HD Questions and options. Need camera

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by tibbon, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. tibbon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #1
    I am starting up a video production that will mainly be doing interviews, recording some keynote speakers, etc. The end format will be a 1080 podcast (and downsampled versions). I would ideally like to get two cameras, but you gotta start somewhere. (Actually the somewhere I'm starting off on is borrowing other people's cameras).

    I would like to be able to mount 35mm Nikon lenses on the camera via an adaptor eventually, to give myself more flexibility. I say Nikon specifically because I have a D200 and several high quality lenses to begin with.

    My needs are:
    • 1080p
    • I'd prefer tapeless operation for quicker turnaround editing.
    • 24p is attractive and should work better in low light
    • High quality picture
    • Low Noise
    • External Mic input is required
    • Camera that will hold up for at least the next year
    • Decent ergonomics is a plus (touchscreens are a negative)

    The Sony cameras look good because they have many with hard drives and memory stick options. I just hate sitting there for an hour in just copying the tape to the computer. We have 50+ MiniDV tapes for work right now that we need to transfer. That's no fun and takes too long plus it generally eats my computer alive during that time. Not cool either.

    However, I'll do tape if I must and that's not a super high priority for the moment. Later on however quick turnout will be key.

    I don't need fancy program modes, built in lighting, still image capture, touch screens (makes most Sonys horrid). What I need is a camera that functions well, shoots high quality footage, and will do it's job well.

    The HV20 seems to be the top contender. Asides from it being more "pro" looking the HV30 doesn't do anything special for me. I don't need 30p and my subjects rarely move much. Never do sports. I've seen a few negative things about it (less than optimal economics, weird focus ring/wheel), but I'm not sure if those would be killer issues.

    Also: Will 1080p eat my Macbook Pro alive with FCP? SD video isn't exactly "fast" on it, but I'm more used to the speed at which photography and audio programs work. Maybe it's slow on anything short of an 8-core.
     
  2. tibbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #2
    I should add that going much over $1,000USD likely won't work well for me for this first camera. I'd love a RED One, but that is well beyond my means at the moment. Maybe after stuff takes off a bit more.

    Another thing that I feel is fairly crucial is an optical viewfinder. Guess it's the photographer in me that just gets bugged by looking at LCD screens
     
  3. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #3
    Not going to happen for under $1k...

    The Canon HV20/30 will probably be your best option based on your strict budget. You will not be able to mount your Nikon lenses without spending another $1,200-1,300 and I wouldn't really recommend it unless you know exactly what you're doing (cinematography-wise).

    $1k for a camera is a very small budget in the production world and compromises will have to be made. Have you thought how much you're going to spend on audio/lighting?
     
  4. HDhead macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    #4
    If you're in L.A. check out the first meeting of RED L.A. User Group. They'll have cameras and a bunch of other gear on display. There will also be demos of FCP (and other) workflows in 2k and HD. This takes place on March 15th which is a Saturday. Here is the link.
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    Do you already have lights, mics, tripod, etc.,?

    Tapeless cameras will require transcoding into ProRes upon ingest (how long this takes depends on the speed of your computer). This will also require bigger, faster storage than if you used a tape based camera and edited in the native codec.

    No video camera has an optical viewfinder, they are all electronic. For HD cameras the electronic view finders are too low rez to accurately focus which is why you are seeing more and more LCDs being used.


    Lethal
     
  6. tibbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #6
    I've got Tripods, a good many mics (need a few more however as I'd like wireless lavs too) and lighting taken care of for the most part.

    HDHead- There is no way, no matter how much I stare at them or find out about them is a RED entering my budget. I can stare at Porsches all day, but unless I steal one it's not happening this year.

    Thanks for the point about the viewfinder. Hadn't considered that. I've worked on several films in various roles from sound mixer to co-producer, but we've always had either 16mm or 35mm film cameras around.

    Just curious, why in the world are the DOF adaptors so damn expensive? Are they doing something asides from mounting the lens that I'm not seeing? I don't care if the image is upside down and backwards (in case a prism does something odd) as I'm fine with that. Just a speciality low-volume item?

    Oh, another thing, I'd prefer to have a camera that has full manual functionality over the aperture and ISO. I understand metering, focal zones, etc... and I'd rather take care of the exposure myself when needed and possible.

    bigbossbmb- Why do you say that you'd advise against using the DOF Nikon mount? I'm no DoP/Cinematographer but if I understand the same principles from photography that I already have etched into the back of my mind should be the same pretty much. When you use one of these... do you actually remove the old glass on the camera? I'm sure the lenses I have now are better than anything that Canon can make for consumer cameras. Should there be any downside to this mount: http://www.hv20.com/showthread.php?t=2825 ?

    What would likely take longer on a 2.2ghz C2D Macbook Pro? Encoding to ProRes or importing from tape?

    And finally: Would it be smarter for me to get an older Pro-sumer camera like a GL2 and forget HD, but just capture high quality SD footage? Any massive pitfalls to watch out for in getting a used GL2?
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    Low volume item and there is a spinning ground glass element in between the 35mm lens and the video camera's lens (the camera records the image off the glass element).

    Full manual is out of your $1000 budget unfortunately.

    I can't speak for him, but I think he was getting at once you introduce a 35mm adapter into the mix your camera system becomes more complicated and much less mobile.

