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Old September 9th, 2005, 03:48 PM   #1
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Location: Southampton UK
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2 cams for a Watersports documentary??


I am going to be shooting a watersports video over the next year and a half and then distributing on dvd for worldwide sale.

I need a tripod/ shoulder cam and a hand held cam.

Initially I was going to shoot in HD format using a Z1U and a HC1. After thinking about it I feel my market will not be HD ready and so I am now considering not shooting in HD.

SO what cams would you recommend and why - a tripod/ shoulder mounted one and a small hand held one (this will end up in a custom water housing to shoot from in the water). Budget as per a Z1U & a HC1.

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Old September 12th, 2005, 09:21 AM   #2
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Location: Westfield, IN
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Sony HDV camcorders

If you don't want to shoot in HDV, you can still use the Sony FX1 or Z1U camcorders to shoot standard-def high-quality DV. (I agree with you on keeping your expenses down. Most boating/watersports videos are still sold on VHS, believe or or not. Many have recently been converted to VHS, but the quality isn't all that great. See Bennett Marine Video to get an idea what's out there. For this market, DV --> DVD is a good workflow. I was considering shooting a boating documentary and have examined this same issue.

As far as recommending a camera, do you have DV camcorders available at all or are you buying new or renting? If you're thinking of buying DV cameras to use for this shoot only and then to sell, I'd buy an HDV/DV combo camera, as its resale value will be higher when you sell it (as HDV is still the hot new technology). On the other hand, if you have sequels and other DV projects in mind and will use the cameras a lot, save $1,000 - $2,000 on a DV or DVCAM camcorder. Personally, I'd stay away from the Canon GL2 because of a well-known "eject tape" error and plastic construction. When covering watersports, you want a camcorder that will take a beating, in or out of it's waterproof housing.

For shooting in the water, I'd recommend a Sony PD-150 or PD-170 because they're good run & gun camcorders. I'm biased toward the look of Panasonic cameras, and I feel they offer much bang for the buck. A low-cost option is to find a used DVC80 or DVX100 and buy an Equinox underwater housing. The whole rig shouldn't set you back more than $3000. For example, this Equinox housing sells for only $1,250 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ghType=search).

Good luck.
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Old September 12th, 2005, 10:01 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Suwanee, GA
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For watersports, I would stay away from a dive housing. Here is a recent topic where we covered it at ebodyboarding...

... A housing is gonna cost you anywhere from 800-3000 dollars also, but on average around 1200. You can get ahold of Sean at SPLwaterhousings.com or people like Chad Stickney or Dale Kobetich if you live in socal. Dont go buying some dive housing on ebay, cuz they arent good for surf videography. You need something lightweight and something that isnt going to sink because you want to hold it up outta the water to get the shots. ... (ryan from Stoked on Life Productions)
Another company is www.epiccam.com. I cannot attest to their quality though.
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