Jump to content


Photo

What lowcost camera can look as good as hollywood movie?


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 david goldstein

david goldstein

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:21 PM

What lowcost camera can look as good as hollywood movie? please dont flame or ban, i notice movie cameras from 1990 are still better quality then these new professional hd cameras,

more specifically how do i get that nice color tone that movies have on a new camera? consumer grade video cameras are a joke, but digital comusmer grade cameras picture cameras are very good

for example watch a 1990 movie like terminator 2, very clear, my 2000 sony hd camera still looks like camcorder quality even with propper lighting. do i need different lens? i been at this since 1999 and i am not looking ot buy a 35mm panavision film camera i just want a basic professional camera or a hgih end consumer camera that has good picutre. its a shame its 2007 and camcorders havent change much since the 80s.
  • 0

#2 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:46 PM

you just relized why most people on this forum will defend film to the end. Thats the difference. Terminator was shot with film, which even by todays HD standards is very good quality (Not stock a history buff, but that was vision 1 kodak? let me know if I am wrong david.)

Compare a filmstock today to the best HD and the film will still win out.

Of course your seeing other things as well. yes you need a better lens. Most cine lenses will cost more than your HDV camera all together. Its a combination of very high quality opticle glass, the zeiss multi-coating (even non-zeiss glass still has the ziess coatings...I think they bought it from nasa?) and very tight design specs. All that adds up to a lens that is very sharp from center to edges, and with very little chroma distortion.

Your also seeing the effects of the prism in your camera (unless its one of the new single chip CMOS cameras) those are killer when it comes to adding distortion, it also binds the opticle designers hand in terms of lens design.

Your also seeing the cheap proccessing those cameras use. They disregard lots of information in favor of lower bandwidth.

You want a cheap camera that will look like a hollywood movie? Try 8mm or 16mm. Its cheaper than 35 and for most venues it has enough resolution to cover HD. (8mm can only really cover SD, but is much cheaper)

Bottom line, if you want it to look like a hollywood film, use what they use in hollywood. So either a 3000/day D20 and record accessories, or $0.50/foot 16mm (even less for 8mm) and a cheap camera with a decent lens. I have seriously been blown away at how well 16mm (even standard 16mm) holds up in HD. a little grain, but that can be mitigated with slower stocks, if the situation allows for it. I just began shooting film last year after a little more than a decade on video. Its worth the money. You just gotta get over the fear of failure with it, no comfy feeling like you get with video when you hit 'record review'

good news is its more intimidating than it is difficult. I was a little unsure my first shoot, now on my 3d film (and lots of tests) and I feel like I can work better faster smarter in film than in video
  • 0

#3 david goldstein

david goldstein

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 02 May 2007 - 06:06 PM

you just relized why most people on this forum will defend film to the end. Thats the difference. Terminator was shot with film, which even by todays HD standards is very good quality (Not stock a history buff, but that was vision 1 kodak? let me know if I am wrong david.)

Compare a filmstock today to the best HD and the film will still win out.

Of course your seeing other things as well. yes you need a better lens. Most cine lenses will cost more than your HDV camera all together. Its a combination of very high quality opticle glass, the zeiss multi-coating (even non-zeiss glass still has the ziess coatings...I think they bought it from nasa?) and very tight design specs. All that adds up to a lens that is very sharp from center to edges, and with very little chroma distortion.

Your also seeing the effects of the prism in your camera (unless its one of the new single chip CMOS cameras) those are killer when it comes to adding distortion, it also binds the opticle designers hand in terms of lens design.

Your also seeing the cheap proccessing those cameras use. They disregard lots of information in favor of lower bandwidth.

You want a cheap camera that will look like a hollywood movie? Try 8mm or 16mm. Its cheaper than 35 and for most venues it has enough resolution to cover HD. (8mm can only really cover SD, but is much cheaper)

Bottom line, if you want it to look like a hollywood film, use what they use in hollywood. So either a 3000/day D20 and record accessories, or $0.50/foot 16mm (even less for 8mm) and a cheap camera with a decent lens. I have seriously been blown away at how well 16mm (even standard 16mm) holds up in HD. a little grain, but that can be mitigated with slower stocks, if the situation allows for it. I just began shooting film last year after a little more than a decade on video. Its worth the money. You just gotta get over the fear of failure with it, no comfy feeling like you get with video when you hit 'record review'

good news is its more intimidating than it is difficult. I was a little unsure my first shoot, now on my 3d film (and lots of tests) and I feel like I can work better faster smarter in film than in video


Thank so much for reply, i never belived that HD was better then film as its obivious that that final product flim still doesnt compare to hd. so basically i need good lens?

Basically i dont mind if its 20 year old camera i just need something for recording but with super quality. something affordable, or something i can attach a lens too that ifi was to find a lens for a steal of ad eal i can attach to the camera.
  • 0

#4 Dan Goldberg

Dan Goldberg
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 121 posts
  • Student
  • London, Ontario, Canada

Posted 02 May 2007 - 06:22 PM

Thank so much for reply, i never belived that HD was better then film as its obivious that that final product flim still doesnt compare to hd. so basically i need good lens?

