Advice on whether SD camcorder or HD camcorder

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    • #43096

      Hi all,

      My friends and I are planning to take part in 48 hours film festival. All of us are very new to film making and have little or no film making experience.

      We are trying to rent out camcorders for this. Our options are

      1)Sony VX2100

      2)Sony DSR-VX2100

      3)Sony HVR-Z1U(HD)

      4)Sony DSR-PD150(SD)

      HD cameras are more expensive to rent than the SD ones. What I want to know is how much difference would having an HD camera make for such a

      festival. We are planning to get additional light equipment and microphones. Any feedback is welcome.


    • #180656

      you want topartake in a film festival without owning any cameras,no knowledge of microphones, lighting, SD or HD, and top it off havinglittle or noexperience shooting?

      interesting concept…

    • #180657

      I never said we won’t hv a camera. We are planning to rent one. And I am reading about about things and trying to learn. Just incase you haven’t heard there is always a first time. If you think things are impossible sucks for you. Me and my friends and optimistic, want to learn and we are SMART !!!!! If you have nothing to offer please don’t bother replying.

    • #180658

      zoobie, this festival is set up to be pretty much exactly for this type of shooter, so before you cast your nose at someone, maybe you should have something constructive to say. I’m tired of your judgemental posts when this is supposed to be a forum for helping people.

      Jainankita, I have participated in several 48-hour’s (Nashville) and as I recall the rules still require submission by DVD or equivalent, right? An HD image is going to have to be down-converted to SD to be put on DVD so my bet is to save your money for props, FX make-up, etc. and just go for an SD cam. The PD150 has a cult following among people who have used it as being very well-loved. I will suggest you get your hands on it a day or so early, and try to play around with it. Remember, autofocus is not alwas as crisp as it seems, and White balance is your friend.

      I am thrilled to hear of another’s interest in the 48-hour film fest. If you would like some tips-n-tricks, advice, etc. from someone who knows the pitfalls all too well, give me a shout at

    • #180659

      This is a repost. Had copied from Word powered by XP and it was massacred by the Video Forum mixmaster. Something has gone kookoo at this forum over the last month or so, as this transaction used to work perfectly.Is there an explanation, tutorial, workaround for dealing with the monstermashup ? I couldn’t stand it, so I deleted the whole thing and started over. I’ve seen complaints by others; now Iknow what they are talking about.

      OK here’s my redo of response on subject of what cam to get for 48 hr film project/festival participation:

      Agree on PD150. Has XLR inputs (2); 2100 does not. With what you save on renting the SD, think about getting two 150s. Have both running per take.

      Audio is a big challenge for 48hr films, the original live recording and stuff that can happen in post. Audio should be monitored on headphones during takes. My suggestion is go with boom mics or second choice lavs on talent and hidden cables to cams. You might get lucky with wireless, but 48 hours is not the time to learn a lot of new things. Over and over I have seen 48 hr films that looked great, were edited cleanly, but the audio was mixed too low, way out of synch, volume up and down, or etc. Am in a big market (DC) with 60 or so films being completed. At least 25% have obvious audio issues.

      No matter what, make the completion deadline. You can always play with the project later and fine tune quality, if your film falls a bit short of your artistic vision !! 48 hours has loosened up re the recycling of 48 hour films by the “authors” for other projects, film fests, etc. They used to wanna have more control over the use of project films. This greater freedom for the filmmakers is a real positive thing.

      Good luck, stay cool, stay friends, and bring coffee.

      REGARDS … ThomScratch

    • #180660

      i agree about the Sony PD150. Maybe look into the PD170, which is the updated version. I’d go with the cheaper one. I dont think you will see much difference between the two.

      I agree with the audio advice as well. In my opinion, bad audio will kill your project no matter how well you light, shoot, edit, etc. It’s not that hard to record decent audio either, you just have to take the time to do it.

      I’d say a boom pole with a shotgun attached to a PD150 or PD170 will get you some solid results.

      Good luck.

    • #180661

      Cameras 1 and 2 are the SAME camera. I own and professional shoot with a PD-150. It is simple to use and has XLR inputs for good microphone. On my camera, mic 1 is the shotgun mic that comes with the camera and mic 2 is a dynamic mic on a mic stand. If you take the base off the stand you now have a mic pole. (Yes, I am the absolute KING of cheap when it comes to shooting video.)

      I have worked with others using a Z1U on two occasions. In standard definition, I was UNDERWHELMED with the Z1Us performance. The PD150 has significantly better low light performance, but REALLY needs a wide angle lens for indoor shooting. You should at least have a fill light as well.

      When you get to the final edits, HDV uses mpeg2 file types as opposed to AVI file types for the PD150. Make sure that your editing platform can handle HDV if you plan to go high definition. I also recommend reading “The 30 Dollar Film School” for some fast training. Good luck!

    • #180662

      Thanks all for the advice and optimism.

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