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Video Camera Ideas?

Posted: Thu, 22nd Oct 2009, 4:56pm

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SuburbanElement

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I'm looking to buy a new video camera and i only have around $1,400 to spend, what would be the best video camera to buy? or should i save up some more?
Posted: Thu, 22nd Oct 2009, 6:39pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Rating: +1

By no means do you, in my opinion need to save up more. I got a good one for $130. It can depend on how much you want to spend on the camera too. Spend maybe a thousand on a professional grade camera then maybe 200 for tripods, lens, cleaners, and/or tapes. If you have that much you are probably looking at some kind of career in filming. I don't know if might want software as well for making DVD's etc. If your looking to spend the 1400 on just a camera here's professional camera that they would use for actual hollywood films.

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-AG-DVC20-Proline-Camcorder-Optical/dp/B000DZH7NA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1256236423&sr=8-2

here is a flash memory camera, HD too

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-Memory-Camcorder-Optical/dp/B001OI2Z2I/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1256236287&sr=1-23

No need to reply, just my sugestions
Posted: Thu, 22nd Oct 2009, 6:59pm

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Staff Only

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Canon HV40 (Thanks Storm biggrin. Fail on my part). It's everyone's favorite. Give it a few hours and someone else will back me up. A friend of mine has one, and a friend of his has a 35mm adapter, and together the footage looks frakking sweet.

But seriously, asking on forums can give you a general idea, but there's nothing like spending a few hours browsing yourself. Learning, comparing and making sure. Especially when you are going to spend so much money.

Good luck. wink

Last edited Thu, 22nd Oct 2009, 7:17pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 22nd Oct 2009, 7:14pm

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TheOutlawAmbulance

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Staff Only wrote:

Canon HV30. It's everyone's favorite. Give it a few hours and someone else will back me up.
Nope. Go with the more advanced HV40! It has everthing above with some added details. It is priced at only $999. (USD)
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=177&modelid=17996

Or you could go with the brand new HF S11 if dual flash memory tickles your fancy! For exactly $1399! (USD)
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=177&modelid=19063

It sounds like you live in the US so this should help!-$torm Grenade
Posted: Thu, 22nd Oct 2009, 8:09pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Staff Only wrote:

Especially when you are going to spend so much money. Good luck. wink
I couldn't agree more. Don't rush into spending 1,400 bucks...ahem, tip please? JK
Posted: Thu, 22nd Oct 2009, 9:42pm

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mikeh

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Honestly I would go with the HV30, you could probably find it hundreds of dollars cheaper, which doesn't justify true 24p imo. Both have the same picture quality though.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 12:02am

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pdrg

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Those of you here who know me know what I'll say next, and you could probably write this post for me in fact, but here we go anyway...

Stick to a tape format, either DV for standard definition or HDV for low-end HD. All the manufacturers are trying to push more and more memory card/hard drive formats, and it's a total minefield as to how they work with your NLE. Every week or so, someone will post something like "I got this killer new HD camera for $3 but am having problems editing/importing the footage into my VLab/NLE" and the problems are often complex. This is because the manufacturers expect 99% of users to either play straight to the TV from the camera, or not care about the quality of the import - by that stage they've got your money and if you're lucky they give you a shonky converter software, so tough luck! DV and HDV are universal standards, you have the convenience of changing tapes easily on a shoot, everything can import them natively, you have timecode etc built-in, etc.

The only exceptions I make are for the PROFESSIONAL file-based workflows - eg SxS cards (Sony EX range), blu-ray cartridges, P2 cards, RAID storage based systems etc. They come with supported workflows (P2 and SxS can import directly into Avid, for instance), but the consumer ranges are a bloody battle and completely non-standard (for instance an MJPEG stream inside an AVI container - nothing supports that natively so you end up adding a transcode step before you can even ingest it!)

You can't afford an EX yet, but it's probably a bit much for what you need anyway. The HV's are well spoken of here, so maybe go for one of those. If you do save up more and want more, try a secondhand Z1 - they're pretty cheap now and are widely used in industry.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 4:48am

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Biblmac

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pdrg wrote:

Stick to a tape format, either DV for standard definition or HDV for low-end HD. All the manufacturers are trying to push more and more memory card/hard drive formats,
Soooo true, a friend of mine bought into the whole HD Hard drive camcorder thing, well he paid about $140 on a model about 6 months to a year old (not quite sure...) But I have a Canon ZR 800 (tape) about 1-2 years old I think... anyway my tape camcorder has a better, cleaner, picture (and a mic input for all your audio needs! biggrin) Even when he sets his on HD all it does is create a very large file that doesn't look near as clear as my tape camcorder...

