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Old January 31st, 2005, 12:10 AM   #631
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Camera Choice

Hi, I was just looking through prices at B&H, and I noticed something--a few rather cheap JVC 1/2 inch CCD cameras. Now, I have a question for this community--if I were to shoot an independent film, which option would be better?

Option 1:
Canon XL2, 24p: 1/3 inch CCDs, native 16:9.

Option 2:
JVC GY-DV5000U: 60i, 1/2 inch CCDs.

Seems like I could get an XL2 for about $4200 at this point. If I went with it, I would probably want the wide angle lens--possibly the manual lens they offer. Either way, this would probably bump the camera up to around $5000-5500. Now, the JVC camera seems to be about $5000, with a $500 rebate being offered. Seems like a better deal, it comes with a Fujinon 14x lens (manual, with focus marks and all that). Seems like the Fujinon lens has a better focal range (7.2-102.2) than the 20x lens that the Canon comes with. Overall, seems like the 1/2 inch CCD camera may actually end up being cheaper, unless there are things I'm not taking into consideration.

Now, I realize that the JVC model doesn't have 24p (but this can be corrected with Magic Bullet) and it doesn't have native 16:9 (at least I don't think)--are the 1/2 inch CCD's worth a purchase over the Canon XL2? I'm just curious, because this is the first time I've looked at cameras that are a step above your typical prosumer product. What does everyone think of this?

Matthew Overstreet
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Old January 31st, 2005, 05:07 AM   #632
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Whether it is "worth it" or it is "better" depends on a lot of things.
Mainly what you are going to use this camera for etc. So elaborate
a bit on what you want to do and which features are important or
not important to you.

For example, have you tested the Magic Bullet conversion from 60i
to 24p? Is it something **YOU** like? Do you already own this
software? Or does it need to be bought as well? Etc. etc.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 07:05 AM   #633
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Well, I guess what I'm getting at is what difference the size of the CCD actually makes? Does it effect resolution and quality? I'm actually not too familiar with cameras aside from mini-dv. This may be a stupid question, but I was also wondering whether a standard DV tape actually has better quality than miniDV. Are they basically the same format? Or, is it just that a standard DV tape runs longer than miniDV. I wasn't sure if standard DV was comparable to beta in any way. I just pretty much want to get the best picture possible, while also keeping my options open for possible film conversion.

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Old January 31st, 2005, 01:17 PM   #634
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Yes, another "Which camera thread"....sorry.

Hi all,

Yes, I am another semi novice trying to decide amongst the current crop of cameras. My goal is to be able to shoot small scale music videos for local bands, weddings and other random bits of footage for multimedia projects. I have been editing video over the last year or so and have decided that I would like to get better footage. I have been reading this BB for about a week and half trying to sort out which camera to buy so now I have some specific questions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have duplicated this post in the GL, Optura and Panasonic BB to get opinions from those who use those individual BBs. I hope that's ok. :)

I would like:
-to shoot 16:9 pretty much for everything.
-Some kind of frame mode to mimic the film look.
-Manual control is important.
-To hook up a stereo mic (shotgun?)
-filters (UV, ND, what ever else might be useful)
-fisheye lenses
-wide angle (How does this look in 16:9?)
-maybe a telephoto if the built in zoom is limited.
-Eventual 35MM adapter.
-Time lapse video (not a deal breaker but would be nice)
-Is there a way to shoot time lapse with a Mac (OS X) laptop controlling a video camera? Is there an application for this? How about with a digital still camera?
-Decent low light capability for shooting weddings at dusk or night (hopefully they will be somewhat well lit)


I've narrowed it down to the usual suspects for my price range.
-Panasonic PV-GS400
-The manual for this doesn't say if you can hook up an external stereo mic. I would assume so but....Please let me know. Also, how do you mount the external mic to this camera.
-How do you hook up an external mic and a video light at the same time? (is this possible?)
-Does anyone know what size pixels are on the CCDs?
-Has anyone bought one recently that didn't have the tape transport problem.

-Canon Optura XI
-Does anyone know what size pixels are on the CCDs?
-How do you hook up an external mic and a video light at the same time? (is this possible?)

-Canon GL2
-Does anyone know what size pixels are on the CCDs?
-Does anyone shoot with this camera in 4:3 and then crop to 16:9 using that white outline mode? Do you like the results?
This is of course the last day to get the GL2 rebate so I am trying to decide by tonight. Sucks for me. :)

I ask about the pixel size because I have read that they use different pixel size (not sure about this though, please educate me) and this might play into their comparative resolutions. The GS400 has 1070K x3 (700 effective), the GL has 410K (380k effective with Pixel Shift) and the XI has 2200k (1230k effective). By those numbers, it would seem that the GS400 is the clear winner but...?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Cheers,
Scott
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Old January 31st, 2005, 01:27 PM   #635
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What's your budget?

