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What to invest in Hd or Dv? please help me out


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#1 grahamstanly

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:10 PM

Hey guys I diddnt know where to post this because it involves Hd, and dv cameras. Basically I am going to film school in a year and I am interested in purchacing a camera but I really dont know if i should put in a little extra cash and get an hd camera like a nice sony one, or save a bit of money and go with a cannon xl2 or dvx100b. I have been told to add on about 1000 dollars and go hd but I dunno if I need it. I will be doing a lot of shorts and documentarys. I just want somthing that I can get a lot of use out of, and will give me some options and a good look. but I also want it to last for a good long while I dont want to drop 3000 dollars on a dv camera only to have it become obsolete on me or somthing.

any help on this problem, and or helping me make the right choice would be really appreciated. I am still a student but I have been doing film classes, for 3 years now, and also I am on my churches video team. I am hoping to get a camera from BH's video cause I think we get a small dicount with the church. I am open to anyones opinion, and advice on what to invest in. Thanks again for your help guys!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 12:57 AM

If you're not sure you need HD and you don't know how you'll post HD, then probably you don't need HD.

As far as a camera not becoming obsolete, ALL video cameras become obsolete eventually. The only question is whether you feel you got your money's worth out of the thing or if it paid for itself in the few years before it became obsolete.

You should price out an HD camera and all the things you'll need to edit HD, etc. and decide if it's even in your budget in the first place.

Also, do you really need to own your own camera in film school? I didn't (other than my Super-8 camera) -- I used their 16mm and video equipment.
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#3 grahamstanly

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 12:58 AM

I feel that I should add this peice of info. in the future after film school, i am hoping to DP, do Camera, or AC for a TV station or show. and I am guessing by the time I am out of film school pretty much all TV will be filmed in HD. So my thinking was that it would be benificial to get a feel for it now.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 01:27 AM

I feel that I should add this peice of info. in the future after film school, i am hoping to DP, do Camera, or AC for a TV station or show. and I am guessing by the time I am out of film school pretty much all TV will be filmed in HD. So my thinking was that it would be benificial to get a feel for it now.


Then wait until you get out of film school before you invest in a camera for your career. Buy something cheap for now if you must buy something.

The general rule when it comes to buying video gear is wait, wait, wait until the last minute because the technology is always changing.
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#5 grahamstanly

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 01:36 AM

thats a great tip david the main reason i wanted to get one sooner is because through my church I do a lot of video stuff, and I will get some good deals with them. And I plan to enter a few film fests and make some shorts before I go off to school and while I am in it. but your probably right I should wait a bit longer. thanks
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#6 Matt Workman

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:19 PM

Hi Graham,

I just sold my DVX100a with a shotgun mic to a friend of mine in NYC. He isn't in school but is learning how to shoot music videos, EPK's etc. He is mainly going to SD DVD and web. The DVX100a with a good mic is a great package and many MTV quality docs have been shot with it and still are.

It is true that any VIDEO camera will be obselete eventually but thats if you are at the forefront of technology. Panavision and Arri have come out with new HD cameras, but I'm not going to buy one. If you are planning on buying a camera and expect to get professional work with it you would need to spend upwards of $60,000.

My advice is to buy a used DVX100a/b from dvxuser.com Most of those guys are legit and would be interested in meeting with another "filmmaker." You should be able to find one for $2k.

If you do buy a camera anything less than a DVX100a is not worth it, IMO. 24P, CINE-GAMMA, XLR audio, cheap DV tapes, manual focus, WB, ZOOM, etc. HDV is a headache. DVX is comparable to 16mm handled correctly.

I wouldn't worry about HD. Unless you are trying to trying to convince a client who really wants an HD master it doesn't make much difference. I'm talking about HVX/XLH1 HD not Varicam/CineAlta HD.

If you can afford it having your own camera, it is 100% worth it. I owned a DVX100a throughout film school and it eleminated the hassle of renting from the school and allowed for spontaneous picksup, alwasy having a deck to edit with, and allowed for freelance work.

Good luck with your future projects and film school.

Matt
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#7 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:58 PM

I've found that it is your client base which best determines which type of camera and format to invest in. Purchasing an industrial based camera package will attract only those clients and budgets which can only afford that level of technology. Investing in an F900R package with lights and everything else means that you'll HAVE to find clients who have the money to help you pay it all off. In other words, your rate of return reflects the investment you've put into it. If you don't have clients who can afford to pay the $1500 day rate for the HD camera package, then you should either NOT get that level of technology or you have to go find clients and projects that can afford it. Buying "low" end technology not only puts you into that budgetary "level" automatically, but it begins to define your own career and the way others view you and your potential.