So I say go with something like the HV20 or HV30 or HV40 and get yourself a decent mic... I hear a lot about the Rode mics, so I would look at those. Plus I think a 35mm adapter would be handy.

WOHOOO 800th post... I'm catching up...

Last edited Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 1:40pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 7:47am

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Simon K Jones

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WWpdrgD?
Posted: Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 12:37pm

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Fxhome Dude

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I disagree with pdrg. I talked to a guy who did all the videos for a school and he said that tapes are a "pain." You also can't rewrite them more than once without losing quality. For suburban element, who looks like he will be spending a ton of time I can't recommend flash memory more. I have one and have had no problems.
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-Memory-Camcorder-Optical/dp/B001OI2Z2I/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1256236287&sr=1-23
Here's a quote from amazon's product desription- "The advantages of Flash Memory go beyond the added recording time. You'll also appreciate the quick response time, because it doesn't have to wait for moving parts. Press the record button and your VIXIA HF200 starts recording video faster than you've ever seen before. In addition, when you review your footage, it will come up more quickly as well."
I still say this camera, great customer reviews, and, HD *thunder rolls, lighting flashes*
Edit: Biblmac, you realize that was your 800th post?

Last edited Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 12:44pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 12:43pm

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Simon K Jones

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Wes the fxhome dude wrote:

I disagree with pdrg.
That's fightin' talk. smile

I talked to a guy who did all the videos for a school and he said that tapes are a "pain." You also can't rewrite them more than once without losing quality.
While this is in theory true, in practise you're not going to see a quality drop unless you re-record many times.

The inconvenience of having to buy new tapes, though, is very easily offset by the convenience of having a nice stock of tapes to hand, making location work in particular easy and cheap, plus all the other reason pdrg mentioned. Sure, you can't do instant playback with tape stuff, but it's rare that you need to do that frequently on a set anyway.

We have an HV30, which is tape based, and an HVX-200, which is P2 based. They both have their ups and downs, but I wouldn't consider anything other than tape unless you can afford one of the higher end systems.

Consumer non-tape storage simply isn't there yet. It needs to become more standardised.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 12:59pm

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Fxhome Dude

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The guy I talked to was a pro, not a Peter Jackson wanna-be. He had the whole deal, Professional camera (hollywood kind,), HD, lights, he had abobe after effects, greenscreens, and a monster of a mac. This guy KNEW filming. And guess what? I saw the finished product, it wans't nearly as good as my 130$ samsung mx-10 flashmemory camcorder (I am working on comparison videos now, I hate .swf). Just look at all the features of the Canon VIXIA HF200. Cinema mode. HD. Image shake reductions.
1920 x 1080 Full HD Recording. Dude...
Posted: Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 1:43pm

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gulfy32

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I would go with the HV30/40. I bought a HV30 about a year ago and love it. The AVCHD format that the flash based cameras use is EXTREMELY processor intensive. Even with a higher end dual core processor, it will probably be laggy playing back footage in your NLE while trying to edit, which is very frustrating. You also need alot of hard drive space for raw footage if you plan to back that up.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 2:11pm

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pdrg

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I must get me one of those hollywood kind cameras, I hear they're the mutts (but not as good as those $130 samsungs, mind). Panavision are in trouble. And clearly I'm mistaken for my first-hand experience to contradict what some bloke who KNEW filming told you - I expect after your conversation he binned all his kit and bought a camera like yours. Man, he's got a greenscreen as well? And lights? I defer to his superior understanding of the internal workings of codecs and compression algorithms.

1080p with AVCHD at 24Mbps is certainly not a bad spec for recording. OK, so it's not a professional HD bitrate, but for domestic it's fine for people who can't tell good from bad (walk around a TV store and look at the dreadful quality of the promo videos they play on those sets - you can see all of the digital artefacts right under your nose where the sales staff are singing about the 'amazing picture'. The networks won't accept it as HD. In fact the quality networks won't accept the 35Mbps EX files as HD. You have to go up to the XDCAM HD422 standard on professional disc before the Beeb will consider it (file-based workflow) HD, for instance.

