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Hank Parker

camera conundrum

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Hi guys.

 

I've been doing extensive research lately about the best first camera for me. I went to film school over the summer, and am planning to go for undergrad, so I pretty much know what I'm doing. The problem is that this is my first camera, and my parents are hesitant to pay for half of the panasonic dvx100a (even after I've told them countless times about the beauty of that camera) and my budget keeps going down. If I've got 1500 dollars to spend on a camera, which should I buy? Naturally, I need a 3CCD camera, and I'd love XLR outputs. I also want some at least slight look of proffessionalism, but that's the least of my worries. Is it worth it trying to buy a camera off ebay used or something? Cameras I was thinking about: On the high end, the Panasonic AG-DVC30 with XLR outputs for 2000$ off B&H, or a Sony VX2000. On the low end, some kind of sony palmcorder. I heard I can get back lost color saturation very well with FCP. If I get a low-end camcorder and invest in FCP and a good editing machine, would it be just about the same as if I had a better camera and not such good editing software and machine? How much saturation can I really get back?

 

Any advice would be VERY MUCH appreciated.

Edited by Hank Parker

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Hello Hank,

If you want to transfer to film you need another $2000.00 for the DVX-100A

by Panasonic. I think I can say that this is the most popular dv camera for

transferring to film as it has 24fps. If you are not interested in transferring

to film,there are a whole bunch of possibilities that open up,new camera and

used camera. I shoot my own productions with a Sony PD-170 and I'm not

interested in transferring to film, I'm experimenting with shooting the best dv

possible to shoot. The PD-170 when handled appropriately is capable of pro-

ducing a quality image(not a film look). If you want a film look then shoot film.

I am presently searching the market for a used 16mm camera for shooting

film. I probably will end up buying one in New York City(not too far from me)

I will be able to test the camera there(shoot some film there,have it processed)

and see how the camera performs. If you want to shoot just dv and edit your

production yourself try B&H Photo in New York City for new and used cameras.

The Panasonic DVX 100A can be adjusted to give you a quality image for trans-

fer to film. Good luck with your endeavors.

 

Greg Gross,Professional Photographer

Student Cinematographer

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>>I heard I can get back lost color saturation very well with FCP.

 

I don't know if I'd say "very well." You can bring up the chroma saturation just slightly before compression artifacts show up, and they look absolutely terrible. 8-bit colorspace really doesn't provide much headroom when it comes to color manipulation, be it subtle or extreme.

 

 

>>If I get a low-end camcorder and invest in FCP and a good editing machine,

>>would it be just about the same as if I had a better camera and not such good

>>editing software and machine?

 

If you get a low-end camera, quality will never be better than if you had used a high end model, regardless of whichever NLE you use, good or bad. If you can cut on proper NLE's, you'll be able to cut on the basic stuff, as well. Editing is a skill that can be applied to anything that lets you do the cutting, splicing, etc.. Plus, in most NLE's, if effects are not added to a shot no further rendering will occurr. Therefore, if you edit a scene together without color correction or whichever effects, the output quality between a basic and professional NLE should be identical.

 

In front of the camera is where it all counts. Next in line is the camera (well, for video formats, at least :D ).

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by Alvin Pingol

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Thanks, guys. Yeah, I understand how much lighting is first priority. I'll be having to invest in some of those, too... I think I'm going to go with 1K work lights from Lowe's and a dimmer, and I'll make my own barn doors. Low budget shooting seems so tough. Any tips or useful anecdotes from anyone who's been in a situation similar to the one I'm in would be great.

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Hank,

Try not to skimp on the audio,its important. Believe me you will not be happy

with poor audio! Make your own lights and barn doors,save the money and

use for good audio equipment. Good equipment will last if treated right.

 

 

Greg

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