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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:05 PM   #1291
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Nate

Nate, thanks so much for your reply. I totally understand. Really. I just came across this site, http://www.mediacollege.com/ and I'm finding it very helpful.

Thanks so much for your imput.

Regards,

Mark
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #1292
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I guess what I'm trying to determine is just how much does one have to spend on a camcorder in order to use it for TV quality broadcasting?
That depends what network you're dealing with and what requirements they have for source footage. Almost anything can be broadcast if the content is important enough, but in general the networks want high-quality stuff to make sure they deliver the best quality to viewers. If you plan to do a lot of network shooting you might take a look at the Panasonic HVX200 as a good starting point, with a price starting at ~$5200 for the bare camera. (Plus you'll need some expensive P2 memory cards if you want to record in HD rather than DV.)
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:31 PM   #1293
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Kevin

Thanks so much for pointing me to that particular camcorder. At least I can review its features and use it as a starting point. Much appreciated.

Regards,

Mark
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #1294
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You could compare the Sony Cine Alta as the equivalent of a Mercedes compared to the VX2100 which might be the equivalent of say a go kart. They both might get you around the block and sometimes the Go Kart will be more fun than the Mercedes but the Mercedes will be more durable and useful in situations the Go Kart would fail in.
If you are trying to determine what is Television quality you do have to pick and choose your television. Many small documentaries and reality shows have been shot with DV cameras but the standard concept of Televison video has been 2/3 inch cameras using a variety of formats including Digibeta, DVCPRO, Betacam Sp on. These range in price from 10K on up to 50K for Standard definition. You can definitively see differences on the way up some of which are worth it and some you may not care about.
The standard has been changed by the smaller cameras but they haven't completely changed the equation. High definition is also something which is changing the equation. You probably should look at getting something like a Panasonic DVX-100B for SD or Panasonic HVX-200 for HD to get in on the low end of TV but don't think you are getting the equivalent of the 90K HDCAM. Check out anything you are interested in in person and see if you like the way it works.
Fact is this is a pretty expensive business to get involved with even on the low end. I have radio mics which cost almost $3000 for one full unit and there are even more expensive models.
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Old March 13th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #1295
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It's pretty much a dying out tradition here as well, most of my friends are going straight into their film/tv degrees. My intention was ideally to take out a year and work to raise some money for uni and then do a bit of filming as well to build up some sort of portfolio and get a bit more experience than I've got from the two small projects I've done during my a-level course.

Also, I can get hold of a brand new XM2 for 1180 new and I've found the XH-A1 for 100 cheaper so maybe factor that in.

Another consideration is that I'm going to my friend's house in Florida over the Summer and I could bring back one from there although it'll be NTSC and I'm sure that might provide a few pitfalls if I want to connect up to a TV for example, and almost certainly when I want to sell on.



Anyway, as a more detailed response. I'm not really aiming incredibly high as for my first short at least I intend for it to be a bit of a learning experience. That said, it'll need to be a solid portfolio addition and if I'm pleased with it, it's possible I'll send it off to film festivals. I don't really intend to make any profit or money off it though, I intend to cover that through my job. The likelihood is that I'll buy all the equipment and then sell it off at the end for about 75% of what I've initially purchased it for, with the rest and some more being covered by my graphic design job.

I'm also considering possibly getting some kind of 35mm adapter because depth of field and such has always interested me so much ever since I got a project to copy a film that we couldn't do on account of our budgety cameras and their lack of it. How are they for resaleability?

Thanks for your help by the way, the XM2 certainly looks good - I'm just worried that it's becoming outdated technology. That said the 800 saved could go on some rather good stuff.
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Old March 13th, 2007, 11:16 AM   #1296
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Hi Edward,

Not wishing to confuse things...HD is a way off yet and I very much doubt any camera you get will be useless in the next 3 or 4 years...

However 16:9 is pretty much the standard format now so if I were you my choice would lean towards a native 16:9 camera.
Also for me audio is as important or more so than video so good XLR audio inputs would be a must...

