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Old June 1st, 2006, 10:16 AM   #1111
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Mel - I sent you an e-mail about video production in the Albany area - Hope to hear from you
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Old June 5th, 2006, 07:36 PM   #1112
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Inexpensive MiniDV camera

I'm looking for an entry level or slightly higher camcorder. Requirements are Mic in, miniDV, and possibly an accessory shoe (hot or cold). What are some good reccomendations?
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Old June 7th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #1113
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Camera Recommendations <$1000

Hello everyone, I am looking for some recommendations and would really appreciate any advice.

I am really wanting to get into video production/short film making...more as a hobby, not a career.

I currently have an older Sony DCR-TRV20 MiniDV camcorder and its pretty nice and records decent video. But it is getting aged quite a bit and I would like to move up to a newer camera. I would like to stay somewhere in the $500-800 range, and really no more then $1000 if justified. I prefer MiniDV unless there is a better option...

Also, I would like to get a decent light meter to help with setting the white balance...thats what you use them for, right? :) So if anyone could recommend a few of those that are affordable, I would appreciate that also...

I do all my editing on my MacBook Pro with Final Cut Pro if that matters at all...
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Old June 7th, 2006, 11:04 AM   #1114
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The Canon Optura 50 is a really good deal right now, you won't find anything new, that's much, much better until the US$1,300 range.

A light meter helps you set the correct exposure, it's related, but distinct, from setting the white balance. I use the Sekonic L-358 light meter.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #1115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
The Canon Optura 50 is a really good deal right now, you won't find anything new, that's much, much better until the US$1,300 range.

A light meter helps you set the correct exposure, it's related, but distinct, from setting the white balance. I use the Sekonic L-358 light meter.
Thanks Michael for the recommendation...I will look into this camera. Its only around $500 or so...not a bad deal!

Are there no other cameras anyone would recommend between this one and a $1300 camera? Which camera is it around $1300 that you are speaking of...and do you think its worth the extra investment? Thanks again!
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Old June 7th, 2006, 04:51 PM   #1116
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I'll second the Optura 50. At only 400 bucks from B&H (free shipping too!) that leaves $600 for a good shotgun mic, a decent tripod and maybe even an extra lens and/or filters.

Not sure which $1300 cam Michael is referring to there, but it might be the Sony HC3 HDV camcorder. The only drawback on that cam is the lack of external mic input (and I don't count proprietary shoe interfaces).

Another option - if you can find one for under 1K - is a used Sony HC1. Very nice and lots of manual controls and a mic input.

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Old June 11th, 2006, 01:19 PM   #1117
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Sub $1500, Naitive 16:9 non HD Camera??

Does anything like this exist? Is the XL2 at double this budget my only option?

thanks.

-ptfigg. ny.
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Old June 11th, 2006, 01:27 PM   #1118
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Since you're in New York, pay a visit to B&H Photo and see what you think of the PDX-10 which was recently discontinued but still in stock. It's a great little camera for the price, which is about $200 over your budget. But it looks like they have a demo or two in stock so maybe they'll make you a deal?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Also visit our forum: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=43

If you're willing to give up some manual control and pro audio features then maybe the Sony HC1 or HC3 would be worth looking at, I think they're in your price range and you'd get HDV as a bonus. The A1 would give you some pro features but it costs around $2,000.
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Old June 11th, 2006, 01:30 PM   #1119
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If you can get hold of one, Sony DSR-PDX10. 3-CCD, can record true 16:9 or 4:3.

There's a whole forum here dedicated to it...

I have one :-)

They show up new and used on ebay quite often for $1200 or so.
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Old June 11th, 2006, 01:37 PM   #1120
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Thanks Guys,

I have a mint, and I mean hardly used XL1, which I will probably unload.

The PDX 10 is exactly what I am looking for.

-ptfigg. ny.
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Old June 11th, 2006, 02:01 PM   #1121
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You won't be disappointed - bought my used from someone moving up to HD. Took it to Africa for a safari. Quality blows me away every time I look at the footage - recorded everything 16:9.
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Old June 11th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #1122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Figgiani
Thanks Guys,

I have a mint, and I mean hardly used XL1, which I will probably unload.

The PDX 10 is exactly what I am looking for.

-ptfigg. ny.
FWIW, I've shot XL1 and PDX10 footage side by side, and while the PDX10 footage might be a little sharper is isn't even in the same league as the XL1, 16:9 or not. Of course, you can't fit an XL1 in your pocket so I guess it all depends what you need it for. :)
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Old June 12th, 2006, 09:30 AM   #1123
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Why not think about the Sony A1U?
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Old June 12th, 2006, 03:45 PM   #1124
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If I was going to spend just a bit more...maybe up to $2000, what would you recommend? I just keep thinking if I am going to make a decent investment, I would rather it go straight towards something more high end...I don't want to buy something and not be happy or outgrow it rather quickly.

I have been looking at the Canon GL2, can anyone give me some good background on this camera? Whats good, whats not? It is an older model? I don't know much about it, but it looks like a good camera.

Would appreciate any input...
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Old June 12th, 2006, 09:02 PM   #1125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Keck
If I was going to spend just a bit more...maybe up to $2000, what would you recommend? I just keep thinking if I am going to make a decent investment, I would rather it go straight towards something more high end...I don't want to buy something and not be happy or outgrow it rather quickly.

I have been looking at the Canon GL2, can anyone give me some good background on this camera? Whats good, whats not? It is an older model? I don't know much about it, but it looks like a good camera.

Would appreciate any input...
That's funny Chad, because your new "bit more" budget is actually double your "if justified" budget :)

Anyway, the GL2 is a very nice camcorder indeed. The only drawback to the GL2 for me is that it does not shoot native 16:9 (even the lowly $400 Optura does that now). This stems from the fact that its just a very old model now and came out when native 16:9 was pretty much unheard of in consumer cams. You know, if you can live with a 4:3 cam then you could actually look at XL1 or possibly even XL1s used in the 2 grand range. You'll definitely look like a pro to the average joe if you've got one of those.

Now, if you REALLY want to get into some hobby short film type stuff, you might want to up your budget even a "bit more" and look at a used Panasonic DVX100. You can use it on typical paying gigs like weddings and shoot 60i, then go for 24P when working on your hobby projects. Caveat, its also 4:3, but otherwise a really nice camcorder.

But wait, there's more! You could invest $2500 into a Sony A1U HDV cam (B&H price). It comes with a $500 rebate that puts you at 2K. You'll have very good manual controls, XLR mic inputs and a pretty good HD picture. This is a nice cam and probably the route I'd go if I had the money.

Of course you can go with its cheaper cousin, the HC1 for about $1350 at B&H. Still a very nice HD picture and solid manual controls. If I had $1500 and needed a cam right now, this is the one I'd get.


Hmm.. you know my honest opinion though, is still to recommend the Optura 50. At $400 its just so cheap that you can invest in other items like a quality tripod, a good mic or two and some lights. Then learn proper framing, lighting and technique with the Optura. Give it 6-12 months and there will undoubtedly be more and better HD cameras to choose from. At that point, start shopping around again if you're still serious about video. Best part is, you'll be able to put all your funds into the cam at that point, because your accessories (tripod, mics, etc..) will move right on over to the new cam. And you still have your little Optura as a backup or B cam. Heck, use it on your short film products as audio aquisition.

End of rambling.

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