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#1 Alex Gates Jones

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 12:26 AM

Hey all, a quick search made this seem like the dominant cinematography forum. Ive been trying to decide which camera I should get for my first camera, budget is tight, perferably 2-300 dollars but thats not set in stone. Ive tried researching on my own but im just shootin in the wind.. I will be shooting action sports, mostly longboarding and possibly snowboarding. My prioritiy is SMOOTHNESS over HD, im not sure if theres anything in a camera I should look for to help with that or if thats justdependent on the operator. Also would increased frame rate capturing help? (60fps ect.) or is my best bet going to be to get pretty much any camera and just really learn how to use it? Any help will be much appreciated! Thanks!
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#2 Pavan Deep

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 01:20 AM

Hi

Why don't you give Super 8 a go [maybe you have] the cameras are increadibly cheap, you can get higher frame rates and there's lots of stock to choose from.

P
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#3 Oliver Christoph Kochs

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 04:29 AM

Bolex H16
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#4 George Simpson

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 07:14 AM

I would recommend the camera i use alot which is the Sony VX2100E, almost the same quailty as an HD camera but the problem is frame rate. Im guessing your gonna be doing alot of slow motion shots (i sure do) and i think HD is the best way to go for that smoothness effect.

George.
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#5 Steve Phipps

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 07:18 AM

Hi Alex,

If I understand correctly, you are shooting surfing and skiing/snow-boarding, and your budget for a camera is $200 to $300. I don't ever shoot those activities, but I have two pieces of advice:

#1. Forget about film, 16mm or Super-8mm.

You would have to make some kind of water-tight, protective housing for the camera, unless you buy something like the Eumig Nautica (waterproof, but I don't know about freeze-proof). The Nautica might be in your price range, and I agree with Pav that Super-8 is inexpensive and within your budget, but my advice would be to look at a budget video camera. Since you mention surfing and skiing, I would just look for a shock-proof, freeze-proof, water-proof budget video camera.

Out of curiosity, I looked through B&H's site, and there were several cameras in your price range, including some that can be simply worn, or mounted on your gear. They all mentioned "snowboarding" in their write-ups.

#2. Find a forum/community where people are posting clips similar to what you want to do. See what cameras they are using.

Hey all, a quick search made this seem like the dominant cinematography forum. Ive been trying to decide which camera I should get for my first camera, budget is tight, perferably 2-300 dollars but thats not set in stone. Ive tried researching on my own but im just shootin in the wind.. I will be shooting action sports, mostly longboarding and possibly snowboarding. My prioritiy is SMOOTHNESS over HD, im not sure if theres anything in a camera I should look for to help with that or if thats justdependent on the operator. Also would increased frame rate capturing help? (60fps ect.) or is my best bet going to be to get pretty much any camera and just really learn how to use it? Any help will be much appreciated! Thanks!


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#6 Alex Gates Jones

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 09:52 AM

Hi Alex,

If I understand correctly, you are shooting surfing and skiing/snow-boarding, and your budget for a camera is $200 to $300. I don't ever shoot those activities, but I have two pieces of advice:

#1. Forget about film, 16mm or Super-8mm.

You would have to make some kind of water-tight, protective housing for the camera, unless you buy something like the Eumig Nautica (waterproof, but I don't know about freeze-proof). The Nautica might be in your price range, and I agree with Pav that Super-8 is inexpensive and within your budget, but my advice would be to look at a budget video camera. Since you mention surfing and skiing, I would just look for a shock-proof, freeze-proof, water-proof budget video camera.

Out of curiosity, I looked through B&H's site, and there were several cameras in your price range, including some that can be simply worn, or mounted on your gear. They all mentioned "snowboarding" in their write-ups.

#2. Find a forum/community where people are posting clips similar to what you want to do. See what cameras they are using.


I appreciate the response, im not planning on shooting any water sports and very little if any snowboarding, its mostly going to be dry urban or country shooting, Ive looked into helet cams and such and the contour by VHolder seems like my best bet (720p @30 and 60 fps for 300ish) but it has a start/stop utton and thats IT, I wold atleast like a zoom function lol And I saw a video of a super 8 once and thought it was awesome, but I know NOTHING about film, and dont think I want to be spending money on film right now either as fascinated as I am with the super 8.
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#7 Alex Gates Jones

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 08:05 PM

Oh, and most the good filmers in my sport have nice sony's like George Simpson suggested, or HD camcorders that are outta my price range, I dont want to spend a whole lot because I dont know how serious about filming I am, I LOVe watching a well cinematographized video, and Id love to be that good, but I dont know if I am that good, and I dont know if I am willing to do what it takes to get that good, I need to understand that before I invest into any SERIOUS equipment.
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#8 George Simpson

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 09:55 AM

Oh, and most the good filmers in my sport have nice sony's like George Simpson suggested, or HD camcorders that are outta my price range, I dont want to spend a whole lot because I dont know how serious about filming I am, I LOVe watching a well cinematographized video, and Id love to be that good, but I dont know if I am that good, and I dont know if I am willing to do what it takes to get that good, I need to understand that before I invest into any SERIOUS equipment.



