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Old December 9th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #1
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HDCAM/Varicam question

Hey guys, I'm planning on shooting a series in HD and have some questions regarding which route I should select, the HD CAM route or the Panasonic Varicam route (with HDV secondaries). Its a travel related series and while I want the best picture possible I also need a tried and tested solution that will be very reliable. Please also consider the post prod. repercussions for either route (HDCAM deck rental, etc). PS HDV primary is not an option.

Which format would be essentially cheaper to use for the production, and whcih would you recommend if you were in my shoes. And if I can get an estimate for how much a camera (with lens) goes for monthly, that would be of great assistance. Thanks very much!
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Old December 9th, 2007, 06:07 PM   #2
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You should look at DVCPRO 100 at 1080 as an option. The HVX-900 is capable of both 1080 or 720 and the DVCPro Deck is less expensive than the HDCAM deck. You have to decide if the quality is good enough.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 07:02 PM   #3
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Is XD Cam HD a possible option?
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Old December 9th, 2007, 07:40 PM   #4
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What is your post workflow?

HDV can be nasty to deal with for online.

XDCAM can be beautiful for online (if the online system must ingest from SDI). Very fast ingest; tends to be more frame-accurate than other formats. Online conforms go a lot faster.

If you know what your post workflow is you can make a more informed decision.

2- The Varicam is most likely cheaper than shooting HDCAM unless you are getting a great deal or you're talking about a really old HDCAM.

Quote:
And if I can get an estimate for how much a camera (with lens) goes for monthly, that would be of great assistance.
Not to be offensive or anything, but this is basic research. Are you having difficulties figuring out this information? Some rental companies have rate cards on their website... e.g. http://www.rule.com/category.cfm?categoryID=1
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Old December 9th, 2007, 08:10 PM   #5
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Thanks for the response guys.

-XDCAM HD is a real option, we will have to check the producers guidelines spec to see if there are any issues.

-Glenn, no offense taken, I've been browsing around various rental company sites and keep seeing daily rates for HDcams: I was inquiring regarding whether there is a long-term rental discount (the lowest i've seen is 10,000USD a month for a FW900 rental) and our rental need is for 9 months! I imagine the HDCAM decks have similar rental prices...

I will check out some Varicam specs as that seems the most realistic budget-wise.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 11:01 AM   #6
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I don't know about LA, but I'd assume it's the same as the UK. you can negotiate with the rental house, especially on longer term rentals. Production managers regularly negotiate deals on productions, best way is to get a quote rather than looking at the prices on web site.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #7
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Have you considered the Panasonic HPX 500? It is a full-sized shoulder-mount with 2/3" chips and it shoots DVCProHD on P2 cards. P2 cards are very reliable, though you need to unload them to a laptop from time to time (which is pretty easy because the cards are compatible with standard PCMCIA slots - almost any windows laptop will do as a card reader/backup station).
I think this could be the most cost-effective solution.
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