Camera buying advice

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    • #71047
      Avatarwykedelf
      Member

      I am looking to replace my old cameras. They simply aren't good enough for an indie film project, as they are not HD. I've done some looking around and have found a few that would fit my needs. I definitely want 24p and manual control, but my budget makes this difficult. I can't go over $2000, as my editing software is liquid 5 and will need to be replaced, as well. I think I'll have to find a good used camera. Any tips on the pros and cons would be greatly appreciated, especially given from experience. So, tell me what you think of these: Panasonic hpx170, Sony hvr-v1u, jvc gy-hd100u

    • #208979
      AvatarLaguna Hiker
      Member

      Thumbs-up on the HPX170. It does great 24P, and built in sound is very good. 

    • #208985
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Hi wykedelf – these older low bit rate, small sensor, fixed lens camcorder with limited control over depth of field may not be the best choice for your indie film. You may want to consider a modern large sensor, interchangeable lens camera.

       

      For $995 (plus lenses, $245 shoulder rig, $250 EVF, $399 external preamp and $155 external battery), you can get a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera for results like this:

       

       

      The Case

       

       

       

      The One (please watch at 1080p)

       

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5gAq_eN1ks

       

       

      Or, if you don't want the complexity of shooting with a cinema camera (or dealing with massive ProRes or RAW files) – for less than $2000, you can get a more traditional modern camcorder, such as a used Sony NEX-VG20 (manual zoom) or VG30 (power zoom), which can give you results like these:

       

       

      Blonde Ambition

       

       

       

      Date

       

       

       

      Or, if you don't mind the DSLR form-factor (with camcorder-like autofocus, electronic viewfinder and hours of continuous video recording), you can get a $998 (as of this post) Panasonic GH3, which can give you results like this:

       

       

      Clash

       

       

       

      Genesis

       

      http://vimeo.com/49420579

       

       

      Any of these cameras would be better for indie filmmaking than an old HDV camcorder, in my view.

       

      Hope this is helpful, and good luck with your upgrade!

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    • #208993
      Avatarwykedelf
      Member

      Thanks! I definitely would hold off DSLR as a last resort. I prefer to be able to adjust everything manually, but don't like the limited viewing. I've been shooting with high end camcorders long enough that I much prefer having a good, or at least decent, viewfinder. I want XLR plugs and really want 24p. Also, anybody got any recommendations on software upgrade. Thinking Final Cut or AVID, but not Adobe.

    • #208998
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      Final cut would be my last choice . . . . . unless your camera outputs videeo files that won't need to be converted before you begin editing . . . . . even then I'm not sure I'd choose it . . . . 

    • #208999
      Avatarwykedelf
      Member

      Ok. Thanks, again. Back to my research, then.

    • #209055
      AvatarSPM Support
      Participant

      If you’re planning on investing in a professional camcorder, the camcorder must be at least capable of HD.

      HD comes in a variety of flavors (HDV, XDCAM HD, P2, DVCPRO HD), which you must consider when you purchase a camera, but any Professional HD Camcorder, given the proper framing and lighting, will yield a better image than an similarly priced SD camcorder.

      Camcorders with interchangeable lenses allow you to swap out the lens for a different one. Although most camcorders with an interchangeable lens come with a stock hd lens, there are a myriad of very high quality ENG (Electronic News Gathering) Lensesand Cine Lenses that you buy or rent to get achieve different focal lengths.

    • #301548
      AvatarSPM Support
      Participant

      If you’re planning on investing in a professional camcorder, the camcorder must be at least capable of HD.

      HD comes in a variety of flavors (HDV, XDCAM HD, P2, DVCPRO HD), which you must consider when you purchase a camera, but any Professional HD Camcorder, given the proper framing and lighting, will yield a better image than an similarly priced SD camcorder.

      Camcorders with interchangeable lenses allow you to swap out the lens for a different one. Although most camcorders with an interchangeable lens come with a stock hd lens, there are a myriad of very high quality ENG (Electronic News Gathering) Lensesand Cine Lenses that you buy or rent to get achieve different focal lengths.

    • #209193
      AvatarJoseph
      Participant

      I know you don't want adobe, to each their own, but you can subscribe to Creative Cloud for the duration of your project. It's a short term fix but might allow for a bump up in your camera budget.

       

      The Canon XF100 has a form factor you might be most comfortable with since it's got more external buttons and is an actual camcorder. It runs a few hundered over your budget, though.  It's got 4:2:2 color space which is helpful in post.

       

      The XA20 or HG30 are closer to and below your price range respectively. They have menu based controls, but should give you a camcorder experience that won't break the bank while also giving you a lot of bang for your buck – image wise.

       

      You could go with a used camera but nothing gives you piece of mind like a warranty.

    • #209279
      AvatarJKnight
      Member

      The BMPCC is only $995 and records amazing 12 bit raw Cinema DNG files to be graded in the free Davinci Resolve. If you want a truly hollywood cinematic look with totally uncomprimised image quality this camera is the way to go. A good colorist can make it look like arri alexa footage

       

      syracuse video production, http://www.knightmedia.us

    • #209281
      Avatarwykedelf
      Member

      Thanks for all the friendly advice. Does the black magic come with lenses? Will the lens of a cannon xl1-s work with it?

    • #209287
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      No, it does not come with lenses and, sadly, Canon XL lenses don't adapt to any other mount.

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