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Durability -- Sony X70 or others


nikonstills
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I have pretty much decided the Sony X70 would work for me as far as specs go, but am a little concerned about operating conditions.  I use my Nikon equipment regularly in nasty conditions  -- VERY dusty, rain (I use rain gear, but still gets a little wet), in the sun 12 hours, etc.  I clean after such use, and have never had a problem related to the conditions. 

The camcorder will not need to withstand the same length of time in the nasty conditions as my Nikon equipment does, but it will need to be used in dust and heat.  Are the lower end camcorders (under $3500) able to withstand harsh conditions??  The descriptions on the camcorders don't mention any type of weather seals.  Is there any amount of resistance to dust/dirt/moisture?? 

Thank you!!!

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I think most camcorders are way less sturdy than a weather sealed dslr with a magnesium body. I hardly use camcorders but I was really surprised that a camera like the Sony AX1 is just a lot of plastic. Makes sense to keep the weight down, but feels a lot less durable than a high end dslr body.

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Thanks, Xavier, that makes me feel a little better.  I was thinking of trying to use some protective gear, but I probably will not have time. 

My main body/lens combo is the Nikon D3x/70-200 -- before that, the D2Xs.  Those bodies are so well made, and put up with a lot of use.    I would much rather have heavy and durable, than light and flimsy!

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I would be careful. Nikons are tough nowadays, even I did not manage to break one in hours of rain, on the beaches, offshore etc. But my Sennheiser Micro dies. :-)

So, I would not take a pro body as a reference for plastic camcorders... What about an insurance?

 

 

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I have insurance, just not crazy about making a claim that would be because the equipment was not the right fit for the job.  Toughness is a big selling point in still camera bodies/lenses, but isn't even mentioned (at least not where I am looking) when selling camcorders.

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I would look for a rain cover at least, but that said our hired pros were quite hasty to save their camcorders back in peli cases, when we get hitten offshore in a small fishing boat by nice waves some years ago - they stopped recording just in time when the real fun began. Their results were ... so boring, we fired them... waste of money and time.

Or a motivation... :-)

 

Good luck!

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btw, the D800/810 has proven quite tough and some friendly D3x owners have degraded their pro bodies as b-cams, because the pictures of the small one are really really better, especially in the shadows.

So, if there's no need for AF while filming, you could think about the D810 instead?

Picture quality of the movies would be muuuch better, of course only as long as you could keep things in focus. :-) That said, you would have to invest several weeks of training... filming with a DSLR and long lenses is a pain, that's true.

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Between shoots, it might be wise to air-out all of your camera gear in a room with low humidity.  Lens fungus is no fun!

 

Lacking an area with low humidity, you could keep your gear in a dry container/case along with plenty of new desiccant packets (or some other form of desiccant/dehumidifier).  Avoid leather cases, as leather tends to harbor fungus more than most synthetic materials.

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btw, the D800/810 has proven quite tough and some friendly D3x owners have degraded their pro bodies as b-cams, because the pictures of the small one are really really better, especially in the shadows.

So, if there's no need for AF while filming, you could think about the D810 instead?

Picture quality of the movies would be muuuch better, of course only as long as you could keep things in focus. :-) That said, you would have to invest several weeks of training... filming with a DSLR and long lenses is a pain, that's true.

​I would love to get the D810, unfortunately, AF tracking of moving subjects is one of my needs.  I wish more than I can express that a DSLR or mirrorless system would work for me, as I would find it much more useful, overall.  I have been waiting forever for the D4x to come out, but I guess I'll be in a retirement home by the time that happens...the D4s is not what I am looking for....which leaves the D810 as my best option Nikon has right now.  As a stills body, the D3x is a fantastic camera, but I would find the D810 quite nice to have, too.

Tupp -- yes, I do my best to be sure everything is thoroughly dried if I have been working in the rain.  Stills are my main business, and I cannot really so "no" to photographing in the rain, but try to limit it as much as I can.  For video, I could just not do it if it is raining, but the dust......I cannot escape the dust! 

 

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I dont know much about the X70 but SONY generally speaking (the XDCAM Family) has a very solid reputation for durability in broadcast.  The large 1" sensor should be a good compromise for depth of field using a standard camcorder form facter.  You get SDI and full sized HDMI out and XLRs,built-in ND filters and more.  I hear that the pending 4k upgrade will be about $550.... so with 4k your still under $3,000.  This camera combined with (when you can afford it) a good DSLR and between the two, you'll have a camera for every purpose under the sun.  BTW Ive seen footage from the X70 mixed and graded with both the A7s and GH4, looking good.  Oh and lowlight with this looks pretty good.  I have two DSLR's  - I plan on this little camera when I can in order  to have a standard camcorder when I need one.

http://www.xdcam-user.com/reviews/cameras/sony-pxw-x70-review/

Good site >>>  http://www.xdcam-user.com

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I dont know much about the X70 but SONY generally speaking (the XDCAM Family) has a very solid reputation for durability in broadcast.  The large 1" sensor should be a good compromise for depth of field using a standard camcorder form facter.  You get SDI and full sized HDMI out and XLRs,built-in ND filters and more.  I hear that the pending 4k upgrade will be about $550.... so with 4k your still under $3,000.  This camera combined with (when you can afford it) a good DSLR and between the two, you'll have a camera for every purpose under the sun.  BTW Ive seen footage from the X70 mixed and graded with both the A7s and GH4, looking good.  Oh and lowlight with this looks pretty good.  I have two DSLR's  - I plan on this little camera when I can in order  to have a standard camcorder when I need one.

http://www.xdcam-user.com/reviews/cameras/sony-pxw-x70-review/

Good site >>>  http://www.xdcam-user.com

Thank you for the link!!  Most reviews are quite positive about the X70, only a few cons that seem to keep coming up.  Good to hear Sony has a nice reputation for durability, hope it carries over to the X70.  I am probably asking too much of a camera on the lower end, I just don't want to invest a lot until I know there are going to be jobs to make money from it.  I have had interest, but what people say and what people pay are two different things ;)

Until I need to replace my D3x, or there's a super compelling reason to get the D810, I am still holding out hope for a D4x...or, at this rate, a D5x :D.  However, I will probably end up with the D810, or its replacement, before Nikon brings out a camera in the single digital range that fits my needs. 

 

Thanks again!

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