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Old April 23rd, 2012, 05:12 PM   #1
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Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Hi there all

Ive been trying to log on all weekend as I have a heap of questions that some of you might be able to point me in the right direction as Im kinda new to all this but I need to start learning quick

My wife and I run a unique business that specializes in classic cars that puts us in a lot of different countries and several people have said we should start filming the everyday runnings of it as its extremely interesting as a kind of reality TV program

I bumped into a guy a few months ago that is currently or has finished doing a reality program that is to air soon and I run this by him and he was all over it like a fatkid on a cup cake...so it may just be a good idea after all

Before I ask my questions, Im basing them on a reality series like American pickers where most of the time its filmed in the car and the rest jumping through peoples barns

So heres a few of my questions

* We need a decent camera for when were out of the car and doing our general day to day stuff. Filming in the office, warehouse, home, airports, international cities and events

* We also need 2 cameras that mount inside the cars for filming the journeys we take (thats quite alot)

* Audio...well, were thinking of getting those units that clip to your belt with mic's but not sure if they transfer the audio direct to the footage your taking or does that have to be edited

Im really trying to get something that is exellent quality footage and audio from the start. As you can tell, Im no pro, so I kinda need some help of what I should buy to get me started. The fella I met that just finished his series, said I would need to spend around $2-$3,000 for a decent camera

Any help would be appreciated to get us on our way

Many thanks

Matt
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 06:08 PM   #2
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

If you're planning to produce a show for reality TV and want to sell it as such, then you definately need an experienced crew to do it. They have all the required tech knowledge needed and it's a lot, more than you might imagine and more than you'll probably ever know.

Also experienced producers and directors with years of experience .. and time, it takes hours and hours for each episode .. and that would take away from your day to day operation.

But having said that you might look at shooting a good demo, so you can do the rounds sending it to TV outfits to produce a series. For that you need a good handheld small camera and just speak into the camera mic, talking to potential producers about what you're doing.

But looking at shows like 'West Coast Customs' etc. it's basically free advertising and the increase in business could be enormous. And you could gain international exposure.

Watch ALL of those shows and copy the production credits, get in touch with ALL of them.
Take time writing your proposal and send some stills.

Maybe do that before you spend bucks on gear in case they're interested and take it from there.
I know that doesn't answer your direct questions, but that's the reality of it :) Aim high and good luck.

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Old April 23rd, 2012, 07:18 PM   #3
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Allan

Thanks for that. Good to hear from a fellow Ozzie. Just got back from Oz on Thursday. Spent most of my time in Adelaide (hometown) with my kids and clients but couldnt make Sydney this trip

I understand your comment and it makes perfect sence. I got told by the other fella to get some of this stuff together for when were on the road. He would see what I have shot I teach me were Im going wrong.

Its something that I want to get into but not on a professional level like you fellas.

Im not into, going international or even domestic at the moment and once (or if) it airs, I can no longer keep my occupation in the classic car industry

So, In the meantime, I just have to learn what I can and do what I can do.

I just need to know what I need to buy in order to get started

I have read a lot of the forum so far and trying to see what kind of camera I would need that would do the job.

I have NO IDEA what those car mounted cameras are or what there called, how much, what brand to buy that is compatible for someone to edit all of our footage when the time comes

I just need to be pointed in the right direction that if I was to shoot what ever footage and say...gave it to you, even if it was shocking camera work....you could still do something with it...even if its poor quality

Im an Ozzie, I learn quick when thrown in the deep end

FX1000 I was reading in one thread would be a good camera

Matt
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Hey Matt.

Few different options here, love to see the final result!

Allan has a good suggestion there, chase them up regardless just in case you do get a bite. Could save you a lot of money in setup and equipment buys.

