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Old October 23rd, 2009, 08:10 AM   #61
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Thanks Mat. I'll definitely keep these camcorders in mind.

Are there any HD camcorders that record 60fps at 1080p? I know they are probably quite expensive, but this seems like it would be so useful for wildlife work.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 08:38 AM   #62
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The JVC HD200 series will run 720p at 60fps + the EX3 of course. If you get into full size Sonys and the Varicams you'll get 1080p60 but everything starts to get very expensive!
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Old October 24th, 2009, 02:13 AM   #63
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I am surprised that no-one has mentiond the Sony V1 (or the cheaper consumer version, the FX7, in all this.

The V1 comes with a 20x zoom lens (focal length 37.4 - 748 mm in 35 mm equivalence), shoots 140x1080 including progressive, and has a built in (very limited) slow motion capability. There are excellent tele-converters available from Century at 1.6x, and 2.0x. The latter is a magificent lens, but is very heavy (1 kg+) and requires a rail system to support it. Both these converters use the bayonet mount for the lens-hood for attachment, so they are easily connected/removed.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 03:47 AM   #64
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You're into very different quality leagues with the V1 though. It's HDV for a start, and putting teleconverters on the front of the lens is always disastrous. OK for home movies but for serious work they're out of the question.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 06:47 AM   #65
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Hardly disasterous! The superb Optex 0.7 X wide adapter and Red Eye FX 0.7X HD are both superb quality for the price and well up to professional standards. Original wide lenses such as the incredible Canon HD 6x Zoom XL 3.4-20.4mm L are in a different league of course, but so is the price.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #66
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I guess everyone has different ideas about "superb quality". You're using a cheap converter, on the front of what's already a cheap lens and you're expecting to get top quality results? Never in a million years. But again, it depends on what you define as acceptable I suppose.
I was really referring to teleconverters though, which is what Alan mentioned.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #67
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Yes, I missed the fact that Alan was referring to the Century telephoto converter instead of wide converter, and in that respect, I would have to partially agree with you Steve.

A Century 2X telephoto converter would degrade image quality far too much for my liking. Even Canon's own 1.6X converter isn't good enough for my work.

Although for stills shots or hybrid DSLR work, I would certainly use the Nikon 1.4X matched with ED Nikkors, but still steer clear of the Nikon 2X converter due to image degradation.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 01:43 PM   #68
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But even Tony, you're talking about teleconverters that go between camera and lens, which can work fine. Screwing chunks of glass to the front of a lens is another matter entirely as I'm sure you know.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Betz View Post
I know that this topic has been discussed before, but I haven't found any recent discussions and since the market and industry have changed drastically since those previous threads I thought it was time for an updated report.

What cameras do people use to film wildlife?

Is the XL2 still a good camera to buy or is HD necessary?

And what about cheaper HD cameras like the XHA1 with teleconverters? Anyone have experience here?

What about DSLRs? 5D Mark II? 7D? (I know it's not out yet, but any thoughts?)

(I myself am looking to buy a camera to improve my filming skills and build up some sequences to add to my reel so that I can send these to producers. I am not trying to sell the footage so again, is HD necessary? Should I save up to buy a XLH1 even though it will mean I won't be spending time shooting for some time? Is an SD camera still good for reels or anything else?)
Steve, and Tony, we have come a long way from the original post!

My suggestion is entirely relevant to that post. I am not sure that all the posts on the five pages are relevant.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #70
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Alan, I know these posts can often diverge to unacceptable degrees! But I think this one is still on track. Johnathan was asking about the XL-2, and it's a quality camera for shooting wildlife, and the suggestion of the V1, while interesting, is really a very different beast, especially when talking about sticking front of lens teleconverters on it. This is why the XL-2 was popular for wildlife, the fact that you didn't need to do such an undesirable thing as you had interchangeable lenses and so access to the finest 35mm stills optics ever made.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 11:17 AM   #71
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I just went through all the posts and everything is still on track for this thread!!

I have a century 2x teleconverter and for what it is it is a good piece of glass. these always soften an image, the further out the more it does so. Unhappy with that I went to the xl2 with lens selection available.

I have sense gone to an xlh1, an amazing camera in its own ways.

Considering you can get a used xl2 for slightly over a couple thousand dollars you would be learning piles of skills that would make the transition to an xlh1 later very easy.

An xha1 used is not much more than an xl2. while it does not allow for lens change, you would be learning even more important skills, field Craft!! All footage then you could move forward with if you get subjects of high value.

Long lenses are great, but quite often are highly over rated compared to getting close up shots!!!

Of course if you are dead serious you could take out a Loan and get your required kit, then start doing some work (non wildlife) to actually pay for it.

One could bash this around forever.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 06:51 AM   #72
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It may or may not be relevant, but can anyone tell me what the contestants were using in the BBC series "Wildest Dreams" (I think that's what it was called)? I didn't see all of the episodes, but I think it was a Sony camera, and it definitely had interchangeable lenses.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 07:43 AM   #73
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The 'Wildest Dreams' series received a lot of bad press. A good idea, but not very well done.

Camaras used for this and other series were I think mainly Panasonic Varicam and Sony. The Sony HD750 and even Z1s have been used on some BBC series. The Sony HDC-1500 and HDC-950 were used on quite a lot of BBC work, including the aerial IS filming using the HD Cineflex V14. I think almost all the six-part 'Natures Great Events' was filmed using mainly the HDC-1500.
Other cameras have been used for filming BBC wildlife programmes, including the Sony HD 730, 900r Cini Alta, 2700 P2 and H-series Varicams, Iconix HD-RH1F, Digibeta 790, beta SX90, Canon XL-H1 and a lot of others.

David Spears did a test of various film and digital cameras for the BSC (British Society of Cinematographers), including Arri, 16mm, Red, and even the Canon DSLR for review. Here are his thoughts on some of the cameras:

The International Association of Wildlife Film-Makers

As a small footnote, I notice that a few BBC wildlife filmmakers are now carrying DSLRs with them. Mark Macewen even uses the Canon 7D for some work:
http://www.iawf.org.uk/members_detai...membersid=1071
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Old October 26th, 2009, 08:04 AM   #74
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I was particularly interested in what the contestants were using because it looked a similar size to my Canon AH1, and I have been asked about it - one of those things where people assume that because you know something about a subject, you must know the answer to their questions too! In fact, they assumed the people on the series were using the same model as I had because it looked similar - ie something they were unfamiliar with - something between big broadcast cameras, and small consumer cameras.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 08:16 AM   #75
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Hi Annie,

The contestents were shown useing Sony z7 with compact flash readers. When watching the editing sequences it was shown they were recording in DVcam mode.

Regards

Mick.

PS Annie is it possilble for you to e-mail me a contact number for you as I would like to discuss with you your experiences with the HVR- MRC1K card reader with a canon.
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