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Old August 12th, 2005, 08:15 PM   #856
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For making films, DVX100a (my choice) or XL1s/XL2.

But what about those restrictions?

True 16x9 or squeeze or anamorphic or letterbox?
Why do you need multiple lenses?
How important is 24p?
How important is "film look" cine-gammas?
Low light is a relative thing, and neither of these cams is as good as a VX2100 or PD170 (but it may not matter unless you shoot parties and bars).

For true night shooting, check out the DVC30 with an infrared light for B&W zero-light shooting.

You cannot really buy a DV camera witha laundry list. You need to understand why you want each fature, because there are a few major brands and models and they all approach the problems differently.

And leave yourself about $600 for a decent tripod, $80-$100 for at least one extra battery, $50 for a UV protective filter, $100-$200 for a case, $100 for decent headphones, and about $1000 for audio, depending on what you plan to be shooting. (total about $2k). Other stuff can come later.

Instead fo trying to buy the perfect camera for the future, I would buy a cheaper cam (DVC30 is possible choice at $1500), spend rest of money on GOOD support equipment (audio, tripods, etc), and learn to use it all. Next year you will want a high-def camera anyway.

I would rather have a $100 camera, $600 tripod and a $1000 in audio equipment than a $1500 camera, $100 tripod and $100 in audio equipment. And everyone on this board will agree with me (except for the doodooheads LOL).
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Old August 12th, 2005, 08:35 PM   #857
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Bob's advice about not skimping on the additional equipment is very good. And beyond that, are you equipped to edit what you shoot? Do you have good software, a fast enough computer, enough hard drive space?

You might have a look at the PDX-10 from Sony, for around $1,600 after rebate. It will give you high quality 16:9, DVCAM, XLR audio inputs and a short shotgun mike while leaving enough left in your budget for the other equipment.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 08:54 PM   #858
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Hey, thank you for such a friendly, helpful welcome. :)

I found this: Link. (hope the code works, as I'm more used to EZBoard code and see nothing here explaining how to do named links...

Anyway, does that look like a good deal, or do you think the kit accessories are crap?

Bob, thanks for asking those questions. I guess that with the short timeframe, I've just dug in and tried to learn what are the 'best' features that I'll be needing in the future. I don't see myself being able to buy another camera for several years yet, so that's a big part of it, too, wanting something I can grow into, rather than planning on trading up shortly.

Thanks!
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Old August 12th, 2005, 09:00 PM   #859
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Boyd, I just googled that Sony and it looks pretty good. How do I get that rebate?
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Old August 12th, 2005, 09:28 PM   #860
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Try this link:

www.sony.com/PDX10Cashback

However, I now see that B&H photo is out of stock on the PDX-10. Perhaps you can find one somewhere else though. There's been speculation that they are phasing the camera out and it's being replaced with the new HVR-A1.

Also visit our PDX-10 forum for lots more info:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=43
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Old August 13th, 2005, 12:51 AM   #861
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Thank you, Boyd, I think I'll be taking a look around to see what I can find on that. :)
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Old August 13th, 2005, 02:24 AM   #862
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Tina, the PDX10 is a truly wonderful cam...I absolutely love mine and am constantly amazed by the astounding imagery I'm able to capture with it. :-)

It's 3CCD, shoots in true anamorphic 16:9, has good manual controls (real buttons, not touch screen), and the audio features are quite good (the XLR breakout box and included mic, for example).

BUT, it's not very good in low light (which you mentioned was important to you) and since you're a FILM MAJOR, you might not like the fact that it only shoots in 60i....and if you're looking to make student films with this, you really might want to look at a cam that can shoot in 24P, or even 30P.

Honestly, if I were wanting to do film-style work, I'd go for a Panasonic DVX100a or a Canon XL2 (or possibly a used XL1s). No, they may not have the pure "bang-for-the-buck" that the PDX-10 has, and yeah they might cost considerably more, but they might serve your needs better. If you can afford them, of course.

Barring that, I'd go for a Gl2 (even with it's potential problems) because it's affordable, can shoot in 30P, and of course like most cams can be outfitted with an anamorphic lense adapter to shoot true 16:9 as well as an aftermarket XLR adaptor.

Honestly, the GL2 was my #1 choice until I realized that 60i worked fine for MY needs (outdoor daylight action sports shooting for DVD release, *NOT* indy film making) and that the built-in audio, compact size, and the true 16:9 of the PDX10 just suited me perfectly. But as perfect as the PDX10 is for MY needs, it may not match up well with yours.


