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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old March 13th, 2002, 11:06 PM   #16
GWPGearWorx
 
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I am not shopping that way... I am simply comparing notes with camera glitches and problems vs what I need and what I do not need.

The prices I mentioned are CANADIAN which = a lot more than you Americans pay... TRUST ME ! For example, I was to buy the MA 200 for $350 when the DSR has 2 XLR built in .... It is just not smart shopping... Sure it really boils down to how the picture quality is and how it fits in your hands and all that jazz but it is also decided by why buy more when you not gonna use it.... Like I said I am not gonna buy lenses anyways (or not right away at least) And yea you are right about always buying add-ons and equipment (filters, lenses e.t.c) but when you compare the price differance you could turn around and purchase more equipment with the differance. For example getting a Sennheiser ME66K6 or SMK2 shotgun mic instead of being FORCED to purchase a MA 200 then a better mic on top of that ( all on cam mics stink IMO).

The total Sony package would come with:

Sony DSR PD-150
2 x 7 Hour Sony Batteries
ACDC BATTERY CHARGER
PELICAN CASE 1550
MANFROTTO TRIPOD 055A-128RC
STAND-BOOM CULLMAN
AZDEN WMS PRO
EX503 OMNI LAV
EX505U UNI LAV
SGM2X SHOTGUN
ADS PYRO DV1394

Total: $7784.25

Now to get the Canon starter kit with the above gear and camera plus the needed MA-200 and a couple other NEEDED items, it will cost me $10,469.43

I have a $10,000 budget for this project so I am already over the line with the Canon..... So I now have money left over to purchase a few cases of DV film (200 for $434 Now thats CHEAP) a few lense filters and a few more little items of use. More bang for my buck if you ask me ;)

Also I did trial run the DSR and XL1S and I found that they both have their flaws..... The XL1S is VERY uncomfortable where as the Sony is a tad front heavy... Like I said all have there good and bad points.
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Old March 13th, 2002, 11:15 PM   #17
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Okay, but once again, forget the MA200 for the XL1S. You don't need it. Any other XLR adapter will do, such as the Beachtek for less than half the cost of the MA200.

Also I don't see a lens controller on your list... it is absolutely essential for both the XL1S and PD150. Zoom rockers on all DV camcorders are worthless, and you'll need to operate the camcorder correctly (that is, without touching the camcorder) and to do this you'll need a lens controller. Plugs into any Sony or Canon DV camcorder and does variable speed zoom, focus, rec start etc. from the tripod pan handle. See my site articles for more info on these (VariZoom, etc.). Hope this helps,
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Old March 13th, 2002, 11:23 PM   #18
GWPGearWorx
 
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hahaha your right I forgot one of the most important items :)

This a good one yea ?

http://www.varizoom.com/pages/stealth_comments.htm
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Old March 14th, 2002, 12:33 AM   #19
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Not to come across wrong but... a.) how often do you really zoom anyway unless re-framing...maybe, b.) What is wrong with the remote that comes with it? It has zoom on it. It doesn't have focus though. Does the Varizoom focus well? Is it nice and slow or adjustable? I have never used it. I have an old SONY controller that uses LANC to rec/stop/standby/zoom but it doesn't focus. I think the zoom rockers are too fast and rolling-on is not predictable enough. I would rather do it all manual but that kinda sucks too. (from a predictablity standpoint with the electric zooms). I thought breifly about looking into a VariZoom but I usually set the frame before I start filming and then move the camera so the only thing I would really use is the focus. Can I mount it to a GlideCam?
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Old March 14th, 2002, 12:59 AM   #20
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Hi Rhett,

The only time I ever use the zoom is when I zoom sloooow. Crawling slow. This is very hard to do because you have to hold just the right amount of pressure on the rocker. A VariZoom lets you "set and forget" a slow speed, and no matter how hard you mash down the rocker, that's the speed you'll go. Once you use one, you'll understand. See my VariZoom artticles on the XL1 Watchdog.

GearWorx... for what you're doing, the Stealth is not right for you. Consider the VZ-PG-L instead (new version).
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Old March 14th, 2002, 01:45 AM   #21
GWPGearWorx
 
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Well I must say that you two - Chris and Rhett have been giving me ultra helpful information and for that I thank you.

For what I want to achieve I am sure that the Sony DSR PD-150 will fit my needs.