From your list I'd go for the A1 as it has all of the above..plus HDV is you decide you need it...it is head and shoulders above the rest in all but low light...unless you shoot night clubs or theatre... you can add light.

all the other cameras are already from the last generation...so yes they are cheaper but if the future is a concern I personnally wouldn't buy a 4:3 SD camera now..

Finally as you're in the UK.. don't even think of getting an NTSC camera..it'll be more trouble to you than it's worth. The only camera worth getting in the States right now in your bracket is a Z1, as it does both Pal and NTSC.

Just my 2 Euros worth

Gareth
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Old March 13th, 2007, 12:23 PM   #1297
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Daniel

Thanks for your replay. I fully realize that there are unlimited options, which complicate things, but one does have to start somewhere, and you, like the one before, mentioned the Panasonic HVX200, so it's probably a good start. There are so many accessories, both hardware and software, that I'm sure you could go broke in a hurry in this industry, so I'll just have to start off slowly.

Thanks again for your time.

Regards,

Mark
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Old March 13th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #1298
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You might also be interested in the Sony XDCAM cameras, ranging from about 18 kilobucks to 30 kilobucks, depending on camera model, lens, etc
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Old March 13th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #1299
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Hello Everybody,

I'm primarily interested in finding a professional quality video camcorder, one that can deliver the type of quality seen on your typical television/cable program.
"Typical" right now is standard definition (that will change in a couple years). Do you want standard definition or high definition?
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Old March 16th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #1300
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Sorry back now, internet died on me for the last few days. Anyway, the XHA1 looks awesome, really it does. It's probably the perfect camcorder for me, it's just at the top of my price limit and as such it's a much larger investment and I'll need considerably more money in the first place. On top of that, it doesn't leave me with an incredible amount of money for other things - probably 900-1000 at the most.

Thanks for the advice about NTSC. Also, how much would you expect a used XH-A1 to go for in a years time?
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Old March 18th, 2007, 05:11 PM   #1301
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I work with the DVX100 a lot and I like it pretty much. The controls are as close as they can get to a professional shoulder mount. But as far as I can see the controls on the XH-A1 are about the same (a major improvement over older Canon models like the XL1 ). The only thing that's probably still better on the Panasonic is the manual zoom, which is direct and analog, while on the Canon it seems to be indirect through a servo. However that shouldn't be too much of a problem unless you want to use that kind of boulevard-tv ultra fast zoom-in effect a lot.

You'd have to check the usability of the manual focus ring on the Canon. I tried a Canon XL1 twice and I didn't like it at all (and the lens controls look very similar). The DVX is (alongside the HVX and let aside the JVC GY-HD200 which has a "real" lens) the best to focus manually of all the Mini DV camcorders I tried.

I used a Sony PD 150 once or twice and I didn't like the handling at all (just like I didn't like the Canon XL1 handling). With the DVX - coming from shoulder mount camcorders - I just knew where everything was, without consulting the manual.

So, regarding that you want to re-sell the camcorder in a year or so you'd probably be best off with the XH-A1 because it's HD and it's not much more expensive than a DVX100. I don't know the XH-A1 but it sure looks good. I'd say try to get your hands on both camcorders for a day or so and see what you like better.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:00 PM   #1302
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Which Camera?

I am a high-school film student and I am looking to buy a new camera this year. I think that the Canon XH A1 is the best option so far. How much better is the A1 than an XL2? The XL2 might provide more learning experiance, but at a price in resolution and size. Any suggestions on which camera I should buy?
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:17 PM   #1303
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I can't recommend an XL2 over an XH A1 these days, but *any* camcorder that works, even at the low-end consumer $250 price point, will provide you with a valuable learning experience.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #1304
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Optura Xi

Right now I have an Optura Xi. So I'm looking for a better camera to replace it.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #1305
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I'm a recent college grad and cut my teath on canon gl2s and eventually got to use my university's xl1s and xl2. That said, the xl series cams that I used in no way provided a better "learning experience." You can certainly learn how to use your basic camera functions from either cam, but the a1 will provide you with more resolution and more latitude.
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