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Old April 12th, 2007, 04:02 PM   #16
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lowestoft - UK
Posts: 3,823
Ron has tried to steer this discussion towards studio camaras quite a few times now and had to be frank, some very odd answers.

If he wants studio cameras then it isn't just a case of the lack of a recorder in each unit. It is the extra facilities that a 'real' studio camera has that make them much better at the job they are intended for.

Studio cameras tend to have:

Remote zoom from the rear (on the right pan handle) and
Remote focus- either with a bowden cable (expensive) or with a servo (very expensive)
Manual control of exposure - pretty essential if the idea is to match shots
Manual control of colour balance - as above
The facility to display the mixed output in the camera viewfinder - really useful when you insert the ouput from one camera into another and need to offset the framing of the picture to cope with the insert.
Communications - you do need to talk to the camera ops
Tally lights - damn useful for the talent to know which camera to favour.
Nice big viewfinder.

If we are not talking about recording in-camera, then quality,in resolution terms isn't likely to be a major issue.

Now - you can bodge up some of these features to use your camcorder as a studio camera, but it is always a compromise - even with top end camcorders. JVC in the 500 series had a version with a proper studio option - DV onboard, but with a real multipin camera output that could be connected to a CCU for studio operation with a single cable handling all the video, power, tally and control circuits - this obviously wasn't that popular because it disappeared. They now do a studio mount that allows the 100 series HD camcorders to have studio facilities which is nice.

It amazes me that places with quite sensible budgets buy consumer, or prosumer equipment to do important things. In fact, you could source second hand studio kit that would give much, much better results. Look for people who claim to be upgrading to HD (colleges, schools, universities, corporate) who often dispose of their hardly used studio kit for very little.
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