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Old June 8th, 2007, 03:38 AM   #1351
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Hi Mark...........

The reason for the wealth of s/h SD ex - studio/ broadcast cameras is the governments push to get the networks to ramp up to HD (not that the networks are happy about it).

And some cracking deals no doubt are available. And some cracking cameras to boot. In addition there is probably a warehouse full of ancillary stuff to actually deal with the footage also going spare.

If I was in your shoes, I would buy the best s/h 16:9 SD cam you can and gear to run it and go do. There is no way on the planet that Aus is going to go HD in the near future (by which I mean 100% HD widescreen). You could have a ball for the next 3 - 4 years shooting stuff on gear that originally cost 10 - 15 - 20 times what you're going to pay for it, and some of that footage will be magic!

If you go the HD route now, there is no delivery system, the editing is somewhat chaotic and HDV IS NOT the best HD solution on the planet. HD still has a great deal of growing to do and there is still a lot of life in the 'ol SD system yet.

HOWEVER - take note that that equipment has/ is used by guys who have been shooting with the same/ similar gear for 10 - 15 years and are absolute experts at getting the best video out of them, no matter what.

The people who are shooting HDV are, by definition, newbies to the HDV game and as such you cannot compare the O/P from one medium to the other quite so easily.

If you are a complete newbie, SD is easier, in that it is far more forgiving, but will still show up total amateurism. HD makes it stand out like a sore thumb and smacks you over the head for your troubles.

As for your final question - forget the medium, think about your dedication to making them look profesional. Nothing in a box will ever replace the dedication of a good camerman/ director etc etc etc.

In short - if you're good, the film will be good. If you're crap - well, do the math!

Cheers,


Chris
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Old June 8th, 2007, 08:43 PM   #1352
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The reason the Betacam stuff generally looks better will be because of the crew and expertise behind it. Also, Betacam has never been a consumer format, so anyone working with it generally has had money behind the project, meaning both experience, equipment and crew beyond just the camera - something a lot of prosumer shooters are lacking (having spent all their money on just buying a camera and editing system and not having the mindset to just hire the gear they need each shoot.).

Quality image s about the shooter and lighting way more than it is about the camera. Good ancillaries (matteboxes/filters), good lenses, good support gear, a good workflow is all more important than the pixel count 99% of the time (especially with the internet becoming a viable and major distribution platform - where you are not limited to a single broadcast standard).
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Old June 9th, 2007, 12:53 AM   #1353
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Those were both great responses and I wanted to add that a used Beta SP camcorder will be pretty rugged and will also have a nice industrial-grade lens. In combination with the larger CCDs this can get you shallower DOF and a bigger-looking, more cinematic image than a small prosumer camera (provided of course you use it skillfully).
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Old June 9th, 2007, 02:35 AM   #1354
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Yeah, terrific answers. Thanks guys. I'm definitely going to take a look at a few of these used broadcast cameras.
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Old June 9th, 2007, 03:41 PM   #1355
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Hi again......

One caveat I would add to what's been said above, on reflection, is that you would be wise to get the help of someone seriously "in the know" about this gear and the workflow required to use it before parting with any cash.

As with anything s/h, if you don't know what to look for, you aren't going to see it till it's too late. Additionally, again as with anything declared commercially "redundant", it will be the most heavilly used, possibly damaged kit that makes the hit list first. Repairs costs on this sort of stuff can be astronomical (which can possibly explain some of that "great deal").

Don't get me wrong, I still think it's the way to go in your circumstance, but "Caveat Emptor" (?) rules OK!

Cheers,


Chris
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Old June 14th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #1356
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Help - I can't decide which camera to use

I have been asked to tape, edit and produce a DVD for a motorcycle drag racing series this summer. This would be my first paying job. Not a lot of money, but enough to take it serious. They were not happy with the pro who did last years, so I know I need to do a better job than he did.

But I have a camera decision problem...

