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Advice on buying a DV camera


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#1 Roger Adams

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 10:16 PM

Hello...I'm looking for a decent DV camera to shoot shorts with. The features I need, is one, the camera be able to shoot in animorphic 16x9, able to shoot in 24p, have a mic input, and an LCD screen would be nice too. My budget would be $500 give or take $200.

I've bid on a camera on ebay...but i'm not sure it would the exactly the right one for my needs.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...item=7548991991

So can anyone here provide some help/advice?
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#2 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:29 AM

The truth is you won't find "a decent DV camera... to shoot in animorphic 16x9, able to shoot in 24p, have a mic input, [with] an LCD screen" for $200 to $500. It ain't gonna happen. Try putting another zero on the end and you'll have a better chance of getting what you want.

Jay
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#3 Roger Adams

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 07:17 PM

Well, can you give me some cameras that would have 24p and 16x9 or maybe even HDV if I were to add the hypothetical zero?

I dont know about HDV format though...I've heard about visible compression artifacts, compressed sound, and its difficult to edit and output...seems like more trouble then its worth right now.
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#4 david west

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 10:11 PM

well,,,,,

it is a lot like a boat...
a very big, very expensive boat, with a very big hole in the bottom....



first you get the camera..... perhaps the one that you are bidding on is just fine, but just to amuse yourself and polish your skills..... the more you play the more you realize that you really want a little better camera....

so, one day, you get the ultimate camera... better than any camera you ever thought that you would ever own.... there, you have the perfect camera.

now you have been reading and you discover that sound is a big part of every film, even a short film.... so you start looking into mics....

mics need mixers which need cables which are complimented by wireless... ohh and dont forget your boompole.

but then you get back to the real question which was a camera. well, any camera can only do so much without good lighting... so you shoot available light. but some nice lights would be nice... so you get the cheapest things you can find.. they are ok, but some adjustable lowells would be nice. so you scrimp and save and little by little get a set. but you still need french flags and scrims and silks and bounce boards. so you get them too... but now you realize that you really like how a nice fresnel light gives you so much more flexability. so you buy a fresnel... then you realize one isnt really enough so you buy a few more...or even a kit so they are all in a nice pretty box... afterall appearances matter.... but lighting doesnt stop there.... one day you discover HMI. so, you sell your car and take out a second mortgage and buy some pretty HMI's...


i almost forgot to mention ---- this is where you decide to build your own skateboard dolly... it works ok, but now you want a crane, so you make a clever homebuilt crane too... not satisfied you purchase an entire machine shop so that you can build your own steadicam.... (all of this takes a year and a half)


hey, since you have your own machine shop you might as well build a clone of the PS Technik PRO 35....(another year down the drain)


whew,,, well your ready to go now.... except that you now need a super computer to edit your work on, soooo, a third mortgage on the house. (some screenplay formatting software would be good at this point)...

then you catch your breath and realize you have built a small library of books on how to direct, how to light, how to do all the legal stuff....

but you are ready. now all that you have to do is learn how to properly apply makeup to both men and women... heck, thats easy..... oh, and at the same time you might as well learn how to do special effects make up while you are at it...


but now you are ready. go out and find yourself a location.... rent it if you have to , but by all means get a release from the owner. Now fork over some $$$$ to the insurance company and you are off and running... so hire a few actors (or if you want to save $$ here just get a few junkies and your friends (unless your friends are junkies, in which case you might still have to hire a few actors)...

and you are ready to go.


ooooooops,,,,,

while you were doing all of this the HD cameras came down in price so now you have to save up to buy a new camera so you can shoot in HD.


im sure i missed a few things, but that should help answer your camera question. If you are very new to this get whatever camera you can easily afford. Most digital cameras will give the feel of editing and shooting to see if this is for you....


IMHO....

(i know a guy that did all this....)
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#5 Mike Lary

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 11:25 PM

Well, can you give me some cameras that would have 24p and 16x9 or maybe even HDV if I were to add the hypothetical zero?

I dont know about HDV format though...I've heard about visible compression artifacts, compressed sound, and its difficult to edit and output...seems like more trouble then its worth right now.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Roger,
Is there a rental house near where you live? If I only had $500 and really wanted to shoot on DV or HDV, I'd rent the equipment.

Buying into the technology is only going to put you out a lot of cash (unless you can create a revenue stream with it and make your money back) and you'll be stuck with depreciating equipment that is antiquated in a year or three.

If you rent the equipment, that will give you time to concentrate on writing, storyboarding, and planning for the day(s) that you shoot.
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#6 Roger Adams

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 09:08 AM

Roger,
Is there a rental house near where you live? If I only had $500 and really wanted to shoot on DV or HDV, I'd rent the equipment.

Buying into the technology is only going to put you out a lot of cash (unless you can create a revenue stream with it and make your money back) and you'll be stuck with depreciating equipment that is antiquated in a year or three.

If you rent the equipment, that will give you time to concentrate on writing, storyboarding, and planning for the day(s) that you shoot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Would it be 500 a week? And you know...you are right about renting though, it would give me experience with the camera...but I've always liked to own my own equipment.

But anyway, i'm not completely new to this...I've made a short before in 16x9 and 24p (which I fell in love with)...a mocumentary about slapboxing, edited it on a final cut system at my school, matter of fact I got a free copy of FCP HD from my teacher who gave it as an award, in which I own an 20 inch iMac which I bought to use with FCP. And I even got a $2,500 scholarship for college on the strenght of the short. I think I posted it here too, but I've heard NO responce. :angry:

And also, do they rent out things like boom mics/poles, tripods, for extra or included in the price?
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#7 Lars.Erik

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 10:01 AM

Usually they don't give out booms, stands, tripods etc. with the cam. You have to rent it too.
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#8 Mike Lary

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 10:07 AM

Would it be 500 a week?

And also, do they rent out things like boom mics/poles, tripods, for extra or included in the price?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Prices vary depending on where you are, and they are negotiable. I don't think you'll find a combined rental kit for camera/tripod/lights, etc. Everything has its own price tag.
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#9 Charlie Seper

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 06:09 PM

Hi,

Sounds like you're still school age. Most students taking classes in audio/visual stuff work in miniDV because it?s a good cheap way to learn the basics (lighting, filtering, framing etc.) so I wouldn't worry about the hi-def cams just yet.

You might want to consider a run-o-the-mill PAL model. It'll shoot footage in 50i and then you can just deinterlace it in post to get 25p. Export it at 24 frames per second and no one will ever notice the dropped frame. Of course, if you're doing this for classes then you won't likely be printing to film anyway, so you could just keep it at 25p and go to DVD or whatever.

I wouldn't think twice about onboard sound. Get a digital recorder (check Guitar Center and so forth) like a Tascam or Fostex:

http://www.guitarvis...mf_frameset.htm

Ideally you'd want to use a DAT but they're much more expensive and much lass versatile. Always record with your cam's onboard mics too and then you can easily line up the waveforms in a post wave editor like Adobe Audition or Sonar. Time code is just a waste of time.
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#10 Marco Leavitt

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 11:50 AM

I agree, PAL's you're best bet. Optura 60e would be a good choice.

http://www.bhphotovi...oughType=search

I question whether you really need 24p though. Sure you wouldn't be happy with 30p? It would make you're life a lot less complicated and look about the same. An NTSC Optura 60 is dirt cheap, has native 16:9, manual audio controls, and aperature/shutter priority modes with the ability to manually control exposure. You would just deinterlace to 30p. Five hundred and forty bones after rebate. That's what I'd get (I did).

http://www.bhphotovi...oughType=search
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