Go lower spec tapeless or higher spec tape....? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-27-2012, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I have just over a grand to spend on a HD camera (upgrading from old SD Sony models that are getting just too tired).

A second hand Sony Z1 was my immediate choice as a proven workhorse but doing my research as you do has turned up another (of many) options. The Sony HXR MC2000e is a tapeless model that is within budget new that the Z1 is second hand. I want to record good audio into the camera and have balanced XLR Mics which the HXR can't accommodate, but buying a camera new and it's solid state also appeals.

I cannot stretch to the NX5 in my wildest dreams so am left with this - lower spec new tapeless or higher spec second hand tape?

Any words of wisdom, thoughts or suggestions.........
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-27-2012, 03:56 PM
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Panasonic HMC40 is smaller than the Z1, much more versatile, has more recording modes and better codec, and its chips are at least no worse than on the MC2000, which uses consumer 1/4-inch chips. Also, the MC2000 may look cook shoulder mount and such, but has almost as few adjustments as a consumer model it is based on (SR12 or something).

Don't even think about tape, it is dead. If you want CCD instead of CMOS then get a used HMC150, they go for about $2K on eBay.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-27-2012, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Appreciate the post and suggestions Ungermann. I had thought the same that the HXR does look limited in its control.

Sadly budget is very tight with no scope. Although tape is on its way out my thoughts are better tape camera = more control = better results = more work = more income = upgrade to tapeless in the future.
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-27-2012, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh - and I'm in Scotland (should have said). I understand HD is technically neither PAL nor NTSC but beading conflicting statements about these camera's ability to alter Hz recording modes......?
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-28-2012, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhymemaker View Post

Oh - and I'm in Scotland (should have said). I understand HD is technically neither PAL nor NTSC but beading conflicting statements about these camera's ability to alter Hz recording modes......?

Hi Rhymemaker - computers don't care whether you shoot in PAL, NTSC or SECAM - but you will want a PAL camera, if you plan to show video on any PAL TV.

That said, at your price point, I would get either the £1175 MC2000e or the £979 Panasonic HDC-MDH1. Both are professional shoulder mounted cameras that will give you HD at 1080/50i. You can also use them to shoot SD, for clients who don't need HD.

The Panasonic has the longer zoom range (16.8x vs 12x), but the principal difference is that the Sony has 64GB of built-in memory, while the Panasonic relies on SD card memory only. The £196 price difference is a lot of money to pay for built-in memory, however, when a 64GB card is just £29.

If money is an issue, I would get the Panasonic. Here is an example of what it can do (please watch at highest resolution):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm11oRdZV3E


Cheers and hope this is helpful,

Bill
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-29-2012, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Bill - it is.

I hadn't considered the Panasonic and it's a good comparison. Both of these are within budget.

My niggle is that would I be buying a lower spec camera just for the storage media and work flow? All the higher spec tapless models continue to have a wide variety of controls on the body as opposed to a menu system which would indicate the need/want for this type of design to continue. (the EA50 video review on your site as an example).

I know the MC200e does not have audio level displays or xlr inputs. Does the MDH1? Sound is important to me and I have invested in good external xlr mics. Would I be limiting myself?

Are these particular tapeless models just small hand held consumer cameras in a bigger body?

Aarrghhh - my tech head says go tapeless as it's the future but at the same time I don't want to be blinded by that. I also know that you get what you pay for and that a higher spec tape camera might be the better as opposed to new technology way to go.


Further viewpoints Bill, Ungermann or anyone else?
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-29-2012, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhymemaker View Post

Thanks Bill - it is.
I hadn't considered the Panasonic and it's a good comparison. Both of these are within budget.
My niggle is that would I be buying a lower spec camera just for the storage media and work flow? All the higher spec tapless models continue to have a wide variety of controls on the body as opposed to a menu system which would indicate the need/want for this type of design to continue. (the EA50 video review on your site as an example).
I know the MC200e does not have audio level displays or xlr inputs. Does the MDH1? Sound is important to me and I have invested in good external xlr mics. Would I be limiting myself?
Are these particular tapeless models just small hand held consumer cameras in a bigger body?
Aarrghhh - my tech head says go tapeless as it's the future but at the same time I don't want to be blinded by that. I also know that you get what you pay for and that a higher spec tape camera might be the better as opposed to new technology way to go.
Further viewpoints Bill, Ungermann or anyone else?

Tape is really outdated. First, if you are considering buying a used camcorder, (which I wouldn't/especially if you are shelling out a lot of money), the heads may be worn, something may be wrong with the small parts in the tape mechanism. Perhaps it might not show up right away...

Flash memory doesn't have those moving tape parts, it's just a card sitting in a slot. It is extremely convenient. It transfers to your computer in the time it takes to copy/paste data. With tape, for every hour of tape you capture, you have to capture it into your editor in real time; 1 hour of filming = 1 hour of capture on the computer. For flash memory, 1 hour recorded on a card = minutes (how fast your PC can transfer the data). (Note, with this AVCHD format, you would have to set your editor to stitch the files together - there are threads here that discuss this.)

