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which camera for real filmlook?


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#1 Danielito

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 11:47 AM

Hi guys,

Me and some friends are looking to buy a film camera as we want to make a film with a real film look. Is the HVX200 or DVX100 good for that or is any other film camera better to go for it in the same price range? What about the Canon XL2 and the Sony HVR-A1e? Which camera can you consider as good to work with for realizing a film for 24p?

Thanks a lot!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 11:51 AM

Don't cross post. Which category do you want this question to be answered in?
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#3 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 08:51 PM

Both the HVX and DVX are great cameras. Again it all depends on many factors: ie budget, the need to shoot HD or SD, etc... So are you going to do a filmout? Or just finish on tape? I myself have a DVX and it's a great camera for 24p. To be honest(I know I'm going to probably get reamed for saying this) if you want a "real" film look...shoot on film(maybe super 8 or 16mm).

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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 11:54 AM

Both the HVX and DVX are great cameras. Again it all depends on many factors: ie budget, the need to shoot HD or SD, etc... So are you going to do a filmout? Or just finish on tape? I myself have a DVX and it's a great camera for 24p. To be honest(I know I'm going to probably get reamed for saying this) if you want a "real" film look...shoot on film(maybe super 8 or 16mm).

Kev



If you want a "real" film look, why don't you buy a real film camera? A nice sync 16mm camera can be had for a couple grand, then you can use the rest of the cost of, say, an HVX toward film, processing and transfer.
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#5 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 01:35 PM

If you want a "real" film look, why don't you buy a real film camera? A nice sync 16mm camera can be had for a couple grand, then you can use the rest of the cost of, say, an HVX toward film, processing and transfer.



My sentiments exactly!


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#6 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 02:16 PM

If you want a "real" film look, why don't you buy a real film camera? A nice sync 16mm camera can be had for a couple grand, then you can use the rest of the cost of, say, an HVX toward film, processing and transfer.

Aye. Pick up a small little Arri S or somthing and make sure it has a sync motor. Which you could probably get for a lot less then a HVX. But if you guy are really just starting out and trying to learn about story telling and what not, DVX100 might be best.
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#7 Robert Hughes

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 12:44 PM

we want to make a film with a real film look

Hah! Reminds me of the cheap furniture stores selling pressboard/vinyl covered shelves with "real simulated wood grain", or the "brick" condos made of framed chipboard with a brick face. :P

What is real if it's false?

Edited by Robert Hughes, 13 July 2006 - 12:45 PM.

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#8 Chris Keth

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 09:54 PM

Aye. Pick up a small little Arri S or somthing and make sure it has a sync motor. Which you could probably get for a lot less then a HVX. But if you guy are really just starting out and trying to learn about story telling and what not, DVX100 might be best.



Not a bad plan. Arri Ss are great, quite cheap cameras that shoot images steady as a rock. Allow me to clarify my comment above a little bit, as well. If you want to get into filmmaking fairly cheaply, the DVX is a very good choice for that. If you want to make a film with a "real" film look, video is not the way to go. You can make excellent films on video formats, but they don't look like film. It's just a matter if figuring out exactly what you want, and by all means keep asking questions. This is the place!
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#9 David Sweetman

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 11:17 PM

Danielito,

You realize that FILM and VIDEO are two completely different things, right? You said you wanted a real film camera, but you cited only video cameras.

Film means you'll be working with big reels of raw film stock; you'll run it through a camera, the light will hit the emulsion on the film, and you'll have to develop it at a film lab before you can see an image, just like you would have to do with still photograhy film.

The Digital Video cameras you mentioned will give you a good image, but it will be really nothing like film.
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#10 Danielito

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 04:11 AM

Aye. Pick up a small little Arri S or somthing and make sure it has a sync motor. Which you could probably get for a lot less then a HVX. But if you guy are really just starting out and trying to learn about story telling and what not, DVX100 might be best.




Thanks for reply, so I should look for an Arry S camera.. do you have any suggestions where I can buy one or could you give me the right model name so I can check the web. Price range can be US$ 4000

Thanks for your help!


Danielito,

You realize that FILM and VIDEO are two completely different things, right? You said you wanted a real film camera, but you cited only video cameras.

Film means you'll be working with big reels of raw film stock; you'll run it through a camera, the light will hit the emulsion on the film, and you'll have to develop it at a film lab before you can see an image, just like you would have to do with still photograhy film.

The Digital Video cameras you mentioned will give you a good image, but it will be really nothing like film.