Basically i dont mind if its 20 year old camera i just need something for recording but with super quality. something affordable, or something i can attach a lens too that ifi was to find a lens for a steal of ad eal i can attach to the camera.


Hi David,

How much are you looking to spend? And are you going for digital or 8mm? 16mm? If you're going digital, a camera like the DVX100B with 24p (film-look) could do the trick (if I'm not mistaken it's the cehapest 24p capable camera) or the Sony HVR-V1 (though a bit mroe expensive). When shooting 24P, however, it is sometimes necessary to engage in some color correction or color enhancement in order to make minor adjustments in exposure level, gamma, or color balance since no digital camera will look as good as film...yet :rolleyes:

Edited by Dan Goldberg, 02 May 2007 - 06:24 PM.

  • 0

#5 david goldstein

david goldstein

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 02 May 2007 - 06:39 PM

Hi David,

How much are you looking to spend? And are you going for digital or 8mm? 16mm? If you're going digital, a camera like the DVX100B with 24p (film-look) could do the trick (if I'm not mistaken it's the cehapest 24p capable camera) or the Sony HVR-V1 (though a bit mroe expensive). When shooting 24P, however, it is sometimes necessary to engage in some color correction or color enhancement in order to make minor adjustments in exposure level, gamma, or color balance since no digital camera will look as good as film...yet :rolleyes:



thanks again Dan Goldberg. So basically a 24p will give flim look? what does 24p is this what you mean http://www.filmlook.com/FAQ.24.html

thank you
  • 0

#6 Dan Goldberg

Dan Goldberg
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 121 posts
  • Student
  • London, Ontario, Canada

Posted 02 May 2007 - 07:06 PM

thanks again Dan Goldberg. So basically a 24p will give flim look? what does 24p is this what you mean http://www.filmlook.com/FAQ.24.html

thank you


yep thats the one. "FILMLOOK" is a trademark used for 24p recording with Sony and Canon I beleive. 24p, or 24fps is the frame-rate that film uses. So it gives a similar look, but instead of film reel speed it's shutter speed. So it's not QUITE film quality, but its is probably the closest you'll get to film quality without it actually being film.

I bought myself a Panasonic DVX100B with 24p recording and I've had NO complaints ;) Plus, it's cheaper than the rest :P

Hope that helps! And good luck!
  • 0

#7 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:11 PM

DVX-100 is probably the best in your price range as far as video.

with lenses I was just trying to point out to you that what goes into a good lens is not and by their nature cannot be what goes into a prosumer camera. All the lenses are lacking. Just the servo adjustment alone is enough to toss them out.

I was trying to suggest that shooting film is not that expensive, if you look at the big picture. Shoot 8mm or 16 if the project needs that proffesional touch and its worth it to you. You will spend considerably less than even buying a DVX for most short projects. It won't be as cheap as DV, but if quality is your aim, then its cheaper than renting a SDX-900 or worse, an F900 Cinealta.

Look into it. My first (second and third film) were all made on a 16mm camera I rented from a buddy at no cost. lenses were free and we borrowed the rest of the grip, light and sound equipment at little cost. There are plenty of places you can find deals like that, and for about 250 bucks you can get a K3 and a decent set of still lenses (though youd be limited in the wide lens range) spend the other 2-3 thousand on film proccessing and telecine. (3K = 3 hours run time short ends film, proccess and telecine for edit)

my K3 is getting ready to do some work on a music video....possibly pulling some double-X or 7218.

diversify if you can!
  • 0

#8 Dory Breaux DP

Dory Breaux DP
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Fort Bragg, CA

Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:57 PM

24p isnt all there is to a film look on video, but the DVX100 B or A will give you plenty of controlls. Good luck!
  • 0

#9 david goldstein

david goldstein

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 03 May 2007 - 02:37 AM

24p isnt all there is to a film look on video, but the DVX100 B or A will give you plenty of controlls. Good luck!


Thank you Michael, Dan, Dory

I will do some mroe thinking i am still open to suggestions
  • 0

#10 Patrick Cooper

Patrick Cooper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 868 posts
  • Other

Posted 03 May 2007 - 11:47 AM

Super 8 and 16mm can provide beautiful quality images on film. However, to really get a 35mm 'look' as seen in most Hollywood movies, you need to shoot on 35mm. I believe the lowest cost cameras in this format are the Bell & Howell Eyemo and the Konvos.

