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post #1 of 23 Old 10-08-2013, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
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In need of a proper camcorder. I am thinking Canon or Sony, but I am open. I'd be shooting a wide range of stuff, including fast paced footage. Budget is around $1500. 

 

Is either generally regarded as having the best lens, or sensor? Like I know for a while, Canon's high end SLR's were regarded as the best. Thanks!

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post #2 of 23 Old 10-08-2013, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobstan View Post

In need of a proper camcorder. I am thinking Canon or Sony, but I am open. I'd be shooting a wide range of stuff, including fast paced footage. Budget is around $1500. 

Is either generally regarded as having the best lens, or sensor? Like I know for a while, Canon's high end SLR's were regarded as the best. Thanks!

Hi bobstan - it is going to be a challenge to find a professional camcorder under $1500. It may even be a challenge to find a "prosumer" camcorder at that price point. That said, the best modern entry level professional camcorder with proper XLR mic inputs is probably the two year old Canon XA10, which you can find for $1571 new from 6th Ave Express via eBay.

Here is what this camera can do in fast paced settings:


With a couple of GoPros: http://vimeo.com/70200696


Again, with a GoPro: http://vimeo.com/68192149


Hope this is helpful!

Bill
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post #3 of 23 Old 10-10-2013, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! I was looking into the XA10! And then I found this after posting: http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/product-HXRNX30U/

So the XA10 is considered professional I take it, as a product description I see says? How about the above Sony? I'd be willing to go the extra 500 or so, if it is a worthwhile investment, which I think probably would be, as I want to put footage online in time.

 

Above footy looks good, but hard to also tell on my non-HD monitor! (I would like to get a GoPro for when I snowboard though!)

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post #4 of 23 Old 10-10-2013, 04:30 AM
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You wouldn't have to pay that much more. The NX30 is only $1849 at Amazon. It has great stabilization and records at 60 progressive frames per second, so, for action sports like snowboarding, it will give you smoother motion on screen.

Here is what this camera can do: http://vimeo.com/39824407

That said, for snowboarding, you may want a more robust camera. The NX30's big brother, the HXR-NX70 is $2495 at Amazon, and is completely sand, dust and waterproof.

Here is what this camera can do (all water footage shot with the NX70): http://vimeo.com/67283875

Again, hope this is helpful.

Bill
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post #5 of 23 Old 10-10-2013, 05:19 AM
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post #6 of 23 Old 10-10-2013, 06:20 AM
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That's one of the one's I've been looking at.

Although I don't think I need an integrated projector.

Does anyone know off hand if it can handle a wireless mic and if so any suggestions?

Shooting small interview clips - both indoors and out.

- D

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post #7 of 23 Old 10-10-2013, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by davidwo View Post

Does anyone know off hand if it can handle a wireless mic and if so any suggestions?
How are you going to connect a wireless mic to a camera?
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post #8 of 23 Old 10-10-2013, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidwo View Post

That's one of the one's I've been looking at.
Although I don't think I need an integrated projector.
Does anyone know off hand if it can handle a wireless mic and if so any suggestions?
Shooting small interview clips - both indoors and out.
- D

Hi David - yes, high end Sony consumer camcorders have a 3.5mm mic jack, which will let you use a wireless mic. The best UHF wireless is the Sennheiser G3, which costs $630 new. Here is how it performs against the other UHF wireless mics in its class:



You may see VHF wireless mics at a lower price point, but you should avoid them. I have both the Audio Technica and Azden camera-mounted wireless mics - and the VHF band they use is so full of static and interference that they are almost useless.

If $630 is more than you want to spend, you may want to consider the $177 Sony AW3 Bluetooth wireless mic. Here is a demonstration of what it can do:



Hope this is helpful!


Bill
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post #9 of 23 Old 10-10-2013, 05:26 PM
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Awesome.

Great reply. Thank you.

Sennheiser is maybe a little more than I wanted to spend, but then again I feel that sound is one of those things you kind of don't want to cheap out on, no?

- D

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post #10 of 23 Old 10-10-2013, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by davidwo View Post

Awesome.
Great reply. Thank you.
Sennheiser is maybe a little more than I wanted to spend, but then again I feel that sound is one of those things you kind of don't want to cheap out on, no?
- D

You're absolutely right. Poor quality sound is the bane of amateur filmmaking. Sound quality is at least 50% of the movie experience - and new filmmakers generally spend 90%+ of their budgets on cameras, leaving very little for high quality mics, headphones, preamps, mixers, shock mounts and booms.

