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Old April 12th, 2007, 09:08 PM   #1
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What kind of cameras are those guys using?

Seems that lots of Discovery Channel shows are shot 16 x 9 on handheld cameras. They could be the Z1, or Canons or??
Does anyone know how these shows are shot and edited? A lot of the shots look pretty steady but there's usually a lot of movement/dialog etc....
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Old April 12th, 2007, 09:10 PM   #2
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Forgot to add:
Are they shot in HD? multicamera, What is the workflow like? Shows like "Dirty Jobs"
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Old April 12th, 2007, 09:51 PM   #3
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Most of that is with HDCAM F-900. Some VariCam. Discovery only allows I think about 10-15% of any show shot with HDV type cameras.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 04:16 AM   #4
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Dirty jobs has shown a few Z1 cams, often being punished by some heinous dust or other kind of spill. I know they also use some of the bigger HD cameras with higher bitrate formats, but the funny thing is that I can't really tell the difference between the cameras by their images. A Z1 with a professional operator does a pretty good job.

HD cable broadcasts are so compressed that HDV seems luxurious by comparison. I have no idea why anyone would look down on HDV as a format considering how skimpy HD broadcasts are with the bandwidth.

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Old April 13th, 2007, 06:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morgan View Post
Forgot to add...
David, you don't need to add a post if you forgot something; simply click on the "edit" link at the bottom of your initial post.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 08:39 AM   #6
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In 'Dirty Jobs' and other similar shows you can see both shoulder-mounted cameras and the smaller Sony Z1U in use when the camera operators appear in the shots. I can't tell what the bigger cameras are.

As far as why HDV is treated skeptically for broadcast use, keep in mind that the finished video has to pass through a lot of technical hoops before it gets to the viewer, so starting with high-bandwidth content is preferable even though the final data stream is heavily compressed. HDV played directly to an HDTV looks great.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 08:53 AM   #7
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What about Deadliest Catch? I can't imagine those guys are using F900's on the ships. In fact in some of the shots you can see smaller cameras like the pd 170 or Z1. Does anyone know for sure what they use on this show?
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Old April 13th, 2007, 09:02 AM   #8
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I've heard that Deadliest Catch uses some PD170s, which makes sense given the marginal lighting conditions at night. You can find more comments about the filming conditions here:

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/...LIFE/704030328

"Each boat has three fixed cameras and two cameras operated by hand, all of which need to be waterproofed and ice-proofed and pot-falling-on-them proofed. Every season, 60 cameras go out on the boats; only about a third make it back in working order."
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Old April 15th, 2007, 11:41 AM   #9
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thx to all for the replys!!
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Old April 15th, 2007, 12:46 PM   #10
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On the Orange County Choppers show, once while they were off in some other area of the U.S. I saw a 2nd camera man with a Z1U in the frame, so I think for the quick hand held off-site, Z1U's are used a lot. I've used that cam, and it looks like it too.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #11
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The consensus seems to be that these shows ARE shot in some flavor of HD. Personally, I've shot a lot of footage with the Z1 but I chose the Canon A1 over it. I think the Canon has more advanced features, the lens at 20x is a definite plus (a necessity for me) and it's a lot less money. I had some idea that maybe these shows were shot with multiple hand cameras like these.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 05:38 PM   #12
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I'm surprized that nobody made a post on the behind the scenes episode of deadliest catch. Pretty cool stuff. They're shooting with z1u cams.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 11:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Discovery only allows I think about 10-15% of any show shot with HDV type cameras.
Sorry but no this is not at all correct -- there is no such limitation for the Discovery channel. In fact, small handheld HDV camcorders are very commonly used for a number of Discovery programs. As has been pointed out in this thread, Discovery's popular show "Deadliest Catch" used the Sony HVR-Z1U, which is an HDV camcorder, for the bulk of the production work. The Sony HVR-A1U, another HDV camcorder, was used as well. The behind-the-scenes special about the making of Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" made a point of stating how they used about sixty HDV camcorders to shoot the entire second season (none came back alive, either).

The limitation on HDV applies to programming for the smaller, more specialized Discovery HD channel, not the normal Discovery channel (actually group of channels) that everybody watches on cable and satellite.

Again: Discovery and Discovery HD are two separate things, thus the confusion about HDV. Hope this helps,
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Old July 7th, 2007, 12:54 AM   #14
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On Mythbusters the little cam they use a lot is the HDR-HC3. It has a big sticker that says HC3. It is used mostly as a throw away action cam.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 01:51 AM   #15
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I also saw Mythbusters using a Sony PD100A on the "train pulling people onto the tracks" episode. During the wind tunnel testing.

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