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Old December 26th, 2002, 10:48 PM   #1
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Help with equipment..

Hello everyone,

Perhaps you people could help me, I'm quite new to all of this..
But I have some shorts I would like to do. I don't have a camera or any other equimpent for that matter. My question is, What kind of camera, lights or/and other nice toys could you recommend me? I'm going to do some shorts and I want as close as you can ge to real film feeling you can get with a minidv cam.

I've been looking at Canons XL1s and the Panasonic 24P
I like the Canon for design and changeble lenses. But the Panasonic has true progressive and a lot of other nice features. But lacks the lens change feature. I want a really shallo DOF and have been reading about that now.. I don't know if the XL1 or the Panasonic can really do it, but I would love some expert comments. What camera could you recommend me?

I know lights are important. What could you recomend me to use?

I've also been looking at external mics and recording equimpent. Like portable dat players. I need some comments about this?
The intended use would be to go out and record sounds that could later be used in my productions.

Other comments and thoughts would be valued!
Please forgive my poor english. It's late and I've lost my focus!:)

/Andreas
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Old December 26th, 2002, 11:11 PM   #2
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That's a big question.

First off, regarding lights, check out the lighting section of this forum and see what other people are using. Generaly you will want at least three lights. Lowel makes some very good items.

Shallow DOF can be achieved to a decent extent with almost any camera. The two you mention will be pretty equal on those grounds. Do a search for it and you will find tons on how to achieve it.

As far as which looks more like film? I don't know know. Never seen footage from the Panny. The XL1s Frame Movie mode is pretty nice though. I'm happy with my XL1 and interchangable lenses.

Don't get carried away in the purchasing phase of production. There are a lot of different mics for different things. You will know what you need when you need it.

Other tools you need:
A good tripod that is weight rated for your camera.
A solid camera bag is good.
Check out this as well for the top 5 things for your video camera.
http://www.dvinfo.net/canon/articles/article79.php
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Old December 26th, 2002, 11:28 PM   #3
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Hello Andreas,
With perhaps one third of our members from non-English-native nations there is certainly no need to apologize for your English around here. It's actually very good and certainly much better than my Swedish.

That's such a broad question to answer, Andreas. Our general philosophy around here, derived from Chris Hurd's remarks, is that the "best" camera for you is the one that feels best to you.

The XL1s is the second generation of a very venerable prosumer acquisition platform. The interchangeability of its lenses and extendability for use with 35mm prime lenses via the P+S Technik Mini-35mm Adapter (http://www.zgc.com/html/p_s_technik_mini_35_adapter.htm) make it an excellent choice for professional work. But it is certainly larger and heavier than the Panasonic, and can easily weigh-in at nearly 12 lbs when loaded with large batteries, an lcd monitor and a b&w viewfinder. (Stripped-down with the standard viewfinder and one BP945-class battery it will weigh perhaps half that.)

The new Panasonic DXV100 is the first of its breed within the prosumer range. It's an intriguing new camera and is at the same price point as the XL1s. But I don't think it's been in use long enough and hard enough yet to get a good read on its true added value. We could endlessly debate whether or not 24p video really enhances the final product with respect to a "film look". And, of course, it does not feature interchangable lenses.

If you have a generous budget you might consider the JVC DV500U. It's a 1/2" ccd that looks like (and, indeed, is) a professional full-size ENG-style camera featuring 1/2" interchangable lenses, etc. Everyone I've corresponded with who has used this camera loves it. And the work I've seen from it looks great.

Re: DOF, be sure to read my colleague, Jeff Donald's, excellent treatise on this subject on the main DVInfo site at http://www.dvinfo.net/articles/optics/dofskinny.php.

Lighting is also an area that you could endlessly debate. Personally, I like Lowell lights and kits. They're light, easy to transport and easy to manage. Others like Arri's. It really just depends on WHAT you're going to shoot, where you're going to shoot it and how much help you're going to have during shooting.

Re: sound, I generally use a Sennheiser ME-66 mic on a boom. I also often use Sony's ECM-55B wired lav mics as well as an Azden wireless lav mic. I don't use a separate DAT or mini-disc recorder, preferring to bring the sound directly to the DV tape. But, again, the best choice for YOU depends on what you'll be shooting.

You'll find plenty of opinions and information on the forums here and on the main DVInfo.net site. Make a pot of coffee and press forward!

Best Regards,
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Old December 27th, 2002, 12:56 AM   #4
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Don't forget the new JVC 5000!

That has everything the 500u didn't have, frame modes, lcd screen and so on.

I use a sony pd-150 and absolutely love it, it has everything i need in 1 package, a nice lens, great lcd, wonderful b&w viewfinder, built in xlr ports which provide phantom power and amazing low light capaibilties.