Thats fair enough, but i do think HD is the way forward. There are cheap HD camcorders out there, maybe around £500, just have a look around. Maybe this.....http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?hl=en&q=HD+camcorders&cid=10305873419517069581&sa=title#p
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#9 Alex Gates Jones

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 11:47 AM

Thats fair enough, but i do think HD is the way forward. There are cheap HD camcorders out there, maybe around £500, just have a look around. Maybe this.....http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?hl=en&q=HD+camcorders&cid=10305873419517069581&sa=title#p


You realize thats like $800? Weve got a Kodak digi cam im thinkin im gonna use that takes HD vid, but the 2 drawbacks are 1. The videos only SO great cause its a point and shoot, and second, none of our comps can REALLY handle HD video well.. and on top of all that Id much rather risk my own camera than our nice family camera.
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#10 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 11:57 AM

While the video may be an HD size (e.g. 1920x1080) trust me, your Kodak isn't an HD camera, and the reason why editing it is so difficult is because it's heavily compressed video (probably a form of MPEG) which needs to get decompressed before being played 'round with.
If you really want to get your feet wet in filmmaking without a huge investment (though all investments in filmmaking are pretty substantial) I recommend a used DVX100B. It's an SD camera but can produce wonderful results and are well on the aftermarket now. Granted it'll still run you up around 1000$ or so, but those are kinda the breaks in this business. It's a big deal when you drop that kind of cash in one day (trust me, I spent 30,000 in one day once....)
The other option is to grab an SLR and learn the basics of exposure/composition etc with one of 'em. Then you get a nice SLR to play with for awhile as well.
I would avoid "consumer" grade cameras, though. While they can produce very acceptable images, the lack of user control (most of them auto everything) makes them a not-so-useful learning tool for anything aside from editing (you'll shoot lots of footage and be able to edit it) and directing (again ability to shoot and focus on performances and shot selection).
While frame-rate will help in capturing "smoother" images (e.g. images without motion blur) what you really want to use is shutter speed. The faster your shutter speed the more "fozen" the moments in time. This however isn't really "smooth," but if you watch the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, on the beachhead, you can see what a faster shutter speed can do. For me smoothness is 1/48th a second (180 degree) shutter you get with film (part of the film look) which has some blurring between shots.


(a DVX on Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/...item1e5889fc28)
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#11 Alex Gates Jones

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 04:07 PM

While the video may be an HD size (e.g. 1920x1080) trust me, your Kodak isn't an HD camera, and the reason why editing it is so difficult is because it's heavily compressed video (probably a form of MPEG) which needs to get decompressed before being played 'round with.
If you really want to get your feet wet in filmmaking without a huge investment (though all investments in filmmaking are pretty substantial) I recommend a used DVX100B. It's an SD camera but can produce wonderful results and are well on the aftermarket now. Granted it'll still run you up around 1000$ or so, but those are kinda the breaks in this business. It's a big deal when you drop that kind of cash in one day (trust me, I spent 30,000 in one day once....)
The other option is to grab an SLR and learn the basics of exposure/composition etc with one of 'em. Then you get a nice SLR to play with for awhile as well.
I would avoid "consumer" grade cameras, though. While they can produce very acceptable images, the lack of user control (most of them auto everything) makes them a not-so-useful learning tool for anything aside from editing (you'll shoot lots of footage and be able to edit it) and directing (again ability to shoot and focus on performances and shot selection).
While frame-rate will help in capturing "smoother" images (e.g. images without motion blur) what you really want to use is shutter speed. The faster your shutter speed the more "fozen" the moments in time. This however isn't really "smooth," but if you watch the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, on the beachhead, you can see what a faster shutter speed can do. For me smoothness is 1/48th a second (180 degree) shutter you get with film (part of the film look) which has some blurring between shots.


(a DVX on Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/...item1e5889fc28)


Thanks Ill look into shutter speed, but im not really looking to get my feet wet.. im trying to see if I should get my feet wet.. if that makes sense. I know the Kodak aint gonna produce great video, but its better than our 320x240 digi camcorder.. and i havn't tried editing HD video yet, I simply mean playback is rough choppy enough. It smoothed out a bit when I put it on Vimeo though so Im pretty sure my comps just old lol The kodak also has an HQ640x480 that I might try out, but really im limited to what I have now until I can prove to myself/others that I am in need of serious equipment.
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