What camera should I rent?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by RedHook, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. RedHook macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    LA, CA
    #1
    My wife works for a non-profit that donates instruments to underserved school music programs. Her boss has invited me along on an upcoming instrument donation to take video and pictures. I'd like to use something better than my JVC mini-DV cam, but I'm not quite sure what I should try to get.

    Here's what I know: I need something that I can download onto my MBP to put up some YouTube clips soon after the event, but we also plan on sending the footage to one of our board members who can spend some time editing to make it look great and usable for promotion. I do have a rental budget, and cameras are easy to rent here in LA, so what do you think? What's a good balance of easy to use and great quality? Thanks for your input!
     
  2. illegalprelude macrumors 68000

    illegalprelude

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #2
    If I had to recommend, I would chose a Sony. If they offer an HD one, great, if not, A mini DV Sony camcorder is what I prefer and use
     
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    What's your rental budget and does it include a camera operator? A good operator w/a mediocre camera is much better than a mediocre operator w/a good camera.


    Lethal
     
  4. RedHook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    LA, CA
    #4
    They said, "rent what you need," so I don't have a set price limit. There's a good chance that we can get the equipment donated as well. We're traveling for the event, so we don't have an operator other than me! My skill level is a bit past making home movies of the kids, but far short of documentary quality. I'm planning on having everything at least a week before we go so that I can familiarize myself with it and have time to ask questions.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #5
    I couldn't agree more. RedHook, I don't know which JDC miniDV model you have, but my guess is that it will take you a while to learn how to best use a professional or prosumer camera - it's a big step for anyone. So hiring a camera operator along with his/her camera sounds like a good idea to me. You wrote that you are traveling to the event - can you hire someone who lives/works there?

    If you still want to do it yourself, at least allow for a few days of learning/experimenting with whatever camera you rent or get donated before the event.

    - Martin
     
  6. Spizzo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    #6
    I agree. You should be able to find someone (film student, etc...) in the area who would be willing to show up and film, and turn the tapes over, for about the same price you would pay to rent a camera, maybe even less.

    You are going to have a hard time filming if you are not familiar with the equipment, even in 'green' mode. I'd suggest posting an add on craigslist.

    Once they film, you can just have them hand over the tapes. As long as they are filming in miniDV, you can just load the tapes in your camera and upload them. This will also save you from having to haul the camera around.

    Edit: Which area of the country will you be in, maybe someone on here could help you out?
     
  7. RedHook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    LA, CA
    #7
    I second and third you both! I'd be much happier having a local do the film, leaving me to do the stills. I'm hoping that my wife's boss will agree with me that this is better left in the hands of a professional, or at least someone who has more experience with advanced cameras. In the event that she says, "No, you'll be fine," though, what are your top picks?
     
  8. RedHook thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 18, 2007
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    LA, CA
    #8
    Spizzo, we're based in LA but going to New Orleans for the donation.
     
  9. baypharm macrumors 65816

    baypharm

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #9
    Based on what you tell us in your posting: 1). You want to post to You Tube 2). give away the footage to a member - then you say you want something better than mini DV.

    When you post to You Tube it doesn't matter what camera you use - you are limited to 100mb - so mini DV will work for you. Giving the footage away to someone who will probably stick it on his video shelf - well you see where I am going with this. Mini DV will be sufficient.

    Many TV shows are made on mini DV cams. There is nothing wrong with them. A camera will only give you what you put into it: if you know what you are doing, Super 8 will look fantastic. If you lack the skills to make a polished production, even Panasonic's 100,000 dollar Varicam won't help you out a single bit.

    Stick with Mini DV and hone your skills.
     
  10. jpfisher macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #10
    The Panasonic DVX100 is probably a good choice -- the best miniDV camcorder you'll come across... great lens which is fantastic in low light, 3-chip CCD, 24p support if you want it... and it's pretty easy to use, as far as prosumer/pro cams go -- day rate is $200 at Adorama in NY. It doesn't sound like you need HD footage for what you're doing, and you're better off putting the rental money into something with a better lens than a lower quality HDV cam.
     
  11. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #11
    The OP said he's going to give it to someone for editing to be used as a promo. So yeah, better quality would help.

    I would definitely check out the craigslist posts for videographers down in New Orleans. They won't be too hard to find.
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    Is the event indoors or outdoors? And if it's outdoors what time of day will it be happening? Besides a camera you will most likely need lights (unless it outdoor during the after noon and not in the shade) and, if you want anyone to speak on camera, such as a donor or recipient saying how wonderful the program is, you'll need a separate audio guy mic'ing people.

    A question you might pose to your wife's boss is, "Do you want the video to look and sound like someone's home movie, or do you want it to look and sound like something that could be used for marketing and publicity purposes?" If he wants the former then yer set and just use your home video camera. If he says the latter then tell him he needs to rent a two man crew (camera + audio) in New Orleans.


    Lethal
     
  13. Spizzo macrumors 6502

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    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    #13
    I agree. Also, you might want to get an on camera light. If you are filming inside, the lighting conditions will be poor, and it will help a bit.
     
  14. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #14
    Oh boy, where do I start...

    Yes, the miniDV format is not necessarily a bad choice. Not just for YouTube; some great feature-length indipendent films have been done with the miniDV format. But apart from the tape format, the quality of the optics, the number, size and quality of the CCD or CMOS sensors, the skill level of the camera operator (as well as his/her familiarity with the camera) make a huge difference. Not to mention good lighting, audio, etc.

    - Martin
     

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