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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old April 26th, 2007, 01:44 PM   #1
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SD to HD for $1,500

Current Setup:
Canon XL1
Canon HV20 (just purchased, still in the mail)

Ok everyone, here i my dilemma. I currently and shooting only SD for wedding/event/school video production, and just sold my Panasonic PV-GS250 to buy the Canon HV20 (will act as my B cam).

I still have my Canon XL1 with 5 or 6 batteries, 2 chargers, stereo canon mic, a large bogen manfrotto tripod, and a nice carrying case...and I am thinking I can get at least $1,500 on ebay for the lot (judging by current XL1 auctions) then use that money to upgrade to a HD camera.

So basically, I will be on a $1,500 budget for the second camera once I get that money from selling my XL1, and I want to put that toward another camera (but a larger one then the HV20)...I would be happy with another HV20, as far as quality goes, but to look like a professional I at least need something as big as a JVC HD1U or Sony FX3.

I know, I know...the Sony FX3 is out of the question since it is upwards $2,300+, but I have found the JVC HD1U for around $1,500 used. Would this be my best bet keeping in mind the budget I have to work with? I really only have collateral money, meaning whatever I get for my XL1 will go toward a larger HD camera.

ALSO - keep in mind I will not be offering HD DVDs for another year or so, but I do want the benefit of the quality you get from scaling down HD to SD right now.

So, I guess my question is, on a budget of $1,500 (give or take $200), is the old JVC HD1U all I can afford for a professional "looking" main camera.

Thanks,
~ Jason

P.S. - I already have tripods I can use.

Last edited by Jason Morrow; April 26th, 2007 at 01:45 PM. Reason: forgot to sign my name
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Old April 26th, 2007, 02:02 PM   #2
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perhaps the Sony HVR-A1U? Looks at least semi pro with all the addons. and has the same stats as the hv20 right?

http://www.shopcartusa.com/product_f.../2983671_f.gif

~ Jason
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Old April 26th, 2007, 03:06 PM   #3
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Ok ok ok....it looks like it is going to be the Sony FX7...but I will have to save up about $1,000 before I sell my XL1, so I have enough when i DO sell to buy the FX7....ideas? or anyone come up with a good $1,500 alternative?

~ Jason

P.S. - Sorry for being anxoius and bumping my thread so soon
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Old April 26th, 2007, 03:31 PM   #4
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If your still going to be shooting weddings you might want to keep the XL-1 for low light shots, that soft SD look suits weddings anyways, and use the HV20 for the "beauty" shots where you have lots of light. You can always sharpen the SD in post or soften the HD for more continuity. I wouldn't recommend the HD1/10 for your applications. It is strictly a controlled lighting cam.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #5
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FYI, the XL1 is a horible camera in low light, trust me...I am an exposure/aperture fanatic and I have had my XL1 for 7 years. the XL1 is no good in low light, but the HV20 did great in low light testing. i've seen low light tests outside with no on-camera lighting

p.s. - sharpening and blurring footage is no-no unless you are using it for a transition, like a blur-in/blur-out. besides, the whole point of going HD and scaling down to SD is for clarity...i want the TLC documentary style look, not the hazy "corny" look.

this is the hv20 footage i am referring to....
http://videosan.web.fc2.com/HV10docs/index.html


~ Jason
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Old April 27th, 2007, 07:39 PM   #6
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Good luck with that.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 10:55 PM   #7
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I'm not sure how long you've been in this business or what type of work you provide your clients, but if you're going to go from an XL1 and HV20 to having an HV20 and something else for 'only' $1500, you're probably going to regret it sooner than you think. While it's solely your decision, if you want professional audio, go with an A1U. However, that camera is bottom-loaded and, as with many of these tiny cameras, stinks in low light. Thus, if you film a candle-lit wedding ceremony, you're going to have quite a time explaining to the client what happened as well as driving yourself insane to figure out what to do.

Everything in this business is expensive but you do get what you pay for and the end results can easily show this. My typical wedding setup consists of 2 Z1U's, 1 3rd either as another Z1U or V1U, and a 4th as a HV10 or A1U. The tiny 'toy' cameras are used and placed in flower pots, on a podium, piano....shots where a large camera wouldn't be possible, but the point is to create a different perspective. In low light, the Z1U and V1U are great...but if the cost is too much, and more pro features and XLR audio are not your thing at this time, an FX1 should do fine and is much cheaper.

My opinion is that $1500 really won't get you too far but it all depends on where you're at. :)

Good luck!
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Old April 28th, 2007, 11:10 AM   #8
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Buy an HV20, spend $400 on building it up to look expensive. Paint it black, put a matte box on it, you could even build a cage and follow focus if you are industrious.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 12:08 AM   #9
 
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Don't worry about how you look

Here's better advice. Don't worry about how look you money wise while shooting. Worry about what the product looks like. If the HV20 will do you great....get an HV20. If they don't like it, let them stick a nose up...until they get the product, at which point they'll be perfectly happy, and you've saved yourself money and got a great reputation. The only place "looking good" really matters is in your studio at work. That needs to be clean and look kind of nice if you have clients come to see your work. That's it.

Product speaks better than high-profile on set bull.
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