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Old August 25th, 2004, 09:21 PM   #1
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Hmmm.....XL2 or DSR-300?

as in the subject line..
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Old August 25th, 2004, 09:56 PM   #2
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To shoot what?

(as in the subject line)
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Old August 25th, 2004, 11:46 PM   #3
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Haha. Ken you beat me to it....

Michael, what do you actually want to shoot with it. You need to give some more information before anyone can really help.

- Want to shoot movies?
- Want to shoot Interviews?
- Want to look cool?
- Have a budget limit?
- Need 16:9?


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Old August 26th, 2004, 06:46 AM   #4
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Guess I was seeking some creative responses. No shooting limits. Primarily short movies, then music videos, then commericals. Yes 16:9. Thanks!
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Old August 26th, 2004, 12:30 PM   #5
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Things to consider before making a decision.

1. Sony discontinued the DSR-300 long ago. I believe the current version of the camera is the 390. That means that the camera you're considering is probably used, eh? And, being a professional 1/2" camera, probably well used.

2. Have you ever picked a full-size ENG camera up? If not, I suggest you do so first. These are not consumer-friendly cameras.

3. Have you considered the extra costs involved with a camera that size? Do you have a tripod and head capable of supporting the camera well? How about the cost of a good 1/2" lens? How will you capture footage from that camera? Don't worry, $900 for a 12v battery is really no big deal...to television stations.

Moving into the 1/2"-2/3" world is a very big step. Consider it carefully.

Have fun!
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Old August 26th, 2004, 02:03 PM   #6
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Thanks for your response Ken. The answers are no, no, yes, no,
yes, yes, no. Just kidding - In reality I'm in this position - A decade ago I raced Superbikes and had much tied up in that, retired, then tied everything up in music, about $120k worth. I have fallen in love with video and want to do it from here on out. I'm considering a massive liquidation of musical equipment to invest in filming. I am in fact looking for great equipment, I have read over and over about it's not the camera and I agree but if I can in fact afford to buy/maintain a higher end camera I'm going to. So I'm trying to figure out the best way to allocate resources
as I am in fact pretty new to this but incredibly in love with it.
I currently have an XL1 and an XL1s, monopod, very good tripod
and fluid head, tons of lighting and audio equipment. I guess I was intrigued by the DSR, the SDX-900 shoots 24p but is incredibly more expensive.

This post pulls me away from the original post I know, but asking
questions has increased my knowledge tenfold.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 08:44 PM   #7
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The DSR300/370/390 is the best 1/2" chip camcorder out there, in my opinion. There's not a huge difference between the first and last model, except that, as already mentioned, the 300 might have a few miles on it. It's pretty easy to check the hours and find out how much head life you've got left (Sony estimates 1500 hours on the DSR500, so I'd assume the 300 would probably be about the same). If you need a head job, it probably would be around $2500-$2500, I'd guess (they were always a bit more than that in Betacam days).

If you want to shoot 16:9 with the 300, you'd have to get an anamorphic adapter. You'd also have to get a lens, unless you find a package for sale with lens...and batteries, charger and power supply.

One thing you might look at, depending on how much you really want to spend...the Ikegami equivalent to the Sony DSR500/570...I can't think of the exact number offhand, but it's got a W7 in it. (check B&H).
I consider the Ikegami equal to the Sony, and some people think it's better. I have a DSR500 but if I were going to buy one today, I would probably go with Ikegami simply because it's over $3,000 cheaper. I believe you can get the Ikegami for under $12K. Of course you'd need a lens, and good 2/3" lenses are expensive, though you can get a useable one for around $3K or so. The nice thing about this camera, and the Sony equivalent, is that it has 16:9 chips, and the 16:9 qualilty looks better than its 4:3 quality.

I've also seen some pretty good deals on used DSR500s. The 570 is Sony's usual minor upgrade, which puts it into its 3rd generation, but there is no serious difference between the newest one and the original (I have the second model, the L1 series, and other than very minor improvements, there's nothing to write home about. The 570 gives you CCU capability, which is handy if you do multicam stuidio shoots.