My thoughts are:
In car camera
- We use the old versions of these: RadCAM HD20 : RaceRecall, On-Board Sports & Helmet Video Cameras
- They're quite good, record 1080p MOVs, and were selected by Top Gear Australia for use in their last season or so. They're also the in car cameras used in the Bosch Australian Rally Championship.
- You've mentioned audio, so I'd also recommend considering the GoPro. I'm looking at getting a couple for some testing, and I'm particularly interested in their 3D capabilities. They're more versatile than the Radcams, as the lens head isn't tethered to the body, and you can put them outside the car whenever you want. (check out a Ken Block Gymkhana video for ideas!) I also don't think the video quality is as good though.

Out of car camera
- We've traditionally used Panasonic HMC151/152 cameras, and they've been excellent and versatile. Just invested in a Sony NX5. Good versatile camera to get you started. You can spend a lot, but I'd think these two should be where you're aiming for.

Audio
- Two wireless mics, probably Sennheiser EW100 G3 ENG kits.
- Reading on here tells me you should look at upgrading the mics, probably Rode lav or pinmic, but the included ones work fine.
- Shotgun with fluffy/blimp would be helpful.
- in answer to your question, you can connect each receiver to a separate XLR input on the camera and control levels independently, and record on the footage.
- Running two wireless kits, you might want to consider a mixer so you can run a separate line in for a shotgun for atmospheric sound/background noise - something I value when doing automotive filming, as it gives you a more genuine feel.

We have and do shoot similar stuff to what you're looking at, in your home town no less, so happy to share thoughts, and see what others suggest!
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Old April 24th, 2012, 08:57 AM   #5
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Hey Matt, I've got '67 pickup I want to restore. What do I need to fix it up and get it back to mint condition? I'm figuring I could spend $2-3K on tools & materials and people can teach me how to do the work as I go along. What do you think?
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Old April 24th, 2012, 06:27 PM   #6
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

While Rick's "advice" is a bit snarky, it's also accurate... There's a LOT that goes into producing video on ANY level, let alone something that's watchable. I agree that there's lots of interesting stuff that goes on in most businesses, and "reality TV" has opened doors to new audiences and such.

You say you'd end up no longer "keeping your occupation"? Not sure exactly what you meant by that, but if your business is something you want to keep proprietary, maybe forget the whole filiming thing entirely... IF on the other hand you want to document some things, maybe put up a web-umentary or short "advertorials" or something along that line, it doesn't take a whole lot o' camera to capture with nowadays... even small Point & shoot cameras can be used to capture decent footage (a Sony DSC-TX100V can be had for around $200 and shoots decent 1080p video and stills in a mostly idiot proof "pocket cam"!). It's not the camera, it's the operator and the content!

Give a pro a cheap camera and something interesting to shoot, and they will get good usable footage, give a money an expensive camera... well, you get the point!

Camera technique is something you can learn plenty about here, and more about once you actually have a camera to use. I'll suggest to you that giving someone a pile of tapes or cards with a bunch of crap footage will NOT make you a better shooter, editing a bit of what you shot yourself WILL!

Get something to start with, even a used small camera from any of the three "big brands", start shooting a bit and see what you get. You don't need to spend $2-3K just to discover you hate shooting <wink>. IF you find it's not too much of a distraction, and you are getting some "good stuff", you'll have something to start from, and a better idea of what else you'll need along the way, OR you'll have a used cam you can sell and forget about the video thing entirely.

You may have already hit the nail on the head that shooting will be too much of a distraction to your "business", but again, that's why I suggest starting out with a small, light, easy to drag with you camera, and "see what develops". If you go too whole hog into it, you'll probably burn out, but a small camera can keep it FUN starting out, and if it clicks, still look good enough for showing the foundations of a bigger production.

Just my thoughts, as someone who is trying to produce a few videos related to my interests "on the side"...
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Old April 24th, 2012, 06:39 PM   #7
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Well Rick, I suggest you jump on a car a car forum and ask em mate.

$3000 should take you pretty far I assume. As for asking and learning as you go, you'd be surprized at how helpful the guys are on car forums to help a newbie....I have helped many and have also learnt alot from forums.

