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Old October 4th, 2004, 06:01 PM   #1
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Camera Solutions? Audio/Mobility/Price key factors

Hi. I have predominantly amateur camera skills - but do an extreme amount of interviewing on video and am seeking camera/audio rec's.

I conduct long days of close-up street interviews/documentary interviews - GOOD AUDIO is extremely important coupled with the best mobility in a prosumer camera. I interview/shoot by myself and aim to be as discreet and unobtrusive with the camera as possible. Have been using a TRV-950 with a very basic external mic (that was very inadequate) until it all was recently stolen - now I need to replace/upgrade.

Currently looking at Sony PDX10, Panasonic AG-DVC30 - which fit my price range best and seem to offer good mobility. Could be swayed to a larger camera like PD170 or 100A if what I might lose in mobility is gained elsewhere and it's worth the price. I however will not be very experimental with the camera -- just doing close-up interviews on the street that need quality picture with quality audio. My footage needs to be able to integrate well with the footage of more savvy and experienced filmmakers.

Seeking best audio/mobility combo solution that won't break the bank (Lavalier mic's are usually not an option for audio - due to the frenzied pace and environs I'll be in the set-up time turns my spontaneous interview respondents away).

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Chip Rees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2004, 07:25 AM   #2
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Unless you routinely shoot in very low light, then the PDX10 or the DVC30 should work well for you. I have a PDX10 and it has very good audio and good image quality under normal lighting. It is important to learn the controls on this camera, especially the interaction between controls. Namely doing things in the right order to keep one manual control from interfering with another manual control. The PDX10 can also shoot in DVCAM mode, which is very important to me for drop out protection and tape durability.
Just be aware of the need to use software such as SceneAlyser to properly capture the audio from this camera when using some editing software.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 12:57 PM   #3
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If you are performing spontaneous interviews you may want to consider the User 1, 2, and 3 buttons on the DVC30. These could be assigned to functions like backlight compensation, or zoom+focus features. These can easily be programmed to accomodate the shooting situation e.g Super Night Shot.

I also feel the PDX10 had bad ergonomics. It leaned forward and to the left with or without he XLR adaptor installed. If you're shooting hand-held this should be a consideration. The Panasonic cams seem to have a reputation for perfect balance. Also the modularity of the DVC30 may be a plus for you (it is for me).

I can't speak for the DVC30 (yet) but I can attest to the problems the PDX10 has with vertical smear, but you already owned a 950 and are likely familiar with ways to avoid it on the pdx.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 09:29 PM   #4
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Thanks Joe and Jay for the camera rec's.

Any thoughts on camera mount mic's to accompany for close up spontaneous interviews occurring both outdoor and indoor? Planning to get an XLR adaptor if I go with a camera for which XLR is not standard. Being relatively new to the technical side of all this - it's a bit hard for me to totally digest everything I'm reading in other posts in this forum. Seeking best qaulity, simplistic, economically reasonable ($400 or less) mic solution for indoor/outdoor spontaneous street interviews.

Thanks again.

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Old October 6th, 2004, 10:26 AM   #5
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'i'd go with the Beach DXA-8. It has the whole nine yards plus it attaches to the tripod fitting on your camera. Limiters, gain and phantom. ($380) Click here for DXA-8

For on camera mounts, if you really must then K-Tech make a KCAM-SSM for about $75
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