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Should I buy two video cameras?

Luis Maymi's picture
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/26/2008 - 4:58am
Plus Member

Im looking for a video camera that give me a decent quality video and sound for a modest price. But there is one thing that I'm considering and is buying two cameras for multiple camera shotting. To me is extremly important to have many different camera angles but, should I buy two medium rate cameras or should I buy one High rate video camera? (My budget is around $1000)


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

It depends what you're shooting. If you are shooting an event for example, you can't ask everyone to stop so you can move around and get different angles. So in that situation, you'd want multiple cameras.

If you are shooting a narrative, documentary, or any video that allows for more control, one camera may be all you need.


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 day ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

Sadly, you will likely be unable to find two commercial production quality cameras for $1K. Even a high quality camera will likely require a budget of more than $2.5k, actually closer probably to $4K.

There are cheaper, average quality consumer cameras out there for $600 to $800, but you're still looking at more than your indicated budget to get a pair.

My preferance is to shoot with a matched pair - been doing it since the old AG456 days of SVHS, and even before that with a couple of consumer panasonics. We now use two Canon XL1 models and a GL2, but will soon be moving into high definition. That is likely to be a pair of the newly introduced Panasonic AG-HMC150 AVCCAM models.

Although, in order to make this move I have to consider upgrading my editing equipment first to the latest iteration of Mac Pro with Final Cut Pro. So, I might have to settle for HDV cams in the consumer bracket, like the Canon HV30. Two of those, along with required audio, LitePanels lighting kits and bracket support enhancements, will still run me about $1,200 each even though the cameras might be found for less than $700 each if I shop around.

Tough decisions - all of them costing money. So, if you're just getting into the business, or seeking to grow, diversify or expand your current video business, you need to make sure you have the client base, or potential to pay for a major investment in the acquisition, editing and production tools you will need.


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

Sadly, you will likely be unable to find two commercial production quality cameras for $1K. Even a high quality camera will likely require a budget of more than $2.5k, actually closer probably to $4K. There are cheaper, average quality consumer cameras out there for $600 to $800, but you're still looking at more than your indicated budget to get a pair. My preferance is to shoot with a matched pair - been doing it since the old AG456 days of SVHS, and even before that with a couple of consumer panasonics. We now use two Canon XL1 models and a GL2, but will soon be moving into high definition. That is likely to be a pair of the newly introduced Panasonic AG-HMC150 AVCCAM models. Although, in order to make this move I have to consider upgrading my editing equipment first to the latest iteration of Mac Pro with Final Cut Pro. So, I might have to settle for HDV cams in the consumer bracket, like the Canon HV30. Two of those, along with required audio, LitePanels lighting kits and bracket support enhancements, will still run me about $1,200 each even though the cameras might be found for less than $700 each if I shop around. Tough decisions - all of them costing money. So, if you're just getting into the business, or seeking to grow, diversify or expand your current video business, you need to make sure you have the client base, or potential to pay for a major investment in the acquisition, editing and production tools you will need.

I'm going to have to agree, in part with my learned friend here. While most of the advice he offers is with no doubt right, in one area, I feel his opinion is a little off:

Pros get a little spoiled, when it comes to equipment.

spend some time behind the wheel of a Porsche or Ferrari and suddenly you forget that there are little Subaru's out there that can hold thier own on any street with cars costing four to ten times as much.

Same holds true with cameras.

I bought the sony hdr-hc1 and sr12. When used properly, the video quality is astounding. Both of these cameras will best the gl2 in image quality, for example.

Very few people would be able to watch the video from these cameras (on dvd or in high def on appletv) and spot the differences between these camera's and thier Pro sister models (the hdr-a1u for example). Fortunately for me, those people are not my customers, they already have "better" cameras, anyways.

if it is all you can afford, by all means buy the "Prosumer" or top of the line amatuer cameras, learn lighting and audio, camera and edit techniques. You can always rent pro models suited to specific jobs as needed, and you really need to keep up your skills, and portfolio to get those jobs. $1000.00 is a little low unless your looking at used. Also look at your computer...can it handle the workload? Cheaper cameras often give out "pro" quality whit good lighting (for example there are canon mini dv cams out there with mic inputs. these $250.00 (Walmart) cams with a $150.00 rode mic, and an edirol audio recorder, combined with some powerful lighting, good filming/editing techniques can easily produce some pro looking dvd or web quality video).


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 day ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

"...these $250.00 (Walmart) cams with a $150.00 rode mic, and an edirol audio recorder, combined with some powerful lighting, good filming/editing techniques can easily produce some pro looking dvd or web quality video."

True, but then my friend, what have you spent? Is either of the models to which you referred actually REALLY priced at $250 at WalMart? What was the latest price you found the Edirol audio recorder? What price, "powerful" lighting.

Web quality work requires a certain refined and professional knowledge to get right but is relatively easy to accomplish. Agreed that "good" (videotaping) and editing techniques can WITH WORK produce some "pro looking" DVD.

As I said: "Tough decisions - all of them costing money."


Aspyrider's picture
Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/22/2007 - 5:58pm

Also remember that the investment in yourself will payoff the best. Learn and learn some more. Spend time getting good at videography. A couple of Canon HD10's in the hands of a pro will look fantastic compared to an amateur with a Pro camera. So the key to good video isn't in your equipment, its in you.:)


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 1 year 12 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

Also remember that the investment in yourself will payoff the best. Learn and learn some more. Spend time getting good at videography. A couple of Canon HD10's in the hands of a pro will look fantastic compared to an amateur with a Pro camera. So the key to good video isn't in your equipment, its in you.:)

Amen!

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


NewBirthProductions's picture
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/24/2008 - 8:07pm

Also remember that the investment in yourself will payoff the best. Learn and learn some more. Spend time getting good at videography. A couple of Canon HD10's in the hands of a pro will look fantastic compared to an amateur with a Pro camera. So the key to good video isn't in your equipment, its in you.:)

I'll second that motion.