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03-23-2010, 05:02 AM   #1
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A Pentax of Camcorders? Or just buy a K-7 body?

I need video equipment to shoot a short film for an amateur project. I want the video to be high quality and I need to use an external mic.

Should I purchase a K-7 body for this? Or is there such a thing as the "Pentax of Camcorders," a make/model camcorder that is highly reliable, high quality, and can be purchased used on eBay or in a forum site like ours for a reasonable price?

03-23-2010, 05:53 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbrothman Quote
I need video equipment to shoot a short film for an amateur project. I want the video to be high quality and I need to use an external mic.

Should I purchase a K-7 body for this? Or is there such a thing as the "Pentax of Camcorders," a make/model camcorder that is highly reliable, high quality, and can be purchased used on eBay or in a forum site like ours for a reasonable price?
In case you need autofocus, forget it, and go with a HD camcorder. In case you need shallow DOF and really nice IQ, and not really thinking about shooting in low-light conditions (anywhere where 1/30 ISO 100 is not enough), I say Pentax K7 is absolutely a favourite. Under bad lighting conditions there is more noticable ISO noise, but that's I say not that hard to get rid of in post, but if you are shooting long, that might take quite a lot of time for rendering. Also on Pentax's side, don't forget the interchangeability, and backwards compatibility with old lenses.
Myself is shooting short movies on Pentax K7 (well at least done in the past, and a couple of are in preprod now), so I say, I really like it, but there aren't any manual controls, so you need to get hack it out your way with AE-L and "quick-switch".
So, in one word, I do recommend the K7. If you want autofocus, and don't care about "film-look", go with a customer HD camcorder (no Pentax AFAIK).
03-23-2010, 06:00 AM   #3
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All affordable camcorders will have much smaller sensors, than a K7. Also, if you really want high quality video from a camcorder, you need to go for a 3-chip modell. That's going to be expensive, even secondhand.

So I would say, buying a K7 is the better option, as it will also serve as your DSLR, then.

Ben
03-23-2010, 08:06 AM   #4
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Canon 550D + Sanyo Xacti HD2000

Best buy combo for video IMHO

03-23-2010, 09:10 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RolloR Quote
Canon 550D + Sanyo Xacti HD2000

Best buy combo for video IMHO
You are confusing me. Why do I need both?
03-23-2010, 03:39 PM   #6
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C*non Vixia HF S 10 might be something to consider, I have seen some nice video samples on You-Tube.

Cheers, Mike.
03-24-2010, 04:25 AM   #7
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As mentioned above, you have different features with an SLR shooting video versus a dedicated camcorder. The pros on the SLR are that you have the ability to changes lenses, in particular to put on really wide or really long lenses, you can shoot with narrow depth of field, shake reduction on the K7 works excellently with video and you probably will be able to shoot in lower light (although that last thing really depends on the camcorder).

The downsides are that you need to manual focus on an SLR. The controls aren't the easiest for use in video. Ergonomically, shooting with an SLR in video for a long time would likely get tiring. You will benefit from using an external mic (this is really true of most camcorders too).
03-24-2010, 06:55 AM   #8
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Here is that you need for any DSLR:
Shoulder rig,
Follow focus
Screen Loupe
Sound recorder
(all together around $900-1200)
And you still don't have any video features like AF, zebras, focus assist, audio level control with realtime meter etc.

I suggest to go to Panasonic TM350 is you have small amount of money (<$800).
Buy Fader ND and good microphone and it's a go.
You could also use cheap indian shoulder mount like this
Hand Free Shoulder Support for Camcorder DV DC Cameras - eBay (item 260563057490 end time Apr-03-10 08:50:21 PDT) just buy mount converter and cheap ball head at it'll be real gem.
Use 35mm lens adapter (you need wither static or vibrating one with canon EF mount and Pentax to EF converter if you have Pentax lenses).
Believe me, it'll be much better in current state.

As for Canon 550D it also have unusable audio input (AGC always on). It needs ML ported to it, but it could be months.

So, go to normal camcorders. And manual controls is your main goal.
Panasonic is leader in this. If you can afford it could be better to go to prosumer HMC models.

03-24-2010, 07:27 AM   #9
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I have a Canon HF100 and really like it - the quality is excellent. Supposedly it was even used as the crash cameras in Crank 2: High Voltage.

The HF200 is apparently a step down - smaller sensor with more pixels -> more noise.

Not sure about the upcoming HF S200. Apparently the S200 adds a LANC port for remote control and a bunch of other nifty stuff.

Either way - the Canon HF series HD camcorders are all excellent. It looks like the K-7 will probably provide higher quality video especially in low light, BUT it is going to be limited in terms of some of the specific video features.
03-25-2010, 06:40 AM   #10
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Canon HF100, HF200 and even HF S100 and HV20 are not best cameras for actual shooting.
All they have is either shutter or aperture priority, and first two cameras it is done by badly positioned joystick.
Panasonic have full manual mode with build-in gain control. Plus sound monitor output.
And you must shoot with VariND and manual mode for picture to look professional.
Most guys look at picture with low light and want to select camcorder by this only.
They are mostly idiots.
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