What camera should I buy?

2

Comments

  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    ...if I were in your position, I'd get myself a Canon 60D and pimp it out with a Redrock Micro mount and followfocus, a Zacuto Z-finder, a Beachtek XLR adapter box or a Zoom H4N sound recorder.
    Hey, take it easy, that kind of package gets me salivating and hyperventilating with excitement.:)
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out
    edited January 2012

    Never did ;)
    The only reason I'm going for a DSLR (personally) is because if you compare a T3i's video with ANY camcorder under $800 you will see that the T3i's video is much sharper, and more detailed. If I could afford a broadcast quality camcorder, even the standard def GL2, I probably would, simply because I like camcorders better than DSLRs.
    Good luck with choosing a camcorder. I don't know anything about the higher end models, not enough to help you pick one anyway! I wish you the best on your project though! :)
    My point was that the main reason people shoot on dslr's is because, in the recent past, they were able to get better shallow dof than a lot of video cameras and they have interchangeable lenses. That was the main appeal for videographers. But, now video cameras can achieve the same things and are aimed at videographers instead of photographers.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out
    I think form factor is a big issue being left out in this debate. Video camera designers have a long history of refining the design of video cameras to suit the needs of videographers. And same with slr designers designing for photographers. Those designs are totally different from each-other. And since the end results (the final video) can end up looking the same with modern video cameras and dslr's, I think it comes down to a matter of personal preference and what your comfortable with.
  • Froi
    Froi Posts: 966

    I personally find shooting video with a dslr to be a pain in the butt. Not to mention all the extra equipment you have to buy to make a dslr friendly to shooting video. You don't need a dslr anymore to achieve "film look" or shallow dof.
    With DSLRs like the new canon 600d they should be much easier to shoot with because they have an adjustable screen so you can see it from any angle, it also has a conveniently placed mic slot so the mic lead won't get in the way of any should mounts or what not being used :) the manual focus is annoying though unless u have something that focuses it on the touch of a button or two, if they exist lol
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    edited January 2012
    Getting DOF has nothing to do with camera type, it has to do with aperture and focal length. It's a technique, not a "feature".
    EDIT: I take this comment back. Misread the post.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out

