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Help Buying a Camera


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#1 Ruben Lopez

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 09:06 PM

Hi, I am an aspiring filmaker. I have very little experience but have written a few short screenplays and am ready to see how they translate into film. Im looking for a cheap digital camera that I can get started with. I was hoping to get some recomendations on good cameras for uneder $500. All I really want to do is see how my screenplayes translate into visual scened so I really dont need anything to crazy. I am hoping to get some recomendations on cameras and/or features that a camera should have for my limited needs.
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#2 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 12:06 AM

Hi, I am an aspiring filmaker. I have very little experience but have written a few short screenplays and am ready to see how they translate into film. Im looking for a cheap digital camera that I can get started with. I was hoping to get some recomendations on good cameras for uneder $500. All I really want to do is see how my screenplayes translate into visual scened so I really dont need anything to crazy. I am hoping to get some recomendations on cameras and/or features that a camera should have for my limited needs.



Check out Circuit City, they have some cheap minidv camcorders for $300, or you could just borrow one from someone if they have one.

Kev
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#3 Chris_Burket

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 12:36 AM

Check out Circuit City, they have some cheap minidv camcorders for $300, or you could just borrow one from someone if they have one.

Kev



If you could afford just a little bit more $$ (like $750 or $1,000), you could get a used Canon GL1 or another decent 3 chip camera with a few manual options. Having some manual control might not be a bad idea even though you don't seem to be interested in the cinematography aspect. However if $500 is a firm budget, there are quite a few cheap mini DV cameras out there. I would suggest buyinig something in the Sony line-up. They tend to hold up much better.
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#4 Pav

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 06:10 AM

If you could afford just a little bit more $$ (like $750 or $1,000), you could get a used Canon GL1 or another decent 3 chip camera with a few manual options. Having some manual control might not be a bad idea even though you don't seem to be interested in the cinematography aspect. However if $500 is a firm budget, there are quite a few cheap mini DV cameras out there. I would suggest buyinig something in the Sony line-up. They tend to hold up much better.



Or you for that ultimate film look you could get a Super 8 film camera, something like a top end Nizo or Bauer and experiment with different filmstocks to get a different and contrasting visual look. Some of the top end Super 8 cameras are quite cheap and have great lenses and features like multiple speeds, fades and disolves etc. If you wan to film dialogue I would suggest going for a Nizo 6080, they are very quite of course youl will have to record your sound separately on minidsic or DAT.
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#5 Paul Wizikowski

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 02:29 PM

yea don't do film. Sounds like you just want images but not much control over those images. If thats all you are going for, anything with a firewire port will do. So you can import your footage into your computer. Sony is certainly a good brand to start with and as Chris mentioned the 3 chip cameras (also referred to as 3 CCD which stands for charge-couple device) thats one of the first jumps in quality (as opposed to a 1 chip camera). As for other things to look at in this price range is format. MiniDV is more widely used than High8 or Digital 8 and recoreds a cleaner image.

Also its a good idea when you buy your camera to go ahead and get a UV filter that can screw onto the front of the lens. This will keep your actuall lens from getting scratched, broken, or from deterioration from the elements. And its a lot cheaper to replace a UV filter than it is the lens of the camera. Make sure the one you get is the right mm size to fit your lens.
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