Choosing The Right Video Camera

I’ve had a few people ask me why I picked the HVX200a when it’s based on an older model camera. Why not one of the newer ones like the Sony PMW-EX1? Well I decided to write up some of my thought process for this purchase. I think you can ask yourself some of the same questions if you’re in the market for a new camera.

Were HD cams are right now, you have a few decisions you have to make:

Choose between tape based and tapeless. There are a few hybrids out there. The Sony HVR-7ZU shoots to both tape and HD or you could shoot with a Focus Enhancement drive. A few things to remember/ budget for will be if shooting tapeless how will you archive your footage and projects? If shooting tape do you want a deck? And is that deck compatible with any other cameras you already have or plan on purchasing. I’ve just started shooting tapeless and it is awesome! Review clips in the field, delete bad takes, import quicker than real time.

What format do you want to work with? HDV you have several options. It takes up very little space. XDCAM-EX bit more space but higher quality. DVCPro HD takes up a lot more space but higher quality codec. You can bypass some of the HDV issues if you capture using a dedicated card or something like the Moto V4HD, Matrox MXO2 or AJA i/oHD

After those 2 decisions I think it’s really about your own personal preference. What suites your style (how you work i.e. run and gun, short movie with 35mm adapter, sit down interviews, etc…) and your needs (what do you need this camera to do i.e lots of green screen, long zoom for IMAG, etc…) as well as your budget (I got the HVX200a w/ 16GB card, nice port brace case, and nice tripod for the same price as Sony PMW-EX1). There is no perfect camera for everyone. Pick the camera that best suites your needs, not the one everyone may or may not be blogging about. Then get out and shoot a ton of stuff to get good at shooting with it.

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June 6, 2008. Tech Stuff, Video.

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