DV Cam for less than $1000 AUD?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Scarlet Fever, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #1
    Hey all

    Ive recently started filming for a skate tape. Im using a cheap, dodgy old Canon digital photo camera which can do video, albeit badly. My sister wants a camera of her own, and i thought this may be a good time to get my folks to buy me something.

    Ive started looking around, and there are a few for about $650 which look alright (10-12x optical zoom, anti-shake stuff, etc). I have a MacBook Pro with 1GB RAM and the 7200 RPM Drive coming in within the week, so computing power shouldn't be an issue. I will be working with iMovie HD. Connectivity through FW would be great. I need to keep the costs as low as possible, under $1000 is a need. I probably wont get it soon, maybe around June, so im in no hurry.

    Thanks for the help
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    For skateboard video you want __w-i-d-e___ angle lens and to get up close. Look for the camera with the widest lens and/or the ability to add a good quality wide assesory lens You will have no need for a 20X zoom I think the most popular skateboard camera is a used Sony XV1000. Many profesionals are selling these off but they are still good 3-chip cameras

     
  3. JHipp macrumors member

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    #3
    Acutally, if you are filming skateboarding you will need a FISHEYE LENS, not a wide angle (difference is that a fisheye will distort the image much more).

    I'm not sure how much a VX1000 would cost you in AUD, but I highly recommend one if you can get a nice condition one(they are old, so look for the mintest one you can find, perferably with the viewfinder ribbon already replaced). I'm filming with one now, and it is PERFECT for skateboarding. But remember, if you DO get a VX1000, be sure you don't capture with it. Buy a seperate, cheap-o miniDV camera so that you can avoid as much wear as you can on the VX's heads.

    If you are looking for a newer camera however, the Panasonic GS series seems popular -- I don't have any experience with them, but everybody who has one seems to really like it.
     
  4. Scarlet Fever thread starter macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #4
    I checked out the VX1000 on ebay. There was one there for $800, and they said the retail is $4200. The guy was flogging it pretty hard, which usually tells me theres somethin unco going on.

    Ive been doing some research as well. My dad gets consumer recommendation mags (Choice), and they were saying that the Sony DCR HC21 is a good camera for its price. Does anyone else have one, or know if its a good camera or not?

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  5. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

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    #5
    You will want to factor extra batteries and a fisheye into your cost.

    The best bet for a fisheye is the Raynox MX3000, unless of course you want to spend 800US on a Century Optics Fisheye.

    Like others have said, the VX1000 is the best camera for filming skateboarding, but it seems like you may want to look into getting a Panasonic GS series camera to learn with, and if you keep at it, save up for a VX1000 or a DVX100,

    Let us know what kind of camera's you are looking at and we will be glad to help you.

    You might want to check out this page from the Skateperception forum as well.

    http://forums.skateperception.com/index.php?showtopic=55103

    It has footage from myriad cameras, which you can then look up...
     
  6. Scarlet Fever thread starter macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #6
    thanks for the link. i had a look at it, and ive decided that the fisheye does look best for skating. The sound quality on the Panasonic GS cameras was a little disappointing, but it doesnt really matter, as all i want is the sound of the board tapping to ground, etc.

    I may be able to get my folks to get one of the GS cameras for 1300, but until then, i still like the Sony one for 750. Is there any way of getting the fisheye effect on other cameras? like new lenses, built-in camera effects, etc.
     
