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choosing a camera


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#1 Dane Brist

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 12:07 PM

I am trying to decide which camera to buy...
this will be my first super 8...

I am looking at a NIZO 801 for $245

or

a NIZO 561 for $187

I'm a poor college student with a tight budget so anywhere I can save money would be nice..
is the increased focal length worth the extra money?
are there other features besides the focal length that set these two apart?

or even a NIZO 560 for $159

this one doesn't have Autom.B.. what exactly does that mean?

I saw a video on youtube shot with the 801 that I loved the look of...
I know that the film you use plays a big part in the result,
but could I get similar results with one of the cheaper ones?

Thanks for the help!
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 12:59 PM

The image is going to have more to do with how you light and expose and not so much about the specific camera. The quality of glass in the lens definitely will have an influence, though at that level, the differences won't make that much of a difference.

What's important is getting equipment that is appropriate for the kind of work/projects you're going to shoot. If you're shooting dialogue, you need a quiet camera. If you want to do slow-motion, the higher frame-rate will be noisy so you can't get great audio. If you want good zooms, then the camera should have a nice motorized lens control. If you don't want to use on-camera zooms (during the shot) but want to move the camera a lot, then don't worry about that part.

So get a camera that will do what you need it to and also invest in a quality tripod and head. Your work will look much more professional by avoiding jerky pans, tilts, and zooms.

Concentrate on lighting and exposure. If you're shooting a reversal stock like Kodachrome 40, know that you have a very narrow exposure latitude so your lighting has to be very even.

Do everything you can to create a well-lit, well operated, and well composed frame. And also don't underestimate the importance of a quality soundtrack that will accompany your cut film. Viewers will forgive small errors in the picture, but if the soundtrack (dialogue, music, sound fx) is difficult to hear or is just poor in general (relative to what we're used to hearing everyday on TV, radio, and film) then your effort may be written off as amateurish. Investing time into a quality soundtrack can elevate your project to a new level so that no one will really know what you spent.

Good luck!
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#3 gary szunyog

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 05:44 PM

I chose the Nizo 561 from super8arena, a bit dusty inside and out but i entered at $200. I have film but have not tried it yet.

I am interested in time lapse at the moment.
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#4 jacob thomas

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 06:09 PM

I am trying to decide which camera to buy...
this will be my first super 8...

I am looking at a NIZO 801 for $245

or

a NIZO 561 for $187

I'm a poor college student with a tight budget so anywhere I can save money would be nice..
is the increased focal length worth the extra money?
are there other features besides the focal length that set these two apart?

or even a NIZO 560 for $159

this one doesn't have Autom.B.. what exactly does that mean?

I saw a video on youtube shot with the 801 that I loved the look of...
I know that the film you use plays a big part in the result,
but could I get similar results with one of the cheaper ones?

Thanks for the help!


Autom B is for time exposures. IMHO it's worth spending the extra $30 for. Do a search on youtube for time exposure.

As far as 801 vs 561 both are pretty nice cameras if you really have to save the money get the 561, Michael is probably going to chime in and say that the 801's lens is slightly better than the 561'...

Both the 561 and the 801 require mercury or their replacement zinc oxide batteries.

Edited by jacob thomas, 02 February 2008 - 06:10 PM.

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#5 Dane Brist

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 05:07 AM

thanks for the help..
I'm going to go with the 801...
it's just money..
might as well enjoy it from time to time.
thanks again!
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#6 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 04:27 PM

Michael is probably going to chime in and say that the 801's lens is slightly better than the 561'...



Am I?

;)

I think that's no longer necessary, as I seem to have the power of "automatic priming" over "newbies" - Dane already went for the 801, I gather.

Well, as per my fetish camera list here, your assumption regarding my potential posting, Jacob, is correct:

The Nizo 801 (macro) with the Schneider Macro-Variogon 1:1,8 / 7-80mm and the Nizo 561 macro with the Schneider Macro-Variogon 1:1,8 / 7-56mm are pretty much identical, but if slight optical quality gain is important (if you go to a DI postchain with HD, it is ? if you just go to telecine on miniDV with an import into iMovie, it isn't), then the 801 should be preferred.

However, both cams already showcase good taste and understanding for top gear ? which I do indeed try to promote for this cine-film format. I stand accused B) !

Going for autom.b is definitely worth it, as it expands the visual toolbox at your disposal significantly.

As far as choosing a camera for a specific project is concerned: I think the nice thing about Super 8 gear is that most optically satisfying cameras (which should be the primary decider when it comes to shooting on a format 7% the size of Super 35) are production cameras, and hence pretty much cover all the features, functions and options one can wish for.

The camera list here only features production cameras at the top end, and later universal cameras (which brought in Commag, thus slightly complicating usability and IMHO reducing the production value capabilities a bit).
Hey, read all about that in the upcoming issue of Super 8 Today, where Chris apparently intends to print my article on the Leitz Leicina Special. I just organised some gorgeous photography for it which I hope will find its way into the final print issue.

Dane, for an overview of autom.B, read through the TIME EXPOSURE AND TIME LAPSE INTERVALOMETER RESOURCES here. If you are new to Super 8, the entire FAQ-style thread might be of some worthiness to you, too.
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Aerial Filmworks

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