25 Replies Latest reply: Mar 16, 2011 6:54 PM by able123 RSS

    New camera tomorrow

    Christopher Duncan Community Member

      Well, the poking around is done and I have a new camera on the way which should land tomorrow. The Panasonic HMC70 was fine for its original intended purpose, green screen tutorial / interview type footage. However once I branched out into narrative work it just wasn't workable.

       

      We've been using the DP's Canon but it irked me to have a $1600 piece of equipment that I couldn't use, so I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade. B&H buys old gear & offered $800 for the HMC70. Might have got a few pennies more on eBay but I'd rather not hassle with it, so it's on a UPS truck headed for NY as we speak (I told it to look Rod up once it got there).

       

      Beyond the issue of not being able to use my gear, the Canon is also tape based. I've been full digital in the recording studio for so long I'd forgotten what a nuisance tape can be. Apparently you can only get a couple of uses out of each tape before the reliability becomes suspect, so it's essentially disposable media. However, what really got me moving on the upgrade was sitting around every night for an hour transfering the dailies from the camera to the computer. Real time. In the 21st century. You gotta be kidding me.

       

      From a purist's perspective (and I'm glad I have a guy who's shooting for the best quality he can get) the DP wasn't wild about AVCHD but I was adamant about moving to a tapeless format. The Panasonics on P2 cards were his first choice, but the media is wicked expensive and my budget is finite. I want the best quality I can get, but this is a web series and best bang for the buck is a factor.

       

      I was initially looking at the Panasonic HMC150, which seems to be viewed favorably in its class. After some conversation, we went instead with the
      comparable Sony AX2000, which he felt was slightly better in specs. I'm sure either would do the job, so I trusted more experienced eyes. And so, this is the critter that's on the way:

       

      http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/671535-REG/Sony_HDRAX2000_H_HDR_AX2000_AVCHD_Camcord er.html

       

      Be nice to get away from tape. Even a week with it is one week too many. Sounds silly perhaps, but with my packed schedule, an hour a night is actually significant.

        • 1. Re: New camera tomorrow
          Community Member

          how cool is THAT !   good going !  I'm jealous...

          See.....I mentioned in another thread that sony had some cool stuff....and off you go and buy a sony ! So I dont feel so dumb now pointing out the hdcam f900...your next camera probably

           

           

           

          whoops...forgot about the tape thing....well...you can hire someone at that point to do the tape stuff if you can afford the camera...think of the length of time you can record with it....that makes up the difference...

          basically keep it rolling even when you should cut ...cause its just tape

           

           

          • 2. Re: New camera tomorrow
            davidbeisner2010 Community Member

            Congrats, and good luck! I, too, was beyond frustrated with tape, having used an XHA1 (I'm guessing what your DP uses) for three years so I finally upgraded to the JVC GY-HM700u (I do more sports/reporter style shooting than narrative, so the shoulder-mount style was important). It's been quite a dream simply being able to copy and paste footage and start editing right away...

            • 3. Re: New camera tomorrow
              Christopher Duncan Community Member

              > hdcam f900...your next camera probably

               

              Nah. I'll just go with a Red. I understand that's what all the really cool snake movies are shot with.

              • 4. Re: New camera tomorrow
                Christopher Duncan Community Member

                > so the shoulder-mount style was important

                 

                Yeah, since we're doing short scenes I was able to take that off the gotta have list. You can get an attachment for it, but it was something like $500. Still, nice to know the option is there if it ever becomes important.

                 

                But I'm with you. Copy and paste!

                • 5. Re: New camera tomorrow
                  the_wine_snob Community Member

                  Christopher,

                   

                  I'll just go with a Red. I understand that's what all the really cool snake movies are shot with.

                   

                  You are correct, but I hear that the DP is now moving to the Arri Alexa for the snake films.

                   

                  Hunt

                   

                  PS - good luck, and please report, when you have torn the box open and paraded around with that camera.

                  • 6. Re: New camera tomorrow
                    Christopher Duncan Community Member

                    Bovine Dieties! Looks like Red has some competition.