History:
I was asked to do this by the series promoters because they, and the racers, like the personal video I shot last year. Video I edited and placed on my web site for family, friends and fellow racers to view. In fact I compiled a nice DVD of the season and sold every copy I made (30+) at the season's end banquet. (Made a little cash)

Problem:
I shot everything last year on a little Panasonic GS250, which has very nice resolution and decent 16:9, which I prefer.
But, over the winter I bought a Canon GL2 which I love, I have more control over the picture, etc., etc. I also have the Century 16:9 adapter.
I think I can get a nicer picture with the GL2, but I know the resolution of the GL2 isn't quite as good as the GS250.

I need to decide which camera will be better for this job.
I want to use the more profesional camera, but I don't want complaints that the picture wasn't as clear as last year.

I'm going to talk to the client and try to feel out what he is looking for, but beyond that I'm not sure which way to go.

(I don't have a lot of time to try both cameras as I also race the series)

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any thoughts,
Bob T.
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Old June 14th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #1357
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Use 'em both!

I'd use both cameras. Use the 16x9 adapter on the GL2, and give the GS250 to another racer to get some different shots. Give him simple instructions: avoid zooming, hold steady for at least five seconds, don't talk, get as close as you can. The footage from the GS250 could make for real useful B-roll...sometimes you get surprisingly good footage from someone who knows nothing about videography.

As far as the picture quality goes, my guess is that many of the people will not be able to tell the difference between the footage from the two cams - especially once it's converted to DVD format. You sold them on your previous presentation due to your camera angles and editing, not the pixel-by-pixel technicalities of the picture.

Just make sure you get the Panny back from the fellow racer. ;)
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Old June 14th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #1358
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I'd go with the GL2. The image is just as good or better than the 250 IMO, and it has twice the zoom. Which means you can get better shots from behind the wall, where with the 250 you might need to jump out in the water box with them.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 06:14 AM   #1359
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Use them both, even if one sits on a tripod, unattended (find a good spot for it). Other qualities (full manual control) of the GL2 will make up for the difference!
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Old June 15th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #1360
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All good answers, thanks....
I'll bring both cameras and rely on the GL2. My wife knows how to operate the 250, so I'll let her get some shots with that.
I'm interested to see how well the two cameras can be matched anyway.

I think I'm just nervous about shooting for money and not fun....

Thanks,
BT
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Old June 18th, 2007, 06:57 PM   #1361
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Which camera? someone has to know...

Ok folks, here is what I have been using countless internet hours of my time trying to figure out. Which cam is the right cam? Here's what I need to be able to do, first, I need a 3ccd cam with xlr audio outputs and timecode burn in, for filming legal depositions. second, I need a cam that will assist me in filming high quality surfing and documentary footage. Basically I need a cam for work and play! The moderate priced HD cams have really caught my eye (XH-A1) but will they be practical for legal video? Any and all suggestions would really help me out, since I'm going in circles. My budget is around $3500. Thank you all!!!!
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Old June 18th, 2007, 08:46 PM   #1362
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a1-u

The A1 is a great little camera and the XLR adapter comes right off if if gets inthe way of more active shooting.
For the money, I think it is one of the best deals going.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 09:17 PM   #1363
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The right camera for you is the one which feels best in your hands.

Determine your budget; choose your desired format and workflow.

If you try before you buy and don't succumb to Analysis Paralysis, then you can't make a wrong decision.

I'm going to start merging all of these dozens of "which camera" discussions into one big 'ol thread.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 03:54 AM   #1364
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I'm not sure on the US pricing but have a look at the V1 (Model up from the A1) as personally I feel theres some big problems with the A1 - for example if you're shooting in a courtroom and the tape runs out you're gonna be taking it off its pod to change tapes, altering the shot, levels etc...But as Chris has said, there's more for you to figure out on a personal workflow level than just what/where you're shooting before choosing a camera.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 04:53 AM   #1365
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Just go for the Canon XH-A1. Almost all of the cameras in that price range are good cameras, they just have slightly different pros and cons. On a simple bang-for-you-buck basis the XH-A1 wins (hence why Cnet has it as their pick of the bunch) and it is a complicated enough piece of equipment that it will force you to learn how to use it well.

Purchase and enjoy.
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