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Old October 29th, 2008, 02:55 PM   #1561
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thanks alot dave, that advice really helped. I felt like i didn't know where to start, and what i should be looking at but that definitly gives me a plan to follow at very least and thats really what i was looking for.

There seems to be a lot of talk about just making stuff on poor equipment, and thats good and all, but thats what i'm doing now, and i can tell you its a lot harder to get a production taken seriously when you are working with a handheld camera with no view finder and no mic input (just onboard mic). I appreciate the message behind it, but i'm not looking for help with production, or ideas. But rather information on cameras themselves.

YouTube - Cat Listening - Everywhere
(sorry its on youtube)
That is a video i did on my Aiptek Action HD, and i am pleased with how it turned out, but it is not real production quality. I could never use this camera to shoot a formal production, the camera has its uses, but I want a camera with full features. I want manual focus, exposure, white balance and zoom (my AAHD only has auto focus and a fairly noisy 3x zoom, and some lousy white balance presets). I want to be able to add modifications and lenses to my camera. I want to invest in a foundation that i can build upon in years to come. I am serious about what i do, this isn't just some fad for me, I'm not looking to go out and by the best but from watching this, you may be able to understand why i want to move up and invest in something that will last me a few years. I am not looking for the top of the top, just something i know i'll be able to get some good use out of and build on top of for years to come.

I hope this better explains my position.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 04:17 PM   #1562
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The best advice I ever got was go put one in your hands.

When I started looking for my first camera I went to every major store and did just that. These sales guys aren't used car sales guys. Most of them are techie minded. They want their camera in your hands. Feel it baby, yeah!

Before I went to the stores I surfed over to cnet dot com. They provide side by side spec comparisons. Wonderful tool. Then surf over to some on-line sales web sites and see how their prices compare to the camera you think you want. Now you have a nice round figure so call around your local retailers and ask for in store demos. Then go try them out.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 04:27 PM   #1563
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amen pete :)

I am in a similar position to you.

For the past month or so I have spent hours just about every day on this forum, other forums, and production sale websites (bhphotovideo.com is a pretty good place to get info on products) and it has really helped me out.

This is a REALLY great forum. I really encourage you to take advantage of it's google search function at the bottom of the page as well as the many wonderful, knowledgeable people here.

Look stuff up. When you come across ANY term that you don't quite understand...look that up as well until you have a pretty good grasp on it and then move on.

This market literally changes like....every two weeks or something. It's crazy, so you have to develop a habit of research to catch up.

I am no where near "caught up" so it takes a while....but the great thing is that you've got a year. Don't stress yourself out...but be disciplined.

This forum already has answers to so many questions. I have only started about 4 threads despite my thousands of questions simply because I search the forum before making threads.

Good luck on your journey!

-Mikes
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Old October 30th, 2008, 12:24 AM   #1564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Weisberg View Post
thanks alot dave, that advice really helped. I felt like i didn't know where to start, and what i should be looking at but that definitly gives me a plan to follow at very least and thats really what i was looking for.

There seems to be a lot of talk about just making stuff on poor equipment, and thats good and all, but thats what i'm doing now, and i can tell you its a lot harder to get a production taken seriously when you are working with a handheld camera with no view finder and no mic input (just onboard mic). I appreciate the message behind it, but i'm not looking for help with production, or ideas. But rather information on cameras themselves.

YouTube - Cat Listening - Everywhere
(sorry its on youtube)
That is a video i did on my Aiptek Action HD, and i am pleased with how it turned out, but it is not real production quality. I could never use this camera to shoot a formal production, the camera has its uses, but I want a camera with full features. I want manual focus, exposure, white balance and zoom (my AAHD only has auto focus and a fairly noisy 3x zoom, and some shitty white balance presets). I want to be able to add modifications and lenses to my camera. I want to invest in a foundation that i can build upon in years to come. I am serious about what i do, this isn't just some fad for me, I'm not looking to go out and by the best but from watching this, you may be able to understand why i want to move up and invest in something that will last me a few years. I am not looking for the top of the top, just something i know i'll be able to get some good use out of and build on top of for years to come.

I hope this better explains my position.
Glad that I could add perspective.

