Chasing in HD - When are you planning to switch?

With the technology getting ever-cheaper, it's only a matter of time before everybody has an HDTV in their home. As an HDTV owner, I can say with complete certainty that I wanted a camcorder to shoot HD almost as soon as I got my first TV. But that was over 3 years ago, when all HD cameras were in the $50-100K range. No normal person has that kind of bread, or the production facilities necessary to handle early HD implementation.

Fast forward to a year ago. JVC released the first mass market consumer HD video camera: the GR-HD1. It had one CCD chip, shot in 720p mode, and recorded to Mini-DV casettes. The single CCD design made the camera perform poorly at low light levels. But the biggest problem was that you couldn't really do anything with the video once it was on tape. It had a special codec that was not supported by most industry-leading video editing programs. Because of the limited nature of the system, and the fact that at $3K, it cost the same as SD (standard definition) cameras that could blow it away in terms of features and achievable color quality, the GR-HD1 was what I would call the "Early Adopters' Special".

Finally, we reach today. Sony has now released their HDR-FX1. It has 3 CCD chips, shoots in 1080i, and also uses Mini-DV tapes. Basically, the HDR-FX1 fixes all the stuff that that was wrong with the GR-HD1. It has all manual controls, and all the bells and whistles of a pro camera. And now that HD on Mini-DV tape is going more mainstream, Adobe and Apple have vowed to support it. About the only thing the Sony doesn't have is an XLR mic input. It also looks like it will initially list at $3,700, which is pretty high. However, I wouldn't doubt there are some among you willing to spend that much on a camcorder.

So with that all squared away, how many of you, if anybody just yet, are planning to make the move over to HD? Do any of you have plans for this in the future? Having seen the only two videos I know of that have weather chasing in HD (the latest NOVA weather special and a 30 minute segment that ran on INHD network's news magazine), I can't wait to try shooting for myself. The quality of storm chase video looks as good on my monitor (Samsung DLP) as untouched digital still photos I've shot myself, with the same amount of detail visible.
 
Basically, the HDR-FX1 fixes all the stuff that that was wrong with the GR-HD1.

I'd be very cautious about going that far without even seeing any video samples yet! Yes, the FX1 does LOOK like a significant step forward for HDV technology, but I have yet to see any real footage from a production model. Since it's lined up to partially "replace" or upgrade upon the VX-2100, it's a pretty good assumption that it'll perform well. That said, it is still Sony's first venture into HDV, so it'll likely have some kinks to work out...

I've been reading up quite a bit on the FX1 as well, since I'm on the verge of making a camcorder purchase. I did nail down my decision to go for the VX2100 over the Canon GL2, but the FX1 announcement has caused me to delay my purchase to see how the FX1 looks. There are a lot of people who have big problems with the HDV, the least of which deals with the use of the antiquated MPEG2 codec used in the HDV standard. There's an awful lot of compression that occurs in order to make the data fit onto a standard miniDV cassette. Why in the world they all decided to keep the miniDV cassette format and not just make a new physical format is beyond me. I suppose the good thing from is that you can record both SD and HD on the same cassette, but that also means that you have to compress the HD data down a lot...

I'm currently on the wait-and-see lits. I tend to favor the future-proof idea, but if it appears that the FX1 is flawed, I think I'll go for the discounted-VX2100 (which should be discounted with the arrival of the FX1, as Sony is marketing it to draw in the previous VX2100 owns to the world of HDV). If anything, the technology is advancing so quickly that most people only have their camcorder for 4-5 years. So, if I stay with a VX2100 at a decent price, I'll have more to spend in a few years on a more-improved second-generation, HDV camcorder.
 
With the technology getting ever-cheaper, it's only a matter of time before everybody has an HDTV in their home.

Actually, it's only a matter of time before everybody will either have to buy a HDTV equipped unit, or a converter.

Finally although an announcement had been made that all TV programs must be broadcasting in digital by 2006, it is actually not a requirement. A government requirement is that all TV analogue transmissions would be switched off in 2006 once at least 85% of households can receive digital TV, although this deadline is unlike to be met.

As for when I will switch...when the price comes down.
 
With the technology getting ever-cheaper, it's only a matter of time before everybody has an HDTV in their home.

