Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Photography and Video:
Requst for Beginner video camera advice

 


landmissle  (A 37727)

May 14, 2006, 3:17 PM
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Requst for Beginner video camera advice Can't Post

  Hi all,

My wife and I have our first child on the way, she's actually due within the next two to four weeks. With that said, we're looking at buying our first video camera so that we can record all the typical "first moments" and perhaps build up video evidence to be used against our daughter in the future <grin>.

Both parents being skydivers, it makes sense to us that this camera should be good for skydiving too.

I would like to get a little direction on what to buy. I've been lurking these forums for a little while and there is a plethera of information but it's almost too much to digest. So I'm hoping for a little direction.

I'll try to give you some information to help narrow down the choices......

I'm a recreational skydiver. I don't have any reals plans to become a proffesional videographer.

I want to video our skydives on a casual basis and primarily from "my point of view". These skydives are mostly small groups (2-4 individuals) doing sitflys, belly flying, and slowly increasing the numbers of heads down dives.

I really like the 2K Composite helmet model FF2 because of it's built in camera enclosure and would think that building my needs around this helmet "might" be a good way to go. This helmet supports the following cameras by Sony; FitsPC6,8,9,101,103,105,107,109,120,330,350,1000
HC18,1920,21,22,30,39,40,42

I believe, most of these cameras are older models so trying to acquire information on them is proving to be a little troublesome. I don't know if this helmet is compatable with newer models.

I have a friend who jumps with a Sony PC9. I've used it and am happy with it and will mentally use that as my "standard".

As mentioned, I've jumped with my friends camera and helmet fifeteen or twenty times. His setup works fine. However, I'm very aware of the line snag, cut-away, and other complications and hence why I'm leaning towards the 2K Composite helmet. Also, light weight would be a consideration presuming two or more cameras are equal (they never are but I think you know what I mean)

I don't mind buying used but new would always be nice. I have a soft budget in mind of about $1000 for the camera and any related components. I'm not including the price of the helmet in this equation.

Certainly, at first, my primary mode of video transfer will be to a VHS player via S-video and to a computer via USB. Burning footage to a DVD would be nice as too of capturing frames for pictures would be a goal. In this area, my friends PC9 seems to do the job nicely.Future options would be nice, but, I don't want to get too concerned with features and funtionality that I may not ever use.

I realize this is rather lengthy but, hopfully it will give you some grounds to help advise me.

I really do appreciate any suggestions or comments. And yes, I will continue to search on my own but, a little direction would be nice. Thanks!!!!!!!!


(This post was edited by landmissle on May 14, 2006, 3:48 PM)


Miami  (D 17626)

May 14, 2006, 4:02 PM
Post #2 of 17 (1215 views)
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Re: [landmissle] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

I sent a PM as well...but in case any lurkers are looking for similar info...

I feel the FF2 is perfect for your situation...you are headed in the right direction with that.

As for cameras...for used (found on eBay) I really like the pc110, 120, and 330. If you want to buy a new one I really like the pc1000, and you would be able to get it from B&H and stay at your budget. If you went the used route you could probably put an entire video only system together for around $1000.

Hope that helps, and if you need more info feel free to contact me!


jdatc

May 14, 2006, 4:25 PM
Post #3 of 17 (1208 views)
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Re: [Miami] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow... Miami quoted basically what I did.

I picked up my camera from B&H... actually went to the store and got it (PC1000) and for not using it skydiving, just around for fun I find it a great camera.

I don't know how it will fair once I get my FF2 (which I did order from Miami recently), but a couple video guys at my DZ use it (the camera) and like it.

It has a lot of fun options for the non camera *crazy* person. Some of the time lapse stuff is cool. Packing in 26 seconds via time lapse looks cool...

The digital pics are cool for cuts between segents, but not equal to a Digital SLR of course... Overall I've had it for a few weeks and playing with it in a non-skydiving enviroment is fun...