Turns out you don't have to spend $630. You can get a new Sennheiser G3 via Amazon for $580, a used one from Amazon Warehouse Deals for $568 or a refurb for $499.

Again, hope this is helpful!

Bill
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post #11 of 23 Old 10-14-2013, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
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You wouldn't have to pay that much more. The NX30 is only $1849 at Amazon. It has great stabilization and records at 60 progressive frames per second, so, for action sports like snowboarding, it will give you smoother motion on screen.

Here is what this camera can do: http://vimeo.com/39824407

That said, for snowboarding, you may want a more robust camera. The NX30's big brother, the HXR-NX70 is $2495 at Amazon, and is completely sand, dust and waterproof.

Here is what this camera can do (all water footage shot with the NX70): http://vimeo.com/67283875

Again, hope this is helpful.

Bill
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And I saw it on ebay for about that or a tad more. I am in Canada, so, would like to avoid paying duty too though...

 

So you'd recommend the NX30 for it's price range? Also, is it deemed 'professional'? Lastly, how does it vary with the consumer version posted by jogiba? I am guessing audio inputs are not as good?

 

 

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Consumer version with same video quality :
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/838312-REG/Sony_HDR_PJ710V_HDR_PJ710V_High_Definition_Handycam.html

 

Cool, I'll check out the video samples on my TV...

 

While on the topic of audio, I'm soon looking to get an audio interface for podcasting among other uses, can mics go through the audio interface and then outputted directly to the NX30, or would I have to sync them in post-production? Thanks!

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post #12 of 23 Old 10-14-2013, 02:52 AM
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The primary difference between high end consumer camcorders and entry level professional camcorders is sound. Professional camcorders have balanced XLR inputs and consumer camcorders have unbalanced 3.5mm jacks.

XLR inputs generally lock, so your connection is less likely to be pulled out. Balanced XLR cables are also shielded, so they are less likely to suffer from hum and interference.

I prefer professional XLR mics for these reasons (and because they generally perform better than consumer mics).

The NX30 has XLR inputs, the PJ710 does not.

You can get the Sony NX30 for $2352.90 from Amazon Canada.

High end consumer cameras from Sony, such as the PJ790, cost less ($1791.90 at Amazon Canada) - but have consumer mic inputs and limited in-camera control of color.

Again, hope this is helpful.

Bill
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post #13 of 23 Old 10-23-2013, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, yeah, very helpful! I like the bigger brother one for rain and dust protection, but is that the only upgrade, as I can afford it, but it gets a tad pricey just for that, and I am careful with my stuff.

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post #14 of 23 Old 10-23-2013, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks, yeah, very helpful! I like the bigger brother one for rain and dust protection, but is that the only upgrade, as I can afford it, but it gets a tad pricey just for that, and I am careful with my stuff.

They have the same sensor, shoot at the same frame rates and are essentially the same camcorder in different packages. I would get the NX30, which is on sale for $2199 at Amazon Canada right now (only 2 left as of this post).

Good luck!

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post #15 of 23 Old 12-01-2013, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! Still biding my time! 

 

Any idea how long the NX30 has been out? If I should wait for a newer model and not invest as it becomes moderately out of date...

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post #16 of 23 Old 12-01-2013, 05:04 PM
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It was announced in April 2012 and released two months later. Still $2199 and in short supply at Amazon Canada.

Hard to tell when Sony will release a new model in this class.

Good luck and best of the holidays!

Bill
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post #17 of 23 Old 12-03-2013, 07:52 AM
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Do you need to do more than 30 min recording segments? If like most people you do not, get the Sony RX-10 with the optional XLR-A1M XLR adaptor. The NX30 has a 1/2.88'' sensor, the RX10 has a 1'' sensor. Almost 3 times larger! Similar optical zoom range. I think it's worth considering.
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post #18 of 23 Old 12-15-2013, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

It was announced in April 2012 and released two months later. Still $2199 and in short supply at Amazon Canada.

Hard to tell when Sony will release a new model in this class.

Good luck and best of the holidays!

Bill
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AOK. I'll keep my eyes and ears open! Happy holidays to you too!

