Kaido's 2009 Camcorder Guide

Discussion in 'Digital and Video Cameras' started by Kaido, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Starbuck1975

    Starbuck1975 Diamond Member

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    tDawg and Kaido thanks again. I did a little research on Sony Vegas, and I decided to go that route. I got a little intimidated by the price tag on the full feature version, but for my needs, I will probably either go with the basic or platinum version. It definitely makes the most sense for me to use a video editing tool that allows me to work with AVCHD pulled directly from my camera, and then use it to either create quick videos for posting to say Facebook and more creative home DVDs and one day Blu-Rays.

    I have used several video editing software tools in the past to convert old family VHS tapes to DVD, so I am reasonably familiar with the moving pieces of workflow.
     
  2. theblackbox

    theblackbox Golden Member

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    well, i installed premiere cs5 today and got the cuda support running, and i have to say i am impressed. i have never thought highly of premiere, but i think its changing my mind.
    oh, also installed mc5 after dealing with a bunch of issues. it's ok i guess, but i am impressed at cuda support in production cs5... i can't wait to see what AE can do with it.

    it's impressive to be able to do things 50-75% faster then the fastest cpu's on the market.

    dam.
     
    #252 theblackbox, Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  3. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    Yeah, I've heard that Premier CS5 is actually a viable option now. Glad to hear it has CUDA support - I wish more apps would use CUDA and OpenCL! I can't wait to get into AE CS5, I just upgraded - everything launches a lot faster on my machine, which is really great.
     
  4. theblackbox

    theblackbox Golden Member

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    it really says a lot for adobe that they have put out a fairly useful and powerful version of premiere. with the newest patch, the gtx 285 has improved cuda support, and it shows, i am very impressed.
    if i didn't have to use mc or fcp i would sell them and invest in more hardware and just use production premium :) (maybe)
    i have only had one crash in premiere, and it was during export. i tried to change the format from quicktime and it froze and quit responding. i don't know if it was just a fluke, but besides that it's been much more stable and useful.
    i haven't got to try AE yet, but will get to this weekend.
     
  5. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    Yeah...and Apple has almost been neglecting Final Cut Studio lately. I mean, why did they EOL Shake? Spent all that money to acquire it then threw it in the garbage. They certainly aren't using Motion to replace it - where's my node editing? And Motion is like, "After Effects: The Hard Way" lol. I still can't use Cineform to talk to Color, because Color doesn't support Quicktime codecs. Quicktime still has the gamma bug. Okay, I'm whining now. So yeah, it's good to see Adobe step it up with Premiere :)

    Apple also seems to be neglecting their computers, at least that's the complaint I hear a lot. Lots of stuff running past traditional schedule and not staying super competitive with the PC side of things. Glad I have a Hackintosh :D
     
  6. Starbuck1975

    Starbuck1975 Diamond Member

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    tDawg and Kaido,

    I have spent about a week playing with Vegas Movie Studio Platinum, and it appears to have all of the features I need.

    One thing I am not finding within Vegas is the ability to simply transfer video from my camcorder to my hard drive. Canon included a transfer utility that does the trick, but doesn't allow for customized folder naming, and I am not thrilled with how it organizes files when transferring.

    I was hoping I could do it all from within Vegas, but I am not seeing an ability to simply transfer files from my camcorder with no intention of editing in a project.

    Am I missing something? If Vegas is unable to do transfers, are there any freeware transfer utilities out there that are a bit better than what came with my Canon?
     
  7. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    iirc Vegas can edit non-card-structured AVCHD files - so just using Explorer to transfer the files from your card to the folder of your choice should work just fine. Test it before you do it, though, to be sure.

    On Windows, I use ImgBurn & Pismo File Mount to manage my SD cards. I backup the SD card to an ISO file using ImgBurn, then right-click and do a Quick Mount to mount the ISO as a folder using Pismo File Mount. Then I have the entire card's data copied into a single, uneditable file. It's a nice way of managing the data for later editing.
     
  8. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    I recently picked up a Canon T2i (EOS 550D) dSLR camera. If you're not familiar with it, it's an 18-megapixel digital SLR camera with 1080p video recording functionality. It retails for $799 for the body and $849 with an 18-55 IS (Image Stabilized) lens. Frankly it's an incredible piece of equipment for the price. Here's a rundown of the pros and cons:

    Pros:
    Cheap ($850 with a starter lens)
    18 megapixel stills
    RAW stills
    1080p video (1080/30, 1080/24, 720/60)
    CMOS APS-C sensor (1.6x crop)
    Compatible with the full line of Canon EF and EF-S lenses
    Compatible with lots of other lenses (via adapters or native mounts)
    Large 3" screen (great viewing angles)
    SDXC compatible (higher-capacity cards)
    Video quality equivalent to a Canon 7D at 1/2 the price
    Much better low-light capability than traditional camcorders
    Full manual control in video
    Extremely lightweight and small (for a dSLR)
    Camouflage (people think you're shooting stills, not video - and you can shoot video in places where camcorders aren't allowed)

    Cons:
    Slow, poor autofocus
    Max 12 minutes per clip
    Overheats when used continuously
    Limited codec (H264 MOV - not a RAW format or even a very good one)
    HDMI output
    AGC (Auto-Gain Control - you can't lock the audio input volume manually, meaning your recordings will fluctuate depending on noise volume)
    LCD is fixed (can't rotate)
    Live HDMI output (recording) is cropped (not Full HD)
    Ergonomics stink compared to Nikon :)
     
    #258 Kaido, Jul 11, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  9. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    Following up on my previous Canon T2i post:

    Originally I was saving up for a RED Scarlet. However, the production schedule got pushed back. Since I could use a new backup camera and also a better HD camcorder, I opted to go with a T2i instead of waiting. It lacks many features I wanted in the Scarlet, but since the Scarlet won't be available for 6 months, that's 6 months I can be shooting projects and honing my skills. That seemed worth the asking price to me. There are lots of accessories to upgrade it if I so choose, as well.

