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DVX100B or Z1U?


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#1 Chris Reilly

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 06:59 PM

I am getting a camera for both wedding/events and Narratives (short, feature or documentary). I do not know which one is the better buy. I know the Z1 has better resolution, but I know that the 24P cam has the "film-look." Which one do you believe is the best buy? Please note that I only have $3500 to spend, so I want to buy the best for this amount...

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#2 Nathan Milford

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 07:44 PM

Seeing as the Z1 is just under $5000 and the 100B is just above $3500, I think your decision has been made.

But don't forget you also need a tripod and other expensive accessories.... $3500 is not enough to really get you started.
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#3 Chris Reilly

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 07:53 PM

Seeing as the Z1 is just under $5000 and the 100B is just above $3500, I think your decision has been made.

But don't forget you also need a tripod and other expensive accessories.... $3500 is not enough to really get you started.


I found a Z1 for about 3800 which I would definitely pay, and the other stuff, I will slowly accumulate.
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#4 Brian Wells

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 08:13 PM

HD or 24P, it all depends on what your clients need.

One of my clients produces music videos for hip hop artists. The first two projects he produced were shot with large budgets (10K, 18K respectively) on a VariCam and the most recent I shot low budget style on the DVX100. He was more impressed with the quality of the video I shot on the DVX100 than the ones the other guy shot on a VariCam. The real difference was in the way I lit the scenes and handled the camera, of course! (BTW, I don't consider myself a very good DP, but the client was really happy in this instance).

The client now prefers the "look" of the DVX100 to the VariCam. Go figure.

Perception is reality.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 08:48 PM

If you can wait, then wait. Save up for a 24P HD camera like the HVX200 or the JVC camera, or try the Canon XL-H1, which does a decent 24P simulation.

If you can't wait, it just comes down to whether you value HD resolution or the 24P "film look" effect more. If the primary reason for the camera, and what will pay it off, are these weddings and other events, find out which your clients prefer more. Maybe the 24P "film look" doesn't appeal to them, or maybe they have no need for an HD version.

Edited by David Mullen, 02 January 2006 - 08:49 PM.

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#6 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 12:13 PM

I found a Z1 for about 3800 which I would definitely pay, and the other stuff, I will slowly accumulate.

Careful: Often a deal which appears to be too good to be true, is.

For example, B&H's current price for a Z1 is $4,600. I strongly recommend avoiding any vendor offering to sell a cam for 10% less than B&H's price!
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/

A priced-too-good-to-be-true item, if it arrives at all, may arrive without a manufacturer's warranty, may arrive without all of the documentation, software & accessories normally included by the manufacturer, may be black market or worse, may be a demo or returned or used but sold as new, may be defective.

Refer also to:
http://www.resellerratings.com/

If a vendor has a rating below 8.5 on Reseller Ratings (or worse, no rating), run away!

Concerning your original question: For wedding and event work, 1/3" 3-CCD SD cams such as the DVX-100B (note the "B"; this is the current, updated version) and PD-170 are often more appropriate than any of the new low-cost 1/3" 3-CCD HD cams, because the DVX-100B & PD-170 are _much_ more light sensitive than these HD cams. In most wedding & event work it's not permissible to set up lights -- you must work with available light 99% of the time. HD cams such as the Z1 produce barely adequate video in typical indoor ambient light, even when its gain is turned up.

Given your desire to also produce narrative "films", I'd recommend giving the excellent DVX-100B, with its 24p capability, serious consideration.

Edited by Peter DeCrescenzo, 03 January 2006 - 12:54 PM.

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