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Old July 25th, 2007, 03:01 PM   #1
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Advice for a whole HD-Setup

Hej,

we are going to start a longterm project and wanted to ask if you can take a look at the equipment-list.
Because we need the stuff for several months we are going to buy it. We are afraid of that and thats why we would be very glad if you can give us some comments.
The budget is small but we try to get the best out of it.

Most of the time we are in a room (you may call it studio). We are going to record things in movement: water, fruits, ...
Additional we have some shots outside. Most of the time weather or landsacpe images.

Camera:
Panasonic HVX-200. Two points which are important to us and why we decided for this camera: 60p for small slowmo-effects and the DVCPROHD because we do not like artifacts.
2x 16 GB P2. We would like to use a Firestore but the 100 GB Version is too expensive and the other ones cannot record DVCPROHD.

Tripod:
Manfrotto Foto-Tripod. Why? Because we have to rotate the camera by 90 degrees and Manfrotto ist not so exepensive. There are tripods which can take 12 kg (26,4 lb) so we hope this will be ok. And if we want we could buy a vido-head later on.

35mm Adapter:
We are not sure yet but we are interested in the Brevis because it seems that this adapter is brighter and we are shooting a lot indoor with a tight budget and that is why we cannot afford a lot of light.

Editing-Hardware:
I think we are going to buy a Dell-PC. It is not crystal clear at this point but something like that:
Core 2 Duo 1,86 GHz. We heard to edit DVCPROHD you do not need a big CPU.
Windows XP (Is the Professional Version necessary? Dell-Customisation says somthing about the CPU is not compatible with XP Professional. That is suprising.)
24" LCD with 1920*1200
2 GB RAM
A normal HDD. Or do we need a RAID 0? They scare me a little bit so i would prefer a normald HDD if that would be enough.

Editing-Software:
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium. No offense to other NLEs but we are used to Adobe products. And After Effects will be also important for us.

Lights:
Puh. We really do not have a clue at the moment. Maybe a small light-set with two floods and one Fresnel with about 600-1000 Watt. Addiotnal a cheap softbox set and maybe a cheap Kinoflo.
But if someone has an idea for light-equipment to ligth some objects which will not be bigger as a human we would really thank you for your adivse. We try to spend not more than 2000 Euro (2700 USD) on this part. Or would that be wrong?

Ok. It think that is about all. Did I miss anything? Is something not working together? Or something else would be better/cheaper/safer?
Then please let us know.

Many thanks for reading all this.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 03:29 PM   #2
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WHICH Manfrotto tripod? They make a number of them. Note that a lot of tripods designed for still photography don't have the "bowl" head mounting arrangement of film/video tripods that facilitates leveling the camera against the horizon for panning shots. Also, a lot of the otherwise excellent tripods for still work lack the rigidity against twisting torque needed to remain rock solid stable for smooth pan and tilt camera movements. And don't forget to add a proper video fluid head optimized for your camera's weight. I would consider a tripod specifically designed for film/video with fluid head to be an absolute necessity right from the start, not a "to be purchased later" option. A proper one will be a bit expensive and worth every penny.

If you've decided on Adobe Production (or whatever other NLE you may choose) let the system requirements for the software drive your decisions about the hardware you purchase. For example. Adobe says a 3.4 gHz processor is the minimum recommended for HDV and a RAID(0) array is recommended for HD editing. As the saying goes, you can never have too big a hard drive or too fast a processor.

From the Adobe site...