-Justin


velocityphoto  (D 18988)

May 14, 2006, 6:15 PM
Post #4 of 17 (1187 views)
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Re: [landmissle] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

PC 1000 is a great choice!


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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May 14, 2006, 6:30 PM
Post #5 of 17 (1181 views)
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Re: [landmissle] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

If you are looking at moving the video to the computer you will want to do it via firewire, USB will not do video. FireWire Cards are chap to get now days, but you need to be aware that you need a PCI slot free on the computer to install the card to.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

May 14, 2006, 8:22 PM
Post #6 of 17 (1168 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

Also be sure that any firewire card you get has an OHCI (open host controller interface) rating, or you'll have a hard time regardless of the NLE you use. http://www.vasst.com/...ce9c1c478&type=1 has a brief discussion if you don't know the "whys."


jdatc

May 14, 2006, 10:26 PM
Post #7 of 17 (1149 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If you are looking at moving the video to the computer you will want to do it via firewire, USB will not do video.

My pc1000 connects to my PC through USB 2.0 (also has a firewire port on the dock). It takes up enormous amounts of Hard drive space for the video footage but it seems to transfer ok... Not slow, and the quality is good...

My understanding is that firewire and USB 2.0 have almost the same transfer rates (well as for how they are rated)... Firewire being somewhat faster depending on the task and system architecture....

http://www.usb-ware.com/firewire-vs-usb.htm

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_zdpcm/is_200302/ai_ziff36161/pg_2

...

Then again, maybe I misunderstood......


_Justin


spanky39154  (C 104678)

May 15, 2006, 4:46 AM
Post #8 of 17 (1118 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

You can tranfer through USB and gives the same quality as fire wire! I have both option with my setup and generally use USB to dump tandem vids in to computer. you just have to remember to swtich usb streaming on in the camera.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

May 15, 2006, 6:33 AM
Post #9 of 17 (1092 views)
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Re: [jdatc] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
My understanding is that firewire and USB 2.0 have almost the same transfer rates (well as for how they are rated)... Firewire being somewhat faster depending on the task and system architecture....

Technically, this is so. Realistically, it rarely is.
USB2 shares system resources with the CPU determining priority and traffic flow. If you've got controlled fans, antivirus, heat sensors, Outlook, NIC, etc all on and seen by CPU, the chances of the USB2.0 bus being given priority are rather slim. Firewire is it's own resource, doesn't rely on the CPU for priority assignment, and is ALWAYS speed-stable. Many NLE apps will not support USB2.0 capture for this very reason. Even tho transfer from a cam to an HDD is just a data transfer, it requires a sustainable transfer rate of at least 3.6MBps or 25Mbps. USB2.0 can't guarantee that rate simply because your CPU might have another priority come up. Use Firewire/ieee1394/i-Link whenever possible for consistent positive result.
HTH


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
May 15, 2006, 8:03 AM
Post #10 of 17 (1069 views)
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Re: [jdatc] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

The PC1000 and the new HD cams are the only ones with USB2.0 on them if I remember right. Basically the HC series is still at USB1.1 I think, all the older models of the PC and the TRV's are USB1.1.


scottswoops  (B 22970)

May 15, 2006, 8:31 AM
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Re: [landmissle] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Bro,
Here is my opinion, take it for what it's worth. I sounds like you have your mind set on the FF@, which is cool. However, you might want to consider the Rawa (Pronounced "HAVA")camera helmet. It's unusually comfortable but more importantly, has virtually zero snag points. The D-Box is molded to the helmet and doesn't allow enough space to squeeze a line in. The wratchet system on the chin chup is designed to tuck away the excess male feed. (By the way, that was the selling point for me.) The helmet has two audible pockets. Every person that I've known to own one, has raved about them. Just my opinion, take it for what it's worth.
Now, the camera..... It also seems as though you had set your mind on the DCR-PC9. I would rethink that a little. You're looking for something low profile, high quality, skydiver friendly, family friendly, computer friendly and wont be outdated in a year. The DCR-PC1000 is a great choice! The 3 CMOS, helps provide brilliant color. I've compared the cameras side by side, frame by frame and I really think you will be much happier with the 1000!
Good Luck!


