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Old November 22nd, 2004, 12:46 PM   #586
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Camera advice

I'm looking to buy my first good quality camcorder for movie making but I'm stuck with a bit of a dilema...

Should I pay out something like 1500GBP now for a XM2 ( this sounds like the kind of kit I need for getting quality of a serious standard ) or should I pay out 500GBP now for a XMV250i which isn't up to the same quality but does get excellent reviews and while only 1CCD does have some good manual options, with the intention of learning as much as possible before paying out the big bucks!

On one hand I can see the benefits of learning with the cheaper camera but on the other hand, would it be better to learn how to make the most of the more expensive one from the begining?

All opinions and experience of these 2 cameras would be very welcome!!

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Old November 22nd, 2004, 01:01 PM   #587
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Well, before we can give you advice, we need to know what you want to shoot with the camera. Sports, family, event, weddings, corporate video, travel, indie film, commercials, etc... Certain cameras are more well suited to certain things.
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Old November 22nd, 2004, 01:14 PM   #588
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I'm aiming at Indie films. I want to give it a real go and see what I can do.
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Old November 22nd, 2004, 05:17 PM   #589
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Different ways of looking at this:
A- You could hook up with other independent filmmakers in your area and borrow equipment from them. If you are friends with camera people or other people interested in independent films, you could help them out and they'll help you out on your shoots.
A cheap-ish camcorder still gives excellent images and can act as a deck if you want to edit footage.
B- Camera's don't depreciate in value that much (halve in price every 8 years?) so if you are sure you want a good camera for years to come, you could take the plunge now and get the better camera.
C- Make sure you have money for other stuff that would really help, like a tripod, lighting gear, and sound gear. These kinds of gear will last you a lot longer than the camera. Tripods, lighting gear, and sound gear will hold their value really well. Money spent on these three things will also improve your films' quality a lot more than spending it on a camera will.
D- Another way of looking at this is to spend a little extra on items you won't replace. An XM2 you might be tempted to replace with something a little more expensive (i.e. XL2, DVX100) so maybe that's not a good idea. With 1500GBP there's not that many really, really good gear you can get. But for some bits are pieces, it doesn't cost that much for excellent quality stuff (i.e. grip equipment, microphones).
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Old November 27th, 2004, 09:14 AM   #590
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Shoulder Cam...

I currently am lookin into buying a shoulder camera. I currently have a GL2. I am goign to be looking for used. I know very little about the shoulder models. I want to find one under $4,000-$3,000 used. Any suggestions? I was thinking abou the GY-DV500? Is that a good bang for the buck?

Please help me out.
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Old November 27th, 2004, 12:49 PM   #591
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There are some systems you can attach to the camera to gain better stability. The following is one of them:

It's kind of like a watered down Steadicam. That might be a better choice???
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Old November 27th, 2004, 01:10 PM   #592
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Maybe try to get a used one for now.. A SONY dsr 300 maybe? not sure you can find one for that price but I think it's possible. I have one and I've never looked back.. =)
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Old December 5th, 2004, 10:37 PM   #593
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camera choices for documentary type recording

i am looking for a good quality camera for documentary type recording.

more than likely will be filming 95% of it inside and in normal/low lighting conditions.

will have about $1000 to $1500 to spend

not looking for a shoulder type mounted camera, but if one is set at a good price, will consider.

I did find:

DCR-HC1000 MiniDV

with that said, any suggestions?
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Old December 6th, 2004, 09:10 AM   #594
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Try the TRV 950, it's more refined big brother the DSR-PDX10 or even a good used PD150 or VX1000. All are great but only the PDX10 is still being made. The 150 is now the 170 and around $3500 new. Just below that is the new VX2000.

The PDX 10 has a few issues but is a great camera and shoots beautiful 16:9.

There is a forum on the TRV950\PDX10 here, check it out.

Also I hear good things about the Canon Optura line.