Windows
Intel® Pentium® 4 (1.4GHz processor for DV; 3.4GHz processor for HDV), Intel Centrino®, Intel Xeon® (dual 2.8GHz processors for HD), or Intel Core™ Duo (or compatible) processor; SSE2-enabled processor required for AMD systems
Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional or Home Edition with Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista™ Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (certified for 32-bit editions)
1GB of RAM for DV; 2GB of RAM for HDV and HD; more RAM recommended when running multiple components
23.5GB of available hard-disk space to install all components (up to 1GB of additional free space may be required during installation)
Dedicated 7,200 RPM hard drive for DV and HDV editing; striped disk array storage (RAID 0) for HD; SCSI disk subsystem preferred
Microsoft DirectX or ASIO compatible sound card
1,280x1,024 monitor resolution with 32-bit video card; Adobe recommended graphics card for GPU-accelerated playback
Some 3D features in Adobe Photoshop® CS3 Extended require a DirectX 9 capable graphics card with at least 64MB of VRAM; for OpenGL support, an Adobe After Effects® supported OpenGL 2.0 card (NVIDIA recommended)
For SD/HD workflows, an Adobe certified card for capture and export to tape
DVD-ROM drive
Blu-ray burner required for Blu-ray Disc creation
DVD+-R burner required for DVD creation
OHCI compatible IEEE 1394 port for DV and HDV capture, export to tape, and transmit to DV device
QuickTime 7.1.5 software required to use QuickTime features
Internet or phone connection required for product activation
Broadband Internet connection required for Adobe® Stock Photos* and other services
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Old July 25th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Schneider View Post
Did I miss anything? Is something not working together? Or something else would be better/cheaper/safer?
Wow. You really did your homework. To echo Steve, I would recommend a much better CPU, at least the C2D E6600 (2.4Ghz), it should only be $100 more or so. Additional disk speed is expensive, since the safest upgrade is RAID-10 (at triple the cost).

Did you remember backups? Get enough portable hard drives (I recommend e-sata or USB 2.0) to have two on-site backups and one off-site backup.

I wish I could recommend another camera that does 60p with HDMI out, so you could capture it in the studio without compression, but such a beast does not exist (yet).
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Old July 27th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #4
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For the photo-head we may buy the 468MGRC5. We talked to a man from Monfrotto and put a hand on the 468MGRC5 ourself.

For the tripod and the video-head we have not come to conclusion jet.

Oh. And yes. We were planing to have some portable hard drives for backups. We planed to make two sepearte backups. One on-site and one off-site.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #5
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I'd strongly urge you to consider a true video fluid head rather than a ball head intended for still camera use. I think you'll find that while the one you're looking at may well hold the camera's weight and be stable when locked down it will be difficult to level and not be as smooth for panning as a true video head will be. Something like the Manfrotto 503HDV video head is in the same general price range if Manfrotto is your preference.
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Old July 29th, 2007, 07:40 AM   #6
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Yes. Your are right. And we will buy a video head too.

But maybe I did not described it that well when I wrote "90 degrees rotation". English is - as you may already guessed - not my mothertounge and I properly described it wrong.

We want to rotate the camera so that everything what is on the left ist at the buttom an everything on right is on the top. Therefore we want to buy a photo head. We do not want to pan with that one but we do want to pan and that is the reason why we buy a video head too.

I hope you can understand what i mean. :-)
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Old July 29th, 2007, 09:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Schneider View Post
Yes. Your are right. And we will buy a video head too.

But maybe I did not described it that well when I wrote "90 degrees rotation". English is - as you may already guessed - not my mothertounge and I properly described it wrong.

We want to rotate the camera so that everything what is on the left ist at the buttom an everything on right is on the top. Therefore we want to buy a photo head. We do not want to pan with that one but we do want to pan and that is the reason why we buy a video head too.

I hope you can understand what i mean. :-)
Your English is just fine, far better than my German <grin> and your posts were clear. I was commenting because it seemed like you were putting a higher priority on the photo head than on the video head. I don't know what your project is but if it's going to be anything like a conventional film, having such an extreme "Dutch Tilt" to a shot will be relatively rare (and IMHO audiences will find excessive use of such tilts to be very disorienting). You'll probably going to end up having the camera leveled on the tripod in a conventional orientation hours for every minute it might spend locked down and tilted 90 degrees. You'll probably find you get more value for your money if you consider the ball head an "it will be nice to have it if we can afford it after we buy the essentials" rather than something you should purchase as a first priority. Far better use of funds to spend $500 on a quality video head that it would be to spend $250 on a so-so video head and $250 on a ball head. You can always rent another tripod and head if you really need it for those rare shots but I'd be willing to bet that 99.99% of your footage will be shot with a conventional orientation.

I just returned a few weeks ago from visiting family in the Bad Nauheim / Friedberg area by the way, already missing the sausages and beer!
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