You would also have to get a DVCAM deck, as those cameras only shoot in DVCAM. The DSR11 is the cheapest, but the DSR25 is better if you plan to do some serious editing and use it a lot. You don't use professional cameras in place of tape decks. In fact, the DSR500 won't even let you record to it via firewire in, though it does have firewire out.

Having said all that...since you already have an XL1 and an XL1s...why not wait a week or so until the XL2 is on the market for real and check it out? It shoots native "real" 16:9 and is getting some pretty good reviews. You could use your old lenses and batteries. And even though it is higher resolution than your older cameras, they would still be handy to use and would match reasonably well in terms of color.

Another thing to consider, with a bigger camera you need a bigger tripod; and you'd need probably $1,500 worth of batteries and charger. I have 6 BPL40s and 2 BPL65s and a 2-battery charger. That's over $2K in power.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 09:17 PM   #8
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I was hoping that Bill would find this thread as he is a professional shooter who has spent many hours underneath full-size cameras.

I think Bill may be thinking of Ikegami's HL-DV7AW which, like Sony's 500 and 570, has a 16:9 CCC. BTW, note that these are -not- 24P cameras, as you had mentioned being interested in that feature.

Also, just to add a detail to Bill's excellent remarks, these cameras use the full size DV cassettes, not the mini DV cassettes. The cost of a deck should be another significant consideration for you.

By now, the XL2 should be looking pretty good to you. It's probably the best value (if you really feel you need a new camera) for someone who has no definite plans (of the income-producing type).
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Old August 26th, 2004, 10:34 PM   #9
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The 300 series also will use miniDV as will IIRC, the 500 and 570.

The 390 is incredible in low light. Arguably better than the 170. Image quality differences between the 300 and 500 (in 4:3) mode are almost non-existent.

That said, my choice would be a 570WS today. With a WIDE lens. Probably all up, a $48,000 investment for the widest of the wide plus a good set of LiON batteries.

No matter which you pick, the Sony 300 and 500 series deliver some incredible footage for DV.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 10:41 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : The 300 series also will use miniDV as will IIRC, the 500 and 570.
-->>>

I did not realize this, Mike. I've only seen the 500 used with full-size cassettes! Thank you for that correction. Mea culpa.
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Old August 27th, 2004, 09:21 AM   #11
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All the Sony full size DVCAM cameras use both sizes of cassettes. The 250, however, is the only one that will allow you to record DV as well as DVCAM.

Yeah, the DV7AW is the Ikegami I was referring to. I can't keep all the different numbers/letters of all the equipment straight. It actually has a couple of db better S/N ratio than the DSR500.
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Old August 27th, 2004, 09:39 AM   #12
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Why would they accept it but not allow you to record to it? Just
for play back? That wouldn't make any sense, I must be missing
something.
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Old August 27th, 2004, 10:07 AM   #13
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Sorry for stepping in but this question I can answer, heh. DV and DVCAM are the recording formats whereas full-size and miniDV cassettes are the physical tape sizes. So, depending upon the camera or deck, you can record DV and DVCAM onto either size cassette. My PD150 camera can record DV or DVCAM onto miniDV size cassettes only. My DSR-25 deck can record DV or DVCAM onto either full-size or miniDV cassette. Confusing, eh? The biggest difference between the recording formats is the tape speed: DVCAM records at a faster tape speed.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 08:54 AM   #14
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The DSR25 records DV now too? That's cool. I had thought only the DSR11 would do both. That 25 is a really nice deck for the money.
Just to amplify what Kevin said, it seems that lots of peole confuse cassette sizes and formats. You can record DV or DVCAM on to any DV tape whether it's a mini or a standard size cassette. All Sony professional DVCAM cameras will allow you to use either size cassette, but they will only record DVCAM format onto those tapes. The higher end decks, such as the DSR1800, 2000, etc., also are that way. We have DSR1800s, and they will play DV and even DVCPRO, but they only record in DVCAM.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 11:31 AM   #15
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Michael, why don't you try to get a GY-DV5000u? I heard its an excellent camera and it has cine gamma. I've used one at B& H and I liked it. Of course I would buy it, mainly because accesories are too expensive. I'de go for an XL2, especially since you have experience with the XL1 and the XL1s .
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