Help a student get a start!

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    • #42914

      I recenlty just got finished writing several creative writing and creative thinking for screen assignments,circumstances lead me to be at the same school where, this semester, I was going to learnon how to applythese projects to screenand have free use of their equipment. However I am still eager to make the jump from writing to film-making on these projects. I am looking for advice on my total needs from equipment to software. I am ready to spend the money, but obviously am looking for the best deal also. I am a novice film maker, but a fast learner.

      My first few projects are Documentaries, one which might require some gurellia style night filming.
      Ill also be filming concert footage of local bands and some short films.

      I have been looking at these cameras at local stores/online sales

      Canon XL2
      Canon GL2
      Sony HDR-FX1
      Canon XL1

      Also saw the Panasonic AG-DVC20 at some really good looking prices.

      Im looking for suggestions on camera, either form this list or any other cameras. Also what is the importance of jumping to HD for a beginer to film making? I understand that HD is also harder to edit?

      My first project is a documentary on a local football team. So a good deal of that my filing will be of sports footage from the field.

      I am also looking for the best pro-software for film editing is that wont be too foregin to me when I get editing. Have been thinking of purchasing SonyVegas’s latest installment. However I have a while to mull around ideas for the editing software, the camera is something I need to purchase rather soon.

      Any help would be highly appreciated.

    • #179727

      If you’re going to be shooting in low light, the Sony PD170 or VX2100 would be ideal. I’d stay away from the FX1 because it’s HDV and the HDV format is buggy and you don’t need HD right now anyway.

      “I understand that HD is also harder to edit?”

      Not really. If know now how to edit, you know how to edit. But I think I know what you mean. It’s not harder to edit, it’s just buggy and can be demanding. If you’re a beginner, I’d stay away from HD and learn how to shoot and edit in SD to avoid the bugs of HD. HD is new technology and like all new technology, it has bugs andinconsistencies. You would have to know some technical aspects of video to know how to deal with some of the problems. So just stick with DV. The world has been looking as SD video since the beginning of video, and it’s always been seen as acceptable. So don’t fall into the mindset that you’re video is going to be better because it’s HD.

      From what I hear, Sony Vegas is a decent program.

      If you’re doing documentaries and plan on conducting interviews, get a wired lavalier mic so you have good, crisp sound during the interview.

      Video + Crappy Sound = Crappy video

    • #179728

      How important is shooting in 24p for indie films? I notice the PD170 doesnt shootat 24p. Which the XL2 has. I guess although im just starting, I want to get a camera that can last me a while also.

      Is the Canon GL2 now dated? or a good choice for an eager upstart? it definatley seems the nicest to my budget.

    • #179729

      I’ve got a GL2 and have had great results. It is a bit dated, but still takes great video.

      HD is glamarous, but you’ll probably be editing down to a DVD anyway so unless you have a specific need for HD

      You’ll also need to add a Beachtek adaptor for the GL2 for audio.

      Having said all that, I spent about $2500 for my first GL2 – for that kind of money you can buy

      a nice HD cameras which is the future.

      The Canon XHA1 goes for about $3200 at and has some great reviews.

    • #179730

      I don’t think 24p is that big of a deal. There’s other things you have to do when you shoot besides shooting 24p if you want to give your video a film look.

      I used to have a GL2 as well. Works great when you have enough light.

    • #179731

      Robgrauert is right about 24p. It is not so great as some people are led to believe. And yes, there’s more you have to do to make your video more like film. 24p trying to make your video look like film seems to me to be like getting the “ultimate basketball” in order to get good at shooting. it’s more in other things than the right ball.

      I also think it’s a skewed idea to think that you should get HD stuff right away because it’s the future. sure HD might be the future, but i think the idea is to make money NOW. So get a good SD camera and start working. you’ll be rich enough to afford HD after you are good at video. Where I used to work, we had HD cameras, but in reality, our need for HD was limited and we cared more about speed and small files than about “HD!”. So I say stick with SD for now.

    • #179732

      So low light levels become an issue with GL2? How much? Another project would involve some degree of filming on the street at night. Has the GL2 become too outdated, as to where with the money id eventually invest into the GL it would be more wiser to go XL2?

    • #179733

      The GL2 wasn’t that bad in low light, there’s just better cameras for low light situations, such as the sony PD170. And besides, don’t forget about on-camera lights. They make for an ugly shot in my opinion, but if you’re doing a documentary, sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do.

      What’s your issue with weather or not your equipment is “dated?” First, the GL2 it’s not outdated. I’ve been using one up until a few months ago for a few years. It was problem free, and if I was still using it, I would still be making good video with it. Second, it doesn’t matter how old your stuff is. If it still works properly and you know how to use it, then you’re fine.

      I’m not trying to sound rude, but learn and research what features you are going to need in a camera to create the video you desire to make. To say “hmm, should I get the GL2 or the XL2?” shows that you haven’t done that because they are 2 completely different cameras. The GL may be better than the XL is one situation where as the XL may be the better choice in another situation.

      Don’t get sucked into the idea that just because something is newer or more expensive or blah blah blah, it’s going to suit your needs better than something that’s a little older. Like I said, I’m not trying to be rude or mean. I’m just trying to get you out of the mindset that a lot of beginners/students have.

    • #179734

      I am willing to make you a great deal on a GL2!!! My Dad bought one with all the gadgets to film me in football. I ended up with the camera during my parents divorce and I don’t film and want to sell it. Let me know what it is your looking to spend and I will work with you.

      my email is

      The camera is in brand new condition!

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