Small HD camera for low budget feature? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition

General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
Topics about HD production.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 2nd, 2012, 02:16 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 36
Small HD camera for low budget feature?

Folks, I have shot on Super 16mm and HD in the past but have been away from the video game since the latter went mainstream and to be honest feeling somewhat intimidated by the flood of different models - would appreciate if you could suggest a unit that satisfies the following requirements/constraints for a low budget feature that will be shot 'from the hip' in uncontrolled environments:

-1920 x 1080
-progressive frame rate in mid twenties, i.e. 24p or 25p
-pistol grip, not shoulder based
-great in low light, not just 'surprisingly good' ;)
-excellent sound from onboard mic (5.1 not required but welcome)
-records to non-moving part memory, i.e. neither removable storage nor spinning hard drive
-either friendly to different lenses or famous for quality of bundled lens..
-able to record uncompressed or using a compression system that doesn't appear to undermine image

I have noticed that many of the models fitting the above description render a version of HD which is not particularly strong (more like up-res'd SD!) and wondering if any manufacturers have overcome such limitations yet? Many thanks in advance for any model suggestions you may have, however obvious or unusual they may seem! Please note I am totally restricted by the above, so any camera that falls outside these parameters is unfortunately not a runner. However, price is not too much of a consideration at this point.

Last edited by Barry McGovern; March 2nd, 2012 at 03:27 AM.
Barry McGovern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2nd, 2012, 03:21 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Belfast, UK
Posts: 4,121
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

Depends on your budget, but Canon C300 or Sony F3 (although getting rather large for holding just in your hand operation), for a lower price possibly FS100, if you don't mind HDMI.

The "great low light" tends to restrict the smaller sensor cameras.
Brian Drysdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2nd, 2012, 03:26 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 36
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

Yes, I am looking at the C300 at the moment. That's the kind of physical size and shape I am talking about, whereas the F3 would be a little unwieldy. Although more impressed with the build of C300 than image, tbh.

I see that compression is probably unavoidable, unless I want to send the image somewhere else while shooting - which I don't!

Any other thoughts, folks?

Last edited by Barry McGovern; March 2nd, 2012 at 08:09 AM.
Barry McGovern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2nd, 2012, 12:56 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Belfast, UK
Posts: 4,121
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

If you don't mind RAW, you could check out the RED Scarlet. Although, delivery times might be an issue if you need a camera quickly.
Brian Drysdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2nd, 2012, 01:05 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New York NY
Posts: 322
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

If you want uncompressed, take a look at the Ikonoskop A-Cam dii: A-Cam dII The camera loves you | A-Cam dII | Products | Ikonoskop
__________________
Post production is not an afterthought!
www.arniepix.com
Arnie Schlissel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3rd, 2012, 08:47 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 36
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

That A Cam is quite interesting, Arnie. Have you used it? Anyone else used it? I guess you could describe it as shoulder-based, but it's well designed and looks like you could move quite freely with it. I like the lens compatibility too. And the memory cards they supply or make.

The Red Scarlet is tempting too, although the waiting list thing is a bit worrying - thanks Brian.
Barry McGovern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3rd, 2012, 01:26 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New York NY
Posts: 322
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

I have not used it, but I've been following it's development over the last couple of years. There's some sample footage available on their site, BTW, & I think the quality looks pretty good. I think they're best known for their little super 16 camera.
__________________
Post production is not an afterthought!
www.arniepix.com
Arnie Schlissel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 36
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

Leaning towards the JVC GY-HMQ10 4K even though its not pistol grip, still small enough that one could almost treat it that way, what do you guys make of this particular model?
Barry McGovern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7th, 2012, 09:51 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry McGovern View Post
suggest a unit that satisfies the following requirements/constraints for a low budget feature that will be shot 'from the hip' in uncontrolled environments:

...
-great in low light, not just 'surprisingly good'
You need a large sensor camera.

Quote:
-excellent sound from onboard mic (5.1 not required but welcome)
This would eliminate all the HDSLRs (even though they meet all other requirements perfectly), unless you used an external recording source.

Quote:
-records to non-moving part memory, i.e. neither removable storage nor spinning hard drive
The only camera I'm aware of that records to non-removable storage is the Vision Research Phantom. And that too is limited to 32GB, I think. All other modern large sensor cameras use 'solid state' media that is non-moving but has to be removed for ingest.