I heard that the video cameras I have mentionned do simulate the image like a real filmcamera. like 24p shots with gamma curve.. so that's why I have mentionned these cameras. It's just that the real filmcameras are to expensive or do you know any good one in a price range of 4000 US$?

Many thanks!

Not a bad plan. Arri Ss are great, quite cheap cameras that shoot images steady as a rock. Allow me to clarify my comment above a little bit, as well. If you want to get into filmmaking fairly cheaply, the DVX is a very good choice for that. If you want to make a film with a "real" film look, video is not the way to go. You can make excellent films on video formats, but they don't look like film. It's just a matter if figuring out exactly what you want, and by all means keep asking questions. This is the place!



thanks for reply. I heard the new video cameras do simulate the real filmlook. for example the HVX200 can be saved to P2 cards with a very high resolution. so it's possible to shot 24p format (as filmcameras does shoot) with the camera and it looks like a real film movie on the screen.
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#11 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 08:09 PM

The thing is that video camera' "film look" doesn't look all that much like film, at least not to me. That's not to say that it looks bad, I love DVXs and HVXs and the footage they spit out when you light right for them. Screw trying to make it look like film, just make it look good.
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#12 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 12:47 AM

Thanks for reply, so I should look for an Arry S camera.. do you have any suggestions where I can buy one or could you give me the right model name so I can check the web. Price range can be US$ 4000

Thanks for your help!
I heard that the video cameras I have mentionned do simulate the image like a real filmcamera. like 24p shots with gamma curve.. so that's why I have mentionned these cameras. It's just that the real filmcameras are to expensive or do you know any good one in a price range of 4000 US$?

Many thanks!
thanks for reply. I heard the new video cameras do simulate the real filmlook. for example the HVX200 can be saved to P2 cards with a very high resolution. so it's possible to shot 24p format (as filmcameras does shoot) with the camera and it looks like a real film movie on the screen.




Well, 24p to me looks like a cross between video and film so it's more of a hybrid look. Film cameras can cost just as much or sometimes less than a DVX or HVX, depending on make and model.


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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 01:02 AM

The issue with film is not so much the cost of the camera, but the cost of film running through it. You could buy a decent 16mm camera for the cost of a DVX100 but shooting an hour's worth of footage is going to cost more in 16mm than buying a 60 min. Mini-DV tape.

As for 24P, it looks like 24P, which has a hybrid film-video look, more film-like than interlaced-scan video but not completely like film either. It can be close depending on the camera and format -- 4:4:4 HD on a 35mm-sized sensor like the Genesis would be closer to a 35mm film look than 4:1:1 DV on a 1/3" CCD camcorder, for example. Lens optics also make a difference.

But you just have to accept that prosumer 24P DV and HDV will not be completely film-like even if it looks OK, and just try and make the best pictures you can with them if you can't afford to use film, or don't want to for some reason.
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#14 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 05:39 AM

dvx with m2 adapter + some nice nikon primes, that would give you a good enough look for your productions. i wouldnt buy a film camera unless i had enough money to afford shooting constantly on film. with mini dv instead you can keep shooting and shooting at a reasonable price, which is the most important thing. film is an amazing tool, but not essential to produce a good photographed film. with the m2 adapter, nice composition and good lighting you will make your dreams come true.

good luck
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#15 Dominic Case

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 07:02 PM

Before you go seeking a "film look", try to define what it is that you mean by "film look".

Is it the contrast range?
or the 24 fps sequential frame rate?
or the resolution?
or the random grain structure compared with the fixed pixel pattern?
or the general tendency of video productions to be lit less creatively? (for reasons of budget and time, not for any technical or creative reason)
or something else?

If you can answer that clearly and confidently, then I suggest it is worth your while getting a real film camera.

If not, then don't worry about what people tell you "looks like film", go and get a good digital camera and concentrate on storytelling techniques. Or on shooting and lighting for the medium you are working with.
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#16 Patrick T King

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 07:13 PM

Out of interest...

Why don't Film Cameras have a "Video Look" mode?


Hmmmmmmmmmm...
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#17 Zamir Merali

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 10:36 PM

Out of interest...

Why don't Film Cameras have a "Video Look" mode?
Hmmmmmmmmmm...


