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best HD camera for filmmaking?


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#1 Nicholas Katzakis

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 06:43 PM

Hello everyone,

I know this has probably been asked a million times but I'm looking to start an HD filmmaking production company and I'd like to know which camera is considered the best for filmmaking.

I'm looking for a solution which allows the same depth of fields as 35mm film, even if that means using a DOF adapter (like P+S Technik). If money isn't the issue, what's the best option for the filmmaker. Which HD camera produces the best film look?

If this has already been answered someplace else or on a review on the web, please point me to the right direction.

Thanks in advance,

Nick
Greece
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 06:46 PM

Money is always a question, so what's your budget?
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#3 Nicholas Katzakis

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 07:04 PM

Money is always a question, so what's your budget?


We'll be receiving a generous subsidy for this startup. To be honest we're looking to spend under 100k ( for both camera, DOF adapter if necessary, and a couple of lenses).
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 07:14 PM

We'll be receiving a generous subsidy for this startup. To be honest we're looking to spend under 100k ( for both camera, DOF adapter if necessary, and a couple of lenses).


I'd forget the DOF adaptor and get in line for a RED camera... it does 720P, 1080P, 2K, and 4K, multiple frame rates, and the body only costs $17,500. With basic accessories and some RED lenses, you're still way under your under-100K budget. See:
http://www.red.com/cameras.shtml

Downside, you aren't going to be able to get it right away.
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#5 Nicholas Katzakis

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 06:39 AM

get in line for a RED camera...


Nice. If only it wasn't so damn ugly!! :D Hehe, just kidding, but still, look at this beauty: http://pro.jvc.com/p...d250_mini35.jpg

Anyway, thanks for the tips :) I'll keep an eye out for the red cam.

Nick,
Greece
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#6 will griffith

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 07:07 AM

look at this beauty: http://pro.jvc.com/p...d250_mini35.jpg

I agree with Mr Mullen because even on commercial shoots the Mini and other adapters
can be a real pain and leave your image soft and grainy.

However...
From what I've seen this adapter seems to be super sharp and much less hassle than other DOF adapters. JVC HZ-CA13U Film Lens Adapter
Only works with JVC cams, but may be worth renting and testing.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 10:31 AM

From what I've seen this adapter seems to be super sharp and much less hassle than other DOF adapters. JVC HZ-CA13U Film Lens Adapter
Only works with JVC cams, but may be worth renting and testing.


If you look at the FOV charts here:
http://pro.jvc.com/p...el_id=MDL101683

The adaptor preserves the FOV of the same lens when on a 16mm camera (which is similar to a 2/3" CCD camera) not a 35mm camera. So the depth of field characteristics are halfway between 1/3" CCD and 35mm.
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#8 Nate Downes

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 11:13 AM

I'm with David and recommending the Red.
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#9 will griffith

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 12:02 PM

The adaptor preserves the FOV of the same lens when on a 16mm camera (which is similar to a 2/3" CCD camera) not a 35mm camera. So the depth of field characteristics are halfway between 1/3" CCD and 35mm.

I wasn't arguing that. It's just nice because you can use decent glass (not 35mm obviously)
and don't have to worry about spinning glass, extra batteries, etc. And you get something
much sharper than any other DOF adapter.

It doesn't give you 35mm DOF, but ANYTHING is an improvement over 1/3" chips. :)

>IF< the Red camera was available then it would be perfect for indies with this kind of budget.
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#10 Nicholas Katzakis

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 12:29 PM

Since we're on the subject, how about video assist monitor for the director? Any favorite makes? What size is best to carry around on location?
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#11 will griffith

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 01:51 PM

awesome...
Astro

Nice price and very sharp, but low contrast (pretty much worthless in bright sunlight, we have one)...
Marshall
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#12 Evangelos Achillopoulos

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 02:36 PM

A Varicam H with two Canon primes FJs9 and FJs14 plus a Cinestyle zoom 11x4,7 KLL for the rest of the focal lengths, a matte box, a set of NDs in order to operate wide open, a good tripod, a Panasonic LCD with Gamma correction, and a FCS2 package for HD online and finishing. VTR not needed, you will rent it every time you need it, all the rest (i.e. TV commercials) directly capture from camera.

Varicam will give you 11,5 stops latitude something like 0,4 less than Viper and about 2,7 more than Cinealta, JVC, Canon etc. As for resolution with 1,85:1 the 720 lines are enough for film projection. The look and feel of the image is very cinematic when transferred to film with LOG processing.

RED question is remain to be seen, the latitude as for now is 2 stops less than Varicam, the extra resolution doesn?t come out of the Cinema projector so wait and see, if you can wait until next year?

The above proposition is around 140000$

If you select JVC style camera take a look also to HVX200 or 500

PS. With the above lenses wide open you have the some shallow depth of field like 35mm in 2,8 1/3 so no need for adapters...

Edited by Evangelos Achillopoulos, 19 June 2007 - 02:40 PM.

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#13 Evangelos Achillopoulos

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 02:58 PM

I didn?t notice that you are from Greece?

Sorry Nichola

The Varicam set is out of question in Greece it costs more than 190000?.

Check the HPX500 and the rest of the package? only the lenses will be at 58000? the camera to 30000? and the Mac at 12000? so you are their.

Call me if you like at 6932834153 if you want to visit me to show you same footage with our film transfer.
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#14 Nicholas Katzakis

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 07:02 PM

Thank you all for your useful information. I am in no rush so I'll just wait and see what happens when the red cam comes out. Will thanks for the monitor links! :D Very much appreciated!

Edited by Nicholas Katzakis, 19 June 2007 - 07:03 PM.

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#15 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 01:57 PM

I'd forget the DOF adaptor and get in line for a RED camera... it does 720P, 1080P, 2K, and 4K, multiple frame rates, and the body only costs $17,500. With basic accessories and some RED lenses, you're still way under your under-100K budget. See:
http://www.red.com/cameras.shtml

Downside, you aren't going to be able to get it right away.

That looks really nice. What media does it record to HDcam HardDrive?
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#16 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 03:28 PM

nevermind i found the answer. And would like to get a hold of that:-)
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#17 John Sprung

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 04:24 PM

Money is always a question, so what's your budget?

The other important question is schedule.

If you'll only really use the camera for a few weeks or months shooting a feature, it can make more sense to rent. If you own it between pictures, during pre production and post, the value of the camera isn't earning any interest, and it's not being used. A rental camera would be out on other shoots at that time, making money for the rental company. The value they provide in return is that they eat the depreciation and take the risk on obsolescence. They also maintain their equipment between rentals, and provide technical support. That's why rental is the way the vast majority of feature films and even TV shows go.

OTOH, if you'll be shooting things like stock footage or time lapse, there may be circumstances in which it makes more sense to own a camera.



-- J.S.
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#18 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 05:55 PM

The other important question is schedule.

If you'll only really use the camera for a few weeks or months shooting a feature, it can make more sense to rent. If you own it between pictures, during pre production and post, the value of the camera isn't earning any interest, and it's not being used. A rental camera would be out on other shoots at that time, making money for the rental company. The value they provide in return is that they eat the depreciation and take the risk on obsolescence. They also maintain their equipment between rentals, and provide technical support. That's why rental is the way the vast majority of feature films and even TV shows go.

OTOH, if you'll be shooting things like stock footage or time lapse, there may be circumstances in which it makes more sense to own a camera.
-- J.S.

And to add to that, owning a camera like the RED, would give you good opportunity for "Camera for Hire Freelancing." If you line up enough jobs you could earn back the value of the camera in fair amount of time.
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