Looking At High Def Cameras

If you’ve been looking for a high definition video

camera, there are many out there for you to choose

from. In this article, we will take a look at

some of your options available in each of the

different formats.


JVC, Sony, and Canon all produce HDV cameras of

various stripes and abilities. The JVC HD100U

shoots 720p, offers a true 24p frame rate, and

provides a professional looking form factor, along

with sporting the ability to change out lenses.

The two popular HDV cameras from Sony include the

HDR-FX1 and the HVR-Z1U. Both of them shoot only

1080i and provide 24p. The XL h1 is Canon’s

entry to the HDV roundup. It provides HD SDI

output and gives you the option of interchanging

lenses. Like Sony, it shoots 1080i without true

24p capabilities.

All of these cameras are 3CCD models and all

sport level professional XLR audio inputs, with

the exception of the HDR-FX1. Sony also offers

single chip HDV cameras. The consumer HC1,

which is actually a miniature version of the FX1

is an excellent camera.


on the budget end of the Panasonic spectrum is the

AG-HVX200. This widely hyped camera does away with

tape based HD recording and will instead record

HD to either memory cards or even an attached hard

drive. It also offers the ability to shoot all

the above mentioned HD resolutions along with 50

and DV25.

Another popular camera for Panasonic is the Varicam

which shoots at 720p. A great feature with this

camera is the ability to shoot at variable frame

rates, which range from 4 – 60fps at 1fps intervals.

These different frame rates will allow you to

achieve a look similar to that of over cranking a

film camera.


Sony couples their HDCAM cameras together under

the name CineAlta. They cover a broad range of

prices and features, ranging from the XDCAM HD

models and the F350 to the widely used and widely

popular F950.

The XDCAM HD cameras record directly to Sony’s

professional disc media, which is physically

similar to Blu-ray discs. These cameras can also

record various quality levels of 1080i and 1080p,

along with regular SD DVCAM. Unlike other HD

cameras from Sony, the XDCAM HD supports i-Link

for file access and DV output.

Near the high end of the Sony HD solutions is the

F900. It captures both 1080p and 1080i at

various frame rates, including 25p and 50i. This

is also the most expensive camera from Sony, as

it costs around 80,000$!

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