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Techniques for Independent Production
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Old September 11th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #1
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HVR-V1U or DVX100b or Canon XH-A1

I'm shopping for a cam to film a 80 minutes script, very intimate piece, no grandiose landscaping and outdoors filmed.
I'm wondering if I should stick to what's been battle proof, such as the DVX100, since I do have seen movies shot with it or should I give HDV a try?
If yes, I understand that HDV will give me Native 16:9 and more rez.
Now editing the DVX footage would be a breeze and as Nancy Schreiber did when she shot November, I certainly could frame the action in a 16:9 area on the monitor and LCD.

I have absolutely no contract for a film out and it's going to be my first long piece. I know the DVX will be fine. I'm just feeling awkward about buying a SD cam, which is a technology on the way out, correct? So is there anything that could come later to make me regret not to have used HDV?
I don't buy the argument of securing the footage for the future. It's bull, many decent pieces that has been shot SD in the 80s and 90s will still be watched many years from now, so I'm not worry about that.

I guess I could have a shorter post and simply ask:
For low budget movie Progressive DV or progressive HDV? and if HDV should I go V1 with its real progressive frames or Canon XH-A1, which might not transfer to film as nicely?



What do you think?
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Old September 11th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #2
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The quality look of the final image is really night and day between the dvx100 and HD that while it takes a bit longer rendering time the end result is beyond worth it. I cannot understand how anyone looking at the two side by side on a large screen 1080 lcd could ever look at an sd signal the same again.

I prefer the XHA1 but most of the HD 3 chip cameras are good and as long as they have the feature set needed to shoot what you want they will all produce a much better looking final.

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Old September 14th, 2007, 08:22 AM   #3
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I've used all the cameras you've mentioned and they're all out of site. SD vs. HD is an old debate, but if you want to future-proof yourself, go HD. I like the V1u myself and know a lot of people who own and use the camera almost every day on movies, TV shows, music videos (one of which will be seen on BET at some point). Though my understanding is the Canon A1 is a big-selling camera and has many, many happy owners.

Hope this helps,

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Old September 14th, 2007, 10:43 PM   #4
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Absolutely HDV. I absolutely recommend the Canon XH-A1 for what you describle.

HDV can be downcoverted to SD for editing then a final HDV version put together.

HDV would let you even do a 2.35:1 aspect ration with an HDV camera.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 10:45 PM   #5
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You'll need to crop or use a letterboxing filter to do the 2.35:1 (I like that the Canons have the aspect ratio guide for that).

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Old September 16th, 2007, 11:09 AM   #6
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What about the audio on this HDV cams such as the V1 and the canon A1?
Am I going to regret not to have PCM for dialogues?
Larry
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Old September 16th, 2007, 11:39 AM   #7
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Larry,

PCM is excellent audio, but so is HDV's. We used a boom plugged directly into the XLR jack on the Z1u last October to record sound for my feature film, 9:04 AM. No problems!

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Old September 16th, 2007, 05:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
I don't buy the argument of securing the footage for the future. It's bull, many decent pieces that has been shot SD in the 80s and 90s will still be watched many years from now, so I'm not worry about that.
If your content is good enough you could shoot the whole thing on a cell phone and people might still watch it, but why not shoot in HD if you can swing it? Since you said you like progressive footage the V1U seems like a good choice, or you might consider getting a Panasonic HVX200.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 07:00 PM   #9
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If you're shooting on the HVX, I can't recommend shooting 720p 24pn (native) enough. The image looks better than in 1080i mode, plus there's no pulldown, it's straight 24p!

I love the V1u, and think it's a very underrated camera.

Also, I agree with Kevin...a well-shot, well-made production can be shot on almost anything. The talent rests within you, your cast and crew.

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Old August 21st, 2008, 10:58 AM   #10
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Sony HVR-V1U or Panasonic DVX-100B

Hey guys .

I'm in the middle of planning my first small-time independant feature and walking away with the right camera has us all confused . I started off looking at 16mm arriflex models for authenticity but everything blew way over budget - film stock and processing costs, editors fees, not to mention the camera kit itself . HD seems a better road to take .

Choosing the right HDV model has left me with two options: Sony's HVR-V1U and the DVX-100B from Panasonic. What do you all think? What the pros and cons of each?

Ideally, the priority here is to find a unit that will deliver as close a 'film look' as can be achieved by High Definition video . Any suggestions would be much appreciated .

Cheers,
George
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 03:18 PM   #11
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DVX100b is an SD/DV camera. HVX200 is closer to the DVX. Personally, I love the V1u the best, but if you can rent one, go for the EX1 or EX3 from Sony. We used an EX1 on a feature and it looks gorgeous in full-res 1920 x 1080 24p!

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Old August 22nd, 2008, 03:23 PM   #12
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ps-See my post above.
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