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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old August 10th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #1
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Hey guys,

I'm working on building my kit up and would like some input on my next purchase.

I've got a pretty decent lighting kit, grip gear, camera, tripod, etc. Also have a diy skateboard dolly, fcs2, mac pro, etc. Up to this point I've mostly been doing some freebie shooting to get used to filming and lighting, but I am at a point where I have been asked to do some video work for our church and would like to know what to round out my kit with next.

I will be shooting some teaching style dvd's to be played at our home group meetings as a sort of discussion facilitation. I also have some ideas for some pre-service video shorts that I want to really have a polished look.

I'm leaning towards a boom/jib, stabilizer or 35mm adapter. I would like to know what you guys are using the most in your day to day video work. This is a sideline/hobby for me at this point, so I would like to make every purchase count.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike Watkins
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Old August 10th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #2
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I'd opt to build up your audio capabilities. I'm not sure how much use you'd get out of a 35mm adapter for instructional vids.
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Old August 10th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #3
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forgot to mention

I've got a senheisser wireless lav set up, as well as a Audix U81 shotgun mic and headphones, stand, and boom pole.... Currently recording straight into the cam.

Also the preservice videos I would like to do will be 2-3 minute "life lesson" type videos, not so much talking head stuff. I want to make them look more like something you would see on a TV commercial v.s. a skit on Saturday Night Live...

Thanks for the quick reply Garrett.

Mike Watkins
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Old August 13th, 2008, 07:00 AM   #4
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are there any other suggestions?
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Old August 13th, 2008, 03:39 PM   #5
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I don't think the 35mm adapter would be worth the money for you. In addition, you'd need the lenses and probably more lighting than you're accustomed to using, plus more time in shooting.

If you got a jib, you'd also probably have to get a heavier tripod than what you have. A jib on a dolly is a good thing and I've used one a lot, but even with a lightweight camera you are going to be swing a lot of weight around. A 10 pound camera and fairly lightweight head out on the end of a 10' jib like the inexpensive Camcrane is going to require about 20-25 pounds of counterweights.

If you do a lot of moving shots, people walking around, etc., then a steadycam type device might be good. But unless you're a weightlifter, be sure to get one with the spring arms and vest. Both Steadycam (Tiffen) and Varizoom have cheaper models now for the smaller cameras. I think both companies have something that'll handle the handycam type cameras for around $2K, more or less.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:14 PM   #6
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Some advice: I have a SteadyCam, work great! I wear it all the time, great all round performance "when on the move". Driven by obsession I recently bought a Letus Extreme and to tell you the true the thing is just laying here, I've used it once on a shoot which gave stunning results however my subject was sitting still. Prepare to be introduced to the world of pulling focus when you get an 35mm adapter, for most of my work (run and gun events) it's utterly useless, there is not enough time to focus and it's never sharp unless your subject stands still. Even in controlled setting with "lots and lots and lots plus some more" of light I just take it off and shoot without it. I'll need to invest in a follow focus system, HD monitor and dedicated person to pull focus.

Weigh up you options, a boom/jib is nice to have, gives great effects, will be my next purchase, however they are expensive when you toss a remote head into the mix. A steadycam worth the money and a 35mm well also nice to have just to know it's available. It all comes down to how much you are getting paid, don't buy stuff that's not going to bring in money, like what I did with my 35mm obsession ;)
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