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Old April 19th, 2004, 11:53 AM   #1
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"big Guns"

Okay "BIG GUNNER'S" I want to shoot music video (for MTV,VH1, etc.) and pro quality documentaries. I have been looking at several rental packages. I seem to be leaning towards the 900, but, it is the most expensive package. What would you guys / gals suggest? And why??? Is the 900 worth the money? KEN I would really appreciate your input on this.
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Old April 19th, 2004, 12:12 PM   #2
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Panasonic

I would lean towards the Varicam for something like that.

I've worked with both the 900 and the Varicam, and for broadcast work, the panasonic will give you more than you need, at a cheaper price, and with better color sampling to boot.

You can get a Varicam package for about 2/3 of the cost of a 900 package (at least in Austin you can).

It will give you 4:2:2 color as opposed to 3:1:1 (I'm assuming you were going to shoot HDCAM in camera, and not go out to a deck).


Just my 2 cents.

-Luis
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Old April 19th, 2004, 02:23 PM   #3
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Just read an interesting article comparing color space between the f900 and then 27f (varicam)

http://jkor.com/peter/riddles.html

Personally I love the f900 but the pani is good as wellI think the question isn't how much money you want to spend but where you want to spend yo9ur money. Currently you can buy twice the tape stock of the f900 for the same cost of a dvcpro50 tape. in addition finding people that have the panasonic deck (for importing/downconverting) is more difficult then finding someone with an HDCAM deck. SO you will pay a premium on that side as well. An interesting thing about the varicam is it's variable frame rate. but it's not avariable frame rate in the same way the f900 is. The pani always shooting 60 frames a second and when you set the "frame rate" to a dfferent numbe it's just flagging those particular frmaes (i.e. you shoot at 30fps it's flagging everyother frame, you shoot at 24 it's flagging 40% of the frames etc.)

A plus side of the varicam isit's ability to adjust the dynamic range (how dark and light the whites and blacks get) of course this comes with a loss of tone (how well the color's reproduced)

When it coems down to it if your'e just entering the HD world and you don't have someone who can serve as a DIT (digital imaging technician) it might be better to go with the panasonic as it is more user friendly, but if you want a better picture and there is a chance of going to film I would suggest the f900.

or perhaps I should put it like this, varicam for music videos, and f900 for professional documentary. You might also want to check out the 790. Oh and I ::ahem::: know there's a great rental place in hollywood, that would be able to answer any other questions you might have (simvideola.com)
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Old April 20th, 2004, 11:25 AM   #4
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Of course the minute after I write Apple announces an alliance with panasonic in editing (over firewire!) there varicam footage, which sort of knocks down the post production side of things a heck of a lot. So I recend my previous statement and say what the heck go with the varicam.
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Old April 20th, 2004, 11:51 AM   #5
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Whew...for a second there I thought I was wrong...
luckily, I was just psychic.

:)

Nick does bring up some good points through.
I was concentrating on the 'music video' portion of your post, and didn't think about the fact that you may seek theatrical distribution for the documentaries.

As long as you're sticking with broadcast, I'd still say DVCProHD is the way to go.

-Luis
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Old April 21st, 2004, 01:22 AM   #6
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Luis, I was just wondering if you were referring to the Varicam rental at Gear on east 5th street. Craig Chartier is a great guy and runs one hell of a good operation. I think they have three grip trucks now? Seems like all of them are always out.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 09:30 AM   #7
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We had a Varicam stop by last August here at The Video Studio.
Wow, it really produces wonderful
images. I also like the idea of 60fps, especially for slo mo. To me the
only real plus right now on the Sony side is simply resolution . . . more pixels.
But AFAIK, uncompressed and 4:4:4 sampling are on the way . . . for even
more money.
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