What does an HD camera actually look like?

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by michael1248, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. michael1248

    michael1248 Member

    Feb 14, 2002


    I check out this forum daily and have learned very much from you guys in the last year...

    One of the things I learned is that an HD camera is very expensive. Apparently, that is one of the reasons my favorite show, "Survivor" allegedly will never be fimed in HD. (Although I still can't understand how a consistently rated top-ten show could not film in HD due to cost.)

    Now I hear that the cameras are very bulky and cannot be used as helmet cams during the Winter Olympics.

    Does anyone have a definitive answer or possibly some photos to explain/illustrate what an HD camera actually looks like, how much it costs, etc.?
  2. dagap

    dagap New Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    Alpharetta, GA
  3. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    You can now get handheld HD camcorders that aren't much bigger than standard ones.
  4. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    Mar 29, 2005
    720p Hidef Camcorder

    3.1 in. x 4.7 in. x 1.4 in.
    8.3 ounces
    10x optical-
    5Mpix stills
    mpeg4 vid@30fps@9.5mbps



    Sanyo VPC-HD1
  5. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Jul 24, 2001


    Well you are talking Commercial home video type Camcorders, that run with Single lense, ect..

    Profession, Video equipment ones (like the ones you see at sporting events) are very costly.
    And it is not just the Cameras, it is the video editing, storage, ect... that also costs.

    As for the Helmet cams... may not be the camera, but all the "transmission" equipment...

    It has been a slow evelotion to HD, but.. it is picking up to a degree.
    So far, I think most of the reality shows are not in HD... Off the ones I watch, only American Idol is.
  6. old7

    old7 That's all I know! TCF Club

    Aug 7, 2002
    Medford, Oregon
  7. JaserLet

    JaserLet New Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    It's not uncommon for the pros to spend more on the lens than on the rest of the camera itself! Our local TV station just bought Sony HDCAM camcorder (the big huge black beasts) and they said it cost something like $90,000 a piece after all the accessories (lenses, batteries, wireless microphones).

    Consumer HDV camcorders use the same tape and same bitrate (25mbits/second) for 720p and 1080i as they do regular low resolution 480i. To accomplish this use really strong, really severe compression. A mostly-still shot looks pretty good (dependant on the lens, bigger lens = more light = better picture), but motion shots are pretty blurry and have lots of artifacts. Still, consumer HDV looks better than consumer MiniDV. But it's nothing like what the pros use. The most compressed pro format is DVCProHD which uses double the bitrate of HDV (50mbits/sec vs 25 mbits).

    Duarbility is another concern. Your local TV stations use their cameras several hours every day, rain or shine. Your personal home camcorder probably gets used less than 2 hours each week, if that. I haven't touched my MiniDV camcorder since Christmas. Even if you keep the camcorder inside some kind of hard plastic shell, you still to deal with the moving parts inside, the tape mechanism, heads, etc.
  8. bdlucas

    bdlucas Right side up again.

    Feb 15, 2004
    That's a pretty low bitrate. For comparison, it's about half the ATSC HDTV bitrate for MPEG-2. MPEG-4 is capable of as good quality as MPEG-2 on HD at half the MPEG-2 bitrate, but that depends critically on the amount of processor power available for compression. Considering that the compression is being done in this case in real-time in a processor operating on a battery in an $800 consumer device, I'd be a little skeptical about image quality.
  9. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    Mar 29, 2005
    Absolutely, it's a low bitrate. It raised my eyebrow and why I put the bitrate down. The issue is elaborated on in the linked article. The other issue you didn't bring up is Sanyo's history of producing low consumer score camcorders. Of course, astute consumers of this device will want to view output of any device on their HD screen at home, and especially in consideration of these issues, to see if Sanyo has created a "good enough" HD palmcorder for their needs. There's always a price performance trade off. My neighbor has some emmys for his cinematography, but I think I'll pass on the $25K his "personal" HD camcorder set him back. (And BTW- he hates the PQ on it :rolleyes: )

    Nearly all HD camcorders do high bitrate Mpeg2 and burn tape. This device chose a different trade off due to the transfer rate of the GB flash. 2GB PRO SD flash can be had at $159, giving you a little less than 30 minutes of recording time. (People should be mindful to buy Pro-SD flash that handles the higher transfer rates**). If it were an mepg2 encoder, you are talking less than 15 minutes. Personally, I'd go for higher PQ with am Mpeg2 HD palmcorder because I seldom shoot really long things anyway. Now, if only there were fast enough Flash memory...

    What interests me most is not the camcorder application, but that these all have MPEG encoders of analog HD. It has obvious implications for DVRs. HD camcorders are an indicator of how close we are getting to HD analog DVR recording technology capability.

    The price is coming down, but I am not holding my breath for an Tivo standalone that can record 720p off component inputs....

    **non pro sd is typically around 8.5 max. Kensigton Elite pro specs say 12mbps and can be had for not an arm and a leg. high end pro-sd is around 15mbps- spec readers note case on MByte vs mbits).
  10. ChofuHS

    ChofuHS New Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    Top ten show not in HD is total BS. A bad joke. I can't believe it is for costs???

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