In regards to frame mode/progressive scan, i can easily get this look in post production, and enjoy the freedom of not being stuck with my footage already altered in the camera.

Then again, i use a PAL camera, so the frame rate for me at 25fps gives me an advantage, as getting that 24p motion characteristic is no big deal.

I would definately give a look at the sony pd150.

zac
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Old December 27th, 2002, 01:01 AM   #5
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Indeed, thanks Kermie. I should have referenced the newer JVC 5000U!
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Old December 27th, 2002, 07:23 AM   #6
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I've shot with the DVX100 and it is a fine camera, worthy of consideration for your projects. I own an XL1S. Both offer excellent image quality in the DV format. I would not classify one as better than the other, just distinctly different. You should judge the image characteristics as they will apply to your projects.

I go into most projects knowing that the images will be forever fixed to video tape. For that reason, I choose the XL1S as my personal camera. I am able to produce the look, feel, mood that my clients want. I would only choose the DVX100 if I knew, without any doubt, that my projects were going to be transferred to film.

If I have a client that insists on a film look I offer that effect as a service. I use Magic Bullet http://www.theorphanage.com/ a plug in for After Effects. I've used MB on several projects and the clients have been happy.

Your budget will really determine how you approach your projects. Allow enough for the high quality support equipment that each camera will demand. Start searching your various questions using the search button in the upper right corner. Your questions and the subsequent answers and comments will form the basis for your equipment decisions. Good luck and welcome to the community.

Jeff
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Old December 27th, 2002, 08:27 AM   #7
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Hi again!

I've read all the nice posts and they are very helpful.
Thank you Ken for a very in drepth post!

I know it's important to find the camera & equipment that's right for me. I also like to get to know the things I'm about to buy before I buy them. I've read alomost every post there is on this board to be able to pick the correct equipment for me.

As I understand it the Canon and the Panasonic are identical when it comes to image quality & film look? (but in their own ways) I also understand that most people dont use the progressive scan modes on the Canon because it gives lesser resoultion? So It all comes down to what camera I find to fit.

I'm not very fond of digital plugins. Don't get me wrong I use them but I use them this way: I don't use them to make a ordinary clip look like film. I use them to make a great clip even better. To reply on post to get the film look is nothing for me.

PAL are also the standard format in Sweden so I don't really see the need for a 24P cam. Just the "P" :) I've somewhere in my head got the idea it would do a lot of diffrence to a image.

I have a new question for everyone here kind enough to help me!
Lets say your going to shoot somthing in the forest. Nothing big.. How would you go about to light it? I've thought about this for ages (the electrical issue) Yes, there are reflectors.. But if they are not enough.. What would you do?

I would also be thankful if you could do a short list of your equipment arsenal. To see what proffessionals use. (I know that I should not pick my equipment because pro's use it:) But It would be nice to know!

Thank you all for very good & helpful answers
/Andreas
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Old December 27th, 2002, 09:13 AM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Andreas Fernbrant : Hi again!

I also understand that most people dont use the progressive scan modes on the Canon because it gives lesser resoultion? So It all comes down to what camera I find to fit.
-->>>

<<<-I would also be thankful if you could do a short list of your equipment arsenal. To see what proffessionals use. (I know that I should not pick my equipment because pro's use it:) But It would be nice to know!
-->>>


The Canon Frame Movie mode is not a true progressive scan mode, just so you don't get confused later. And for what it's worth, I shoot almost everything I do in this mode. I think the resolution drop is negligable, don't hold it against the camera.

My quickie equipment list:
Canon XL1 x2
Canon 3x lens
Sennheiser MKE300 w. windscreen
Sony Wireless mic
Tripod
Vari-zoom LCD monitor
3 extra batteries
UV filters
Polarizing filters
lens cleaning kit
Sony headphones
There is much more but that's all I can think of right now. Usualy I have an extra bag just to carry extra camera gear to a shoot.

Light kit
3 Lowel Fren-L lights
Manfrotto stands
gels, scrims, etc...



PS, re-post your lighting the forest question in the lighting section please.
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Old December 27th, 2002, 09:38 AM   #9
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Certainly most 3-chippers are excellent cams. The advice you have received so far should help you make your decision.

One tip about the JVC is do not forget the price of the accessories. JVC's gear is definitely more professional not only in performance but also in cost. So be sure you figure in these costs before you buy.

Finally, the best advice is TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!!!!
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Old December 27th, 2002, 10:17 AM   #10
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Are there already JVC DV5000-reviews out there? Do you think it's better than the Pana DVC200?
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