Offhand after looking at your video, I'd say you need something with better low light capability ASAP <wink> - I wouldn't wait a year... step up incrementally as soon as you can scrape up the cashola.

If you're shooting club type stuff, the AAHD ain't going to cut it, you probably knew that already. BUT, you might be able to get something just slightly larger and not all that much more expensive that would do a LOT better. Perhaps some on-camera light, but in clubs, you'd be better to try to pull off an ambient light shoot... I can't say for sure as I haven't shot this scenario, but I'd bet any of the sub 1K Canon and Sonys would be significantly better, even if the manual control is pretty limited and trickier to access.

The second thing you need to address is stabilization - and that's not a camera issue per se, but with any HD cam, it's far more critical than SD. Handheld/seasick inducing video can be done with virtually any camera... (Bourne anyone?) there's a good DVi forum section on camera supports - read that as needed.

If you can't afford a good tripod, and/or want mobility, consider a monopod, a shoulder support of some sort, or even a little monopod like the Sunpak/Quantaray "compact monopod" that has a combo design with a belt clip and neck lanyard - for around $20 (eBay) you can make a HUGE improvement in your production quality - I've got a couple in my kit of miscellaneous support gear, along with a belt holster thingy I picked up at Home Depot for use with some other mini-monopods I've got (BiggLugg 2 <sp?> is the name of the thing), it was for holding tools, but the socket fits most monopods rather nicely, and it's a sturdy thing. I'm a bit wobbly with it, but still far better than handheld. A taller monopod can be pretty good once you get the hang of it too.

Outboard gear can be as much or more important than the camera, especially when it comes to light and support!! Probably just pointed you in a completely different direction, but it's probably easier on the budget short term!
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Old November 4th, 2008, 06:32 PM   #1565
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Outboard gear can be as much or more important than the camera, especially when it comes to light and support!! Probably just pointed you in a completely different direction, but it's probably easier on the budget short term!
I read somewhere that cameras come and go, but a good tripod, while expensive, will last forever. This is true with most other outboard gear, as Dave said. Companies are constantly coming out with new fancy HD cameras, but the best tripods I've found have been around for quite a long time (Vinten, Sachtler, Cartoni.) Invest in a decent camera, but don't skimp on the tripod or you will be sorry.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #1566
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I was reading this thread and one other bit of advice occured to me. Know what YOU want to do. That sounds dumb on the face of it, but if you are going to try turning video into a $-making career, you might be doing a lot event stuff at the beginning. Look at what concerns event guys, like low light capabilities, long recording times, ease of handling. If, OTOH, you are a budding film maker, a camera with interchangeable lenses, 24p and a larger imager for shallower DOF might be your thing.

I do corporate stuff and for me, the 'clear scan' feature, the ability to fine tune the shutter to keep the horizontal rolling bars from showing when shooting a computer monitor, was a make or break feature for me. So knowing what you want to shoot can give you some clarity as to what features are more/less important than others.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #1567
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What to buy?

I do some freelance commercials here and there. Car shows, car electronic commercials etc. But I sold my GL2 at the beginning of this year because I needed the cash. Well now I have an offer on the table to shoot a good video. Problem is things have really changed since I last looked.

The last time I knew the DVX100B was the one to get. That might have been the last time that I logged in. :) But now there are all these HD camcorders going around. So, I have a few questions that may be dumb but I have to ask.

1. Is HD better than 3ccd? I assume it is.
2. How do such small cameras get optical zooms at 34x but if I spend a 2k on a DVX or something it does not come with a zoom like that?
3. Are the consumer cameras now almost just as good as any other camera? EX: If I want HD quality do I need to spend 3k or will 800 or so camcorder do the same job minus some features?

Thanks, Jason
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Old November 13th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #1568
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As always go with your budget, but we all know "you always get what you paid for"
1) HD can be 3CCD, or 3CMOS, or Single CMOS (but I wouldn't go there if you want to "shoot good video"), HD is a screen resolution, 3CCD or 3CMOS are the imaging devices;
2)don't know, don't care, I'm trying really hard not to touch that zoom thing at all;
3) if you want a "good video" you probably need to spend a bit more than 3K,
but if that's the number in your mind, and you used to have GL 2 go with XH-A1, you won't be disappointed.
As a second thought, if you want to shoot flowers in the park on the sunny day, you can have great quality HD video for less than $800 (HV20/30)
it all depends on your needs, and again - budget,
good luck!
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Old November 13th, 2008, 03:32 PM   #1569
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Ouestion on a upgrade to my camera

Im in the process of upgrading to a new camera. I have a SONY DCR_VX2100 which has been a good work horse for me. And will probably get another SONY. One of my question is, I was thinking about a HVR_Z1U or HVR_ViU (MINI DV) in the budget range of $5.000.
Any other suggestions on cameras in this range?

