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Old August 31st, 2006, 12:21 PM   #1
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$10,000 Budget...what would you buy?

Hey all, I'm in the process of working out a proposal to get some Video equipment for my current employer. We may not actually purchase anything until early next year but like many companies they want to see numbers. My goal is to get as much equipment possible for around $10,000CAD give or take which would roughly be $9000 US.


-We will be mainly shooting corporate and training videos for internal purposes to start.
-HD may be an option but not important. SD will be sufficient.
-Output will mainly be DVD.
-Equipment needed: Video Camera, Tripod and head, Computer, Video Editing Software, Lighting and Audio Equipment.

I do realize that $10,000CAD isn't much to get quality gear for all our needs plus accessories, but I would like to hear from any of you on how to get the most out of our money.

Here are a few options I've considered....

Option#1:
Canon GL2:$2699.99
MANFROTTO 503 351MVBK2 KIT W/PAD TRI BAG:$829.99 (Is there a cheaper solution?)
20" iMac G5 (Intel): $1899.99 (will max out RAM and get external HD)
Final Cut Studio: $1499

So roughly Just under $7000 before taxes and we still need a basic lighting and audio setup.

Option#2:
Panasonic: DVX100B: $3899.00
MANFROTTO 503 351MVBK2 KIT W/PAD TRI BAG:$829.99
20" iMac G5 (Intel): $1899.99 (will max out RAM and get external HD)
Final Cut Studio: $1499

A little over $8000 for this set up.


We also may consider the Sony FX-1, Canon XL2 or wait for the Canon A1, but these cameras are at the top of our budget. I'd rather get a DVX100B and a decent lighting/audio setup. Also the computer I chose was the latest iMac mainly becuase I'll be doing the editing and I have a G5 Quad at home....so going PC isn't an option.

Personally I'd go with the DVX but knowing my employer they would want to go the cheaper route with the GL2....but I'll push for the DVX.

I'd appreciate any input, thoughts and advice.
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Old August 31st, 2006, 10:26 PM   #2
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no suggestions or advice?
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Old August 31st, 2006, 10:47 PM   #3
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Erm,

You get what you pay for, pretty much. If HD doesn't matter and SD is fine, get the DVX100- much better image than the GL2, done lots and lots of shooting with both. GL2 is a better tool for weddings, etc. but I wouldn't use it on corporate gigs. The DVX100 is SD bang for the buck.

Get the Manfrotto if you got the dough, nice tripod and a nice bag.

Sounds like you got a machine and FCP in mind, so you're set there.

For lights I'd get at least a 3-light kit with softboxes/umbrellas, there a million different kits out there already, spend $1K-$2K for around 1000-1500watts and you'll be able to do training spots, talking head stuff, interviews, product videos, etc.

I recommend B&H (www.bhphotovideo.com) if you haven't gone there already. Happy spending.
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Old August 31st, 2006, 10:56 PM   #4
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forget the GL2 !!! ( excellent lens )
IMO the DVX 100 is the BEST hand size SD camera out there and i don't think any SD camera is in the works that will up it ...

i know you need to budget ( so budget for dvx) but i would leave the final camera choice open - you just don't know what will come out between now and early next year !!

audio technica has some good mic's at good prices ( shop discount houses)
at AT 897 short shotgun works very well ...

i always rent lights ...

here's link to audio info
http://www.equipmentemporium.com/Art...od%20Sound.htm

http://www.equipmentemporium.com/toc.htm

http://www.equipmentemporium.com/Pro...s/products.htm
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Old September 1st, 2006, 01:19 AM   #5
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Hi there

Looking at current camera specs and prices I personally think the two cameras you quote are part of a past era... good cameras but getting on obselete.

In your situation I'd be looking hard at the new Canon XH A1, launcheing this autumn, for the money and the features it has to be one of the best cameras around, and more or less the same price as the Panasonic.

I personnally have used the FX1 and now have a Z1. The Sony may stretch your budget when you look at the other stuff you want, but you can get one off the shelf immediately.

Today I can see very little point in getting an SD 4:3 camera....HD is just around the corner and 16:9 is the format to shoot for the future too...the new generation of HDV cameras, even if you don't use it yet will give you a longer run for your money.

