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View Full Version : Buying a HD camcorder, any recommendations?



Thomas M.
03-25-2009, 12:25 AM
I'd like to buy a HD camcorder, 1.000 - 1.500. I do need it for capturing reference material, e.g. animal movement, but also would like to be able to shoot some scenes for matchmoving 3D objects. The lens should be more or less distortion free or it should be possible to correct this in an easy way.

Does anybody have a clue which allround camera I could buy? The 3.000 Canon cameras are a bit too much for my taste.

Cheers
Thomas

adamredwoods
03-25-2009, 12:49 PM
The popular consumer one is Canon's HV30. It's a quality little cam.

For more pro-level, I've been eyeing the Panasonic HMC 150 or the JVC HD110U (The European models have different model numbers). The 110U has interchangeable lenses. The HMC150 is solid state (no tapes!). You can find these cameras for under US$3000 (2200€), still expensive but good cameras.

As far as distortion-free, just beware that some HD cameras (all?) suffer from the rolling shutter problem. Vertical objects lean when panning.

Camcorder Sites:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/

monovich
03-25-2009, 01:02 PM
yes watch out for rolling shutter, it kills any attempts at match moving, at least for a low level match mover like myself. The tracking software solves the rolling shutter as a camera bank rotation and eventually melts down when it can't solve the shot once the camera slows down again.

Thomas M.
03-25-2009, 02:01 PM
How can I figure out whether they use this kind of shutter or not? Is this something which is written down usually in the technical descriptions? And what is the alternative?

realgray
03-25-2009, 02:09 PM
Usually CMOS sensors have "rolling shutters" and CCD's do not. That doesn't always make CCD's better though. The RED Cam uses a Mysterium CMOS sensor. I have a Sony HVR-V1U and transcode the HDV to Prores (to remove the pulldown) and have had very little problems with my tracks. (Syntheyes) Here's a pretty good article:

http://dvxuser.com/jason/CMOS-CCD/

Thomas M.
03-25-2009, 02:34 PM
Just read about this stuff a bit on the web. Are there any affordable cameras which deliver HD with a CCD sensor without the rolling shutter effect?

gatz
03-25-2009, 02:46 PM
NAB is approaching (April 18-23). Even if you don't aim at the new releases, their intro may impact the cost of current inventories.

rg

Derrick_SA
03-25-2009, 02:50 PM
my suggestion is also to wait till NAB is done,

if you can up your budget a bit the Panasonic HMC151 is an awesome camera.

- Derrick

Thomas M.
03-25-2009, 03:11 PM
4.000 € is a bit out of my league. Need to buy a DSLR which is even more expensive and limits my budget.

adamredwoods
03-25-2009, 03:28 PM
DSLRs now record video. EOS 5D Mark II.
http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=2326

FYI-- HMC150 (151) uses CCDs. Article:
http://www.eventdv.net/Articles/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=52607

monovich
03-25-2009, 03:35 PM
DSLRs now record video. EOS 5D Mark II.
http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=2326


yes but all the DSLRs that record video suffer from rolling shutter. Canon isn't quite as pronounced as Nikon, and Panasonic's new entry may be even better by degree, but they all have the same problem.

rolling shutter is also sometimes called jellovision. Here is a Canon example:

http://www.vimeo.com/2746023

If they can nix this caveat, I'll stampede to the nearest shop and pick up a DSLR that can do video.

JeffrySG
03-25-2009, 08:57 PM
I was actually looking to see what was out there in the inexpensive HD cam market...

I found these reviews:
http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-camcorders/4321-6500_7-6617259.html?tag=centerColumnArea1.1

http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-camcorders/?sa=100021&tag=centerColumnArea1.0

but I'd be curious to read up on any other recommended cameras as well.

Dexter2999
03-25-2009, 09:20 PM
Panasonic introduced a new camera about a month ago I think it is the HVX-300. Anyway it has what they have termed "3-MOS", which I believe is three CMOS chips.

