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The Ultimate Camera Guide (V0.5) -LOCK REQUESTED-

Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 5:55pm

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Phantom48

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NOTE THIS IS A WIP!!!

Hey Guys, im just taking some advice ive read and seeing as alot of camera threads are poppin up everywhere (not just on this forum, either) i have decided to make this thread. so here it is:

The Ultimate Camera Guide Version 1.0

Okay i first want to start off by saying thank you to everyone whos ever helped me in this forum (especcially with a camera thread.) So know onto the goods.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
CONTENTS:

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GOOD CAMERA

WHAT SHOULD YOUR PRICE RANGE BE?

TYPES OF CAMERAS
BEGGINER/ENTRY LEVEL
ENTRY LEVEL MINIDV
PROFFESSIONAL MINI DV
HD AND STUDIO
LINKS AND GOOD SITES
CONCLUSION
-------------------------------------------------------------------

What to look for in a good camera.
---
okay to begin i should say this: the only cameras that are gonna get you the features that you need are either MINI DV or HD. (mainly anyways) here are some of the important things to look for:

*Megapixel Count
*CCDs
*Mic input(in camera mics are normally never good enough)
*Export to firewire/usb
*whether its MINI DV or HD DV
*generally, if it suits your needs for what you are trying to do with it! (check out the types for this)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
FINDING THE RIGHT CAMERA
---
okay first off, you need to know what kind of camera you want! you pretty much have to choose between:

*Begginner/Entry level digital camcorders ($100 - $300 id say)
**EXAMPLES: Polaroid Studio 4, Aiptek MPVR, etc.

*Entry Level Mini DV Cameras (ehh id say $300 - $500)
**EXAMPLES: Sony DCR-HC38, Panasonic 3.1MP 3CCD

*Middle Level/ Professional MiniDV Cameras (around $500 - $5000)
**EXAMPLES: Canon GL2 (SEXY), Canon XL-2, etc.

*HD and Studio Cameras/ veryhighpricesthatmostofFXhomecantaford.... (higher than you could probably aford)

okay sexy we got that. now ill detail all of those catagories.

Last edited Wed, 18th Jul 2007, 7:08pm; edited 8 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 5:57pm

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Phantom48

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1.) Begginner/Entry level digital camcorders.

These are the cameras that you got as a suprise for christmas that one year when you were only 9 years old. and then your momy taped you opening it on one just like it. these are the consumer entry level cameras that people get for purposes such as birthday parties, reunions, dance recitles, stuff like that. as for filming with one, DONT. it wont get you very far. most dont have an external mic input, and are often very low quality. NOW for those who would like to buy one for these purposes, id reccomend either a Polaroid Studio 4 (its like $80) or something like the Aiptek MZ-DV SD ($180)

ONCE AGAIN FOR FILMING PLEASE JUST USE MINI DV ITS THE ONLY THING WORTH USING FOR MOVIE MAKING.
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 5:57pm

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Phantom48

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2.) Entry Level Mini DV Cameras

Okay now were on to Entry Level Mini DV Cameras. These are the cameras that many entering film makers get to kind of "test out" and learn the hobby, and sometimes eventually end up producing good quality movies. (lol okay SHORTS). Since this is the first "Mini DV" catagory, this is where i will describe some of the things that are very important here. Mini DV cameras use Mini DV tapes. and thats normally all they use. MAKE SURE you have enough of those around when ur filming. There are also two main types of Mini DVs 1CCDs and 3CCDs. normally in this category your only gonna get 1CCD. (but hey, ya never know smile ) For people in this category, id recommend the Sony DCR-HC38, or a Canon ZR-800.

Last edited Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 6:04pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 5:57pm

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Phantom48

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3.) Middle Level/ Proffesional Mini DV Cameras

Okay. This is where any serious indepentdent film maker should look. these are good quality cameras with the purpose of movie making and/ or brodcasting. these are also Mini DV cameras, but are often times 3CCD and much more expensive. (they also look alot different too lol). In this category your best bet is gonna be with the Cannon GL -2 (around $2000) or the Canon XH-A1 ($3,800). also the DVX-100 would be a great camera to work with. it is slightly more than the GL2, but it is still an excellent camera. THese are your best freind. this is probably the kind of camera you want.