Just my 2 euros worth

Regards
Gareth
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Old September 1st, 2006, 07:01 AM   #6
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Ditto about the new Canon XH-A1 looking like an excellent choice for the price, and I say that as an owner of three Sony HDV cameras. With a $9K budget it would be almost inexcusable not to get an HD-capable camera, because you never know when you might want to take advantage of that option. And HDV cameras work fine as regular or widescreen DV cameras, so you basically get three shooting options in one camera for the same price as a good DV-only model.

I liked my GL2 well enough when I had it but would call it the low end of semi-professional video cameras, even compared to other SD-only options. The 1/4" sensor simply can't deliver the image quality of better cameras with 1/3" sensors, and you can start to see the difference on today's HDTV displays.

I know what it's like to help a company with limited resources make purchasing decisions, and I'd encourage you to be firm with them about not settling for the GL2. This is a decision they may have to live with for several years, and trying to save $1000 or so now on a camera which they may regret having later is just plain wrong.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 07:17 AM   #7
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On the audio side I would look at either the Sennheiser ME-66 boom mic ($500, or $750 with pole and all), or two Sennheiser M2 wiresless lavalier mics ($500 each) depending on what you are doing. Both are available at B&H. I have both, and they are both great, depending on your need.

For lights I would look at at JTL pack. You can get three softboxes for around $500. I've had a set for years and it has served me well. I got mine through STEVE KAESER BACKGROUNDS on Ebay (11,000 + transactions and 100% positive rating). They treated me very well.

Good luck.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 07:32 AM   #8
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What computer do you have already?
If you're planning on shooting DV, you don't need the latest greatest hardware to work. I'm using an old Dual G4 1.25 to edit with FCS (UB). Cuts through DV like a warm knife through butter.

You could reposition a big chunk of your investment to gear that would have a more direct impact on the quality of your work if you were to make use of an existing computer or even purchasing a used machine.
Hard drive space can often be a concern, but the general solution to this is to budget the purchase of a new harddrive into the price of each job.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 08:09 AM   #9
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First and foremost thank you to all who have responded and taken the time to reply...it is much appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Hill
Erm,

You get what you pay for, pretty much. If HD doesn't matter and SD is fine, get the DVX100- much better image than the GL2, done lots and lots of shooting with both. GL2 is a better tool for weddings, etc. but I wouldn't use it on corporate gigs. The DVX100 is SD bang for the buck.

Get the Manfrotto if you got the dough, nice tripod and a nice bag.

Sounds like you got a machine and FCP in mind, so you're set there.

For lights I'd get at least a 3-light kit with softboxes/umbrellas, there a million different kits out there already, spend $1K-$2K for around 1000-1500watts and you'll be able to do training spots, talking head stuff, interviews, product videos, etc.

I recommend B&H (www.bhphotovideo.com) if you haven't gone there already. Happy spending.
@Ben: Thanx for the advice and if we are only going to go for an SD camera I will really push for the DVX...but as others have mentioned it may be worth the wait for the Canon A1.
I'm well aware of b&h since I've checked them out before for photography stuff, but I haven't used them personally, being in Toronto Canada I'm a little hesitant but I know some people who use them exclusively.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 08:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Donatello
forget the GL2 !!! ( excellent lens )
IMO the DVX 100 is the BEST hand size SD camera out there and i don't think any SD camera is in the works that will up it ...

i know you need to budget ( so budget for dvx) but i would leave the final camera choice open - you just don't know what will come out between now and early next year !!

audio technica has some good mic's at good prices ( shop discount houses)
at AT 897 short shotgun works very well ...

i always rent lights ...

here's link to audio info
http://www.equipmentemporium.com/Art...od%20Sound.htm

http://www.equipmentemporium.com/toc.htm

http://www.equipmentemporium.com/Pro...s/products.htm

@Don: Don renting lights is definitely an option...though we may have to get some sort of kit becuase we may do some product photography as well, if anything we will be doing more photography than video.
I appreciate the audio links and will definitely check them out. Very helpful!
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Old September 1st, 2006, 08:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Watkins
Hi there

Looking at current camera specs and prices I personally think the two cameras you quote are part of a past era... good cameras but getting on obselete.

