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Old August 15th, 2004, 01:13 PM   #1
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Near Broadcast quality prosumer Camera

Hello all,

I am looking for a prosumer camera that will be either broadcast qulaity or near broadcast qulaity. I was told that the Canon XL1 is a good choice? Is this true?

We are shooting a sports show much like ESPN's Sportscenter, except it will be for High school sports. I would like to purchase a camera, rather than dilly dally around with rentals and the associated hassles.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
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Old August 15th, 2004, 01:19 PM   #2
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I forgot to add that I know most cameras quality depend on the lens, but I would like a camera that can be used right out of the box with little or no extra lenses, etc to achieve the broadcast look.

Thanks again for any suggestions, comments or help:)
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Old August 15th, 2004, 01:58 PM   #3
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What is you budget and do you have a budget for the accessories (batteries, mic, filters etc)?
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Old August 15th, 2004, 02:11 PM   #4
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Jeff,

I have a budget of around $5000 all said and done, however as many others, I would like to get away with spending less if at all possible:)

Thanks for your reply
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Old August 15th, 2004, 04:44 PM   #5
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your best guess will go to a vx2000 or 2100, since it is the easiest to use, most sensitive, cheapest camera you can get.
XL1 is good but a bit older versus vx2000 and require expensives lenses.
AGDVX100 is a nightmare to set up, but is the best camera.
just think to add a wide angle lense + tele lens so you can afford all situations.
It will left enough money to get a good tripod (a real one) and a big LCD monitor, because filming sport over the internal monitor is ok for the first 10 min only.
You can even add a direct-to-disk device like the new FS-4, as miniDV tapes could be a bit short for long events.
(usually i double record, by using the firewire output of the camera directly to another BigDV tape recorder with up to 4 hours of recording, so no surprise.)
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Old August 15th, 2004, 09:19 PM   #6
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Are you shooting live sports witht he camera or just a sports show?...or are you going to be using the camera and other equipment for both? This makes a big difference on whether or not you need certain kinds of stabilizers, audio equipment, lighting kits, etc, which in turn can make a BIG difference as to which camera you should buy...

Also the AG-DVX100 isn't that difficult to setup in terms of necessary add-on equipment, but will involve some research and use to get the best out of all the manual controls if you've never used a highly manual camera before. I have a feeling that the AG-DVC60, might be best for you, but 1st we must here whether the camera is for live sports, a "produced" show, or both.
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Old August 15th, 2004, 09:31 PM   #7
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HI,

We are shooting a Sports show in a studio that will be like espn's sportscenter. We need a camera that can be used out of the box and get the best possible broadcast qulaity. We were looking at the Canon XL1 b/c we rec'd a DVD that showed that canon used it for a national TV commercial to prove that it was possible for a prosumer. We are going to use this camera solely for the purpose of shooting the anchors in a studio.

I hope this clears up some questions, I guess I should have been more specific when posting the initial question.

Thanks
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Old August 15th, 2004, 10:05 PM   #8
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I would personally go for the Pana AG-DVX100 because it is the highest quality cam that doesn't use a lens swapping system, and still gives options to shoot true progressive video (30p and 24p), which will aid in green screen shoots.
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Old August 16th, 2004, 12:02 AM   #9
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If you have a little time to wait yet, definatly hold out for the soon to be officially released Canon XL2. It will have 24p and XLR connectors as well as the features of the standard XL1, interchangable lenses, interesting design, social acceptance and a decent reputation in the field as a workhorse.

If you can't wait, if you wil be doing mostly 16:9 and in daylight, go for the Sony DSR-PDX10. It has native (ie built in anamorphic) 16:9 with an incredibly high pixel count. I own one of these and it is great. Has a few minor flaws but they are well known and don't seem to hamper me.

Tied for second on my list, and I have used all of these at some time, the Panasonic AG-DVX100A. 24p, xlr connectors, a good reputation and quite in demand and use by documentry film makers the world over.

Last, they killed off the AG-DVX80 but gave us the 30 model. Same basic functions as the 100A without 24p in a small package that looks amazingly like the Sony PDX10. Be aware that the extra mic xlr input "box" is an option on this camera. It has an optional IR spotlight that is good in total darkness out to about 50 feet or so. The image will naturally be in that sort of glowing B&W you see in ir photography and videography.

There is a new Panasonic on the horizon, the guts of the 30 in the shoulder mount package of the DVC7. Called the something-60. Probably the AG-DVC60 or something similar. I didn't read the whole notice as it slipped by my desk.

