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Old July 12th, 2004, 10:25 PM   #1
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Lookin' for new Audio Equip.

I have $700 in Film Festival winnings that I would like to spend on a new pro shotgun microphone, boom pole, and/or tripod. And I would like some advice! :)

I've been making short independent films for 4 years now with this stuff: Audio-Technica ATR55 ($55 mini plug), generic tripod, and no boom pole. Now I'm ready to move up!

I've got some ideas myself, but I'm curious to see how you folks would ration out this cash. :D If it helps... my camera is a Sony DCR-TRV11, and I'm going to be holding onto it for another half a year (until I get a pro cam, like the DVX100). So I'd like a tripod, and audio equipment that will help me out now, but that I can also use once I get a new cam.

Is that asking for too much for $700? What do you think I should do?
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Old July 14th, 2004, 07:36 AM   #2
 
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Bryan,
700.00 isn't going to go too far for this gear....
But a good microphone is pretty important. So is your tripod.
I'd settle for two of the three.
Booms can always be rented, while mics can always be put on mic stands or cam mounted. Tripods are so critical, and even for sub 500.00, you'll be struggling to find much unless you look at some used gear.
Congrats on the win! That's very cool.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 07:43 AM   #3
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You could get a Bogen 503 head and legs for around $400, and a decent mic for $300. Then make a boompole for change left over. There have been several threads on using Home Depot painters poles.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 09:07 AM   #4
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You'd need a windscreen if shooting outside too? I believe this forum has threads on really cheap ways to make one.

2- If you don't do camera moves, any piece of crap tripod should be ok as long as it does not fall over (which happened once with a Velbon tripod... the tripod broke).

3- With the TRV11, you'll need an XLR adapter box if you want to use the better mics. With the DVX100, the XLR adapter is going to be kind of a waste.

Or you could buy a ~$15 adapter cable from B&H which could be ok for a while.

4- You could always find people who have their own gear.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 08:15 PM   #5
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First off, thanks for the responses! Alright, I think I'm going to wait on the boom pole (or shell out an extra 84 bucks and get a gitzo aluminum pole, since it's cheap).

So I'm trying to focus on a microphone and a tripod. I don't really need to get an extremely expensive tripod, anything in the lower range is fine for me...especially after having to deal with a cheapo $30 tripod for 4 years (which is now breaking)!!

Since I'll only have my old camera for about 6 months to a year, I think I'm going to pass on the Beachtek and instead get a good adapter.

So here's what I'm looking at. Let me know what you think. I need to match up something in my price range, or a little above.

Microphone Choices:

- Sennheiser ME66 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=73100&is=REG)
with accessories, like cam-mount/windscreen [~$450]
- Audio-Technica AT897 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=300615&is=REG) [~$280]
- Audio-Technica AT835B (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=97711&is=REG) [~$240]

I considered the Audio-Technica AT4073a, since I've read a lot of praise on this board. But it's phantom power only, problem? And [~550]

Tripod Choices:

- Bogen/Manfrotto 3046 Legs, 501 Pro Head (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=171044&is=REG) [~$330]
- Bogen/Manfrotto 3001 Pro Legs, 501 Pro Head (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=284771&is=REG) [~$260]
- Bogen/Manfrotto 3001 Pro Legs, 3130 Fluid Head (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=284768&is=REG) [~$195]
- Davis & Sanford Pro Legs and F12 Fluid Head (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=223630&is=REG)
looks nice, seems like a pretty good deal [~$150]

So what do you think? Do you have other gear suggestions, or what do you think I should do with this?
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Old July 14th, 2004, 09:54 PM   #6
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The K6/ME66 has a very hot output. It works well for picking up quiet dialogue outdoors with cameras that have poor mic inputs.
However for louder situations or indoor work and for cameras that have better mic inputs, the 66 can be very problematic.
Some people consider the AT897 to be much smoother overall and its lower output isn't generally a problem because it also has fairly low noise.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 11:24 PM   #7
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I think you will be disappointed with the tripods you've listed or at least you will if you are critical about smooth camera movement rain or shine. My solution is to use inexpensive sticks, with a good head. You can find nice older Miller heads for less than $500 (I paid $150 for mine) and a set of sticks for as little as $50. They aren't pretty but they work well.

Although for miniDV, you can get a nice Miller system for about $800 IIRC.

The little Gitzo pole is OK but heavy and short.

I'm happy using 835Bs but I'd probably go the extra $ for the 897 based on Spot's recommendations.

Sorry but I just never been able to warm up to the Senn ME66 very much. I like the AT sound much better. But that's a personal choice.
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Old July 16th, 2004, 03:13 AM   #8
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Alright. Anyone else wanna throw in their two cents?
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Old July 16th, 2004, 09:25 AM   #9
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Buy quality even if it means getting by with some of what you have for a while.
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