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Old April 29th, 2002, 11:14 AM   #1
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This is my first post to this forum. Nice to meet you all.

I'm a graphic design teacher in Rhode Island and I will be starting a small film production company next week. I need to create a budget for my investor. He's looking to drop about $10 grand on the system for the company. Maybe as much as $14,000. If you had that kind of capital coming your way and no equipment, what would you buy and where would you buy it?

I have looked at ProMax and BandH for basic packages. As it stands I am looking into getting a Canon XL1 S, a G4 MAC at 1ghz with 512mb, and 80gb hd. I'm also looking at the Sony DSR 11 deck, and in all likelihood I will be editing with Final Cut Pro 3, but I am going with MAC because I prefer MACs and because AVID is coming out with a MAC version supposedly in the summer.

Any pearls of wisdom out there on essential strt-up gear and where to get it? Your input is very valued.

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Old April 29th, 2002, 11:59 AM   #2
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Sounds like you are on the right track. What you need to identify is what projects your company is going to handle. Are you doing commercials, music videos, feature films, wedding videos? If I had 10,000 dollars and my setup was going to be completely digital I would buy...

xl1s and a backup camera like the gl1

a mac g4 with superdrive 20 gig systems drive and then a dedicated scsi (or at least 7200rpm IDE) drive for the DV. Save your money on the sexy LCD's and put it towards...

Mic's, Tripods, extra battery's etc. (other people could give better reccomendations on name brands)

Final Cut Pro 3.0, Boris Fx or after effects, audio tools. Everything is software based when you are using a stand alone mac so be sure you get the software packages you need to complete the projects you have to do

pansonic or sony dv deck

If you are interested in using AVID XPRESS DV a mac may not be the most cost effective solution. A dedicated p4 workstation will cost you less and work the same. If you buy a mac why go outside of its proprietary architechture?

If you shop around you will probably find that you can get almost everything you need to start for well under 10,000.00 I mean a mac and xl1s together retail ias around 7 grand, add a deck, and some accessories and you are out of the gates
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Old April 30th, 2002, 09:52 PM   #3
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I have a similar set up...and just a couple of recommendations. First, make sure you're getting the dual processor G4. And second, bump the 512 Mb up to 1 Gb.

Those are my pearls of wisdom...two consider it an earring set of information. Either that or a very, very short bracelet.
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Old April 30th, 2002, 11:03 PM   #4
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Hey, it looks like someone's going to have fun this summer!

Your list looks good. I'd second John's suggestion to spring for the dual 1GHz and an extra 1Gb of RAM. You will not regret it.

B&H Photo in NY is the gold standard purveyor of video goods to us junkies. For your XL1s and related gear you should also seriously look at ZGC (one of this site's sponsors). Many members have purchased from them (myself included) and agree that they are top-notch in price and service. Not just saying that because of their sponsorship.

Be sure to save some budget for lighting and sound equipment. Also for a good tripod.

What type of work do you expect to be doing?
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Old May 1st, 2002, 12:39 AM   #5
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I'm a DV newbie, but if you have that sort of cash, you might want to invest in a capture card that could do realtime (Or close to it) processing of your video, so you don't have to wait for the processor to do it.

- Ignore me if I'm stupid :) -

Good luck with it all.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 09:22 AM   #6
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Wow, that was some great advice from quite a variety of places. This is a very cosmopolitan forum! I loved the line about the 2 pearls of wisdom being fashioned into earrings.

Even though I teach computer graphics, I've never been in love with the finer details of computer configurations, so some of the advice is over my head, but I will jot it down and investigate their meanings. I shall certainly beef up the RAM. I'm also glad to know that there a few companies that I can trust beides PROMAX, just to have some options.

My focus this week will be to find a place in my area that sells this high end equipment so I can investigate it with my hands. I'm trying to find something in Boston. I was planning on going to the DV convention in NYC in June, and I'd rather avoid NYC until then if it's possible.

In any event, I will be looking to produce educational videos, and possibly some commercials, music videos, and weddings just to make some cash before the fine art projects can produce some returns.

One thing I would like to know some opinions about is the advantages and disadvantages of the XL1 S and the Sony that Pro Max pushes. I can't think of it's exact name, but you all probably know the camera I'm referring to if it's considered the equivalent of the XL1. All I've heard is that it is better in low light, but it seems that you can't change lenses. My heart was sold on the XL1, but the Sony keeps popping up as an alternative that some people prefer. Why shouldn't I further consider the Sony? Anybody have any good reasons?

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Old May 5th, 2002, 09:42 AM   #7
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The Sony camera you're probably referring to is the PD150, part of a family of similar cameras, the PD150, VX2000 and DSR250. Just do a search here on the forums, there are several threads which discuss the XL1S vs. PD150 etc. Hope this helps,

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