To my surprise I looked on my list I got from the Matrx people and he put that exact model Varizoom on there :) all it said was VZ-PG-L so I had no Idea what that was.... Untill now thanks :)

I know your probably thinking to yourself that I am a moron lol for asking some dumb questions but in my mind a dumb question is a question that's not asked ;)

Oh another question for ya I am getting the AZDEN SGM2X Shotgun mic I heard it was a great mic. What's your thoughts on it?

Also what are your thoughts about the stuff I am buying besides the camera ?

Thanks again
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Old March 14th, 2002, 09:12 AM   #22
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Having focus on remote might be pretty nice for a change. The old SONY controller I have is from a shoulder mount kit, it looks like a pistol grip. The zoom is very slow but not adjustable (ok as long as it's slow). I might see if I can get my hands on one of the Varizoom to try out.
Thanks for the tip!
Rhett
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Old March 14th, 2002, 09:39 AM   #23
 
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FWIW...

I originally bought a VX1000 and found it lacking in adjustability and awkward to hold. I subsequently bought the XL1s and am quite happy with it, albeit it has lower rez than the Sony. The VX1000 usually ends up sitting in the case, unused, except when I want to do a short animation.
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Old March 14th, 2002, 03:54 PM   #24
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Current Equipment list :)

http://members.shaw.ca/kloudi/equipment.htm

Thank you guys again for your help.

Let me know what ya think of the selected equipment.
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Old March 14th, 2002, 04:39 PM   #25
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I would choose a different tripod. Something with a fluid head. I have a couple and I really like the Manfrotto 3283B with the 3433 head (also known as 501) I picked it up for less than $600.00(US) including tax and it works very well with the camera you have chosen, it even came with a very nice carry bag!
I just haven't had much stability from the lighter tripods.

Good List though.

Rhett

P.S. Film school might be nice but you will learn more faster if you just spend the money on gear and start shooting. You can always buy books on technique and lighting and all the behind the scenes. Find someone near you who shoots professionally and volunteer to help and even bring your gear in exchange for some guidance. Make sure they have a style you like or try several different people. It will get you fast practical experience and that will do you more good than school.

Just my opinion.
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Old March 14th, 2002, 04:49 PM   #26
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Nice list of goodies. I agree with Rhett, though, that you really need a better tripod/head. You'll know this the first time you find you've spent an hour trying to get a smooth pan. The Bogen/Manfrotto 501 that Rhett mentioned is very popular for this size of camera. It's not top of the line, but it's a pretty good performer for a moderate price.
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Old March 15th, 2002, 01:17 AM   #27
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Ok first of just so you guys know :) I have given myself a $10,000 Budget for this new equipment (as it is a bank loan) So I want to get the BEST equipment in my price range. (I could get a $15,000 loan but I'd rather not)

Now what is your opinion on the Azden SMG 2X Shotgun mic.

Specs:

SGM-2X SUPERCARDIOID SHOTGUN MICROPHONE
2 barrels - an 8 1/8" omni and extension barrel - to make it a 16" supercardioid
Low noise (-70db)
Wide bandwidth (40Hz-20kHz)
Balanced low impedance (680ohm) XLR output
Switchable low-cut filter
Integrated shockmount attaches to camera shoe or mic stand
Plug into the 41XT transmitter to make a wireless shotgun mic
Includes 2 foam windscreens
1 "AAA" battery (lasts approx. 1000 hours) and cable not included.

I am paying $425 for it. Now quality wise compared to the Sennheiser ME66, K6 Power Supply, Outfitted with a Lightwave Windscreen MZW66PRO - which I can get for $730 is it REALLY worth the extra $300 ? I will be purchasing another Shotgun mic in the future, so will my SMG suit me fine and give me great quality ? Untill I decide to go purchase another ?

Also whats exactly wrong with the tripod and head I listed ? I am paying $230 for the set. It looks like it is a stable tripod as I am sad to say I only have had HANDS on with the DSR PD-150 and not the equipment. I am going soley by word of mouth from people.

Also for the Tripod and head you suggest ? Whats the price ?

The Sony cam has the features I will use not to mention the quality pic e.t.c so in all it is the right cam of choice :) for ME.
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Old March 15th, 2002, 02:15 AM   #28
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Re: your tripod selection...

