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Old May 20th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #1
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Optura 50 or used GL1?

I have a few questions that I'm sure someone here can help me with.

I'm looking for a good camcorder to film classical concerts for community access cable. This will be my first camcorder, but I'm pretty technologically adept.

I'd like to spend less than $1000 for the entire setup. I need a camera that performs well when recording the reasonably illuminated stage of a concert hall, and allows external mic hookup & manual audio controls. (I have decent stereo mics.)

Right now, I'm wavering between purchasing a new Optura 50 and a used GL1 on ebay. (GL1s are, as I understand it, nearly as good as GL2s, but are much more affordable.)

I have a few questions:
1) Will footage from an Opura 50 be too grainy to be useful? How bright would the stage have to be for it to be acceptable?

2) What is the repair history like for a GL1? If I buy one used & past warranty, will I regret it? Will the CCDs start to lose pixels or sensitivity?

3) For this sort of application, could I get away with a cheap tripod?

4) (Easiest) Where is that members-only marketplace for gear I keep hearing about? (I must be blind.)

Thanks to everyone for making this site such a great resource,

Brit
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Old May 21st, 2006, 12:32 PM   #2
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Hi Brit, Welcome to DV Info!

Either camcorder will work well. I've used the Optura 50 a couple of times, and the Optura Xi several times for theatre productions and have been pleased with the results. But the GL1 is naturally better in low light, has a 20x zoom, and gives you better control over the gain. For me, the main problem with stage productions is the continuously changing light, I might go with a GL1 just because of that. It won't get rid of the problem, but it might give you more options. Having said that, the Optura 50 is very capable of taping theatre productions. fyi: if you're within the first 10-15 rows distance from the stage you might need a wide angle lens.

One of Boyd Ostroff's favorite camcorders for theatre productions is the Sony PDX10. I'd search the PDX10 forum for more information. It's also a very capable camcorder for your uses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brit Albritton
3) For this sort of application, could I get away with a cheap tripod?
Yes as long as you just need a straight shot of the stage. Forget about doing any pans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brit Albritton
4) (Easiest) Where is that members-only marketplace for gear I keep hearing about? (I must be blind.)
The DV Info Private Classifieds forum is limited to long time established members. See this thread for more details.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 06:04 PM   #3
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Thank you

Thank you for your very helpful reply. It's reassuring to hear that an Optura would not be a disaster in a concert hall. I suppose it makes sense for me to start with a cheaper model & upgrade if it proves necessary & I'm hooked. (For example, I suppose if I'm at all serious I really need two cameras, and I can buy a nicer model for zooms.)

It's a shame, though, that I can't buy from other DV(i) members, but only from ebay. I suppose the reasons are well considered & good ones.

Take care. I'm sure once I get the camera I'll be asking even more questions :),

Brit
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Old May 21st, 2006, 08:50 PM   #4
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Two cameras is a great idea for taping theatre. Personally, I like to have one stand alone cam set for a wide shot, while I operate a second one for medium and close ups. Gives you some breathing room for the edit.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 10:16 AM   #5
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I've also used Opturas in concerts/halls with no problem. If I get a chance today I'll post up some video or stills (not currently digitized).
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Old June 12th, 2006, 10:18 AM   #6
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Yeah, two cameras is a good idea. I basically do the same shot setup.

$1000 will buy you 2 new Optura 50s on Ebay.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 08:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Jenkins
Yeah, two cameras is a good idea. I basically do the same shot setup.

$1000 will buy you 2 new Optura 50s on Ebay.
Just FYI, $800 will buy 2 new Optura 50s at B&H. Free shipping too.

www.philipwilliams.com
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