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Old May 16th, 2011, 03:34 AM   #16
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

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Sure I'd LOVE for Canon to come out with an XL form factor - APS-C sensor /Interchangeable lens with great zoom/ and 50mps 4.2.2 CF card form factor - for under 10k next month.
Haha:) And I would love if Panasonic released a micro 4/3, P2, 4:2:2 10 bit, AVCintra, camcorder next month - for under 10k!:)
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Old May 16th, 2011, 06:11 AM   #17
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

I suppose you pays your money and make your choice but I doubt 2/3" CCD camera's will be under 10k, the HPX500 may be an option for you but it is getting old now although still a good camera but the 3100 is what you require but at a price.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 02:51 PM   #18
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

That just about sums it up, yes! But still: HPX3100 doesn't have 720 50p. And I would probably miss that...

Anyway I still don't know what to do. I'll probably go for the 371 in the end and when the production kicks up a gear get something better... I was really hoping that the AF101 would be the next cam I buy but the low resolution just isn't good enough - at least not for the big screen. Or is it maybe?? It has approximately the same rez as HPX171 or HVX for that matter and I've heard from users that it came out nicely on the big screen when copied to film and in digital cinema also...
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:12 PM   #19
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

That's why the HPX371 is such a bargain, they put so much on board that if you can live with the 1/3" cmos chips there is not a lot to touch it for resolution and the codecs available, it even does varicam in 720p mode!
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Old May 17th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #20
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

It's not just the 1/3 chips there's also the cmos chip... If you can live with this two thing then certainly: go for it.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 02:53 PM   #21
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

Thought I'd chime in with a slightly different perspective though touched on in several posts: broadly, most docs still adhere to the idea of somehow objectively representing reality as faithfully as possible so in that sense fiction aesthetics such as shallow DOF are unimportant and for some, downright dishonest. Mind you more creative, subjective strategies do have their adherents too and here we could have a discussion about the purpose of documentary films and whether objectivity is ever attainable or even desirable. But I won't bore you with my own thoughts on that. My point is that it is a good idea to think about this as it could have an impact on the type of equipment purchased and most definitely how it would be used - Grierson's famous definition of documentary as 'the creative treatment of actuality' can be interpreted in many different ways.

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Old May 18th, 2011, 04:48 PM   #22
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

I am actually about to go all in on a doc. I own a EX3. Been looking hard at the other options for the more organic film look. But I've decided that there's no sense in it at the present time. I don't need to go into more dept just for that look. If the story is there, people will forget the rest. EX3 and Nano, I'm sticking to it.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 03:30 AM   #23
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

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Thought I'd chime in with a slightly different perspective though touched on in several posts: broadly, most docs still adhere to the idea of somehow objectively representing reality as faithfully as possible so in that sense fiction aesthetics such as shallow DOF are unimportant and for some, downright dishonest. Mind you more creative, subjective strategies do have their adherents too and here we could have a discussion about the purpose of documentary films and whether objectivity is ever attainable or even desirable. But I won't bore you with my own thoughts on that. My point is that it is a good idea to think about this as it could have an impact on the type of equipment purchased and most definitely how it would be used - Grierson's famous definition of documentary as 'the creative treatment of actuality' can be interpreted in many different ways.

Geoff
Yes I've thought about this. And I would like to produce cinematic docu's. Off course I don't want to restrain myself to only one type of a genre format but that is my goal. It is quite a broad description thought - but you should get the picture. Will be doing more of a standard TV type of docu's in the beginning where cinematic qualities are not important or subscribed.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 03:33 AM   #24
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

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I am actually about to go all in on a doc. I own a EX3. Been looking hard at the other options for the more organic film look. But I've decided that there's no sense in it at the present time. I don't need to go into more dept just for that look. If the story is there, people will forget the rest. EX3 and Nano, I'm sticking to it.
I've decided to. For my first docu I'll stick to my HPX171 and for the next couple of ones the HPX371. Beyond that when I'll start doing more cinematic stuff I'll post another topic!:)
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Old May 19th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #25
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

'Will be doing more of a standard TV type of docu's in the beginning where cinematic qualities are not important or subscribed.'

It's interesting that TV is now the place of very conventional, incessantly formatted work in documentary and cinema, the more radical - a complete reversal of what it used to be. A famous broadcaster in the UK recently accused TV producers of having a collective loss of nerve where only ratings and budgets count and producers admit that the kind of documentaries they really want to commission hardly ever get made anymore.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 04:23 AM   #26
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

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'Will be doing more of a standard TV type of docu's in the beginning where cinematic qualities are not important or subscribed.'