  7. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

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    #7
    Fisheye are add on attachments to your camera. The sony camera has a lens diameter of 25 mm, so you will want to try to find a fisheye that fits onto that... I'm not sure what the best one would be other than a Century lens (which runs 300 usd... out of your price range).
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #8
    I fisheye might be to extream. "Century" seems to be the leading maker of quality add on wide lenses. they make a 0.3x and0.5x that would allow you to get that "in your face" perpective where the camra is a foot and a half away fromthr rider

    As for sound. The camera itself would be very god it's the cheap ten cent mic that's just plian poor quality. Buy a microphone. Good ones cost as much as a camera but a $60 mic is 100 times better then the built in mic. The difference is not subtle. In fact a camera and a decent mic is good enough for portable audio recording. Duct tape the mic to a stick so you can hold the mic inches away from the wheels. You absolutly need a mic to record sound FX. and the like that you mix back in over the video Just figure on doing the sound and vido at different times so the mic and "boom" (stick) don't get in the shot. You can have over exposed, out of focus video and the views don't seem to notice much but the slightest defect in the sond is noticable
     
  9. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

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    #9
    You want a fisheye, or super wide angle lens.

    The proffesional skateboard filmers all use Century Optics' Mark I and II Death Lens.

    .3x

    In terms of sound, the on board mic will be good enough for filming.

    What you want to do if you are going to be following the person on your skateboard, is in fact buy a "filming" board, with really big, soft longboard wheels so that you can hear their board overtop yours.
     
  10. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

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    #10
    Here (option click the link to download it) is an example of something I filmed with my camera using a Raynox MX3000 .3x fisheye, which I widened using this tutorial http://forums.skateperception.com/index.php?showtopic=14326

    The camera itself doesn't have a very wide lens, so if you go that Panasonic GS camera and this Fisheye, it would probably be wider.

    One thing you can tell is the difference in sound between the two skateboards we are riding while filming.

    My board has bigger wheels (I'm the one in the beige cords) and so when I'm filming you can hear the other skater better.
     
  11. kingkezz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    #11
    Check out your hire options....

    Hey Mate,

    Your obviously not going to be shooting everything fish-eye - cause that doesn't exactly scream high production values - so you should look at hiring a fish-eye lens for a few days, especially if this is a one-off piece or something you don't do very often.

    Some good places to check out in Vic are:

    Pink Noise Audio (they do camera stuff) http://www.pinknoise.com.au
    OpenChannel http://www.openchannel.org.au
    Or more up-market: Lemac http://www.lemac.com.au

    Of course, if your a film-maker, and you plan on doing this sorta thing regulary, you should save up some extra dosh, and get yourself a second-hand PD-150, or something you can actually put lenses onto easily. The PD-150 is a great 3 chip camera, and has the bonus xlr sound inputs as well as the decent on-board shotgun mic - which is great if you plan on interviewing your talent. But of course, if your gonna get a good camera you might as well buy your own lens. Try second hand ex-rental etc.

    Good luck with it man.

    Peace and love.
     
  12. JHipp macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2005
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    GA
    #12
    I've used the HC-20 before, and it was alright.. If you are going with a one CCD I recommend the Optura 10 or 20, it has a 37mm Lens diameter which means it is very easy to find other lenses for it.

    Here's some VX1000 with a Widened Raynox MX3000 footage: http://illustratedskateboards.com/footy/mattfactorymar21.mov

    How serious are you about filming?
     
  13. Scarlet Fever thread starter macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #13
    At the moment, its just a hobby, but its something that i have been interested in for a while. I dont wanna be spending a lot of money on it, but i also dont want any films i do to look shoddy.
     
  14. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

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    #14
    Yeah I forgot to mention the Optura line.

    I think in terms of your interests it would be the best type of camera to go with.

    You aren't breaking the bank by getting a 3chip cam, but you are still getting a camera with manual controls that you can learn how to use.

    To the poster who suggested renting a fisheye. That really isn't an option for filming skateboarding because no trick or shot is really ever planned ahead of time.

    It usually works out that you show up to the spot, the skater picks a trick, or line, and you decide how it should be filmed (fisheye, longlens.... etc)
     
  15. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    American Riviera
    #15
    I have an Optura 60 which I've used to video some skiing stuff with friends, and it works out pretty well for its price. I'm not up in anyone's face or 2 feet away though, so that may be a consideration. The stock zoom range has been fine so far, no extra lenses yet. The portability is great, and it has nice controls for an 'intermediate' video-er like me.
     

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