The fact that you're preparing a comparison in .swf means by definition you're skewing the results with a transcode, or possibly even by using swf to create a container for any old bitrate of flv-encoded file. Personally, I'll trust my own post over yours, forgive me.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 11:07pm

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SuburbanElement

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Ok i have thought over what you all have said and i think i will choose between these two video camera

VIXIA HF S11
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=177&modelid=19063

Panasonic Pro AG-DVC20
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-AG-DVC20-Proline-Camcorder-Optical/dp/B000DZH7NA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1256236423&sr=8-2

So which one do you guys think would be the better choice?
Posted: Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 11:23pm

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doppelganger

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Neither the AG-DVC20 is way overpriced for what it is and hdd camcorders blow no matter what anyones says. Get an HV30 or 40 and a decent 35mm adapter.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Oct 2009, 11:57pm

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SuburbanElement

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ok so would these two work ok?

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=177&modelid=17996#ModelFeaturesAct

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8758114&type=product&id=1205245979459

not sure if the lens works with both video camera and a normal camera, don't know much about the adapter things, can anyone give me a link or is this lens ok?
Posted: Sat, 24th Oct 2009, 12:08am

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Biblmac

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I don't think so... I think this is what you are looking for as far as an adapter and here is a link to the camera on bh photo video.
Posted: Sat, 24th Oct 2009, 1:12am

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SuburbanElement

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ok so whats so special about the adapter? i know it makes closer thinks clearer but wouldn't it be better to use that money for a better video camera?
Posted: Sat, 24th Oct 2009, 2:22am

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doppelganger

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35mm adapters let you have interchangeble lenses an extremely shallow depth of field and just a lot more control over your focus. Even more expensive cameras like the dvx/hvx look a million times better when an adapter is used. I use a dvx a lot and while its a great camera I still like my little hv20 and 35mm adapter over just a dvx.

DVX100b- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq8aVup2_bc

HV20+Adapter- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX1wnbDNVO0
Posted: Sat, 24th Oct 2009, 11:17am

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pdrg

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SuburbanElement wrote:

ok so whats so special about the adapter? i know it makes closer thinks clearer but wouldn't it be better to use that money for a better video camera?
It comes down to taste in the end, using a 35mm dof adaptor can give you a certain 'look', but that look may not be what you want. People are conditioned to think the 35mm dof is 'right', whereas in technical terms it's actually a limitation of the format that people now try hard to emulate even though image making is in many ways vastly superior now. If that's the look you want, go for it. If not, or if you don't want to spend ages fiddling with yet another contraption, don't. I think they're a pain in the backside myself - clever, but annoying!
Posted: Sat, 24th Oct 2009, 1:29pm

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SuburbanElement

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Yea thanks for all the help im going with the Canon VIXIA HV40($735) and the 35mm IKord V5 adapter($179)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/597424-REG/Canon_3686B001_VIXIA_HV40_High_Definition.html#accessories

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&Item=190334233459&Category=64329&_trkparms=algo%3DLVI%26its%3DI%26otn%3D2

not sure why this one cost so much less then some other ones, but it looks pretty nice and i looked it up on youtube and i can see the difference it makes, but thanks again for everyone who helped me out :] I have around $400 left, should i buy a light or a mic to attach to it?
Posted: Sat, 24th Oct 2009, 2:16pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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I know I'm late, but I'd just like to weigh in and agree completely with pdrg, who incidentally also knows filming.

The mentality of favouring ways of filming because the storage is re-recordable is, to be blunt. Amateur and dangerous. The professional studios I work with who capture footage digitally also spend a fortune on backup servers. Unless you plan to do the same, go with tape and don't record over anything ever.

You never know when a hard drive is going to stop working on you, and if you've recorded over the capture then you can kiss goodbye to the footage as well as your hard work.

Look at it this way - Lucas recorded over Star Wars by accident so the remastered editions were of lower quality than they should have been. Don't be like George Lucas, please. He went on to rape Indiana Jones.

-Matt
Posted: Sat, 24th Oct 2009, 4:52pm

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SuburbanElement

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Hybrid your working on the Prince Of Persia movie? that's amazing! i love the game
Posted: Sat, 24th Oct 2009, 10:30pm

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doppelganger

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SuburbanElement wrote:


not sure why this one cost so much less then some other ones, but it looks pretty nice and i looked it up on youtube and i can see the difference it makes, but thanks again for everyone who helped me out :] I have around $400 left, should i buy a light or a mic to attach to it?
By the way 35mm adapters flip the image vertically and horizontally so you $400 dollars should go towards an lcd screen, one of the more ideal lcd screens for filmmaking would be a lcd4video screen - http://www.lcd4video.com/servlet/the-251/7%22-LCD-Monitor-Kit/Detail

These screens also give you the option to flip the screen vertically and horizontally for adapters and you'll have about $150 left over.

