Still to Video… Help me decide..

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    • #42313
      AvatarM5ABI
      Participant

      Hello,
      I have done still photos for a while now about 8 years. And I consider myself high-end amature photographer. I think I’m ready to move to the video section.

      I currently shoot Canon 10D with multiple Canon lenses 50mm 1.8, 24-135MM 4.6, 70-200mm 2.8 IS..

      I really like the XL2. But its quite expensive… So, i have looked into the following…

      Pansonic AG-DVC30
      Canon GL2
      Sony DSR-PDX10

      Let me know what you believe I should get… Or should I just spend the money and get XL2???

      Thanks,
      Bobby

    • #177872
      Avatari43Productions
      Participant

      really the choice is less about your level as a still photog and more about what you’re going to do with your video camera. i started off doing photography professionally, but soon after i got my degree in Photo-J i realized that i wanted to do video instead. i got a degree and started working and, aside from learning the theoretical similarities and differences between the two, it wasn’t a big deal to switch.

      the main issue, though, is what you want to do. i’m currently working freelance shooting and editing projects for various clients. i have a limited budget so i decided to invest in a Sony HVR-Z1U HDV camera because i wanted something that would last and still be effective in the HD world.

      If you’re planning on doing something similar as far as freelance work in small productions and other commercial areas, the best choice would be to go high-end and buy something that’s good quality that’ll last you for a while. i’m generally partial to Sony and the Z1U but the XL2 is also a good camera from my experience. if you’re just trying to get a feel for this and you’re looking for something that you can use for more personal use, i’d say go with a GL2, PDX10 or DVC30. I don’t know much about the PDX10 or DVC30 but I have heard a lot of good things about the GL2.

      I hope this helps!

    • #177873
      Avatari43Productions
      Participant

      as of now, HD is so limited (including forms of distribution) that none of my clients are asking for it. so i don’t worry too much about that yet. probably when Blu-Ray or HD-DVD comes out I’ll be using those for the distribution, but for now i generally work in standard def. there’s no real reason for me to do otherwise.

      as for the equipment, M5ABI, remember to look at what you WANT to do and then figure out what you NEED to buy. If you’re going into a full-fledged production environment where you will be working weddings, corporate, etc then you may need some of these really cool, but really expensive items. but remember that this is also a lot like still photography. i got by doing a great job for a long time on my Nikon Fm2n manual camera with an old, less than perfect tripod. In video you can do a great job with limited resources as long as you have a few essentials:

      1 camera: your camera needs to have a high quality chip (3 chip is the optimal) for the best color and image reproduction. it’s just like your 10D, that chip is much better than your friends little point and shoot. if you have a crappy camera, you’ll never get above it. all of the options you listed are quality enough for your use, depending on your use.

      2 lighting: you can buy reflectors pretty cheap as well as lighting stands. B&H has stands for around $25 and reflectors around that much as well. you can even get a really cool 5-in-1 reflector that also has a translucent panel that you can throw a light behind for an instant (and very inexpensive) softbox. to start out with, i have the 5-in-1, a gold/white reflector, a couple stands and (here’s the best one) my main light is a worklamp from Home Depot with a 90watt outdoor floodlight in it. it’s not expensive but combined with the softener panel, it’ll give very professional results.
      if you don’t have good lighting, your video looks very amature

      3 tripod: a decent tripod and fluid head is really essential to quality shooting. for $142 at B&H there’s a Bogen/Manfrotto (i’m sure you’re familiar with that brand) fluid head that you can stick on top your current tripod (if you have one with a removable head). i have a ball head for my F100 and the Bogen for my Z1U and a single Bogen tripod. it works well and with a good fluid head, you get the smoothness and quality that people will expect.

      another interesting side thing for camera supports, i’ve started using my monopod for some of my on-the-go shooting with my video camera and it’s really nice for situations where you can’t or don’t want to set up a tripod. it’s got the same limitations of a monopod in still photography, but it’s helpful for some situations.

      the basic point that Compusolver and I are both saying, though, is to make sure you think about what you need and go with that. personally i wouldn’t have the budget to get a cheap $500 camera get a feel for things, but borrowing other people’s camera works too (that’s what i had done when i was working on my degree).

      also, looking to the future and trying to figure out how long you want your camera to last is helpful. investing in the Z1u was a big step because i don’t know how much funding i’ll have to purchase another camera in a few years. i’m not sure if i’ll be freelancing or doing something else, if i’ll have kids, etc, so getting something that could also shoot HD was important because when the switch hits (ha ha, if ever), i want to be sure my camera will continue being useful.

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