There is a video overview of this item at BH for those that are curious but it retails for like $8K. Well, out of my budget.

I am still wishing for a RED SCARLET so hard I'm going to hurt something.

Chrusion
03-25-2009, 09:54 PM
I sort of understand the supposed technical limitations of CMOS exposuring (new word), but why the heck wouldn't designers/mfrs table, disregard, say "no way" to the rolling shutter method KNOWING FULL WELL that it produces image distortion??!!! That is, who in their right mind would allow an image to have temporal geometric motion distortion? The GOAL of photography has always been to FAITHFULLY reproduce an image FREE of optical distortion (and why lenses are multi-element, multi-group, multi-coated devices). Why is this not the case for motion photography anymore... especially HD?

Yeah, yeah... I know... it's all about $$$$$$. Just seems that if they can turn ON one row of pixels, that they could turn them all on at the same time and have a frame or global shutter. Bandwidth? PFFFFT! No way that can be the limiting factor these days given the serial data speeds so easily available these days.

.

Sekhar
03-25-2009, 10:17 PM
Also check out the just announced Canon EOS 500D (http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canoneos500d/) - has video like the 5D.

adamredwoods
03-25-2009, 11:01 PM
I was actually looking to see what was out there in the inexpensive HD cam market...


From what I've heard, the Canon Vixia is the one to get in that market (hv20 or 30 same).
Eugenia does a lot of shooting with it:
http://eugenia.gnomefiles.org/

Thomas M.
03-25-2009, 11:09 PM
... but that's CMOS again, no CCD.

MiniFireDragon
03-25-2009, 11:20 PM
I bought 2 Canons. The HF10 and the HF100 and I rather enjoy them. Just remember that these camera's don't go well in low light. Then again, I don't know a film camera that works either.

Dexter2999
03-26-2009, 12:38 AM
I sort of understand the supposed technical limitations of CMOS exposuring (new word), but why the heck wouldn't designers/mfrs table, disregard, say "no way" to the rolling shutter method KNOWING FULL WELL that it produces image distortion??!!! That is, who in their right mind would allow an image to have temporal geometric motion distortion? The GOAL of photography has always been to FAITHFULLY reproduce an image FREE of optical distortion (and why lenses are multi-element, multi-group, multi-coated devices). Why is this not the case for motion photography anymore... especially HD?

Yeah, yeah... I know... it's all about $$$$$$. Just seems that if they can turn ON one row of pixels, that they could turn them all on at the same time and have a frame or global shutter. Bandwidth? PFFFFT! No way that can be the limiting factor these days given the serial data speeds so easily available these days.

.

The sensors will evolve and so will the logic processing but you can't get past how the exposure and movement interact for now.
You can try to minimize some aspects of this skew. Video people tend to not obey the ASC rules about panning speeds when producing these skew issues in the examples I have seen for the most part. The attitude of "this system sucks because I can't do whatever I want to" is irrational. There are rules. There are rules for panning on a film camera and there are rules for a video camera.
Will obeying the rules fix all issues? Nope. Objects that move through your frame that you have no control over will still have issues, but you as operator have to do your part and take responsibility as well. It isn't all the technology's fault.

One day, logic processing may be able to rectify pixel exposure, movement, and rate of pixel movement, then apply a correction. I think that is the path they are trying to persue with this "3Mos" tech.

Chrusion
03-26-2009, 08:21 AM
There are rules for panning... Objects that move through your frame that you have no control over will still have issues... It isn't all the technology's fault.
Agreed... BUT, distortion of those objects that you don't have control over (trees, phone poles, buildings, propeller blades, et. al. moving past a trucking camera) IS the fault of the technology.

I still haven't understood what the limitation is in "turning on" all rows of pixels in a CMOS sensor compared to being able to "turn on" only one row at a time. I've read it has something to do with needing an extra transistor at each pixel receptor, which apparently reduces the light sensitive area of the receptor, blah, blah, blah. Whatever. It's just plain wrong not to be able to use a CMOS HD camera for aerial use due to horrid image wobble from the complex interaction of multiple vibration vectors (aka. intra-frame BFO (beat frequency oscillation)) or to see a two bladed prop on a plane have EIGHT or more skewed blades (no motion blur), some just slivers, some enormously wider than normal depending on which side of the prop hub they are.

