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Old January 19th, 2011, 10:12 AM   #1
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How would you spend $10,000?

Hi Everyone,

We have several big jobs coming up that will require us building a "second unit". Our workflow is XDCam. Budget for the projects requires that the shooter be able to handle everything. Conduct interviews, handle audio levels, manage focus, and compose shots...and do it in less then an hour. We have a lot of mini-doc talking heads to do like this YouTube - Mini-doc example

Our budget for the second unit is $10,000.

Here is the shopping list I have built:

1 x Sony PMW-EX1R XDCAM EX Full HD Camcorder Price $6,299.00
1 x Sennheiser EW112-p G3 Camera Mount Wireless System with ME2 Lavalier ... Price $599.95
1 x Ikan VX7 7" HD-SDI LCD Monitor w/Sony 'BP-U' Battery Plate Price $899.00
1 x Redrock Micro microShoulderMount Deluxe Bundle Price $564.99
1 x Redrock Micro microFollowFocus v2 Price $545.00
1 x Sony BP-U60 Lithium-Ion Battery - for PMW-EX1 Camcorder ... Price $259.95
1 x Sony VCL-EX0877 0.8x Wide Angle Lens Adapter Price $479.95
1 x Bebob Engineering ZOE-EX Zoom Controller Price $374.95
2 x Sony MEAD-SD01 SDHC Card Adapter Price $129.95
2 x SanDisk 16GB Extreme SDHC Memory Card Price $109.95
1 x Petrol PDRB-3 Dr. Petrol Bag Kit Price $186.50
1 x Manfrotto 055XB Tripod System with 501HDV Pro Video Head Price $304.58

Total $10,993.66

Here is a link to the B&H list:
Wish List - B&H Photo Video

Any thoughts on the gear? It basically mirrors our current equipment. I'm almost $1000 over budget.

Any and all critiques are welcome.

Lathe
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Old January 19th, 2011, 11:44 AM   #2
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Really hard to give that kind of advice, cuz too many variables here, but I would skip on ikan 7", Redrock gear and BP U60; EX1/R has a great peaking feature, so instead of external monitor I'd get whatever-fits- thebudget shotgun mike. It is only my opinion and experience , but I've found Redrock gear not the most comfortable and got rid of it, when I need a shoulder support i use Mr. Bloom's 'el cheapo' (the first one:),
Redrock Follow focus is good, but do you really need it? First I would get some lights, on camera , or depending on what you shoot maybe couple C stands with Arri fresnel knockoffs, they are pretty good fro a price. BP U60 is sony and I have a few, but today I'd go with SWIT batteries, they're cheaper, larger capacity and have D tap. Also, MxR adapters worked well for me for the past two years and I don't see any reason to spend twice as much for the same product but with the sony label on it; and if you can, please stretch the budget, or cut something out to get a decent tripod with the bowl leveling system, it is the most important peice after the camera iself and should be #2 in your list.
best.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 11:54 AM   #3
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Tripod

Good stuff.

I love shooting with the Redrock shoulder mount. But I'll check out the stuff you mentioned...

Is there a specific tripod you recommend for this kind of shooting?

Lathe
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Old January 19th, 2011, 11:55 AM   #4
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I second Buba's advice on the tripod - look at the Vinten Blue for this camera maybe, but not a cheap Manfrotto...
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Old January 19th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #5
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Monitor

I was also looking at the 5.6" Small HD LCD Monitor vs the kan VX7 7". It is about the same price.

Lathe
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Old January 19th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #6
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I'm not a pro, and can only dream of having $10k to spend on gear.

But... $10,000 of camera on a $300 camera just doesn't compute. I don't even think the 501HDV would physically support that lot, let alone allow a good pan, or even balance. Crash to the floor time...

If it all weights less than 11 lbs (5kg) then a Vinten Vision Blue would suffice, around $1,100, or maybe a Sachtler FSB-6 or FSB-8.

Anything heavier needs a Vision 3AS or higher, or a "big" Sachtler - or some of the Libecs that can at least hold the weight if there's a budget to consider.

Edit: if it really is the same as your current rig, how does the 501HDV handle? It is rated up to around 6kg, and your kit must weight at least that. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night with that amount of expensive kit piled onto that tripod, I would have nightmares!
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Old January 19th, 2011, 03:10 PM   #7
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501hdv

Sure the kit is a bit heavier then an EX1r by itself...but the 501HDV does fine. The tripod isn't used much on these run and guns. We lock off the interview for about 15 min.