    Getting DOF has nothing to do with camera type, it has to do with aperture and focal length. It's a technique, not a "feature".
    I dont think anyone said it was. The point is that almost the entire reason people started shooting video on dslrs was because it was easier to achieve shallow dof on a dslr. I think thats no longer the case.
    I'm just making these points because the OP wants to get a video camera and most people in this thread really seem to be trying to convince him to buy a dslr. I think he can get a video camera within his budget that has all the perks of a dslr.
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    edited January 2012
    I dont think anyone said it was.
    Right. I misread your post. My mistake.
    You meant that camcorders in the past didn't have have enough manual control to throw out the background. Yeah, that's why I got off of them.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    @budwzr how is what i want all over the map? Have you done any research outside of DSLRs? I can have 4:2:2 for as cheap as 1500 if i was going to buy used or 2k-2.5k if i wanna buy retail.
    @Arktic because I will also be doing more green screen work so if im going to be making 1 major camera purchase for the next 2 years i need to plan out what I am buying.
    @Axel what kind of cameras do you guys use?
  • Arktic
    Arktic Posts: 52
    edited January 2012
    Is this for paid work?
    If so, I'd suggest you hire in kit. You pass the cost on directly to the client, and you can work with much higher end kit. Like Arri Alexas, Sony PDW-F800s or RED etc.
    No upkeep or maintainance costs, either :-)
    If you need a cam for quick tests and sizzle reels etc, it doesn't need to be 4:2:2... Don't get hung up on details!
    Cheers,
    Arktic
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    I've formed a production company and we are still in development of a couple projects. I am only sweating the details because there are some things we aiming for later down the road. Eventually there will be bigger investments into cameras but we have to start some where. A DSLR would cut out certain issues that come with certain lower end prosumer camcorders but create other issues.
    I've also considered contracting out the camera work and saving on a lot of time, and have had lots of responses on 1 craigslist ad. Ive had responses from people with mid range DSLRs to someone using a AJ-HDX900. I am more so leaning towards just buying a camera because it would be easier to train up people on a device in house. Also, I would be able to try out all the tests and things that i've been wanting to do.
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    OK, well good luck!
  • Here is a totally different way of thinking here. Think of it as a car, if you are thinking about buying a car, the smart thing is to rent the one you are interested in, drive it around for a few days and see how you like it. Just do the same thing with the cameras. Rent the ones you are interested in, and then see which ones work best for you. If you have just started a new business, you don't want to blow all your capital at the begging. A lot of us have learned how to do things cheaply out of necessity, duct tape, and bailing wire can go along ways.
  • Arktic
    Arktic Posts: 52
    [quote]I've formed a production company and we are still in development of a couple projects.[/quote] - Then RENT RENT RENT! As Eflat says, don't pump a lot of capital into something that you haven't sealed the deal on just yet.
    If you want to go professional, do what the professionals do and hire the kit in as and when you need to. Do you think Spielberg owns ten or twenty of the latest cameras, so that when he decides to do a project he can just get going? Or has he bought just one awesome camera that he'll use for the next few years? No, of course not; he decides what he wants to do, works out what kit is appropriate for the budget, and then hires the kit (and the operators) in.
    If it's good enough for the pros, it should be good enough for you ;)
    One camera will NOT be appropriate for everything you do. Renting means that you can get the best kit at a decent price, without having to shell out masses up front.
    As I said before, if you need to do tests or train people up in house, you don't need a 4:2:2 camera.
    Cheers,
    Arktic.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    As I said i am considering contracting, the only 2 downsides i see is the possible costs or that it would still limit tests and filming on the fly. The only reason im looking at a 4:2:2 camera is for pre production tests. I did a test trailer for a movie that we are working on and I did not like the coloring at all. Having a 4:2:2 camera to get some additional footage on would really help people learn and practice. In the end for that movie we will most likely get someone to do it but its important to know get get better because for the drama we most likely would handle color correction in house.
    I do know that most companies would not buy new cameras and would of course hire someone for that but there are vastly different companies. There are Actors production companies which pretty much just outsource everything except the creative aspect of the screenplay or directing and on the other end are the companies which try to do everything in house. My company is more so in the middle but learning slightly towards handling most things in house. Its a choice and there are a million ways to play it.
    When it comes to cameras all the options are still really being considered because they all have their negatives and positives. Weeks have been spent pouring over information before it even got posted on here because I wanted to make sure I had a wider area of knowledge for this decision. Mistakes will be made, and lessons will be learned but those are needed for growth. Im avoiding plunking down tens of thousands or even stretching the budget on what could be done because that minimizes how painful a mistake would be made. With a Canon XF300 we can get a lot of accessories and if things still arent turning out right we can hire someone with a sony EX1. To do a Canon XF100 we could get all the forseeable needed accessories plus shore up budgets for other areas and get that guy with the sony. For the Panasonic 200A and some accessories I can also hire the guy with a Canon XF305(pretty much the same as the 300). Im posting this on here because I'd love to hear the pluses and negatives of peoples cameras or discover some better sites to get read accurate professional opinions and also to get Paul Prosumer's opinion. Lines have to be made while searching because it makes things a little more focused. SO setting a line for 4:2:2 starts bringing things into perspective, so does no DSLR.
    When i am done upgrading my system to Windows 7 64bit and restore files and programs I will post the old trailer for Red Desert. This is why 4:2:2 is where a line has been drawn.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    So how would you compare the learning curve of a DSLR to a Camcorder?
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    I have a bead on a Panasonic AG-AF100 for a special sale. I think i may go with it and then get a harddrive so that i get the 4:2:2 color sampling
  • Arktic
    Arktic Posts: 52
    edited February 2012
    Uhm, unless I'm mistaken, you can't just 'plug in a harddrive' to get the 4:2:2 from the AG-AF100. You need an external recorder like a NanoFlash which will cost you at least another $3,000... Or record to a HDCAM deck or AJA/Blackmagic SDI interface for a computer (which will cost a little less, but then you can only record when you're connected to your PC).
    Seems like a waste of money for me, because unless you get a Nanoflash, a Ki Pro or Blackmagic card... there is *no* benefit over a DSLR, really. Especially with it's awkward design which means you'll need to invest in a shoulder mount and follow focus etc. AND add to that the fact that it's sensor is around half the size of a Canon 5D's sensor, and to me you've got a pretty raw deal.
    So basically, all the flaws of a DSLR, but at a much higher price point.
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    edited February 2012
    Hahaha, three five star ratings, and not ONE of them an Amazon Verified Purchaser.
    I have a Canon G7, and you can find those for $1000 on Amazon, but they only retailed at $500 several years ago. But with something out of production and no price reference they can put whatever, and wait around and fish for a sucker.
    Here's a quote from a review site:
    An additional factor that disturbed me is the native record format. Panasonic has two extraordinary formats: DVCPRO HD and AVC-I, yet the AG-AF100 is AVCCAM (AVCHD), an MPEG-4 H.264 format delivering 24Mb/s, 8-bit 4:2:0 in the highest quality “PH” mode. So unless you’re utilizing the uncompressed output to an external recorder, the camera’s native format presents a compromise in image quality.
    So if you actually want to use "the camera" to record, you get digicam quality. You'd think for $4000 they'd at least let you have the AVC Intra 50.
  • If you want a great camera for High Def look up the panasonic DMC-GH2 then look up the hack for it..
    Info:
    Panasonic GH2 Hacked Further, Now Records to Advanced 176Mbit Codec..
    a new hacker named Driftwood has managed to drastically increase the bitrate of the GH2, in addition to switching the codec to a 176Mbit intraframe codec, which could offer even better image quality with less artifacting.
    The codec works in 1080p/24p/4:2:0, and will require a high-speed SD card (such as this 32 GB Class 10 model, which should hold about 30 minutes of 176Mbit footage). When you stop and think about it, it’s pretty crazy that the GH2′s processor is able to record and play back this codec (in fact, your computer might not even be able to play back the codec without transcoding to something like ProRes first).
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    edited February 2012
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    Well i will refer anyone looking into a DSLR to that list
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out
    edited February 2012
    This picture perfectly illustrates why dslr's are a pain to shoot video with.
    [img]http://www.zacuto.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/P1000063.jpg[/img]
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    To me, it illustrates the tenacity of the independent filmmaker, to keep their control and independence, and how much passion they have for the craft.
  • Okay, the one thing I have notice, is that you are constantly showing us these out of date, overly expensive camera's, and everybody on this topic, has been advising you, on less expensive alternatives. So the answer is quite simple, get what ever you want no matter what it cost. Otherwise, you will never be happy.
  • Arktic
    Arktic Posts: 52