To say we have to live with it or use a CCD camera instead is sidestepping the issue, IMO. OK, OK... yes, technology has limits we've ALL had to live with, such as tube camera's notorious comet tails, for decades (plural) the bain of all sports videographers, replaced by CCD "star trek beam me up scotty's" for another decade (or two), now totally eliminated with CMOS, but exchanged for image skew and wobble, which, IMO again, is far worse visually than streaks or comet tails.

OK... sorry for the rant... back to what's the best HD camcorder under 1K - 2K. Apparently, none if you require camera tracking or want real motion blurred (not strobed) spinning or fast moving objects disassociated from operator panning speed, since they all have rolling shutter CMOS sensors.

.

Thomas M.
03-26-2009, 08:55 AM
looks like it needs to be a 3k € camera than. How professional are these ccd cameras? Calumet sells Canons at 8k. I'm sure there is a difference...

Chrusion
03-26-2009, 02:16 PM
This is what a rolling shutter on a CMOS sensor does to a two-bladed prop (idling at 1000 RPM).

"Look Ma... no motion blur!"

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3127/3192314056_fa8b5160d2_o.jpg
.

Thomas M.
03-26-2009, 03:52 PM
Wow!!! That's arty farty! Although that's great as an image, I'd say CCD for regular work does have some advantages...

BigHache
03-26-2009, 11:04 PM
I've had quite a bit of experience with the Z1U. It still tends to be a popular camera and you can get some decent results with it.

monovich
03-27-2009, 10:32 AM
Also check out the just announced Canon EOS 500D (http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canoneos500d/) - has video like the 5D.

1080p @ 20fps is no good. it can do 720p at 30, but still...

monovich
03-27-2009, 10:43 AM
I was surprised to learn that the RED camera, being a CMOS, suffers from some rolling shutter, but not nearly as much as others as I guess its a higher quality chip that can take closer to an "all at once" frame than the low end ones.

The more I've read about the HV20, the more I see it as a possible stop-gap camera. It has rolling shutter, but with some care you can minimize it and track shots taken with it to some degree. Plus, its so cheap...

worst case: http://www.ssontech.com/content/skool.mov
best case: http://rebelsguide.com/dl/SYNTHEYES_TEST1_Comp_1_LRES.mov

Dexter2999
03-27-2009, 01:19 PM
The Canon EOS 5D MK II does 1080p at 30fps. But you are still looking at a CMOS sensor with it's issues. It is supposed to have the best low light ability of about any camera out though.

The guy shot a short film that is up on the CANON site.

mjcrawford
04-05-2009, 12:23 AM
I have a Panasonic HMC 150 that I picked up a couple of months ago (European version is the HMC 151) and let me tell you, this camera ROCKS.

1080p 24fps is great for cinema work
720P 60fps rocks for slo-mo shots
The white balancing and waveform monitor make getting good color/light a breeze.
Very light weight
Uses SD cards to record, cheap!! And an 8GB card will hold a full 45 minutes of HD video
The only real downside is the compression codec, very choppy in most editors, however Panasonic has a free transcoder program that converts to proHD format which words great.
:thumbsup: if you can afford one, this camera is truly great bang for the buck.

bazsa73
04-05-2009, 10:56 AM
I can ejsily fix dat one with a radial bluer!

realgray
04-05-2009, 12:50 PM
Before we all continue to bash CMOS, remember that the RED ONE uses a huge CMOS sensor.

StereoMike
04-06-2009, 05:26 AM
Before we all continue to bash CMOS, remember that the RED ONE uses a huge CMOS sensor.

And monovich said it seems to have rolling shutter artifacts as well (but to a lesser degree and prolly not getting in your way as other cmos solutions)