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what HDV camera should I use?


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#1 Andrew Armentrout

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 02:24 AM

I'm in the pre-production stages of a short film and I'm wondering what advice people have as to what camera I should buy. My budget is about $5,000 and obviously I want something that looks as close to film as possible. I realize HDV is going to fall short of film quality in any case but I don't want people to immediately dismiss my film because it looks too amateurish. I also want to use a micro lens for some inserts so I would need a camera with this capability. Which direction should I go in?
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#2 David Williams

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 02:33 AM

Get a used Sony EX1. Nothing comes close in that price range. Has a great macro too.
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#3 Peter Moretti

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 03:14 AM

Agreed. If you want to go cheaper, then a Canon XH-A1s.

BTW, HDV is a recording format. So while both are HD cameras, the Canon acutally shoots HDV. The Sony shoots XDCAM EX, which is not HDV. XDCAM EX is better than HDV.
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#4 Thomas James

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 11:06 AM

You might want to consider a DSLR with high definition video capability. That way you will have money to buy interchangable lenses that you want to use for micro photography.
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#5 WaiHoong

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:05 AM

Well...i have surveyed a lot of cameras and have read lots of articles about frame rates...in my opinion JVC offers the best quality specs than canon, sony and panasonic...it supports variable frame rates and true progressive scan.....
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#6 Thomas James

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 11:14 AM

Yes of course progressive scan high definition is the new buzz word for high quality video. Interlace video even if it is high definition is on its way out because who wants interlace artifacts? And variable frame rates are wher its at. You want 24p for that film look and 60p is great for fast action sports.
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#7 David Williams

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 05:55 PM

Well...i have surveyed a lot of cameras and have read lots of articles about frame rates...in my opinion JVC offers the best quality specs than canon, sony and panasonic...it supports variable frame rates and true progressive scan.....


Sorry to say you can't possibly have looked very hard? JVC doesn't even have a single camera that supports full HD, 1920*1080, all the JVCs are 1/3 or 1/4 sensors, and both Sony and Panasonic support variable frame rates and true progressive.
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#8 Sean Ryan Finnegan

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 12:59 AM

You might want to consider a DSLR with high definition video capability. That way you will have money to buy interchangable lenses that you want to use for micro photography.


The problem with this is that DSLRs are not capable of 24p (yet). And that's a big problem when you're looking to make something look and feel cinematic.
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#9 WaiHoong

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:05 PM

Sorry to say you can't possibly have looked very hard? JVC doesn't even have a single camera that supports full HD, 1920*1080, all the JVCs are 1/3 or 1/4 sensors, and both Sony and Panasonic support variable frame rates and true progressive.



Thanks for the information!! I'm still learning for a few months by now. Btw... is the RED supports a full HD?
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#10 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:58 PM

The problem with this is that DSLRs are not capable of 24p (yet). And that's a big problem when you're looking to make something look and feel cinematic.


Hi Sean: The Panasonic DMC-GH1 interchangeable lens hybrid digital still/HD camera can record 1080p24, and as of this week is now finally available through more dealers. See:
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=37701

The following link is one of many posts within the above thread, but it gets right to the point of Andrew's question:
http://www.cinematog...h...st&p=297131

Also, Canon's EOS 7D interchangeable lens hybrid digital still/HD camera will be shipping in a few weeks or so, and it will be able to shoot 1080p24:
http://www.usa.canon...p;modelid=19356

Meanwhile, I would urge Andrew to consider renting gear instead of buying it. He'll be able to use much better equipment for his money, and probably learn more, too.

He may also wish to consider using some of his budget to hire professional crew, such as an experienced gaffer. This will likely go farther in guaranteeing a true "film look" for his "film" than almost anything else he might do.

