7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 18, 2012 9:58 AM by Jim_Simon

    Advice with new system and camera

    Shane P Level 3

      Hello Friends,

      I finally made the transition from standard DV to HD and my current workstation is gagging on the HD (I know it's sadly under specced for HD editing) and I am going to be upgrading my workstation and camera shortly and am looking for some advice/opinions on the best way to go. I'm not sure if this is the appropriate forum for this topic but I figured since I am editing on PP 5.5 it would be. If it is not my apologies.


      I was in a pinch for a scheduled shoot last weekend and wanted to shoot it in HD.Because I’m not as familiar with HD formats as I have not actually worked with HD up until this point I went out to the Blue Box store and picked up a consumer grade Sony CX130 which I knew ultimately would not be staying with me.


      I shoot primarily for web video (not YouTube) and with the scene well lit it was "OK". I shot in 1080p 60fps. When compressed down to 720 it looked decent but when viewing at 1080 you can see some artifacting and the overall “grain” of a low quality sensor. I brought it back and am looking to go prosumer grade.Up until just recently I was shooting on the SD on the Sony VX 2100 which I bought in 2004 from BH. I want to upgrade to a similar quality HD “prosumer” grade camera. I am undecided as whether to go with a Canon 5D or 7D and use it for video (plus the benefits of interchangeable lenses and having a real still camera) or going with a dedicated HD Camcorder.

      I have been editing for years and am not foreign to the science of video editing/production, just never had the opportunity to work in HD.


      So I guess the question is in your opinion(s) will I get better HD video quality out of a DSLR or a dedicated HD Camcorder? I have a budget of up to $3000. The end product will be 720 web video and I want to have the source material be pristine as I want to have blurays replicated for distribution.


      One of the guys at the Blue Box said the Canon D5 (or it might have been the D7) can’t shoot video too long without overheating. Any truth to this or can I just throw in a card and shoot until full?


      Workstation question:


      My current system:
      Vista 64, Intel Core Duo, 8GB. (Yes quite sad)


      I am not going to “upgrade” my workstation as my current motherboard only supports up to 16 GB. I am going to build a new one from the mother board up. As I stated above I am editing in PP 5.5 and am finally moving into HD.

      I watched a lot of videos online (a few of Karl’s) and they were quire informative. I know I am going to go with Win 7 Pro and beyond that I am deliberating the cost of hardware versus overall performance and building a “balanced” system. In one of the videos Karl did he was mentioning something to the effect of balancing cpu cores with “X” amount of ram and at what point do you install too much ram to notice a difference between “X” amount of ram. I don’t know if I explained that correctly or not.


      But I was thinking of about 32GB ram, Intel xeon(s) single or dual processors? And definitely a certified Nvidia card. Again not sure which grade of card I would need to the type of HD I am editing, etc.


      Any advice/opinions would be appreciated.

      Thank you in advance,


        • 1. Re: Advice with new system and camera
          Shane P Level 3

          One thing I for got to mention I would like to be able to pull out high quality still frames from the HD video.




          • 2. Re: Advice with new system and camera
            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Some ideas for a Desktop Video Editing PC


            -ADK Kudos http://forums.adobe.com/thread/877201

            -and Build http://forums.adobe.com/thread/947698


            I like my Canon Vixia HFS100 (old model, I think there is now a newer model) but I only do home video http://forums.adobe.com/thread/652694

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Advice with new system and camera
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              For the system hardware, look at Adobe Forums: What PC to build? An update...


              DSLR or real video camcorder? That is a tricky question. Let me just name a few pro's and con's as I perceive them, but others may have different opinions. But in your budget range:




              Pro's: big sensor, good DOF, high resolution stills, great with primes.

              Con's: not easily held stable, limited zoom, mediocre to bad audio, very costly with all the lenses, codec?, tripod costs, requires a lot of manual work, portability of the rig.




              Pro's: All-in-one, good audio and zoom range, eyefinder, better stability, much better price, good portability of the rig, codec.

              Con's: small sensors, limited DOF.


              This is not an all-inclusive range of considerations, but the most noteworthy IMHO.


              In your budget range, my suggestion is a camcorder, not a DSLR, unless you triple your budget. And even then I would suggest a camcorder, although more professional.


              Let's not forget it is not only about the camera. You need (at least for a handheld camera):


              1. Camera, $ xxx
              2. Batteries, $ yyy
              3. Filters, UV and Circular Pola, at least $ 150 - 300
              4. Mic's, shotgun and possibly wireless lavalier, at least $ 400 up to $ 3K+
              5. On Camera Lighting, $ 100 - $ 600 (plus batteries and charger)
              6. Tripod system, $ 600 - $ 4K+
              7. Windjammers, $ 50+ a piece
              8. Carrying bag, $ 150 - $ 400
              9. Shoulder support, $ 300 - $ 2K
              10. Matte box and filters, $ 2K+
              11. Miscellaneous, $ zzz
              12. Storage capacity, around $ 100 per hour of HQ video (much more for SxS or P2)
              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Advice with new system and camera
                Jim_Simon Level 9

                will I get better HD video quality out of a DSLR or a dedicated HD Camcorder?


                An highly experienced DP will get great video out of either.


                A less experienced person will almost certainly get a better product from a real video camera.


                That you have to ask the question is a pretty strong indicator that you belong in the second category.  (As I would myself.)

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Advice with new system and camera
                  Shane P Level 3

                  Thank you all for the advice,




                  I am not that experienced at all, nothing with HD either which is why I was asking for advice on cameras. I have no problem spending the necessary money, just don't want to spend it on the wrong device. So I am definitely the "less experienced" person.


                  @ Harm,


                  Thank you. After using my Sony VX2100 for years I will heed your advice and just get another camcorder. With trending with DSLR video these days wasn't sure if that would have been my best bet. Due to my inexperience it clearly is not. In addiiton I would like to get decent audio from the camera which as you pointed out is not great on DSLR. I didn't think of that one. Thank you again for your advice and thoroughness, MUCH APPRECIATED!

                  • 6. Re: Advice with new system and camera
                    Harm Millaard Level 7



                    I too used a Sony VX, well a 2000 in my case, progressed to HDV by means of a Sony Z1 and now use a Canon XF300, and when you make those steps, it shows you all the extras that come into play, things people often forget intially and I just wanted to remind you that it is not only the camera. Heck, I'm still struggling with the decision about my tripod. I know what I want, but Jeez, the price... Some people buy a PC system and a camera for that amount, which is more than your total budget.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Advice with new system and camera
                      Jim_Simon Level 9

                      I am definitely the "less experienced" person.


                      Then my advice would be to spend the extra money and stick with a real video camera.  If nothing else, the ergonomics of shooting with a DSLR will drive you mad.  With a real HD camera, you at least get the ergonomics you're accustomed to when shooting DV.