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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
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Old January 26th, 2009, 08:24 PM   #1
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Docu camera -- what would you buy?

I've been shooting with the Canon XH-A1 for a year or two, and like it for most of the work I do. I'm going to be doing a new documentary starting in a couple months and want to upgrade. I have a budget for this show of about $120,000 and it's a pretty busy but straightforward shoot, run and gun, will frequently have a second shooter for a lot of the interview segments.

I'm liking the Sony F350, maybe F355, but I'm just in the looking around phase.

This will be a spec film where the company will take it the festival route to see what happens, but definitely will get on TV somewhere since the subject of the film is on TV a lot regularly.

So any suggestions, thoughts, warnings, whatever?

Thanks.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 04:22 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Nelson View Post
but definitely will get on TV somewhere since the subject of the film is on TV a lot regularly.
So any suggestions, thoughts, warnings, whatever?
The best thing to do is carefully consider your end user. What are the preferred specs/camera(s) for your target broadcaster(s)? The Sony F series are wonderful cameras so it's hard to go wrong there but they may require something in the Sony 700 line. Almost all the networks and cable broadcasters have adopted or accept XDCAM HD now so it's great selection.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #3
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Good advice, Rick. Thanks.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 03:32 AM   #4
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I own both a F350 and an EX1. From my experience, I would think that for most of the documentary work you will most likely do, the EX series, especially the EX3, is hard to beat in terms of "bang for buck". For those very very special instances when you specifically need a camera with higher specs such as the Sony 700 line, then it may be wiser just to hire a 700 series camera with an operator, while you use the EX as a B Camera.

I'm saying this because you mentioned that you are coming from a XH-A1 background. Also I think that you will find the EX series an easy step up. The F355 series, on the other hand, is an all together different beast, much less forgiving to the novice full-size camcorder operator...

Don't get me wrong I love the F350, but for a fraction of the cost, my EX1 gives me an absolutely gorgeous image as well.

Also, don't forget it not just the cost of the F355 that you have to factor in, but also the larger tripod, the HD monitor, the HD lens, more expensive charger and batteries etc. Also, while you can operate an EX camcorder on your own, if need be, the F series already requires an assistant just to carry the gear.

best of luck
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Old January 31st, 2009, 11:09 AM   #5
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I agree with Kalunga. But I would add that the pictures from the EX1/EX3 are in most circumstances better than the F355.
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