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Old October 7th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #1
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Camera for lowbudget TV programmes

I need to buy a camera for shooting interviews, reportages, short docummentaries, educational videos or TV spots for small TV station. My budget is approximately $4,500 (maybe little bit more). Originally I was thinking about XH-A1, but now I'm considering rather some tapeless camera (maybe AG-HMC151E?), but I have no experience with AVCHD format.
What camera could you recommend me for my purpose?
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Old October 7th, 2009, 04:36 PM   #2
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I can just say.. don't compress to much. low budget AVCHD compresses a lot. Usually in TV you'll take out often the footage, edit it again, insert it in another show, do TV spots with the best of a show, etc... If you compress and recompress and recompress.. AVCHD is not the best for me. If you can keep all in ProRes (Mac) or Cineform (PC) it might be ok but is really space wasting for a 8hrs/day going network.
Maybe if you don't need HD you can just go for a good DV camera.
That's my idea.
M
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Old October 7th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #3
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Think of your audio and accessories. Those should make up 50% of your budget. You cannot go wrong with this:

Sennheiser | Evolution G2 100 Series - Wireless | EW100ENGG2 - A

And a good tripod & head.

Don't forget your lights. You try and save money in any of these areas and you'll be very sorry.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 07:58 PM   #4
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From my experience, Greg's about right. The camera's only half the spend. In my case it's less than half.

As to the tapeless vs. tape cams, AVCHD is a more efficient codec than HDV and there are many AVCHD cams with data rates higher than the 25Mbps HDV standard. That data rate will go higher in the future. It also doesn't suffer from the dreaded HDV dropouts. There are many other factors that contribute to image quality from a camera. Data rate is only one component.

As to maintaining quality of AVCHD footage, a proper workflow is the key. If you go to a good intermediate and work with that generational loss shouldn't be a problem. Tapeless offers faster acquisition and you can short term archive to rotating magnetic and long term archive to BD optical, which takes much longer than putting a source tape in a rack. But everything's moving so six months hence things might look much different.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #5
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I know, I'm thinking about my audio too (I bought Rode NTG2 and I'll probably buy that wirelless Sennheiser too).
I will not recompress a lot. I'm shooting just complete programmes (with no need to use the footage for another programmes).
As for tapeless camera - I was thinking about Panasonic AG-HMC151E (There are four data rates available, ranging from 6Mbits/sec to 21-24MBbits/sec - is this enough?) or do you know about another tapeless camera with similar price?
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Old October 8th, 2009, 07:25 AM   #6
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I don't know anything about that camera but at the highest data rate equivalent to HDV quality. In theory, that should yield a similar picture quality. You might want to check out any available reviews on that camera to see if it fits your needs.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 07:38 AM   #7
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Canon XHA1, plus audio gear and lights.
Bryce yarock
Yarock Video and Photo
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Old October 8th, 2009, 07:49 AM   #8
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I couldn''t be happier with the FX1. It's affordable, durable and capable.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #9
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grinner,
we loved our FX1. Sold it yesreday because we have a Canon H1 and 2 A1's, and wanted to keep the same look.
My girlfriend was upset to see the FX 1 go, because she'd sometime soot with it and loved the lcd screen. You do need an xlr adapter like the beechtek for audio connection.
Bruce Yarock
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Old October 9th, 2009, 08:27 AM   #10
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will I just use mini din mics but the newer FX1s have XLR inputs.
I've been hell on mine. From being inside paint booths, to sub zero temps, to hanging out of a drifting car, to blowing stuff up 2 feet form the camera... it's held its own.
Now I DID just have to replace the lens but that is to be expected the way I treat a camera.
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Old October 9th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
...the newer FX1s have XLR inputs...
They do, huh? Love to see one of those.

Of course they don't. No HDR series cam does. And there are no "newer" FX1s, as they were discontinued months ago. All FX1s ever made are the same. Maybe it was just a typo and you meant a different, HVR series cam?
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Old October 9th, 2009, 02:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
They do, huh? Love to see one of those.

Of course they don't. No HDR series cam does. And there are no "newer" FX1s, as they were discontinued months ago. All FX1s ever made are the same. Maybe it was just a typo and you meant a different, HVR series cam?
Yeah, it's called a Z1. At a glance, the FX1 and Z1 look similar because they share the same "engine" and frame but the FX1 has never had XLR.
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