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Shopping list for ENG setup.


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#1 Rick Cook

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 02:50 PM

Hey All,

I was wondering if you guys could offer some advice on purchasing some equipment.

I was given the task of putting together a proposal for new equipment to be used in a local Television station.

We have a decent budget. So we are looking for the best, most current gear. It is VERY important though, that our equipment will stand the test of time.

So far, my list is made up of newer HMI lights (we only have tungsten fixtures at the moment) and a few other things.

The part I need help with, are camera packages! I have looked into the newer camera's and I am totally lost when it comes to ENG style camera's. I have looked into something like the Panasonic HPX370 and I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on it. Any opinions on p2? Or, if you could suggest something better for everyday TV use.

Also, If you all had to put together a field package, What would your gear list consist of? For example, I can think of: Camera, Cards, Tripod, Wireless Mics (we have some, but more are good!) and most importantly BATTERIES! Any ideas on batteries? Our camera's now use Anton Bauer Hytron 100 batteries. Do any new camera's use these?

Thank you so much in advance. I have two days to put this list together, and making the right decision is a must!
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#2 Chris Sharman

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:25 PM

Hi Rick,

I'm not familiar with that camera, but I will say that here in the UK all the broadcasters use 2/3" cameras for ENG. 1/3" solutions are usually considered 'professional' rather than 'broadcast' which is an important distinction in terms of the build quality and feature set of a piece of equipment.

I know that Sky News shoot on P2, while the BBC are rolling out the PMW-350 and 500 across their news and documentary output.

For an ENG tripod, you won't go far wrong with a Sachtler Video 18 or 20, or I've found the Miller Arrow 55 to be excellent and a bit cheaper.

Battery-wise I used SWIT V-Loks for years, they're cheap and cheerful but I never had any problems with them.

I would also say that not many ENG crew lug round HMI's, other than the battery-powered sun-guns. I'd say have a look at the Kino Flo Diva-lite 400, it's a fantastic interview light - soft, portable and you can change the colour temperature just by swapping out the tubes.

Hope you find some of that helpful.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:21 PM

A lot of news is shot on crappy little 1/3" cameras, at least for local news and even sometimes for the big national bulletin.

Yes it looks crap.

No I wouldn't do it.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:32 PM

P2 and XDCam are pretty common now a days. If memory serves, FOX29 here in Philadelphia is all P2. The only big issue is normally archivability; but often that doesn't matter much in broadcast, and/or you can lay off to tape later on.
Batteries are very important of course, get whatever the camera works with, or what you have.
Lighting, I'd not ring out HMIs, they're big, heavy, very expensive, and not necessarily robust (when they go down, they go down hard). Maybe a sun-gun, but in truth, I'd round out a few nice Fresnel tungsten lights (like an Arri kit or something) and then go with a few Diva lights for when you need daylight balance. I'd not even fuss with tubes for it, just CTO over the fixture if you needed that.

Tripod is personal choice, but the ones mentioned are fine.
Also maybe grab some light grip if you plan on doing interviews. C stands, bags, silks/nets/cookies.
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:23 PM

This is my standard package that I carry on nearly every job. It is perfect for travel in the back of my Chevy Avalanche and getting in and out of locations on one mag-liner trip.


Lighting

ARRI kit: one 1K openface tungsten with speedring and small Chimera, two 650w fresnel with one speedring and extrasmall Chimera, one 300w fresnel. I use the 1K for the key, the 300w goes on the end of a C-stand for the backlight and the two 650w are for the background. I also carry an additional 500w OMNI just in case I need one more light.

In case of day exteriors, I rent AT LEAST an 800w Joker Bug HMI, though two of them (shot through a silk) are usually necessary if my background is in full sun. In that case, I also have two Westcott scrimjim kits.... one large and one smaller... the large I'll use with a double net to put behind the interviewee to knock the background down and give me a fighting chance (2 C-stands for that). Then another C-stand to flag off the talent with a solid or silk.


So, in addition to the ARRI kit, I also have four Norms C-stands with "turtle" bases for travel.

Also, one very heavy pelican case to hold stingers and grip gear (clamps, etc).

Magliner with "caddy" for tripod and C-stands.

Cameras vary. My work generally requires an F900, so I'll have that plus a set of good sticks with a Sachtler or O'Connor fluid head. Anton Bauer batteries (skip the small Dionics as they burn out too quickly).

LitePanel instead of a harsh ugly sungun.

Field monitor (which kind depends on how fussy your talent will be)

small assortment of solids and nets

sandbags


The camera question really is dependent upon what your client/in-house requirements are. There is no "best" camera for every purpose. It all depends on what format you need and what your post department can push through their workflow. Apart from pure technical requirements, keep in mind that smaller cameras have the connotation that you are low-budget community access or worse. A bigger camera translate in people's minds that you are serious production. It shouldn't matter, but it does. So if you opt for a little EX3 or something like it as opposed to a larger EFP style camera, you'll likely be treated differently by nearly everyone.
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#6 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 06:56 PM

What shooting format do you currently have, and what is your post workflow? What is the workflow you currently use for archiving and library vision? What format do your journos use to preview the camera tapes as they write the story?

Changing camera formats has a much larger effect on the post end than they do at the shooting end of things and is usually where the big headaches arise. I know it seems the wrong way arround, but with something as fast paced and high turnover as news You have to choose your format carefully.
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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 02:25 AM

A lot of news is shot on crappy little 1/3" cameras, at least for local news and even sometimes for the big national bulletin.


Big with the video journalists, who shoot quite a lot on local news these days.
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