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Old June 8th, 2002, 10:45 AM   #1
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GL1 or TRV900

Hey, my name is Brandon and im planning on starting school at North Carolina State University next fall and I'm going into media communications and going to minor in film. I have been the president of my high schools film club this past year and we filmed a full length movie we showed to a crowd of 400+ one night at school. A producer at a local news station said it was the best student film he had ever seen. I'm looking to do a lot of filming on Mini DV and I am mainly interested in getting the best cinematic video quality. Im really only interested in filming movies. I have been really debeating between Sony TRV900 and Canon GL1. I know they are both exceptional camcorders, but I was just wondering which one you think would be best for me considering what I want to use it for. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Brandon
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Old June 8th, 2002, 10:23 PM   #2
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Toss a coin but do it quickly. You may not be able to find a TRV900. I know there are some PD100a's around. Either camera would be a sound choice.
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Old June 9th, 2002, 01:42 AM   #3
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A used XL1 isn't much more than a new GL1. Just something to consider.
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Old June 9th, 2002, 11:54 AM   #4
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Unless you know the origin and the history a used video cam is a dicey proposition (In my opinion).
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Old June 10th, 2002, 01:19 PM   #5
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I would go with the GL-1. If you are ready to by before the end of the month there is a $250 rebate on them.

Also I live in Raleigh NC. I will be getting my masters from NC State in Technical Communications. Look forward to maybe seeing some of your work some day.
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Old June 10th, 2002, 01:38 PM   #6
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Hello:

Geez, I didn't know there were people that go to NC State here! In fact, before reading this post, I thought I've only seen two other North Carolinians. Now, I know 2 more.

I'm a senior at NCSU. Mouse7316, look forward to having you climb aboard. You'll even be in my department at school. Let me know if you ever need anything, even if its to show you the ropes. Trust me, with everything going on in our department, just knowing where ropes are will be beneficial. Feel free to email me at my school email account.

I'd love to see your student film if you have it to send. I'll send you my mailing address and pay for postage. Join the film club at State (I've emailed them several times, but I don't know if they even hold meetings anymore).

Personally, I'm always working on some sort of project; so, if you're ever bored, you're more than welcome to come along for a shoot.

As far as the camera is concerned, really, getting a used XL1 would be a good route to go, and it will save you costs. Of course, like Bryan said its "a dicey proposition." You can scour the private classifieds here on this board. After reading peoples posts for the past several months, I've concluded that the guys here are top-notch. They take care of their equipment and know their stuff.

Regards,

Kyle "Doc" Mitchell

p.s. Mouse7316, just so you know - since I last checked/heard - the film minor is formed from the English department. This is a "film studies" minor, and has nothing to do with actual film production. It deals mostly with watching films (weird ones too from what I understand) and not teaching you how to make movies. I took a film watching course a couple of years ago to fulfill a general education requirement, and I didn't like it. I didn't like sitting there critiquing a film that someone else did 4 decades ago. I'd rather spend that time making my own! I don't know what you're expecting out of the minor - I just know it didn't fulfill what I thought it was. Don't let my comments deter you though, I wrote that just "for your information" so you'd know what to expect.
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Old June 10th, 2002, 07:48 PM   #7
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I don't have any experience with the sony, but have owned the Gl1 since it came on the market. It is an outstanding camera that has functioned beautifully since the day I bought it. The frame mode gives you creative options that the sony won't, and personally I think the image quality is superior to what you might get in a used xl1 (it's sharper). The lens on the gl1 is terrific. My experience using both the GL1 and the XL1s tells me that while the gl1 lacks some of the control that the xl1s offers (not so much the older xl1), it is overall a much easier camera to get great results right out of the box. Also, as it looks like canon will replace it soon...the current price and rebate make it an excellent choice.
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Old June 11th, 2002, 04:32 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Doconomus : Hello:
I took a film watching course a couple of years ago to fulfill a general education requirement, and I didn't like it. I didn't like sitting there critiquing a film that someone else did 4 decades ago. I'd rather spend that time making my own! I don't know what you're expecting out of the minor - I just know it didn't fulfill what I thought it was. Don't let my comments deter you though, I wrote that just "for your information" so you'd know what to expect. -->>>

With these types of courses it is highly dependent on the course instructor and how he leads discussion around the films. There are, of course, good and bad films made 4 decades ago. What is important is to have the opportunity to engage in criticism and gain understanding from the experience of talking about film. If the instructor doesn't adequately provide channels for interactivity and just wants to blather on, then you might as well have rented a Criterion disc and just watched the accompanying documentary.
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Old June 11th, 2002, 09:25 PM   #9
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IMHO, film 'studies' or film appreciation courses are a MEGA waste of money. And time. Mostly money. Go rent Citizen Kane and Slumber Party Massacre and you will have all the film appreciation you need. If you need more than that, I can also reccomend Cabinet of Doctor Caligari and The Great Muppet Caper.

Seriously though, if you just need credits or just want to be a pretentious SOB while chatting about movies with your friends it's a great course. Gives you lots of time to do reading for other classes, sleep, or molest your girlfriend in the back row of the theater. I mostly slept as I had seen 80% of the films allready.

