Need some advice on buying new equipment!

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by LukeW, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. LukeW macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2005
    OK, here is the set up. I am a graphic designer and recently I got approached by a small record label to on onto their books so I can be available if and when needed, and the owner has expressed interest in me going on tour with the band(s) and recording the journey, possibly cutting it together to make some behind the scenes stuff for their websites, and possibly even putting together a 'making of the album' DVD to be packaged together with the next release. I have no real experience with video cameras, so I am asking you fellow MacRumours peeps, what would be the best thing to get? It has to be reasonably light as I am going to be travelling around with this a lot, get good sound and picture quality, be compatible with Apple machines (I am sure most are anyway, but just to be on the safe side) and be a good price (while I wont be paying for it, the record label isnt huge so doesnt have loads of money laying around).

    I will also need to be able to edit and add music etc when and if needed. I was thinking of getting Apple's Final Cut Studio. Do I need to get just Final Cut Pro or will I need the whole studio (if they come seperately, I dont know)?

    I will have time to learn so thats not too bad, I am just being asked to put together a shopping list reasonably soon so any help or advice would be REALLY appreciated!

  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    Final Cut Pro cannot be bought by itself anymore. But since you are making a DVD, the Final Cut Studio is pretty much exactly what you need.

    As for camera, I would look into the Canon A1, even though I am a big fan of the DVX100B. Either camera would be great for this purpose. But you will need to get a better mircrophone. There really aren't any cameras that I know of that get decent sound with the internal mic. Even if you got a cheaper camera, an add-on mic would make the DVD much more professional.
  3. Multimedia macrumors 603


    Jul 27, 2001
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
    Also Sony HVR-V1U May Be A Better Choice HDMI Out Can Interface With Intensity Cards

    (I used to live in Altadena.) A1 is good. But without HDMI out, it can't be used in future with a set of Intensity Cards in a Mac Pro for Music Video Production. I would go with the Sony HVR-V1U for that reason.

    We need to get a better idea of the budget. When you say they don't have a lot of money laying around what do you mean? If the owner of the label wants to do it right, he's gonna need to spend $10-20k minimum.

    Sony HVR-V1U $5k
    17" MBP $3k
    Final Cut Studio $1.3k
    Wireless Audio Rig $1-2k
    2 Sony HDR-HC7 Camcorders for B Roll and Intensity On-Air 3.0 Production. $2.3k
    8 Core Mac Pro $5k
    3 Intensity Cards $747

    You can do it for less but then the quality will go down from this minimum good quality floor. The Above list is for MINIMUM GOOD Quality.

    Also: Where are you?
  4. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    I didn't think about the label keeping the camera around for other stuff...

    This kind of equipment is an investment for the label and spending more now can allow them to do a lot more with it than just a 'making of' documentary.

    Mulitmedia: I was supposed to shoot today for a music video, but the band flaked... I'm pissed that we aren't shooting in this beautiful weather! (all outdoor off of empire grade)
  5. killr_b macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2005
    Biggest issue here:

    Time to learn everything you need to know to make this the shizz.

    Equipment can be bought, and really bomb equipment can produce better looking footage. Especially if you have the right lens and lights when you need them.

    To do what they asked you to do isn't something you can just up and do correctly.
    If you're asking us for suggestions, I don't think you and your boss are ready for this.

    Best of luck though! :D
  6. LukeW thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2005
    Ha, yeah, I am well aware of the learning curve :D but it is more of a long term investment really, plus I am being paid to learn a new skill and being given a load of equipment to practise with. To begin with he only really wants amateur footage of the band really, but afterwards, who knows? I think his big plan at the moment is just to have decent quality video footage for the bands websites on his lable, which really is small so I dont see him paying out $10K. I may be able to get a new MacBook, Apple Final Cut Studio and a quite decent light weight video camcorder with additional mike, but thats about it for now.
  7. kd5hsm macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2007

    I think in your sitution you may want to go with a camera a few notches down from the top. Probably pro-sumer level is what your after. I'd recommend the Canon XL or GL. XL will be around $4000, GL you can find for less than $2000 if you look around. Really anything lower than that starts to show a MAJOR quality drop. There are cheaper cameras out there that have 3CCD chips, but they just don't look to have the same quality.

    The GL is also a lot smaller camera and easier to run around with, but it dosn't have quite all the features of the XL.

    For traveling around a MacBook Pro may be a better idea than a MacPro. Once again, the price difference between them may be another factor.

    I'm not familoiar enough with wireless mics and ligtinh rigs to be a lot of help there. You definatly will need a wireless mic of some sorts. A lighting rig would be nice, but pretty expensive. The cameras do a pretty darn good job of working with the lighting, but there would be a quality drop without the pro lighting. But that may be something you could skim.

    I recommend

    MacBook Pro- ~$2000 (More if you go for a nicer one)
    Final Cut Suite - $1300
    Canon GL - ~$2000
    Some sort of mic - prob about $1000 or less, looking at the other posts around here.

    Your probably looking at somewhere round $6 - $7 thousand. Can't see how to do it much cheaper than that.

    You may want some kind of large external hard drive. Those are getting pretty cheap now. $200 or so for a 500 GB drive. If you go with a macbook instead of macpro you'll probably need it, cause you'll fill up that 120 GB drive really quick!

    The stuff I listed here isn't professional, it's upper end consumer level. About as cheap as you can go without it looking like you shot on something you bought at Wal-Mart.

    Having said all this, if you havn't ever done anything like this, the whole thing may be a bad idea. It's not something to just jump in a and go with. Have you ever done any kind of video editing before? If you want anything that dosn't look like someone's video on MySpace, you have to have some time doing it.

    Anyone can show you how to use Final Cut, you can even teach yourself. But learning how to EDIT is a very different thing. If you've never done it before, you may find yourself in a a bit of a bind.

  8. Multimedia macrumors 603


    Jul 27, 2001
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
    I Strongly Disagree With Any SD Purchase - Only Buy HDV

    Single Chip Sony HDR-HC7 HDV camera for $1150 at ProVantage footage will look way better than the best SD footage you can shoot. Shooting in HDV will give you a leg up on everybody who continues to shoot in SD. Canon GL is an OLD SD Model that should not be bought.

    Have you read our new thread on the Sony HDR-HC7 yet?

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