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Getting into Multi-Media, looking at Camera's


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#1 Luke Scott

Luke Scott

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 03:31 PM

To start I would like to say that I do not know anything about film making at this point. I've been into computers most of my life.., done some programming, and tinkered with video/sound editing software. My strongest points in relation to video, at all, would be the video editing software itself, not actual recording (pretty much anything on a computer I can understand, or learn quickly).

I'm finally deciding to start college... I go to talk to the consolers (or whatever they like to be called) and figure out exactly what I want to major in. Two of my choices, in computers, are networking and electronics.. Both have broad career choices, but when I say "networking" or "electronics" I'm using general terms. There are other choices available in other fields, naturally, one of which includes Multi-Media: Just about anything that's involved in film like animation, audio/video, scripting, 3d modeling, etc... and even game design.

Now with my "interest" in computer science... I've been into it for pretty much my entire life... I don't have any family members that do what I do, nor do I have friends that have the same level of interest. I also visualize what I would be if I were successful in these computer fields... I see myself in a business suit in a cooperate environment, similar to Neo in the Matrix.. For something that I've been into my whole life and claim to enjoy, all of a sudden I'm realizing it may not be something I want to do! :o

As I've said I've tinkered with video on my spare time, and I find it to be more satisfying and enjoyable. Not only do I have a sister that is interested in areas of Multi-Media, I have a cousin and other family members interested in the same thing... Family members I can relate to! My sister and I have add ideas about "shows" in the past and we've started writing scripts, but I wasn't entirely sure.. until now... I decided to go into multi media.

Anyway.., that's a little bit about me and what I've decided to do. For people that have known me for as long as they have, it's kind of a shock that I decided to do something different than what I've done most of my life.. some more than others.

What I'm doing right now is doing my "homework" on video cameras and what is the best thing to use. My cousin, sister, and I want to make a "tv show" / "tv sitcom" type of thing... It's mostly a experiment for starting out, but slightly a little more than that.

We don't exactly have a monumental budget, so we're looking at more of the border line consumer, but professional cameras. What I'm looking for is something to get the best audio and video quality (HD), but not go over the $5k-$7k range. Even though the film quality of "tv shows" may not be as high as whopping HD movies, I think it might be a good idea to get a camera that can support as much as it can, and it can always be scaled down if needed.

Honestly I don't know much about this... that's why I've decided to post here. My cousin is into photography, so he's a little more knowledgeable than I am. What we're doing right now is I'm looking into video cameras and he's looking into video cameras, and we're getting together to compare notes in what we've found out.

So far I've learned that the Sony HDR-FX1 is a rather nice camera, especially for consumers, but it lacks elements for professional quality works. It lacks XLR ports, which are used for professional mic extensions, and there are various other things that make it a bit shy in the professional realm... I've even read that the built-in mic picks up sound from the motors in the camera. With the missing XLR ports it is possible to get an adapter, but I'm thinking there is a loss in quality when using adapters. It also doesn't record in 24p according to cnet, which seems to be an important element in a camera. The best part about it is the sharp LCD screen, but I guess that really doesn't matter as much.

The Sony HVR-Z1U on the other hand seems to pick up where the HDR-FX1 left off in the missing elements. It's supposed to have two input XLR ports, and I'm not sure but... I think it does 24p? Is that the case? A review from cnet would have been a big help in finding more about this camera... Is 1080i the highest it can record?

The Panasonic AG-HVX200 seems to be a really great camera, especially since it seems to record in every mode possible, including 1080p. According the cnet the biggest downsides are the bulkiness and the low resolution LCD and view finder, but the picture clarity and audio is supposed to be great.

The Canon XH A1 and XL H1 was rated #1 and #2 at http://camcorderinfo.com. I'm not sure how to rank their opinion, especially since some of the cameras that I've read about weren't even listed.

The JVC GY-HD110U appears as "new" on JVC's site... New things can be cool. Some of their cameras seemed to be professional and more for studio use.

Some of the concerns I've read about is how the camera stores the video/audio. There seems to be some compression going on with certain media' with MPEG, etc...

The Panasonic camera I mentioned seems to use a P2 card system, or something like that... Anyone know how that's supposed to work?

Someone mentioned in another thread here that you can get an HDMI card and plug your camera to your computer and get uncompressed HD (this was mentioned in a topic for the Sony HVR-Z1U). I did not see an HDMI out on the specification for the camera, but I may have seen a composite video out (so you would need an adapter?)... How exactly does this work? What cameras can you do this with?

So without considering price, how would these cameras be ranked against each other? Any other cameras I haven't found that would be better?

Some of the cameras listed can be used as a shoulder cam, like for news and stuff. What I'm really looking for is more of a studio use, so size isn't much of an issue. The biggest issue, for me, is price. I've seen some amazing cameras $10k+.

Thanks guys :)

Edited by Luke Scott, 11 January 2007 - 03:34 PM.

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