a small add-on.

Also, from amazon, one of the buyers stated it worked flawless with the PS3, which is a great storage/output source!
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post #29 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 07:37 PM
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Well pleasantly surprised by what Ronrosa was able to get out of his girlfriends first shoot with the Sanyo. Editing out the zoomaction it looks more stable than me shaking the Canon HF11, around.

http://www.vimeo.com/4616450

Did you use a musical track instead of natural audio due to the Xacti's poor audio quality, the FH1 not taking an external mic, or purely for editorial(artistic) reasons?

Great little Xacti tips by a fellow Dutchie over on Vimeo: http://www.vimeo.com/5125631.

Though some of this professional photographer/cameraman/instructor's video's do shake way too much as well, http://www.vimeo.com/1314406.
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post #30 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevypower View Post

24p is the global cinematic standard. Actually the video processing in all the cameras i mentioned are superior. The F23 still uses 2/3 inch sensors if you are basing everything off chip size. But yes it is still superior to a 5d2. And an F35 - just awesome, except still not 4k.
I have played with an EX1 with a DOF adaptor setup, and i have played with a 5d2 with the shoulder bracket kit and lens controllers and i would take the Sony without any hesitation. 5d2 would be nice for stills though, especially as i have a few L-series lenses.

CP, the 5D2 is most commonly (nearly always) compared to the REDONE, not the other cameras you listed, but the 5D2 is 1/10th the price of the REDONE.

Richard Darge takes the time and trouble to film a comparison between the 5D2 and the REDONE. Yesterday's discussion on the REDUSERS Forum.
http://reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?t=31650

His comparison video here: http://www.vimeo.com/5160288

You will note an inceased 'jello' effect on the 5D2 (...but it is shaken harder...) and crushed blacks (Richard should have used the 'mild' setting).
But, the differences are small.

The biggest, #1 difference, is that the REDONE cannot do low light like the 5D2. eg, the REDONE cannot do this: http://vimeo.com/2666377 (lit by 3 candles only). Nor can the REDONE do this (bike riding at night) http://vimeo.com/5008702?pg=embed&sec= or http://vimeo.com/4926237

Image the usefulness of all this low light goodness when you are shooting you kid's birthday cake, out side in your kid's cubby house, inside that dimly lit ballet hall, school sports hall, etc, etc.

And, you have a superb 21Mpixel still camera at the push of the button (only looses 1 second of video footage).

Is there a better all round camera for amateurs ?
BTW, the REDUSERS typically describe the 5D2 as an 'advanced tourist camera' (sour grapes ?).
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