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Which camera?

MiniDV, DVD, Hard Drive, 8 mm, High Def, brands, import / capture techniques, settings ... talk about camcorders in here.

Which camera?

Postby peggig » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:48 pm

Has anybody tried the Sony FDR-AX100, the Sony HDR-Cx900, or the Canon HF-G30?

What are pros and cons, and which would you recommend?
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Re: Which camera?

Postby _Paz_ » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:01 pm

Peggid,

I'm not familiar with any of those particular cameras, but both Sony and Canon are good brands.

I think a good way of camcorder shopping is to begin by considering what kind of video work you want to do.

What features do you want? :

time lapse?

motion activated?

underwater?

face recognition?

high definition?

peaking?

histogram?

remote control?

slow motion?

Low light?

wireless capability?



Once you have a list of features you'd like, then compare cameras and read reviews online and watch demo reviews on YouTube.

HTH,

Paz
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Re: Which camera?

Postby Steve Grisetti » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:55 am

I agree with Paz.

It's not about getting the "best". It's about best meeting your needs.

Terrific looking hi-def AVCHD can be had for as little as $200 or for several thousand dollars.

What do you plan to shoot and how much is control over things like white balance important to you? How much do you have in your budget?
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Re: Which camera?

Postby _Paz_ » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:44 pm

Your other thread mentioned 4K capability.

You might want to view the video on this thread which discusses 4K requirements in terms of computer resources as well as how much of a 4K image can actually be displayed on a screen:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12995
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Re: Which camera?

Postby peggig » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:30 pm

Thanks, Paz and Steve. I've already given up on the idea of 4K. I already concluded that my system won't handle it and I'm not ready to upgrade everything yet. ($$$$!)

The most important features for me are accurate color, crisp detail (without oversharpening), and great low light capability. Basic image quality features like white balance, peaking, zebra stripes, etc, are important. I don't care about wireless or face recognition, or anything that isn't related to getting the highest quality image and sound. I'm looking in the $1000-$1500 range.

I also want a camera that's reliable and pretty durable. I've read that Sonys and Panasonics generally have better reliability than Canons.

I've always used Canons in the past, but the reason I'm considering the Sony CX900 is because it's the first camcorder under $3000 that has a 1-inch sensor (other than the 4K FDR-AX100). The sensor is also back-illuminated, which is also supposed to improve low-light performance. The specs don't say the minimum lux, though. The Canon HF-G30 specifies minimum lux of 1.2, which is much better than other Sonys and Panasonics, which specify 3 lux minimum.

I've seen some samples from both camcorders on YouTube, and they all look good, but the CX900 was just released about 2 weeks ago, so there aren't any side by side comparisons posted yet.
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Re: Which camera?

Postby Bob » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:53 am

This UK Sony website indicates that the cx900 is also 3 lux.
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Re: Which camera?

Postby _Paz_ » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:59 am

Sony HDR-Cx900

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1022657-REG/sony_hdrcx900_b_hdr_cx900_full_hd_handycam.html/prm/alsVwDtl


Sony 4K FDR-AX100

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1022653-REG/sony_fdrax100_b_hdr_ax100_full_hd_handycam.html

=========

There are a few reviews on the B&H site.

Comparing the two, it appears they both have the 1" sensor. The AX100 specifies which lens while the CX900 does not. Both can film in 1080p 60. You have the option of 4K with the AX100. The AX states that it offers a slow motion setting that is better than most consumer camcorders.

Both are f2.8. My JVC is 1.2 I'm surprised these Sony's are not faster, but with such a large sensor, perhaps it isn't needed.

I wish my JVC had peaking. If it did, I wouldn't need to use a field monitor, so that would be an important feature for me.

A couple of years ago I watched this YouTube video comparing the then latest Sony vs Panasonic:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlnkmbOd_CM[/youtube]

In my opinion, both of these had better color than the other at one time or another in this comparison. Back then I decided on the Pany. Now I don't remember which specific features made me choose it.

I keep my Pany in the studio, hanging upside down over my painting desk because it has less lens distortion in macro mode than my JVC. Also, my JVC has motion activation which I use quite often for filming wildlife. I WISH the JVC had peaking. My Pany does. I also wish the JVC had the focus ring, which the Pany does. I have a push button on the JVC that starts slowly and then jumps to too fast when zooming. Aggravating as all get out. My JVC advertised it had slow motion. Only after trying it did I learn that it is in such a low resolution as to be next to useless. My JVC has a lot of "happy" features like being able to add graphics of butterflies and such. Great if your work is filming kids' birthday parties. Not anything I need. If my Pany had motion activation, I'd probably swap them and hang the JVC's barrel distortion. It's not bad. In fact, the vast majority of people would never see it. But I've quit taking the Pany down at all. It is difficult to get set up parallel to the surface of my desk. Fine tuning the angles can take forever.

I'd love to see the results of a 1" sensor compared to something "normal." I know I went for the largest sensor(s) I could. I really like the examples of shallow depth of field. That's something I can do with both my Pany and JVC. I haven't really tried either in low light.

I understand your dilemma. So many things that can make a big difference can only be known once you've actually used a camera for a while.

Good luck shopping and do let us see something from whatever you decide on!

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