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Author Topic: Camcorder HD vs Point & Shoot HD?  (Read 16722 times)

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« on: May 06, 2009, 14:57 »
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Hey all,

I have been doing stock photography for a couple years and have been thinking about getting into video. I have submitted some footage with an old camcorder that sells occasionally, but I im think about getting a little more serious and getting something that would let me shoot in HD.

I dont want to invest too much at this point (hoping to eventually get a 5d Mark II or its predecessor). Im pretty ignorant about different video cameras, what is the difference in say a point and shoot camera that can capture HD vs a HD camcorder?

I was looking at these two:

Canon PowerShot SD780IS
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-SD780IS12-1-Stabilized-Black/dp/B001SER47Y/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=IIUXU8E7GR1ON&colid=2B0N9C9RXI3CA

Canon VIXIA HF200 HD
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-Memory-Camcorder-Optical/dp/B001OI2Z2I/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3VS9X7OFY9ASC&colid=2B0N9C9RXI3CA

Are either one of these good enough for stock?

Thanks!

 


« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2009, 15:34 »
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Travis,

The HF200 is the upgrade to the HF100/HF11 and is an outstanding camera for stock footage.  It has excellent low-light performance for indoor and a nice sharp image.  Shooting at 30p (60i) gives you excellent results with fast moving action.

What I personally like about it is the tapeless workflow using AVCHD.  Canon is the only company which has maxed out the spec at a full 24 mbits which is why it does so well with the conditions listed above.  The lack of moving parts is also desirable because I've heard too many horror stories about the tape mechanism in the HV20/HV30 wearing out from overuse.

I don't actually have one yet, I'm ordering mine in a couple of weeks, but I have spent almost a solid month doing research and from what I gather, the Vixia line is the best for consumer HD camcorders right now.

« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2009, 15:39 »
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Travis,

The HF200 is the upgrade to the HF100/HF11 and is an outstanding camera for stock footage.  It has excellent low-light performance for indoor and a nice sharp image.  Shooting at 30p (60i) gives you excellent results with fast moving action.

What I personally like about it is the tapeless workflow using AVCHD.  Canon is the only company which has maxed out the spec at a full 24 mbits which is why it does so well with the conditions listed above.  The lack of moving parts is also desirable because I've heard too many horror stories about the tape mechanism in the HV20/HV30 wearing out from overuse.

I don't actually have one yet, I'm ordering mine in a couple of weeks, but I have spent almost a solid month doing research and from what I gather, the Vixia line is the best for consumer HD camcorders right now.

Thanks for the reply, that looks like a great piece of equipment just a bit more than I was hoping to spend.

« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2009, 15:43 »
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The cost of the HF10 and HF11 is coming down.  The HF10 was used in the making of the movie "Crank: High Voltage", so you might wanna look at that.

Also, if you don't mind dealing with tape the HV20 and HV30 are excellent choices as well.  I noticed the price of the HV30 has dropped to $600 at a few places that are taking pre-orders for the new HV40.

« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2009, 15:48 »
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Also, if you don't mind dealing with tape the HV20 and HV30 are excellent choices as well.  I noticed the price of the HV30 has dropped to $600 at a few places that are taking pre-orders for the new HV40.

This is a bit more in my price range. So the big difference is they use mini-dv rather than a hard drive?

How is the video quality better than something taken with a point and shoot digital camera? Obviously the P&S are probably lacking some manual controls and the lens quality probably isnt great, but other than that why the big jump in price?

« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 16:35 »
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Yeah, the HV20/HV30 use MiniDV tape instead of SD Flash cards.  In fact, the HV30 is probably one of THE most popular HD camcorders for non-professional stock shooters.

The PowerShot you linked only does HD 720 footage, which is still HD and will sell.   But it isn't designed for video it and has issues with action/fast movement and low-light.  Great for home videos for the family, but not for stock from what I am reading in various forums.  Also the H264 compression in the PowerShot has a lot of artifacting in poor lighting conditions.

Bestbuy actually has them in stock at the moment, so if you have one near you, go in and take it for a test drive.  That's what I did the last time I was looking for a P&S digital camera.  They even let me hook it up to one of their big screen TVs.

« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2009, 16:41 »
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Thanks for the tips, I really appreciate it.

I need a new camcorder and also would like to get my wife an little point & shoot so I was thinking if I could get something that would also maybe work for stock, at lest long enough for me to determine if it is worth investing some serious $$$ into a better HD camera.

I need to just try them out for myself like you suggested.

tan510jomast

« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2009, 19:56 »
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did you try youtube.com? some of the tech uploads there are good. the only problem is there are lots of bs too.

ok, as far as i know , from working in sales last christmas and talking to the rep
who knew a lot more than me, video's not my forte, still photography is. from the pep talk he gave me, 24fps is still the thing for serious movie makers, and tape is the only way . even the multi media schools here will not accept students shooting digital, only tape.  i think this has to do with pro editing which goes hand in hand with director's cut movie . HD movies so i understand is what? 60 fps? which causes the funny motion in movies, when played on pro movie editor which is always 24 fps.  this is as far as i can remember , i didn't pay much attention at that time,
as i was only there to sub for christmas season.
but yes, the sales rep did mention to me to check youtube, if i really wanted to
learn more . i did a lot of that for HDTV,etc... so i am sure there are some experts there with what you want. esp. the ones from the canon reps.
hope this points you in the right direction.

p.s.
the best person to talk to is really batman, because that's the tech expert,
but batty baby aka betty boo lol, has left the building  8)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 20:04 by tan510jomast »

« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 02:33 »
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Have a look in the istock and shutterstock video forums.  I have seen it mentioned a few times that the clips from point and shoot compact cameras wont be accepted, because they use too much compression.  I bought the HV30 because I read that tape is still the best option with the budget camcorders.

« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2009, 03:07 »
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did you try youtube.com? some of the tech uploads there are good. the only problem is there are lots of bs too.

ok, as far as i know , from working in sales last christmas and talking to the rep
who knew a lot more than me, video's not my forte, still photography is. from the pep talk he gave me, 24fps is still the thing for serious movie makers, and tape is the only way ...

I think he meant 24p  (progressive) which gives you film-like characteristics.

Has anyone got any views on the HG20/21?

« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2009, 09:04 »
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Tape seems the way to go. I had to take a couple video classes when I was in animation school and got used to it so it doesnt bother me. Tape is great because its cheap too.

Is there any difference in video quality going from tape vs a hard drive?

tan510jomast

« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2009, 09:13 »
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Tape seems the way to go. I had to take a couple video classes when I was in animation school and got used to it so it doesnt bother me. Tape is great because its cheap too.

Is there any difference in video quality going from tape vs a hard drive?

good question. you're going from analogue to digital (10101010). i would say make all the editing on tape then do the final print copy on HD.  the movie directors do the same thing i am sure because
CGI is not tape media. so i figure that they do the main real people movie on tape, the cgi artists do their own digital, then they merge at final production stage to all go into digital format.

you should google NASCAD (which is our university in arts here in halifax), or some other multi media specialist schools, i am sure you might find some alumni or even professors on the web to be more helpful. don't just rely on us here, there is a biggest world with more technical experts on google.
one of them might even be batman, lol.. or someone a lot more proficient in these things .

« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2009, 09:46 »
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Tape seems the way to go. I had to take a couple video classes when I was in animation school and got used to it so it doesnt bother me. Tape is great because its cheap too.

Is there any difference in video quality going from tape vs a hard drive?

good question. you're going from analogue to digital (10101010).

That is not correct.

Most of the video cameras that use tape nowadays are using DVC (digital video cassette, also known as miniDV).  This means that the tapes are digital and NOT analog.

The quality on the video cameras that use tape are usually higher quality than the video cameras that use a hard disk or memory.  But that mostly has to do with the compression that the video is saved with.

Video cameras that use tape mostly save in AVI format.  AVI format is not compressed as much and has larger file sizes.  Video cameras that use hard disk or memory usually save in a much more compressed format (such as MP3, MOV or WMV) and have smaller file sizes.


« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2009, 09:52 »
0
Tape seems the way to go. I had to take a couple video classes when I was in animation school and got used to it so it doesnt bother me. Tape is great because its cheap too.

Is there any difference in video quality going from tape vs a hard drive?

good question. you're going from analogue to digital (10101010).

That is not correct.

Most of the video cameras that use tape nowadays are using DVC (digital video cassette, also known as miniDV).  This means that the tapes are digital and NOT analog.

The quality on the video cameras that use tape are usually higher quality than the video cameras that use a hard disk or memory.  But that mostly has to do with the compression that the video is saved with.

Video cameras that use tape mostly save in AVI format.  AVI format is not compressed as much and has larger file sizes.  Video cameras that use hard disk or memory usually save in a much more compressed format (such as MP3, MOV or WMV) and have smaller file sizes.



Thanks for clearing that up.

batman

« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2009, 11:14 »
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did you try youtube.com? some of the tech uploads there are good. the only problem is there are lots of bs too.

p.s.
the best person to talk to is really batman, because that's the tech expert,
but batty baby aka betty boo lol, has left the building  8)


Partly true, partly false, tan. I had server trouble, and had to delete my accounts, and restart. but thx for speaking up mate !.

I think he meant 24p  (progressive) which gives you film-like characteristics.

Has anyone got any views on the HG20/21?


Again tan had only part of the infos, but he is right, you can find lots of resources on youtube, once you get rid of 80% of the garbage. But there are good stuff from some technical experts there too.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXgZknAdv3A" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXgZknAdv3A</a>

« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2009, 12:19 »
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As noted, all Digital Camcorders today, no matter what the medium (tape, hard drive, flash memory) store the video in DIGITAL format.  Most MiniDV tape camera use the HDV format for compression.

Also noted, image quality has a lot to do with compression.  The less compression the fewer artifacts and noise you'll find in the video.  HDV compression is notably less than AVCHD compression (AVCHD is the popular format for hard drive and flash memory camera these days).

When AVCHD was initially released there were a LOT of issues with quality and most video camera experts felt that it was not ready for any kind of profession work.  Most camera manufacturers valued compression over quality so they could tell consumers (their intended target) about how they could get 4 to 8 hours of video in 16 GB of space.  MiniDV is a PITA because you typically can't get more than 45 minutes to an hour of high quality video on a tape.  And trust me, when you're recording an event, having to switch tapes in the middle of the action sucks.  Even more, having to carry dozens of tapes on you also sucks.

In the past year AVCHD has grown and matured.  The Canon Vixia line of camcorders maxes out the AVCHD spec by using the lowest compression and highest possible bitrate in the spec.  As a result, the producers of the movie "Crank: High Voltage" bought 10 of the Vixia HF10 camera so that they could shoot every scene from a dozen angles (when you include their 2 higher end primary cameras).

If you visit sites like Camcorderinfo.com, ConsumerReports.com, and the site for Video magazine (I don't remember the domain), they all rank test footage shot on the HF11 and HF20 "higher" than footage from the HV30 and HV40 for both low-light performance and action shots.  They note that if you record at 60i and convert to 30p in your NLE the noise and artifacting is nearly non-existent on their test shots because of the maxed bitrate in these new cameras.


 

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