New camera may be in order!

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mercenary123
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New camera may be in order!

Post by mercenary123 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:47 am

I've finally gotten the chance to buy a great camera, only thing is, it has to be $2000 or lower. I'm looking for a pro OR NEAR-pro quality DV or HD camera that of course could produce some fantastic looking images that may please the audience. I'm hoping to submit films to some festivals with this camera, so it needs to be good.

For a while now I've been thinking about getting the Canon GL2...but I really don't know if that's a good idea or if I'm just going to waste a load of money. I'm still searching around and all, I'd just like to know what you all think would be a good decision.
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RE: New camera may be in order!

Post by SE7 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:47 am

Hey mercenary... congratulations on your opportunity to buy an expensive camera! Where did u get the $2000?

Anyways, I would DEFINITELY have to tell you to 100% go with the Panasonic DVX100b... no doubt... straight out just buy it!

Okay, the best deal I could find (without bidding) is this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Panasonic-AG-DVX100 ... dZViewItem

It's a little expensive ($2300 with shipping and handling) but seriously man, don't even doubt buying this camera. I promise you won't be let down.....

Here's a short little clip of a DVX100b:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9gAY-MTfeM

This footage was heavily compressed from YouTube, and no where even near how awesome it looks uncompressed.

Seriously, just go for it man!! You will be able to make some AWESOME short films.... And the DVX100b is a lot better than a GL2.
Hope this helped, and keep checking on ebay for good deals. And don't forget to tell us what you decide to buy...

Cheers,
SE7

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Post by redkorn » Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:31 am

meh $2000 isnt alot of money, I spend $3200 on just a photo camera.

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Post by John Groshko » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:56 am

Hey mercenary123, I was in your shoes no less than a week ago looking for a new camera and I've done plenty of research so hopefully I'll be able to help you out - I was looking at $1500 and under.

I wouldn't bother getting ANY sort of HD (or) HDV camera at this point since it is not "True" HD and is highly compressed (12 Mbps) compared to regular DV video ( at 25 Mbps). Pointless really.

If your looking for the latest and greatest standard def camera - then the DVX100b or Canon XL2 should suite your needs; but you better expect to pay more than $2000 for either of these cameras. And if I were you I would go for the later, since the XL2 has native 16x9 recording (something which the DVX100b doesn't), along with a better lens and onboard mic (if it matters), but no flip-out LCD like the DVX100b (but I hate flip-out lcd's, so it doesn't matter to me). But other than that, both camera are nearly identical in technical specs. Both can record 24p, 30p, and 60i video, both have XLR audio inputs built in, and both have 3 1/3" CCDs.


But if the above are too expensive for your blood (I know they were for mine), you should probably start looking at older generation cameras like the DVX100(a), Canon XL1(s), and Sony VX2100 (or PD170- which is basically the same camera with XLR inputs).

-Lets start with the panasonic. After spending alot of time on Ebay, all I can say is that near impossible to find one of these for a good deal. The only one I saw sell for under 2 grand had over 600 hours on the heads and was from a rental house - no thanks. But they are great cameras and it should be noted that the DVX100a and DVX100b are nearly identical. Price I'd expect to pay $1800 - $2300.

-Now on to Canon. The only downside I see to the XL1 series of cameras is that they don't have the ability to shoot 24p video (unlike the panasonic) - but they do have a so-called "Frame mode" (which is shared on the GL2) which apparently achieves a "comparable" film look buy shooting in 30p and doing some fancy work in the camera. You should be able to pick up a decent XL1 or XL1s camera with some extras for under $2000 easy. Most of the packages I've seen sell come with the optional XLR adapter (so make sure you get that - DVX100a has them built in). The Canon XL series also gives you the freedom of interchangeable lens (if that's important for you? - it was for me). Price I'd expect to pay $1300 - $2300 (really depends on what accessory's come with the camera. i.e., wide angle lens, XLR adapter, etc...)

-The Sony VX2100 and PD170 are apparently awesome cameras in terms of the images they can produce. But they are 60i video ONLY! And were designed and built for use as news cameras and not meet for drama. But if you have the technology - you can take the video shot on one of these and de-interlace it in post to make it look more like film. They apparently have INSANE battery life like most sony cams. Price I'd expect to pay $1100 - $1700.


So there's my lowdown; and of course there are MANY more factors one can take into consideration when buying one of these cameras. And it should be noted know that out of all these cameras, the only one I have ever used is the DVX100a - which is a nice camera, but not the end-all-be-all supreme champion in my opinion. In fact, I was rather disappointed (or should I say, unimpressed) with the results since the footage didn't look much different then that shot on my Sony TRV900 and de-interlaced in post. So don't jump the gun just yet.

So ultimately I can't really recommend a single camera for you to buy - it just all comes down to you, and what your looking for, and what's important to you. I would stay away from the Canon GL2 - although I have heard some amazing reviews; to me, it just looks like a glorified consumer camcorder with a small 1/4" CCD.

P.S. When it came to me - I bought a once used mint condition Canon XL1s with optional XLR attachment and professional carrying case for $1500. I initially wanted a used DVX100a - but I just couldn't see myself spending an extra $500+ to have 24p, when I already had 30p with the XL1. Also, (maybe this should be something to take into consideration) with the money I saved and the camera system I now have - I can use my savings to purchase a "real" wide angle lens, a pro audio setup, or maybe even a professional lighting kit instead of blowing all my dough on a camera. Just remember, the reason "professional" films look as good as they do isn't because of the camera they use, but "How" they use it and how they light a scene and where they place the camera, etc... 'Cause, trust me, I've seen some AMAZING cinematography shot on a Hi8 handy-cam and some absolute Sh*t shot with a $20,000 Panasonic SDX900. So ultimately, just make sure you buy the camera that will provide with the tools YOU feel are necessary blow people away. And remember, there is more to having your film look "professional" than simply using an expensive camera.
My films;

http://video.google.ca/videosearch?q=groshko

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Post by Lawriejaffa » Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:01 am

Righto well $2000 is relative peanuts but its just enough to get a potential bargain if you look hard enough.

John! lol what a load of bollocks your post has about some camera's - lets sort out that first. ONLY HDV compresses frames in the manner you describe, and well, its not that 'pointless', cos even tho i dont like that format, its still incredible value for money if you want HD. The Sony V1 progressive camera, and the JVC HD100 (720p) are used for a number of low budget features. While 'ANY' HD? What you mean DVC HD Pro, and HD Cam suck too? honestly get your facts straight first...

Realistically the choice is between the Canon XL-2 and the DVX100(a or b) - the dvx is known for its superior sound recording (to be honest you'd be hard pressed to find a difference.)

The biggest advantage of the XL-2 is that it has a native 16:9 (this just means all the pixils are working towards your widescreen image so u wont have to crop a 4:3 image like with the dvx.)

Both have progressive features, this is excellent for filmic work, it's importance is relative to the kind of work you want to do. The frame mode of the XL1s (or cinemode on non progressive sony cams) does not compete whatsoever.

The Canon GL2 is a high consumer camera - fine for what it is but is just that.

Also most of the ebay adverts be very careful with, as they are full of grey market advertisers doing all kinds of dodgy deals that can effect whether or not u really have warranties (or those from ur own country!) so buyer beware regarding that.

Anyway to cut a long story my advice is this. $2000 is not enough to get a really decent camera that will be ready for the way things are evolving currently in video.

I say continue to save up your money, get to $3000 and then BANG you'll get a real deal ;)

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Post by mercenary123 » Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:41 am

Well thanks guys, I really appreciate the help! ^-^
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