If you want film production, take production.

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Rosebud is his... Ah, I can't give it away... :)
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Old June 12th, 2002, 09:14 AM   #10
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I have to chime in here since I am currently entering my third and final year of a BFA in Film Studies. Admittedly, a lot of students are pretentious self-indulgent snobs, but isn't that the same thing in film production? I mean go watch 50 student films and see how self-indulgent some student films really are? And about Film Studies being a waste of money...yes, you can probably just go rent a few dozen "classics" but it will never be the same as viewing them in class...When all you do is watch movies in class you start to think a certain way, and now that I have begun to think and creatively and write and shoot some shorts, I can see how much Film Studies has helped me. It just gives you a really good historical and theoretical background to work with...the trick is that once you are out there making your own films you have to try and forget everything you learnt and hope that it becomes an intuitive thing...somehow everything you learn by watching and discussing films should somehow reveal itself in subtle ways through your artwork.
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Old June 12th, 2002, 11:09 AM   #11
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Dave, I think you have the right attitude there.

It is true that film appreciation courses can be a great waste of time especially if you already have most of the grounding. Again, it all matters how you treat the time and how the course is developed around the actual viewing of the films.

But I do occasionally bump into even film students who don't have any kind of knowledge of films before the 80s or are aware of the continuity of film creation that stretches back even further. I've even met people who on principle will never watch a black and white film because they were 'poorly made'. Still more are not willing to view foreign films because of subtitling.

A film appreciation course actually should be inspirational so that it causes the filmmaker to embark on a lifelong appreciation of films both old and new. Every month I find some new gem that was made either far far away or a long time ago (yes, that's a jab at Star Wars fans).

The instructor should provide a framework for criticism that the student can then apply to other films, whatever their taste or direction. Since no one course can give a truly proper overview of 'the classics', I would probably show only a handful of films, provide resources to search out others, AND take the class out to view current independent film. The last part is most important as it is really a good idea for students to support independent film seeing as they will most likely be producing films of that ilk in the beginning (or as a career).
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Old June 12th, 2002, 11:10 AM   #12
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Woah!:

Hello team, didn't mean to step on anyone's toes, especially those fond of film appreciation classes. I was just telling Mouse7316 my knowledge about the film apprecation (and film minor) things at my university -- which happens to be the same university he is to attend. Even though I hold my opinion about the class, I see the validity in Dave's, Dylan's, and Keith's perspectives. I think the experience is different for everyone. It reminds me of the Chinua Achebe theme "what's good in one place is bad in another." What film studies does for one person is different than the other. So, Mouse7316, the lesson for today is - go out and find out for yourself! When I took the class I was young and ignorant (oh wait, I still am!) and formed my own opinion. Of course the class did teach me some stuff: terms, phrases, couple technical things that helps you form your "art". . . . Of course, as I said earlier, don't let me deter you from taking the minor, it just wasn't what I expected it to be (I expected it to be about production, and that we'd do production; its really about watching and critiquing, reviewing and stimulating intellectual rigor dealing with more-popluar side film).

As far as the camera is concerned, I'd start leaning now towards the GL1. Reviewing some of the prices and things, it seems like the best buy with the rebate, and NCSU likes it!

Regards,

Kyle "Doc" Mitchell
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Old June 12th, 2002, 11:17 AM   #13
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That's exactly...that's what it does...stimulate the mind...it also helped motivate me to become a participant rather than a viewer. I also think Film Studies is something you have to keep at...in other words, one class will not be that useful...it is the progression of classes, of knowledge, that leads to something.
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Old June 12th, 2002, 09:14 PM   #14
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Well, Mouse7316 has expressed his desire to produce movies. If he is going into a course, as Docunomus says, that is strictly film appreciation, then it really isn't going to help him much if at all.

I didn't mean to say that there isn't a place for film appreciation, that would be foolish. My point is that if you go into a program like that hoping to come out with a working knowledge of how to produce a movie, you are going to be sorely dissapointed and will have wasted a lot of time and money. People don't hire or give money to people with degrees in film appreciation. Except maybe as a projectionist.


Wow, did this get off topic!
Better fix it, umm....
My first choice would be a good, used XL1 inspected by Canon. After that I would take the GL1 over the TRV900, if for nothing else, it looks cooler. :)
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Old June 12th, 2002, 09:39 PM   #15
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I agree with everything you've been saying...except I don't like the term Film Appreciation...Either Film theory, or Film History is better...but Film Studies is what most schools call it. People don't give jobs to people with Film Production jobs either by the way...Most people who graduate with a Film Studies degree either head towards production, or they continue in Film Studies and become university professors and/or published writers. And one more thing about the term Film appreciation...would anyone refer to Eisenstein's or Bazin's writings Film appreciation? I doubt it. .................I liken studying film to studying a combination of literature, painting, theater, music, and many other artforms since it combines them all...it is an extremely interesting art form that we haven;t yet even scratched the surfice of.
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