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Old April 1st, 2008, 01:16 PM   #46
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Same here.

On the steadicam, they are really for special shots (like Rocky) and unless your using a jib and a dolly and shooting those renacment like the big hollywood types.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 12:55 AM   #47
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I agree with Chris about not taking a ton of big gear. You are going to want efficient, compact and lightweight gear. Don't forget lots of tape though!
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 12:36 PM   #48
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Ok, Then it's settelled, Ill look for a used PD 170 or DVX100B with low hours. I have been keeping an eye on ebay but are there any other websites that offer quality used producted by trusted people? After doing my research here and through other quality info sites One thing is clear. What ever camera I decide to purchase I will need to get ALOT of tapes. So basiclly, I can get away with a Camera, Good Mic, Light, Tapes, extra batteries and a bag/case to hold it in. Whats a wireless LAV? As far as the steady cam goes I was thinking about getting that to use for walking around the base shooting footage. When I watch shows like dirty jobs, American Choppers etc. they walk with little to no bouncing and that was what I was going for. I was going to use the steadycam to be able to differ between the "Pro Video" to give it the Professional Film look and my Panasonic SDR to have that movement/amature look to make the Doc that much more realistic. I will also be adding videos from my Helmet Camera and Humvee Cameras. Any thoughts on this. If you think a steadycam is a waste of money right now then Ill just have to learn how to be "steady" on my own but I just figured it would be someting simply to use for my purposes.

As far as the HD goes, I was only considering it because I have heard that next year will "Be the Year" to go HD. But I guess in my case and with my budget I can do Just as good with one of the cameras above, am I right? Is HD really that big of a deal for my project?

"I think" As far as the Film quality vs. the News/TV Quality does that matter when it comes to projects like this? Can this all be fixed in Post??

ChrisPanasonic AG DVC60

(PS) What about the JVC GR HD1, it's and HD Used for $999.00 or the Panasonic AG DVC60's I know its a "shoulder mounted" but it also has an LCD Screen and it has "Night Vision" shooting capibilities. $1600.00 used. good, bad?!?!? Thoughts?
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 01:52 PM   #49
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ANY HD/HDV camera is going to require more light than a similar SD cameral. So shooting with something like a DVX or PD170 will buy you a better image to tape simply because they gather more light.

This idea of "film look" happening in post, and "fixing things in post" is a misnomer. You can do certain things in post, but to get a film "look" you have to shoot like film. You have to move the camera like film crews do, and you have to light like film crews do. And you also have to mic like film crews do. Unless you're planning on marketing this video to HBO Films or something, I suggest you drop the whole "film like" or "professional quality" stuff, and just shoot the best way you can, and learn as you go. I guarantee you'll be a lot better at this 6 months into it than you were when you started. Nature of the beast.

Forget the HD cameras. Get a good camera and learn to shoot. You'll be far better off for it. The steadicam idea is nice, but it can take months to learn to use it well. Work on your camera skills before venturing out into that arena. If you need one, buy it later.

I see used DVX's on dvxuser.com from time to time. Usually every few weeks. Join there and shop. I imagine there are similar places for the PD150/PD170.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 02:55 PM   #50
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A wireless lav is a tiny microphone attached to a small wireless transmitter.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 08:28 PM   #51
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Dirty Jobs and American Chopper don't have steadicams, Just good camera opperators.

Once you get your camera, carry it around with you all the time. Practice. Practice. Bug your wife, film your kids, look at your dog. Just piont the camera at stuff and concentrait on keeping it steady.

That panasonic shoulder cam is junk, Just a camcorder in a plastic shell.

I say, save on the steadicam, get a wide angle( makes shots steadier) and look for a cheap sony handy cam for nightvision. Heck even stick an infa-red spot light to it so you can see better in the dark.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 09:47 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Feder View Post
are there any other websites that offer quality used producted by trusted people?
Yes. You're looking at it right now. I've bumped your account up to grant you access to our private classifieds forum.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 11:32 PM   #53
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There is a lot of different slick equipment out there that, in highly skilled hands, can be used to improve video productions considerably, and in many regards (image stability, sound quality, lighting, etc.).

What is important to realize here (at least in my opinion), is that the Army isn't exactly going to go along with you touring Afghanistan like a fully equipped one man video production company.

It would seem wise to put your focus on gear that is compact and lightweight, and efficient for the capabilities you really need.

