A bit of a rant for the fun of it....hopefully at DVinfo.net

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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old April 21st, 2008, 10:37 PM   #1
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A bit of a rant for the fun of it....hopefully

Would you spend $15k for the video-camera that would do it all video wise...for years to come?

All you had to do was make that one time commitment of $15k.

Why ask?

Working for most of my life(and now retired from)a good sized American corp., we paid a minimum of $15k for new needed technology....technology that sometimes only did one function well. And that technology was all we needed to stay competitive for quite a while.

When I bought my A-1, I was looking for a camera that I could use for home video and perhaps to make a few $$$...in essence, a home/consumer camera.....truth is...I wouldn't expect something of a professional level until I was spending $15k or more.

Yet....there seems to be a lot of folks who expect professional results for a lot less.

So what should a consumer cam cost?....a pro-sumer(whatever the heck that is) cost? and a pro video-camera cost?

By the way...a footnote.

Last Sunday I video'd a church service under low light. My A-1 was showing zebra stripes at TV(100) with no boost at all..no presets even though I have a few loaded up.

My 1DIIn($4000 brand new) and 70-200 IS USM($1640 on sale) would have struggled big time to shoot a single picture under those light conditions....

Remember...my rant....

:)
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Old April 21st, 2008, 11:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Lee View Post
Would you spend $15k for the video-camera that would do it all video wise...for years to come?
Technology progresses so fast these days that I don't see a camera in the $15K range being a great tool for years and years. (and no I'm not lumping Red into the sub $15K range cause it's really closer to $26K - $30K when fully outfitted.)

Quote:
truth is...I wouldn't expect something of a professional level until I was spending $15k or more.
Well, it all depends on what you consider professional. The image quality that comes out of a EX1 or HVX200 is pretty darn good and those cameras are considerably cheaper than $15K. They may lack a robust build, and interchangeable lenses, but at the end of the day, how many clients can spot the difference between a well shot EX1 and a well shot F350? The gap between professional and consumer has narrowed considerably as far as image quality is concerned.

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Last Sunday I video'd a church service under low light. My A-1 was showing zebra stripes at TV(100) with no boost at all
Be careful about setting your zebras at 100%. Just cause you see zebras at 100% somewhere in your footage doesn't mean the scene is properly exposed. You could just have a hot spot somewhere in the frame and think that you're ok because you see some zebras. That's not always the case. I tend to prefer setting mine at 70% and irising for the skin, letting the highlights go where they may.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 05:36 AM   #3
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Thanks Ethan, good comments.

I still think the line really blurs between comsumer, prosumer and pro. In the end it really seems to be the image doesn't it?

I have been leaving my zebra setting on 90, so far that seems to work inside.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 06:41 AM   #4
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Thanks Ethan, good comments.

I still think the line really blurs between comsumer, prosumer and pro. In the end it really seems to be the image doesn't it?

I have been leaving my zebra setting on 90, so far that seems to work inside.
Not only is that line blurry, I have seen brilliant work done with consumer cameras and amateur footage taken with professional cameras- it happens all the time, every day. Obviously there is more to craftsmanship than your choice of tool.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 09:05 AM   #5
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As a general rule I'd expect a consumer video camera to cost under $1000 and be noticeably lacking in some regards compared to entry-level pro cameras costing around $3-5K or so, which in turn aren't the same as "broadcast" cameras costing $10-20K and up. The lines between these have blurred with advances in tecnology, but there are still visible differences in terms of things like depth of field, color saturation and low-light sensitivity (plus lenses, manual controls, etc.).

I recently rented an old Betacam SP camera which the rental guy guessed cost about $15K when it was new, and the thing was a dinosaur in almost every way compared to modern video cameras. I'd expect the same to be true again in another few years, but I won't guess exactly how cameras will improve during that time.

The most I'd want to spend on a camera for my purposes would be ~$5K or so, and I'd hesitate to do that given how fast technology is changing. Plus I've yet to see "the" camera with everything I'd want at that price, although the Sony EX1 comes close.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 02:19 PM   #6
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I agree that we need three categories, not two.

Consumer - as noted above, in the sub $1K range, maybe a little higher, to $2-3K for the picky hobbyist, for family memories.

Professional - $3-15K range, for event videographers and indie movie makers.

Broadcast - $20 to the sky for REAL, high quality video: television, Hollywood class movies.

Yes, the lines are already blurry and might just get even blurrier in the near future. Even high class broadcast stations like National Geographics use under $5K HDV cameras (Sony Z1s for example) sometimes, for shooting in extreme conditions.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 02:38 PM   #7
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It's all about the right tool for the job. In many cases a small camera can indeed produce images on par with cameras costing 10X more.

The high dollar cameras can hold that image quality under more taxing scenarios and hold up to the wear and tear of daily use in roles such as daily ENG.

It's a lot like the Ryobi weed eater I use on my lawn. It doesn't cost that much and will work for occasional use around the home. But if I were a lawn care provider, it would never hold up to day in, day out, all day usage for very long. But step up to a several hundred dollar unit like Stihl, designed for commercial use, and it will handle the latter scenario and keep working.

That's important if your livelihood depends on the tool you use.

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Old April 24th, 2008, 03:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
Consumer - as noted above, in the sub $1K range, maybe a little higher, to $2-3K for the picky hobbyist, for family memories...Professional - $3-15K range, for event videographers and indie movie makers...Broadcast - $20 to the sky for REAL, high quality video: television, Hollywood class movies.
I'd say up to $1500 tops for typical consumers and from there to $10K for most independent producers; anything above $10K for a single camera is considered pretty steep these days.
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