    Unfortunately I got no idea.


    Lethal
     
  8. tibbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #8
    Thanks for the info.

    For some reason in my mind full manual should cost less than fully automatic... but sigh, people like automatic junk so it gets cheaper.
     
  9. ShakeWellProd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #9
    Your shooting interviews and keynote speakers?

    You just need a camera bro that has a mic input. I do interviews all day on my Canon XH-A1 and it looks really fancy but a $500 Panasonic 3-chip w/ mic input would do you just fine for under a $1K. Or buy a used Canon 3-Chip (XL1s)

    Podcast don't need to look great! The content is what matters.

    Here is a McCain and Giuliani interview I shot on a Canon XH-A1
    The compression had to be 75mb and doesn't look like this uncompressed but the Internet will shred your quality, so I recommend getting a decent Canon or Panasonic that has everything you need, but not too expensive.

    Good Luck.
    http://alwayson.goingon.com/videodisplay/aaAA7u8L8chtjjlb/21553/1
     
  10. tibbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #10
    Well part of my things is trying to buck the trend that internet video has to look as crappy as YouTube. I'm looking at stuff like Macbreak's 1080p HD podcast.

    I personally see for the future and want to view internet content as TV replacement (it is for me as I have no cable, but watch plenty of HD podcasts on my HDTV). To say that simply interviews don't have to have any quality to them would indicate that CNN could use a $500 camera to shoot their stuff (they don't for some reason).

    I want to produce something (eventually) that's fairly high quality that people would watch instead of standard TV programming for a specific topic.

    On another thing all-together
    : I know from photography that megapixels don't mean crap compared to good lenses and a good sized sensor. I'd rather have a 4mp Nikon D2H with decent lens any day over a $200 consumer 12mp camera with crap for a lens.

    Would getting a GL2 be the equivalent of the D2H vs the HV20 being the equivalent of consumer point and shoot?

    I will be distributing weekly episodes, partially via bittorrent and partially via EC2/S3 hosting... so size/bandwidth isn't an issue. Prior to that I might host on Vimeo that supports 720p
     
  11. ShakeWellProd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #11
  12. tibbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #12
    That price looks pretty acceptable for what it offers. No, it's not for CNN, but something that I hope to be making some money with rather soon.
     
  13. ShakeWellProd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #13
    Do you live in California by any chance? I'd let you use my Canon.
     
  14. tibbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #14
    Nope, Boston/Cambridge. Great offer though!

    I've got a few guys that are going to let me borrow their cameras as it is, but I feel I'll likely wear out my welcome on that within a month or two with the amount of shooting we will be doing. Plus I don't want to buy extra batteries and filters for other people's cameras that i'll never see again.
     
  15. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #15
    Yup, plus the fact that it is a lot more glass to shoot through and keynote speakers usually aren't flooded under TONS of good light. I mean, do you really need a 35mm adapter for interviews and stage presentations? You can easily get a fairly good shallow DOF with a prosumer cam (DVX, XH-A1, etc) if you know how to work the camera.
     
  16. tibbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #16
    These DOF hacks are just weird to me. I'm so used to just throwing a 1.4 or 1.8mm lens on my D200 and opening it up all the way. Then if i'm getting too much light I throw on an ND filter... or turn it down to ISO100.
     
  17. tibbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #17
    How would one get a narrow DOF asides from using a very open aperture (1.8 or so?) or a very long lens with a fairly open aperture (5.6 or so at 200mm?)
     
  18. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #18
    I think what he's saying is you may run into the problem of the 35mm adapter + lens costing you so many stops that your image will be underexposed even if you are opened up all the way.


    Lethal
     
  19. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #19
    because you can do exactly what you are describing without a 35mm adapter. you back up the camera, open up the iris and zoom in as much as possible. also put as much distance between the subject and background as you can. you can get a good look with this method and 1/3" CCD/CMOS prosumer cams. however, as the HV20 is a consumer camera using a 1/6" CMOS the effects aren't as drastic.

    if you are really going to be doing stuff for clients, i'd up your camera budget to get the Canon XH-A1 at the very least.
     
  20. Malfoy macrumors 6502a

    Malfoy

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    #20
    Is that site legit? It has hvx 200 for 2k. if its legit. ill buy one very soon.
     
  21. D*I*S_Frontman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Lombard, IL
    #21
    Dude. Instead of dropping $1,000 on a consumer camera, just rent a prosumer or professional one for paying gigs until you've earned enough to buy the real thing.

    I used to do event videography with 4 DVX100's a couple of years ago. I only owned one - I would rent the other three for $200 each for a weekend gig and fold that expense into the final price of the program for the client.

    HVX200 is a great buy at the $5000 price point, seeing that they throw in a 16GB P2 card. But anyone selling you one for @ $2k is selling you hot merchandise, used equipment, or grey-market, not warranteed stuff with the accessories (esp. the P2 card) swiped from the package. That is, if they're not outright ccard scammers selling you nothing but fraud.
     
  22. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #22
    No, that site is definitely not legit. You'd be crazy to give them money.

    I agree with D*I*S above.
     
  23. ShakeWellProd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #23
    OOppps, yeah don't buy from that site. I just clicked on the first site which came up at the top to show you the specs.

    If it's too good to be true. They are thieves.
     

Share This Page