Author Topic: What's a good video camera for storm chasing?  (Read 6244 times)

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Offline Jimmy Deguara

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What's a good video camera for storm chasing?
« on: 23 December 2005, 01:52:14 PM »
This information below aims to promote discussion amongst those with a wealth of up to date knowledge of video camera models on the market. The main aim is for weather videography.

What do I need to look for in buying a video camera for storm chasing?

It is an often asked question? So what are the most important features required in pourchasing a good video camera that can handle the range of colours and scenes for storm chasing?

One of the first items I tend to look for is the fixed infinity focusing feature. Not necessarily do all cameras have this feature. What this means is you can fix your focus on a distant object - perhaps 100metres away and this means that when trying to focus on not so sharp cloud features, you don't get in and out bluriness.

The clarity or resolution of the camera is the next most important feature and often is correlated with the price differences. Obviously digital video cameras with 3CCD chips are the current standard of top of the range consumer or prosumer video cameras. However, the size oand quality of the sensor means that a single chip can achieve sometimes even better quality than some 3CCD chips. Current prosumer models are conentrating on high definition HD video cameras

Battery power for some is an issue but is usually not the most asked feature. When you are out chasing however, it is important to have up to a few hours of battery power. The last thing you want is to be shut down when the real action begins and be without bettery power.

So what models are there out there? The Canon XM2 which I purchased has excellent quality but has been superceded by the Sony HD digital video camera and also it's more professional counterpart the Canon XL2. Currently still to be released are the prosumers from Canon and Panasonic.


Jimmy Deguara
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Australian Thunderbolt Tours

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Offline Brad Hannon

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Re: What's a good video camera for storm chasing?
« Reply #1 on: 05 January 2006, 05:02:08 AM »
Great info Jimmy!  I certainly could've done with that brief of info this time last year when I was learning about what I needed in a video camera.  In the end I learnt it from doing hours of homework on the issue and going to many stores and asking questions and describing the conditions that I was intending to use the camera for.

Ultimately I was on a budget of around $1500 so I went for the Canon MVX20i which (for its compact size) has a large single sensor and relatively large barrel/lens to allow as much light to enter as possible.  It has the infinity focus you talk about and did a brilliant job for the money in my opinion.  I think the colours and contrasts in my DVD are testiment to this.

Just yesterday I bought a couple of wide angle lenses (0.5 and 0.3) to compliment the camera and I look forward to using them this year!

hmmm June 2nd......

Offline David C

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Re: What's a good video camera for storm chasing?
« Reply #2 on: 16 February 2006, 05:31:35 PM »
Hi guys,

Canon have a new HD 16:9 replacement for the XM2 but expensive.
Panasonic have a new replcament for the DX100 but expensive.

16:9 is top priority but the cheapest option is the 3ccd sony HD. I'm just not sure it is worth 4,500 on ebay
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