 

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Do you need to do more than 30 min recording segments? If like most people you do not, get the Sony RX-10 with the optional XLR-A1M XLR adaptor. The NX30 has a 1/2.88'' sensor, the RX10 has a 1'' sensor. Almost 3 times larger! Similar optical zoom range. I think it's worth considering.

 

Ah, I like the idea of the massive sensor in a camera, but still would like a proper camcorder. I do like the look of the Sony NEX-VG20, kind of an interesting hybrid. And with the NX30, I like how it has a somewhat of a buildin steadicam feature. Some of what I'd shoot would need to be steadied, for which I would want a proper steadicam, but in a pinch... (And surely, as with uploading to YouTube, pro software surely has a built in stabalisation as well, which no doubt is just a small fix though of course).

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post #19 of 23 Old 12-15-2013, 11:14 AM
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One caveat - large sensor video requires sophisticated downscaling processes that, until the $1300CDN RX10, Sony did not choose to provide in any of its consumer or prosumer cameras below the FS100 . The VG20 and $2550CDN VG30 have severe moire challenges with patterned subjects (e.g. shingled roofs), as seen in this VG30 example (please watch at 1080p):



My experience shooting with VG20 showed this to be a real problem with these cameras.
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post #20 of 23 Old 12-15-2013, 07:08 PM
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I can attest to what Bill is saying. I had both the VG20 & VG30 and both were really hampered by moire. Thankfully my RX10 is almost totally devoid of it.

I'm far happier with the RX10. smile.gif
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post #21 of 23 Old 12-23-2013, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I can attest to what Bill is saying. I had both the VG20 & VG30 and both were really hampered by moire. Thankfully my RX10 is almost totally devoid of it.

I'm far happier with the RX10. smile.gif

 

 

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One caveat - large sensor video requires sophisticated downscaling processes that, until the $1300CDN RX10, Sony did not choose to provide in any of its consumer or prosumer cameras below the FS100 . The VG20 and $2550CDN VG30 have severe moire challenges with patterned subjects (e.g. shingled roofs), as seen in this VG30 example (please watch at 1080p):
 
 


My experience shooting with VG20 showed this to be a real problem with these cameras.

 

Ah ha, as much as the VG30 seems cool, I'd still lean with the HXR-NX30 (it's on special for 1,799.99 at a local camera store). 

 

Moire aside, how would the massive camera-like sensor be advantageous vs a standard pro camcorder?

 

And no moire issues with the NX30, or anything else?

 

Thanks all for the helpful tips!

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post #22 of 23 Old 12-23-2013, 04:11 AM
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Glad you were able to find the camera in Canada at a good price, Bob. Probably imported from the States, where it is $1749 at Adorama (after a $100 rebate).

Same deal at Amazon US - the camera is $1849, with a $100 mail-in rebate.
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Moire aside, how would the massive camera-like sensor be advantageous vs a standard pro camcorder?

I won't go into a long discussion of optical physics, but the VG30's large sensor gives you more control over depth of field than a small sensor camera such as the NX30.

With the VG30, you would be able to create "cinematic" shallow depth of field (object of interest in focus, "fuzzy" foreground and background ) as seen in this video:



This is an effect often seen in Hollywood motion pictures and on dramatic television shows, which are often shot on cameras with Super-35 sensors (about the same size as the APS-C sensor in the Sony VG30).

It is much more difficult to create this effect with small sensor cameras. You can approximate it with adapters, long focal lengths and wide apertures, but for shallow depth of field afficionados, nothing beats a large sensor.
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And no moire issues with the NX30, or anything else?

The large sensor is a double edged sword, however. Yes, it produces "cinematic" shallow depth of field, but it also produces more pixels, which have to be discarded or "binned" to get down to the relatively small pixel count of 1920x1080 video. If the camera's video processor and "downscaling" algorithms are inadequate, this can result in moire.

Small sensor cameras such as the NX30 do not have this problem. Their sensor resolution is much closer to 1920x1080 - thus no downscaling, no binning and no moire.

All of that said, you may be interested to know you can get the VG30 for $1886.11CDN body only from Amazon Canada - imported directly from Japan smile.gif

Hope you're having a wonderful holiday season!

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post #23 of 23 Old 02-16-2014, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Procured (NX30)! Any suggestions for a good camera bag for this model? Thanks!

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