Also I went with a cheap 35mm adapter also and in the end had to fork out about an extra $100 because the ground glass in them a custom... not good most of the time. So I bought a canon ee-a and ee-s screen to see which was the best. The ee-s is superiour, so you may need to switch out the ground glass after you get your adapter, just be aware.
Posted: Sun, 25th Oct 2009, 3:13am

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TheOutlawAmbulance

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SuburbanElement wrote:

I have around $400 left, should i buy a light or a mic to attach to it?
I suggest buying a Rode Videomic. It is a great mic for the HV family. And spend some on that NLE from the other forum.
Posted: Sun, 25th Oct 2009, 1:26pm

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Biblmac

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What about a tripod? If you get a Rode Video Mic ($150) that leaves you roughly $250... what kind of tripod do you have? Do you need a new one?
Posted: Sun, 25th Oct 2009, 2:17pm

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TheOutlawAmbulance

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Biblamic is right. You can spend $150 on the mic, $115 on the Vegas NLE, and $50 or more on a decent tripod. Do you need lighting?
Posted: Sun, 25th Oct 2009, 3:11pm

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pdrg

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Storm Grenade wrote:

and $50 or more on a decent tripod.
Just for the record, there are no decent tripods in the $50 range, especially if you're adding the weight/balance of a 35mm dof adaptor - at that price they tend to be pretty shaky/flimsy and whilst probably ok for stills photography, you will hit juddery problems with pans/tilts most likely. Just so you know.

I once bought a tripod in that range which just drooped under the weight of the camera - in the end we bolstered it with all sorts of bits of wood and gaffer tape etc, but every shot had to be a lock-off!!
Posted: Mon, 26th Oct 2009, 1:00pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Suburban element I like the Canon VIXIA HV40. Good luck (It is flash memory isn't it?).
Posted: Mon, 26th Oct 2009, 4:07pm

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pdrg

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Wes the fxhome dude wrote:

(It is flash memory isn't it?).
Only for stills, it records to tape for video at DV/HDV.
Posted: Mon, 26th Oct 2009, 6:04pm

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Bryan M Block

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Wes the fxhome dude wrote:

The guy I talked to was a pro, not a Peter Jackson wanna-be. He had the whole deal, Professional camera (hollywood kind,), HD, lights, he had abobe after effects, greenscreens, and a monster of a mac. This guy KNEW filming. And guess what? I saw the finished product, it wans't nearly as good as my 130$ samsung mx-10 flashmemory camcorder (I am working on comparison videos now, I hate .swf). Just look at all the features of the Canon VIXIA HF200. Cinema mode. HD. Image shake reductions.
1920 x 1080 Full HD Recording. Dude...
This is utter BS. If the guy "KNEW FILMING" he would make something look good with a small DV camcorder. Gear "ownership" does NOT = "professionalism". Pdrg is a professional with a respected opinion. Features like "Cinema mode" and "IMage shake reductions" aren't really what I'd call "professional" features, more like consumer features. Full manual controls would be more "professional" to me- not to mention a full size focus ring...

I bought an HV40 for ONE reason over the flash based cameras- and it was the SAME reason Pdrg mentioned. I went with HDV instead of AVCHD. The consumer Canon cameras that shoot to disk or flash record in AVCHD, not HDV (as far as I know) and I didn't want to mess with the minefield. I'm sure if I really want to shoot direct to disk- I could figure out a way to use the HV40 with a Firestore or Citidrive. There is nothing wrong with tape, although I admit the allure of shooting on an electronic format is strong. We shot "The Horseman" on RED and "Aidan 5" is being shot entirely on P2 cards. I think what Pdrg is saying is just make sure you have the entire workflow worked out before investing in an acquisition format...

PS> ALways love that "If you have $50 left over, get a good tripod!" smile
Posted: Mon, 26th Oct 2009, 6:23pm

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pdrg

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Bryan M Block wrote:

I think what Pdrg is saying is just make sure you have the entire workflow worked out before investing in an acquisition format...
Bingo! Very succinctly put smile Cheers BMB
Posted: Mon, 26th Oct 2009, 10:04pm

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mikeh

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You can get the Velbon Videomate 607 for under a 100 bucks, and it has a great fluid head. It kills nay other tripod in the market. Yes it's light, but thats not always a bad thing. Just weigh it down with sand bags and it will be more than enough to start.
Posted: Mon, 26th Oct 2009, 10:19pm

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Bryan M Block

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mikeh wrote:

You can get the Velbon Videomate 607 for under a 100 bucks, and it has a great fluid head. It kills nay other tripod in the market. Yes it's light, but thats not always a bad thing. Just weigh it down with sand bags and it will be more than enough to start.
It may be a nice light duty tripod for the money, but it isn't something like a Sachtler with proper legs/spreader and head. There is quite a line between professional quality and consumer tripods...I wish I could find something in the middle but there isn't much between the $100 consumer pieces and the expensive pro pieces. sad
Posted: Mon, 26th Oct 2009, 10:37pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Something else to keep in mind is that the HV40 has a CMOS Sensor and the majority of CMOS cameras use Rolling Shutter.

