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Old April 3rd, 2008, 05:57 PM   #1
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Any Good Inexpensive Cameras Out There?

Hey there,
So basically I'm looking for a good camera, preferably 3CCD, with at least 1 XLR, and capable of shooting SD widescreen. I'm a student with bills and I need something affordable, under $1000. It can be used, so long as it is reliable. Anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks,
Matt
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 06:09 PM   #2
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Hi Matt......

Used Canon XL2 perhaps?

Don't know if it can be had in the price range but sure seems to be one popular camera.

CS

Whoops! Just checked out the FS forum (which you probably can't see Matt) and found one for sale back in March for over $3000. Guess it's back to the drawing board on that one then.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; April 3rd, 2008 at 06:17 PM. Reason: +
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 08:47 PM   #3
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You're never gonna get a camera that shoots true 16:9 for that price. So maybe a PD150? You might get lucky if you pay attention on Ebay for around your budget. I see one for sale right now at 1200. It will do 16:9, but that's just the 4:3 image cropped.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 11:12 PM   #4
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Silly questions...

Why not a single chip HDV or AVCHD cam? All of them have SD widescreen output capabilities and are affordable, add a beachtek <sp?> for the XLR capability. You'll most likely get better picture quality out of one of these than you will an older 3 chip model...

Just a couple thoughts, don't get trapped by terminology...
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:49 AM   #5
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I've thought about this Dave, and while you may be right with picture quality, it's hard for people to take your projects seriously when you're shooting with a handycam. Maybe I'm overthinking it, but I think the people behind the camera will feel a little important behind a prosumer camera. Seeing as my workstation can't handle HDV or burn blu-ray, the HD aspect won't help me either. I'm used to working with professional equipment supplied by my school, so I don't know that I could psychologically handle just using a consumer camera. Otherwise it's not a bad idea.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:57 AM   #6
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Why not look for a used Sony PDX-10
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Old April 4th, 2008, 01:05 AM   #7
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Hmmmm, quite a consternation going on for you.... for $ 1 K, you can get a Canon HV20/30, get 24p, get Cine mode for a nice highly color correctable image, and shot right, you won't know the difference between it, and camera costing 5 times a much.... At about $ 700, you have money left for all kinds of dressing and attachments to make it look pro too.

But if your image can't handle that, then I fear your images will suffer....
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Old April 4th, 2008, 01:05 AM   #8
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It's a little known camera, but used JVC GY-DV300Us can be found in good condition, with low hours, for well under $1K (arguably the best bang for your buck, in an SD camera with pro level features). The GY-DV300U has three 1/3" CCDs, a full compliment of pro features, including XLR audio, and the image quality from the camera is comparable to a PD170 or DVX100. The only camera in that class that can shoot 16:9 natively, without an anamorphic adapter, is the Canon XL2 (with a much higher price tag).
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #9
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I like the sound of the JVC GY-DV300U, seems like a nice camera, also seems kind of rare though. Ebay doesn't have any, anyone know where I could find a used one?
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Stamm View Post
I like the sound of the JVC GY-DV300U, seems like a nice camera, also seems kind of rare though. Ebay doesn't have any, anyone know where I could find a used one?
I got one from a pawn dealer on eBay, a couple years ago. I've seen them now and then there. I'm sure you can find one, with a little patience. Obviously, be very careful shopping at auction sites on the internet.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 12:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Hmmmm, quite a consternation going on for you.... for $ 1 K, you can get a Canon HV20/30, get 24p, get Cine mode for a nice highly color correctable image
Hi, Chris, could you please tell me why the "Cine mode" in the Canons is better for color correction?

Thanks!
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Old April 9th, 2008, 02:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Stamm View Post
I've thought about this Dave, and while you may be right with picture quality, it's hard for people to take your projects seriously when you're shooting with a handycam. Maybe I'm overthinking it, but I think the people behind the camera will feel a little important behind a prosumer camera. Seeing as my workstation can't handle HDV or burn blu-ray, the HD aspect won't help me either. I'm used to working with professional equipment supplied by my school, so I don't know that I could psychologically handle just using a consumer camera. Otherwise it's not a bad idea.
I know this feeling... but you can do a lot to dress up a camera to make it appear more "pro". Throw some rails and a mattebox (even if you don't need it) and it starts looking a lot more serious. Therefore i would recommend the HV20. IMO it's the best picture for buck currently out there.

Good luck!
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Old April 9th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #13
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And that's the point - if you're buying "image" instead of IMAGE, you're making a huge mistake with your budget.

Yeah, a "big cam" looks impressive, but it also makes everyone notice you and act like they're on TEE VEE!!! Yeah, all the idiots wanting to go "hi mom!". People can be intimidated by "pro gear" too. Plusses and minuses.

Investing in a solid little camera and some accessories to deck it out and make it "look impressive" (and it will to MOST PEOPLE!) while being able to get an excellent image for working with now, in SD downconvert from the cam, and tomorrow too... makes a lot of sense. Buy the bigger gear later when budget allows.

If you know how to work a small cam, you'll quickly get used to the ability to have it with you and "get the shot".

You'll get over the "big cam envy" amazingly fast when you realize it would be back in the equipment closet while your "pocket rocket" is always there...

I think a large percentage of the "pros" around here have BOTH a larger more "pro" cam, AND a "personal cam" that works just as well for "b-roll" and second angle work.

When you consider you can get 2-3 small cameras and accessories for the price of one big one, and the picture quality is probably 90%+ most of the time (some would say 100% almost all the time), You may want to reconsider IMAGE vs. "image", and how your budget will stretch.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Stamm View Post
I'm used to working with professional equipment supplied by my school, so I don't know that I could psychologically handle just using a consumer camera.
How is your psyche going to handle going shopping with consumer camera money?

You know you need to be looking for a PD150/DVX100 etc. Bite the bullet and get a decent camera. If you can't afford it, put some more pennies away first.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Matt Stamm View Post
It's hard for people to take your projects seriously when you're shooting with a handycam.
I really don't think you should think this way.

Anybody with money can buy a expensive camera, they could "impress" others better than you with a HV20...

But I bet your final result will be 10x better.

I can't make my words any better than Dave's....
What he said!
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