View Full Version : which camcorder to buy...?
December 25th, 2003, 10:05 PM
hello guys, posting a problem here a few weeks ago really soloved my problem and i was really thankful to u guys.
sadly or happily :) i have another question i need to ask...
i am planing to buy a camcorder to study visual effect and compositing live actions with cg elements..
i looked up website for a long time and i am still not sure which one to get..
what features do i need to look for? someone mentioned that minidv is the one i need to get...
what i have in mind is "sony CRTRV38 MiniDV Camcorder" or
" sony DCRPC105 MiniDV Handycam¢ç Camcorder" or
"sony DCRTRV33 MiniDV Handycam¢ç Camcorder"
which one do you think is better for vfx stuff??
is there any other camcorder that u can recomand?
thanks guys again late merry christmas and
really happy new year in advance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
December 26th, 2003, 08:12 PM
What's your price range?
I personally am a big fan of the Canon XL1s and GL1. I will probably pick up an XL1s eventually.
When looking for a digital camcorder for VFX, I would focus on the ones with 3 CCDs.. If that's a bit out of your league, I would then look for a camcorder with a larger single CCD. The more detail you have to work with, the better off you are.
Getting a camcorder with a progressive photo option is a wise decision as well.. This enables you to integrate easier with film footage, and does away with fields and interlacing, which can be a detriment to creating VFX.
I'm probably in a totally different budget that you are, so what I need and want will be different that yours.
Things to look for which would make your life easier for compositing in live action footage with a digital camcorder are:
3 CCDS, or one large CCD (usually in lower end cameras)
IEEE 1394 output (firewire)
Progressive Photo or frame based capture of video
Other options could include:
ability to add other lenses
shoot in other frame speeds
true 16x9 capability.
After all of that, I would probably choose the XL1s.. Or since HDTV is around the corner, I would go with the JVC GR-HD1 (http://www.nwfusion.com/weblogs/cool/archives/002275.html) or something similar.
December 27th, 2003, 10:42 PM
thanks aruna for you reply...
and i need to ask another question...
i am a super beginner and i am not sure if i need a really good camcorder yet.
do you think it's worth the money to get really good camcorder in the beginning stage? or should i get lower-end camcorder first and then later a good one?
money is not important, but i don't want to waste money.
what is your thought?
if you were a beginner and thinking about getting a camcorder to study, would you get a really good one so you can use it for a long time or would you get a not bad one and then later upgrade to super better one next time?
it would be great if you answer my question again.
Thanks and enjoy your life!
December 28th, 2003, 05:40 AM
I would suggest not going for the highest of the prosumer camcorders at this stage, then - and go for something like the Panasonic DVX-100 - this is the lowest end 3-CCD camera that you can get (I believe - it certainly was a year or so ago)
Over here it costs about £999 (that's UKP)....
As for the top end of the camcorder range, I'm going to have to go the Sony route... I've used Canon's XL1, XM1, XM2 and Sony's VX2000 and PD150, and the PD150 is by far my favopurite of the lot (and the most expensive, too....)
If you know that you are going to go on to do more of this kind of thing, and maybe some non-VFX shooting too, then I would get the best camera you can affodr. However, if you're not sure that this is going to be a longer-term thing, then definately start with a lower-end camera....
December 28th, 2003, 12:21 PM
Would you get Pal XL or a ntsc one?
I know you do film work is why I ask
December 28th, 2003, 06:27 PM
Anybody know the relevant specs on the new Sony HandiCam that shoots straight to DVD?
I looked at one briefly before the holidays but since have been otherwise distracted... so if anyone knows, fill me in :D
...and as far as expensive camcorders once you get in the industry you'll more than likely not use the camcorder you've bought again (at least not very frequently). you'll be provided with your footage and companies gnerally keep a nice digi cam and camcorder in the office for shoots. if you are going to want to continue making films after you get in the industry maybe its worth buying the top of the line now, but i try to check one out from work whenever possible (until i finally decdide on which is best for my needs ;))
December 28th, 2003, 06:55 PM
thanks guys for your replies..
i think it's not worth it to buy a really good camcorder now because i am just a beginner and i just want to experiment with it..
i would be too careful (scared) to "play" with camcorder if i get too expensive one..
this is the one i think i am gonna get.... for now... model name is DCR-PC105
can u tell me what you guys think? thanks!!!:cheers:
December 28th, 2003, 07:06 PM
"i think it's not worth it to buy a really good camcorder now because i am just a beginner"
Have kids...makes it all worth it.
Memories in good form are always worth it.
December 29th, 2003, 01:24 AM
Looking at that one, I would maybe suggest the DCR TRV-38 (http://www.sonystyle.ca/commerce/servlet/ProductDetailDisplay?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=10001&navigationPath=32080n32081&productId=164804)... It's exactly the same price, but here are a few reasons why I would prefer it:
Manual focus ring
Okay, so not that much, but for the same price, though....
The 16:9 mode will give you better quality than taking normal 4:3 footage and putting black bars on it (and yes, I know that it won't be as good as using an anamorphic lens....)
And personally, I like as much manual control over a camera as possible, and sometimes the auto-focus on a camera just doesn't want to pick up the right thing, so having the manual focus ring would be a big plus to me.....
Edit: Just saw this Panasonic camera (http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelDetail?storeId=11251&catalogId=11005&itemId=63188&catGroupId=11303&modelNo=PV-GS70&surfModel=PV-GS70) - it's a 3CCD camera, and it's about $200 cheaper than the previously dicussed Sony cameras. I had a quick look through the page on it. It has most of the features of the Dony cameras (no 16:9 here, but still has progressive mode and manual (if wanted) focus....
It also has useful features like S-Video in - so you can record, say, VHS tapes onto miniDV (very useful for when you've got footage on VHS that you need to get into your machine)
Anyway, do look at this camera too....
December 29th, 2003, 07:23 AM
thank you Salra Tar and Hugh for your reply..
Have kids...makes it all worth it.
for that, i totally truly agree with you but i don't have any kids.. i am not even married yet... hopefully later :)
Hugh thank you for your help and time..
i think the panasonic one you mentioned was in us dollars and everything else was canadian... hmmmm.. i will try to find it and see how it is..
 i just checked and the price was 1650 canadian dollars..
well.. thank you all very much for your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i will tell you guys which one i got when i get it.. thanks again :)
December 29th, 2003, 07:29 AM
Ahh - I was unaware that the others were in canadian dollars....
should have checked the URL.....
What's CA$1199 in $US?
December 29th, 2003, 01:43 PM
That would be:
1,199.00 CAD = 915.113 USD
1 CAD = 0.763230 USD
1 USD = 1.31022 CAD
as of today (http://www.xe.com/ucc).
I would get an NTSC one, since I'm in North America at the moment. The next purchase would be an HDTV camera, like that GR-HD1 I mentioned. The upside is that the HDTV convention doesn't really have NTSC vs PAL problems, since the highest resolution (1920x1080i or 1080p) is the most commonly used for effects, and then we downconvert to the other formats. We usually used 1080p at 24fps.
May 21st, 2005, 11:41 AM
hello chaps, like the thread starter, I plan on hopefully doing more compositing live actions with cg elements in the summer, so I could do with a decent camera to start..
but this thread is quite old.. so I wonder how much of is still pretty relevant?
For instance, some of features mentioned?
I think looking to get a 3ccd camera for about £600/700 sounds good [and viable]