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need some help choosing a good camera


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#1 abe salloum

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 04:22 PM

i am getting ready to work on a new feature film.
it is a horror film that will be filmed in jan, feb, mar. so it will be snowy outside.
we will have very low lighting inside and high light outside because of the snow.

i have been looking at 2 different cameras. Panasonic DVX100b and the Sony EX1.
and i also will be getting the 35mm adapter and lens kit to give it a film look.

please if anyone have any good information about a camera that is under $5000 cuz i need to buy at least two. please help me with any information.

also info about low lighting kits and sound equipment will be apreciated.

thank you. great site and great people.
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#2 Joe nelson

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 08:22 PM

WOW! do NOT get the pani DVX100...I use that camera at school and it sucks in low light even up close. Im not familiar with the other camera though. Maby go for a pani hmc150 . Thats the camera im going to get...
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#3 David Desio

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 09:53 AM

Question, why not rent the cameras? Unless you are planning on using them for future projects. The DVX100 is a good little camera but Joe is correct, it needs light to sing. When you say low light interiors, I assume you mean dark and moody, not under exposed so in that case you will need to get a good contrast between shadows and highlights. This does not mean that you want to use very small and weak lights necessarily because especially with the 2 cameras you mentioned, things tend to get murky very fast.

What you do want to do is get your shadows working for you, let your light fall off in to darkness. Look at some dark scenes from horror films and really look at the lighting and how that relates to the shadow play in the scene.

I'll try to find some stills for you...
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#4 Joe nelson

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 05:50 PM

yes, thats right. I was shooting a school dance with a dvx100 on a glidecam4000 and the light was "okay" but not great...with a little bit of detail. But in well lit areas this camera is awesome! but keep searching...youll find one...
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 06:04 PM

DVX is a pretty old camera as well as SD whereas the EX is newer and HD... given the choice, I went EX1. It's a very nice camera and i actually got rid of my adapter when i started really using the ex cam.
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#6 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 10:40 PM

I'm not sure of this, but isn't a common way to achieve low-light with digital is by shooting in reasonable lighting conditions and then just grading in post to make it look low-light?
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#7 Joe nelson

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 10:43 PM

I'm not sure of this, but isn't a common way to achieve low-light with digital is by shooting in reasonable lighting conditions and then just grading in post to make it look low-light?


I'm not sure but I would think so. But then again there will be times when you can't do that. I've found that the panasonic HMC150 shoots really well in low-light conditions.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 10:44 PM

Thats if you have reasonable light to begin with... which many times isn't the case.
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#9 Hyun De Grande

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 06:49 PM

I don't know much about the 2 cameras you mentioned, but maybe you should also take a look at the canon XL2 or the canon XH A1s, both with about the same price tag of $4000.

The xl2 is a very good SD-miniDV camcorder, with the great option of changing lenses. It was the last camcorder in the standard XL line, so it had been constantly improved compared to previous models. It's also a camera with a large user base, so you can find a lot of demo material of the cam. Also, the fact that it's designed as a shouldercam is very interresting, which makes it very easy for handheld shooting, etc.

The XH A1s has the benefit of being HD (well, HDV actually), which in this day and age can ben appealing, and sometimes even a nescessity. It yields very good quality, and has about the same functionallities the xl2 has. But, the two main downsides are that it doesn't have an interchangable lens system, and it's not a shouldercam design. wheter or not these downsides are really important, will differ from person to person.. It all really depends on what you're planning to use it for..

Btw: what also may be interresting these days is a vDslr, like the Canon eos 7d or the Canon eos 5d mark II. They both have Full HD video options, have larger sensors than prosumer camcorders (the 5d is even full-frame!), and they have a very wide range of custom (and real photographic) lenses. Plus, they are priced between $1500-$2500. The only tricky thing is that they aren't specifically designed for movie recording, so the ergonomics could be a bit annoying. But you can find many rigs now that support vDslr's, so you can trick them out with rails, matte boxes, follow focus systems, and what-not.
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#10 Joe nelson

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 07:08 PM

I don't know much about the 2 cameras you mentioned, but maybe you should also take a look at the canon XL2 or the canon XH A1s, both with about the same price tag of $4000.

The xl2 is a very good SD-miniDV camcorder, with the great option of changing lenses. It was the last camcorder in the standard XL line, so it had been constantly improved compared to previous models. It's also a camera with a large user base, so you can find a lot of demo material of the cam. Also, the fact that it's designed as a shouldercam is very interresting, which makes it very easy for handheld shooting, etc.

The XH A1s has the benefit of being HD (well, HDV actually), which in this day and age can ben appealing, and sometimes even a nescessity. It yields very good quality, and has about the same functionallities the xl2 has. But, the two main downsides are that it doesn't have an interchangable lens system, and it's not a shouldercam design. wheter or not these downsides are really important, will differ from person to person.. It all really depends on what you're planning to use it for..

Btw: what also may be interresting these days is a vDslr, like the Canon eos 7d or the Canon eos 5d mark II. They both have Full HD video options, have larger sensors than prosumer camcorders (the 5d is even full-frame!), and they have a very wide range of custom (and real photographic) lenses. Plus, they are priced between $1500-$2500. The only tricky thing is that they aren't specifically designed for movie recording, so the ergonomics could be a bit annoying. But you can find many rigs now that support vDslr's, so you can trick them out with rails, matte boxes, follow focus systems, and what-not.


Ive used the canon xl2 before and its just not as good as a pani hmc150. But the xh a1 is awsome! the picture is so much better but a little more cash.
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