Using the Sony DSR-300 for a feature film at DVinfo.net

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Old August 8th, 2005, 02:30 PM   #1
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Using the Sony DSR-300 for a feature film

From what I know this camera is for broadcasting and journalism. Would it also be appropriate for a feature?

How does the DSR-300 compare with the Panasonic DVX-100 in terms of picture quality? I know about the 24p that the DVX has but overall which camera would you say is superior?

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old August 8th, 2005, 03:02 PM   #2
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If you are going to do a feature film, I'd say neither camera is the right one.

Both are standard definition and that would be an issue these days. I would imagine the distribution companies are starting to receive evaluation movies in HD or HDV all the time. A SD movie might just be at a disadvantage from the get-go. The 300 isn't wide screen (don't remember about the panny) and that's another knock.

The 300 is much easier to work with because of the all-manual lens, the shallower depth of field, an ability to use prime lenses if you wish, and the controls are more accessible. Plus, if you move to a 390 or so, you can remote the camera controls so the camera operator doesn't have to worry about those issues.

I know some folks who have done feature films. Generally, the cost of using the camera is a minor part of the operation. I'd look into renting a a pro format HD or HDV camera.

OTOH, if you have either one of the cameras you mentioned and no money at all, either one will work fine. I know that features have been shot in both cameras.

If I were shooting a SD feature, I'd go for a DSR-570WS myself even though I own a DSR-300.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 09:56 PM   #3
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Hey Mike,

thanks very much for your response. I have one more quick question. does the DSR300 have a "film look" function that emulates the look of film? if it does how effective is it?

thank you.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 10:44 PM   #4
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It does not have a specific look although the DSP reaches further on both ends of the exposure to do fairly well. But you would have to add a film-like Gamma correction in post.

It does have True-Eye Process, a skin tone focus softening ( the talent likes this one), DynaLatitude which helps handle very wide ranges of light and you can stretch or compress the blacks.

It also has a Freeze Mix function which will allow you to take a previously recorded shot and superimpose it on the viewfinder so you can reposition the talent.

It also records the camera setup on the tape during a shot so you know what the shooting parameters are on previous footage.

As a Sony rep told me, the footage from a DSR-300 is virtually identical to a DSR-570 as long as you are shooting 4:3. I'm not certain I totally agree but it is so close as to not make much difference.

It is still a very good camera and will beat my PD150 in everything but absolute low light capability. The DSR-370 got that back if you go to a younger camera.

Did I mention the sound is quieter than most of the smaller cameras?

Plus the fully manual lens allows you to do rack focus, follow-focus, respond imperceptably to light changes, etc.
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