That being said I'm open to new stuff...esp if it can help with the budget. The one thing I'm trying to avoid is a studio tripod. I hate lugging those things around. So I'm looking for a nimble yet strong field tripod.

I have attached a pic of the old set up. I have our old DOF adapter on it in the pic (since updated to Redrock M3).

Lathe
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Old January 19th, 2011, 03:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathe Poland View Post
Is there a specific tripod you recommend for this kind of shooting?
Lathe
Whatever budget permits, I keep my EX1 on Manfrotto 519/351 and happy, but if budget is only for $20 monopod you shoot from $20 monopod :)
but I guess with $10K budget you can avoid that scenario:)
best.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #9
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Budget

Does anyone see anything in my list that can either be bought cheaper elsewhere...or can be replaced with a better less expensive item?
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Old January 19th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #10
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I agree that tripod is not sufficient for the task and is a much higher priority. Maybe check out the Miller Solo range if you want something lighter but still very sturdy. The Libec range is also a good option but are a bit bulkier.

I think you could afford to go without the Ikan Monitor and the follow focus. For interviews you really don't need a follow focus, espescially when using a deeper DOF. Plus you say everything needs to be done in an hour - well with the gear list you have it would take an hour just to set up!

I don't know about the zoom controller either, if most of what you're doing is just talking head stuff. In the example video I didn't see a single zoom. Any zoom you do need to do will be fine using the on camera rocker - when you're shoulder mounted, that will actually be eaiser that using a seperate zoom controller. The only time I need a zoom controller is when I'm shooting events (weddings, concerts, from a tripod where I need to smoothly zoom and pan at the same time so can't take my hand off the tripod handle.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 05:05 PM   #11
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I have that same tripod but for a little XR500v. I have had to use this tripod recently while a 2nd Sachtler is on on order (FSB 8 on order with FSB 6 in use) for an EX1 while the EX3 is on the FSB 6. FOr strictly locked shots, it works ok but its cheap garbage in my book. One of the legs already broke from simply opening the latch to let it slide down.

Also, having that RR shoulder mount on this cheap tripod means not very stable shots when zoomed past 25% if there is wind or the operator has to adjust anything. I rented the RR twice to use on a FSB 6 and had to completely stop using it because of the instability, which is why I now have a Zacuto rig.

I would remove the monitor, follow focus, battery and SD cards/adapters and instead get anything non-Manfrotto and a single 32GB SxS-1 card (the cam includes either an 8GB or 16GB card - my EX3 came with a 16GB 2 months ago). I have rented a $800 Manfrotto tripod kit (w/503 HDV) and everyone I was sent had the same issue with a pop when panning, and even the one in my local Abel Cine has this same pop. Also, the legs were not stable at all.

To cut costs:

1) get the Sony UWP V6 wireless which is over $100 less or about the same with the plug-on transmitter. I have 2 Sony's and 2 G3's and have had issues with 2 G3's running and mounted on the EX3.

2) Get the Varizoom controller (VZ-ROCK-EX) for under $221. I use this on my Zacuto handle and sometimes use it instead of the more expensive VZ-PRO-EX ($320). Or for simple locked down shots, there is no need for a zoom controller.

Do you need the wide angle adapter? I find the lens wide enough for 99% of my interviews and events. When its not, I just move the tripod back.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 05:38 PM   #12
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Wireless

Thanx Steve,

I'll look into the Sony UWP V6.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 06:48 PM   #13
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Follow focus for a talking head is a bit overkill. Ditto on the zoom controller. You might could save some money there.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 07:51 PM   #14
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Have you looked at Libec tripods? I use the LS-38 with a Manfrotto 516 for my JVC 111 with AB Hytron 140 (heavy brick of a thing) and it's all fine for the limited stuff I use it for. 501 Manfrotto wasn't up to the job, 516 is lots better.Not the best, but good enough for me.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 09:47 PM   #15
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B-Roll

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
Follow focus for a talking head is a bit overkill. Ditto on the zoom controller. You might could save some money there.
The interview is pretty straight forward but the b-roll is shot in a tiny window of time and so there aren't any re-do's. So having focus and zoom on the left and right handles of the RR are a huge advantage for my style of shooting.
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