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Old October 2nd, 2004, 10:43 PM   #1
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Cheapest 24p Camera

Hi guys! I have a few thousand dollars stored up for my movie-making hobby. So my question is - what's the cheapest 24p camera I could get or at least the cheapest camera that can help me give a film look. Im thinking of doing a music video that has a punchy tone like those on MTV.
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Old October 4th, 2004, 02:35 PM   #2
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If your few means 2 or 3 grand, then your only choice will be the Panasonic AG-DVX100A (about $3400) or you can buy the original DVX100 used for about $2500. If your few meant 4 or 5 grand then take a look at the Canon XL2.
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Old October 4th, 2004, 03:16 PM   #3
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There has been some discussion here of the Sony PC-350 which evidently does something similar to 24p. This would might meet your "low cost" criterion, but obviously not as many pro features as an XL-2 or DVX-100a....
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=31187
http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...ctSKU=DCRPC350
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...nder-$1300.htm
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Old October 26th, 2004, 02:36 AM   #4
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It sounds like the camera drops frames in the camera for you. instead of dropping frames in post .
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Old October 26th, 2004, 12:47 PM   #5
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the 350e pal version apparently doesn't have this "dropped frame problem " - it's supposed to be true 25p
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Old October 31st, 2004, 07:03 AM   #6
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Keep in mind that you usually need a lot more equipment than
just a camera, like: support equipment (either yourself or rent
it, like tripods, dollies etc.), batteris, monitor, audio equipment
(in case of music videos some playback system) etc. Make sure
you have enough money left to buy what you need besides your
camera (usually AT LEAST some large batteries and a GOOD tripod).
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Old October 31st, 2004, 12:23 PM   #7
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How about color tone? Does the Canon XL2 support the punchy color tone shown in most MTV music videos?
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Old November 2nd, 2004, 11:49 AM   #8
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Hi Perry

Welcome to the wonderful world of DV.

The punchy tones you describe can best be had in post production. (Using FCP, VEGAS, PREMIERE, AVID or similar less expensive NLE's).

My opinion is:

If you are new to this and have a few thousand to spend; check out the DVX100 (original or A Model). The XL2 might be priced out for you at 4500.00.
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 02:08 PM   #9
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I suggest the DVX100A as well. Very very good camera. Although you lose some resolution in the squeeze mode, there are many methods to get that 16:9 look. The XL2 has 'true' 16:9.

There is an ongoing debate about the DVX and XL2. It's all about preference. Both, like any camera, has its pros and cons...

personally though, I like the DVX :)
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Old November 8th, 2004, 10:09 PM   #10
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For a few thousand dollars your options are limited. But the cheapest way to get 24p without buying a 24p camera like the DVX100 or XL2 is to get a PAL version camera.

This will present a series of post production challenges, but none that can not be easily overcome with good work flow. For music videos it's even less an issue.

I've used PAL for the last year to make short films and other cinematic style pieces where the standard is in fact NTSC.

It involves a bit of processing on the PC to convert your PAL footage to 24p, and then finally to 60i using a 3:2 pulldown process like the one in After Effects. This gives you exactly what the DVX and XL2 does out of the box. Absolutely no difference.

There's an extremely detailed thread on how this works in the XL2 forum titled "XL2 PAL vs NTSC for potential film blow-up".

Let me know if you have any questions about this.
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Old November 8th, 2004, 11:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
So my question is - what's the cheapest 24p camera I could get or at least the cheapest camera that can help me give a film look.
If it's the film look you're after, IMO the following are much more important than 24p:
-Good lighting. See the lighting forum.
-Color correction/enhancement. You can achieve some really great stuff with Vegas, although I haven't seen many good tutorials on color correction for Vegas (I look at the da vinci website for ideas-nearly everything can be repeated on Vegas; when I'm not being lazy I can write up a tutorial for what I know). Combustion and Final Cut + plug-ins are also good tools, although I haven't looked too deep into them.
-Good camerawork- composition, use of depth of field, stable shots. If you want to do camera moves, then a good tripod, steadicam-like system, and/or dolly would be nice to have. The dolly you can cut corners on by using a wheelchair + stabilization device (i.e. counterweight) for your camera.
-art direction

I personally find it very difficult to see which music videos were shot in 24p. I wouldn't pay much attention to it.

2- If you want to play around with stuff, then don't blow too much money on the camera because the more expensive ones don't really open up that many creative possibilities. I would spend money on lighting gear as it would allow me to explore the many, many possibilities of lighting a scene. With a camera, you can only adjust a few settings in camera (most of which can be achieved in post) and maybe play around with depth of field.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 07:51 AM   #12
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I agree with Glenn that lighting and other production based effort will go a long way, but your original post was about the cheapest way to get 24p which is why I suggested maybe using a PAL camera - but like I said it requires some additional work in post but actually with the process I described the rendering times are no worse than rendering out a normal project.

Your other option for getting a "24p look" is to just shoot on NTSC/60i with 1/60th shutter speed process your footage in post using software like MagicBullet, DVFilm, Cinelook, etc.. but unfortunately even with a fast computer rendering times are ridiculous and usually take over night. If you don't have these capabilities or the experience I suggest using a post house to do this for you. I offer some of these services through my Toronto based company using a proprietory process and can run some free sample tests on your footage if you're interested to see what the results would look like.

Lastly some music videos and made for TV series are actually shot on film at 30fps since the conversion to NTSC is more straight forward, not everything needs to (or should) be shot at 24fps since for TV it will yield a more obvious motion judder with objects that move horizontally across the frame due to the 3:2 pulldown process.

From my post I certainly don't mean to emphasize that "24P" is the end all for making things shot on video look like film. Everything from the equipment you use, lighting, the camera and its settings, production and then post production will in the end give you "your look".
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