If you are capable of helming a high budget Panavision full length feature, buying a small format DVX package doesn't do much to convince others that you are capable of what you really are. On the other hand, purchasing high end gear before you are technically and creatively proficient could place you in situations that you just aren't ready to handle. Gaining a bad reputation based on inexperience is worse than if you just sit at home doing nothing at all that day.

So figure out what it is you WANT to do, figure out where you realistically are in terms of technical and creative skill, then work your way up to your goals.
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#8 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 01:54 PM

For where you're at right now, I think a DVX100 would be your best bet, or possibly an XL2 if you can afford it. It's really not worth it for you to jump into consumer/prosumer HD at the moment, because you're going to be spending a lot more money and not getting a whole lot extra out of it. Go with something affordable now.
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#9 Oleksandr Solomonyuk

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 07:39 PM

I've got the same problem here ... wjich cam to buy? Is XL2 worth the 4k ? Does XL2 24fps cine-look is realle cine-like? If you guys ever used XL2, advice, PLEASE.
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#10 grahamstanly

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 09:38 PM

Ok guys thank you so much for the help you have been amazing I have talked a lot with my other buddys and my film teachers about the best directions to go with purchacing my own camera.

also since i am still just starting out in film and film school my parents see my passion for film and they agreed to loan me 3,000$ which i really needed now with that and my own money I have the funds to purchace about a 5,500 dollar camera, now please dont see me as spoiled because this is a strict loan so i will have to pay them back but making that money shouldnt be a problem. I have narrowed my choices down to 3.

1.cannon xl2
2.panasonic dvx100b
3.Panasonic AG-HVX200

I have used the xl2 many times through my school so i am really framiliar with it, and I have tried out the dvx100b. and the hvx200 just seems like a killer camera with the p2 cards and all but it might be a little bit more than I want to spend. So if you all want to help me one more time by telling me in your opinions the pro's and cons or each of these camera's I would really appriciate it. Keep in mind i am wanting to get a lot of experience have a lasting product, and somthing tough for learing. Thanks again for the help.
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#11 Scott Cohen

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 10:01 PM

If you do buy a camera anything less than a DVX100a is not worth it, IMO. 24P, CINE-GAMMA, XLR audio, cheap DV tapes, manual focus, WB, ZOOM, etc. HDV is a headache. DVX is comparable to 16mm handled correctly.


DVX is comparable to 16mm? You have to be seriously joking...

Kodak Vision2 film stock in my $500 Super 16mm K3, handled in my hobbyist hands, will blow away any "properly" handled DVX digital footage.

Sure you can shoot for free with a DVX, after spending over $2,000.00 for a DVX but it will not compare to 16mm. I am sorry.

The in camera professional sound capability is nice...

SC
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#12 Brian Wells

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 11:10 PM

So if you all want to help me one more time by telling me in your opinions the pro's and cons or each of these camera's I would really appriciate it.

I don't think it really matters what you shoot on. Great photographers can shoot on any camera and create memorable images. I think it has more to do with the way you "work" people in front of the lens that makes your pictures great, not what camera you use.
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#13 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 02:00 AM

Ok guys thank you so much for the help you have been amazing I have talked a lot with my other buddys and my film teachers about the best directions to go with purchacing my own camera.

also since i am still just starting out in film and film school my parents see my passion for film and they agreed to loan me 3,000$ which i really needed now with that and my own money I have the funds to purchace about a 5,500 dollar camera, now please dont see me as spoiled because this is a strict loan so i will have to pay them back but making that money shouldnt be a problem. I have narrowed my choices down to 3.

1.cannon xl2
2.panasonic dvx100b
3.Panasonic AG-HVX200

I have used the xl2 many times through my school so i am really framiliar with it, and I have tried out the dvx100b. and the hvx200 just seems like a killer camera with the p2 cards and all but it might be a little bit more than I want to spend. So if you all want to help me one more time by telling me in your opinions the pro's and cons or each of these camera's I would really appriciate it. Keep in mind i am wanting to get a lot of experience have a lasting product, and somthing tough for learing. Thanks again for the help.

