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Old May 30th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #1
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Canon XL1s or Panasonic DVX100?

Hey guys,

just a quick question. In weighing up my options of which camera to buy - I've been thinking only of HD and getting either a Canon XHA1 or saving up half that price again and getting an HVX200. However, browsing through ebay I've found myself considering buying a second-hand SD camera instead. I could get myself a Canon XL1s (which I use at uni and am quite familiar with-just shot a short surfing doco on one) for around $1650 or a Panasonic DVX100 (which I know very little about other than it was a BIG thing when it came out) for around $1800.

Now what I'm wondering is, for the purpose of practicing my film-making and teaching myself VFX work, would it be worthwhile spending 30% of the cost of a new XHA1 (20% of the cost of a new HVX) to get one of these two cameras instead? And if so, which would you suggest I get and why?

Cheers in advance,

Mark
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Old May 30th, 2007, 09:37 AM   #2
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Should you go hd? It depends: Do you have other things that you could use the money for (tripod, audio gear, lights, editing system)? Having good support, lighting and sound will increase your production vale much more than the extra resolution that HD will give you.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 09:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kenfield View Post
which would you suggest I get and why?
IMHO, depends on your outlook and where you intend to show your work. If it's mostly web (up to Faux HD at 640x360) and DVD, maybe there's a case for considering HD to be overkill. However, neither of your S/H options are native 16:9, which would pretty much count them out from a European perspective - hence XL2s are holding their value better over here.

But both are fine cameras. I'd stear towards the DVX because it gives a great 'look' in a small neat package (sort of the Bolex H16 of DV) and won't require further investment - once you go the XL1s route, you'll want other lenses and so on, and then when you upgrade, you'll have to get rid of the XL1s as its too big to earn its keep as a backup camera. You might have the DVX kicking around for a long time yet.

At least at this tentative stage of equipment acrual, you'd have some cash left over for some nice legs, mics and stuff.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 10:01 AM   #4
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Get the DVX for now and with the money you save buy a good tripod, microphone, and some lights... which are a much better investment than the camera. You'll still be using those long after the DVX is a paperweight.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 11:52 PM   #5
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I'd steer clear of Ebay. Especially since you are looking at a camera that has been out since 98? or so. Even the Ebay stores will not have a crew skilled enough to handle problems that the specialists at Canon can do. I bought a camera from an Ebay store called OneQuality a few months back and learned the hard way.

B&H is probably about your best bet when it comes to used equipment. Although i'm not sure if they have the XL1s.

Good luck.
-Terry.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 12:27 AM   #6
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These aren't from stores, just private sellers. There's really very little in the way of a prosumer video camera market here in Australia (I think largely due to the massive markups we seem to get on all video cameras down here). It seems to me like the DVX would probably be the one to go for, I gather 24p (25p in my case) is fairly integral to creating film-like footage.

I suppose the main issue I have is whether I buy a second hand SD camera just to improve my filmmaking ability and focus on securing work experience with a production company where I'd be working with broadcast cameras. Or whether I buy a decent HD camera for myself (probably XDCAM EX or HVX - I want to avoid tape if I can) and give myself the equipment to allow me to shoot broadcastable footage.

Or perhaps I buy a second-hand SD broadcast camera (about the same price as a new HVX anyway). I dunno, it's a tricky question
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Old May 31st, 2007, 01:45 AM   #7
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Hi Mark......

How long is a piece of string?

If you want to break into the "business" (which is primarily SD) then go SD.

If you want to be on the "bleeding edge" then go any flavour of HD, but don't expect customers to be breaking down your door.

It is highly unlikely that HDV is going to be "flavour of the month" with any network any time soon (if ever).

If you're "learning the ropes" then DO NOT go HD, SD is tricky enough to get right, the investment required to get "comparable" HD right is a lot higher, and the entry level of "serious" HD is a complete ball buster.

My 2 cents:

Get the best SD system (camera, sticks, head, sound etc etc etc) you can buy and go do. If you make money at it, then think about upgrading as the budget and market dictate - ain't no point shooting stuff people neither want to buy nor watch (unless you're a complete masochist).

Sure, you can convince yourself that shooting HDV and downressing to SD is "cool" ( plenty on this site think likewise) but - hey, why? Good SD cameras are cheap (- ish), easier, more robust and industry standard (for the big guys).

If you seriously want to do this for a living, don't think "Wow, that's a cool looking camera" think "Can it take the bashing it's going to get doing this 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year and STILL give me bloody good pictures any network will buy"

I rest my case, M'lud


Cheers,


Chris
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Old May 31st, 2007, 02:16 AM   #8
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Just to add insult to injury...........

I just noticed the heading on this thread - sorry, but IMHO the XL1s (I have one, BTW) is a dead duck unless you're into shooting cheap porno's (personal perception guys - no fragging allowed, right!). The SD market has moved on and left the 1s in it's wake. Even the el - cheapo SD's now on the market blow it out of the water image wise ( I have a "point and shoot" Panasonic NV - GS300 which leaves the 1s for dead, picture wise) , and with not a lot of effort you can get a seriously better camera with as good or better manual controls.

To mangle an old saying "Go UP young man" (Not "go West").

Cheers,


Chris
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