Camcorder - How much of a difference?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by swwack91, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. swwack91 macrumors 6502a

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    New Jersey
    #1
    I'm a high school student extremely interested in video and film as a career. I've been participating in film festivals and even made the move to Mac to better my videos.

    Now I have a Sony DCR-HC90 and have had it for a year or two. Everything works fine and I have no complaints except for some pro features that its lacking.

    I'd love manual focus wheel, progressive scan, even 60 fps mode for slo-mo.

    Do you think a move to a GL2 is good enough? Will it make an image difference?
     
  2. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #2
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the GL2 will do progressive scan or 60 fps.

    P-Worm
     
  3. swwack91 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  4. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #4
    If you're looking at something that is not HD, but is still a step up, seriously consider Panasonic's vx100a or vx100b. Those are widely considered to be the best of the prosumer mini-dv camcorders.

    In my opinion, you should look into getting an HD camcorder. Everything is heading that direction and since you're looking into this as a profession and don't need the camcorder for a job now, it would be best to wait or just bite the bullet and get a nice prosumer HD camera.

    P-Worm
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #5
    Besides your camera, what other gear do you have (lightening, audio, DIY dolley/steady-cam, etc.,)? If you don't already have things like that spending a few hundred dollars to get them will be much more useful than buying a new camera.


    Lethal
     
  6. NickD macrumors 6502a

    NickD

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    #6
    The GL2 has proven to have great results. Focus on a good lighting rig first and foremost, and then see what you think. The GL2 is great though.
     
  7. swwack91 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    well the thing that kills me is that i've spent hundreds on accessories for the current camcorder i have. and since its sony, they only work with that one.

    but i do have a wireless bluetooth mic for the camera, which produces GREAT sound results. but the only lighting i use is when we're shooting on a green screen.

    it's difficult to lug around much equipment.

    but i do have a steady hand!
     
  8. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #8
    The best bang for your buck with regards to making your videos look better is to get a tripod. Even a cheap $30 is a whole lot better than using your hand.

    P-Worm
     
  9. swwack91 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    totally agree. i've had a tripod from the beginning & that's what sets my videos apart from some other ones.
     
  10. NickD macrumors 6502a

    NickD

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    #10
    So maybe you could look at an even better true-fluid head tripod (Bogen?), and some lighting instead of a new camera.
     
  11. swwack91 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    so it seems like lighting is the key. thanks a lot - i'll look into getting a light kit or improvising on some of the pieces.
     
  12. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #12
    Let me recommend a book for you. It's called the DV Rebel's Guide to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap. You may not be doing action, but this book has a lot of great tips to making your videos show a lot of production value without breaking the bank.

    P-Worm
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
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    Los Angeles
    #13
    And let me provide a link. :)

    I have to 2nd P-Worm that it is a great book. I'm glad you are looking into getting lights even though more gear means more stuff to schlep around, but lighting is pretty much key. What is your camera recording? Light. I've often heard DPs describe what they do as "painting with light."


    Lethal
     
  14. Mr B macrumors member

    Mr B

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #14
    2 Questions for you guys:

    1. P-Worm, I checked out you movies and liked them alot, what dimensions were you making your quicktimes? (the action test and the good sandwhich one?)

    2. I am shooting a short film in 2 weeks. I can use my GL-2 or my friends PD-170, but I recently shot with an XL-2 in 24p and loved it, not sure I can go back. So, in your opinion, should I just shoot in frame/progressive mode on the GL-2 or PD-170, or should I make sure I get my hands on DVX-100? In other words, what are your opinions on the frame/progressive mode from those 2 cameras? (I hate the normal 60 mode).

    Thanks!
     
  15. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #15
    If you see an embedded QT file like mine, you can view the source code and it will tell you the dimensions (roughly because you need to account for the extra pixels needed for the scrubber bar). What I have been doing lately, I think both Action Test and Hungry! fall in this category, is recording with markers on my viewfinder of where I am going to crop the video so that I can get the 2.35:1 aspect ratio instead of 16:9. Then later in Compressor I tell it that I am outputting in 2.35:1.

    Hope that helps.

    P-Worm
     

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