How do I know all this stuff? I work for a company that sells Braodcast and Post Production gear in Ohio. Write me if you need details on any of these.

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Old August 16th, 2004, 12:07 AM   #10
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First off, the XL1 does NOT requite expensive lenses, let's not spread misinformation, OK? The stock lens is fine for what 95% of XL1 owners use the camera for. If you want a full manual pro lens, then you'll pay more.

For an IN STUDIO SHOW
The DVX100 has the best looking picture I've seen in this level of cameras. I'd choose it. Then I'd spend the rest of your money on a light kit to properly light your studio. Shows look good because of the lighting, not the camera.

For LIVE SPORTS EVENTS
For me at least, the DVX100 is possibly the worst choice for a live sports event. Besides the fact that it has a limited zoom, it's form factor does not lend to stable handheld shooting (for me), and the OIS seems to be less effective than the other cameras in this range. 24p is not really suited to sports videography, since you will likely be using fast pans and may want to do lots of motion effects, (depending on the type of sports).

The VX2000 or PD150 are more solid choices than the DVX100, but the XL1/XL1s is even better since it gives you a wide angle lens option, and is much more suited to handheld shooting, in that you can shouldermount it. It is heavier, but a little workout never hurt anyone.

I'd hold out for the Canon XL2 if you don't need it right away. The stock lens will be great for live sports events, 20x zoom, great IS for handheld, native 16:9, and probably a great picture. The 24p doesn't matter much for sports.
Of course, you could buy two used XL1s' for what one new XL2 will sell for, and do a two camera gig. Plus the price of the XL2 is out of your budget including accessories.
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Old August 16th, 2004, 07:25 AM   #11
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As a matter of fact, the XL series does require expensive lenses. Consdering the XL1 is discontined, Mark would be getting the XL2, which has a similar feature set to the AG-DVX100.

The MSRP for the XL2 is US $3999. The MSRP for the XL2 PLUS the new 20X "stock" lens is US $4999, and you can bet those prices will not be coming down any time soon. The going price for the DVX100A at B&H is $3,500, and that includes its lens. So no misinformation was being spread.

Go with the DVX100A, Mark. You get good green screening capabilities and true progressive scan. BTW, what will your ouput medium be, DVD's, school TV station, etc...?
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Old August 16th, 2004, 08:33 AM   #12
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The output will be for cable TV, so the best quality would be needed.

When is the XL2 scheduled for release? We are shooting our first spots in mid September.

Thanks for all your comments and sugestions so far
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Old August 16th, 2004, 09:32 AM   #13
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Yes, EXTRA lenses for the XL series are very expensive to some but not for those of us in the broadcasting field. the good news is it comes with a rather nice all purpose lens.

To get the Canon or even the EOS series lenses and the adapter is sometimes more than the body is worth. That's just the way it goes on pro gear.

My advie is try anything you can get your hands on and go for the higher pixel count when it makes sense.

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Old August 16th, 2004, 10:28 AM   #14
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If you're deciding between the DVX100 and the Sony PD150 there's a good comparison at
http://www.lafcpug.org/review_dvx_pd150.html

2- Figure out what your needs are first, then get the camera that suits your needs the best. For example, you probably need a good tripod (~$800USD+), a lighting kit for studio work, and decent audio gear (XLR inputs, and the appropriate mics). You probably don't need green screening, 16:9, or 24p.

If I were in your position I'd research the Panasonic DVX80 (which is being discontinued but should still be in stock for a while). It runs around $2400 which means you should have enough money for a decent tripod, lighting gear, and audio gear. Its image quality is broadcast quality (the camera won't make your show broadcast quality though). It has XLR inputs so you don't need to pay extra for an XLR adapter box (i.e. beachtek DXA8).

You should probably research how well it could fit your style of shooting (do the manual controls work well for you, do you want a shoulder-mount camera instead, etc.).
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Old August 16th, 2004, 11:12 AM   #15
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Glenn is right. You don't need 16:9, or 24p, but the true progressive scan options would be helpful. That way you could green screen in backdrops instead of actually building a full set. You could put two guys in chairs behind a decent looking desk and in front of a big screen and then add in whatever background or even moving video (sports clips) suit you later. The DVC80 is the DVX100 minus progressive scan shooting modes, and cinegamma, but the cam isn't being discontinued...it is discontinued, and Panasonic is quickly moving to the smaller AG-DVC30, and shoulder mounted, XLR inclusive version of the DVC30, the DVC60.
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