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Old June 12th, 2004, 11:48 PM   #1
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Buying the best camera possible to achieve a film look and feel

Hi! This is my first post on this forum. I am completely new to digital cameras and the technical side to filmmaking in general. I am looking to buy a digital camera to take with me when i move out of my house this summer. I want to become a filmmaker and am hoping this camera will last me for many movies down the road. Please let me know your opinions on what is the best overral camera (and the lenses and settings to use on it) to achieve the best possible film look. Thank you guys for your help.
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Old June 13th, 2004, 12:18 AM   #2
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If you want to spend less then $ 5000 for the camcorder, I would suggest the Panasonic DVX100(a). I would suggest to start out with just the camcorder and buy extra equipment when you feel you really need it (like lenses, microphone etc).

Remember, a filmlook is not only the camera. It's also the way you use it, how you frame your shots, how you edit, etc.

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Old June 13th, 2004, 08:54 AM   #3
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Re: Buying the best camera possible to achieve a film look and feel

<<<-- Originally posted by Joshua Young : I am completely new to digital cameras and the technical side to filmmaking in general. -->>>

Hi Joshua and welcome aboard! My suggestion would be to spend a lot of time reading and learning more about digital video before you even think about buying something. There is so much hype surrounding "film look" that, as a novice, you really need to exercise a bit of healthy skepticism. If you don't understand all the factors that contribute to controlling the video image then you won't be able to make an intelligent choice.

You also need to establish a realistic budget that fits your means before charging ahead and buying a camera. Sure the DVX-100a is a great camera and might very well be what you need. But can you afford it at $3,500 for the camera alone? Don't just look at the price of the camera, you will need a lot of other things which may not be immediately obvious. And of course you'll also need to have a few bucks left over to make all those movies you're planning.

This will be a great adventure for you, but do some planning first. It's a good idea to ask for opinions, but you really need to educate yourself so that you can make your own choices. Good luck and happy shopping!
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Old June 13th, 2004, 09:11 AM   #4
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HD instead of SD

Check out the JVC HD10u forum on here. It's high defintion as opposed to standard and the camera is $3000 or less now.

The HDV video standard is posed to take over where SD has been. It's come a long way and the toughest part has been resolved with the camera. (editing on a Mac has been tough, but recently LumiereHD came out and it's only $179)

Anyway, all the cameras have a "film look" option. But, the HD10u will give you WIDESCREEN aspect ration and higher resolution - much more like film if you ask any HD10u user. It fills an HDTV screen without stretching the image...it's a 100% HD standard.

You might get arguments from people about that fact, but download some HDV clips and play them besides SD...and you'll buy a HD10u. (I'd bet on it!)

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Old June 13th, 2004, 02:43 PM   #5
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The best film look: shoot on film

If you can't afford that and want to go digital do your research.
You can't expect to buy a camera (or shoot on film) and have it
come out looking like film and all professional.

On a big professional movie there are a lot of people working
to get it the way it looks / sounds / feels in the end. If you want
to mimic this with a small crew or by yourself you will still need
to do all the jobs they do.

There have been a lot of discussions on this board regarding
film looks, camera's that will help in that matter and everything
else you will need to know about this.

As Boyd also says: do your homework and research everything
you can.

I'm sorry if I'm sounding a bit harsh with all of this. But it has
been asked a lot of times already and there is no quick fix, sorry.
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Old June 13th, 2004, 06:45 PM   #6
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The "best camera possible" to get a film look is, of course, a film camera. They're not expensive. You can get a CP16/R fully tricked out for about $1500, which is less than half the cost of a prosumer digital video camera. And your results are guaranteed to look exactly like film, because they will be. And you can get a genuine film camera for as low as maybe $150, for a Krasnogorsk K-3.

But if you want a video camera that looks like film, the "best possible" would probably be the Sony CineAlta HDCAM, at around $100,000.

