It occurs to me that I haven’t talked about filmmaking for a long while – no surprise there. Like most filmmakers, I’m cash-poor (buying up Patriot needs, don’tcha know). But NAB recently wrapped up, and I thought I’d write up a little something on the cameras that came out.
The Scarlet from RED seems interesting, but a little toy-like, and the comments about how you pull focus on that thing do ring true, even if it does end up being a 3K resolution camera. Unless RED itself expects us to buy a 35mm lens adapter as a matter of course.The Sony HVR-Z7U looks nice in theory, and has an interchangeable lens (not that I’d be able to afford a lens change though) but still uses tape, and the HDV codec is starting to get a little long in the tooth.
Which leaves the Panasonic entries – I own a DVX100A, and I’ve been very happy with it, but it’s Standard Def, which is not the way the world’s going. They introduced 2 cams – the AG-HPX170…and the AG-HMC150.
Either could be a replacement for my DVX – the HPX shoots on P2 cards, which are now a proven technology, and foregoes any tape drive at all (its ancestor, the HVX200 has a tape drive and P2 cards) and is rumored to have over-and undercranking capabilities like the HVX, but is cheaper and lighter. The HMC may have those too, but it shoots on SD cards (like my digital camera) to the AVCHD codec, which may make it cheaper still by the time it actually gets to the street, but isn’t supported at this time by my home NLE, Adobe Premiere (although that may change as well). As it stands right now, had I money in my pocket and these cameras were already out and selling, I think my choice would be the HPX. Form factor I’m familiar with, proven technology under the hood, likely most of the stuff I already own would work.