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A camera for FEATURE Film

pwrlogic's picture
Last seen: 8 years 1 month ago
Joined: 11/17/2006 - 1:27pm
Hello
I'm sure this question has been asked many times but here goes.
What is the besst bang for the buck in terms of getting a camera that can produce feature film quality results.
I am a music producer and i have my own post production setup for music and video.
I have written a screenplay and i'm testing the waterss on doing this porject within my own camp.
i do not know video and film gear the way i do audio gear.
i was prepared to buy a canon xl2 to start out but after reading several videomaker issues i'm considering the jvc GY-HD110U, although i do not know if either of these would be good for a low budget film.
I know the thing to do is to hire a camera crew but even if i do i have to know something about the gear.
Thanks

pwrlogic's picture
Last seen: 8 years 1 month ago
Joined: 11/17/2006 - 1:27pm
Whenever i post , no one responds.
After doing my own research and talking to several camera rental places hear in new york, i find the best bang for the buck camera boils down to these.
Panasonic dvx1oob.
sony hvr-z1u
canon xha1 or xhg1.
Sure there are others that cost more but i wanted to keep the price to less than four thousand.
Most of the rental places said that the Z1U is the hot item right now.
There are dvx's on ebay used for $1600 which look very tempting.
Any comments would be great.

Back to to more reaserch.

Ken
Ken's picture
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: 01/12/2007 - 10:54am
If you're really going to do a feature film in standard definition, then the Panasonic DVX100b would be a good choice, since it can do progressive scan. There might be some other standard def camcorders that can do progressive scan, but I don't know which.

But I would think for a feature film, you'd want to go high definition. There are several to choose from. The JVC HD110, Canon XHA1 or XHG1 you mentioned would be excellent choices. The Sony HVR-A1U would be a much more affordable good choice.

And if you're going to do special effects, like chromakey, you'd probably want progressive scan and 4:2:2 color encoding. The Panasonic HVX200 can do that. Or you might look into camcorders having HDMI output, like the Sony HVR-V1U. Such a camcorder could be used while connected to a Blackmagic Intensity card in your computer, to avoid HDV compression problems and record straight to computer. (Of course, that would mean carrying your computer with you on the shoot, but if you're doing chromakey, you're probably shooting in a studio anyhow.)

Hope this helped, :)
Ken Hull

pwrlogic's picture
Last seen: 8 years 1 month ago
Joined: 11/17/2006 - 1:27pm
thanks for the reply
the hvx200 was memtioned to me by the camera rental place, but i can't spend that much.
the idea about the black magic card and the sony v1u is great.
i guess that would work for inside shots.
but i will be doing alot of outside shooting.
i do like the jvc but the canon is less money.
but right now i'm leaning towards a used dvx. i can get 3 or more used ones for the price of one hvx200.

Anthem's picture
Last seen: 7 years 8 months ago
Joined: 03/30/2007 - 8:35am
This is something that I have wondered about for a while now:

Obviously with all the High Def. technology available now, that would be the ultimate choice for the type of project that is being discussed. However is the higher cost really justified? Probably only about 15% of the people who will see my current project have HD capablities; everyone else is stuck with regular ol' SD. Is it really worth it? Are the HD cameras really superior even if the viewer does not have an HD setup?

pwrlogic's picture
Last seen: 8 years 1 month ago
Joined: 11/17/2006 - 1:27pm
your point is well taken
it's just like in the audio industry where people want interfaces that go up to 192khz when the end user is using mp3's.
at the same time you do not know what the future holds.
i just bought a 22" lcd off amazon new for $259, remember what lcd's used to cost.
maybe in the future the cost of these HD units will fall.
but i don't think by much.
in the recording world when you get to a certain level the price for quality gear is always going to be high.
My rep from sweetwater.com audio called and said they sell cameras now.
he said i could get a canon xl2 on sweetwaters credit plan.
i checked out the xl2 and it is super
check out this clip i found on the dvx user forum.
http://youare.tv/watch.php?id=2709
i think i'm going to go this way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i'll let yall know.

Ken
Ken's picture
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: 01/12/2007 - 10:54am
I just took a look at the Canon website, and yes the XL-2 does have progressive scan. Costs a little more than the DVX100b, but the XL-2 is a shoulder mount design, very useful if you're doing any hand-held shooting. As long as you're OK with a standard-def unit for feature filmmaking, then you should be happy with the Canon. :D
Ken Hull

pwrlogic's picture
Last seen: 8 years 1 month ago
Joined: 11/17/2006 - 1:27pm
yeah i think you are right.
the jaber on the net is the xl-1s was used to makie the successful zombie flicl 28 days.
if that is true then it is a rap.
The only problem is that amazon has it for $3300 plus a $300 rebate.
now if only i can get sweetwater.com who is selling theirs at $3999 to come down to the amazon price.
but it looks like it is the xl2 for me folks, one way or another.
thanks everybody!!!!!!!!! :D

compusolver's picture
Last seen: 10 years 5 days ago
Joined: 12/16/2004 - 8:16am
Checkout our Trading Post. There's a guy claiming to be selling a brand-new xl2 for $2500.

http://www.videomaker.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4355