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Michael Frymus

Help With Choosing The Right HD Camcorder

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After several months, I am still undecided upon which camera to purchase. I would much rather wait longer and hear more opinions then purchase one that I feel is right then later down the road find one costing slightly more or less, yet being much better.


I am purchasing my first Professional Camcorder. Without any additional accessories such as lighting, etc. I am trying to achieve the film look in HD.


I am not too sure as what I really need. Perhaps if you asked me some general questions as to what would be needed and so forth, I would say if I would need it or not. But, I do know some things that I do require;



- HD; 1080p or 720p minimum.

- 24fps

- 1.78:1 (16:9) & 1.85:1 & 2.35:1 If its programmed that's great. If not, lens purchase will be required.

- Shoulder mount Preferred* If It does not have a shoulder mount, I will need to purchase one.

- 3CCD

- Record on a format that will not require additional expensive accessories to transfer onto computer (XP). Preferred.

- Good night recording

*Selected few movies that are good, will be made on 35mm Film.*


Shooting all types of movies;

- Action (Fast passed)

- Horror (Able to change colour for mood)

- etc.


Company preferred?


Preferred Size/Weight?

None. I will have shoulder support.


I am not too sure as what else I would require. But, I would be better off having additional things on a camcorder then fewer as upgrades in the future might be possible. And having everything plus more would not require upgrades, or as much.

Edited by Michael Frymus

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For 6k US you can get a Sony EX-1 with a basic set of accessories.


It's been used as a B-camera for some HD TV shows: http://www.theasc.com/magazine_dynamic/Mar...eries/page1.php


Additionally you can record onto relatively cheap SDHC cards with an adaptor.


Limitations per your requirements:

* It doesn't do "NTSC" SD (720p and 1080p/i HD only).

* It does have a rolling shutter (skew on very very fast pans)

* It isn't a shoulder mount (google for EX-1 "el-cheapo")


I have one - and have been happy with it.


However - If you can wait a year or two - there will always be something cheaper/better later.

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any other recommendations?


I'd go with the EX1.


By the way, video only records two aspect ratios 4x3 (1.33) or 16x9 (1.78), and all HD is 16x9. Any other aspect ratios like 1.85 or 2.40, etc. are extracted or cropped from one of those first two.

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I thought you could buy a lens to get the 1.85 & 2.35 aspect ratios.


I also found the RED camera, Scarlet. Which is coming out pretty soon.

What do you think of this one?


POSSIBLY, the S35. - Which is what I am aiming for, reading other reviews. But, price is letting me down.

If not, I will have to go with the 2/3" Cinema.

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16x9 (1.78) is only a few scan lines taller than 1.85 -- I mean, if you letterboxed a 16x9 HD video to 1.85, on most TV sets, you'd never see the letterboxing, it's so close to the edge of the picture, so small.


And 90% or more of all 2.35 / 2.40 shot in video is achieved by cropping 16x9. There are some rare and expensive ways of squeezing 2.35 onto 16x9, but not for prosumer video. And since that's not a standard viewing format, you'd have to create a 2.35 letterboxed version for TV viewing.

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I think the best cam at you budget is the EX-1 OR EX-3


I just finished shooting feature with it and it is one great cam


it was low budget with a lot night EXT and she performed very well


especially when i used cine gamma 4


maybe take a look at the canon 5D markII


it's a full frame


full HD


but it record only at 30P so it need a conversion to 24p


and has more limiting features


you can read about her here: http://www.cinema5d.com/


but you can get great kit for let's say 5000$ with every thing you'll need.

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i think JVC ProHD is the best.. it supports variable frame rates...and some support Pal and Ntsc as well....you can travel with it and play video in many countries... i'm not sure bout the model name....but it has a "700"... emmm...try check on it...


of course it supports progressive scan...the most important element...

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