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Marmalade
Apr 13, 2006, 10:42 AM
I am in Utah and am starting a wedding Videography business with another person. We currently have a Sony HandyCam, I can’t remember what the model (it might be DCR-HC36) is but it has 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios. I have a widescreen TV and have thought that 16:9 is the best; I even liked it before we got a widescreen TV. I am looking for a prosumer camcorder, and use our other Sony for a secondary camcorder. I really like the features in the Canon XL2 but I don’t like the price. I am leaning towards a HD Sony HandyCam but I don’t know how a HD would look with the Non-HD video. (BTW we will be using Final Cut Pro to edit). I’ve looked on eBay and it seams like that is the best place to buy those camcorders, as It is cheaper than buying in the store and you get quite a few accessories with it. We don’t have a huge budget right now, so we are just going to rent the prosumer camcorders or the HD camcorder for now, until we start bringing in some revenue. Here is a list of camcorders that I am thinking about renting/buying.


1. HDR-HC3 - Looking at this most due to price. How would this look edited with a non-HD video included?
2. XL2
3. DCR-VX2100
4. AG-DVC30
5. GR-HD1

Any help would be good. At the moment it looks like we have a very limited budget. Thanks,

Travis


Edit: I should also mention that while filming weddings I want to have great sound, and picture, but more so on sound. I dont want it to sound unprofessional. I put the XL2 in there because it is the camcorder i would love for the weddings, however I understand that all Canon's don't do well in low light. I like to do EVP's, ghost hunting, and take video camcorders, so if possible I would like a camcorder that does pretty good in low light. Thanks for any advice.

Edit: I have an option to get a brand new XL1 camcorder for appx. $927.92 US Dollors. They are selling it becasue the upgraded to the new HD Canon



jimsowden
Apr 13, 2006, 11:35 AM
I'd say it depends on how you're distributing if you should go with HD or not. If your masters are going to be DVDs, then save the money and go with an SD cam and just shoot in widescreen. Also, this will make editing easier, as file sizes will be about 1/4th of HD files. I personally have a Canon GL2, which I love, but it's at the lower end of the 3 chip cameras as far as plug ins. The Sony PD-170 or Panasonic DX100b are great cameras if you want to spend a little more for larger CCDs and things like XLR ports. All of course record on MiniDV, and will work perfectly with FCP and DVDSP.

Also, if you're going pro in the video game, B&H (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/) is your best friend.

Marmalade
Apr 13, 2006, 01:59 PM
I have verified this oppurunity.

I have a oppurnity to buy a Canon XL2 for $800.00 USD. Including shipping and handling, do you think I should do this, b/c I think I should.

jimsowden
Apr 13, 2006, 02:00 PM
That price is insane. If it's not over the internet, then do it. It's a great camcorder, the best SD camera to date.

PegasusMedia
Apr 13, 2006, 02:16 PM
For my quick 2 cents, I would advise you to...

1) You are correct to be concerned with good sound. I would consider only cameras with XLR audio inputs, and plan on probably spending more than you think on GOOD microphones. For weddings, you'll need wireless...Azden makes good yet affordable gear for that. (By affordable I mean around $700)

2) Forget HD for the near future. You can't deliver HD to the customer so don't bother shooting & editing in it. (Possible exception...g'head & shoot it selling the customer on "future" HD version. Give..er...SELL them the raw footage. (They'll probably never actually pay to get it re-made in HD so get your money now.) But downconvert to SD for editing.

3) Be VERY wary of too good to be true deals on ebay cameras. You're better off getting them from reputable dealers. The "free" accessories are crap anyway. You may (eventually) get the camera, but you won't save as much as you think. At the very least, google those ebay dealers & read about what to watch out for. The previous poster was right...B&H is trustworthy if you want to buy online. They offer very good prices. Consider a local dealer if you can though. You'll get support, and these guys are a wealth of networking information. They know eveybody in the business in your town.

