Jump to content


Photo

Semi-Pro Video.


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 06 January 2007 - 01:29 PM

Hi all pplz,

As much as I adore Super 8 I'm finding the whole process much too expensive and obstructing of my cinematography education. I'm looking for a Semi-Pro video camera, I don't mind whether it's HD or not, I just want a camera.
I realise the video will never be film, and I'm not looking for the film look, I would prefer something that's more...cheery.

I have £600.00 to spend.

Best regards,
Matthew Buick. :)
  • 0

#2 Troy Warr

Troy Warr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Other
  • Austin, TX, USA

Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:10 PM

Hi all pplz,

As much as I adore Super 8 I'm finding the whole process much too expensive and obstructing of my cinematography education. I'm looking for a Semi-Pro video camera, I don't mind whether it's HD or not, I just want a camera.
I realise the video will never be film, and I'm not looking for the film look, I would prefer something that's more...cheery.

I have £600.00 to spend.

Best regards,
Matthew Buick. :)


Hi Matthew,

What type of work are you planning to use it for? I think that's at least as important as how much you have to spend. The format that you intend to output/broadcast/screen/distribute on, what kind of editing hardware you have, etc. are important in the consideration. BTW - that's about $1100 US if I'm correct?

Also, what exactly do you mean by "cheery?"
  • 0

#3 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 06 January 2007 - 03:53 PM

Hi,

I'm planning to use it for low budget moviemaking, and I'll buy some software editor, I was looking at Mini DV/HDV, I'm willing to stretch a bit on the price if I must.

By ''cheery'' I mean, bright colours, happy lively look.

£600.00 is about $1200.00

Thanks.

EDIT: I just had a thought, if you used those special leads which allow analogue camcorders to connect to a PC would it be possible to use a Betacam/Betacam SP.

Edited by Matthew Buick, 06 January 2007 - 03:54 PM.

  • 0

#4 Troy Warr

Troy Warr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Other
  • Austin, TX, USA

Posted 06 January 2007 - 06:26 PM

Thanks for the extra info. Based on this I guess I would personally recommend something along the lines of a used Canon GL1 or GL2 (called the XM1 / XM2 in Europe I think?). $1200 is unfortunately a pretty slim budget to get something in the pro-sumer range, but I think going with the used market and a slightly older model would help to stretch your money.

HDV is not a good idea in that price range, since it hasn't been around as long (i.e. you'd have to buy a newer, and therefore more expensive model) and you'll need a more powerful computer system to handle the long-GOP encoding. Even a modest modern PC should handle SD (miniDV) editing with no problem.

A Canon GL/XM-series camcorder is 3-CCD, so you'll get better color reproduction that will stretch your options in post-production. Since it's a pro-sumer grade camera, you'll also have *many* more manual controls than even a high-grade consumer camera. The GL/XM models are virtually indistinguishable from the XL-series Canon cameras in terms of video quality - you lose some higher-end options but you also get a very good and useful zoom lens in the GL/XM. It's certainly capable of generating SD broadcast quality work.

Here's a link to a new GL2. Brand new it's not all that far out of your price range, but you'll of course need some essential accessories. I'd first look into used GL2s (eBay is probably saturated with used setups that would be a good bargain), and, failing that, used GL1s. You can probably find a good GL1 kit with some extras within your budget.

I can't say much for the Betacam option, but I tend to think that's not the best approach. Analog capture cards aren't terribly cheap (at least a couple hundred for a good one, I think), and I don't think that Betacam gear is either. You're also taking a non-standard approach that's not going to really net you anything extra in the long run but a few headaches. I think the footage you'll get with a GL/XM will be so much easier to work with, and the quality should at least approach analog Beta.

Best of luck to you!
  • 0

#5 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 06 January 2007 - 07:06 PM

Well, thank you very much, I'll look into the XM/GL 2.

Best regards.
  • 0

#6 alex thin

alex thin

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Other

Posted 07 January 2007 - 07:34 AM

Well, thouse are good cameras, but I think now, the hdv is the future for prosumer cameras, and looking the pc market now, I think every "good" pc can edit HDV withput a problem. Sony is going to offer in a near future more hdv cameras that record HDV on disc, not in tape, I prefer the tape, but it is good to know it. For $1200 you can get still now the sony hdr-hc1 that I think is a great camera for that price. In day light it is fantastic, and remember that in hdv cameras you can record in DV mode too if you want, or record in HDV and the downconvert via the camera to dv to the PC.
  • 0

#7 Troy Warr

Troy Warr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Other
  • Austin, TX, USA

Posted 07 January 2007 - 02:28 PM

Well, thouse are good cameras, but I think now, the hdv is the future for prosumer cameras, and looking the pc market now, I think every "good" pc can edit HDV withput a problem. Sony is going to offer in a near future more hdv cameras that record HDV on disc, not in tape, I prefer the tape, but it is good to know it. For $1200 you can get still now the sony hdr-hc1 that I think is a great camera for that price. In day light it is fantastic, and remember that in hdv cameras you can record in DV mode too if you want, or record in HDV and the downconvert via the camera to dv to the PC.


