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Camera and equip recommendation


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#1 Alberto Fernandez

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 01:28 PM

I want to invest as much as 5k in a camera and computer. I am going to try to do some weddings to regain some money but its not my ultimate goal, but bad lighting i guess is something to consider in the meantime.

My goal is to have the best setting possible that gives me good quality, I guess thats defined by the budget, but I have a day job, so what I am really interested in is: losing the least amount of time on compression, decompression, transforming from one format into another, but at the same time I'm willing to spend more time if I can work with HD on this system (and if the budget allows it). I want to keep it very simple, just shoot, transfer into PC, edit (HD prefferably), and produce a DVD (blue ray or HD DVD if not impossible). Oh and i want the final product to be on 16:9.


To recap: Camera with 16:9, 3ccd, good handling low light, under $3,500.00, records in a ready-to-use format for Adobe Premiere CS3 (or another suggested software with minimal loss of quality, or with mininal loss of time to transfer into another format if necessary). It its capable of producing an HD final product it would be a super plus.

So, what would be the best camera?



Sony HDR-FX7 http://www.amazon.co...e...0743&sr=1-1
Canon XH A1 http://www.amazon.co...f...0836&sr=1-1
Canon XL2Canon XL2
Panasonic Pro AG-DVX100B
Panasonic Pro AG 100b

Which Computer?

Gateway GT3076m $1,300 aprox

Funciones:
. Procesador Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E43001
. Windows Vista® Home Premium Original 2
. Monitor Gateway® LCD de 22" (widescreen HD)
. Memoria DDR2 de 2GB de canal dual
. Unidad de disco duro SATA II de 400GB a 7200rpm3
. Unidad de DVD±RW 16x multiformato de doble capa

Will it work with an INTEL 950 video card (default) or am i gonna have to put a Video card in it? It has PCIx16 ready.

or..

Dell Precision 390 (as is) $1,500 aprox
Core 2 duo E4300
2GB ram
Nvidia Quadro FX550 128mb
19" monitor
80gb disc

Which editing software?

Is Adobe Premiere CS3 the best option for mr? (consider las vegas, pinnacle, avid possibly).

I know i am answering my own question here.. but help me out, all i can see is the specs and tech, i know there is more to it than what i can conclude by reading tech reports and prices.

And what would be the average price to pay for a wedding 1h video with this equipment, with an average editor (i mean, what should i charge per wedding if i manage to work one.?.. hehe.

Please post your recommended equip combo for my needs, thanks.

Many Thanks.

Edited by Alberto Fernandez, 04 October 2007 - 01:31 PM.

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#2 Alberto Fernandez

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 03:12 AM

Erm... i guess this could be moved to the First Time Filmmakers area.
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#3 Simon Miya

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 03:21 AM

Erm... i guess this could be moved to the First Time Filmmakers area.


Or a more video oriented forum altogether. Not trying to be rude, but I think you might get more useful responses on a DV forum than this one.
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#4 Frank Cook

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 01:56 PM

I don't think you have enough money to go HD.

If you are going to charge for your service, you need not only a good video, but also good audio. That means putting mics on the bride, groom, and minister. Of course, you will not be able to run wires everywhere, so the mics need to be wireless - at least $300.00 for each transmitter/receiver set (you could use just 2 untill you have more money to invest in gear). Even a really good camera will not get good sound from the back of the room using the camera mounted mic.

I don't see lights on your list either. You will need them.

I would suggest buying a Canon XL 1 (or 2) camera from someone who is upgrading to HD. These cameras are more than good enough for someone just starting out. HD is great, but if the rest of your production is bad - ie sound, lights, it won't matter. Bad production still sucks even in HD. Most people will be happy with a regular SD DVD. If they want high production values and HD, they won't hire a beginner to shoot the wedding anyway!

As to the computer, I like apple, so I will restrain from commenting on your choices.

If you are shooting a wedding, your gear HAS to work. If something breaks, you don't get to yell cut, then run out for the replacement part. Spare parts MUST be part of your kit. Failing to make the video after you have signed a contract can land you in court, and cost more than your stated budget for gear. Plus, you will have a VERY angry wedding party that tells everyone that they know how, "YOU ruined the greatest day of their life."

It might be better to rent gear for you first wedding (except the computer). That way you can see if it something you want to do before spending all your savings. You should be able to rent everything you need for the big day for less than $1000.00. And, if the camera or other critical gear dies, you might have some recourse - able to call the rental house and ask for a replacement camera ASAP.

How much to charge. Ha Ha. I know this sounds crazy, but most of the wedding video people I know say that it took them around 70 to 100 hours to edit a wedding video when they were getting started (about 20 - 40 hours for a pro). Let's say you spend a total of 100 hours making the video. and you pay yourself $10.00 per hour, thats $1000.00. Now you need to make something for the use of the gear - say $500.00. That means you need to charge 1500.00 for a basic wedding.

Now, are you good enough in your video skills to charge this much? If not, well...
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#5 Alberto Fernandez

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 08:25 PM

I dont have any video skills, ok. heh.

I've thought about the sound, its all considered in a separate budget, along with lights and the rest of the equipment, or I could rent all that. I know how to work with sound so that wont be a problem.

I plan to start as camera man for someone else, if they let me (Someone suggested me this approach). Or doing free wedding concept videos, or just sell it to them if they like it after they watch it. Just because im a tech moron that doesnt mean im a moron in general. :P

I wont know how far I am from actually pulling it off until i can be involved in a video production, i dont think ill be charging even symbolic amounts of money until 2008 IF i really push myself.

If you want to laugh even more, just picture this, a noob like me trying to make a groom and bride's onw little version of an MTV The Hills episode, with similar music and format. The reason i choose that one is 1)the format is awesome.. and 2) the acting quality bar is not set very high.. heh.

Well, thanks, Frank.

Edited by Alberto Fernandez, 06 October 2007 - 08:28 PM.

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#6 David Sweetman

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 03:53 PM

I'm unaware of any video editing capabilities within CS3...I'd say your choice is really between Avid and Final Cut, but of course Vegas and Premiere can get the job done too. In my experience, Avid and Final Cut are the only truly respected editing platforms, so you'll be taken more seriously among professionals using one of those, especially Avid. Avid Xpress Pro retails for $1700, but there are cheaper was of getting it, for example if you're a student, it's only $245 right now from www.journeyed.com. Final Cut I believe is only for Mac, and I'd guess it runs about $4-500.

So my opinion is that if you're going to learn an editing system anyway, and you have aspirations of being in the film industry, why not learn an editing program that is actually used in the industry? But when it comes down to it, I'm sure any of the programs you mentioned will get the job done adequately, you need to go with the one that's right for your price and purpose.
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#7 justin bender

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 07:32 AM

graphics cards depend on your mother board. i have an asus motherboard and it only works with PCI-E cards. I suggest you bump up to a 256mb or 512mb card. if you had the money i would suggest the Asus EN8800GTS its 640mb ddr3 and supports HD and dual dvi monitors but it costs about $420. i just bought a computer for editing and it cost me $1145.10 it has an intel dual core 2.8ghz 3gb ram the EN880GTS Asus p5kws motherboard with surround sound i can run CS3 without any problems and the card comes with video playing programs. it is a desktop so there might be a problem if you try to move it. but this is a good computer for the price. it might also be a little more exspensive for you because i worked for a computer company and got all my parts trough them. but good luck finding a computer the works for you and i hope this gave you some ideas.
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