(BTW, please never double-post on DV Info.)
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Old January 31st, 2005, 01:48 PM   #636
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Oops..

Well I really screwed the pooch then 'cause I triple posted. Sorry, I am new. Where should I post to get the best response for a subject like this?

By the way, my budget is about $2k. that's probably the extent of what I can get my wife to let me spend. ;)

Cheers,
Scott
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Old January 31st, 2005, 01:56 PM   #637
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I have the GS400, and do basically the same as you'd like to do, music videos, short films, etc.

16:9 is excellent, very quick and easy manual everything, decent manual picture adjustment (contast, sharpness, color) as well, external stereo mic, no problem, all kinds of filters available (in 43mm, but I'd get a step-up ring to 52mm or 55mm because there are more filters available in those sizes, sometimes cheaper than 43mm, since it's sort of a niche size), fisheye, wide angle, telephoto all available (i have a raynox 0.3x wide angle), no problem in 16:9.

It needs a fair amount of minimum light, but can go pretty far into the gain circuit without noise. Can't do time lapse, but very few cameras can.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 01:57 PM   #638
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Maybe a second hand XL1S from someone from the boards?
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Old January 31st, 2005, 02:06 PM   #639
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You might have a look at the Sony PDX-10 which B&H sells for $1,800 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=252192&is=REG

It won't give you frame mode, but it does include XLR's, a short shotgun mono mike, BW viewfinder, DVCAM recording and excellent 16:9. Wide angle adaptors are inexpensive due to the 37mm filter threads. Visit our forum to learn more.

BTW, I removed one of your multiple posts. No problem, but (as Ken says) we discourage cross-posting because it gets confusing for you and others when the same discussion is split across more than one forum. I think the Open DV Discussion forum is the correct place for this sort of thing.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 02:07 PM   #640
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I've moved your thread to our general DV discussion area, Scott. It will get good exposure here. (Most longtime members use Get New to see new posts anyway.)

So of your $2,000 total budget you should basically allocate $1,200-$1,500 for a camera and the rest for audio and/or lighting gear and general accessories (carrying bag, etc.).
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Old January 31st, 2005, 02:13 PM   #641
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Budget revised...

I can spend up to $2000 on the camera alone. The extra's (lenses, mics, etc...) I can pick up as I go so they won't be as big of a financial hit.

A used XL1 would be nice but I think it probably overkill for me at this point. Does it do true 16:9?

Mods, thanks for sorting out my posts, sorry for the confusion.

Cheers,
Scott
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Old January 31st, 2005, 02:47 PM   #642
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In that case Boyd's suggestion to consider the PDX-10 is an excellent one.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 03:15 PM   #643
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Joshua,

About the time lapse thing, I noticed that the GL2 did it and thought it would a cool option. I guess I could just press record evey few minutes myself with the GS400 and do time lapse that way.

I have followed your posts on this board as well as the pana BB and am quite interested in your mini35 adapter. I'd like to contact you thru email if that's alright.

Cheers,
Scott
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Old January 31st, 2005, 04:23 PM   #644
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Yes, I did a time lapse this way myself. I recorded a scene during sunset, shooting a few seconds every ten minutes for about an hour and a half. In the end, I used a few of these cliips and did cross-fades for a poor mans timelapse. This was more of a light-lapse, as there wasn't much motion in the scene.

You could always just let a tape run for an hour and put together frames from that. You burn through a tape, but it'd be easy. In fact, most NLEs, if you throw the clip on a timeline and speed it up by some 1000% or whatever is necessary, will just drop out frames, and you're all set. Maybe need to add some blur or ghosting effect to smooth it out.

It would be nice to have in camera, but it's doable in post.

For the record, I'm not marketing an adaptor, just discussing a hypothetical one. I don't know any more than anyone else who reads these boards. :)
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Old January 31st, 2005, 06:46 PM   #645
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GS400

Thanks to everyone for their input. I think I am going with the GS400. More effective pixels than the PDX10. Also, is it just me or are there more people that like Canon and panasonic than Sony?
I am most likely going to buy locally so I can return it if that tape transport problem crops up.....unless anyone knows of a good online place that will pay return shipping if they send me a bad one...? I just don't think I should have to pay for return shipping if I'm sent a defective unit, but it seems a bunch of these online places think it's the purchasers problem.

I have one more question regarding 16:9 footage. If I shoot 16:9, can I make a DVD that plays as it should on a widescreen tv and then plays on a 4:3 tv with the black bars on top and bottom? Like a normal retail DVD does...I've only authored a few DVD's at this point and none have been widescreen yet.

Joshua, I will try that with the camera after I get it, thanks! I understand about the adapter....I was mostly interested in your progress and experience since you are working with the camera I plan to buy. Oh I see, I typed "your" adapter, I realyy meant your expeience making one. :) I followed the posts that you participated in with Steve Dinkins and his 35mm experience.

Thanks again everyone!

Cheers,
Scott
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