    This picture perfectly illustrates why dslr's are a pain to shoot video with.
    I would say that it demonstrates how DSLRS can adapt to different situations and budgets, and there are modular solutions to all of their quirks ;)
    I am a total DSLR fanboy, mind you.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    @Eflat Is it wrong to talk and gather other people's opinions and make a more informed decision after reading the reviews and watching test videos? I understand there are a lot of DSLR fanboys on here but i kept trying to bring focus back to getting opinions based on camcorders that were in my criteria. Yes I am showing some older cameras, or cameras which may be in a price range some may be not willing to pay. I am showing some older cameras to see if anyone on here has had experience because there are a couple cameras that may be 5 years old but which would suit my needs. I understand that my wants and needs are not making this the cheapest endeavour, but if I just do not want a DSLR then can I still get your advice on non DSLR cameras?
    @Arktic I've been looking over that Canon XF300 and it really does have my eye.
    Im only on here asking this question because I understand that asking some questions of people who've been doing this a little longer is important. WIth the exception of "No DSLR" I've been continuously starting new searches to try to avoid limiting my self and missing out. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond. THis is really important to me.
  • @Arktic I've been looking over that Canon XF300 and it really does have my eye.
    I did not mean to be rude. What I was saying is, no matter what, the final choice is yours, and the important thing is that you are satisfied. Out of all the cameras, the Canon XF300, I like the best, and it looks like you are getting your money's worth.
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    Yes, that is certainly a great camera, but then, it's a Canon, so that's to be expected.
    Canon doesn't play games. They give you your money's worth. They have no other agendas except to make great cameras.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    Does anyone know anything about the AG-AF100 by panasonic? I am just trying to find reviews on everythhing.