Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › I have $6000. What would YOU buy?
December 5, 2005 at 9:26 AM #39003
I’m an intermediate videographer that has gotten this far with borrowed equipment believe it or not, but now its time to start making some money with video and I need my own stuff.
I’ve got exactly 6000 cash to spend on my equipment which is to include a camera (with accessories) and a hardcore workstation.
I have my heart set on a GL2 so I already know that eats 2k. And I’ve also configured an Alienware workstation that weighs in a 3k.
Do you think it’s possible to get the remaining accessories for $1000? And by the way what accessories would you recommend?
I thought about a stablizing kit, tripod and a hard case for the camera but other than that, I don’t know what to get.
By the way I’ll be shooting motocross racing so I will always be outside and in the dust and elements.
December 5, 2005 at 10:11 AM #169207EndeavorParticipant
My personal opinion is to maybe spend a little less than the $3k on the comp. If you are computer saavy like me you may want to build it yourself. Alienware rocks but you can build about the same system for half what you will spend from alienware. BTW, is software included in that $3k? If not, don’t forget it! Another alternative would be to get a mac if you really want to spend that much.
December 5, 2005 at 11:07 AM #169208
Here’s one and one half cents worth.
It sounds like you have already spent 3K on the editing system, so you have 3K left?
You should really do some research on the GL2. In this forum and others there have been allusions to a problem that crops up with the tape moving mechanism breaking down after a period of a year or so. The degree of chatter on this subject (which in fact but who knows could be a lot of chatter from just a few individuals) steered me away from my early consideration of a GL2.
I own two Sony VX2100’s and can vouch for their toughness under challenging outdoor conditions and the excellent quality of images even in low light environments. Example, I remember when my Canon L2 would freeze up on me in Hong Kong due to super high humidity. My 2100 performs non stop even when hit my rain drops (which I do not recommend).
On a recent trip to the Philippines, my working partner had a GL2. It was new for him and he had a hard time using it. (Perhaps not all the camera’s fault.) This is a simple simon way to say it, but the buttons are more obvious and better organized on the 2100, than the GL2. (One of the things that marred some of his footage is that the transitional effect of blinds being shut showed up unwanted and unexpected on several occasions and it was not obvious how to shut it off. OK, more familiarity with camera and manual would have helped.)
A striking thing about the GL2 is how light it is. For many, this might be a plus. For me, it had the feel of a toy camera. (Forgive me GL2 owners. I have seen short films with quality images on large movie house screens where it said shot by GL2’s in the credits; so I can be objective sometimes.) It is easier to hold a heavier camera steady than a camera that feels as light as the GL2. I estimate, based on handling both cams, that the 2100, with a 5 or 9 hour battery, and the wide angle screw in lens is one and one half to two times as heavy as the GL2. I am a bag of bones and have no problem hand holding the 2100 for an hour at a time.
So if you were to go with the 2100, also get:
—two 5-hours batteries (the one that comes with the cam is only in the 2-3 hour range)
—several (5, 10??) “haze” or lens protection filters. Essential in the motor cross environment. Also, special wipes because you will be wiping them a lot. When scratched, toss them out. Get quality filters, which will not be cheap cheap, but relative to cost of tape, will be an excellent investment to protect your lens. (In safe environments, I don’t use protection filters, due to unwanted uncontrollable lighting effects.) (Note. The 2100 with normal lens comes with a hood that sticks out about 3 inches from the lens; this also reduces dust by a factor.)
—a substantial tripod, at least 5-10 lbs. The weight will increase steadiness when you are in vibration land; also, is is not a pretty sight to see an elegant expensive lightweight (fluid head, etc.) tripod blow over in a gust of wind.
—a lavalier setup, recommend a basic hardwire input. 2100 has pin input, not XLR. You might want this for interviews on site. I find a ten foot cable from a belt unit on the subject over to the cam, with XLR to pin cable at the end, works very well. A lot of your motorcross shooting may be handheld; for interviews, you will need the tripod.
—a set of earphones that will fold up into nothing, so you can stick them in your pocket, for monitoring audio for interviews.