4) Along those lines, plan on spending more than you thought on a good tripod too. The one "included" on ebay will not be good enough.

A used XL-1 would be a good way to start. They're pretty affordable these days.

Sony PD-150 (used) is still a great camera, or the newer PD-170 which is the current model and will cost more. They also make a little known baby brother of the HD cam called the HVR-A1U for around $2700. It'll shoot SD or HD in 4x3 or 16x9 and will downconvert your output. I have one for when I want a small camera & it's surprisingly good.

I'm not terribly familiar with the Panasonic line, so I'll defer to others for a recommendation from them.

There are dozens. Look for good manual control, xlr audio to interface with your good audio gear, and beyond that it's just price & personal taste.

My 2 cents. Gear is always debatable. Everybody has favorites.

Finally, I suggest scrolling through the archives from a few weeks ago...there was a thread about starting a video business where me & some others threw in some advice about the business end that may be worth a read. It ain't as easy as some folks think! Competition is plentiful, and video startups come & go at breakneck speed.


Good Luck!

PegasusMedia
Apr 13, 2006, 02:34 PM
Be VERY careful. If this is over the internet, I would run like the wind.

Unless it's your uncle selling it to you because he wants to help, and he's going to put it in your hand when you pay him, you are most likely going to lose $800 to a scam.

Marmalade
Apr 13, 2006, 03:06 PM
The XL2 is over the internet via eBay and the guy is in Romania. I have a friend in Romaina who might check the guy out and make sure the guy has an actual Canon XL2 and is selling it for around 800 usd and to make sure that when i pay him the guy send the camcorder.

sigamy
Apr 13, 2006, 03:23 PM
The XL2 is over the internet via eBay and the guy is in Romania. I have a friend in Romaina who might check the guy out and make sure the guy has an actual Canon XL2 and is selling it for around 800 usd and to make sure that when i pay him the guy send the camcorder.

OK, I'm going to assume that you are serious...This sounds like a scam. Don't fall for it. There is no reason someone would sell an XL2 for $800 USD. And Romania? Doesn't sound good.

Buy your camera from an authorized dealer or if you must do eBay check for excellent feedback on the seller. Also check the marketplace forum at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf

As for cams, the Sony VX2100 is a top wedding cam due to its excellent low-light capabilities. Not sure on the sound quality. You'll need external mics anyway. Get some good wireless lavs or small mics connected to iRiver MP3 player/recorders and then sync the sound in post.

Forget about HDV for now. As others have said, there is no easy way to deliver HD to the customer and not many customers are even asking for it.

The Panny DVC30 is a great little cam but I believe it only has 1/4" CCDs. This will result in not so great low-light performance.

Another 3CCD cam with 1/4" CCDs is the Canon GL2. Again, you probably won't get great low light but if you can find one cheap it would be a decent choice.

If you can find a good one at a good price I'd go with the VX2100.

FF_productions
Apr 13, 2006, 04:10 PM
The best DV camera in my opinion would be the DVX-100B, my friend decided to get that instead of a vx2100. The DVX has been used on many documentaries and beats out the pd-170 IMO. But, if 2000 dollars is your limit, go ahead with a vx2100 or a gl2.
Don't bother with HDV

macpastor
Apr 13, 2006, 04:13 PM
I have verified this oppurunity.

I have a oppurnity to buy a Canon XL2 for $800.00 USD. Including shipping and handling, do you think I should do this, b/c I think I should.

It sounds like a scam...

yoak
Apr 13, 2006, 04:19 PM
XL1 is still a great camera, not the best in low light maybe. You can alwaus get a camera light (or a battery powered one).

Without light, nothing will look great any way.

One thing to consider when buying a camera for your line of work is "the look", by this I mean how proffesional the client think you look.

I know it has nothing to do with the product you deliver, but the XL1 looks more "proffesional" than a Sony PD150 (they are image qulity is pretty much on the same level)

Some people feel that "they get what they´re paying for" when they see you work with the XL1 (or XL2)

If you can get a XL1 for around $1000, I´ll day get it.
I shot 30 min drama, motor cross, skiing and even a music video with it.