I'd go with the DVX, and use the remaining money to buy a tripod, accessories, and a lighting kit. The HVX ends up being between $8-10k once you've bought everything you need for it. You're not doing yourself any favors if you blow all of your money on a camera and can't even afford a fluid head tripod afterwards. Now is not a great time to be buying any sort of digital video camera, honestly, but if you're dead set on getting one, in my opinion the DVX is the best choice for you.
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#14 grahamstanly

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 10:37 PM

One of the cameras I just started looking at is the cannon XL-A1. I totally agree that it isnt the best time to buy a camera, but i would really love to start filming and getting my name out there, mabey I will hold off a bit longer but If i do that I am going to continue to work on getting a good deal and learning the new tec. So do any of you have an opinion on the xl-a1?

Thanks again for all of the help
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#15 Troy Warr

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 02:07 AM

One of the cameras I just started looking at is the cannon XL-A1. I totally agree that it isnt the best time to buy a camera, but i would really love to start filming and getting my name out there, mabey I will hold off a bit longer but If i do that I am going to continue to work on getting a good deal and learning the new tec. So do any of you have an opinion on the xl-a1?

Thanks again for all of the help


Hi Graham,

The Canon XL-A1 isn't a camera that I'm aware of; do you mean the XH-A1? That wouldn't be a bad choice, in my opinion, though I think for your budget and experience level, you may be best off in the miniDV realm, unless you have specific plans to output to HDTV or the big screen.

If not, I'd *seriously* consider the Panasonic AG-DVX100B. Get it from B&H by March 31, and you'll be spending $2900 on a phenomenal SD camera, and it comes with Magic Bullet Editors and some other extras. Kind of makes me wish I had $2900 on hand at the moment. B)

That will leave you $2600 for tapes, tripod, circ-pola and UV filters (don't skimp - get at least Hoya HMC), cleaning cassette, lens cleaning kit, bag, etc.

If you're really ballsy, wait until the rebate is done, and I'd bet that Panasonic has a new model or at least a new version up their sleeve. Keep in mind that you'll be waiting until at least summer, and the new model will cost full price again (probably $3500-4000). Personally, I think you'd be better off snatching up a DVX100B while the rebate is in effect, as that's a tremendous value.

One advantage of SD to consider is editing ease and speed - you're going to be able to work much more efficiently with your footage than with HDV, which leaves you a lot of extra room for experimentation, trial and error.

Best of luck!
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#16 abbas shamael rizvi

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 02:41 AM

hi graham...matt is absolutely right bout AG DVX 100a...iv worked on it myself..and it is amazing...the cheapest and the best stuff that one as a student should acquire..it has good features..and giv u a 16mm quality...so i would also suggest that u go for one..
all the best
abbas
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#17 David Sweetman

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 02:46 AM

and giv u a 16mm quality

well it'll give you a good MiniDV quality...
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#18 Mark Duckworth

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 04:07 AM

All the HDV cameras can shoot SD as well. You can decide to shoot HD and then have it downrezzed to SD on capture or you can choose to shoot SD from the beginning. The HVX can record to multiple resolutions and frame rates. You can choose which one you want all the way from 480i to 1080p. I would suggest you check out places like dv.com and dvinfo.net . I personally wouldn't buy a SD cam now that affordable HD cams are available that can also shoot SD. You could buy a DVX100 and get a good SD cam or you could buy the HVX200 and get SD and HD for the future if you can only shoot SD now. Do some more research
at those sites and make an informed decision. Good luck.

Edited by Mark Duckworth, 25 January 2007 - 04:07 AM.

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#19 grahamstanly

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 09:41 PM

Ok for the last 3 weeks I have been using a DVX-100b, with a 35mm lense, its a great camera but the guy who owns it who i trust he is a film school student but a smart one, but he told me not to go sd at this time, he said that he would go hd, or wait. and by the way I did mean the XH-a1 cannon, which I have looked into much more and honestly for my festival work it seems like a really good choice, a lot of options come with it and at a pretty killer price. I can shoot effectivly in sd, and hdv and I think i will just buy a rail system and put a new 35mm lense on it so i can have an even better look. Tell me your thoughts on this because I would love to hear some reveiws on this or see some footage shot with it, I have only seen stills shot with it.

Thanks
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#20 Brian Wells

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 10:38 PM

Tell me your thoughts on this because I would love to hear some reveiws on this or see some footage shot with it, I have only seen stills shot with it.

I would strongly suggest buying the cheapest video camera you can get away with (DVX100 or something) and save up your money to buy 16MM film and processing after you've gone as far as you can with video. It's really cool in the beginning to see exactly what you're shooting, but if you're serious about cinematography you'll eventually become bored with the image quality from all video cameras, even HD. I think a lot of students believe that film is going away and there's no need to learn it, but it just isn't so. Good luck.
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