It's interesting that TV is now the place of very conventional, incessantly formatted work in documentary and cinema, the more radical - a complete reversal of what it used to be. A famous broadcaster in the UK recently accused TV producers of having a collective loss of nerve where only ratings and budgets count and producers admit that the kind of documentaries they really want to commission hardly ever get made anymore.
And to add to that: I see that docu's are merging with reality. A couple of days ago I watched discovery and all I saw was reality. It's funny because the general crowd almost can't tell between one and another sometimes.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 04:29 AM   #27
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

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And to add to that: I see that docu's are merging with reality. A couple of days ago I watched discovery and all I saw was reality. It's funny because the general crowd almost can't tell between one and another sometimes.
and we now also have the mockumentary where the public are given a script or synopsis to follow!
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Old May 20th, 2011, 06:47 AM   #28
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

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It also boils down to cost at the end of the day but the 301/371 is the only sub 10k self contained camera out there that can shoot doco's to broadcast BBC spec and more importantly can sit on your shoulder with a form factor that suits that type of shooting all day long, yes a 2/3" camera would be my choice too but you have that in the HPX3100 albeit at a lot more cost!
The words "self contained" in the above are very important. If you're prepared to have a separate recorder, then I'd go for the PMW320 over the 301/371 any day. The savings of using CF in a nanoFlash, compared to P2, may even pay for the nanoFlash - depending how much memory you think you need.

The bigger chips make quite a difference in performance, especially in documentaries where low light performance may be a significant factor. With the 371 you have to put up with it being noisy when you think about gain - or put up with the "noise ghosting".

I agree that a large format sensor is unlikely to be a good idea when you say "shooting stiles should vary from cinema verite to eng ...." . Maybe nice for the work when you can spend time setting up - but not good for cinema verite..... So maybe not an F3 or AF101.

But the 1/2" of the PMW320 does give a significant improvement over 1/3" for control, and I'd say that 2/3" was arguably optimum for this sort of work. Much more control than 1/3" - but nowhere near as difficult to control as large format.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 11:18 AM   #29
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

I really appreciate the notion of a "self contained" camera. I guess it would depend on the nature of the project but in most cases I wouldn't appreciate the extra work around an external recorder...

Do you really think there is such a big difference between 1/3 and 1/2? I've never shot with 1/2 so I have no field experience to compare the two. Bust just looking at the calculations the difference is negligible. 1/3 and 2/3 now there is a difference...

And yeah: the 320 is a better cam then the 371 for almost the same price. If I wouldn't already be invested in to P2 then I wouldn't even consider buying the 371. The "image ghosting" of the 371 is an absolutely nasty thing and the fact that Panasonic swept it under the rug (this is at least in my opinion how it went down...) makes me loose confidence in them...
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:00 AM   #30
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Re: Camera rig for DOCUMENTARY filming

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I really appreciate the notion of a "self contained" camera. ...... in most cases I wouldn't appreciate the extra work around an external recorder...
I fully agree about the desirability of a self contained camera, and I've said many times in the past that I'd dearly love to see a 50Mbs version of such as the PMW350. That's really what a lot of people are crying out for. But if you have to compromise codec OR front end performance, I'd argue in favour of the former - you can always add an external recorder, you can't do anything about the front end. And you mentioned a possible desirability of ProRes recording? In which case, the ext recorder becomes a positive benefit.

The one thing I would say is that the recorder should power up with the camera, and go into record when you press the run button. An argument for buying camera/recorder as a package, and checking that before parting with money.
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Do you really think there is such a big difference between 1/3 and 1/2? ....... But just looking at the calculations the difference is negligible. 1/3 and 2/3 now there is a difference...
As far as the calculations go, the difference for dof purposes is proportional to the square of linear dimensions.

So, if your reference is a given dof at f4 with a 2/3" camera, the same dof will be acieved with f2.8 with a 2/3" camera, and/or f2 with a 1/3" camera. So I disagree that the difference is "negligible" - it's the same as between 1/2" and 2/3"! I've already said that I think 2/3" gives "optimum" performance for the type of work you are talking about, so yes, I don't think 1/2" will be as suitable. But it follows that 1/3" will be even less suitable - by as much again.

You say a big reason for buying the 371 is that you're "already invested in to P2". It's worth bearing in mind that the sooner you sell any P2 cards, the more you'll get. As bigger, newer cards come out, the value of what you own is likely to go down quite quickly. Longer you leave it, less they'll be worth.

If you are working primarily for a client who demands a P2 workflow, then it's a big factor in favour of a 371, if you can't afford a 3100. If SxS is demanded, similarly for a PMW320.
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