Originally Posted by Don Landis
I can say for a fact that this is not true for the NX3D1 from Sony, There is a considerable difference in the hardware end of the pro version and the consumer that allows for many additional features. This includes but not limited to ROM for functions and these are not firmware addressable. I got this straight from an engineer at Sony. Most of these rumors like this are based solely on wishful thinking. While I never asked, I would suspect JVC designs their cams in a similar way. When these rumors surfaced and then spread to the TD10, I laughed. But that is from a technical perspective. From a business perspective, it makes no sense whatsoever to offer an upgrade even if the camcorder was built to allow it to be upgraded with the professional reserved modes. I'm not saying a future consumer camcorder won't have 24p 3D recording, just that last years model will never be upgraded with a free firmware. This I know for sure with Sony and I suspect is also true for JVC.
Joe- considering the limitations of the Pro version of the JVC- what are your reasons in sticking with that for 24p rather than a more versatile pro cam, like the Z10000? Is it that you got used to the low quality monitor? the lessor quality lens? Or just because you know the basic camera well enough and get very good images with it? Personally, I could jump into the NX3D1 by February but I will continue to save for a better bang for the buck by delaying and saving for the Panasonic budget. I do like a better LCD monitor, DD5.1 audio recording, dual SD card for very long form recording of events. PCM linear audio, and a macro lens built in. The list of bang for the extra bucks is long. You like I are not ready to jump soon so we have lots of time to think about the options vs. cost. By the time I am ready for a $3500 pro 3D cam, I hope Sony has something competitive to Panasonic.
Thanks, Don. As usual, you've given me lot of things to think about. What follows is my "thinking out loud" about what you said. I doubt this will concern a lot of people, so most folks should probably just save a little time and skip the following dissertation. For the hardcore 3D fan who might have decided to stick out the following ramblings, here goes.
As for the rumors of JVC upgrading the TD1 to 24p, I thought it very strange. I've never seen that before. My perception was based on what I saw in a broken English translation from a JVC press release. I prefaced my comments about it with "rumored upgrade." I still believe the hardware in the HMZ1 is probably almost identical to the hardware in the TD1, although that too is my guess. I have no direct knowledge, so I'm obviously not inviting debate about it. JVC almost certainly won't be saying much on that topic.
The video scene is changing. I learned recently from a friend that a local TV station here bought new HD studio cameras for their news shows that cost less than $8,000 each. That's ridiculously cheap when I think of what our university paid for SD studio cameras just a few years ago. Philosophically, I believe in the "democratization" of the television production process because of digital technology. I also believe that the separation of pro and consumer TV products is becoming more and more artificial. That's also just my opinion and I see little point in debating it. I may be wrong, and it won't be the first or last time.
That said, I acknowledge that there will always be a difference in low cost consumer video tools and the best pro gear. Good lenses cost money. A lens that can shoot as wide as I'd like, or a camera that provides all the manual bells and whistles to create the best images, will always be more expensive. For most of us who participate in this thread, it's a question of how serious we are in our aspirations. To call the JVC or Sony pro versions of the TD1 and TD10 (or the Panasonic Z10000, for that matter) "professional" is relative, because they're "professional" only with respect to some of the limitations of their consumer counterparts. They don't offer the best optics, and certainly not high quality interchangeable lenses.
I understand the business reasons for having consumer and pro lines, but I doubt the actual difference in hardware costs to produce the two JVC camcorders is more than a few dollars. The spec sheets read almost identically. The TD1 also has a much more serious complement of manual controls than an average automated point and shoot camera. You can dial in focus, aperture, shutter speed, and white balance manually. The only significant difference I see right now for me is the 24p shooting mode. (Of course, I realize there's typically a lot of extra time involved in creating the pro version features, even if the hardware is similar or the same.)
I checked out the Panasonic Z10000 more after your post. To me, here are the biggest advantages:
A 32mm (35mm equivalent) lens lets you shoot much wider than the JVC. HUGE difference.
I believe I read the Panny has a 42mm interaxial separation (35mm on the JVC). That could be big, also, but it's still not the 140mm interaxial I have with the stereo base extender. Given, the SBE limits the JVC's wide angle to a 1.2x normal - not good, but workable for what I'll be shooting most of the time.
The specs seem to indicate 3 CMOS sensors for each lens on the Panny, which should yield better video (actual tests will demonstrate the true differences).
The Panny has a built-in macro mode (not a factor for me, since I have a really good Marumi macro lens for my JVC).
The Panny shoots AVCHD 3D and 1080p/60. Huge for some people, but not so much for me. My work will end up on 24p 3D Blu-ray, which is a native shooting mode for both camcorders.
The Panny has 5.1 audio. Not a big deal for me, either. I typically use little of the ambient audio that accompanies the video I shoot. I shoot nat sound separately. I incorporate ambient audio from the video when possible, but it's the exception, rather than the rule - unless of course it's voice. If I need multi-channel sound, I have a friend who helps me with those projects. We've shot concerts together - not with a big budget or national talent, but with remarkably good results. His multi-channel audio recording gear is pro level. The Panny and the JVC both have dual XLR mic inputs (but the JVC supplies no phantom power, not sure about the Panny).
Both cameras shoot in MVC mode, at selectable bitrates. The Panny has dual SDHC slots, but the HMZ1 has 64GB of internal storage and a slot for SDHC/SDXC. At highest quality recording levels, I can record 4 hours on an SDXC memory card, and 4 hours with the internal storage. No significant difference there. It would be great if the Panny shot both streams separately, but it records video as MVC, basically the same as the JVC. For more serious work, the workflows should be very similar. For even the simplest projects (in PowerDirector 10), the workflows should be almost identical.
Finally, the cost for me to upgrade my JVC right now should be around $600. The cost to upgrade to the Panny Z10000 will probably be $2,400 - about 4x more. Weighing the cost/benefit options right now, I'm probably better off with the JVC. I have little doubt that I'll be upgrading again down the line if things go well for me in this hobby. In several months, there should be a lot of options. At that point, I should know how serious I want to be with all this.
So, dissertation over. Thanks again for making me sit down and hash all this out in my head. I've decided to give the final decision of which way to go a little more time. As you note, it's not urgent.