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Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:09 PM   #1
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Camera Choice for short film

Hello-

I have been in pre-production/development for a short film for 2 years now. We are about to go into production this summer.
Way back in the beginning, we were planning on using a HVX-200 (maybe a 170) as well as a HVX500.

There are a few scenes where we will need a multiple camera setup.

Now fast forward a few years. I haven't been keeping up with the camera technology and now i have seemed to have lost my way. Is the HVX-200 still the best choice for us? Is there anything out currently that would be a cheaper option that can dot he job just as well? We are looking to shoot in HD and there will be green screen and low light situations involved.

Thanks for you time,
Alden

PS- I do understand that any camera can be used to tell a story, but this question is mostly that we are looking for the cost=best look sweet spot (I hope that mades sense)
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:43 PM   #2
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The EX1 or EX3 is highly regarded for bang for bucks and will be much better in low light situations than the 1/3" cameras..
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 08:19 PM   #3
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What's your budget? It's hard to pin down your best choice without it. That and a little more info about what you'll be doing with it would be helpful. Otherwise you're going to get a lot of people recommend what they like, all across the spectrum.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 11:41 PM   #4
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Sorry about that. As for more detail:

we are shooting a short action film. There will be fighting sequences; chromakeying; some low light situations (I am planning on shooting as much as I can under normal circumstances and lowering the light in post, but some will probably need to be shot in low light); the amount of budget I would like to put towards the camera is 5K. I could go over that a lil bit, but I don't wanna get too crazy on just the camera.

Also, I plan on getting one camera, but will be getting another camera person with their own camera for the second setup. So I would prefer something kinda popular that other people would also have.

Lastly, we will be shooting on HD, but I don't want to blaze any trails with a new workflow, I would prefer to follow in someone else's footsteps and follow tried and true steps to getting my footage into my computer (using Final Cut - for what it's worth).

Thanks in advance for the advice.

Alden
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 03:52 AM   #5
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If you're only planning to make one short film it would make more sense to rent a camera(s) and put the money you were spending on gear into on screen production values that will improve the projects chances of getting into film festivals etc. You could hire professional actors for example, plus you can use a higher grade camera than you can afford to buy.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 05:04 PM   #6
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I agree with Brian.

While the SONY EX's are excellent choices, so is the older SONY F-900 or any of the newer Cinealta series, delivering near film like images with good DOF and wide dynamic range. (talking rental now - these are pricey cameras).

Last edited by Chris Swanberg; April 3rd, 2009 at 05:37 PM.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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I agree with the renting recommendation. One advantage of the EX cams is that they shoot 1080p (the HVX does not), which is your best format for chroma key shoots. One possible disadvantage for your situation (being an action film) is that the EX cams do not handle rapid fast movements (think swish pans) as well as the HVX does. It has to do with the technical makeup of the sensors and the codecs to which the cameras capture.

This is only a possible problem if you plan on having lots of crazy camera movement, in which case you will want to do a test shoot with the EX and see if you have any issues with the footage. Renting an EX should be fairly reasonable for a day (in Montreal, for example, they go for around $350/day CAN, depending on the camera package).
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Old April 7th, 2009, 09:53 AM   #8
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Thank you for the input guys. some of those cameras I hadn't considered.
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