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camera recommendations please


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#1 Robert Glenn

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 04:15 PM

I need to buy a camera ASAP for an important church function. I can spend 500 dollars max, just to let you know. Any recommendations would be apreciated!
Robert
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#2 Michael Collier

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 04:58 PM

500 bucks wont buy you anything of value. sorry, its just not enough to do anymore than shoot home videos of your kids soccer game. the only advice I can give is buy a mini-DV that has an external mic input. and if you can find one that will give even modest control over exposure, most give you little or no control at all.

other than that theres not much a recomendation can do for you, they all look equally bad at that price point, its just not a market they try and aim at prosumers. BTW this is not the website to request advice like this. Most on here are versed in cameras upwards of $5000-$100,000. I doubt many of them know the camera models availible in that $500 price range, I couldn't name one. Try a consumer video forum. not a pro cinematography site
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#3 joey p

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 06:16 PM

I own a sony handy cam that I bought from wal-mart for less than $300.00. The quality is great for the price. Make sure you use a tripod. The only problem is that it does not have an external mic input. The internal mic is ok as long as you're close to your subject. If you can record the audio on a different media, this would be a good camera for your price budget.

Edited by joey p, 14 December 2005 - 06:20 PM.

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#4 Robert Glenn

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 06:24 PM

500 bucks wont buy you anything of value. sorry, its just not enough to do anymore than shoot home videos of your kids soccer game. the only advice I can give is buy a mini-DV that has an external mic input. and if you can find one that will give even modest control over exposure, most give you little or no control at all.

other than that theres not much a recomendation can do for you, they all look equally bad at that price point, its just not a market they try and aim at prosumers. BTW this is not the website to request advice like this. Most on here are versed in cameras upwards of $5000-$100,000. I doubt many of them know the camera models availible in that $500 price range, I couldn't name one. Try a consumer video forum. not a pro cinematography site

When did this forum become a pros-only forum? I'm just asking in a video forum about a decent consumer video camera, since I do have an account here. If everybody in 'video' owns professional equipment only, then they don't have to reply back, the thread will drop out of site, and I will have found something in the meantime. Thanks for the advice (not)
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#5 seth christian

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 06:39 PM

Panasonic's GS Series (3CCD) cameras are outstanding! It's somewhat close to TV
standards because of the 3chip color separations. There's GS75, GS400, GS...etc.
all different models, the only differences are how high the gig pixel you're willing
to pay for. Anything over 3gb pixel rate is good, anything lower is OK but not
quite as fine in quality. You can find
it on ebay for under $300 but new at HHGregg or Circuit City
or tons of other websites will run you $400-$800 depending on what model you
decide to go with.

Thats your only cameras thats worth while...video wise, everything
else just looks like home camera soccer game stuff like he said
earlier.
Good Luck on finding one you like!
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#6 Brian Wells

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 06:40 PM

When did this forum become a pros-only forum?

Since the day it was created. See the top of your brower?
"Cinematography.com :: Profesional Motion Picture Camera People, News, and Resources"

:D

Anyways...

Here's what I would do with $500. Find a used Sony DCR-TRV120 Digital8 camera with a 3.7 - 92.5mm vari-focal (zoom) lens. You will learn to appreciate the shallow depth of field available with this type of lens.

Found one on eBay for $135.

Wow, that leaves the other $365 for lighting (work lights, bounce boards, chinese lantern, fluorescents, gels, diffusion, kit stands, black wrap, C47's, etc. etc.) and sound (Octava hypercardioid mic, boom pole, XLR adapter, headphones).

Hey, you might even be able to afford a Bogen 501 head and some tripod legs, too. :D
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#7 Robert Glenn

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 08:06 PM

Since the day it was created. See the top of your brower?
"Cinematography.com :: Profesional Motion Picture Camera People, News, and Resources"

:D

Anyways...

Here's what I would do with $500. Find a used Sony DCR-TRV120 Digital8 camera with a 3.7 - 92.5mm vari-focal (zoom) lens. You will learn to appreciate the shallow depth of field available with this kind of reach.

Found one on eBay for $135.

Wow, that leaves the other $365 for lighting (work lights, bounce boards, chinese lantern, fluorescents, gels, diffusion, kit stands, black wrap, C47's, etc. etc.) and sound (Octava hypercardioid mic, boom pole, XLR adapter, headphones).

Hey, you might even be able to afford a Bogen 501 head and some tripod legs, too. :D

ha ha I think we'll endup using the ambient light.. it doesn't have to look spectacular really, but thanks for the suggestions. I'll probably suggest the digital8 camera since it's really cheap.. but maybe they'll want something else, but will probably settle for a wal mart camera :P
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#8 Charlie Seper

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 07:17 PM

Robert, the advise about the used TRV120 and a new Panny GS series is pretty good I think. Also, the Sony TRV900. That was a fine cam and there's a bunch of them out there used.

f you look to buy something mail order you can find much better deals on new items too. A Canon Optura Xi is normally over a thousand but you might find one mail order for closer to $500 to $700. That's a pretty good cam for the money too and it has the decent low light performance you'll need in a church where the lighting isn't very good much of the time.

I have some web pages I put up for my church clients. They aren't finished yet but you might find some useful info there, (there's nothing for sale): Christian Film Maker

Edited by Charlie Seper, 16 December 2005 - 07:20 PM.

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#9 David Gottlieb

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 07:59 PM

Go for the Digital8 - I've used it for years and it looks a ton better than the comparatively priced MiniDV camcorders - the image seems to be warmer and you can find models with focus wheels if you look hard - the manual options are available for a lot cheaper on D8 because people have moved to smaller and 'newer' MiniDV cams, but don't underestimate the look. My clients think I use a special camcorder to record events and I don't even have to color correct (most of the time)- it just naturally looks different from most MiniDV cams, and subsequently disassociates its look from a 'soccer movie's.' Then again, if you've got the funding, go for a 3CCD camcorder - but for under $500 if you don't mind the size I'd go with Digital8. Also, some older models are better than the current Best Buy one, although they are larger (always a drawback to D8). With a tripod and some lighting you'd be suprised what you can get out of $500.

Hope this helps - you can still be "professional" with a low budget - this has been my only job for over a year and clients always care more about the quality of the product than the camera it was recorded on; especially when the budget is tight (which it almost always is with small organizations like churches). Good luck choosing, but always remember you could just rent a higher end cam if its a one-time event (most range about $200-300 a day), but that has to do more with their preferences, and whether you would get to keep the camera should you buy one.

Edited by David Gottlieb, 16 December 2005 - 08:00 PM.

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Visual Products

Metropolis Post

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