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Best Camera for the Buck


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#1 Samad Banks

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 08:43 AM

I am an inspring writer/director. I just finished my script with length being around 20-25 min. I don't have a camera of yet to film with. I am leaning towards the mini-DV realm for easy editing. My question is what camera will best suite me for this project. I am on a shoe string budget so I am looking to spend at the most $700. Is there a brand out there that I could get the most out of for the price? I welcome all advice.
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#2 Ed Nyankori

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 09:43 PM

I have no idea where in the world you are or what the market is like there. But if I had $700 to spend on a short Id seek out an aspiring DP who already has the camera and some lighting gear. It seems in Atlanta that there is a DVX100 in every closet and in smaller markets in the southeast people are so inspired/passionate/curious/bored to drive hundreds of miles to work on short films. Perhaps the DP will offers the equipment and services very cheap for the purpose of getting experience and you can spend your money on your production design, props,food,etc. Good Luck.
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#3 Corey Bringas

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 07:58 PM

i 2nd that. you will not get any camera i'd wanna shoot even the lowest budget short on for 700$. Rent one or find a DP who has one and is interested in your project.
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#4 alfredoparra

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 12:04 AM

buy a beaulieu 4008 super 8mm off ebay for under $200.00 shot wild and record the sound digital it will sync with no problem! now you have $500.00 for film and transfer, go to www.pro8mm.com ot yale film both in california
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#5 david romberg

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 03:47 PM

First I would say the kind of camera you get really depends on the project you want to make. Almost every type of athstetic or technique can be justified with a good concept. I've seen artists make films with almost no money that blow Hollywood away as far as originality and poetic merit. But they will never look like what you see on tv or on those multi-million dollar productions. Also, many young filmmakers just try to copy popular anesthetics without really giving them a function which ends up being very superficial.

As far as cameras, like everybody said, its going to be near impossible to get a "good" minidv camera for that price. The dvx is way out of your price range and even a sony vx2000 (which I would say is the minimum camera with decent manual controls, one of the lowest lux rating,and large ccds) will run you more then a $1000. I purchased a new vx2000 on eBay for $1500 and the images it produced for my documentary are satisfactory. Renting a pro or Hd 3 chip dv cam looks like your only option if your set on shooting video.

Hope this is helpful.
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#6 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 03:58 PM

As far as cameras, like everybody said, its going to be near impossible to get a "good" minidv camera for that price. The dvx is way out of your price range and even a sony vx2000 (which I would say is the minimum camera with decent manual controls, one of the lowest lux rating,and large ccds) will run you more then a $1000. I purchased a new vx2000 on eBay for $1500 and the images it produced for my documentary are satisfactory. Renting a pro or Hd 3 chip dv cam looks like your only option if your set on shooting video.

Hope this is helpful.


The VX2000 and VX2100 are pretty damn good cameras, especialy for the price. I shot a segment for my upcomming extreme sports video on the 2100 and was AMAZED by the quality it put out. Some shots almost looked like 30fps 16mm with bad latitude. A little color correction and It'll look BEAUTIFUL.
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#7 david romberg

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 10:56 PM

Here are some very low res grabs from the vx2000... There was no light setup, and the room was quite dark.

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