In your situation I'd be looking hard at the new Canon XH A1, launcheing this autumn, for the money and the features it has to be one of the best cameras around, and more or less the same price as the Panasonic.

I personnally have used the FX1 and now have a Z1. The Sony may stretch your budget when you look at the other stuff you want, but you can get one off the shelf immediately.

Today I can see very little point in getting an SD 4:3 camera....HD is just around the corner and 16:9 is the format to shoot for the future too...the new generation of HDV cameras, even if you don't use it yet will give you a longer run for your money.

Just my 2 euros worth

Regards
Gareth
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Ditto about the new Canon XH-A1 looking like an excellent choice for the price, and I say that as an owner of three Sony HDV cameras. With a $9K budget it would be almost inexcusable not to get an HD-capable camera, because you never know when you might want to take advantage of that option. And HDV cameras work fine as regular or widescreen DV cameras, so you basically get three shooting options in one camera for the same price as a good DV-only model.

I liked my GL2 well enough when I had it but would call it the low end of semi-professional video cameras, even compared to other SD-only options. The 1/4" sensor simply can't deliver the image quality of better cameras with 1/3" sensors, and you can start to see the difference on today's HDTV displays.

I know what it's like to help a company with limited resources make purchasing decisions, and I'd encourage you to be firm with them about not settling for the GL2. This is a decision they may have to live with for several years, and trying to save $1000 or so now on a camera which they may regret having later is just plain wrong.
@Gareth & Kevin: You make some good points guys and most likely we won't purchase anything soon...most likely end of year or beginning of '07 so waiting for the Canon A1 would probably be best.
The thing I have problems with is that most of the people in the Marketing/Sales Dept are "oldschool" and still think VHS :) so trying to talk to them about 4:3. 16:9, HDV, SD is like talking to a caveman. That's why I'm trying to get all the info I can get on today's technology and even show them what our competitors are doing. It may be a hard battle to convince them but I'm determined to convince them.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 08:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Gribble
On the audio side I would look at either the Sennheiser ME-66 boom mic ($500, or $750 with pole and all), or two Sennheiser M2 wiresless lavalier mics ($500 each) depending on what you are doing. Both are available at B&H. I have both, and they are both great, depending on your need.

For lights I would look at at JTL pack. You can get three softboxes for around $500. I've had a set for years and it has served me well. I got mine through STEVE KAESER BACKGROUNDS on Ebay (11,000 + transactions and 100% positive rating). They treated me very well.

Good luck.
@Barry: These are great suggestions Barry, just what I was looking for.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 08:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Jushchyshyn
What computer do you have already?
If you're planning on shooting DV, you don't need the latest greatest hardware to work. I'm using an old Dual G4 1.25 to edit with FCS (UB). Cuts through DV like a warm knife through butter.

You could reposition a big chunk of your investment to gear that would have a more direct impact on the quality of your work if you were to make use of an existing computer or even purchasing a used machine.
Hard drive space can often be a concern, but the general solution to this is to budget the purchase of a new harddrive into the price of each job.
@Nick: At work it's all Dell Pc's but I have a Power Mac G5 2.5 Quad(non-intel) at home. Since I'll be doing the editing and probably most of the camera work I would rather stay on a Mac platform, unless they are willing to spend the money on a PC and software. That's still kind of up in the air on what they want to do there....there's no way I'm switching though because all my software is Mac asI do some freelance design part time. Maybe buying an older generation G5 could be a solution? We'll definitely be buying larger HD's.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 09:52 AM   #14
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Just a thought

With a sweet machine like that what if you pick up some good external drives and a couple of monitors and cart your tower back and forth? If you'll be doing all the editing anyway, and they could always pick up a computer later if someone else is going to take over the editing. My $0.02
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Old September 1st, 2006, 12:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Schmidt
With a sweet machine like that what if you pick up some good external drives and a couple of monitors and cart your tower back and forth? If you'll be doing all the editing anyway, and they could always pick up a computer later if someone else is going to take over the editing. My $0.02
Ouch… I’m not saying that isn’t an option but I’ve hauled computers back and forth from work and all it takes is one drop and…..ouch. You can buy special carrying bags, straps, and stuff and I’m know apple user but does the apple car protection plan cover “tower transporting”?

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, but I can just here your hard earned, money invested mac crying “don’t drop me!”
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