But the question that puzzles me is, should I rethink and go hard drive instead of MINI DV.
I want to be able to download right off the cameras HD to my computer/FCP. And not need to use a 3rd party software to download. Since I have little experience with HD cameras, would someone let me know the scoop.


Thanks, Ron
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Old November 13th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #1570
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Rather than the V1U or Z1U, I would look at the pending new model the Z5U which is supposed to be out in December. More bang for the buck and B & H has it listed at $4299.00 when it becomes available. Of course the price is probably subject to change by the time it is actually released, but that number should still be in the ball park. There is also an optional MRC1 memory recording unit which uses compact flash cards of sufficient speed to record HDV. B & H has it listed for $845. And it is compatible with all of the above models.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 07:40 PM   #1571
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Simpkins View Post
I have an offer on the table to shoot a good video.
If you want another job after this one, you need to put some serious money down on your camera. If you show up with an HV30, you won't get any audio for all the laughing from the dreaded client.

HD or SD is your decision. If you're only going to shoot local spots for TV, you can probably get away with SD. But, if you're going to shoot almost anything else (weddings, wildlife, docos, Web content, etc.), you'll need HD. Full stop.

CCDs are not better than CMOS. Nor is the reverse true. They are very different and have different strengths and weaknesses. Google "rolling shutter" to see why. Get the one that works best for your situation.

Unlike Jason, I care very much about zoom. For nature, motor sport and many other events a long zoom is a great boon.

Since you're familiar with the GL2, I'd recommend you start looking there. Sony have some prosumer CMOS cameras, but I know nothing about them. Just be prepared to reach into your mattress and bring out a wad of notes.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #1572
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I have a GL2 and a Canon HV30. Here is what I know and perhaps this may help. Keep in mind i am still pretty new to video, but i htink i may have some helpful info.

I started with a GL2, The video is awesome and i shoot mainly for corporate videos and the material is used on the web.

I travel to China often, and got tired of carrying the GL2 half way around the world so i picked up a Canon HV30, I liked its size, and the fact it had HD, even though i didnt know much and I still dont about HD. the first thing i wanted to to is put the camera in MAnual mode, Guess what... NO MANUAL MODE in HV30. That is the only downfall i have with this camera.

I have shot some video in HD, the files look great, but are overkill for what i need as an end result. I still need a DV camera with tape as i archive the tape. The HD rendering takes MAJOR puter horsepower.

The footage is a bit grainy in low light situations on the HV30

the built in Mic picks up some motor noise on the HV30

So overall, my first choice for a local job is to grab the GL2, but when its travel by air, the HV30 is my workhorse.

If you need fast downloads i would also look at the HF10, i am told the files are just as good as the HV30 and you dont need to render as the footage comes in from the SD card.

Hope this helps.... Technology is moving so fast!

Keep us posted
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Old November 13th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #1573
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David I got rid of my GL2 for the same reason. I was not going to pay to an extra baggage check every time. I had it in a large pelican case.

I have been looking at all kinds of camcorders and one thing that I do want to do is get away from the tape. So I was looking at the HV100. Is it any good? A guy local is selling one brand new for just around 570.

Tripp I do worry about audio. I have not even looked to see if there is an audio in on this camera or some of the others. I am still trying to figure out all the formats.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 09:34 PM   #1574
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Thanks Greg, III check the Z5U out. But I need to buy the camera by the end of this Nov.

Ron
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Old November 13th, 2008, 09:46 PM   #1575
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Canon XHA1 if you can afford it. Great camera. I started with a GL1, then to an XL2. Now I shoot with an XLH1 and the XHA1.
Bruce Yarock
yarockvideo.com
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