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Author Topic: New Camera suggestions  (Read 15971 times)

Kristian Stevenson

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New Camera suggestions
« on: February 17, 2010, 10:18:32 pm »

We have decied it is time to upgrade our video recording system. We currently use an old consumer mini VHS camcorder ran to a dvd recorder. We are going to upgrade to an HD Camcorder of some sort and a Mac with Final Cut Express for video editing. I know what we are going to need as far as the computer but I wasn't sure about a good camera.

We have about $3000 to spend on the camera. It needs to be HD. It needs XLR inputs so we can come straight out of our mixer (yamaha 32LS9) into the camera. It also needs a composite video output to go into our video switcher to send video signal to other parts of the church (nursery, overflow..ect).  I figured we would film the service and transfer the recording to the mac for editing and publishing to a DVD. I'm not sure whether a tape or Hard drive/flash camera will work best for our needs. Any suggestions or other things to consider??

thanks in advanced!!
Kristian
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George Linkenhoker

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Re: New Camera suggestions
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 08:52:08 am »

Hi Kristian,

I know it is just over your $3000 mark, but we have been looking at the Canon XH-A1s.

I have seen it on-line in the $3300-3500 range.  It does have stereo XLR input line/mic level selectable, 20x optical lens. It would give you recording to mini-DV, firewire straight to your Mac, a composite out with stereo audio that could go straight out for your switch. This is not full HD,but still HD at a 1440 x 1080 or 1080i. Remember though that the composite output will only give you a standard def output, which sounds like what you would want to make the feed to your video system as described.

My experience with Canon has been mostly working with the Canon GL2, but this looks like a nice step into HD and I have seen good reviews.  I do think that Canon has a great lens system and works well a variety of lighting situations, especially good at keeping up in low light situations compared to some others.  

Also, it may be worth a look at B&H photo video, just to take a look at other options.

Hope that helps.

-George L.

(edit: fixed the SD thing)
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Kristian Stevenson

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Re: New Camera suggestions
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2010, 10:32:22 am »

That canon looks awesome. I really like the capability to record to either DV tape or SD card. I also like the 20x optical zoom. That's something I forgot to mention: our sanctuary is about 80 feet long and the camera will be mounted in the very back and will need to zoom to the stage.

I also found this Sony on B&H:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/384527-REG/Sony_HVRA1U _HVRA1U_HDV_Camcorder.html

It doesn't have the SD card capability and only a 10x optical zoom. But the price is pretty nice.
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Kristian Stevenson

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Re: New Camera suggestions
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2010, 01:54:31 pm »

Actually, I was looking at the specs on that canon xh-a1s, and I dont think you cant record video to the SD card. The card is only used for user settings and photos.
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George Linkenhoker

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Re: New Camera suggestions
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 02:26:34 pm »

I think you are right, I miss-read something somewhere. I will edit my above post to take that out.  Looks like the SD is just for still shot.

-G
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Kristian Stevenson

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Re: New Camera suggestions
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 10:14:06 am »

I just thought of another way to transfer the video. We could connect the camera to the iMac via firewire and use final cut to do the recording. hat would eliminate the need for transferring video. Just one question though: If we were to send the audio into the camera, would the camera send the audio over the firewire connection? Or would I have to run an audio send straight to the iMac? And if we were to do that, would there be any lag in the video?

thanks
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George Linkenhoker

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Re: New Camera suggestions
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 11:58:13 am »

Hi Kristian,

That is one of the proposals I came up with for our church as they are considering live streaming and podcasting among the many things they want to do. Cameras are admittedly one of my weaker points, I just thought it interesting when I saw your post that I had just put together my own similar proposal. I am fortunate enough to work for an audio/video company for my job, and in talking with our camera guy, I was told the camera would be able to output from any or all ways at once. So, you can do firewire to the Mac, composite with stereo out to a dvd recorder, record to mini-dv, and do an RGB component out (which in our case would go to the switcher for live shots).

So, I guess to answer your question, if you run audio into the camera that would allow it to then transfer audio and video via firewire into the Mac. If done separately, I would fear that the audio would have a sync issue you would have to edit and correct.

-George L.
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Kristian Stevenson

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Re: New Camera suggestions
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 09:13:46 pm »

Ohok that's what I thought. I think that is probably how we will do it if that is the route we decide to take.
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Ryan Fluharty

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Re: New Camera suggestions
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2010, 01:51:58 am »

Kristian Stevenson wrote on Fri, 19 February 2010 10:14

I just thought of another way to transfer the video. We could connect the camera to the iMac via firewire and use final cut to do the recording. hat would eliminate the need for transferring video. Just one question though: If we were to send the audio into the camera, would the camera send the audio over the firewire connection? Or would I have to run an audio send straight to the iMac? And if we were to do that, would there be any lag in the video?

thanks



I'd be a little weary of doing this.  If something happened to the computer or the fire wire cable got bumped you could loose everything during the service.  I'm not sure about the lag, but this may be a possibility.

I have had some experience with the Canon XH-A1.  Its a great camera, but is a bit lackluster in low lighting conditions.  I've found that Canons tend to have a problem with firewire ports.  Both Canons I have used (the A1 and a consumer model) have had their firewire ports fail.  The A1 firewire failed within a year.  The only way to capture footage from the camera was through an analog - digital Canopus box, rendering the HD capabilities useless.

This camera is a bit above your budget, but I have talked to the Sony reps about it: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/671535-REG/Sony_HDRAX2 000_H_HDR_AX2000_AVCHD_Camcorder.html#specifications.  It looks promising and uses Memory Stick Media, so you should be able to just drag the footage into your editing software.

On a side note, this camera doesn't have firewire.  Firewire, in my opinion, is a dying interface.  It is becoming less common on portable hard drives and memory stick type media is becoming standard in regards to cameras.  Most computers now have memory stick readers in them.

If you do go with an iMac, the new ones only have firewire 800 on them.  You will need a firewire 4 pin - firewire 800 cable to capture your footage.

Above all, make sure that you consider future needs.  Tape is on its way out and you don't want to have to buy another camera before you get a good life out of the one you're purchasing now.  Going with solid state memory should help in your editing workflow since you won't have to capture the footage.
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Robert Sims

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Re: New Camera suggestions
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2010, 02:10:54 pm »

Our church just recently had both our Canons stolen, so we upgraded to HD and bought a JVC GY-HD250U and the JVC GY-HM100U prosumer version. Both allow us to record to the flash and to the same format that we edit in Final Cut. To save transfer time from flash, we will also feed both units via firewire into a Mac for video capture.  For the most part, this method works but sometimes we have issues and go to the backup. Both units have SMPTE as well and this is for a weekend a portable setup.

The larger unit has XLR's and we also have a digital recorder just for backup on the audio side.

Personally, from a live perspective the prosumer unit has a great picture.
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Robert Sims
Technical Director/Engineer
Hope Baptist Church
Systems Engineer
CES Las Vegas
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