The only rael advantag the XL2 offers you is Progressive Scan. That´s more suited to drama, than wedding production anyway.

You also have XLR ports for external microphones, and fully manual settings on it

Get the XL1

3dit3r
Apr 13, 2006, 05:20 PM
The best DV camera in my opinion would be the DVX-100B, my friend decided to get that instead of a vx2100. The DVX has been used on many documentaries and beats out the pd-170 IMO. But, if 2000 dollars is your limit, go ahead with a vx2100 or a gl2.
Don't bother with HDV

Actually Sony cameras have been the norm for docs. PD-150 being the most common. The PD-170 is used quite a bit, although most are turning to HD these days. 'Indie' or students seem to be using the Panasonic more than professionals. I worked on a TV show that was started to shoot in Panasonic but switched back to Sony because of the TC issues.

To the OP, remember that Romania is PAL and or SECAM.

yoak
Apr 13, 2006, 05:51 PM
Actually Sony cameras have been the norm for docs. PD-150 being the most common. The PD-170 is used quite a bit, although most are turning to HD these days. 'Indie' or students seem to be using the Panasonic more than professionals. I worked on a TV show that was started to shoot in Panasonic but switched back to Sony because of the TC issues.

To the OP, remember that Romania is PAL and or SECAM.

Interesting bit about TC problems. I never had those, and I have worked on 3 TV shows that have used the Pana in the last year (Norway, PAL land). Could it be NTSC problems, or in the post-production?

Lebowski
Apr 13, 2006, 09:09 PM
I have verified this oppurunity.

I have a oppurnity to buy a Canon XL2 for $800.00 USD. Including shipping and handling, do you think I should do this, b/c I think I should.


are you sure your not talking about a GL2?

There is NO way someone is selling a legit XL2 for under 2 grand, new or used.

its like a 4k camera.

its stolen, broken, or a scam.

LethalWolfe
Apr 13, 2006, 11:08 PM
I'd say it depends on how you're distributing if you should go with HD or not. If your masters are going to be DVDs, then save the money and go with an SD cam and just shoot in widescreen. Also, this will make editing easier, as file sizes will be about 1/4th of HD files.

I think it's safe to assume the OP would be using HDV and not HDCAM or DVCProHD, in which case there wouldn't be a difference in file size has HDV and DV have comparable data rates.


Lethal

Danksi
Apr 13, 2006, 11:26 PM
... I worked on a TV show that was started to shoot in Panasonic but switched back to Sony because of the TC issues.

Silly question:- what's TC? :o

Mr. Jones
Apr 13, 2006, 11:42 PM
Silly question:- what's TC? :o
I assume he means time code

Danksi
Apr 13, 2006, 11:49 PM
I assume he means time code

DOH! Like I said, silly question....

Mr. Jones
Apr 14, 2006, 12:03 AM
DOH! Like I said, silly question....
It's alright. Happens to the best of us.

Marmalade
Apr 14, 2006, 06:10 AM
Ok, so I am not going to do this. Yes it does sound like a scam, however I have an offer for a Canon GL2 for 2 grand and includes:

Weather proof camera bag,
6 new miniDV tapes (5 JVC, 1 Panasonic),
Official Canon VL-10Li light (new in box),
Canon MA-300 Microphone Adapter (for xlr inputs-new in box),
3 piece filter kit (UV, Polarizer, ND),
All documentation,
Warranty and reg card, all boxes.
Extra Sakar BP-945 style battery (opened),
I will throw in my firewire cable (Belkin -used once also).

This offer is not over the internet but is through a friend here in Utah, so I hope it goes well.

FF_productions
Apr 14, 2006, 07:44 AM
Go for it, it sounds like a good deal and its legit.

aloofman
Apr 14, 2006, 10:29 AM
Are you sure you're ready to start this business?