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Old December 18th, 2009, 06:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Tavares Fla
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Working videographers, please offer advise.

It's been a long time since I have been here, to long. Years ago I was a news stringer and regularly posted here, my latest career has gone down the drain because of the economy. I was thinking about getting back into the stringer business and supplementing it with other work such as corporate video, legal stuff and being a second camera for weddings ( I will leave the primary stuff to the pro's, weddings take more than talent and experience IMHO).

HD was just coming in when I left the stringer business, I wasn't going to the bank with a wheel barrow and I decided to sell my camera before HD lowered it's value. So here I sit thinking about getting back in the business and I need some guidance and opinions.

1. HD for news, Somewhere in my mind I get the idea that most news broadcast are 720p. Being an HD idiot I have to ask about the current sub 10k cameras. If I shoot 1080p will it be a problem for 720p broadcasts. I did not see 720 listed on most of the cameras. Is news still shot in 60i ??

2. The camera itself, HD = more info, more info means more light, needing more light is bad for news shooters. The Sony PMW EX3 ( with half inch sensors) seems to be the only camera thats minimum lux is reasonable for shooting low light ?? It has timecode and an SDI which is good for dumping to the mobile news vans as they had never heard of firewire ( they look at you real funny when you ask if they take firewire). There are some extremely cheap HD cameras, 1500 bucks, I can't imagine that they would get the job done, no offense or disrespect to camera owners, but they have to be lacking in area's. I hope I am wrong though, I would love to get a shoulder mounted HD cam for 1500 bucks, and yes it has to be shoulder mounted. Any drawbacks to the EX3 ?? Does a 14X lens get the job done, Is image quality tack sharp ?? I am not a fan of changing lenses in the field. The canon line I love but the 1/3 inch sensors seem to require to much light. Focusing; I imagine HD has to have very precise focusing, another reason I am skeptical of Canon's line.

3. How is business and prices ?? The use of stringers can go either way, stop using them because business is down or use them more to keep business up. So my question is have the broadcasters cut their stringer budgets ?? What are the going rates, I live in Central Florida. I know I will not make a killing in the business, but I loved it and the cameras are light enough that I can do it into my last working years.

Thanks to all the working folks out there that can offer their opinions, your help is very much appreciated.

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Old December 18th, 2009, 07:22 AM   #2
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I stepped in HD shooting at weddings in 2007 mixing two Canon GL2 with Canon HV20. Once I"m familiar with HD shooting, editing, exporting, I sold both GL2 and and bought XH-A1. Also upgraded my computer to handle HD. It takes a bit of learning curve to get familiar with the new workflow.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 11:45 AM   #3
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here in Chicago, I know a few guys stringing and they are all using the JVC HD200 or HD250 with a HDD. 720 shooting 60i to the drive, upload off the drive to the station and done.
They're all using Anton Bauer ULs with either a 50 or 75W bulb and appropiate daylight filters.
AAMOF, the ABC affiliate had 2 -250s they were using for live shots back in 2006. Don't know if they still use them but the cuts looked just fine.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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