And finally, if Andrew wants his "film" to truly look like film -- and not kinda sorta like film -- then he may wish to consider renting actual film gear & shoot real film. Lots of folks have made actual film shorts for $5K or less.
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#11 Rosa Esposito

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 11:44 AM

When I was trying to figure out which HD Camera to use I did an extensive amount of research online, but now there is this great You Tube Channel that is education and informative about HD Cameras.

HD Camera You Tube Channel

I hope this helps you!
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#12 Steve Phillipps

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 05:48 PM

Thanks for the information!! I'm still learning for a few months by now. Btw... is the RED supports a full HD?


Much more than full hd! But it's a whole different beast, and way beyond your stated budget - even just the body which is only a small part of the kit.
I'd also go EX1 without any question, unless there's a lot of fast movement involved in which case I'd be concerned about rolling shutter problems.
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#13 Peter Moretti

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 07:42 PM

The problem with this is that DSLRs are not capable of 24p (yet). And that's a big problem when you're looking to make something look and feel cinematic.


Nikon, Canon (just released) and Panasonic all make DSLR's that shoot 24P. It is of course true that the 5DM2 does not shoot 24P.
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#14 Rosa Esposito

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 01:18 PM

I'm in the pre-production stages of a short film and I'm wondering what advice people have as to what camera I should buy. My budget is about $5,000 and obviously I want something that looks as close to film as possible. I realize HDV is going to fall short of film quality in any case but I don't want people to immediately dismiss my film because it looks too amateurish. I also want to use a micro lens for some inserts so I would need a camera with this capability. Which direction should I go in?



If you still need help finding a camera, HD Camera Guide just improved their website with new videos and information about HD Cameras. :rolleyes:

The link is http://www.hdcameraguide.com/
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#15 Lance Tang

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 01:40 PM

I was under the impression that HD would have better resolution than film. Is this not true?
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#16 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 02:34 PM

Not in the least.
Film has much higher resolution than HD and even, some would say, D-Cinema cameras. But, a lot of this also comes down to the lenses. You just ain't gonna get comparable results from a prosumer camera/lens than a professional camera/lens.
Let's just say 35mm film is at least 4 times the resolution of HD cameras. That's not exact, but it is a good reference point. Even 16mm will resolve better than HD.
But resolution isn't really all THAT important overall. how a camera handles colors and luminance are much more important, and in both of those areas film still excels.
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#17 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 03:34 PM

Any reason why nobody mentioned the Panasonic HPX170 or Panasonic HMC150?

HPX170 = DVCPro HD which produces far better images than HDV.

HMC150 = AVCHD which is said to match or surpass HDV in quality.

Both are under $5000 new.
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#18 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 03:41 PM

Not in the least.
Film has much higher resolution than HD and even, some would say, D-Cinema cameras. But, a lot of this also comes down to the lenses. You just ain't gonna get comparable results from a prosumer camera/lens than a professional camera/lens.
Let's just say 35mm film is at least 4 times the resolution of HD cameras. That's not exact, but it is a good reference point. Even 16mm will resolve better than HD.
But resolution isn't really all THAT important overall. how a camera handles colors and luminance are much more important, and in both of those areas film still excels.


I've heard that Film resolves no more than 4k and is usually around 2k. Film Negatives MAY get up to 6k, but most don't. Most Film Release Prints are 2k (1080P HD) or 1k (in between 720P HD and PAL SD).

So HD can resolve better than a Film Release Print but probably not a 35mm negative. If you DI HD (Which is really the only logical way to go.), you'll get a release print equal to a Film that has gone entirely through a film workflow. Each Copy of the Film degrades the quality up to half per pass.

Negative (4k/6k) ---> Interpositive (2k/3k) ---> InterNegative (1k/1.5k) ---> Release Prints (.5k/.75k).

Edited by Andrew McCarrick, 06 November 2009 - 03:46 PM.

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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 03:54 PM

Film has much higher resolution than HD and even, some would say, D-Cinema cameras.


All current D-cinema cameras are HD, except Red, which I have serious trouble describing as a D-cinema camera.

P
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