EXTRA NOTES: when looking for this type of camera, make sure you look at its features and specs. these can include CCDs, megapixles, optical zoom, and external mic input.

Last edited Tue, 17th Jul 2007, 2:03am; edited 3 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 5:58pm

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Phantom48

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4.) HD and Studio Cameras.

Welcome to the world of HD! HD cameras are HIGH - DEFINITION cameras, and are, normally, high definition smile . they are for anyone who want clearer and crisper picture and technology in their work. the price will also probably be alot higher (i mean that. alot. seriously. smile ). here are some good HD cameras:

*Sony Cinealta f23
*Sony HDW-750 (around $68,000.00. i told you they werent cheap.)
* JVC PT560-4 KIT. (around $34,000.00)

ya these are some serious prices for some serious cameras. have fun...

Last edited Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 6:17pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 5:58pm

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Phantom48

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Well that wraps up version 0.5. any complaints/ suggestions/ threating emails/ i hate yous/other things should be PMed to me. i will be updating this more when i have more time. thank you all, i hope this helps somebody.


-Phantom48

Last edited Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 6:35pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 6:23pm

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Rawree

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I think I'm more confused than when I opened this thread. You seem to have done this in the most long winded and complicated way possible and, in all honesty it doesn't seem to have been very well thought out at all. Make sure you know what you're talking about and make sure that this thread will actually help people; just calling it "ultimate" doesn't make it so and so I sure hope you've got something good coming up.

EDIT: You've finished. Seriously? If you're going to make one of these threads you need plenty of specific info or it's no help to anyone. Are you really in a good position to write this guide?
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 6:36pm

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Phantom48

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well, im trying here! its only version .5!!!
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 6:36pm

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Dancamfx

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Yeah Im with Rawree on this. It could haver been better organized and alot more explained.
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 6:42pm

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Plainly

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Do you guys think this would be a good camera?

http://www.sonystyle.ca/commerce/servlet/ProductDetailDisplay?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=10001&productId=1004016&navigationPath=32080n100027

It pretty much has everything I want; I was just wondering what you guys think of it.

smile

(If you go to the bottom of the page and click "Visit Microsite", it'll take you to a better site, IMO).
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 7:06pm

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jdmkenji

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I know there's tons of brands out there but you haven't even addressed Panasonic and their offerings which can now be purchased for sub $2k-$3k. You probably also need to address shooting in progressive and possibly sound (maybe on another thread). Sony has even released a sub $3k HD camera that shoots 24p as well.
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 7:15pm

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Serpent

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Honestly I don't think you are at the level to write something out like this. Based on the way this thread is going, I doubt this will ever get stickied or even linked to. Look at the Ultimate FAQ: it's well written, well thought out, lots of time put into it, well designed, etc. I think everyone would say they appreciated the gesture, but this thread should really be written by one of the more experienced users. You've left out so much. I hope someone experienced steps up and writes this and I personally appreciate that you attempted it. We certainly need an in depth Camera FAQ with the different price ranges, brands, accessories, etc. You gave very few options with very little information and things to compare to.
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 7:17pm

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NickD

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Check out the UFAQ for inspiration. This is a great idea, and would be very nice to have, but not without good execution and design.
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 7:33pm

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jdmkenji

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I've seen some really interesting comparisons through various sites like DVXUsers.com and dVinfo.net which covers not just cameras but sound equipment as well and has a good review and even suggests particular brands with price range and recommended usage. The options are vast and I think a one all article will cover it but a good start is something that most people need. good luck.
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 9:12pm

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ops101ex

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Please don't forget the DVX-100 from the 3 catagory. You can get them for around the same price, maybe a little more than the GL2 but they have 24p like the higher end Canon, an invaluable feature for indie filmmakers.
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 11:02pm

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pdrg

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ops101ex wrote:

... but they have 24p like the higher end Canon, an invaluable feature for indie filmmakers.
Sorry to haul this off-topic for a moment, but this is probably as good a place as any to address this popular misconception - 24p only locks you into a more restrictive workflow than 25p. The only advantage possible would be if you were going to the expense (and it is a big expense, especially once you account for optical soundtracks, etc) of finishing directly to a (35mm) print. 24fps isn't a magical framerate that makes video look like film, it's just a marketing gimmick from camera manufacturers because people know that 35mm prints run at 24fps. For anyone shooting digitally, 25 or 30fps will give you a much cheaper workflow (supported by all NLE's) and there are industry standard ways of finishing to 24fps if (and only if) you're blowing up to a print. Please don't buy a camera just because it offers 24fps, there are plenty of other excellent reasons to buy a Panasonic or Canon, but this isn't one of them.

Right, normal service resumed, sorry for the sidetrack, but this needed to be said, and a thread hoping to be everything about buyingfa camera seemed a good place to!
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 11:16pm

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Dancamfx

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You usually cant go wrong with Canon, Sony, and Panasonic. JVC is a good company but they havent come out with any good Consumer or Prosumer cameras lately, but their HD cameras are great but expensive. The other companys are questionable and you might want to do more research on them before considering them.
Posted: Mon, 16th Jul 2007, 11:43pm

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ops101ex

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pdrg, I completely disagree.

24p does not restrict you- unless you're using no pulldown at all. I don't know about a cheaper workflow, what part of 24p would require more expense? My only NLE is FCP so I've had no troubles whatsoever with 24p.

Maybe it's just a matter of preference, but I think 24p yields a much more professional looking movie than 30p (or 30i, but that goes without saying), even interpolated to 24. I can tell instantly if something is 24p or 30, and 30 annoys me.

Although if you're from Europe, I can see how 25p would be a decent solution; here in the States it makes no sense at all since everything is NTSC.

In any case, the DVX is still a great fully-featured camera, regardless of your views on 24p.
Posted: Tue, 17th Jul 2007, 2:00am

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Phantom48

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hey guys who are not likin im workin on a more streamlined design and it WILL get better. i promise. just give me some time here!
Posted: Tue, 17th Jul 2007, 4:35pm

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Super Cameraman

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You totally left out the Panasonic 3CCD cameras like the PV-GS500! Or 300! Or 150! And they're all under $1000!


SCM
Posted: Tue, 17th Jul 2007, 4:52pm

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Mellifluous

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As you now realise, your guide is pretty inadequate and there are some very big gaps. You suggest some useful things, such as what to look out for, but you don't really explain why. And I don't meant to be rude but presentation, grammar and spelling is important for something like this because you need to create something that is easy for people to understand.

I think a truly useful "Ultimate Camera Guide" would have these attributes:

- one that looks at quite a few cameras in each particular category.

- includes contributions from actual users of each particular camera e.g. you mention the GL2/XM2; great, then maybe include contributions from the Fxhome team and Atom/ben3303 saying what they like about it. And try to do this with other cameras that are owned by Fxhome users. You'll have to be selective and ensure people know what they're talking about, but user feedback would be useful. Even if they're not owned by people on Fxhome, a lot of cameras have been discussed here, it would just require a bit of trawling through the forum.

- different to looking up the spec on camera sites. Again, that's why user feedback would be good, stating low light capabilities, problems etc.

- includes an image of each camera and a still of footage shot with it

- be updated every so often when new cameras come along.
Posted: Wed, 18th Jul 2007, 1:13am

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Phantom48

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ok thanks for the feed back, mellifluos, otheres, im workin on this- it WILL get better- i just have lots to do in life and its not all gonna happen right away.

-Phantom48
Posted: Wed, 18th Jul 2007, 1:20am

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Sollthar

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Hmmm. This lacks actual information so far. You write a lot, but say little.

Sorry if I'm being too direct, but are you sure you have the proper knowledge for a thread like this?
Posted: Wed, 18th Jul 2007, 9:05am

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Nutbar

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After reading the post I doubt you are really in the position to be writing an ultimate camera guide.

okay to begin i should say this: the only cameras that are gonna get you the features that you need are either MINI DV or HD. (mainly anyways) here are some of the important things to look for:
There are certainly other formats which will get you the features you need for high quality images. DVcam for example, which you can pick up in the same price range as the xm2 or the vx2100.

