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Old January 15th, 2010, 11:58 PM   #1
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film look hardware decision

The answer may be obvious, but I don't know, hence me asking. Would I obtain better film look results with a dvx100 (or XL2?) plus a lens adapter, or just an XHA1 without an adapter?
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Old January 16th, 2010, 08:19 AM   #2
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Search the forums. There's a gazillion posts here and at the other forum about achieving film look. It's not just the equipment, it's lighting, set design, story, story.......and then the equipment. Knowing how to color grade is also HUGE.

I have an adapter for my EX-1 and can assuredly tell you that just having the adapter will get you (almost) nowhere. Yes, it's helpful for manipulating depth of field but that's one tiny part of the equation. In my opinion, dealing with the adapter (and the substantial monetary investment it carries with it) does not bring the return on investment unless you are using it very frequently to produce stuff that actually needs DOF manipulation.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #3
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I know the camera is not the only factor in achieving a film look, that wasn't part of my question. My question was, when it comes to one of those many factors, the camera, between the two that I listed, which would be the best decision?
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Old January 16th, 2010, 05:44 PM   #4
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Sorry about that. Which adapter were you considering, since different camera-adapter combos perform differently.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 10:33 PM   #5
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Good question, Bob. I haven't given much thought as to which adapter I would use, just what I could get the best deal on (and that is also known to be a good adapter). Brevis, M2, and Letus are all possible choices if the price is right.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 08:58 AM   #6
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Anyone else care to contribute?
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 01:11 PM   #7
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I think the problem is, if we're limited to only the two options you posted, the answer is, "neither."

What you will gain in terms of cinematic look by using the adapter will likely be mitigated by the fact that the cams you propose pairing it with are not HD and will result in a huge resolution hit. The A1 will be more cinematic in terms of enhanced sharpness, more like film (which you can always degrade and tweak in post if it looks too sharp and "video-y") but of course that would be enhanced if you could use the adapter with that cam. Remember, you can always downgrade the resolution but you can't add what isn't there.

I assume both of the SD cams in question shoot native widescreen, not just cropped and zoomed, but you probably want to double-check this or the resolution would be even worse.

So your two choices really work at cross purposes.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 03:41 PM   #8
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The DVX either records letterbox or Squeeze and yes, there are resolution compromises but some unimaginable images can be had with the 100- Iraq in Fragments being the best example of the power of the DVX. If you want to see the A1 in action, I believe Crank 2 used 5 of them and a lot of smaller cams.

IMHO, your question is a MacGuffin argument. If cinema relates to being seen in a theater as a major type motion picture then both the DVX and the A1 meets the cinematic criteria, but DOF can be achieved on both without the adapter or with it. If the question is where should you spend your money then I would defer to the other posters as neither, and neither depending on the adapter you are talking about.

Don't get me wrong, I am here about every 6 or 7 months or so, but you have to be a little more specific.
If you are outputting for web, both cameras can do a remarkable job at delivering breathtaking images. I personally would go for the DVX because I love the camera, but the A1's color space would deal with things differently.
If you are going to DVD, then the battle would change and so would post, making your choice moderate on the front end and expensive or time consuming on the back end.

There are just too many variables to be specific about this question the way it is worded.

Remember, your choice has to be delivered and there is a definite post production impact based upon what you record your images with...

But which one is more cinematic, that's like asking which is more musical, ADATs or CDs.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #9
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I would seriously skip the adapter till you KNOW you need to spend the money for it, and instead use that $2,500 for lights and other gear that will give you WAY more of a bang for your buck. Shoot film for years, love it, but never saw the reason why there was such HUGE emphasis everhwere for the shallow depth of field aspect that everyone emulates with HD/SD video. For us it was always a liability to get a correct focus, especially with dolly and pans. With my 1/3 chip JVC HD110 I can use ND and a screw on ND filter and get it to open up at 40-60mm and have a narrow depth of field if I want it, or indoors with lights and maybe a little ND and I can get it how I want it. For the hassell, money and time of setup. I say get the best camera you can and at least 3 lights and stands and cables for the money you would have spent on the adapter. I just REALLY think if your going to drop $3,500 on a camera, and $2,500 on an adapter, then more for lenses.. I would just get a better camera that doesn't even deal with HDV/AVCHD or maybe even XDCAM. I have the JVC ProHD series, but I also really like Panasonic's DVCPROHD formats. (though P2 cards are expensive)

Also arranging the set not to have cluttering extra stuff in it. (picturs on walls etc) and just basic set dressing will accomplish much of the effect you would be going for anyway, directing the viewer's attention.

I guess I'm just not a big fan of spending money on shallow depth of field when there are soo man other ways for us to spend money and time. If you need it you need, and I'm not trying to talk you out of it, it can be very cool and effective... i'ts just expensive, and there are other ways for free that you can often accomplish the same or similar results.
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