Expense of video equipment

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    • #89351

      As a long-time subscriber to Videomaker magazine, I have witnessed many changes in the world of videomaking. However, lately, I have noticed a not so subtle change oriented from an
      affordable, consumer/prosumer user towards a more professional (and thus more expensive), user. If we take, as an example, the trend towards the use of DSLR video instead of camcorders, we soon realize the much greater cost for this equipment.

      Has Videomaker abandoned the lowly, budget conscience amaateur who simply wants to do good video recording and editing, tell his own stories without breaking the bank.Is Videomaker now catering mostly to the professional?

      Paul Boudreau
      Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada

    • #213657

      Many thanks paulears for the input. I too am not very excited with DSLRs.

    • #213654

      I hate DSLRs used for video. In my business I have some amazingly expensive cameras, some modestly priced ones and a cheap small handicam style one my wife bought for the grandkids. I use a DSLR for stills, and I hate it for video. Picture is fine, of course, but they are awkward, tricky to use, have pretty rotten audio capabilities and with glasses, I have issues seeing the viewfinder.

      On a job last week – I had my wife’s handicam attached to my sound boom pole, and it’s contribution to the finished product is perfect – sound and vision. Sadly, there is a new breed of camera users, for whom the DSLR format is the only one to be considered, usually advised by another DSLR user, who dismisses everything else. I did a job over the weekend where a production company gave me a couple of JVC shoulder mount HD camcorders. They did the job a treat, but I’d never seen them before. I was surprised that they were £750 when I checked. The pictures and operation were simple, and I was pretty impressed. This forum is still for enthusiastic amateurs and cash strapped professionals to share their knowledge and tips – I’d not worry about the DSLR brigade – they’ll soon vanish in a pop of shallow DoF and Bokeh (a horrible word for something that I was told in my training was a mistake, and something to avoid at all costs unless for special effect.)

    • #213662

      I agree with Paul and would add this: the reminner that cameras are merely tools. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and its appropriateness for specific kinds of work. I think Videomaker Magazine offers a fairly comprehensive coverage of what’s available on the market, from low priced consumer to top price prosumer cameras.

      Since we’re dealing with tools the consideration should always be “what’s the job that needs doing?” The camera I might find appropriate for shooting a wedding on a tripod would perhaps prove inappropriate for lugging around on a construction site. A $4500 camera with interchangeable lens is probably overkill for taking on holiday with the family.

      Personally, I think the DSLR craze will soon pass. It’s a hybrid whose popularity appears to be driven by manufacturers. Like smart phones the DSLR will take excellent video, but arguably dedicated video cameras are better suited for doing the job.

    • #213684
      Space Racer

      Being one of those people who shoot video with DSLRs please let me explain myself. I don’t do it because I want to. Most of my stuff goes on the internet or cable TV, and I would love to switch to a reasonably priced, dedicated camcorder, but there are three obstacles.
      The main one is lenses. Most of the video I’ve seen from camcorders just don’t have the same beautiful image quality as I get from my Nikon D810 and I’m pretty sure that quality is the result of Nikkor lenses.
      The exceptions are interchangeable lens cinema cameras like the Alexas and the FS7s but there’s no way I can afford one of those. And most of them use weird proprietary media storage instead of SD or CF cards and I just don’t want to get involved in more types of memory than I use already. And I would love to just buy a C100 Mark2 but then I’d have to get Canon equivalents of all my Nikon lenses and that’s economic suicide.
      The second obstacle to using camcorders is that I know my next camera has to shoot high-quality 4K but I haven’t seen any 4K equipment that shoots 4:2:2, 10-bit color in my price range. Everything below $10,000 seems to shoot in 4:2:0 and 8-bit except for the GH4 and that puts me back to the non-camcorder form factor.
      The third problem, and this is Videomaker’s fault, is that nobody seems to rank camcorders in terms of picture excellence. It’s impossible, for me at least, to know if camera A shoots better footage than camera B and how close either of them come to DSLR quality. There must certainly be objective measurements, but I’ve never seen them published.
      So that’s why I shoot with DSLRs even though I know it’s a huge mistake; I just can’t get the same image quality without either spending the rest of my life doing camera tests or buying a $70,000 Arri.
      If anyone can tell me about a sub-$1,000 camcorder with a great lens that shoots beautiful, easily graded video, I’d love to hear it.

    • #213685

      HI , I put this here out of desperation – I joined this forum several days ago and have tried to post a new topic twice but it will not come up. (a large watermark behind the text in red says “UNPUBLISHED”)

      But it will allow me to reply to threads, like this one.

      I have tried to contact Mike Wilhelm (administrator) but it will not allow me to send a personal message (it says, “please choose a valid recipient”) (?)

      Any help would be appreciated thanks.

      But it seems I can answer threads and have done so twice.

      Any help please? Thanks

    • #213689

      HI Space Racer, I will try Mozilla then. Thanks for the tip. But I can’t find any moderators except that Wilhelm fellow, but will try some combos of the emails, but if he is not taking PMs, maybe he is not in the forum anymore?

    • #213703

      So, I own both, DSLRs and Camcorders. Like SpaceRacer, I went racing down the DSLR path for the flexibility of lenses and the ability to use the equipment for multiple purposes. I currently own a Canon HF G20, and an XA10 camcorder, as well as a Canon 5D Mark II, a 7d Mark II and a 70d DSLR.

      The biggest complaint I have with both my camcorders is the AVCHD format of the files. Converting before editing is a hassle. I also wasn’t able to justify the additional XLR expense for mics.

      In regards to audio on my DSLRs, I have a great little Beachtek adapter (DXA Pocket) that allows me to have 2 mic inputs, control the levels, eliminate the hiss and it mounts either on the hotshoe, or on the bottom of the camera. I use a magic arm and mount it on my 15mm rail system off to the side.

      In regards to the comment about DOF and Bokeh…. Really? Depending on what you are shooting, you can easily control both with your lenses on a DSLR. I get amazing footage with my 50mm 1.8 lens wide open, or I can stop it down and get crisp footage to almost infinity…

      I am shooting for the web, social media and even for the big screen at conferences and events…. I haven’t touched my camcorders for a few months now…and my PAYING clients love the end product.

    • #213710

      Why do you have to convert them? I bring them into premiere and they load fine? What are you using?

    • #213686
      Space Racer

      Weird. I’ve had problems with other web commenting systems, but not this one. Have you tried a different browser? Have you tried emailing the admin directly? It’s usually firstnamelastname@videomaker.com or firstname.lastname@videomaker.com. Or some combination of last name and first initial.

    • #213692

      Hi 70Hardtop, 

      We have our forums locked down to require manually approval of first forum topic posts, although we do allow new users to post replys to active topics. This greatly reduces the amount of worthless topics that get posted to our forums, especially during weekends when we are out of the office. Your forum topic has been reviewed and approved now. Hope this helps!

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