Rolling Shutter is bad news for Visual Effects. Essentially because the image is captured top to bottom, when you move the camera horizontally there's going to be a delay between footage at the top and the bottom of your frame, so vertically straight objects appear slanted.

This means any effects you overlay need to be slanted too, which is a nightmare to do as the degree of slanting is relative to the camera movement. Camera Match-Moving and tracking in general go out of the window too, closing a lot of doors.

If the CMOS is a Global Shutter, then it captures the entire image simultaneously - so you won't have that problem. And the semi-good news is that the foundry released some software to undistort rolling shutter problems, it's called RollingShutter and will set you back $500.

Maybe this doesn't affect you, but it's something to keep in mind.
-Matt
Posted: Tue, 27th Oct 2009, 7:00am

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Axeman

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That's an interesting bit of information, Hybrid. Thanks. I didn't realize rolling shutter would have such an impact on compositing work, but it makes sense now that you mention it.
Posted: Tue, 27th Oct 2009, 10:43pm

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mikeh

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

Something else to keep in mind is that the HV40 has a CMOS Sensor and the majority of CMOS cameras use Rolling Shutter.

Rolling Shutter is bad news for Visual Effects. Essentially because the image is captured top to bottom, when you move the camera horizontally there's going to be a delay between footage at the top and the bottom of your frame, so vertically straight objects appear slanted.

This means any effects you overlay need to be slanted too, which is a nightmare to do as the degree of slanting is relative to the camera movement. Camera Match-Moving and tracking in general go out of the window too, closing a lot of doors.

If the CMOS is a Global Shutter, then it captures the entire image simultaneously - so you won't have that problem. And the semi-good news is that the foundry released some software to undistort rolling shutter problems, it's called RollingShutter and will set you back $500.

Maybe this doesn't affect you, but it's something to keep in mind.
-Matt
It isn't that much of a problem, unless your filming at really high shutter speeds (1/500th) and have image stabilization on. This is not however the a strictly Hv30/40 problem. Any HD camera that uses a CMOS chip will experience rolling shutter to some degree.

The worse examples Ive seen of this are in cars going at fast speed. However, for most shooting cases it's really not a problem.
Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 1:24pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Bryan M Block wrote:

Wes the fxhome dude wrote:

The guy I talked to was a pro, not a Peter Jackson wanna-be. He had the whole deal, Professional camera (hollywood kind,), HD, lights, he had abobe after effects, greenscreens, and a monster of a mac. This guy KNEW filming. And guess what? I saw the finished product, it wans't as good as my 130$ samsung mx-10 flashmemory camcorder (I am working on comparison videos now, I hate .swf). Just look at all the features of the Canon VIXIA HF200. Cinema mode. HD. Image shake reductions.
1920 x 1080 Full HD Recording. Dude...
This is utter **. If the guy "KNEW FILMING" he would make something look good with a small DV camcorder. Gear "ownership" does NOT = "professionalism". Pdrg is a professional with a respected opinion. Features like "Cinema mode" and "IMage shake reductions" aren't really what I'd call "professional" features, more like consumer features. Full manual controls would be more "professional" to me- not to mention a full size focus ring...

I bought an HV40 for ONE reason over the flash based cameras- and it was the SAME reason Pdrg mentioned. I went with HDV instead of AVCHD. The consumer Canon cameras that shoot to disk or flash record in AVCHD, not HDV (as far as I know) and I didn't want to mess with the minefield. I'm sure if I really want to shoot direct to disk- I could figure out a way to use the HV40 with a Firestore or Citidrive. There is nothing wrong with tape, although I admit the allure of shooting on an electronic format is strong. We shot "The Horseman" on RED and "Aidan 5" is being shot entirely on P2 cards. I think what Pdrg is saying is just make sure you have the entire workflow worked out before investing in an acquisition format...

