Will my DV852 (mx8) cut it for low grade tv promo? at DVinfo.net

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Old March 6th, 2003, 08:24 AM   #1
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Will my DV852 (mx8) cut it for low grade tv promo?

Hey all. Well a friend of mine is a small business owner. One of those businesses is a landscaping deal where he has around 50 clients right now and is looking to dive into corporate accounts. I mentioned that I have an ok DV camcorder and that we could work on a promo for him (I was thinking for distribution on a CD to businesses) and he said, yeah to air on local stations. He understands that's it's not a pro camcorder but, do you think the DV852 is up to this challenge in terms of picture quality? Here in the Raleigh area, we have some really bad local commercials that aren't very good video quality, so it's not like I'm after like perfect picture, I just wonder if it'll look acceptable if it were to be broadcasted. Also, this is my first promo that I've ever worked on not to mention the first piece I can use for real experience in the commercial vid world and if it turns out well, charge other businesses for my "services rendered". Thoughts on if my DV cam can cut it?
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Old March 6th, 2003, 02:11 PM   #2
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Your PV-DV852 sould work just fine for this, but you will have to get an XLR adaptor and a good directional mic. Actually, a mixer and a monitor would be good too. All this will cost you much more than what you paid for the cam. One solution would be to try and rent this stuff.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 02:26 PM   #3
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Ok, newb talking again... What's an XLR adaptor? Is there any way I can avoid getting these items? I figure most of the talking will be dubs so I can have the speaker in close proximity to the mic and shoot it inside to avoid other noises when he's talking. The ambience sounds of outdoors will be dubbed with sound fx (I've tried this before and it worked like a charm). Can't I just transfer the finished product back to mini DV and then take it to the tv studio for them to transfer the mini dv tape to whatever medium they require?
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Old March 6th, 2003, 03:06 PM   #4
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The XLR adaptor will permit hooking a pro mike into the cam. If you are just doing voiceover you can record that separately from the shoot and mix it in as you suggest. The sound from built-in mikes is usually the weakest link in camcorders so Frank's suggestion is appropriate here.

If I were you I would ring the TV station and ask for their guidelines for delivered material. They will give you every spec you need to know.

I am sure Raleigh would have a facility for transferring your DV master to whatever format they would require, DV may be fine, but it is likely to be Beta or Digibeta.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 06:20 PM   #5
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Thanks, I think I might try ultra low budget on this piece (as in zero dollars or maybe just the cost to transfer the tape to their specified medium).
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Old March 6th, 2003, 08:25 PM   #6
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Bryan,
Tom gives excellent advice. Contact the TV station where the promo will/may run and ask about their guidelines. It will save you from having to go back and re-edit. Besides, that is a good way to start "networking" if you are thinking about doing commercials locally.

Sounds like a fun project. Good luck, Nick
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Old March 6th, 2003, 09:44 PM   #7
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Hi, Bryan.

I've handled Yow Cheong Hoe's MX8 (PAL) which is the equivalent of your PV-DV852 (NTSC). The picture is very decent & good for a 1 chip consumer camcorder. The pictures is practically as good as my 3CCD MX300 (tested under good lighting)!

You can be shooting with so-so consumer cams, and yet with the tips below, NORMAL people can't tell the difference, and your customer will be happy. Hopefully your content and presentation is engaging enough & gets the message across effectively.

Some tips:
1) Lighting: Very Important. Make sure you put enough lights & hopefully you are up to speed on lighting techniques, as in lighting, diffusing (if necessary) & angles.

Without enough light, i.e. when your cam goes to Open aperture & also needs to boost i.e. 3dB, 6dB till 18dB etc. you will get ugly grain / static / mosquitoes. Very unprofessional.


More light = better picture, no matter if you use an old Video8 cam or a 3CCD VX2000 or those pro cameras.

What about low resolution? If necessary, the "sharpness" etc. of the picture can be adjusted in post production. This will tide you over until you can get your hands on pro cams.

2) Sound: get the good mike, or even better, record your interviews not on site but in a sound room. Empty houses have awful echoes. And you don't want to pick up sounds of traffic & construction. Again, very unprofessional.

3) Tripod: Use a tripod whenever you can. Don't want shaky shots & jittery pans.


All the best to your venture!

Cheers!
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Old March 7th, 2003, 02:48 AM   #8
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Exactly as Steven placed it, and I extrapolate a little further:

1. In bright sunny daylight, MX8 is as good as 3CCD in terms of colour and quality.

2. In lower lights (evening or dawn, inside a bright shopping centre), the MX8 will be less colourful than 3CCD.

3. In dim lights, the MX8 will start greying out, but not much grain.

4. In very low light, the MX8 will be grey, but most prosumer 3CCD would be blind!

If you choose your shots properly, with good shooting skills, including the use of tripods or mechanical stabilisers, no one can tell what cam you are using. Frankly speaking, when we watch a movie, we don't quite care if a $10,000 cam or a $100,000 cam was used, but the contents will decide if the show sells!

About sound: If you are going to use post-production software like Premiere, you can actually record the sound to any other equipment (Minidisk player, laptop, whatever) with a good mic. When you edit, just place the waveform of the mic recording on your (let's say) minidisk against the lower quality sound recorded on your cam. Can't be off-sync more than a few micro seconds! I have done this often, nobody complains! BTW, the built in mic of the MX8 is also very clear and the Auto Gain is very powerful to give good results.
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Old March 7th, 2003, 10:06 AM   #9
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Excellent, I think I'll be able to pull this off extra low cost style. As for tripods etc., that is obviously a must have ofcourse. I used to use el cheapo tripod but a few days ago my Bescor THM60 came in (it's identical to Libec M20) and I'm quite pleased with it. In terms of lighting, I have absolute MINIMAL experience and moderate knowledge. Without asking more newb questions, is there a good tutorial site that anyone knows of regarding lights? You guys have been great help, thanks!

-Bryan
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Old March 7th, 2003, 01:15 PM   #10
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www.dv.com's John Jackman has a great lighting book for sale. Good, cheap lighting? Go to the lighting forum (Photon Management) and read some of Bryan Beasleigh's posts. He's found some good but inexpensive lighting stuff from Home Depot. You can always e-mail him as well for specifics.
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Old March 7th, 2003, 06:13 PM   #11
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You guys are the best! :D
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Old March 8th, 2003, 07:42 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bryan Roberts : You guys are the best! :D -->>>

I see myself as a busy-body, uninvitedly minding other people's business and talking too much!

:)
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