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  1. #1
    DoA
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    Video Cam equivalent in quality to Canon 7D

    Hi guys,

    I'm looking to buy a video camera with an equivalent quality (HD) to the Canon 7D. I really like the colour representation & focusing options available on the 7D.... It also seems to have a pretty high framerate (making slow motion shots look really good).

    However I already have a DSLR (Sony A200) so I don't need picture options.

    A secondary optional bonus is that a waterproof case was available for it (I dive) & it would need to be waterproof to about 20 meters (66ft).

    However, this isn't my main concern as I could get a dedicated dive cam for this.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance,
    Adam

  2. #2
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Video Cam equivalent in quality to Canon 7D

    I no nothing about video, but for a real video cam with the ability to use interchangeable lenses and a full size APS sensor, look at the Sony NEX-VG10.

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/1007/10...nynexvg10e.asp

    Terry
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  3. #3
    DoA
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    Re: Video Cam equivalent in quality to Canon 7D

    Thanks,

    Interchangeable lenses aren't on my wishlist but obviously zoom is.

    It's more the frame rate & picture quality I'm looking for.

    Adam

  4. #4
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Video Cam equivalent in quality to Canon 7D

    What is your budget? to get the quality of a 7d you really need to be looking at pro cameras and they are typically $5,000 plus with the good ones starting at $10,000 plus. You could try the 550d if you don't need long recording times (it only does 12minutes of hd) but the quality is very good.

    Personally when looking for a camera, I try to work backwards, in that I define how it is going to be used and then look for cameras that suit my needs. You mentioned that you could get another camera for underwater, but in my experience it is really only high end cameras that you can get housings for underwater. you might get a splash resistant cheaper camera but you will be sacrificing quality. it would make more sense to find out what cameras you can get housings for and start from their. Again I am pretty sure the 550d has a housing. as would most of the low-mid dslrs from caonon, nikon and sony. All of them do very good video so that is where I would be starting. Sounds like in an ideal world you would want a broadcast camera though. Also you will need to consider audio if you go dslr. the built in mics are acceptable for home movies, but if you are doing anything serious, you will need to add some sort of mic or mic system.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur


  5. #5
    DoA
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    Re: Video Cam equivalent in quality to Canon 7D

    Thanks,

    I'm not looking for broadcast camera's - I simply haven't got the budget.

    For my waterproof cam I am looking at the Tachyon XC HD or Tachyon Micro

    TBH my budget is about $1000-$1500 but I can always look at second hand.

    I like the slow motion effects & I understand that even with something like twixtor & after effects, I still need 60fps (is this the same as 60i & 60p? - I thought the 60i was 60 interlaced & 60p was 60progressive ... as in lines?) ... Also, what's the effect of i or p on slowing footage with a program like twixtor?

    If I could get away with a 30fps HD I'd be laughing.

    Other stuff would be general day time (croatia music festival) and a few shots at night (of the artists / stage).... Most I'd be doing is sticking in on Vimeo / Youtube in HD.

    Perhaps that explanation widens my choice (and improves the budget slightly)?

  6. #6
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Video Cam equivalent in quality to Canon 7D

    First off, even though your output is hd - sort of, it is so compressed that you will get as good a result with a good sd camera as you would for a hd camera, but basically then, any decent camcorder will do the job. As for frame rate, you are sort of correct and sort of not. Yes a video shot with a faster frame rate will appear more smooth when slowed down, but the file size you get are also much larger and the processing power required to generate a smooth slow motion sequence proportionally bigger. Again this means that a well shot well edited and rendered standard definition 30i sequence will sometimes look better than the equivalent 60p HD sequence, but only if your computer is struggling to render the hd files. As for I and P, well yes you are correct, I stands for interlaced and P for progressive. What does that mean in real terms? basically a halving of the resolution. Theoretically 60i is the same as 30p as half the data in an interlaced camera is assigned to one frame and the other half to the next. It is a carryover from when tv's used phosphors to create an image. In early TV's by the time the image was scanned from bottom to top, the bottom phosphors were already fading. this meant that a black bar would roll up the screen as the image was drawn. With interlacing, only half the screen was drawn at any time and the result was so convincing our eyes couldn't tell the difference. Obviously with better tv's and cameras interlacing is a thing of the past, well sort of, many people still have old tv's and many cameras and computers can't handle the doubling of data that a progressive signal has. Also it is a cheap way for manufacturers to up their specifications without having to put better processors and more memory in their cameras.

    Theoritcally your output is going to be 30 fps, so if you have a 60fps camera then it can use those extra frames to generate a good slow motion effect. The reality is that unless you are using one of the better edit systems (fcp,avid, premier pro, vegas pro that can handle multiple resolution clips on the timeline) then your video will be resampled to whatever your project is set at and it won't make one bit of difference what your starting frame rate is.

    It also sounds like you would like manual control. Obviously a DSLR give you that, but most of them come with either pre focus or permanent manual focus which may be an issue. on the flip side most good camcorders will come with manual controls for exposure and white balance, but they need to be pre set as they are usually to cumbersom to change mid shoot. As I said the built in mics on dslr's aren't great either. many of them are mono and don't have a good dynamic range so can sound tinny or muddy. Consumer camcorders aren't that great either but they will be better. Having said all of that there are a lot of good hot shoe mics around that aren't that expensive.

    I have a suspicion that you will do equally as well with either a cheap dslr from any of the following in no order: Olympus, canon, sony, nikon as long as it does video. or a mid to high end camcorder from one of the bigger manufacturers. canon panasonic, sony, jvc.

