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Old January 21st, 2009, 02:05 PM   #1
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Best Sony mid-level camera for documentary

I'm in the lucky position of possibly getting a loaner camera (from Sony) for a documentary on The Homeless I'm currently shooting. I generally shoot on a Sony V1U but worry that when blown up to the big screen (i.e, theatrical release) that it won't look good. I was looking at the Sony website but there are so many choices I'm a little overwhelmed.

What HD cameras, would be a good choice to shoot the film? Here's some basic info on what I'm looking for: Has to look good enough to be blown up to Big Screen, Shoots 1080P 24p, Something somewhat portable hopefully. Somewhat cost practical with respect to how it records (i.e. hard drive, or cards, or hdcam tapes). Film is 65% talking head interviews and 35% run and gun (tours of shelters, homeless people on the streets). Having no idea what the loaner price range may be (if I get it at all), so I'm interested in the best camera in each of the possible three price ranges.

$5000-10,000
$10,000- 20,000
$20,00 - $40,000.

What do you guys and gals think?
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Old January 21st, 2009, 02:30 PM   #2
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EX3 with SDHC cards.
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Old January 21st, 2009, 02:55 PM   #3
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I was thinking the same thing. Reasonably cheap (maybe get 2), easy recording format, not too tough in post. Don't reuse the cards and you have a viable backup during production.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 04:00 PM   #4
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Looked at SDHC card prices. $150 for a 32 GB card? That's not bad at all. Since I'm still stuck in Sony V1U land, and I haven't shot on any of the EX series, I had no idea SDHC was even an option.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 04:06 PM   #5
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You're playing on the upper end though. Prices for 16GB cards are hovering at 1/4 that cost... maybe just a bit more, but certainly not as much as a third.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 04:13 PM   #6
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wow. Gotcha. Larger quantities of the smaller ones indeed.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 05:28 PM   #7
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Perrone and David,

If in the very real chance that I don't get a loaner EX3 from Sony, I have a friend who graciously offered to let me borrow his EX 1. Would there be a major difference in the visual look of the two cameras when blown up to a big screen?
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 05:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Hayes View Post
Would there be a major difference in the visual look of the two cameras when blown up to a big screen?
Technically, no.

The reason I originally said Ex3, rather than Ex1, is purely down to handheld ergonomics, and following on from your original comment - ".....35% run and gun (tours of shelters, homeless people on the streets". The ergonomics of the EX1 are no worse than other 1/3" cameras in this price range, but it is a little heavier, and a common complaint is that it gets very hard on the wrist after not very long. The Ex3 is far better, and can be used with professional V-lock batteries (via an adaptor) to improve the balance still more, as well as making the use of on camera lights etc much easier.

If it has to be an Ex1, then just borrow it, try handholding it for at least 10 minutes, and if you do find it hard you may need to think about some sort of camera brace.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 06:26 AM   #9
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David is right. And it's one reason I got my figrig. But a shoulder mount should b all you need for the ex1. Same visually as the EX3.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #10
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Another vote for the EX-3 and MxR/SDHC (16GB Transcend). or the EX-1 of you can't get the EX-3.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 08:23 PM   #11
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re:

Awesome. Thanks a lot for the help guys. EX3 if I can get it, or the more burdensome but equal visual EX1 if not. Truthfully I'm just glad that I have the EX1 as a fall back option from my buddy. My V1U just wouldn't have cut it blown up the big screen.
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