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NWDiver

$800-1000 for camcorder what should it be?

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Ok I have been chosen to video my brother-in-laws upcoming wedding. So now is my chance to break into video. I have been given an $800-1000 budget for a camcorder. Now I need something that will do a good job for this event buuuutttt would be nice if it just happened to work in a housing, probably Ikelite.

 

What do you suggest?????

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Hi. If quality is a big concern, I'd recommend going with a 3CCD MiniDV model with a good lens, good low light performance, and manual control options. Unfortunately, I don't know of any brand new camcorders that meet those requirements which can be had for under $1,000. Hopefully someone else can provide some suggestions for new equipment.

 

If you don't mind buying used, you might consider looking for a Sony VX1000 (this would be my first choice given your requirements), or a TRV900 or TRV950 for decent performance in a small package. But do thoroughly check the camcorder before the wedding since you don't want to discover any hidden problems on the big day.

 

These three camcorders all have multiple housing options. The VX1000 will be quite big and heavy though.

 

For the wedding, also consider your audio and lighting set up. Wireless mic on the groom is a good idea so that you can hear what's being said during the ceremony. A camera mounted light for daytime fill or nighttime reception shots is also nice to have. Extra batteries. Lots of extra tape. Tripod. Shot list.

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Thanks for the help. What if we don't worry about the wedding and just look at for diving? Same choices?

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Ignoring the wedding for now, you might be able to pick up a Sony HC1 High Def video camera for about $1,000 now that it has been discontinued. Not sure about prices and availability in your part of the world though.

 

My second choice would be a good TRV900 or TRV950. Old models, but excellent performance.

 

 

Be careful of using an HC1 at a wedding, especially if the reception is indoors or at night. Because of the camera's rolling shutter and the HDV format's MPEG2 compression, it produces poor results when camera flashes go off. The rolling shutter splits a flash burst across two fields so you often get the bottom of one field lit and the top of the next lit. This looks pretty weird, IMO. And MPEG2 doesn't handle a quick dark->bright->dark very well. Lots of artifacting. These two things were learned the hard way. :P

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I've used my Sony HC1 to tape a wedding and it worked but in a church with limited lighting I had to push the gain. Then again, regular still digital cameras couldn't take anything in there that wasn't blurry so I guess I did ok.

 

I also use the HC1 with an Ikelite housing and it does really well even on night dives. You'll have a really tough time finding one in the US. They are all but gone. You might look into the HC3 though. Also Hi Def but more limited features. The A1 is probably out of your price range. If you go with Standard def the ideal would be the VX2100 for a wedding but also pricey.

 

I'm entrenched in the Sony camp and the selection is short. You need something with a decent sized sensor. 1/5" or 1/6" will be worthless. 1/3" minimum.

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I have been reading about the Sony HDR-HC3 HDV 1080i. Sure its more than my stated budget but what the heck it is all for my Brother-In-Law. Than I will just wait for Ikelite to come out with a housing.

 

Any opinions?

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I'd strongly consider going with an HDV camcorder (HC1 or HC3). In a short period of time, standard resolution (V950, VX1000, HC21, etc) is going to look dated.

 

Here's a chart that we did to show the history of video resolution.

 

timeline_graphic.gif

 

If the camera is a gift, maybe you could get another camera member to throw in the few extra bucks?

 

-Barrett

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Thanks for the info. I have come to terms with anything I buy being outdated in about 3mnths. The HC3 is appealing due to size, since I am already packing a DSLR system. Just hope someone has a housing for it before Sept and our Cocos trip.

I have a Fisheye focus light, would this make a decent video light?

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I am not a video guy but I do want a camera -- but some thoughts:

 

 

No one mentioned output? - Is the HD editied on a computer going to be burned as regular def? does it look that much better than standard? I suppose to see Hi def you would have to edit down to the camera tape and play it off the camera.

 

I am thinking by the time the computer burners burn HD, the cam prices will be down a bit.

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Right now the options for High Def output are:

 

- Write it back to tape and use your camcorder as a playback deck

- Play it off your computer

- Burn it to HD DVD or Blu-Ray (just becoming available now)

- Make an HD Divx DVD

 

Otherwise you can just downres it to SD. To my eyes material originally shot on HD and converted to SD will often look marginally better than material originally shot in SD. There are a lot of variables though, so generalizations are hard to make.

 

Just a comment about the HC3... It has no mic input. Since wedding ceremonies rarely use PA systems, I hope the videographer gets really, really close to be able to pick up the dialog. Video with only background murmur and no main dialog is a real bummer.

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Just thought I would add.

 

There are also DVD players that can play HD wmv and some can even play the raw HDV m2t and ts files that have been burn't onto normal DVD's.

 

HD DVD burners are way to $$$$ along with the blank disks.

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Thanks for all the help.

 

Based on limited budget, need 20x zoom for wedding stuff, right now I am leaning to a Canon Elura 90, then add an Ike housing. The 90 seems better built than the new 100 and I can pick up a wireless mike and high end tripod for under $1000.

 

Anyone have a suggestion on a camera with a 20x optical zoom that is better than the Elura would be great to hear it.

 

Thanks again...

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The Canon Elura 90 does not perform well in low light...If you are after a camera with a 20x optical zoom, you should take a look at the Canon GL2. It is a 3 chip camera and ikelite make housing for this camera. There a few of them advertised on ebay at the moment.

Good luck with your search.

Nathan.

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The GL2 is a great camera but as much as my wife loves her brother I was only allocated up to $1000. Plus as much as I love her brother I was looking for something a little smaller. We travel some and once I have a housing it has to fit in with my DSLR gear which already accounts for a Stormcase and large photo backpack.

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FYI went with the Canon Elura 90. Now give it a month or two and sneak in a Ike housing.

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