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Old Nov 3, 2007, 3:57 PM   #1
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I'm trying to find the ideal Flash-based camcorder in the $550 to $1000 range that gives the best combination of features and quality. Ideally it would have upgradeable storage, lenses etc but let's see what we can find. I'm not terribly experienced in the semi-pro video world, but I am technically proficient. Most of the information here represents information I've culled from the net.

I'm throwing out ideas here, so maybe you can help me.


Independent film making can be done in single def, but 720x480 interlaced can only take you so far. On the other hand, 1080i has interlacing artifacts and flicker which have to be removed with time consuming filtering operations. Both 1080i and 1080p require serious editing workstation horsepower and storage to get anything done in a reasonable amount of time. 720p is a reasonable alternative. It has lower bitrate requirements and is progressive, so no interlace issues. The cam's I'm familiar with in this price range do 720/30p. 720/24p would be very nice, but I think that puts you in $3000 territory.


As far as I know the best quality 720p HD codec is H.264 and it's supported well at least in the Mac world. I haven't read the entire H.264 spec, but I know it supports lower resolution than 720p as well as variable bit rates.


I know it's kind of crazy, but it would be nice to have a camera body that allows interchangeable lenses. The problem with decent video lenses is that many of them are beyond the price range I've set for the camera. The trick would be to supply a basic lens and allow the autofocus mechanism to take advantage of relatively inexpensive 3rd party lenses. The Canon XL1 and XL2 allow interchangeable standard lenses, but some have said that that's kind of a gimmick and doesn't really get used. Maybe a true video geek can comment here.


From surveying the available cameras in this price range, there seems to be a lack of external audio inputs. I assume it's because most manufacturers are targeting these cams at the consumer market and built-in cameras are usually sufficient. Also, Indy film makers often record audio using a separate recorder and use SMTE time code to sync the sound during post-production foley work.


Ideally the camera in this price range would have physical ergonomic features that maximize stability when its being used without any additional monopods, tripods, electronic stabilization or steadicams. Interesting possibilities are shoulder mount usage and/or natural body ergonomics.

Edit Support:

Some sort of time-code or syncing features would be helpful during editing. You can edit without SMPTE, but it's a lot more time consuming. It's probably too much to expect time code support at this level, but I can dream.


Since I'm talking about flash devices, obviously normal and high speed SD support should be built-in. Currently that means everything up to the very latest stuff in design (16 and 32MB cards). Other than that, the only thing I can think of would be an external hard drive that you could either attach to the cam or (through USB2 or FW800) to an external HD in your pocket/backpack.

Don't know if I've missed anything. Probably.

Possible Current Cameras that come close:

I'm just throwing one that I know of into the mix. I wish it came closer, but:

Sanyo HD700, no interchangeable lenses, no external mic, no timecode, but for $540 street you get 720/30p H.264 into flash. It's not perfect, but it would get you started in HD 720p. I know it's low light performance is just acceptable and it may have other issues, but I don't see any 720p flash alternatives less than $1000 except Sanyo's own HD1 and HD2 offerings.

Any other suggestions?


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Old Nov 3, 2007, 4:21 PM   #2
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Welcome avoard your best place is in the sany section and ask about the Sanyo xacti hd1000

or model lower

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Old Nov 3, 2007, 6:00 PM   #3
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Sanyo HD2 should do it. God Bless :G
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