Digital video camera for a DSLR user
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Old 07-25-2006   #1
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Default Digital video camera for a DSLR user

We need a quality digital video camera. I know nothing about these things, but I do know that as a DSLR user, I'm pretty picky about quality. Which models are good? What should I look for? Budget would be about $2,000.

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Old 07-25-2006   #2
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Default Re: Digital video camera for a DSLR user

If that's your budget, I'd say that JimmyD is most likely going to give you the best hands-on experience feedback.

Off the top of my (outdated education) head, I'd say that you're looking at the Canon XL or GL 1 series, or the Panasonic AG100 (I think it is) series.

Our video shooter uses a Panasonic and really likes it...

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Old 07-25-2006   #3
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Default Re: Digital video camera for a DSLR user

I think one of the most critical "features" that a video camera must have is the ability to shoot well in low light situations. Many of the situations that you'll want to shoot in are "low light" to a camera. The Sony cameras excel in this area, and I'd look there first. Look at a PD170 if you're shooting in standard definition. This is a very portable camera but of professional quality. It is NOT a pocketable camera, however. Perhaps someone else can suggest something smaller.
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Old 07-25-2006   #4
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Default Re: Digital video camera for a DSLR user

We have a Sony DCR-TRV9 (circa 1998 or so) and a slightly newer one also by Sony that's quite a bit smaller. Personally, I'd look elsewhere, as the controls on most of the consumer DV cams really, really suck. According to my dad, who follows this kind of stuff, Panasonic's the current leader in best value for money, but he hasn't seen the need to upgrade ours yet.

My choice would probably be the Canon GL series, as I tried out the GL2 my friend Jenny had with her, and it was pretty awesome. The XL series is more expensive, but has interchangeable lenses (can take Canon L glass, I believe) and has a RRS plate made specifically for it.
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Old 07-25-2006   #5
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Default Re: Digital video camera for a DSLR user

I know very little of other video cameras, but the one I've had for the last 5 years or so has been brilliant - a Panasonic MX300 with 3 CDD. Original price was around 1500 ($2500 +-). However, if I were to buy one now I'd probably be looking at the HD hard disk models rather than the DV tape one that I have. I'd also be looking at true 16:9 rather than the 4:3.
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Old 07-25-2006   #6
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Default Re: Digital video camera for a DSLR user

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclohexane
My choice would probably be the Canon GL series, as I tried out the GL2 my friend Jenny had with her, and it was pretty awesome. The XL series is more expensive, but has interchangeable lenses (can take Canon L glass, I believe) and has a RRS plate made specifically for it.
Well, here's a vote against the Canon GL(2). That's one of three that I tested out. I found it shoddily built (lots of plastic), creaky, and with image quality not nearly as good as the Sony PD170. The Sony is a bit more expensive, but worth it by far.

I looked into the Canon XL line, but then you're also looking at lenses, and, well, you know the story: the sky is the limit on spending.
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Old 07-25-2006   #7
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Default Re: Digital video camera for a DSLR user

Guess I should have tried it out longer, LOL. It seemed to hold up okay, but we weren't doing much with it either. Guess when your own camcorders are plastic fantastic Sonys (one of which likes to spit out parts needed to load the DV tape properly- they went back just fine, but I don't trust the thing anymore), anything else feels pretty good. LOL
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Old 07-25-2006   #8
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Default Re: Digital video camera for a DSLR user

We have a Sony VX-2100 at school (I work for a university) which lists for $2299 at B&H. Like Blinky said, the lowlight capabilities are amazing in the Sonys. I've used it under regular house lights and it looks like I shot in a studio. It is an amazing camera. It used MiniDV, which is probably what you want to use for the best quality, IMHO.
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Old 07-25-2006   #9
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Default Re: Digital video camera for a DSLR user

Can't comment on the GL-2 but we use the Canon GL-1 in the video production studio almost daily.

Very well built, extremely cost effective, outstanding low light focusing, superior image quality, readily available MiniDV tapes, Firewire connection, (which should be a necessity these days).

Dowside....they don't make 'em anymore.
We did buy two backup units on eBay for about $1,000 each.

We shot a local swim meet at Texas Tech under contract for Sports Illustrated a few years ago. I was surprised to find the GL-1 on the list of format camera footage they accepted.
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Old 07-29-2006   #10
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Default Re: Digital video camera for a DSLR user

I bought the panasonic 280 for the low light shots and it works like a charm, it's a cheap 3CCD cam and it really shows.
I had a Sony before this but it was 8 years old

Next year I will switch to the HD cameras.


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