HDV is a more modern codec, but I'm not convinced that HDV is the future for pro-sumer cameras. In my opinion, it's a stop-gap measure until a better solution comes out. That's a topic for another thread, though...

Also, modern computers may be capable of editing HDV adequately, but SD editing will invariably go much faster, which leaves him the freedom to experiment more freely in post-production without having to take a render break every few minutes.

Matthew mentioned a semi-pro camera, and the Sony HDR-HC1 is at best a very capable consumer model. It's also 1-chip CMOS, compared to the 3-chip CCD setup on the Canon GL2. The latter provides for better color reproduction and better low-light performance with less noise. That seems to fit the "cheery" look that he's after best.

Check out this in-depth review from camcorderinfo.com:

http://www.camcorder...-HC1-Review.htm

The manual controls of the Sony don't seem to be up to par, and they even mention specifically that the Canon GL2 offers far better manual control. I think capable manual controls, in Matthew's case, are far more desirable toward furthering his cinematographic education than high-definition video. HD is great, but SD will still be with us for a few years and he'll be able to gain a more solid skillset from a camera that's more than a good point-and-shoot with AE compensation.
  • 0

#8 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 07 January 2007 - 03:24 PM

Brilliant! :D

Once I have the money I'll let you know.
  • 0

#9 alex thin

alex thin

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Other

Posted 07 January 2007 - 03:32 PM

Yes, the manual settings in the HC1 are poor, I think the best of this camera is its wonderfull day-light ( or good artificial light) image.

You can download some videos in
www.sonyhdvinfo.com
and look some user reviews too.

Edited by alex thin, 07 January 2007 - 03:37 PM.

  • 0

#10 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 08 January 2007 - 04:03 PM

Does anyone know of any films shot on the Canon XL2, and if so where can I watch them?
  • 0

#11 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 08 January 2007 - 04:25 PM

Does anyone know of any films shot on the Canon XL2, and if so where can I watch them?


Nothing comes to mind when thinking of the XL2, but "28 Days Later" was shot on the Canon XL1s!

:)
  • 0

#12 Troy Warr

Troy Warr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Other
  • Austin, TX, USA

Posted 08 January 2007 - 04:31 PM

Does anyone know of any films shot on the Canon XL2, and if so where can I watch them?


Here's a good start:

http://imdb.com/Sear...ical?canon xl-2

I didn't recognize many of the titles, but I'd bet you can find at least a handful of them on Netflix.
  • 0

#13 Josh Bass

Josh Bass
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Other

Posted 08 January 2007 - 04:59 PM

I believe 28 Days was on an XL1, PAL, with fancy lenses.
  • 0

#14 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 09 January 2007 - 06:49 PM

Thanks all, I'm gonna try and get someone to give me a HD Camcorder in about five years, so the XL2 has to be able to be up to date till then, or I might as well go HD.

I just had a thought, how about the Sony EVW 300? It's sharper than the 540 line Canon XL2, but not so sharp it's garish, whaddaya think?
  • 0

#15 Troy Warr

Troy Warr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Other
  • Austin, TX, USA

Posted 09 January 2007 - 08:03 PM

Thanks all, I'm gonna try and get someone to give me a HD Camcorder in about five years, so the XL2 has to be able to be up to date till then, or I might as well go HD.

I just had a thought, how about the Sony EVW 300? It's sharper than the 540 line Canon XL2, but not so sharp it's garish, whaddaya think?


Well, assuming that you can get one for *well* under the price of a GL/XM-2, maybe. Keep in mind added costs like an analog-digital converter card (assuming you'll be editing on a PC), and you may need a Hi-8 deck, unless the camera can be used as one. Workflow will also be more complicated, in that you'll have to get familiar with digitization of analog video, and will have an extra step to take care of upon ingest to your NLE. Resale value and repair possibilities will also likely suffer since it's older equipment.

In other words, I wouldn't go for the camera purely based on lines of resolution (that's certainly not the only thing that determines video sharpness), unless there are other things drawing you to it.

I'm curious to know, what led you to the XL-2 over the GL/XM-2?
  • 0

#16 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:52 PM

Did I say XL2? I meant XM2. :D

Boy, I used to know so much about camcorders. :(
  • 0


Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Opal

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Opal

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

CineLab

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post