Fast  (D 28237)

May 15, 2006, 9:04 AM
Post #12 of 17 (1056 views)
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Re: [scottswoops] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a PC350 and liked that, replaced it with the PC1000 and LOVE that. great camera a+. There are at least 5 people at my DZ with the PC1000 right now. None of them have had any complaints.

If you are doing mostly POV shooting you should look at one of the low profile .3 lenses too. They don't vignette, are light, and take decent video for close FF / RW work.


(This post was edited by Fast on May 15, 2006, 9:05 AM)


landmissle  (A 37727)

May 15, 2006, 2:15 PM
Post #13 of 17 (1005 views)
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Re: [landmissle] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

  Hi all,

Yowzaa!! Wow, thank you for all the replies!

This has really helped my alot and given me some bearings.

Just to clear a few things up; I'm not "set" on the Sony PC9. I was only saying that it's my frame of reference or standard simply because it's the only camera I've had any experience with.

One person suggested the Rawa helmet, I'll check into that also. I'm not set on the 2K Composite helmets either, but they do seem very nice and up till now, are the only ones I'm aware of that have the built in enclosure.

Alot of people have been recommending the Sony PC1000 if I want to buy new. I did some searching on that model, and came up with some issues regarding "3 chip problem". Someone even took a poll on how many people were having issues with it. Not really sure what this is about, although I presume it has to do with the 3CMOS chips the camera uses instead of CCD. Is this something I should look into further?

Again thanks everyone for the advice so far.


Miami  (D 17626)

May 15, 2006, 2:28 PM
Post #14 of 17 (1001 views)
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Re: [landmissle] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Alot of people have been recommending the Sony PC1000 if I want to buy new. I did some searching on that model, and came up with some issues regarding "3 chip problem". Someone even took a poll on how many people were having issues with it. Not really sure what this is about, although I presume it has to do with the 3CMOS chips the camera uses instead of CCD. Is this something I should look into further?

The pc-1000 does not have the "3-chip problem"...this post has some good discussion on it.
Hope that helps!


Shoot  (D License)

May 16, 2006, 1:02 AM
Post #15 of 17 (970 views)
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Re: [landmissle] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

check http://cookiecomposites.com/ too
Really nice setup


nate_1979  (B 27889)

May 26, 2006, 8:30 AM
Post #16 of 17 (855 views)
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Re: [Fast] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I had a PC350 and liked that, replaced it with the PC1000 and LOVE that. great camera a+. There are at least 5 people at my DZ with the PC1000 right now. None of them have had any complaints.

I have both the 350 and the 1000, jumped both of them in my FF2 helmet. The 1000 gets awsome footage, but I also found that the 350 does a pretty damn good job too... IMO the 350 has gotten better footage than most of the other PC series that I've seen used at the dz. (other than the 1000 ofcourse). Either of these cameras would be a great choice IMO, and the 350 will be a bit cheaper.


Fast  (D 28237)

May 26, 2006, 8:59 AM
Post #17 of 17 (852 views)
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Re: [nate_1979] Requst for Beginner video camera advice [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I had a PC350 and liked that, replaced it with the PC1000 and LOVE that. great camera a+. There are at least 5 people at my DZ with the PC1000 right now. None of them have had any complaints.

I have both the 350 and the 1000, jumped both of them in my FF2 helmet. The 1000 gets awsome footage, but I also found that the 350 does a pretty damn good job too... IMO the 350 has gotten better footage than most of the other PC series that I've seen used at the dz. (other than the 1000 ofcourse). Either of these cameras would be a great choice IMO, and the 350 will be a bit cheaper.


I only replaced my 350 because it was stolen.



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