They will even give you pics of what they have done and how they did it...we all have to start somewhere dont we big fella...bit like me, wanting to get into film and making sure I wasnt going down the wrong avenue purchasing the wrong equiptment....that said, you still need to ask questions....

I hope I didnt waste your time talking cars on a photography forum

Good luck with your resto
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Old April 24th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #8
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Dave

Thanks for that.

Yes, I understand that Im only new here and you guys must have fellas jump in on a weekly basis saying there gonna shoot high (lol)

I plan to stay with this as Ive allready gone down the avenue you speak of. In my line of work, still shot photography has been something that Im quite good at and have some amazing pictures from all over the world....now I want to get more serious

As for occupation, I dont want to promote my companies while Im working within them.

I want to shoot it now and edit it later but only after I learn what I need to know

From the one post that Ryan made, I have allready learnt alot.

I have been researching so much today and to say Ive learnt it all is an understatement. Its so very interesting and something Ive been wanting to do for 10 years

So, please bear with me people

After watching about 60 video reviews on the Sony HXR-NX5U, Im thinking this is going to be my camera of choice. All 4 of my other cameras are Sony aswell

Thanks again Dave for taking the time (you to Ryan) for helping someone like myself and giving your thoughts and advice to a newbie

Cheers
Matt
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Old April 24th, 2012, 07:18 PM   #9
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Hi, Matt.............

I have to throw my hat in with Allan, Rick and Dave on this one.

I'd sum up the situation thus:

It is physically impossible to be at both ends of a camera at the same time (and get anything that has more than 10 seconds viewer appeal).

You can either do whatever it is you do with the cars, or make movies, take your pick, one or the other.

If all you want to do is play at it, follow Dave's very sensible advice and see if the bug bites.

If the bug does bite, re - read the "It is physically impossible.........." bit again, and get someone else to make the movies of you "doing whatever it is you do with the cars"


CS
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Old April 24th, 2012, 07:18 PM   #10
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Jones View Post
Hey Matt.

Few different options here, love to see the final result!

Allan has a good suggestion there, chase them up regardless just in case you do get a bite. Could save you a lot of money in setup and equipment buys.

My thoughts are:
In car camera
- We use the old versions of these: RadCAM HD20 : RaceRecall, On-Board Sports & Helmet Video Cameras
- They're quite good, record 1080p MOVs, and were selected by Top Gear Australia for use in their last season or so. They're also the in car cameras used in the Bosch Australian Rally Championship.
- You've mentioned audio, so I'd also recommend considering the GoPro. I'm looking at getting a couple for some testing, and I'm particularly interested in their 3D capabilities. They're more versatile than the Radcams, as the lens head isn't tethered to the body, and you can put them outside the car whenever you want. (check out a Ken Block Gymkhana video for ideas!) I also don't think the video quality is as good though.

Out of car camera
- We've traditionally used Panasonic HMC151/152 cameras, and they've been excellent and versatile. Just invested in a Sony NX5. Good versatile camera to get you started. You can spend a lot, but I'd think these two should be where you're aiming for.

Audio
- Two wireless mics, probably Sennheiser EW100 G3 ENG kits.
- Reading on here tells me you should look at upgrading the mics, probably Rode lav or pinmic, but the included ones work fine.
- Shotgun with fluffy/blimp would be helpful.
- in answer to your question, you can connect each receiver to a separate XLR input on the camera and control levels independently, and record on the footage.
- Running two wireless kits, you might want to consider a mixer so you can run a separate line in for a shotgun for atmospheric sound/background noise - something I value when doing automotive filming, as it gives you a more genuine feel.

We have and do shoot similar stuff to what you're looking at, in your home town no less, so happy to share thoughts, and see what others suggest!
Ryan

Thanks for you imput mate.

