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Very new to this , need some pointers....


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#1 Greg Rosenburg

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 07:07 PM

Hey guys wonder if you can help me,

I?ve always enjoyed creating and editing movies , I currently have this camera : http://www.epinions....D653E_Camcorder and well....it is not good quality (got it as a present) , it burns the video to a DVD thus it makes it very difficult to edit it , anyways I still manage to edit it but it?s very time consuming , however lately I have started thinking about taking this more seriously and perhaps shooting my own kind of short films , the kind of films will be similar to candid camera pranks , and the movie layout will be similar to Jackass , now this is where I need your help! :


1)I have NO education in using anything else than a camcorder (I?m good at using editing software though) , I?ve been reading a lot lately and it seems if I want to create a movie for the big screen (cinemas) I should use a 16mm camera? Is this assumption correct or could I shoot with a digital camera (I like editing the stuff IV filmed)

2) Can you recommend and good books I should read to help me out, again I have already searched but there is a lot of information out there, too much

3) My "film" would be a very low budget, but because it doesn?t really require any "actors" it won?t cost that much to create, it will require more on my creativity more than anything else

4) I have about $7,000 to spend , what camera should I get that not only gives a great image , is durable , but is also "computer friendly" (IE: can plug it in your PC and can instantly edit the video)

5) The film I want to create will be a mixture between Candid camera and jackass, I have loads of ideas etc, so I need a camera/s that will do the job I need it to do! (I don?t need a 35mm)


Thanks for any help

Greg Rosenberg
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#2 AdamBray

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 02:08 AM

For the type of shooting you're interested in, you don't need 16mm. In fact, I would say it's a waste. Digital video is fine.

As for what camera? Everyone that replies on here is going to have a different opinion and reccomend a different camera. My pick would be the Canon XH-A1. If you don't care about HD and are looking to save a few dollars, I would probably go with a used Panasonic DVX. Those are just my opinions
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#3 Nate Downes

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 12:50 PM

Hey guys wonder if you can help me,

I?ve always enjoyed creating and editing movies , I currently have this camera : http://www.epinions....D653E_Camcorder and well....it is not good quality (got it as a present) , it burns the video to a DVD thus it makes it very difficult to edit it , anyways I still manage to edit it but it?s very time consuming , however lately I have started thinking about taking this more seriously and perhaps shooting my own kind of short films , the kind of films will be similar to candid camera pranks , and the movie layout will be similar to Jackass , now this is where I need your help! :
1)I have NO education in using anything else than a camcorder (I?m good at using editing software though) , I?ve been reading a lot lately and it seems if I want to create a movie for the big screen (cinemas) I should use a 16mm camera? Is this assumption correct or could I shoot with a digital camera (I like editing the stuff IV filmed)

2) Can you recommend and good books I should read to help me out, again I have already searched but there is a lot of information out there, too much

3) My "film" would be a very low budget, but because it doesn?t really require any "actors" it won?t cost that much to create, it will require more on my creativity more than anything else

4) I have about $7,000 to spend , what camera should I get that not only gives a great image , is durable , but is also "computer friendly" (IE: can plug it in your PC and can instantly edit the video)

5) The film I want to create will be a mixture between Candid camera and jackass, I have loads of ideas etc, so I need a camera/s that will do the job I need it to do! (I don?t need a 35mm)
Thanks for any help

Greg Rosenberg


I would do the opposite of Adam and definately grab either a 16mm or a Super8. For 16, Bolex has taught many a new filmmaker how to shoot. Don't spend much on the camera, focus on the film itself. Get a decent light kit. I'd stull use your DVD camcorder to help teach yourself how to pick shots, before you shoot with the 16mm.
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#4 Greg Rosenburg

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 05:04 PM

With 16MM would I beable to connect it upto a PC and edit the video? (seeing as it is film , apparently that is not possible?)
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#5 Nate Downes

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:53 PM

With 16MM would I beable to connect it upto a PC and edit the video? (seeing as it is film , apparently that is not possible?)

directly, no. However you can have the film processed then telecined to a disk or hard drive.
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#6 Greg Rosenburg

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 07:23 PM

Will the quility difference be substantial in the difference between a digital camera , (like this one : http://www.sacamera....prod=7921A001AA and this one : http://www.sacamera....p?prod=CanXH-A1 ) compared to 16MM?

also what is the price difference?

lastly , with a digital camera , how does it go onto the cinimas , do they convert it to film? if soo , how much does that cost?
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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 07:51 PM

Will the quility difference be substantial in the difference between a digital camera , (like this one : http://www.sacamera....prod=7921A001AA and this one : http://www.sacamera....p?prod=CanXH-A1 ) compared to 16MM?

also what is the price difference?

lastly , with a digital camera , how does it go onto the cinimas , do they convert it to film? if soo , how much does that cost?


I know you're new to this, but you need to get up to speed on a some basics before you can choose a specific model. Otherwise it's like going around to car lots saying "how about this one" before you even know if you really need a truck, a economy coupe, or a luxury sedan.

HD resolution cameras will give a sharper image than SD cameras when projected on a large screen. But SD movies play in festivals all the time, and look okay on DVD and the web (but never as good as larger formats).

There's a difference in image quality depending on the size of the sensor and recording format. That Canon DM-XM2 you mentioned uses a 1/4" chip, which will never quite deliver the quality of a larger chip. Most decent prosumer cameras use 1/3" chips, and professional cameras use 2/3" chips. In your price range you're pretty much limited to the prosumer 1/3" variety.

SD cameras like the Panasonic DVX-100 record with the MiniDV format. The Canon XH-A1 records in the HDV format. You'll want to make sure that the computer you're using for post can handle the tape format.

And if you're serious about a theatrical release you'll probably want to shoot and edit in 24P (24frames per second), which is what film uses, instead of 60i (regular interlaced video). You'll want to choose a camera that can shoot and record in a 24P mode that again your computer an handle.

Blowing up to film is VERY expensive. You're more likely to end up with a DVD finish first, before you get to the point of doing a filmout for distribution. But the reality of distribution is a whole 'nother topic. For the time being you just need to concentrate on getting the best image quality you can for post, and worry about the filmout later.

16mm film will generally look better than what any SD camera can give you, and equal to or better than what an HD camera will give you -- assuming you finish your project on SD or HD video. But the shooting cost of 16mm film for a lengthy project is very expensive compared to any digital format.

In the end you need to narrow down your needs and priorities, and then match the available products to those needs.
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#8 AdamBray

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 08:16 PM

I would do the opposite of Adam and definately grab either a 16mm or a Super8. For 16, Bolex has taught many a new filmmaker how to shoot. Don't spend much on the camera, focus on the film itself.


I'm all for that. But I don't think he's ready to spend $175 for every 2.5 minutes of footage that he can't even have sound on at this stage of the game. And he still has not been informed it cant shoot synch sound. A digital camera would suit his needs much better at this stage. When he learns to compose shots and knows what he likes and wants, then he can step up to the 16mm game. But telling someone to go from a DVD handicam straight to a 16mm MOS camera is not good advice I don't think.

A 3 chip MiniDV camera at this stage is what he needs. Which one, is his choice.
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#9 Greg Rosenburg

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:33 PM

Hey guys , thanks for your help

im trying my best to get upto speed , Michael mentioned I should prefferebly get a 24P camera , however the cameras Im looking at ar 24F , are they the same thing? or different?

it looks like putting it onto the cinima is way more expensive than I initially thought , soo probably ill first put it on DVD and if it does well , then i can always blow it up onto film

thanks for your help
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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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