Also, have you considered a JVC HD1 or HD10? 16:9 & 720P/30 in HD might work for your needs, AND grow with you for a couple of years. I don't know much about those cams, but they might be worth looking in to.

:-)
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Old August 13th, 2005, 07:42 PM   #863
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Duane is right, for narrative work, you'd best go for a panasonic of a canon.
It's not that the sony ain't good cams, they are, but the colours are more cool, where those from the canon and panasonic a little bit more saturated, especcially the canon xl1s - which provides a more filmic look.
The sony are cams, better used for news work and event work, because of their very good low light capability and their absence of 24p or frame mode (30p, or in PAL land, 25p)
You can always deinterlace in post of course, but it's lots of rendering time, and you'll loose quality (not much, and in frame mode you also loose quality, but still...)
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Old August 13th, 2005, 09:28 PM   #864
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane Smith
Also, have you considered a JVC HD1 or HD10? 16:9 & 720P/30 in HD might work for your needs, AND grow with you for a couple of years.
Don't these JVC cameras lack manual controls? Also, aren't they rather poor performers in low light? Tina indicated manual controls are important to her, and perhaps low light performance as well, so I don't think the JVC cameras would be a good fit for her.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
It's not that the sony ain't good cams, they are, but the colours are more cool, where those from the canon and panasonic a little bit more saturated, especcially the canon xl1s - which provides a more filmic look.
I don't know about the Sony PDX10, but on my VX2000 I can tweak the picture to make it warmer and more saturated, so I wouldn't say that the Canons and Panasonic cameras have an advantage in this area. Of course, as mentioned the PDX10 lacks progressive scan capabilities, and is poor in low light, so one of the Canon or Panasonic cameras are probably better for her purposes.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 01:07 AM   #865
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All of your posts have been very helpful, and I thank you. I believe I'm going to go with the Panasonic DVX100a. Even though I think the Sony sounded great, and I've heard the images they produce are gorgeous, I think, as some have said, I'll need something more. When it comes to accessories, I'm going to buy a UV filter lens to protect the native lens, a battery pack and a decent tripod, and then add to it as needed to build up with decent accessories.

You're a great group here -- thank you!
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Old August 14th, 2005, 01:49 AM   #866
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Great decision, Tina! The DVX100a is probably the BEST camera for your needs as a film student. It should be the last SD camera you'll ever need to buy, certainly good enough for the next several years until you migrate to HD...and maybe by then there'll be an similarly-priced 1080/24p cam on the market!
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Old August 14th, 2005, 09:07 AM   #867
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Lefchik
I don't know about the Sony PDX10, but on my VX2000 I can tweak the picture to make it warmer and more saturated, so I wouldn't say that the Canons and Panasonic cameras have an advantage in this area. Of course, as mentioned the PDX10 lacks progressive scan capabilities, and is poor in low light, so one of the Canon or Panasonic cameras are probably better for her purposes.
Sorry about that, I don't have one, so maybe I wasn't the best judge to talk about them, just read very lots about them, so. My bad.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 09:30 AM   #868
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Tine, keep in mind that audio is at least half of video, and the biggest difference between pro and amateur is the quality of the audio. At least buy yourself a wired lav mic so you have one way to get decent sound right away. I have 5 mics in my location kit.

Be careful of DVX scams (buy from authorized reseller) and expect to pay around $3000 for a new one. Those deals for $1800-$2400 ARE too good to be true. And make sure you get the Barry book with your DVX or buy it separately. Learning curve on the DVX is a bit steeper than your average point and shoot camera. Stick with one brand/type of tape from day one (My choice is Panasonic MQ at $5 each).

Good Luck.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 09:35 AM   #869
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Costa
Be careful of DVX scams (buy from authorized reseller)
Best way to do this is to buy from a DVinfo sponsor; you'll be supporting the companies which support this site and they have all been chosen for their service and integrity:

http://www.dvinfo.net/sponsors/
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Old August 14th, 2005, 10:21 AM   #870
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Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
Sorry about that, I don't have one, so maybe I wasn't the best judge to talk about them, just read very lots about them, so. My bad.
That's okay. We are all here to help each other with our respective areas of knowledge, which is what makes this forum great.
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