About a month ago, my HP l


About a month ago, my HP laptop crashed and the motherboard was toast. I also had to get a desktop for my video film making work. The advice from the experts (4) was this: Get the most powerful, loaded biggest machine possible. So I did. On both counts.

Sure it cost money, but the results, the reliablity, the performance are outstanding. It was worth the money big time.

The same goes for cameras and software. I have a new Sony Z5 and Sony Vegas 9 (6 months now) and the training discs from VASST and Vortex to got with them. I’ve had a Sony VX 1000 and a JVC HD camera, but I will tell you from experience, this Z5 and Vegas 9 is the best out and out winner hands down. Compared the Canon XS-A1 or whatever the equivalent is, there is no comparison. Not even close. Even compared to FCP, the Sony is amazing. I am sticking with Sony not only because of their reputation, but they have a mandate to make the best there is and will get better. I like that. It breeds confidence in the future.

You might not find a Z5 on ebay because nobody wants to sell them – they are that good and brand new. I recently did a theatre stage film shoot (7 hrs) in lousy lighting. The colours were stunning and all of this at 0 and -3db in HD. The viewers were stunned at the quality.

Here is what you need. 20X zoom. XLR audio (or get a Beachtek adapter – they are the best). A HD viewing screen. Lots of choices when it comes to format recording (this does 24 different formats), simplicity and reasonable cost.

The downsides with the Z5? It needs another 3-6 assign buttons, because of the 1/3 chips, has a low depth of field, and a rather lousy menu scroll wheel. The buttons are too recessed as well. It runs on mini dV tapes, but you can get either a chip back or a HD back as an option. But get around that and you have one hell of a camera and will never regret it.

If you find it still expensive – get a Canon 5D still camera and go with movie mode. It will deliver stunning images, with any lens you want, get a beachtek adapter for this camera and you will now have XDR inputs. I will be doing that for those shots where I need shallow depth of field.

Good luck


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