I looked at a few reviews on some of the cameras that people have spoke of in other posts and alot on the NX5. Allthough pricey, its a nice little camera and has what Im looking for

Mainly searching ebay, amazon and places like that at the moment bit I think I might start shopping around for more of a bundle pack or even second hand

As for second hand, that concerns me if its been dropped but shows no evidence of damage

As for the RadCam, seems like a nice unit but I have also looked at the gopro. The GoPro is bigger and bulkier but is cheaper and easily obtained here in the US. Im now looking into "in car" mounting....where and how they fit

Thanks for taking the time help me with this

Hope your having a great ANZAC day

As for shooting in Adelaide, what do you do down there?

Matt
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Old April 24th, 2012, 07:39 PM   #11
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Hi, Matt.............


If all you want to do is play at it, follow Dave's very sensible advice and see if the bug bites.



CS

Chris

I dont plan on being at both ends of the camera (except in the car) driving to diferrent locations

If you have a read above, I have allready messed around and the bug has bit

As for West coast customs, thats not the avenue Im going down.....its been done to death

If I can put some good footage together messing with a better camera and run it by my friends crew, then I can look at putting more money at it. If at the end of the day, I end up with an expensive home video camera, so be it.

If it means that 6 months go by and Im alittle more educated than I am now, well it hasnt been wasted

Im not trying to jump in with a $10,000 budget and make a feature film

I want to get the right advice on what to look at thats better than the HD gear I have now

I do value your opinion though, thankyou

Hope your having a great ANZAC day also

Matt
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Old April 24th, 2012, 08:23 PM   #12
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Clarke View Post
Ryan

Thanks for you imput mate.

I looked at a few reviews on some of the cameras that people have spoke of in other posts and alot on the NX5. Allthough pricey, its a nice little camera and has what Im looking for

Mainly searching ebay, amazon and places like that at the moment bit I think I might start shopping around for more of a bundle pack or even second hand

As for second hand, that concerns me if its been dropped but shows no evidence of damage

As for the RadCam, seems like a nice unit but I have also looked at the gopro. The GoPro is bigger and bulkier but is cheaper and easily obtained here in the US. Im now looking into "in car" mounting....where and how they fit

Thanks for taking the time help me with this

Hope your having a great ANZAC day

As for shooting in Adelaide, what do you do down there?

Matt
First Matt, be good to get a better idea of your concept.

The picture I'm starting to get is that you've got the film bug, and you'd like to film the crews you go round and visit. You travel with your wife, so instant 2 person crew. So it's not as if you have no one to operate the camera when you're in front of it.

If you're concentrating on the crew restoring the car, I think you could have some interesting footage, and potentially an interesting show. As long as you know you're going to film A LOT of unusable footage to start with! ;-)

If you're shopping second hand, have a look at the Panasonic HMC150/151/152. Different last digit in different countries. We use a 152 I think? And it's been excellent and versatile.

The difference between those two cameras is the GoPro is a bigger and bulkier 'all in one' unit that can be mounted anywhere. The RadCam has a smaller, higher quality lens, which has a cable to the control box. So you must mount the lens somewhere where you can mount the box within about 1m. The RadCam also has a screen, so you can monitor your camera placement - not to be underestimated. I also think VIO do a HD POV now, but I have no experience.

The other thing to consider is a suction mount, Manfrotto or the like, and a smaller, consumer HD camera. Potentially, bigger lens, might get better footage with easier workflow. Not sure about these myself, but it's an option.

We shoot motorsport mainly, and I was exactly where you are 4 years ago. A mate had a camera, so we decided to do some filming. The the bug bit and we were able to borrow a second camera, so I had a lot of 'on the job' training. Still don't consider myself that good, but luckily for me I have a decent crew I can rely on to help me with the job.

I think there's a forum on here for people looking for help on shoots? I would definitely invest in some help on your first shoot. You'll learn a lot!

Good luck, let us know how the show goes!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 06:05 AM   #13
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Hi Matt, I am a Kiwi and was post production supervisor on FlightPathTV - an independently produced aviation series that sold to, among others, Discovery Turbo UK and Asia. That show was started by two guys who were aviation junkies with lots of passion and some aviation industry connections.

However one was also a fulltime freelance cameraman, and the other an entrepreneur who had run his own ad agency, so they had a massive leg up in terms of a game plan for financing/sponsorship and ensuring their footage looked amazing. But ultimately, it was just those two guys going out and shooting at air shows and finding other good stories and gathering sponsorship and ending up with about 100 hours of footage that got them enough material to know they could build a magazine style series out of it and put together a pilot episode, and that all started by going to one event and just shooting, so getting the best footage with the cameras you can of the subject matter you have access to is obviously a key starting point.

For reference, that show used a lot of go pro footage, including looking backwards at an aerobatics pilot who was talking to camera while they recorded audio off his radio, and having go pros mounted on the exteriors of planes. Go pros are great onboard cameras for capturing talent in vehicles because they are small and cheap. They suffer a little for high speed action compared to other offerings (like those specifically designed for motorsports) because of skew and jello looks from vibration. No matter what small cam you choose you will want separate audio recording from a lapel mic if you want any in car footage to be remotely usable in terms of you or someone else talking in the car while driving.

Equally, there are lots of perfectly capable cameras for what you want to do, the key is much more figuring out what sort of shots you want to achieve with them and what conditions will you be shooting in. Some cameras look amazing and vibrant in daylight , but are crap in lowlight conditions. Others hold up brilliantly in lowlght conditions but may wash out in overbright daylight or clip too early in bright sunlight. Knowing the conditions you want o shoot in, an the feel you want to evoke is going o be much more relevant to your choice of camera than even price range (because those same questions can apply to any camera in any price range, And even one $60K camera will stack up differently to anoter dependan on it's intended use.)

Putting good footage together is only maybe 20% down to the camera model, the rest is skill and appropriateness of he camera model for the subject matter. For getting started I would be looking at what sort of footage you needed from the main camera, and get advice based on those

The more important question to you though really is one of sound. You can get around ropey footage on one shot through editing much easier than you can get past sound issues, and all the pretty pictures of cars in the world will be of no use if there is no decent audio to make stories and human drama with. Figuring out the conditions you will be needing to both shoot pctures and record sound is the best thing you can spend time on at the outset becuase it reflects performance under specific conditions.

In otherwords, is your main value oming from beauty shots of cars, or from interviews with interesting people, or from anecdotes while driving in nice cars. The form of what you are capturing dictates the nature of how it can best be used, the nature of how it can best be used dictates the best camera for that job. Where you are using the cameras is inconsequential compared to what it is you are trying to show with them, and saying cars and interviews is too broad. You've go to say cars in brilliant daylight, and interviews in workshops and homes. Or interviews in daylight outside, and car footagein garages and workshops. Because different cameras would be better for one combination over another.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:37 PM   #14
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Guys

Thanks for the advice. It "IS" sinking in and I thankyou very much for taking the time to write a responce...theres so much information that Im taking in right now

I have also been doing alot of research on audio and editing. I have managed to talk with a relative that has said that he could do it for me afetr he see's what I have on my first run

I ended up getting a SONY NX5...should be here on Tuesday.

Im still looking at radcam and GoPro but Im slowly putting it all together

I have to fly around the US all weekend buying some cars for clients back in Oz and will be back on Tuesday so in the meantime I can do a little more research on Audio.

I want to separate the audio recording from a lapel mic. This is the bit I need to read up on.

Can you use these mic's in either GoPro or RadCam and can I use them with the NX5 with an extension (I assume there only 3 or so feet long)

If anyone has any links or recomendatios, it would be appreciated

Thanks

Matt
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Old April 28th, 2012, 10:53 AM   #15
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Re: Need "LOTS" of advice on what to buy

Hi, Matt...I'm just down the road from you in Merritt Island. Drop me an email, I might have some mutually beneficial ideas.

jkuhn12@cfl.rr.com

Best regards,

J.
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