I'm about to start shooting talks and lectures at my work and there is some money set aside to improve equipment (previously they were only shooting on a handycam). I myself have a canon 5d mark ii, but the problem with this is that it cannot shoot for longer than 15 min.
So, I was thinking of using the budget to buy a blackmagic cinema camera, (and maybe the super 35 blackmagic camera), have that setup on a wide shot and then use the canon 5d mark ii to provide additional coverage but not a continuous shot.
My question is really, can anyone with more experience than me pick fault with this setup or advise me on a way to do it better. Will there be any considerable quality difference between the two cameras and will this matter as it's going to be compressed on youtube.
The amount of data would be my biggest concern, as well as audio. In truth I would look into something like an EX1 or EX3, which you can paint and which much better interface if you're just shooting talks. Why would you need 4K, or even 2.5K and to deal with those data-rates?
Or, depending on archival needs, I may even look at a tape-based format.
I did consider the EX-1 however at 3,500 it is over budget (however saying that the blackmagic 35 is too, so probably cross that out) whereas I can find the original blackmagic camera for around 2 grand. Audio is recorded separately so that's not an issue. The basic criteria I was given can be boiled down to 1) ability to continuously shoot and 2) high quality image. The blackmagic is just something I'm familiar with from watching product reviews. Is there a cheaper alternative to the EX-1?
There are a great many cameras out there for the cheap, but I suppose the first questions you should ask are this:
Do I need HD Resolutions? At one of my former jobs we were doing a lot of live-streaming in SD of events, as such we were fine sticking with DV Cameras recording to tape as a back up (or often recording SD right to the computers)
Do I need some form of backup to stick on a shelf for later reference? If you do then you should look at tape based formats, or perhaps SD card based formats, where the cost of media isn't so high as to necessitate reuse (such as SSDs on the BMD).
Another issue you'll have with the BMD is lens choices not to mention the media costs which will very quickly up the cost of the cameras-- as well as the need to do color correction on all of the clips. It's not set up, generally, to just take out of the box and shoot, despite the ProRes and Video color spaces.
I don't believe personal archiving will be an issue as there is a company that hosts a digital archive for us, however this isn't something i'm involved with.
I am going into this a little blind as there hasn't been a focus on this before. I know in the past there was an event we hosted where a video company was hired to stream a live feed into the cinema from the lecture theatre due to a huge demand for the speaker. However this would be a rare occurrence but given that it does need to happen again, would tape cameras be out of the question for something like this. I have thought of the possibility of getting two second hand Canon XF100's, then if I left there would still be a decent two camera setup to be used.
Other uses could be trailers or promotional videos for the website, which would require HD, however this could be covered by the 5D.
The only thing which would preclude it would be the type of outputs needed on the camera to interface with the in-house systems; and even then that's normally rectifiable with the numerous converter boxes. The XF is a nice little camera, though i was never much of a Canon person, I much prefer Sony, but that's just me.
Panasonic AC90 maybe if you are looking for something new on a cheap budget.
The blackmagic pocket camera would probably be better for that purpose than either of the other 2 blackmagic cams too but probably as Adrian says you would still need to grade it afterwards etc. So the Panasonic seems more like your best bet, or some older cameras maybe.
Having said that, if you are leaning towards Sony stuff, check out this little NEX VG20 camera that Craig has been working with:
If you are considering live switching (for any reason), you probably want a camera with HD-SDI so you can run long cable lengths. Also the blackmagic cinema camera does not have audio metering or support phantom power, so you need to supply that (If needed). Some people use a small professional video monitor for audio metering.
There's too much drama around the BMC right now- it's just released, tech heads are working the bugs out. I say step back and go with a nice DSLR such as the Canon 60D, at around $800 which includes a nice 18-55 EF-S lens (which is BMC 2.5K compatable). Check out this video, the Canon 60D vs. RED .. BTW, I own this camera and absolutely love it.