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Old July 28th, 2006, 03:43 AM   #1
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Is this camera effective?

Hi everyone,

I work part time freelance and I am thinking of quitting my full time job and pursuing freelance full time. Now, I really like the AG-HVX200 but I have one concern....

When working freelance, i know there is a certain awe with corporate clients when it comes to your typical "big looking camera". To own a camera that looks big and expensive, it really can impress and almost work as a marketing technique so to speak.

So my question is, if I was to buy this camera, is there any concern that the size of it will look "dinky" and "amateur" to potential clients? The majority of my work would come from sports events and corporate work.

Thanks for any input.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 03:56 AM   #2
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I think the hvx looks pretty impressive myself. Far from dinky.

IMO, anything that is black and big looks professional even if it is not a eng style shoulder mount. Most "normal" people don't even understand what a pro camera looks like. I showed my hd100 to my brother-in-law the other day and he said: "looks just like your last one" which was a xl1s!

Just make sure to buy an actual pelican case for it. For whatever reason, bags/backpacks just look unprofessional to me.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 05:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey Callahan
So my question is, if I was to buy this camera, is there any concern that the size of it will look "dinky" and "amateur" to potential clients? The majority of my work would come from sports events and corporate work.
I'd be more concerned with what your potential clients expect at the end of the day, in particular a finished product or rushes. If the latter, the most important factor is to be able to supply them with what they expect, be it a HDV or HDCAM tape, an XDCAM disc, or whatever. And if they expect it as soon as shooting stops, the neccessity to download from a memory card is a far bigger factor than appearance.

Obviously it's a different story if they want a finished product sometime later.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #4
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Unfortunately, there are clients that value appearance over picture quality. But, they don't usually notice the details. I did a shoot one time for an agency when I was still shooting Betacam SP with a BVW300, and I had a DSR250 as the second camera. For most of what we were doing (lots of handheld with vibration), the 250 was the best choice. Because it looked, in a general way, like the other camera, the client never noticed. At one point he was talking about a big budget shoot they did in N.Y. and I asked what it was shot with, and he pointed to the 250 and said, "Ah one of those Ikie things, just like that one there."

My recommendation would be to get a mattebox and a shoulder mount. Both of those items will be useful to you and will pimp out the camera so the client will be impressed. Make sure they see the HD logo too. Cavision makes some very reasonably priced packages consisting of mattebox and shoulder mount.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 10:29 AM   #5
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I second Bill here,

Yes, there are clients who are going to be worried when they see the HVX. It is small when compared to the typical broadcast camera professional people are used to seeing. If you are coming from a DVX then the HVX looks bigger. But to someone used to doing typical broadcast work, it does look a little consumerish. Obviously it's bigger than pretty much any real consumer camera, but still...

When I purchased my HVX I also invested in a Chroziel matte box for it.
Partly for the functionality of the matte box and partly for the appearance.
It looks great and looks professional. I have a small set of filters for it and plans to build a larger filter kit. Having the french flag is great.

I don't regret it.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 11:02 AM   #6
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I'm here to tell you, an empty matte box just for looks does wonders. Even if it's the clamp-on type. It really does make a difference. It shouldn't have to be this way, but it is.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 11:19 AM   #7
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You could also say, "Here, hold the camera for a minute." That sucker has some heft. It feels expensive. They pick it up, they know it's no home movie camera.

No, I wouldn't let some twit hold my camera--he might drop it.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 01:29 PM   #8
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Thanks for the responses guys...appreciate it.

I guess my biggest concern is I don't want to look amateur compared to the rest of the freelancers. That being said, we all know that the HVX200 is probably far more superior than what the competition is owning these days.

A lot of it can stem from the way i describe everything to the potential client as well. I'm sure a little speech saying "unlike the competition, this is HD quality....and with the way technology is going these days, the size of the camera is really irrelevant....they have found ways to make high end cameras smaller"

Something like that. Can anyone briefly describe what a matte box does? I have actually never had to use one ever.

Thanks again!
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Old July 28th, 2006, 01:35 PM   #9
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Corey,

Unfortunately, unless you get a client who is more educated in current technology (which isn't often) there will always be the "dog-and-pony-show" aspect to getting new customers. I ran into that often in my primary business of commercial print/fashion shooting and have run into it with video as well.

I can say from experience, that when a matte box is attached to ANY camera it instantly gives it a more pro-like appearance. Would I recommend buying a matte box just for appearances sake alone? Only if you have the budget for it. If not, concentrate on being a good sales person - and have a stunning demo to showcase your work first. Worry about pro-looking accessories later.

There are of course better reasons for having a matte box, but your concern is how clients will percieve the HVX's capabilities, not the technical aspects of having a matte box.

If you want to see what the HVX looks like with a matte box, look at the images I posted here in the Image Gallery of my HVX with the Century Optics/Vocas matte box.

Lastly, nothing will seduce or put a client at ease more than showing footage shot from the HVX. So as I mentioned above, concentrate on having a really well produced demo first, then let them see what it was shot with.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 02:23 PM   #10
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Definitely a good call Robert......

They're either going to hire me because of my excellent reputation....or because im good looking. Either way i'll get the job from the client....

:) Just kidding....
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Old July 28th, 2006, 03:16 PM   #11
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Unless you already have a lot invested in filters, it's a pretty good idea to start from scratch with a mattebox and the 4X4 or 4X5 filters. I've got well over a thousand bucks invested in Series 9 filters, but if I were starting from scratch, I'd go with the mattebox and square ones. Like Series 9 filters, you can take 'em with you when you move to another camera. And a mattebox eliminates the need for a French flag, or for a flag on a C-stand, or for holding your hand out just over the lens to keep the glare out.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 03:40 PM   #12
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Bill,

You mean to tell us that matte boxes actually have a practical benefit, and aren't just there to impress clients? ;)
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Old July 28th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #13
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Oops, well we try to keep that secret but I guess it slipped out.

Actually, the best reason for using a mattebox over threaded or Series 9 filters is that you can stack on more filters. With round filters, on most lenses when you get past the second filter, you get vignetting. Sometimes on the second one if it has an adapter ring.

The downside of a mattebox is (a) cost, (b) extra weight and (c) setup time, unless you get one of those bags that hold the camera with the box attached. All-in-all, it's probably better to have one than not to have one, especially for the smaller cameras.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 04:32 PM   #14
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I also added a Hoodman for the LCD screen, only $30, and a chamois eyepiece cover for the viewfinder, $6.

Any little extras to help out the look.

When I was looking at these small cameras, this size thing was one of thing I held against the JVC. Even though alot of people really liked that "broadcast" style lens it looked like a toy to me it's so small.

That's not why I chose the HVX, I think the HVX has plenty of it's own merits but still the "size" thing comes into play.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 05:00 PM   #15
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Another good reason to have a matte box is that is really does have an honest function as a sun shade.

You might also want to add a shoulder mount to help provide more stability for handheld shots.
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