There are also two main types of Mini DVs 1CCDs and 3CCDs. normally in this category your only gonna get 1CCD.
Don't forget the increase in popularity of the CMOS chip, what is the difference between them and CCD chips? Its something you need to know if you're going to write a guide about it.

And lets not forget the other things you're leaving out, for example the different type of CCDs (sony alone have the super HAD CCD and the Ex-view CCD)

If you're going to write a guid aboutsomething you need to have a very high technical knowledge on it, and you miss out alot of information that should be contained in a guide like this, and judging from what is already in the guide I doubt would be the sort of things you will be adding.

Although I do give you credit for trying. Even though its really just a general overview than a camera guide.
Posted: Wed, 18th Jul 2007, 9:54am

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Arktic

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I agree - there's no real mention of DVCAM, DVCPRO, the proper distinction between HD and HDV, compression formats, pulldowns... I could go on, but I think you’ve already got the picture.

BUT I think that this has highlighted something potentially useful - there's a great wealth of information that a large number of the members here have, but it's difficult for one person to sit down and write everything up.

So, here's a suggestion – why don’t we all write a little bit each on one area of cameras, for example, one person could write up a short paragraph about white balance and why it’s useful. Someone else could write up the difference between HD and HDV. Someone else could write up a comparison of various mid-level consumer MiniDV cameras they’ve used.

So, everybody is writing a little bit on a topic they really have a good understanding of. Then, we can collect all of these different elements together into one genuinely ultimate camera thread. That way, everyone can help out and we’ll be able to harness the huge level of knowledge of everyone, putting it all into one centralised resource for other people to come along and use. A kind of FXhome Forum ‘wiki’.

What does everyone else think?

I think that the easiest way for us to do this would be to start a new thread, where everyone posts which topic they’re going to talk about. That way, we won’t get people writing up the same information twice. Then, people can write up that information and everyone can send it over to one person who can then collect all that information together, and create one HUGE post/thread with everybody’s contributions in.

Do you guys think that’s a good idea? I’d offer to do the ‘collecting together’ myself, but I’m a bit too busy with work at the moment, so I don’t want to promise to do anything I can’t.

However, I’ll get the ball rolling, and I’ll post a thread later today where people can start suggesting what topics they’re going to write up, and I’ll maintain that list until we can decide who’s going to take charge of collating the information.

I’ll also post a list of suggested topics! The more people we can get involved, the better this can be – remember, you don’t have to be a genius or knowledgeable about ALL areas of cameras, you just have to be able to explain ONE topic in reasonable depth. So let's all work together to make a huge resource that's going to benefit everyone biggrin

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Wed, 18th Jul 2007, 4:08pm

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Phantom48

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Artick- that sounds like a great idea! that way, noone will have to do it themselves- and it will be better than if any one person here did it. so with that next thread, use anything from my posts that you think is useful.

-phantom48
Posted: Wed, 18th Jul 2007, 6:44pm

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ops101ex

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Arktic, that's a great idea; but then when you wrote
...one centralized resource for other people to come along and use. A kind of FXhome Forum ‘wiki’.
I thought, what if FXhome had a real wiki? Like a real MediaWiki installation for everything moviemaking related. Would that be overkill? Maybe, but if there was I for one would contribute.
Posted: Wed, 18th Jul 2007, 7:03pm

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Phantom48

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ok guys Arktics got the new thread up,

here it is:

http://fxhome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=290621#290621



MODS I AM REQUESTION A LOCK ON THIS THREAD DUE TO THE UPDATED ONE ABOVE- THAT IS THE THREAD WE WILL BE USING! THANK YOU ALL WHO REPLIED IN THIS THREAD- IM GLAD THAT THIS AT LEAST GOT SOMETHING GOING- AS TO MY POSTS- USE ANYTHING USEFUL IN THEM- JUST CREDIT ME- I WILL BE WORKING IN THE NEW THREAD, AND WE HOPE IT PULLS TOGETHER ONE OF FXHOMES BIGGEST ISSUES- CAMERA QUESTIONS.

THANKS GUYS,
phantom48