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Old April 16th, 2002, 03:54 PM   #1
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What's a good basic DV filiming setup?

Hi all, apart from the camera, what you you all recommend as a base-line set of accessories that I should get?

I will be doing a range of things, from small doccos (With interviews inside and out) some short films, and I have an idea for a movie length piece that will require a lot of inside tunnel filming etc?

From what I've read I will need

- A good shotgun mic and boom (With XLR adapter if I get a camera without one)

- Possibly an audio mixer

- A decent tripod

- Maybe some basic lights

Anything else you can all recommend?

Also I'd love to know Brands and models if that's possible as I'm totally new to this. My budget won't allow me to spring for the best, so really need the best bang for my buck. I will not have a lot of money either. I was going to spend about $9000 or so on an Xl1s but I can go for the XM1(GL1) instead for about $5000 so that' leaves me with $4000 for other bits (Maybe a bit more if It's important equipment I need)


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Aaron
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Old April 17th, 2002, 10:18 AM   #2
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How about these:

- A good off the camera monitor (£300)

- Spare Batteries - longer lasting, off the camera types - (£50 - £120+)

- Zoom rocker switch (Varizoom controller) ($369+)

- Wide angle attachments (£75+)

- Cases - Hard and soft - Lowepro, Pelican, Seal Tight - (£50+)

- Filters - various kinds (from £10) Skew type, or Cokin fit

There’s probably more, which I've missed.

Hope this helps,

Ed Smith
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Old April 17th, 2002, 09:48 PM   #3
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Ed let's not leave out PortaBrace in the cases department, they make some great DV soft cases, that are very comfortable to tote around.
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Old April 18th, 2002, 10:22 AM   #4
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Sorry Casey!!!

Never used one before so I had not thought of it, they seem to be really good though, from what people have been saying on these boards.
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Old April 18th, 2002, 02:05 PM   #5
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It's ok Ed, I'll let it slide this time ;)

Ed also mentioned an off camera monitor, if at all possible, try to get a CRT monitor, preferably also with a black and white option, this will allow you to really see where your focus is at normal NTSC or PAL resolution.

Just my 2 cents
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Old April 18th, 2002, 03:58 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, this is a good start for me.

Also, for things like filming scenes, the type of mic I want is a "Shotgun" one right?
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Old April 18th, 2002, 08:16 PM   #7
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AaronKoolen:

Generally yes, shotgun mic is the way to go. That way you can stick the mic out of frame and record good sound from a distance. yet, be careful of where you aim, you can pick up a lot of ambient noise (make sure you wear good headphones - thats something left off the list of things to buy). A shotgun mic is usually what I use for shooting narratives with sound. Interviews (or sometimes dialogue) can call for a lav mic - they clip on the talent's chest and register the vibrations from the chest when it resonates during speaking. But for a shoe-string budget, I'd say get one good 'shotgun' design mic. Thats just the way I do it, but I'm only a student not yet in the "real shooting world." Email about any other questions you may have: it sounds like I'm in the same boat you are; we're both looking for good outfits to buy for making movies.

Regards,
Kyle "Doc" Mitchell
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Old April 18th, 2002, 08:49 PM   #8
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Thanks for your input, Kyle, but instead of e-mail, what not carry the discussion out in the open here on the forum? Undoubtedly there are others who would benefit from reading your posts. Thanks again,
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Old April 18th, 2002, 09:15 PM   #9
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Ah! Very true good Kennelmaster:

You're right, this is the marketplace of ideas for the DV world and it would be better to post instead of email. I need to make it a habit to check the boards more often, or at least as often as I do my university email account!

Aaron, one thing I'm becoming a big believer that lights are what makes the difference in a good looking image. Don't settle for less; read up/and experiment with lighting and the different cameras you're looking at.

Regards,
Kyle "Doc" Mitchell
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Old April 18th, 2002, 09:16 PM   #10
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From what I've read I will need

- A good shotgun mic and boom (With XLR adapter if I get a camera without one)

yes !a short shotgun , senn 66 , At 835b or if you have the $$ AT 4073..

i've been shooting doc's for past 2 years with GL .. using AT4073 with denecke phantom power on VDB boom , 3-AT 101 wireless units with AT 830, 831,& tram50 lav's, studio 1 xlr box ... and a AT boundary mic. i always use the boundary mic on a channel and either a lav or shotgun on other depends on if i have a boomperson ( prefer the boom mic) ... lots of XLR cable

- Possibly an audio mixer

i do not have a mixer ..at first i was using a friends PSC 4 mixer but it really didn't give me any better sound as the GL audio circuits are the limiting factor here.