    So far I REALLY love the camera. In fact, it makes me want to move up to a Canon 5D to get a Full-Frame sensor. But I don't really want to have to get a follow focus, rails, external LCD screen, and so on, when I can just wait for the Scarlet and get all of that in one package. With automatic focus tracking. So for now I'm perfectly content to enjoy my little T2i.

    I haven't used the stock 18-55 too much; I actually picked up an old 35mm Zeiss from the 50's or 60's awhile back and have been using that manually. I am a really big fan of Zeiss glass and how it makes the image look. I also got some old Nikon glass from a friend and have an adapter on order from eBay, along with a few of my own newer Nikon lenses, so it should be fun to play with a variety of glass (Canon, Nikon, Vivitar, Zeiss, etc.).

    Bear in mind, this is no camcorder replacement. This is a different kind of video recording tool - shorter clips, sharper image quality, real depth-of-field. It has some quirks that don't make it too great for recording something like your kid's soccer games, like the max 12 minutes per clip and the overheating issue when it's used too long. But if you're into documentaries, short films, or just want something really cool to screw around with (that's me!), then this is a really great option.
     
  10. Dasda

    Dasda Senior member

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    Hey Kaido, is there anyway to have the recording date printed onto the video like in older camcorders while using the Canon Vixia HF200.

    Thanks
     
  11. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    I don't think you can do it in-camera, but there's some software called DVMP Pro ($79) that can do it:

    http://www.dvmp.co.uk/

    "The burn-in tool lets you stamp the recording date and time (also known as datacode/datecode) into the visible area of each frame. You can also choose to burn-in timecode, user-bits, iris, shutter speed, etc."
     
  12. ranga2010

    ranga2010 Banned

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  13. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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  14. crisscross

    crisscross Golden Member

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    Hi Kaido. Do your recommendations still stand or any new updates? I am looking for something in the $400 range and i was thinking of getting the Sony CX-110.
     
  15. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    I'm actually in the midst of updating for 2010/2011. Got the website up, Wiki & video tutorials to follow as I get time:

    http://www.philming.com/

    As far as camcorders go - I'm a big fan of Canon's image quality. The Canon Vixia HF-M300 ($379, SD) and HF-M30 ($399, 8GB + SD) are pretty good options. Some sample videos:

    http://www.vimeo.com/13951711

    http://www.vimeo.com/12223908

    Here's a couple from the Sony:

    http://www.vimeo.com/11580853

    http://www.vimeo.com/12942872

    I like the Canon image quality more than the Sony, but that's just to my eyes. The Sony looks like it has a better zoom - 25x vs 15x. One way I do research on cameras is just to browse through Youtube and Vimeo videos and compare the quality - how the image looks, how the features work, how the end videos look. You can search by product name (ex. "M30" or "CX110") and find them that way, if the user has tagged their video with the type of camera. Ultimately you'll be the one using the camera and viewing the videos, so the key is to find something that looks good to you.

    What do you plan on doing with the camera? That's always the biggest determining factor for choosing a model, aside from budget.
     
  16. crisscross

    crisscross Golden Member

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    Thanks for your quick reply kaido. This is actually my first camcorder buy and I really don't know what to look for, the camcorder will be used for home videos -pets, family etc and maybe travel.

    I do know that I don't want a hard drive/tape based cam but that's pretty much it :)
     
  17. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    If you don't need much of an optical zoom (actually I think this one only does digital zoom), then the Kodak Playsport Zx3 is pretty amazing: ($115 on sale)

    http://www.amazon.com/Kodak-PlaySpor.../dp/B0030MITDK

    This gives you 1080p video and 5-megapixel widescreen photos. The key advantages:

    * Waterproof to 10 feet
    * Drop-proof, water-proof, dust-proof
    * Easy push-button recording
    * Full High Def recording
    * Small handheld design

    A 16-gig card with USB reader is only $30:

    http://www.amazon.com/Transcend-Clas...9406592&sr=1-4

    So for $145 you get a nice little camera for stills/HD video with a ton of memory. Not bad!
     
    #267 Kaido, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  18. crisscross

    crisscross Golden Member

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    Thanks Kaido! Would it be a bad idea to get a Canon S95 instead and use it for video also? how would the video quality compare to something like the Flip or the Kodak you linked to?
     
  19. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    Two things:

    1. Pretty much anything by Canon is awesome
    2. In general, P&S cameras are much better at video than handhelds like the Playsport

    The Canon PowerShot S95 is a beast of a camera. It has 10 megapixels, equivalent 28-105mm zoom, f/2.0-4.9 aperture, can shoot in RAW still format, and do 720p video. As a plus, it also records 720p at 24fps, so you get more of a cinematic look (24fps = film-look, 30fps = smoother, more like commercials or TV shows).

    There are certain tradeoffs to going with a point & shoot over a traditional camcorder. Most of them can't do an optical zoom while recording. The S95 does do digital zoom while recording. You're getting 720p instead of 1080p as well, but that's okay for most people. If you don't mind a camera that is a bit larger, the SX200 is $260 on Amazon and has a 12x optical zoom, which gives you more zoom range, and also records at 30fps instead of 24fps.
     
  20. crisscross

    crisscross Golden Member

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    Thanks Kaido!
     
  21. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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