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Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
The 4K DVX200 plus previous Panasonic Pro Line cams: DVX100A, DVC60, DVC30.


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Old August 21st, 2008, 06:08 PM   #1
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Hey guys. I am starting my Film Program in a month and I have recently purchased a Panasonic DVX100b. I have researched a lot and found it to be perfect for my budget and my purpose. I am going to be making short films, feature films, and maybe music videos. I am new to all this except for just using a camera to shoot.

I would like some suggestions for Tripods, Mics, Matte Box (if you guys think it's useful for my purpose), lenses, and etc.

What will I need down the road to make my films? I know Tripods range from $300 to 2k, but want to know some good suggestions from members here that have experience with this camera and the attachments available for it. Thank you so much for your time and help :)
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 10:58 AM   #2
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A good shotgun microphone is extremely important. I have an Audio Technika At815b which gives really nice clean audio. It was 180 pounds sterling. You would also need a boom for it, but you can make one from a long wooden pole or a fisherman's landing net pole to save money. You would also need an XLR cable for your mic, don't buy those really dear ones they don't make much difference, just get a moderately priced one for say a tenner.

As for tripods Manfrotto are a really good brand, but quite expensive. The key thing is to get a tripod with a head that gives smooth pan and tilt - something cheap tripods won't do. I have a Manfrotto tripod with a semi-fluid head, but fluid heads are better and more expensive. Try to get a stiff action head as the camera is fairly heavy and will slew around otherwise. The heavier the tripod, and the wider the legs go, the better too as it will be more stable.

I'm using:

Manfrotto 055XB tripod - goes up to about 6'3" in height!
Manfrotto 700RC2 semi-fluid tripod head

I don't actually know what a matt box is, so I'm no expert.

As for lenses I'd just stick with the one you've got, it has a good range, unless you want really wide angle or very long telephoto shots. If you were going to get an attachment wide angle would be more useful as you can film in tight spaces and fit more in.

Hope this helps.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 03:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Stuart. As for the XLR cable, I have some laying around in my studio, but they're pretty long. Wouldn't I need a short one if I'm going to attach the mic on the camera itself? DO they have like 6" XLR cables?
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 05:53 AM   #4
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No probs.

Hmm... it's better to have the shotgun mic on a boom if you can get someone to hold it. The DVX100 can be quite noisy and there's the risk of picking up the zoom motor sound etc...

I don't know if you can get XLR cable that short, you might have to shorten one yourself, I've never attempted that though.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #5
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Awesome. I will put it on my mic stand that I use for my studio, I believe I can use it as a boom when I get a shotgun mic. How about lighting? Can you suggest good lighting kits? I was thinking of going to home depot and grabbing some construction lights for my outside shots and reducing the brightness by putting a filter over them. It seems like a cheaper alternative to these expensive light sets.

Also, are you familiar with making tracks for a tripod? I saw a track kit online for tripods but it was insanely expensive.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 11:09 AM   #6
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Homemade dolly design which I based mine on:

Joren Clark Dolly

It works pretty well as long as you track slowly, otherwise it vibrates, but is quite a big project. And it does require some welding!

Those halogen work lights are pretty cheap, I used them for my last film but you don't have much flexibility with them. Unless you can DIY some heat-proof barn doors and attach brollies to them to soften the light. But the work lights are certainly better than nothing! Be careful if you cover them with anything! One of mine nearly set on fire through overheating when I put baking paper over it to soften the light!

I have bought Interfit Tungsten lights for my production this year. They are about as cheap as studio lighting can be, but they're not great and the bulbs are expensive (10.50 each). But you get more flexibility in terms of stands and so on than with the site lights. But they don't make scrims for these lights as they get too hot and you're not supposed to use gels on them for the same reason.

The details for these lights are:

INT100 Interfit 3200K tungsten heads
COR750 Interfit light stands, height 70230cm
Interfit INT207 - 4 Leaf Barn Doors for INT089/INT100
INT262 silver brolly
INT260 translucent brolly

It's best to buy the kits which come with two stands, two heads, a silver and translucent brolly and two bulbs:

Interfit

The kits work out much cheaper, about 180 each. You would probably want one or two more lights, a set of barn doors and a boom stand for the back light if you want to use one.

Please note that I am not an expert on lighting!

Hope that helps

Stuart
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Old September 19th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #7
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Wow thanks again Stuart. I will be shooting a short this month and this info really helps. I've bought a tripod that is utterly useless. It is flimsy and jerks when I try to take slow panning shots...but then again, the tripod cost me $100.

You know of any good tripods in the $300 range that are smooth and sturdy? I've researched but haven't found one that was thoroughly reviewed. Thanks again.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 10:46 AM   #8
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Hi Yousha

The tripod I suggested earlier was about 200, so about $400 I guess, perhaps a bit expensive. If you want one that's cheaper best bet is perhaps to go to a camera store and ask them for a low price tripod with a video head (video heads are smoother for panning). I know they had some in a shop I went to for about 80 ($160).

Good luck!
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Old September 27th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #9
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Thanks Stuart. I ended up picking a Manfrotto 503HDV head with 351MVB2 Tripod legs. It's awesome and I couldn't be happier. Cost 600 at a store together.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 01:54 PM   #10
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Glad it worked out well with the tripod. You spent quite a bit there, it must be good! What sort of stuff are you filming?
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Old October 7th, 2008, 01:57 AM   #11
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Short films for school and for my final I have to do a feature, so low budget films pretty much
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Old October 7th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #12
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Good luck with the films and your course Yousha. I'm currently working on a low/no budget sci-fi thriller film type thing.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 08:14 PM   #13
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Thanks Stuart, good luck to you as well. Are you doing most of the special effects on AE?
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Old October 12th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #14
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Am trying to do the effects in real life, if you know what I mean. There aren't that many special effects to do as it's only set in the near future. Was out filming last night until midnight to get some of the night shots we need.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 12:15 AM   #15
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Ah I see. Very nice. I wish I was out shooting last night. I'm having trouble with my script. I think I need to take Ridilin or something cause I can't seem to focus recently.
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