Happy hunting,

Sean McHenry
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Old December 6th, 2004, 02:14 PM   #595
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For low light, get a 3 chip camera (I think all of the ones mentioned are 3 chip). I have heard that the TRV900 is better than the TRV950, but can't remember why off of the top of my head (it was in the PD170/VX2100 forum).

Other options:

(Panasonic) AG-DVC30

The PD150 will most likely run much more than $1500. If you are lucky, or patient enough, you could get a VX2000 on eBay for right at $1500. You will have to be patient though, as they usually go for higher, but I have seen them more than once go for less than $1500.

When I say patient, I mean you may be constantly checking eBay and other places for over a month, but patience will pay off if you can wait.

Another option is the Panasonic AG-DVC30. Real nice. Again, it will take some patience to find one on eBay for $1500, but I have seen them for that price.

The VX1000 does not really have good low light capabilities, and truthfully, neither does the PDX10, BUT the PDX10 might have low light performance that is "good enough".

Personally I would look for a $1500 VX2000. THat is the best bet.

When I was looking for a camera, that is what I was looking for. I also googled for

vx2000 "for sale"

and found some hits on various local classifieds web sites (not local to me). For example I saw on a New England for sale BBS a VX2000 for $1500 with low hours and it even included a Canon WD-58 wide angle lens! I *immediately* called the guy up, but he had already sold it. :-(

I ended up getting a low hour PD150 for a few hundred more than $1500, but I feel that I really lucked out in getting that for the price that I did.

Be careful though. If it looks too good to be true on eBay, it very likely is. I would say about half of the VX2000/2100 auctions that I saw on eBay were scams. Don't buy from anyone out of the country, and watch that the seller location and the item location are the same (a red flag is something like seller location = NYC, item location= castellona Spain).

Also, if they are keeping bidder's IDs private, that is another BIG red flag. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for doing so, but most often it's a signal that you are about to be scammed.

You can also look on this site, and places like for info on online places.

Places like Broadway Photo will sell you a VX2100 for $1500, but it is a grey market camera, and they want to upsell you on WAY overpriced accessories, etc. If you refuse, they suddenly don't have the item in stock (grey market means that you will get no warranty whatsoever, and NO accesories - no lens hood, no battery, no cables, etc. The menus on/in the camera may very well be in Japanese as well.

Alex F
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Old December 6th, 2004, 02:33 PM   #596
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i think im going to end up getting either:




personally i cant really afford to go over $1000 much less $1500, so these seem to be in the best price range for what im looking to do.

it would be nice to get a higher end camera, but my funds are whats holding me back.
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Old December 13th, 2004, 12:01 AM   #597
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Good Prosumer Camera? Panasonic PV-GS400 or Canon Optura Xi

I'm looking for a good small prosumer cam - one I can take on a vacation and not have people look at me strange like when I pull out my DVX100a --- are either of these recommended? or does anyone have a suggestion for a $1000-$1300 smaller DV cam?

Thx in advance>!
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Old December 13th, 2004, 03:29 PM   #598
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$1000 dollars(roughly) for Camera. Wich one to get for interviews?

I have been told i can spend around 1000 dollars on a a gift. I would really like to get a 3ccd camera. There are used trv900 's on ebay. I want to have a profesional look to my documentary type video. I would just wait and save but is there a camera that would fit the bill untill i could aford more . I don't know what to do. Any help?
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Old December 14th, 2004, 04:59 AM   #599
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I've been looking at cameras in this kind of range for quite a while. I think I've finally settled on the Sony DCR-HC1000. Its a similar spec to the GS400 though seems to have slightly better features and gets excellent reviews everywhere.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 06:19 AM   #600
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I don't think there is, but I'm not sure. Did you try a search here
in this forum? (click on the link in the upper right corner and make
sure you are searching in the Open DV Discussion forum)

There have been numerous threads on people looking for "cheap"
camera's etc.

Anyone else have some tips for Chris?

Rob Lohman,
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

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