10 Replies Latest reply: Jul 25, 2012 5:21 AM by Trevor.Dennis RSS

    A decent Non DSLR video camera?

    Trevor.Dennis MVP

      Guys, I suspect this is a done to death question, and that the answer changes every six months or so.  After the best part of two years attempting to get serious with Premiere Pro, I am starting to feel comfortable with it, and able to work way faster than I used to.  I am currently using a Canon 1DMK4, and Sony HC1 to record footage, (plus a little Canon GX1 as a carry around camera) and while the Canon has a definite advantage in image quality, it is a PITA to use compared to the little Sony.  So I am thinking about looking for a video camera that would match or better the DSLR footage, but have the userbility of the HC1.  

       

      The problem is, I have no idea where to start.  I remember a thread in the Hardware forum at the beginning of this year where Harm mentioned several cameras, and quoted some as being acceptable by the BBC.  Where are things at nowadays?  I have even noticed 4K cameras slowly moving towards afordability. Is that trend going to continue?  Is there a website that deals with the subject?

        • 1. Re: A decent Non DSLR video camera?
          John T Smith MVP

          >Is there a website

           

          I did a Google for

           

          camcorder review

           

          and many sites were listed

          • 2. Re: A decent Non DSLR video camera?
            Trevor.Dennis MVP

            Thank you John.  I have done the same thing, but I was sort of hoping for personal opinions from people in this forum.    I use Canon still cameras, and for no better reason than that, have been concentrating on Canon video cameras, and am homing in on the XF300.  I even found a Youtube video which showed simultanious footage from an XF300 and 5D2, and to my eyes, the DSLR still had the better IQ.  That worried me, but plain common sense tells me that a camera like the XF300 would be used for ENG and by documentary makers, and should be of broadcast quality.  I'll head on over to dvinfo and pursue that line of enquiry.  

             

            If anyone feels like pitching in, that would be appreciated.

            • 3. Re: A decent Non DSLR video camera?
              John T Smith MVP

              >personal opinions

               

              I didn't say anything until a day after you posted, just for that reason

               

              I use and like a Canon Vixia HFS100 for my home hobbyist video, but didn't think that is what you want... and it has been replaced, anyway

              • 4. Re: A decent Non DSLR video camera?
                J. Simon Community Member

                I am thinking about looking for a video camera that would match or better the DSLR footage, but have the userbility of the HC1.  

                 

                I think there is probably only one option available at the moment (assuming the pricier Digital Cinema cameras are off the table) and that is the Panasonic AG-AF100.

                 

                But even that has some usability flaws, such as no autofocus and no servo zoom.

                • 5. Re: A decent Non DSLR video camera?
                  shooternz Community Member

                  Actually the AF100 does have autofocus . Use a lens with appropriate AF coupling

                   

                  ...and the fact that it does not have servo zoom is that the AF100 is a camera body only. ie a Production Camera with interchangeable lenses

                   

                  The user decides what lens to attach to it but currently there are no consumer lenses that have integral servo control.

                   

                  Professionals would mount a proper cine zoom  lens and use a professional servo such as a Hayden

                  • 6. Re: A decent Non DSLR video camera?
                    J. Simon Community Member

                    That can make it difficult to use handheld.

                     

                    Remember, in addition to the superior image of a larger sensor, the call also included the same functionality as the handheld Sony HC1.  On that front, the AF100 fails by not having built-in servo zoom.

                    • 7. Re: A decent Non DSLR video camera?
                      shooternz Community Member

                      It was not designed as a handheld camera so obviously it will "fail" in that regard.

                       

                      Remember, in addition to the superior image of a larger sensor, the call also included the same functionality as the handheld Sony HC1.

                       

                      It was you that recommended it to the O.P (post 4) ...not me.

                      • 8. Re: A decent Non DSLR video camera?
                        Trevor.Dennis MVP

                        Thanks for your input. So far, I am finding that the more I look into it, the more complicated it becomes. Just understanding the terminology is a learning curve. I had thought that something like the AF300 would surely give my DSLR footage a run for the money, but reading through the thirty plus user reviews on Amazon, although most give it five stars and say the IQ is excellent, one person uses an AF300 along with a pair of 5D2s, and says he invariably ends up using the DSLR footage. I’d be disappointed if I found that to be the case.

                         

                         

                        At the same time, if I can’t control the action, I find myself using the HC1 regardless of its lower IQ. The sort of things that make a difference are the LANC controller I have for the HC1, although I know I can get a similar device for my DSLR, and they apparently work very well.  That still leaves the DSLR as a clunky thing to use hand held, unless you make it look like a nightmare contraption you'd see in an orthopaedic ward (a mind picture that will always be with me after visiting a buddy after a nasty motorcycle accident). I just don’t enjoy the experience of shooting video with a DSLR.

                         

                         

                        I am starting to feel better placed to carry on my research now, so that's something. Meanwhile I’ll try and source an Okii or one of the derivatives that are floating around on eBay now (DSLR USB follow focus device) so I can get more control with the 1D4.

                         

                         

                        Looking back over what I have just written, and seeing what a convoluted post it has become, I guess I have to accept that I am still totally confused where the heck I am going 

                        • 9. Re: A decent Non DSLR video camera?
                          shooternz Community Member

                          Take a look around this site.

                           

                          http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/

                           

                          For a ton of information from users of most avavaible cameras.

                           

                          It has a bit of a leaning to prosumer and indie users but shou;ld confuse you more ..or offer some great search and research paths.

                          • 10. Re: A decent Non DSLR video camera?
                            Trevor.Dennis MVP

                            Thanks Shooter.  I am still leaning towards the XF300 after reading a long review of the XF305 on Luminous Landscape.  They make some good points about the realities of larger sensors, i.e. larger lenses meaning greater cost and increased weight.  They also make the obviously valid point that technology moves on, so I am no longer as concerned about the 1/3" sensor argument.  It also occured to me that there will be footage out there I can download and play with in PremPro, and I have some coming in as I type this.  Fortunately I am going to be overseas for the next five weeks, so unable to make snap decisions.