PS> ALways love that "If you have $50 left over, get a good tripod!" smile
Ok, I am sorry. I stepped across the line of consumer features and ohhh the shame. Can I ever find forgiveness? For the record I respect PDRG's opinion. It's obvious he knows filming. I am just speaking from personal experience. I am not saying tapes are worth junk, never to be thought of by independent filmmakers (they are...jk). And for the record the "guy" did promotions for a cyber school and had a 5,000$ budget. Is it obvious why he bought those monster cameras? Nothing personal, I just find it all rather amusing...
Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 4:57pm

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Bryan M Block

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Wes the fxhome dude wrote:

Bryan M Block wrote:

Wes the fxhome dude wrote:

The guy I talked to was a pro, not a Peter Jackson wanna-be. He had the whole deal, Professional camera (hollywood kind,), HD, lights, he had abobe after effects, greenscreens, and a monster of a mac. This guy KNEW filming. And guess what? I saw the finished product, it wans't as good as my 130$ samsung mx-10 flashmemory camcorder (I am working on comparison videos now, I hate .swf). Just look at all the features of the Canon VIXIA HF200. Cinema mode. HD. Image shake reductions.
1920 x 1080 Full HD Recording. Dude...
This is utter **. If the guy "KNEW FILMING" he would make something look good with a small DV camcorder. Gear "ownership" does NOT = "professionalism". Pdrg is a professional with a respected opinion. Features like "Cinema mode" and "IMage shake reductions" aren't really what I'd call "professional" features, more like consumer features. Full manual controls would be more "professional" to me- not to mention a full size focus ring...

I bought an HV40 for ONE reason over the flash based cameras- and it was the SAME reason Pdrg mentioned. I went with HDV instead of AVCHD. The consumer Canon cameras that shoot to disk or flash record in AVCHD, not HDV (as far as I know) and I didn't want to mess with the minefield. I'm sure if I really want to shoot direct to disk- I could figure out a way to use the HV40 with a Firestore or Citidrive. There is nothing wrong with tape, although I admit the allure of shooting on an electronic format is strong. We shot "The Horseman" on RED and "Aidan 5" is being shot entirely on P2 cards. I think what Pdrg is saying is just make sure you have the entire workflow worked out before investing in an acquisition format...

PS> ALways love that "If you have $50 left over, get a good tripod!" smile
Ok, I am sorry. I stepped across the line of consumer features and ohhh the shame. Can I ever find forgiveness? For the record I respect PDRG's opinion. It's obvious he knows filming. I am just speaking from personal experience. I am not saying tapes are worth junk, never to be thought of by independent filmmakers (they are...jk). And for the record the "guy" did promotions for a cyber school and had a 5,000$ budget. Is it obvious why he bought those monster cameras? Nothing personal, I just find it all rather amusing...
The size of the camera again has nothing to do with anything. Most "real" film makers RENT the gear they need for the project anyway. Most people I know that are local pros have an HVX as their "personal" camera if they own one at all, and as I said our current project is being shot on P2 media, which is great. Personally I'd love to be tapeless in my own workflow, and maybe if I can snag an AJA Ki Pro (around $4,000) I could record from my HV40's HDMI port, giving me a full data stream BEFORE it's compressed to HDV, something most people don't even know is POSSIBLE with those little cams! but comparing a $130 Samsung flash based camera to a professional model is somewhat ludicrous for lots and lots of reasons. A good DP/Camera op understands the strengths and weaknesses of the particular camera they are using and works to get the best picture out of that particular camera. I'd love to see some of that footage you shot with the Samsung.

cheers,
B
Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 6:12pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Bryan M Block wrote:

Wes the fxhome dude wrote:

Bryan M Block wrote:

This is utter **. If the guy "KNEW FILMING" he would make something look good with a small DV camcorder. Gear "ownership" does NOT = "professionalism". Pdrg is a professional with a respected opinion. Features like "Cinema mode" and "IMage shake reductions" aren't really what I'd call "professional" features, more like consumer features. Full manual controls would be more "professional" to me- not to mention a full size focus ring...

I bought an HV40 for ONE reason over the flash based cameras- and it was the SAME reason Pdrg mentioned. I went with HDV instead of AVCHD. The consumer Canon cameras that shoot to disk or flash record in AVCHD, not HDV (as far as I know) and I didn't want to mess with the minefield. I'm sure if I really want to shoot direct to disk- I could figure out a way to use the HV40 with a Firestore or Citidrive. There is nothing wrong with tape, although I admit the allure of shooting on an electronic format is strong. We shot "The Horseman" on RED and "Aidan 5" is being shot entirely on P2 cards. I think what Pdrg is saying is just make sure you have the entire workflow worked out before investing in an acquisition format...