Because what most people refer to as the video look is 60i frame rate. That's imposible to get in film. Another reason is that film cameras are way different from video cameras in the way that they don't have many setting other than framerate, zoom, focus, iris etc. There is no cc or gama curve. Thats all dictated by the type of film you use. The last reason is that it would be completely pointless to have a video mode because if you want your footage to look like vide you could save truck loads of money by shooting on video. Film is a format meant for storytelling and 24 frames per second is the framerate for storytelling. There is no way to change the general publics expectations so all you can do is try to meet them.
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#18 Danielito

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 06:21 AM

dvx with m2 adapter + some nice nikon primes, that would give you a good enough look for your productions. i wouldnt buy a film camera unless i had enough money to afford shooting constantly on film. with mini dv instead you can keep shooting and shooting at a reasonable price, which is the most important thing. film is an amazing tool, but not essential to produce a good photographed film. with the m2 adapter, nice composition and good lighting you will make your dreams come true.

good luck



Hi Frederic

I realize what you mean. Sounds like film is for profi production after a while learning with DVX or HVX. But what is m2 adapter and the nikon primes you are mentionning? are these filter to put on the lens? Could you be a bit more specific ? Thanks a lot, Danielito


Before you go seeking a "film look", try to define what it is that you mean by "film look".

Is it the contrast range?
or the 24 fps sequential frame rate?
or the resolution?
or the random grain structure compared with the fixed pixel pattern?
or the general tendency of video productions to be lit less creatively? (for reasons of budget and time, not for any technical or creative reason)
or something else?

If you can answer that clearly and confidently, then I suggest it is worth your while getting a real film camera.

If not, then don't worry about what people tell you "looks like film", go and get a good digital camera and concentrate on storytelling techniques. Or on shooting and lighting for the medium you are working with.


I am looking for the contrast range of course and the the cinema film look style. I have almost finnished the script and after ending it we would like to produce the film. But the film needs to look in a professional way as we would like to show it to other people right ? So if we start to tell the story with a cheap video camera,then it looks like a "wanna be film" so to go a bit more in the professional way the video camera sould own the capacity to make the film look like "once upon a time in mexico" for example. That's a real film to me. This film was shot with the sony altavista camera which is also digital. So is there any difference to make the film similar with a HVX200 for example?
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 06:27 PM

"once upon a time in mexico" for example. That's a real film to me. This film was shot with the sony altavista camera which is also digital. So is there any difference to make the film similar with a HVX200 for example?


I think we've been answering that question in various ways over various posts in this forum over and over again, so I'm not sure what's the point of repeating ourselves if you aren't paying attention...

You've never heard anyone point out that the HVX200 has 1/3" CCD's but pro HD cameras like the CineAlta F900 has 2/3" CCD's, and thus you'll have a harder time getting a shallow-focus enough look to be similar to 35mm's depth of field characteristics?

Or that the zoom on a $6000 camera are likely not as good as a $30,000 HD zoom lens on an F900?

Or that the F900 has 1920 x 1080 pixel CCD's whereas the HVX200 has 960 x 540 pixel CCD's?

Never run across any of this info in your research on the internet?

Just looking at those basic facts -- small CCD's, cheap servo zoom, low pixel count per CCD -- I think you can make a reasonable guess as to the challenges of matching the quality of a $100,000 pro HD camera.

That all said, I'm not saying that with enough work, cleverness, good cinematography skills, one cannot get a decent HD image out of these consumer HDV camcorders -- just that you have to recognize what you're fighting against when you start out, just like when you shoot with a smaller film negative, you know the image characteristics you'll have to compensate for.

You're also asking basically a subjective question in regards to what video looks acceptably like professional film shot for theatrical release. It really comes down to you going out regularly to the theaters and watching every piece of digital-to-film you can, going to the film-out companies and asking for them to screen examples, etc. and coming to your own conclusions. Because just canvassing the internet, one guy is going to say that the DVX100 is close enough to film while another is going to say that the Panavision Genesis isn't good enough to match film. You've got to LOOK at some of this stuff with your own eyes.

If you are in Los Angeles, New York, London, etc. go to a company that does digital to film transfers and ask if they have any examples of HDV to 35mm to screen for you.
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#20 Chris Keth

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 07:07 PM

Because what most people refer to as the video look is 60i frame rate. That's imposible to get in film. Another reason is that film cameras are way different from video cameras in the way that they don't have many setting other than framerate, zoom, focus, iris etc. There is no cc or gama curve. Thats all dictated by the type of film you use. The last reason is that it would be completely pointless to have a video mode because if you want your footage to look like vide you could save truck loads of money by shooting on video. Film is a format meant for storytelling and 24 frames per second is the framerate for storytelling. There is no way to change the general publics expectations so all you can do is try to meet them.




I think he was joking and it went "whoosh" right over your head :D
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