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Multi-Camera, Low Light, Life Action Shoot


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#1 Joey Daoud

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 11:41 PM

I'm producing a shoot of a boxing match in a few months and I'm trying to figure out the best camera to use.

Here's the situation:

-Multi-camera shoot, so I need something that can have the time code synchronized
-Handle low light well
-Handle fast movement and action well

Any camera suggestions would be a great help. Thanks!
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#2 Aaron Moorhead

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:13 AM

Hey Joey, great to see you on the boards.

It really depends on your budget. If you're going for lower budget HD, I've had a lot of success with the JVC-HD100U. It's got TC Sync, and is 720p HD. It's got high compression through MPEG-2 HDV tape-based workflow, but not really noticeable if you're just outing to DVD or broadcast. It's now an "older" technology camera, though, so you can probably pick up a good amount of them for cheap.

If you have a bit more money, I'm loving a LOT on the EX-1 and EX-3. Beautiful stuff -- comparable image quality, color replication, and dynamic range to Red in some circumstances, but not all -- and a tapeless workflow to boot. Works wonderfully in low-light, too.

Above that, well, there's Red, but I know you know that stuff.

I enjoyed recently operating the HPX-3700. It was broadcast quality 24p HD, and a damn expensive camera, but had all of the manual functions to make it work really well, and was ergonomically great. Although, I just remembered it has a B&W viewfinder, which would suck for low-light work, so grab an alternate viewfinder or use its flip-out LCD screen.

Take care man, we're going to conquer the world when you come on out here.
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#3 Joey Daoud

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:03 PM

So I didn't realize it was you until I read the end of the post and I thought, "Wow, they're really friendly. It's like they know me."

I shot my lifehack doc on the HD100U. I really liked it, great quality, I was just curious to see what other options there were in the 1080 field.

But on the flip side, I shot some more stuff using Ryland's Sony 1080i cam (sorry, forgot the model number) and every time there's fast movement I get those interlaced lines. Now I'm not sure if it was the camera or that I imported it as MPEG then converted it to MOV. So this has me worried about something fast paced like boxing.

Thanks for mentioning the EX-1 and 3. I was also thinking about the Panasonic P2 cam. The only concern I have with going tapeless is this'll be remote shooting, filmming a lot of fights a day, and it'll get costly to get enough cards to cover my ass. But I guess these can take hard drives, no? Are those reliable?

And also because I'm traveling the JVC is a little bulky.

Thoughts? What's the main difference between the EX-1 and 3, besides 2 grand?
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#4 Aaron Moorhead

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:29 AM

Hey man,

Just some quick answers here:

Ryland's cam (I think he has a Sony FX-1 or a Z1-U) interlacing is a problem you can "fix in post." Ultimately, the interlacing lines can be made to disappear by going through a deinterlacing process. FCP can do it for you.

The EX-1 and EX-3 are different in ergonomics, really. The EX-3 has a built in shoulder pad (the EX1 is built for "handicam" style recording), it has a viewfinder attached to the LCD rather than seperate (surprisingly useful if you've used the EX-1 and realized how impossible critical focus is on its crappy EVF on the back of the cam) and it has a removable lens, so you can mount 35mm lenses if you have the proper adapter. It also has some minor adjustments to where the controls are, like the varispeed being a hard button rather than in the software of the menu system. So, in terms of making a purchase, I'd go for the EX-3 just because the little stuff adds up in a big way, but for rental for a day or two...go with whatever saves you money :).

P2 is pricey as hell, but the cams can both take Firestore drives and some other proprietary drives, I think, and/or do a direct out through HDMI which gives you better colorspace anyways. I haven't done that yet, I've just done P2. The drives cost a pretty penny and you want to be careful because you can lose your data from a good bump, but you can shoot hours and hours with it, so it's definitely good for doc work. The battery life on these things is KICKASS, though, so you can probably shoot a whole day on one or two tiny little batts.

Let me know how it works out!

Aaron
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#5 Thomas James

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:43 PM

If you want to shoot boxing I would forget 1080i interlace and go with progressive 720p at 60 frames per second. That would mean either the Sony EX-1 or the JVD HD200. For a more filmic look you could also try 720p at 30 frames per second. With a Varicam you can do on the fly ramping from 24 frames per second to 60 frames per second.
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:46 PM

With a Varicam you can do on the fly ramping from 24 frames per second to 60 frames per second.


You could ,but since it's not realy supported on most display systems, why would you WANT to?

Same thing with 1080p. For the most part it is still totally unsupported by average TV viewers sets.

In light of the current economy, this condition will probably persist for over a decade.

So do you want to produce content that most people won't even be able to take advantage of, or make something for the here and now?
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#7 Thomas James

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 04:00 PM

With the Varicam on the fly ramping is always output to a 60p stream. Shooting at 20 frames per second means each frame is repeated 3 times Shooting at 30 frames per second means each frame is repeated twice and shooting at 60 frames per second means each frame is displayed one time. The final product is then outputed to a Blu-Ray disc at 720p resolution in a 60p stream. Since all flat panel televisions can display 60 to 120 frames per second there will be no problems.
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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 04:46 PM

With the Varicam on the fly ramping is always output to a 60p stream. Shooting at 20 frames per second means each frame is repeated 3 times Shooting at 30 frames per second means each frame is repeated twice and shooting at 60 frames per second means each frame is displayed one time. The final product is then outputed to a Blu-Ray disc at 720p resolution in a 60p stream. Since all flat panel televisions can display 60 to 120 frames per second there will be no problems.


Less than 10% of the American population owns a Blu-ray player, sorry.

It's probably far far lower elsewhere.
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