Quote:
-either friendly to different lenses or famous for quality of bundled lens..
This eliminates the JVC, as it has a fixed lens, doesn't it?

Quote:
-able to record uncompressed or using a compression system that doesn't appear to undermine image
In my experience none of the modern cameras 'undermines' the image in any way. Based on your requirements, here is what I seriously suggest:

Option One: Total budget for camera/audio gear less than $10,000: Canon 5D Mark III or Nikon D800 with glass, an external audio recorder and rig. Theoretically, the Nikon fulfills all of your conditions, including uncompressed HD, but the Canon is probably better in low-light.

Option Two: Total budget is around $20,000: Rent your gear. If you're shooting a feature, I don't suggest buying gear at all. But if you have to, the camera that fulfills all your options is the Sony F3 with S-log if you need it. For your particular case, I would avoid the Scarlet and the C300 unless you had a lot of money to splurge - but in that case why not shoot 16mm film?
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2012, 12:00 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 553
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry McGovern View Post
Folks, I have shot on Super 16mm and HD in the past but have been away from the video game since the latter went mainstream and to be honest feeling somewhat intimidated by the flood of different models.
I don't know your budget, but you might consider the Sony NEX-VG20 or NEX-FS100. Either of these would be cheaper than the cameras mentioned so far and still meet your requirements.
Eric Olson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2012, 12:40 AM   #11
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

What's the specific concern regarding compression?
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2012, 03:16 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 36
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

Actually, non-removable storage isn't the right way to say it, because SDHC cards can be removed. What I mean about the storage is that I don't want it to involve moving parts, i.e. tape or spinning hard drive. The term you use Sareesh, 'solid state', is a better way to describe what I am after in this respect!

I'm not sure that I eliminate the new 4K JVC because of the lens. I think it would be possible to use other lens on that camera - but also from the test footage, this camera can likely do excellent HD too and If I was simply doing 1080p on this cam, the fixed lens they chose would probably satisfy me.

I used that company's HD1 and PD1 in the past and was very pleased - and have a feeling this new 4K will be similar, just in the sense that it's their first prosumer 4K and so, yes, will probably be bested by a follow-up model by the end of the year / early next year, but also seems like it's just a good camera. I mean, all these years later and I still think that old HD1 is good.

As for my concern regarding compression, Charles, it's the same as anyone else's, which is that I want to be sure it's not trashing the image! From what I have read, the compression on this new JVC doesn't undermine the image and getting 2hrs of 4K or a lot more 1080p onto 128GB of SDHC cards ain't bad. It's a lot more than I could have shot on film. Definitely not shooting film again either, Sareesh! I loved shooting on Super 16mm back in the day, no interest now... :)

The only remaining concern I have is how good the new JVC will be in low light, given the relatively small sensor. I guess we'll have to wait for more test footage?

Thanks for your help, everyone.
Barry McGovern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2012, 09:32 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,414
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry McGovern View Post
-excellent sound from onboard mic
- does not exist, plus like Sareesh says, this eliminates DSLRs, which depending on he budget might be my first choice;

if the great low light is a real issue primes will be always faster, and will give you better reults than any fixed lens, looking at the requirements I'd definetly go with large chip, and today we have quite a few to choose from, but it's really hard to give any advice without knowing your budget,
__________________
I love this place!
Buba Kastorski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2012, 05:36 PM   #14
New Boot
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 20
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

No-one's mentioned the [url=http://www.siliconimaging.com/]SI2K[/ur]. The heads are around $15K, or were according to a price list from 2007. Not sure what they are now, nor how much it would cost to get a shooting rig together.

Another suggestion would be an Indiecam POV set up mounted on a suitable camera rig.

I can't remember how much the heads are, but I recall them being around 10K from my discussion with their rep at the BVE show a few weeks back.

Both of these use 16 mm glass, and that's increasingly cheap because no-one wants it these days.
Attached Thumbnails
Small HD camera for low budget feature?-indiecam.jpg  
Graeme Sutherland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Re: Small HD camera for low budget feature?

I love (or should say: loved) the SI-2K minis. They were great four years ago. But too much work needs to go into making them production worthy compared to other options in the same (or cheaper) price range in 2012. And not everyone likes the DOF from the SI-2K sensor.

However, if a full rig can be rented, and the OP loves the look, why not? After all, it's the only 'cheap' digital camera system AFAIK that has won an Oscar for cinematography. But I wouldn't choose it in today's time based on price or ease of use.
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:04 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network