The key component to getting a film look from a video camera, and distinguishing that look from other video cameras, is the frame rate: 24P is what you want. All other aspects (gamma, DOF, lighting, etc) can all be simulated between a film and video camera, but the video camera will still look like video if it's capturing at 60i. You need 24P for a convincing film look. And besides Sony's $35,000+ offerings, there's only one other manufacturer currently offering 24P product: Panasonic, with its $65,000 VariCam, $27,000 SDX900, $19,500 SPX800, and $3500 DVX100A.
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Old June 14th, 2004, 01:30 AM   #7
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Of course there is the new panavision camera as well, but you can't buy it only rent it from panavision, and beats me how you'd monitor or post it.

If you decide to go with the krasnogorsk-3 make sure you check it out so you don't shoot an entire short with some sort of horrible gate occilation.
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Old June 21st, 2004, 12:56 PM   #8
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Maybe you can get a decent 16mm for $1500. But lets not forget the price of film and development. Expect to pay uhhhh, well depends on length of film and in color or B&W, but you might drop $4,000 for just a small picture (minus development). Those images will be silent as well, so you need a DAT/minidisc recorder or something + boom operator. Then your limited to cut and splice editing, unless you want to transfer to digital. $$$$$$$, but it will allow you to patch in your audio and maybe some proffesional transitions. So the actual film camera may be cheaper than DV, but when your faced with coughing up $40 for 3.5 minutes of film footage VS $12 for 60 min of re-recordable in DV, most of the time a $3,000 DV cam pays off in the end.
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Old June 22nd, 2004, 07:28 PM   #9
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Hmm 40 bucks for 3 minutes, shooting 24fps equals out to 4320 frames for 40 bucks. Doesn't sound like too much of a hassle. Shorts go up to 10 minutes max. Now is that 16mm you are talking about? Also is that the approximate sum for telecine or development? I am in the market for a dvx but sooner or later i will of course get a film cam.
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Old June 22nd, 2004, 10:34 PM   #10
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The short answer is, you can buy 16mm stock, shoot it, process it, and transfer the results to video for about $25 per minute.
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 07:31 AM   #11
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Re: Buying the best camera possible to achieve a film look and feel

<<<-- Originally posted by Joshua Young : Hi! This is my first post on this forum. I am completely new to digital cameras and the technical side to filmmaking in general. I am looking to buy a digital camera to take with me when i move out of my house this summer. I want to become a filmmaker and am hoping this camera will last me for many movies down the road. Please let me know your opinions on what is the best overral camera (and the lenses and settings to use on it) to achieve the best possible film look. Thank you guys for your help. -->>>

This is a good question, but just remember, lighting and sound (yes, sound) are even MORE important for creating the illusion of making a movie then the decision of which DV camera to buy.
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Old June 29th, 2004, 03:27 PM   #12
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I pondered the same question and after intensive research and comparison we went with the HD10. For a film look it was first choice hands down. There is more to it of course, matte boxes, filters ect.. and you have to light it like film. Nothing happens magically.
Ken
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Old June 29th, 2004, 04:01 PM   #13
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Joshua-your quest answered

by Sony's new offering
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Old July 1st, 2004, 01:25 PM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ken Hodson : I pondered the same question and after intensive research and comparison we went with the HD10. For a film look it was first choice hands down. There is more to it of course, matte boxes, filters ect.. and you have to light it like film. Nothing happens magically.
Ken -->>>

???

The JVC 1CCD ?

Hands down for a 'film look'?

???

Im sooo confused!
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Old July 1st, 2004, 07:33 PM   #15
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Yes the footage looks exceptionaly "filmic".
1ccd vs. 3ccd? Well we have to talk apples to apples and being that there is no 3ccd HDV cams yet we can't tell how much better 3ccd's will make the image. But it is safe to say it is not in the same league as a 1ccd DV cam ;>)
I would like to stress that this cam is not for amatures. A full grasp of lighting, filters, camera technique and post production is needed to get the most out of it. It's NOT run and gun. The up side is a filmic look that no other cam under $10,000 can match.
Ken
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