Where to buy a camcorder?

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  1. #11

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    This camera is no longer available in Hong Kong - i've searched high and low to no avail - even phoned through the whole list of vendors on the canon website


  2. #12

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    Sorry to hijack your thread but we need to get a camcorder for boring family memories - nothing deserving of a place on vimeo unfortunately. Can anyone recommend a good but not overly expensive one and not too complicated either. I have no idea what they cost but i'm hoping we can get something decent between HK$2-3000. Hoping.


  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by killahbad:
    ...what time of stuff do you use your cam for as you don't often have a need for a steadycam while shooting tourists shots of the Star Ferry.
    The GL2 & Steadicam combo is serving it's final days as the workhorse shooting content for medium sized businesses in the occasional once-a-month freelance gig.

    The XL1 sometimes gets to tag along on a tripod as a B-camera.

    The HDV cameras were initially obtained to gain familiarity with high definition.

    The HV10 starts it off as the miraculous palm-sized wonder. Those who whine about this model not having a mic-in jack or enough manual control completely miss the point. It's a camera that slips easily into a jacket pocket or backpack that can still punch out a superb 1080i image when adequately lit. I believe it's the first high definition camcorder to use the CMOS chip. With this camera, Canon starts the trend of discontinuing it before consumer demand has completely died out.

    The HV20 was announced with much anticipation. Using the same CMOS chip, it was shown to make up for some of the complaints the HV10 unfairly received. The reasons why enthusiast filmmakers are all over this model has been well-covered. The favorable battery & steadicam-friendly features made it a must-buy for me.

    Like I said, these early models are used to test the waters of high def -- shooting, 16:9 framing, observing HDV's handling of complex scenes, post production workflow, editing, compositing, physical and virtual distribution. After shooting video for over 20 years (Video8, Hi-8, miniDV) there's still a lot to learn and relearn with High Definition.

    This means the HV10 and HV20 have followed me to HK on past occasions shooting a variety of things & scenery. Even the Steadicam Merlin has made at least one trip.

    When the freelance clients begin to ask for high definition I'll be ready with the XHA1 and HV30. The HV20 might be relegated to serve as the playback/editing deck and backup unit to the HV30.

    I'm sorry to hear of everyone's difficulty in finding the HV models. Given the current state of our global economy I'm not at all surprised that Canon HK may chose to streamline their offering here.

    When I was in Shanghai in April, a sidewalk tent presentation by Canon spotlighted their EOS 450 dSLR and the Vixia HV30 camcorder. Maybe the slimlining only a HK thing.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialK:
    ...Can anyone recommend a good but not overly expensive...
    If there's even the slightest chance of reconsidering your budget, take a look through this thread before heading down the $3000 camcorder path:

    http://www.geoexpat.com/forum/thread22464.html
    Last edited by CarterTG; 05-06-2008 at 02:08 AM. Reason: sleep deprivation

  5. #15

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    So i guess I'm gonna buy from B&H from your advice carter.
    How do i go about asking them for a PAL version of the HV20 rather than the NTSC and how much do u think postage will be to HK?


  6. #16

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    How do i go about asking them for a PAL version of the HV20 rather than the NTSC
    They have discrete item numbers for the different versions. If an item doesn't appear after running a search, it might indicate they've removed a discontinued item from their systems.

    When I last checked, it seems all they have is a showroom demo model of the PAL HV20. IMO, it's rather pricey for "demo" stock, but given the current demand, I can't say I'm surprised. Business is business.

    For what they're charging, it's certainly within striking distance of a new in-stock PAL HV30.

    PAL
    #CAHV20ER "Demo" PAL HV20 $1049.95usd
    #CAHV30E new PAL HV30 $1199.95usd

    It's not difficult to look up international shipping charges on their website.

    $55.40usd for UPS Worldwide Saver 3-5 business days
    $119.00usd for FedEx Priority 3-5 business days

    They indicate that Live Chat Help is available 9pm-7am HK time (Monday-Thursday):
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/formchat.jsp

    One additional observation to make...
    If you intend to shoot HD on the HV20 but output SD (yellow composite cable) as a temporary measure before acquiring an HDTV in the UK, then I would understand that to be the biggest reason for obtaining the PAL version.

    PAL is mostly a description of the old Standard Definition signal. In HK, the HD broadcast signal is not called "PAL HD". It's DTMB. Similarly, in the US, NTSC refers to SD while ATSC refers to the HD broadcast signal.

    What can get pumped into a HDTV's HDMI port on the other hand, might be far more forgiving. High Definition, whether it's for sets in the US or HK both are defined by 1920x1080 pixels. There's a minor lingering discrepancy where one uses 60 fields (not frames) per second and the other uses 50 fields. However, I can confirm first-hand that my NTSC Canon HV30 (60i/60Hz) when connected via HDMI to a HONG KONG Samsung LA40N81BD set (50i/50Hz) displays the same clear undistorted high-definition image as if it were connected to an American Samsung LNS4661F set (60i/60Hz).

    I would like to think that the people responsible for laying down the groundwork for High Definition had the foresight to make the regional HD specs around the world more compatible than not.

    So far, all I've proven is that north american HD gear plays nicely on HongKong HD displays. To see if this extends to the UK (and beyond), you'll have to find first-hand accounts of someone who's connected their stateside HD camera to a UK display via HDMI cable. You'll also want to do some research to see if anyone in the UK has edited American HD footage ([email protected]) and if they've had any issues.

    That would certainly free yourself to purchase the less expensive (and easier-to-find) NTSC HV20.

  7. #17

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    I have been floating around asking alot of questions about this PAL/NTSC issue on the HV20.com forum -
    "If i get a NTSC HV20 I can get it for like £300-400 quid online however if I go for a PAL version it'd make sense going for the HV30 which is about £630 as the HV20's are going for about £600 so for £200-300 extra should I stay with the PAL version?
    I'm struggling to figure out what the main set backs would be - NTSC is at 60i rather than 50i so I'd have to Pulldown every capture on my mac before editing whereas the PAL version is good to go?

    If this is the case how come yanks don't grab the PAL version?
    This extra stage could understandably be a pain if it means waiting an hour+ to pulldown the footage after already waiting an hour for the capture.

    When exporting to DVD and viewing on a British TV/Computer would there be a difference between NTSC and PAL recorded footage? We're in a world where both is supported anyway now right? and editing programs let you edit both formats anyway right?"


    I think the NTSC/PAL regioning needs to be fazed out, which i'm sure will happen with HD like u was addressing. Standardizing the formats especially with the world become seemingly smaller.
    I can't understand the reasoning - I get the reason behind DVDs and Console games etc but even thats ran its course surely with online gaming such as Xbox live etc.

    Its hard for me to get my head round the reasoning of spending double the money for a PAL version tbh and unless i find a real good reason I think i'll have to go NTSC for the sake of my bank balance - plus the money saved could go towards a cool 35mm adapter.


  8. #18

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    heres something i cam across -
    If you shoot 60i (NTSC) and convert to 50i (PAL) that conversion is extremely difficult. Broadcasters use equipment costing $50,000+ and the result still isn't perfect.

    If you shoot 24p (NTSC) and speed it up to 25p (PAL) the conversion is trivial. For HD, the resolution is identical, so you just play the same frames slightly faster. In this case, apart from the small speed up (which PAL viewers are used to for film material anyway) the quality is identical.


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