The head you've selected looks like it might be designed more for a still camera. Here's generally what I suggest you look for.

a. Get the best fluid head you can afford. The head should have a quick-release plate and a sliding plat mount to enable you to fine-balance the camera on the head. Remember, the camera's weight distribution will change if you add accessories to the lens, etc. You want to avoid having to over-tighten the drag adjustment just to keep the head from slumping. You also want to have some degree of control over the head's pan and tilt drag such that you can set it for your preferences and camera's weight and rely on it remaining consistent throughout the day.

b. Instead of a center-column tripod try to get a leveling bowl design. The head mounts to a ball (75-100mm) which then fits into a bowl at the apex of the tripos legs. This enables you to very quickly level the camera/head without having to fiddle with adjusting leg extensions. Also try to make sure that your head has a bubble-level built in. The first time you shoot outdoors you will thank heavens you got a ball-leveling design.

c. Make sure that your legs have both multi-surface rubber feet as well as spiked feet. The latter is essential for shooting on soft ground.

I know it's out of balance with your outfit's budget but spending US$1,500-3,000 on a professional tripod for your camera's size/weight is not at all unreasonable or unusual. A Miller DS-10 (app. US$1,600) or a Vinten Vision would be a pretty good reference standard for your selection. You should be able to get a good tripod/head combination for your PD150 for around US$500; perhaps a bit less, but not much.

If this seems expensive, consider that your tripod will probably outlive your camera...and maybe even its successor.
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Old March 15th, 2002, 10:26 AM   #29
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If you look at the post I put up earlier, the tripod I listed was about $560US. I use it with my PD-150 and it is fine. There are nicer ones but the cost will go up. It has a fluid head with float bubble level and sliding quick release, rubber and spike feel and a spreader to keep it stable fully extended. The weight of the PD-150 balances quite nicely on this rig (heck it only weighs 3.5 pounds) and of course I am happy with the camera (I am getting ready to buy the PAL version and 2 more NTSC).
The price you listed for the ME66K6 is mostly eaten up by the lightwave windscreen, which IS worth the extra money (IMO). The Sennheiser microphone is listed on B&H for $379.95 and has basically the same specs as the Azden (I have never used the Azden but have been using Sennheiser's for about 10 years). The lightwave system will vary depending on what you get but you can use it on different microphones (within reason). I haven't had much luck with most of the foam windscreens, they sometimes seem to make the sound worse, but they are not all created equally.
Whatever you decide on will ultimately not change what goes on in front, or behind the camera, so don't sweat it too much. My purchasing decisions are usually made by picking the best quality I can afford (or just slightly above that) for gear I need, in the order of importance. My list would look something like this.

1.Camera- (can't shoot without one) pick a comfortable, user friendly one with features you will use.
2.Sound- (can't hear what you shot) microphones, headphones, mixer, external recorder. in that order. The first 2 are required, save for the next 2.
3.Tape- (gotta put the info somewhere) This is cheap, buy the best you can and stick with 1 brand and type. Would also put head cleaner in here.
4.Light- (the sun works too) This is very easy to cheat. Foam core, frosted acetate and bed sheets to start out. Then you can move up the lighting ladder. I was lucky in that my Elinchrom strobes (from my photography background) have adjustable modeling lights so I use them when I have to but all the reflectors and such still work for video.
5.Camera Support- I put this down here because you can always hold the camera but you can't do anything without the others. Tripod first then a steadycam of some sort. Don't buy a cheap tripod or you will regret it. I have some very nice tripods for still camera work but I would rather hand hold than use one of them for video.
Each of those catagories would have sub-catagories to consider but you can figure those out, for example:
1a.Under camera would be "Lenses". If you wan't a 16:9 adaptor put it here and decide where it goes in the scale of importance, also would be 1b.sunshade/filterholder.
2a.Under sound but before microphone is "how to get sound to the camera" in your case (PD-150) you have built in XLR so forget the BeachTek but if you have an XL-1 you need to decide what you will use.

I hope you enjoy whatever you decide on because that's what's important. Sorry for the long ramble but I hope it will help you a little.

Rhett
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Old March 15th, 2002, 01:20 PM   #30
GWPGearWorx
 
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Ok for the Tripod how is this:

MANFROTTO TRIPOD 520MV
MANFROTTO HEAD 501

Also I was thinking FOR NOW purchasing a Unipod (1 leg) So when I have to move to make smaller shots I still have the support.... What do you think of that ? And where can I buy em lol.

Also what Mixer and external recorder would you reccomend so I know what I am looking for when I go to the stores for that in a few months ;)

16:9 - I thought the PD-150 had the option to film in this mode with out an adapter...... and if it does not (which is a bummer) what do I need in order to do this ?
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