- A decent tripod
yes ..using manfrotto 501 ... with vari zoom (IMO a must)

- Maybe some basic lights
for past 2 years i've been shooting "dogma" ..others will have recommendations

Anything else you can all recommend?

on my 1st doc shoot i took a NTSC monitor for the director. have never used one since ..

i have the canon wide angle WD58 but have never used it. have used a wide angle on elura ...

i use a computer shoulder bag to hold the GL , elura , xtra batts, 2 wireless systems, shotgun w/equalizer wind screen on AT 8415 shock mount, XLR cables, tapes, other small xlr cables ( xlr to mini mono , xlr to mini stereo, phantom power unit , pens, ... i carry the boom and tripod by hand ... i also carry this bag on airlines. fits under seat.

always have a cleaning tape with you. i have never used it yet on GL ( 2 years +) but have on the elura .

i would recommend a good NTSC monitor( with underscan & 16x9 if you think you'll need it) for your editing room.
i have a 14"sony but now wish i would have bought the 20" .
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Old April 19th, 2002, 12:28 PM   #11
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As for the lights, you should check out Lowell lighting kits. They have a very standard setup, with lots to choose from with regards to accessories and options. You can't really go wrong with one of their many Ambi kits.

Buying a kit (3-4 lights) can be expensive even though it's much cheaper to do that than to buy the lights individually.

You can start out with one Tota light (with stand) then build your way up, as needed. With that Tota I'd buy a white ambient umbrella or a Chimera (more expensive) hood. This ambi light will be great for sit down interviews. After that you can add additional Totas, DP's or Omni's or accessories.

I would NOT go buy something from Home Depot. If you're semi serious about this, then you should at least buy video/film appropriate gear. That type of equipment will serve you well, allowing you flexibility. Home Depot stuff will not.

If you decide you don't need the gear anymore, then you can always sell Lowell lights for close to what you paid for them. They do hold their value pretty well.
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Old April 19th, 2002, 01:16 PM   #12
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Hi,

There is no substitute for good quality light. There is more to it than just how many watts are thrown at your subject. Light has a quality to it, a color and a shape etc. and it all needs to be controlled. It is next to impossible to control a shop light from Home Depot. Bogen used to make (distribute?) a line of lights called monolights. I started with a monolight kit twenty some years ago and it suited me well into the mid 90's. i now use Lowel lights and I'm very pleased with them. Used lights can be found on ebay, but buyer beware. Lights are often abused and misused. Burnt sockets, bent reflectors, frayed cords are just a few of the problems that can be encountered. Photoflex has a relatively new set of lights called Starlite. I've used them once and they are very flexible. They can easily be combined into sets for more wattage and they have fitted domes etc. that they work with. they are also fairly modestly priced for good quality lights.

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Old August 18th, 2002, 02:58 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : Hi,

There is no substitute for good quality light. There is more to it than just how many watts are thrown at your subject. Light has a quality to it, a color and a shape etc. and it all needs to be controlled. It is next to impossible to control a shop light from Home Depot. Bogen used to make (distribute?) a line of lights called monolights. I started with a monolight kit twenty some years ago and it suited me well into the mid 90's. i now use Lowel lights and I'm very pleased with them. Used lights can be found on ebay, but buyer beware. Lights are often abused and misused. Burnt sockets, bent reflectors, frayed cords are just a few of the problems that can be encountered. Photoflex has a relatively new set of lights called Starlite. I've used them once and they are very flexible. They can easily be combined into sets for more wattage and they have fitted domes etc. that they work with. they are also fairly modestly priced for good quality lights.

Jeff Donald -->>>

Jeff,

I have yet another question for you regarding the Lowel light kits. I've read that the Tota series is a good way to start. The price on these kits seem to be reasonable. What kits do you recommend for a new studio? Being able to travel with it is something that is important to me. Being big is ok as long as it is reasonable to travel with, ie a carrying case etc.

Thank you (again) for all your wonderful assistance!

Paul
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Old August 18th, 2002, 06:18 PM   #14
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What type of things do you shoot Paul? What type of travel and what percentage of useage is travel? Do you have help when you travel or are you alone?

Jeff
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Old August 18th, 2002, 06:30 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : What type of things do you shoot Paul? What type of travel and what percentage of useage is travel? Do you have help when you travel or are you alone?

Jeff -->>>

Jeff,

I shoot interviews as well as create training DVD's (done by shooting a staged training class). Most of my travel is via car, in fact over 90%. When I am on the road it can range from one person helping to 3 or 4 people. It all depends on the shoot.
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