REGARDS … TOM 8)
December 5, 2005 at 4:21 PM #169209Captured-FilmsParticipant
I have been racing motocross for about 9 years and started making video from the races a couple years ago. I have been looking into the VX2100 and it seem good for motocross. At amatuer nationals quite a few people use the VX2100, GL2 and a couple have the HDR-FX1. For protecting there cameras they use rain covers.
Were are you from?
December 5, 2005 at 7:59 PM #169210AnonymousInactive
Take the remaining $1000 and buy a Bogen/Manfrotto Fluid Head Tripod with either the 501 or the 503 fluid head. You can probably get this for around $400. Then, buy the Azden 200 series UHF wireless mic kit for $650. You get two mics and the receiver. That’s what I’d do if I were you.
December 5, 2005 at 10:35 PM #169211
Re headphones, I’ve currently settled for a pair of cheap/decent/light weight Radio Shack phones, that disappear into a vest pocket when not in use.
This pair is connected by a solid piece of plastic over the head, not the split type. Have mastered getting them on quickly with one hand while operating the cam with the other, when this is needed; took practice.
Not expensive, I think in the $15 to $25 range. There is no model number on the unit.
I took a chance on this pair, I hadn’t planned on buying such a cheap micro pair, but they proved themselves “on location.” This past October, during an interview session in a rice paddy community in the Philippines, I used these phones to monitor story telling from my subject and LOTS of noise from kids crowded around. Using my Shure special line matching tranformer cable (Model A96F), XLR to pin input on the cam, I noticed a faint hum/whine that was present only when I slowly zoomed in or out on my storyteller. (BTW hugely shocking and disappointing that this special cable let me down.) Anyway, I said CUT and switched to a plain no frills cable to do the XLR to pin connection. (Comprehensive brand, 3-footer) This backup system got rid of the noise (relief!!!) and I clearly heard the super clean 16-bit audio through the “cheap” phones.
REGARDS … TOM 8)
December 6, 2005 at 9:09 AM #169212
Wow thanks so very much for the input guys! I’m very grateful.
And wow I didn’t have any idea that the GL2 was under such scrutiny. I’ll definitely check out the Sony as I’ve always had great results with Sony products across the board. So thanks for that heads-up!
I’m a web developer (from Anderson South Carolina, (Capture-Films))by trade so I don’t really get too deep into hardware configuration and construction, hence the reason I went after the best retail workstation I could find. And for 3k its frigg’n loaded. So unless I come across a killer tutorial on how to build a super system, I’ll probably save myself the time and just place an order.
The tripod and glidecam situation still have me a bit puzzled, because I’ve never owned a glidecam system or a decent tripod. With regards to these can anyone give me a specific Brand name and maybe even a model number to look for? Also since I will be shooting 90% handheld, so should I shell out the $190 for a cheap glidecam (esk) stablizing arm? Do they work?
I’ve got to go re-read all of your posts to make sure that I’m not being redundent.
December 6, 2005 at 9:26 AM #169213
Hey guys I found this today. Is this a good deal or should I purchase each piece seperately?
It’s at Genius Cameras and is package deal for $2549.00. It’s called (DCR-VX2100 w/Genius Package 4) and it includes:
Sony DCR-VX2100 Camcorder
6 HR Battery
Three Piece Filter Kit
Wide Angle Lens
2X Telephoto Lens
Deluxe Cleaning Kit
Full Size Tripod
10 MiniDV Tapes
MiniDV Head Cleaner
Wireless Microphone System
Professional Video Light
December 6, 2005 at 10:21 AM #169214
This is one heckuva deal if legit. Is the camcorder used?
BE CAREFUL. See if you can find a rating on this dealer.
Just did a quickie check on camcorderinfo.com. I found 46 camcorder dealers, with ratings, and consumer reviews, but Genius wasn’t on the list. The usual suspects were on there: bhphotovideo, J&R in NYC etc (i.e., well known reputable dealers). Current bh price for basic cam is $2300.
Do MORE Research!
REGARDS … TOM
December 6, 2005 at 11:06 AM #169215
Ok ok point taken. And I didn’t stumble on to this forum I’m a subscriber to the mag so I knew you guys were the ones to ask.
I’ve done all of my equipment searches at B&H and was asking if this “genius” price was too good to be true. I did follow the link and well… it is too good to be true. So thanks again for helping with that!
The search continues…
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