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Old May 24th, 2003, 10:10 PM   #1
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Church Video Productions

Hello All,

I am a Video Producer for a local church where I live. We are currently wantitng to expand our video department, and they are letting me do the buying.

Now, I don't have some unlimited budget or anything, but I would like some opinions on what to do. Right now we are wanting to invest in a DV camera that would cost somewhere around $3000.00. Does anyone have suggestions on what to buy. This camera also hast to be functional, we will use it from everything to taping services to taping on the street interviews, and such. We want something that would be a decent quality and won't break our budget.

Thanks,
John
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Old May 24th, 2003, 10:25 PM   #2
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2 cams to look at would be the Sony VX2000 and the JVC DV300. They are both well under $3000 US and both good cams. You can also buy used and get a better cam, such as the JVC DV500 or a PD150.
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Old May 24th, 2003, 10:49 PM   #3
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Don't forget the Canon GL1... Maybe GL2
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Old May 24th, 2003, 11:22 PM   #4
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The above two suggestions are good as it will leave you with enough money to buy the important things, like a tripod and microphones.
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Old May 25th, 2003, 12:56 AM   #5
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I'd say VX2K or GL2, new, you don't want problems. There will be enough left to buy a mic , tripod a bigger battery etc. Either camera will give you an excellent picture. I'd lean towards the VX2000 for it amazing low light capabilities.
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Old May 25th, 2003, 01:38 AM   #6
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John, bigger CCDs = better low light. The VX2000 and DV300 have 1/3" CCDs and are well under $3000. The DV500 has been replaced, so it's a good time to find a used one. (It has larger, 1/2" CCDs). I don't think cams like the GL2, TRV950/PDX10, and the PV-DV953 are going to cut it in a low light environment of a church. In way of new cams, I think right now that the best bang for the buck are the VX2000 and better, the DV300.
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Old May 25th, 2003, 12:10 PM   #7
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<<<-- . . . . I don't think cams like the GL2 . . . <is> going to cut it in a low light environment of a church. -->>>

Arggh! I can vouch for that! Our church, in particular, has horrible lighting issues for video taping! Some spots under certain lights are great. Other spots. . . important spots like around the alter area. . . are really tough to film using the GL2. (I've only filmed in my home church, FYI.)

Ted
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Old May 26th, 2003, 10:48 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input. Yeah, our church just built our building (2000) and we moved several miles from where we used to be, so we lost a good amount of members. So we didn't have the funds to build our sanctuary, so we built a Multi-Purpose room. The bad part is that the lighting is very dim, and we use dim light or deep colors (blues, vilots, and greens) for a mood or effects in songs and dramas, and I want to be able to pick this up with a camera that we purchase.

Also, if anyone knows of a good place to look around online for cameras, that would be great.

Used is great and all, but my church is going to insist on new, unfortunatly. So, if anyone has suggetions, please let me know if I can or cannot get the camera new.

So what I am looking at is:
Sony VX2000
JVC DV300

I was looking at a Canon XL1-S, I haven't used one in person, but I know some of you have, so what do you think about it's low light ability.

Lastly, if I was able to expand the budge a little, what would you all suggest for a camera? If you do suggest something over $3000.00, please let me know the estimated price.

Thanks again for the help!
John
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Old May 26th, 2003, 10:55 AM   #9
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John- I have seen the setups in a few churches, and have been envious. Some are set up better than most studios. This may be a place to look for suggestions as to your church. I don't know if churches have forums or chat rooms (Church Chat?), but you may want to tour others, and ask them how/what they use.
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Old May 26th, 2003, 11:31 AM   #10
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I don't think you will do better than the VX2000 for under 3000. The camera is tailor made for your situation. The only thing that would be better is the pro version of the VX200 , the PD150. If all you want is great video under low light condition then that's your camera. Spend more and wind up with features you don't need and won't use.

John there have been several threads at www.dv.com relating to your project. Being the evil SOB that I am, I have no first hand knowledge. A search of this forum netted 86 hit's just on the word "Church" Try the same at DV.com as well.

Are there any windows that would be in the videos. Nothing like morning sun coming through a stained glass window to blow your contrast out of proportion.
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Old May 26th, 2003, 12:58 PM   #11
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Thanks for the input. Yeah, I've toured a few churches with Video Setups, and we don't have that kind of money. I will look around this fourm and others to see what I can find.

Thankfully, No there are no windows that could mess up a shot. We did invest money into a computer controlled Window Shade system, so we can control the amount of natural light in our building.

Thanks,
John
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Old May 26th, 2003, 02:58 PM   #12
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For cameras I would recommend the VX-2000 or PD-150. Our church asked for suggestions and those were my recommendations because those cameras are built like bricks. And in a group environment there will be multiple people using the cameras and not everyone is gentle with the gear. Those two cameras can really take a hit and can stand up to being passed around a lot of different users.

And probably the most important piece of equipment you can buy is a professional tripod. You'll regret if you buy anything less than a full size, fluid head tripod that allows you to make smooth pans at full zoom then you'll wish you hadn't. In most church settings you use a lot of lens and a cheap tripod will make your great camera look like home video. And buy an extra handle so that the camera operator gets a nice two handed grip. It will make their pans a whole lot smoother.

Ben Lynn
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Old May 27th, 2003, 05:51 AM   #13
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Xl1-s info

Hi John i thought i might give you some advice on the xl1-s as i used one to re-shoot our church easter production several weeks ago. This topic is very much of interest to me as i'm in a similar situation as yourself- our church is looking at purchasing a switcher and camera too.

To be honest i was quite dissapointed with the xl1-s. The stndard package for the xl1-s would probably leave a few holes in your shooting technique. I Found using the camera very tiring on the wrist due to the very front heavy design and the shoulder support that comes standard is useless. The camera didnt perform very well under low light so for some scenes we couldnt shoot with the light we wanted. The camera is designed well for hand held work(holding low at knee high) but is hard to use without an external veiw finder. The xl1-s may be a great cam, but for me i cant justify the additional expense that is required to get the cam up to the standard of the vx2 or pd.

I would recommend the vx or the pd-150. My decision is the pd- (opefully i will own one in 6-7 weeks! :-) soley because i cant justify buying a camera that needs another $2000au for the accessories. Also make sure your not lusting over the appearence of the xl1-s.....if you are confess and move on :-)

Hope that helps some

Rich
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Old May 27th, 2003, 10:13 AM   #14
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If you aren't going to buy a tripod, the XL1 is the last camera you want!!!
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Old May 27th, 2003, 12:16 PM   #15
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Thanks for all your help. I think I might try and see if they will go for the PD. I noticed that it had XLR inputs, and we were also thinking about looking into a wireless mic system for the cameras, so this would be a good thing to have on it.

Now, all I need is to get more money in my budget to upgrade my NLE and I will be set.

Thanks Again,
John
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