    In camcorders there is another thing to look at. All pro cameras use 3 ccds (or sometimes cmos) sensors as opossed to one. The reasons for this are varied, but basically it give much better control of colour and less degradation of the video when filters and effects are applied. If you find a 3ccd camera in your budget (they do exist but are harder to find) then put it to the top of your list. The other thing that might be worth trying if you have time is getting a file from your shortlisted cameras and trying to slow it down. some camera formats will give better results than others but trial and error is the only way to know. Also any issues with this will be more pronounced in a clip that has more movement.

    ok sorry for the huge post. I think I have covered everything. actually go have a look at our reviews page. Real User reviews without the marketing spin are invaluable.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur


  7. #7
    DoA
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    Re: Video Cam equivalent in quality to Canon 7D

    Hi,

    That is one of the best, most thorough replies I've ever had on a forum! My faith in the web has been restored! It isn't just full of kids posting ridiculous comments on Youtube.

    I'm now looking at the Casio EX-FC100 ... Thoughts?

    ps. Looking at demo footage on Youtube (which I understands removes some (a lot?) of quality) I think 210fps is the max I realistically need ... so anything that records at 210 with better resolution than this for the same price?

  8. #8
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Video Cam equivalent in quality to Canon 7D

    Thanks DoA, you will find that this is the spirit of photographyreview.com, lots of folks eager to learn and share knowledge.

    sometimes manufacturers release sample files for you to download on the web. There was a guy in the UK who used to take videos with all sorts of cameras and post the files for people to download and evaluate. Unfortunately I lost the link to his page when I changed computers about 5 years ago. Looking at them on youtube isn't really going to tell you a lot, unless it is part of a professional review. Lots of the promo stuff is shot in very carefully controlled conditions (even if it looks like it isn't) so it is hard to get an objective result.

    210fps is really really fast, most consumer cameras wouldn't go past 60 fps - hmm perhaps you are confusing frames per second with shutterspeed. Shutterspeed is usually quoted as a fraction of a second and represents the amount of time each frame is exposed to light. Shutter speeds will vary depending on the settings of the camera and the amount of available light, but they can range from 1/15th of a second (or lower) to 1/8000th of a second or sometimes faster. many manufacturers will publish this in their specifications as a range with a high, low value. Most will not publish the fps rate as it is rare that this is variable except when changing formats. typically it is either 24 or 25 (in a cinema mode) or follows one of the standards like pal, secam, nstc or hd. in hd you can get up to 60 but rarely higher than that.

    The Casio - I haven't used a casio in ages, but I remember when I used to work in a shop they were hit and miss. The tended to buy their sensors etc from others, so one model wast great and the next was terrible. Only real way to decide is to go try one. If you have a good store near you that has one in stock, go play with it - I just had a very quick look at it on casio's website. I would call it a toy camera, but having said that people make feature films out of iphones and when I was at uni we shot a film half on a $10,000 plus broadcast camera and half on a handycam and when it was screened at the cinema my professor couldn't tell the difference (admittedly we spent lots more time lighting the scene to make the footage from the camcorder stand out), but properly handled any camera is a great camera, and the best camera is the one you have with you. No good having a big expensive camera if you miss out on things because you leave it behind. I would say manual settings on it will be cumbersome if it has them. This is a long shift from the camcorder or dslr you were originally looking at.

    I am not saying it is a bad buy, I have never used it, just that it really helps to define needs clearly and I suspect you are still defining them.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur


  9. #9
    DoA
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    Re: Video Cam equivalent in quality to Canon 7D

    Hi, thanks again ... I've been doing a bit more research and as I will be using Twixtor (which is really good at slowing stuff down) I don't think I need a high framerate to start with.

    Basically I just want a great looking (footage), sharp (image quality, not brand) camera that can slow stuff down with reasonably quality with Twixtor in After Effects.

    This video is a great example - shot with a canon t2i - but this vid goes slower than I'd need - http://vimeo.com/17143672

    Any camera that could approach this would be absolutely fine.

  10. #10
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Video Cam equivalent in quality to Canon 7D

    Dslr or 3ccd is where you want to be. But a lot of that film is in the very
    Careful planning of shots. The push/pull focus, tracking shots and dolly shots are all highly choreographed and scripted. They are also carefully colour graded. Having a 3ccd camera will help with grading as will things like careful white balance and shooting grey cards etc. I am assuming you are familiar with after effects so the grading side isn't a problem. I would stick to the brands I listed in my previous post. Those manufacturers are known for good colour reproduction. Since your output is primarily web, perhaps a second hand pro video camera is worth a look, if you go for sd this might meet
    Your budget. Check out local pro rental places. Many of them offload old models cheaply.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur


  11. #11
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Video Cam equivalent in quality to Canon 7D

    Dslr or 3ccd is where you want to be. But a lot of that film is in the very
    Careful planning of shots. The push/pull focus, tracking shots and dolly shots are all highly choreographed and scripted. They are also carefully colour graded. Having a 3ccd camera will help with grading as will things like careful white balance and shooting grey cards etc. I am assuming you are familiar with after effects so the grading side isn't a problem. I would stick to the brands I listed in my previous post. Those manufacturers are known for good colour reproduction. Since your output is primarily web, perhaps a second hand pro video camera is worth a look, if you go for sd this might meet
    Your budget. Check out local pro rental places. Many of them offload old models cheaply.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur


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