I'm not recommending, however, that you start out in 35mm as your first attempts at shooting movie film. That would be a very costly mistake! If you are keen to shoot on film to get a genuine film look, you should start out shooting super 8. The cost of film and processing of super 8 is relatively low compared to the larger film formats. So super 8 is ideal for learning the craft of film shooting. Learn the basics and make your mistakes with super 8. Then later on, you can move up to 16mm with it's higher costs and higher quality - and you will be prepared with your training from super 8 so there will be less costly mistakes! Then after youve been shooting on 16mm for a while and you have a good feel for it, then maybe oneday....if you're willing to spend an astronomical amount of money on equipment, film, processing and transfer....you could try 35mm.
  • 0

#11 david goldstein

david goldstein

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 04 May 2007 - 12:25 AM

ok some are saying the sony some saying hte panasonic

Which one? i always good success with sony,



Super 8 and 16mm can provide beautiful quality images on film. However, to really get a 35mm 'look' as seen in most Hollywood movies, you need to shoot on 35mm. I believe the lowest cost cameras in this format are the Bell & Howell Eyemo and the Konvos.

I'm not recommending, however, that you start out in 35mm as your first attempts at shooting movie film. That would be a very costly mistake! If you are keen to shoot on film to get a genuine film look, you should start out shooting super 8. The cost of film and processing of super 8 is relatively low compared to the larger film formats. So super 8 is ideal for learning the craft of film shooting. Learn the basics and make your mistakes with super 8. Then later on, you can move up to 16mm with it's higher costs and higher quality - and you will be prepared with your training from super 8 so there will be less costly mistakes! Then after youve been shooting on 16mm for a while and you have a good feel for it, then maybe oneday....if you're willing to spend an astronomical amount of money on equipment, film, processing and transfer....you could try 35mm.


  • 0

#12 Dory Breaux DP

Dory Breaux DP
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Fort Bragg, CA

Posted 05 May 2007 - 12:23 AM

As far as I know, non of the Sony SD cameras offer cine controlls. I'd say snoop around and try to find a good deal on a used but in good condition Panasonic AG-DVX 100A or 100B. The B has been prefected over the A, although it doesnt have the timelaps function. One of my friends uses them exclusively for his projects and I must say the footage it yields is pretty damn good for a sub-5000 grand SD camera.

Good luck!
  • 0

#13 david goldstein

david goldstein

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 May 2007 - 01:07 PM

ok sounds good


does anyone have any old sony pd 100a or sony pd 150 for sale? i seen them as cheap as 150-300 canadian dollars.
  • 0

#14 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 May 2007 - 10:28 PM

its a shame its 2007 and camcorders havent change much since the 80s.


Cameras have changed a ton since the 80s. The real difference between the two is that hollywood movies have a full crew of professionals creating that image. They are lighting well, moving the camera well, composing well. Chances are, the images coming out of your home camcorder don't have that going for them.
  • 0

#15 carl spring

carl spring
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Other
  • England UK/ London

Posted 07 May 2007 - 09:29 AM

might be worth looking in the digital post production suites, a plugin called magic bullet (red giant software i think?) can give some really nice film qualties and is available for a variation of editing software. definatly worth a look. i use on most pieces i shoot hdv on.



hope this helps

carl spring
  • 0

#16 Dan Salzmann

Dan Salzmann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Paris, France

Posted 07 May 2007 - 05:27 PM

Cameras have changed a ton since the 80s. The real difference between the two is that hollywood movies have a full crew of professionals creating that image. They are lighting well, moving the camera well, composing well. Chances are, the images coming out of your home camcorder don't have that going for them.

Very true and don't forget the sets/locations and THE ACTORS.
  • 0

#17 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 07 May 2007 - 06:13 PM

Very true and don't forget the sets/locations and THE ACTORS.


Absolutely. I was concentrating on things that contribute to the footage in a sort of vacuum. Once you add everything that makes a good movie, the camera in and of itself becomes pretty insignificant.
  • 0

#18 Patrick Cooper

Patrick Cooper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 868 posts
  • Other

Posted 09 May 2007 - 09:31 PM

"...i notice movie cameras from 1990 are still better quality then these new professional hd cameras..."

I'd say that movie cameras from 1980, 1970 and 1960 are just as good too! As long as their loaded with modern film stocks and have good optics.
  • 0

#19 Danny Lachman

Danny Lachman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Other
  • Baton Rouge, LA

Posted 10 May 2007 - 03:19 PM

I agree with patrick on that aspect of really old film camera's lookin good - it's just their nature - since the film does all the image work.

I'd just like to add though, that I've had access to tons of digital cameras and 35mm adapters, and no matter what we do - the images are just not as entertaining as film. Digital seems more like a way of promoting a visual display of the potential of a movie - so when others notice, they'll put up money for you to shoot on high quality cameras.
Just my two cents
  • 0

#20 Chris Dingley1

Chris Dingley1
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 41 posts
  • Student

Posted 10 May 2007 - 10:35 PM

film all the way, but i know what you mean money is money.

try this.
shoot 24p with dvx 100b (thats the camera to buy) 35 mm Adaptor will help with the everything in focus problem of video. add a promist to soften the edges of video and know how to light well and youl get the best quality image you can from video.

I actually read once that shooting in PAL looks more film like, check into that too,
  • 0


The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Opal

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape