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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old July 13th, 2006, 08:00 AM   #1
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Camera Choices

Not sure if this is the right place for this discussion, but we'll start here.

We are doing a one-day shoot for a short (~10 min) film. We had originally planned on shooting with a DVX100, but for reasons I won't go into here that might not happen.

At this point we're planning on using an Optura 60 that I have handy, or possibly renting. What I can't decide is if it makes any sense to rent an HD camera over an SD cam if the final output is going to be DVD.

The HD camera we are considering is the Sony HVRZ1U.

I imagine this has been covered already, so if someone could point me to the conversation, I would greately appreciate it.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 09:48 AM   #2
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HDV downconverted to SD in post gives a better image than the same scenes shot directly to SD, at least to my eyes.

You really are trying to compare apples and oranges here - the Z1U is a 3 chip pro grade camera while the Optura is a single chip consumer camera. You're also looking at about a 10:1 price ratio. Kinda like comparing a Kia with a BMW or Mercedes <grin>. Which camera to use would depnd on the nature of your project and it's ultimate destination - broadcast, theatrical, person enjoyment, school project, etc
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Old July 13th, 2006, 10:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Steve House
You really are trying to compare apples and oranges here - the Z1U is a 3 chip pro grade camera while the Optura is a single chip consumer camera. You're also looking at about a 10:1 price ratio. Kinda like comparing a Kia with a BMW or Mercedes <grin>.
I'm more looking to compare a good SD camera (the DVX100) vs. a basic HD camera (the Sony) when the output will be conforming to the limits of SD DVD.

So I suppose the analogy holds up, as long as you add "they will be racing on a dirt track" : )
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Old July 13th, 2006, 10:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jason J. Gullickson
I'm more looking to compare a good SD camera (the DVX100) vs. a basic HD camera (the Sony)
In that case then you might find this thread interesting: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=70183
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Old July 13th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #5
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should you be asking the question -do you want a video look or a film look ?
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Old July 13th, 2006, 03:37 PM   #6
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I think I did a poor job asking my inital question. A better way to ask would be:

Is there a significant difference in the quality of the final product between DV and HDV if the final output is DVD?
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Old July 13th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jason J. Gullickson
I think I did a poor job asking my inital question. A better way to ask would be:

Is there a significant difference in the quality of the final product between DV and HDV if the final output is DVD?
The biggest difference is going to be your ability to use whatever camera you use, and your experiance or ability to shot great shots, framing etc. HD won't help you that much.

If you can get the Sony, go for it and just down-convert to SD, it works fine. If you want more control and can handle it, doesn't sound like it thus far, you might consider something like the XL2.

If you are more of a point and shoot person, nothing to be ashamed of most of us are, choose the Sony. It does a great job in auto mode, and downconverts wounderfully. It looks fantastic on DVD.

OH, and I don't own the Sony ZU1, I own the Canon XL2.

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Old July 14th, 2006, 07:38 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info Mike.

I won't be running the camera myself, and our operator owns a DVX100 (which is why we planned on shooting with one at first). He may not be able to use his camera however so I looked into renting and thought that for $90 more, why not go HD?

It sounds like however that given the output path, we might have better luck giving this guy a camera that he's familar with (the DVX) vs. the HD camera that he's never handled before even if it does have more "potential".

Thanks again everyone for the feedback.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 07:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jason J. Gullickson

It sounds like however that given the output path, we might have better luck giving this guy a camera that he's familar with (the DVX) vs. the HD camera that he's never handled before even if it does have more "potential".
Jason,

Sounds like a very wise decision. Good luck on the project.

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Old July 15th, 2006, 03:25 PM   #10
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Might as well future-proof it on HDV (for Sony, you can go 24p in post via 60i and filters or 50i with a conversion) and go to SD. If you come out with a Blu Ray or HD DVD disc of shorts, you won't have to worry about uprezzing it.

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Old July 15th, 2006, 04:12 PM   #11
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Jason,

If you are going to rent, go for the Sony, it will give you a great picture in HDV and in some ways will future proof your project.

If you can get the DVX100 for free, then maybe go for that. I don't know a thing about the Optura. Don't buy right now.

As far as future proofing, with HD, both Heath and I have JVC JYHD-10U's we are still stuck with. Nothing wrong with them, 720p HD, but they have been outdone by other models, and there is little or no market for them now. Put them both together and you couldn't get half the price of a ZU1. Future proofing is a concept, not a reality. All of the HDV cameras, and the Panasonic if you wish to put it in another league, may be unfutureproofed in less than a year.

Again, shoot with the ZU1 in auto if you don't know how to use it, and there is not time to learn, or have your DP use whatever SD camera he is used to and comfortable with. Both will give good results and your project will be fine. Remember, IT'S THE STORY, DIRECTING, AND TECHNICAL PROFICENTY THAT WILL WIN OUT! It's a ten minute short!

Mike

P.S.: I could make you a great deal on a 720p HD camera with very little use!

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Old July 15th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #12
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Heh heh, I finished paying off my lease (only do a lease on a PRICEY camera) and the HD10 is going home to the leasing company.

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Old July 15th, 2006, 09:49 PM   #13
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Heh heh, I finished paying off my lease (only do a lease on a PRICEY camera) and the HD10 is going home to the leasing company.

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Old July 17th, 2006, 11:13 AM   #14
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Jason,

If you are going to rent, go for the Sony, it will give you a great picture in HDV and in some ways will future proof your project.

If you can get the DVX100 for free, then maybe go for that. I don't know a thing about the Optura. Don't buy right now.
I picked up the Optura awhile back as much for personal as professional use, so it's sort of the "plan B" for this project should everything else fall through.

At this point I'm hoping that things work out for the DVX as it would simplify everything and for this piece I think it will do just fine.

Good to know the info about the Sony, etc. and I think we may rent one for the next project.

(what's the going price on a used JVC JYHD-10U?)
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Old July 17th, 2006, 11:57 AM   #15
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(what's the going price on a used JVC JYHD-10U?)
Jason,

Funny, they were selling pretty cheap for a while, $1,200 to $1,500 for a while, depending on condition and accessories. Now, I think they are on the way back up for some reason, maybe just that most have changed hands that were available. Checked ebay just now, and for the first time since I have been checking, almost two years, there are none for sale.

I have saved mine for nearly two years now, but with three cameras and the fact that I will be hitting the road soon, I'm willing to sell mine. It has many extra, batteries, lenses, bag, etc., and is perfect.

Email me is you are interested.

Mike
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