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Robert A.  Mansker

Want to buy video camera???

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Never have owned one so this is all new to me.... I would be shooting the Footage outside so indoor light (Lux) not that important to me.... Since I just bought a Canon 20D & 2 lens I need to keep the expenses low.... I have looked at the Canon ZR100(MiniDV) which can be had for a low $215 to your door.... The reviews are OK.... Any thoughts would be welcomed... Thanks, Bob

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Just be sure that it measures up to the size that SS wants: "Footage must be at least 480 pixels in height with an aspect ratio of at least 4:3." Also I do not believe that they will accept footage from a camera with one CCD chip, 3 CCD cameras are the broadcast industry standard (although some are much better than others).

 

I must take issue with the previous post -- don't buy anything that takes a tape -- I have a professional camcorder that uses a MiniDV tape and I am so glad it uses a tape because attempting to purchase or use a chip that can hold hours of taping is about impossible (and prohibitively expensive). But I suppose if you're only out to shoot 60-second clips for SS, then it would be okay to haul around a couple of 4 gig chips.

 

For backup I have purchased a Canon Optura 600 which has awesome resolution and is in fact a 3 CCD camcorder. It has amazing quality, just not all the bells and whistles my Canon XL2 has. They are reasonable in price and the quality measures up.

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Mini-DV seems to be pretty much a standard. Last year, I produced 5 half-hour travel shows for public access television and the dub to their large D9 digital studio tape was done on a deck that had Mini-DV input. About a year ago, I put together a half-hour of scientific video (microscopic life of pond water)for a small educational DVD publisher. Mini-DV was one of the formats accepted for the DVD production. Strange as it seems, MPEG 2 files were not acceptable. The video stream went from the editor in the computer, out via firewire, and into a Mini-DV camera which, in this case, was acting as a digital recording deck.

Jubal Harshaw

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Just be sure that it measures up to the size that SS wants: "Footage must be at least 480 pixels in height with an aspect ratio of at least 4:3." Also I do not believe that they will accept footage from a camera with one CCD chip, 3 CCD cameras are the broadcast industry standard (although some are much better than others).

 

I must take issue with the previous post -- don't buy anything that takes a tape -- I have a professional camcorder that uses a MiniDV tape and I am so glad it uses a tape because attempting to purchase or use a chip that can hold hours of taping is about impossible (and prohibitively expensive). But I suppose if you're only out to shoot 60-second clips for SS, then it would be okay to haul around a couple of 4 gig chips.

 

For backup I have purchased a Canon Optura 600 which has awesome resolution and is in fact a 3 CCD camcorder. It has amazing quality, just not all the bells and whistles my Canon XL2 has. They are reasonable in price and the quality measures up.

 

My point was "Time savings"

 

For example: Lets start with a 1 hour tape and a 1 hour CF card.

 

Camera that takes tape = 1 hour to rip from tape to mpeg, edit time, and 1 hour to burn DVD. = 2.5 to 3 hours per tape

 

Camera that takes CF Card = Edit mpeg directly from camera, edit and burn to DVD 1.5 to 2 hours

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The main thing to consider between those two cameras is whether you want to shoot widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio) and if you want the ability to shoot a film-like look at 24 frames per second (24p). The XL2 does both of those with true 16:9 (the GL2 has a "fake" 16:9 feature but it is not worth a flip), and there's only one other "prosumer" camera that does 24p, the Panasonic AG-DVX100B. I don't like that camera, though, it's quality is not nearly that of the XL2's image.

 

Also consider the Sony HDR-FX1, that is a high-def camera that also does 16:9 and 24p, and is considerably lighter and less expensive than the XL2: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=359510&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

 

I haven't used that camera but Sony puts out a good product and its worth reading reviews and perhaps trying to get your hands on one to try it out. The XL2 weighs close to 10 pounds and with counterweights it can get to feeling like you have a concrete block on your shoulder. The Sony is 4.5 pounds, and offers high-def.

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