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Old    Lantz (elantz)      Join Date: Jul 2006       10-29-2006, 11:13 AM Reply   
Instead of buying more wakeboard gear, for myself, this holiday season I though I'd dabble into video. I think my crew would benefit from being able to visually analyze our strengths and weaknesses.

I've done quite a bit of research and I think I have narrowed my choices down to the Panasonic GS-500 or the Sony HDR-SR1.

The GS500 seems to be a proven technology and will be good at capturing wakeboard footage. The SR1 seems to be the way of the future (HDD, HDV, etc...) , but I'm not sure it's superior to the GS500 for wakeboarding shots.

If anyone has any opinions on either of these camcorders I'd sure appreciate your input.
Old    Jonathan Metherell (jonm)      Join Date: Jan 2002       10-30-2006, 5:10 PM Reply   
I have been looking at buying the same 2 cameras. My couple year old pasnasonic (pvdv953) has gone missing. I really liked it. the HD sony sounds cool but I wonder how much more memory the vid uses. That panasonic took up crazy hard drive space as it was.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       10-30-2006, 5:17 PM Reply   
HDV is not the future for shooting action sports IMHO. Spend the $ on a good 3 chip DV based unit.
Old    Lantz (elantz)      Join Date: Jul 2006       10-30-2006, 7:57 PM Reply   
Rich, could you explain why? The only negative I've read concerning the HDV so far is fast pans and fast action get choppy. Which is why I would rule out the Sony, if true. I read a little about this on a camera forum, but there wasn't a technical reason behind it. I guess I'd like to understand that.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       10-30-2006, 10:11 PM Reply   
"The only negative I've read concerning the HDV so far is fast pans and fast action get choppy."

That pretty well sums it up. Graphics, slow motion, FX are not friendly with GOP based codecs as well.
Old    Paul (gherk)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-30-2006, 10:51 PM Reply   
Not to mention there isn't much software support for the HD cams right now. I remember a few minutes of video ate up a lot of hard drive space and the picture quality doesn't necessarily get much better than standard video on a consumer level cam.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       10-31-2006, 6:11 AM Reply   
You can shoot true widescreen DV with the Sony though. Remember all these new HDV units also shoot DV along with the benefits of their 16X9 chips and other advances in the electronics.
Old    Lantz (elantz)      Join Date: Jul 2006       10-31-2006, 8:07 AM Reply   
Thanks Paul and Rich. If the Sony is capable of shooting good action DV and all it would take is development time for the software to catch up for good action HDV, then I'd be OK with that. If the HDV is always gonna suck with action shots then my choice is clear. Is it just the post shot software that is holding back action shots from the HD cams, or is it the camera hardware (processing power?) capabilities at this point?
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       10-31-2006, 10:12 AM Reply   
The HDV codec uses a "group of pictures" style of compression which in simple terms means only a single frame in a group of frames has complete picture information. The codec interpolates the frames inbetween and "guesses" at the movement. The more movement the more it has to interpolate. Slo motion is interpolated via software as well so you end up with double interpolation - yuk!

Improvements in software could help but HDV is just not designed to handle movement/action. 720p60 is the HD format that most sports TV is being broadcast in and shot with these days. HDV can't do 60 progressive frames a second so it's not being used for that. The Panasonic DVCpro HD codec does a good job at a decent data rate but it still has too much bandwidth to record onto DV tape. As solid state data storage get's cheaper and faster all the prosumer style cams will move to codecs like the Panasonic and tape will go away for good. The HDV codec was built around the limitations of DV tape and that will be it's downfall.
Old    Lantz (elantz)      Join Date: Jul 2006       10-31-2006, 9:20 PM Reply   
Rich, Thanks a bunch. That really helps!

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