Camera, microphone, batteries, tapes ...maybe a monopod or perhaps something like a DVMultiRig (light and folds up small).
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 02:16 AM   #54
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Just like anything else its takes practice, Damn it. Well I do have time for that. Ok, Ill go with the basics and keep it simple. Your right about touring afghanistan my only saving grace is that my command approved my request to film this doc and granted me full access to fim including our vehicles, patrols etc. I did try to get them to purchase the equipment however I wouldnt see it untill October or something and by then it would be too late. Is it easier to maintain a steady camera that is small like my SDR or larger like the DVX100B? Are thoes "shoulder" mounts any good for my application? I have a both a mono and tri pod. Though they are for still cameras I imagine they would work with DVX. I just need additional Mics and tape. Both the Sony and DVX allow to add lenses right?

I have a few other specific questions regarding sound, lighting, writing and storylines but I think I have to find thoes topics for thoes questions.

Just for giggles, What's the big difference between the PD170 and the DVX100B? Is it the name?
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:06 AM   #55
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There is a Person selling in the "Community Classifide" section selling Redheads, Junior Fresnels and Fluorescent lights. Maybe you guys can also give a little advice on if any of these packages if they would suite my needs? It "Looks" like a good price within my budget.

Chris
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:11 AM   #56
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All you need for what you're doing and where you're going, is a small on-camera light and a collapsible reflector. God provides the key light (the Sun). Learn how to work with *that* light, the reflector is your fill light. You don't need all that other lighting gear. Travel light -- that is, lightweight -- and travel fast.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 05:35 AM   #57
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The two biggest differences I can think of, between the PD170 and DVX100B, is that the PD performs better in dim lighting (not that the DVX is a bad low light camera), and the DVX can shoot 24p (the PD can't). I'd suggest shooting 60i, which either camera can do well. If some of your footage ever winds up being broadcast, it would probably be on a cable channel, broadcast in 60i.

Personally, I disagree with the others that the GY-DV300U would be a poor choice, simply because it has been discontinued, and that camera is also right in the same class, for performance (you could sure put DV300 footage on cable television). DV300Us are indeed harder to find, but when you do find them, prices tend to be a lot lower than the other comparable cameras. Between the PD170 and the DVX100B, used PD170s tend to sell for a little less than used DVX100Bs (at least lately, it seems).

Shoulder mounted cameras can be a little more stable to shoot with, but I wouldn't really consider the low cost shoulder mounts (like DVC60) to be a good alternative to a PD170 or DVX100B (or DV300U). The DVC60 isn't a bad camera, but it is basically a step down from the others, and bulkier to tow around. Go with one of the good performance three 1/3" CCD handhelds. It is easier to hold a PD170 (or similar camera) steady, than a tiny consumer camera like that SDR (too small to even really get two hands on it).

The classifieds here are a good resource to find used equipment, and B&H Photo (sponsor here) also sells used and demo equipment. B&H is a very reliable, trustworthy dealer.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 07:24 AM   #58
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Can I use that same reflector for interviews inside? Its FL lighting, not incedesent. I think I spelled that wrong... What does a Matt box do on cameras?!?!
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 07:36 AM   #59
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Hi Christopher,

The reflector reflects light. So whatever light is available will be reflected. You can use the reflector with sun light, incandescent and FL. Reflectors have different surfaces, some are just plain white, some silver and some gold all give you a different type of reflected light. If I were you I would use white and for that matter a white cardboard card would work. Your going to have to experiment with all of this and decide what you like. Also just a little bit of advise please don't use zooms or lots of movement when you shoot. I know a lot of your shots will probably be run and gun but whenever you can use a monopod, tripod or hold the camera as still as possible.

My 2 cents,

John
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:10 PM   #60
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About Video vs Film Look

A lot of folks try to imitate film with video cameras. For your purposes, I don't see any compelling reason to do that. To me, shooting documentary footage is about capturing reality. Video cameras can be great for getting a "real" look. Shooting 60i gives you temporal resolution that captures the fluid motion of real life far better than 24p. I suggest you forget any thoughts of trying to imitate film, use the video camera to it's fullest advantage for what it truly is, and shoot the best 60i footage you can. Video cameras can do some things that film cameras simply cannot. Use that to your full advantage. Learn to use things like black stretch to capture real life detail in shadows (opposite of film, where blacks get crushed).
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