This is almost 2013 - tape camcorders are archaic..it's the equivalent of buying a tape VCR at the point when everyone had DVD players. Plus, as time goes on - blank cassettes might become scarce and/or more expensive. A flash memory card can be recorded over thousands of times without having to buy a new one. A tape perhaps can be recorded over a few times/if you even want t chance doing that. Much more expensive.

The technology in newer camcorders is leaps and bounds over professional tape camcorders from just a few years back - it advances very quickly. Yeah, you might have to use the menus instead of physical buttons, but you'll get used to it.

Try and buy a new or refurbished camcorder - avoid used. You may end up paying for repairs or have to junk it because it had an issue the previous owner was or wasn't aware of.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-29-2012, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

That said, at your price point, I would get either the £1175 MC2000e or the £979 Panasonic HDC-MDH1. Both are professional shoulder mounted cameras that will give you HD at 1080/50i. You can also use them to shoot SD, for clients who don't need HD.
Both are junk. Consumer camcorders in shoulder mount body. The Panasonic is not a pro camera ("HDC" vs "AG"), but it has more functions, although the controls are menu-driven. AFAIK, neither of these camcorders shoots progressive.

The Panasonic shoots AVCHD-SD, which cannot directly be put onto DVD-Video. The Sony shoots MPEG-2 SD which is compatible with DVD-Video, but visual quality is not as good as DV.

The aging HMC40 will easily beat them both in functionality, will be comparable in sensitivity and will be cheap enough. A new one with XLR can be bought for about $1.7K in the U.S. A used one in good condition can be found for a little over $1K on eBay.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-29-2012, 09:07 AM
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Look at the NEW Panasonic AG AC90. It incorporates all the advances in video sensors and lenses, shoots 108060p, and has XLR inputs and time code, three rings for controls and lots of buttons. This is the video frontier, at reasonable cost.

http://www.panasonic.com/business/provideo/AG-AC90.asp
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-29-2012, 09:16 AM
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Drat! I have been out of the loop for too long! Great price. I knew that Pana would make this cam the very first moment I saw their 3D "10000" model, so here it is. Now I will have really hard time selling my HMC40 ;-))

Yes, the AC90 would be a much better choice, and not that much pricier. I want it! Finally a Panasonic cam that looks sexy.

EDIT: The sensors are even smaller than on the HMC40 -- only 1/4.7 inch. This is the camera for those who don't care about blurring background at all. Pity. I with it had at least 1/4 or 1/3 inch chipset. I used to own the HDC-SD600 that had 1/4-inch chipset, which I bought for mere $300!

Keeping my HMC40 for some time longer ;-)
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post #11 of 15 Old 10-29-2012, 01:45 PM
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US folks - we seem to be missing that Rhymemaker is in the UK and has a £1000 budget. It is hard to find the PAL HMC41 in the UK for less than £1400. Lowest price on ebay.co.uk right now is £1300. And the new AG-AC90 series will be even more.

The shoulder mounted interlaced cameras are not the the absolute best option - but they are probably the best prosumer option within his budget.

Cheers,

Bill
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post #12 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you folks.

In this day and age international boundaries can be blurred and I appreciate everyone's input. You've all given me a lot of food for thought although I'm still not 100% convinced that compromising the camera and features for the sake of new media is the way to go, at least in the budget I have.

More thought and ultimately a jump.

Wish me luck!!


Gary
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post #13 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Well - decision made.

After deliberation and noting the comments here I decided that tapeless is the way to go, but didn't want to compromise on the camera.

Thank you Markr041 for mentioning the Panasonic AG Ac90 - just outside by budget but after finding a couple of buyers for some kit I was thinking of selling at some point I have just scraped the budget to afford it and have ordered one.

Will arrive middle of next month - I'll comment back on how it is for me. So a tapeless and with the functions camera I needed I jumped.


Thank you again for the time and effort you all took to comment - it really has been invaluable.



Gary
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post #14 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 11:26 AM
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Seems like the small sensors did not stop you. If this is fine with you, this looks like a great little cam. I was impressed with samples that show how image stabilizer works, handheld video looks almost like shot from steadycam.

I decided to put my HMC40 on eBay. It was sitting in the bag for more than a year. For some of my latest videos I used either a $200 consumer camcorder bought on eBay or a DLSR, recording audio onto Zoom H1 recorder, so I see no need for a traditional camcorder for myself. The low-light argument also does not seem to be important for what I shoot. I figured that a decent tripod is more important than fancy camera ;-)
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post #15 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Ungermann -

The small censor is the only concession to what otherwise fits the bill - XLR inputs & audio control, tapeless, direct access to primary control via buttons instead of menu, full HD at 1080p, a steady shot system that looks very very smooth and it's new so carries three year warranty.

But that's not all - see a pretty full discussion on the camera here with some comparison to the HMC40.

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?292975-First-Look-Panasonic-AG-AC90-at-DVExpo-West


One to watch......
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