PS> ALways love that "If you have $50 left over, get a good tripod!" smile
Ok, I am sorry. I stepped across the line of consumer features and ohhh the shame. Can I ever find forgiveness? For the record I respect PDRG's opinion. It's obvious he knows filming. I am just speaking from personal experience. I am not saying tapes are worth junk, never to be thought of by independent filmmakers (they are...jk). And for the record the "guy" did promotions for a cyber school and had a 5,000$ budget. Is it obvious why he bought those monster cameras? Nothing personal, I just find it all rather amusing...
The size of the camera again has nothing to do with anything. Most "real" film makers RENT the gear they need for the project anyway. Most people I know that are local pros have an HVX as their "personal" camera if they own one at all, and as I said our current project is being shot on P2 media, which is great. Personally I'd love to be tapeless in my own workflow, and maybe if I can snag an AJA Ki Pro (around $4,000) I could record from my HV40's HDMI port, giving me a full data stream BEFORE it's compressed to HDV, something most people don't even know is POSSIBLE with those little cams! but comparing a $130 Samsung flash based camera to a professional model is somewhat ludicrous for lots and lots of reasons. A good DP/Camera op understands the strengths and weaknesses of the particular camera they are using and works to get the best picture out of that particular camera. I'd love to see some of that footage you shot with the Samsung.

cheers,
B
The quotes are getting too big. Yes, you are right. Neither size or money can make a camera good. But to coin a phrase, "They sure can help." I am working on comparison shots. I won't mess with them at all. Also what is wrong with comparing my camera with the pro ones? I won't say my camcorder is perfect. It loses quality when zooming and it shoots grainy video in the dark. But it has almost never just shut off on me. I don't have to grade my raw footage to remove flaws. And, It imports fine into FXhome products. What more can you ask for out of a $130 camcorder? Also, please make a point here....
Again, nothing personal,
Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 6:26pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Here are some comparison, faces hid to avoid problems. I am not going to say which camera is which. I did not tamper with any of them.
http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/742407/Camera%20comparision%202.JPG
http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/742407/Camera%20comparision%201.JPG
http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/742407/Cam%20comparision%203.JPG
http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/742407/vlcsnap-2009-10-28-14h03m35s143.png
http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/742407/vlcsnap-2009-10-28-14h10m26s208.png
and a video with the samsung...
http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/742407/SDV_2222.AVI
As you can see....Neither are horrible. Some may like the tape and some may like the samsung, it's your choice.

Last edited Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 6:54pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 6:40pm

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pdrg

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Wes the fxhome dude wrote:

...had a 5,000$ budget. Is it obvious why he bought those monster cameras?
Heh heh don't lets play budget top trumps...I suspect our definitions of 'monster camera' will be different wink

Edit - Please note, I'm not trying to diss your $130 camcorder, I'm pleased you're happy with it! I really am!

Last edited Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 7:02pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 6:45pm

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Bryan M Block

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pdrg wrote:

Wes the fxhome dude wrote:

...had a 5,000$ budget. Is it obvious why he bought those monster cameras?
Heh heh don't lets play budget top trumps...I suspect our definitions of 'monster camera' will be different wink
Yes, after seeing the stills posted, I'm realizing that this conversation is veering from "educational" towards "pX$$ing match" with someone at an, AHEM, different level.
smile
Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 6:53pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Yup, this debate is going nowhere...so long. Someone (probably me) once said: The key to winning the debate is an open mind. It's obvious that is not present.
Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 7:11pm

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pdrg

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For what it's worth, pics 201, 202, 203 to my eye are very soft despite being small, the two VLC screengrabs are interlaced to heck and a different size, so a comparison isn't really possible.

I know you think I'm being 'closed minded', but if you see the number of problems people have with crappy low bitrate $100 cameras expecting them to perform with even a mid-to-low-budget EX1 or a RED for instance, you may see why I steer people wide of them - the workflows still are not there for consumer models, largely because (as I mentioned) all of the codec hell and low-bitrate pain that comes with them.

I'm pleased you are happy with your camera, and if it does what you want and you're happy with it, that's brilliant news, and by all means stick with it. There's a place for those fun small form-factor cameras, and I'm pleased you're making films and having fun. I'm just not a convert for anything other than having fun kinds stuff with it.
Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 7:15pm

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Bryan M Block

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Wes the fxhome dude wrote:

Yup, this debate is going nowhere...so long. Someone (probably me) once said: The key to winning the debate is an open mind. It's obvious that is not present.
Dude- these are not very high quality images. Interlacing, focus, and noise issues are very present, although I'm sure that for the money it's a handy little device, and there is NO reason why you cannot make movies with it. The point is that it is NOT the medium (tape or solid state) that you are capturing the images with that is going to determine the "quality" of the image per se. Each medium has it's limitations due to COMPRESSION to be sure. HDV, DV, and H.264 are all forms of compression that have some effect on the output, but it it is NOT the "deciding factor" The HV20/30/40 takes EXCELLENT images and it is tape based. The HVX takes excellent images on P2 media...or tape. THe XHA1 takes excellent images and puts them onto tape as well. Any camera with a FIREWIRE port can output to a hard disk recorder such as the FIRESTORE. Can there be variations? YOU BET. Tape can have dropouts...but cards and drives can fail. I can probably repair a frame in a tape drop out capture, but if the card or disk fails....you are out of luck. There are a LOT more factors that go into making a decent image. If you asked me whether I wanted to use the Samsung you have or a broadcast Betacam SP cam to shoot something....I'd go with the old school non-digital Betacam in a heartbeat...and that technology is from 1986.

P.S. FOr an example of using the HV20 (same image processor as HV30 and HV40) with an adapter here is a piece by Phillip Bloom. The images are EXCEPTIONAL for a $700 camcorder.

HV20 piece:
http://philipbloom.co.uk/films/35mm-films/hv20-letus-mini-test/
Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 7:39pm

Post 48 of 51

Fxhome Dude

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pdrg wrote:

For what it's worth, pics 201, 202, 203 to my eye are very soft despite being small, the two VLC screengrabs are interlaced to heck and a different size, so a comparison isn't really possible.

I know you think I'm being 'closed minded', but if you see the number of problems people have with crappy low bitrate $100 cameras expecting them to perform with even a mid-to-low-budget EX1 or a RED for instance, you may see why I steer people wide of them - the workflows still are not there for consumer models, largely because (as I mentioned) all of the codec **** and low-bitrate pain that comes with them.

I'm pleased you are happy with your camera, and if it does what you want and you're happy with it, that's brilliant news, and by all means stick with it. There's a place for those fun small form-factor cameras, and I'm pleased you're making films and having fun. I'm just not a convert for anything other than having fun kinds stuff with it.
I actually don't think you are being closed minded at all. You're right, the camera was rather fuzzy. The My cousin got one of those low bitrate cameras. Can you believe it broke in 2 months? I can see why yo steer people away from them. No, my samsung isn't acceptable for anything but youtube. The difference in size is because the one video was embeded (the fuzzy one) and the other I had the file...
Posted: Thu, 29th Oct 2009, 11:08pm

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pdrg

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Yeah, those cheapo palmheld cameras absolutely have a place - they're incredibly convenient, which means you may actually have the thing with you when you see a fire at a fireworks factory - unlike a heftier camera. And that's a big plus! But outside of very plain lighting environments, they tend to struggle (all cameras do, but the small ones have smaller sensors and lenses so have even less light!), and make about a zillion assumptions for you (white balance, sound levels, focus, etc) which is perfect for convenience, too, but less good for creative control. Autofocus, for instance, causes a lot of problems when it goes "searching" for focus in a shot if the subject is off-centre for dramatic reasons.

Of course, that's all unrelated to the storage medium, and cheap tape cams suffer from those too - but they at least have the advantage of a simple workflow. I know people who have had a terrible job editing flash-card video just because of the 'baked in' interlacing as the conversion software can sometimes resize a shot before deinterlacing, etc. We spent many hours sorting out a workflow for a guy in a similar position all due to the flash card camera and the fact a de-facto codec and container and ratio and sizes standard has not emerged yet, whereas any DV deck is easily ingested natively by any PC or Mac or Linux.

I have a little £40/$60 camera myself, it's cheap and nasty, but small, light and convenient. It takes AAA batteries, and a regular SD card. It's convenient, but a pain to get into an editing app, so I have a better camera for "good stuff" and use it for pure convenience. One day soon it'll all be on my mobile phone, but not quite yet...!
Posted: Thu, 29th Oct 2009, 11:24pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Yea, that is just about the only thing going for those little buggers. I hve had my workflow all up and working when I had to switch computers. From an XP to a Vista to XP. I had problems with both of the final transfers. You're right: Codecs are a mess...
Posted: Fri, 30th Oct 2009, 12:20am

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pdrg

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Something that can help when you're in codec trouble is ffdshow - it's a free directshow filter pack, which means the OS can recognise anything you can cajole WMP into playing, and increasing the range of things it can play via directshow as opposed to native codecs. It's made it possible to use my £40 camera for instance, as (can you believe it?) they used MJPEG inside an AVI wrapper. Yukk - cheap and fine if you can bear their terrible player/converter/editing software but grim for serious use.