Actually, it's only a matter of time before everybody will either have to buy a HDTV equipped unit, or a converter.

Finally although an announcement had been made that all TV programs must be broadcasting in digital by 2006, it is actually not a requirement. A government requirement is that all TV analogue transmissions would be switched off in 2006 once at least 85% of households can receive digital TV, although this deadline is unlike to be met.

As for when I will switch...when the price comes down.

Actually you do not have to buy a new tv when the switch is made nor will you have to have an HDTV capable tv or converter.

Digital and HD are seperate .

Nothing beats football and now baseball in HD though... WOW

Good link for Okla. HD http://www.hdtvok.com/
 
Were way off..

HDV is hard to edit.. buggy, its Mpeg2 highly compressed.
HDV televisions are few and far between
HDV cameras although not sold to us poor folks yet.. will soon be released by Sony in the 5k range..

I shoot video for a living.. and realistically HDV is another 5 years away before technology is afordable for acquistion and viewing by the mass of the population.

my 2 c
 
I recommend worrying more about 24p for now..

24p or 24 frames per second is filmic in its ratio.

When you watch video ie soap opera or local news footage.. it looks different It looks more real.. Similiar to high Def. Video 60i or 60 interlaced frames.. Our eyes percieve info in 60 frames per second

24 frames on the other hand looks surreal and hypnotic.. just like at the movies.. it is soothing and more enjoyable inmy opinion.. High Def will definetly take some getting used to by most folks.. As they have been watching 24 frame movies allll their lives...

Im currently working on My storm chasing documentary in 24 p ;)
 
We do need that HD camera to take pictures to take advantage of our HD display though.. :wink:

Uprezing will not produce the same results.
 
HDV cameras although not sold to us poor folks yet.. will soon be released by Sony in the 5k range..

my 2 c

Consensus seems to be that the prosumer version of the Sony HDV cam. will be sold for around $3500 street price...
 
I read 5k
Initially they wont hurt their pd170 base and 2100

But its all speculation
 
I got confused on the pricing issue and find that the new HD cam the consumer version is 3700 and i guess they are making a prosumer version with xlr inputs for 7k + thats the one to look at if your serious about your audio.

The above info i posted was from info i got back at NAB in april. I guess things have changed since. lol

So i stand corrected. Thanks Jeff :wink:
 
It really is amazing how slowly the HDTV technology rolls out.
1979 - Initial concept
1988 - US design
1993 - US standardization
1998 - US production

To add to what fplowman said, Wikipedia indicates "As of January 2004, indications from industry and FCC officials including its chairman are that the cutoff date for digital-only broadcasts will not meet the intended 2007 and the actual timeline for analog shutoff in the US will realistically be in the 2010–2015 timeframe." Looks like this technology will take a long time to diffuse down to the level that NTSC/VHS did in the 1980s.

Meanwhile all other technology blows by with incredible developments each five years.
 
Were way off..

HDV is hard to edit.. buggy, its Mpeg2 highly compressed.
HDV televisions are few and far between
HDV cameras although not sold to us poor folks yet.. will soon be released by Sony in the 5k range..

I shoot video for a living.. and realistically HDV is another 5 years away before technology is afordable for acquistion and viewing by the mass of the population.

my 2 c

Apple HDV editor out next week and under $100
Guess I would need a Mac. though

http://www.apple.com/ilife/imovie/
 
HD? I can wait.... good 3CCDs that are relatively inexpensive are there for the taking. The Sony HD does look awesome, but improvements will come over the next year or two and price will drop. Good things come to those who wait.
 
Thank our government for the hesitation in establishing broadcast standards. It ended up being a good thing, though... dragginging on into the digital revolution.
Japan has had broadcast HDTV for quite a while, but the standard is analog, and it will be a costly and difficult task to convert their existing sysytem to digital.

It really is amazing how slowly the HDTV technology rolls out.
1979 - Initial concept
1988 - US design
1993 - US standardization
1998 - US production
 
Tim:
I'm wondering if the space on a MiniDV tape is used faster with the higher per-frame size that comes along with the HD format.
Basically, does a 60 minute MiniDV tape last 60 minutes?

Thanks,
Steve Miller
Tulsa, OK
www.HamWx.com
 
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