                     

                    Given the crowd I run with, the parade may descend into a tequila fueled conga line, but I promise we'll put the camera down first, just to be safe.

                    • 7. Re: New camera tomorrow
                      Community Member

                      cow gods ?  what parade ?

                       

                       

                       

                      its not beer thirty. 

                       

                      am trying to stop the beer thirty thing happening every day that I'm not working cause Im becoming fat as a cow without feeling god-like.

                       

                      later gator

                      • 8. Re: New camera tomorrow
                        Christopher Duncan Community Member

                        Holy Cow.

                         

                        Shoulda used the singular.

                         

                        And it's Bill's parade, I just added the conga line.

                        • 9. Re: New camera tomorrow
                          Community Member

                           

                           

                          holy cow... funny.

                          here's an old phrase I love to use ( like when trying to stop something from careening out of control )

                          " Whoa Nelly ! "

                           

                          get camera ?

                          • 10. Re: New camera tomorrow
                            Christopher Duncan Community Member

                            I remember whoa nelly. Warner Brothers cartoons, right?

                             

                            New camera is in but we've been so busy all I've had a chance to do is take it out of the box and say, "ooh, pretty."

                             

                            We have a full day Saturday of lighting design and prep for next week's shooting, so we'll have a chance to fire it up and test it in various scenarios then.

                            • 11. Re: New camera tomorrow
                              Community Member

                              Chris

                              ----------

                              all I've had a chance to do is take it out of the box and say, "ooh,  pretty."

                              -----------

                              LOL...that cracked me up...as I'm just like that... there's this strange attraction to gadgets and the more buttons and dials and connections the more impressed I am...hehe...I'm glad you got it and hope you're really happy with it !  I'm sure you will be ...

                               

                               

                              • 12. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                So far I'm liking what I'm seeing. Rings for focus, zoom, iris, easy access buttons for most everything rather than diving into a menu, native support for 24p & 30p. Pretty standard stuff for a real camera, but as a class of creature it's on a completely different planet than the HMC70, which was really just a consumer camcorder in a big box.

                                 

                                I also just downloaded Cineform Neoscene after Ann and others recommended it. Converted one of the AVCHD clips and found to my pleasant surprise that it automatically split it up into individual scene files right where the slate markers were. Nice.

                                 

                                Now if they just made days with more hours in them...

                                • 13. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                  Community Member

                                  Chris,

                                  Very cool... pointing that camera at your "talent" acting will probably ( now that you're into that stuff ) improve that product -  but still boil down all the stuff you've been working hard on to get right and produce good stuff. I can't wait to see your movies.

                                   

                                  ---------

                                  Now if they just made days with more hours in them..

                                  ----------

                                  they do make days like that.

                                  yesterday we worked 8 hours before "lunch" was called. Then did 14 hrs. total.

                                  Today was 13 hours.

                                   

                                  trust me, they do make days with more hours in them.

                                   

                                   

                                  • 14. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                    Community Member

                                    think I'm gonna get a used canon xl2 ( sd )....  so I can at least shoot "something" and do more editing ( my computer can handle the sd).

                                     

                                    wish I could upgrade everything to hd and so on, but hey, might as well just do what we can , when we can do it ( that sounds like a promo for living )

                                     

                                     

                                    • 15. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                      Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                      I don't know what your options are but even in terms of used gear, I'd be inclined to find an SD chip based camera rather than one that uses tape. Life is so much easier without media that's essentially disposable and having to wait on real time transfers to the computer. Say what you will about AVCHD, it's sure nice to pop a chip into the computer, copy, paste and be done with it. 

                                      • 16. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                        Community Member

                                        Chris,

                                        I think I know what you mean. A little anyway. That red camera test stuff I did was using cf cards. take the card, plug it into computer, copy to hard drive...done...took a few minutes but was fast.

                                        the safari edit I did a while ago had mini dv tapes that I captured using svlive and was real time ...6 tapes took six hours basically.

                                         

                                        ugh

                                         

                                        but I have to admit I know nothing about shooting video or "digital" or whatever you wanna call it...except what I've learned here mostly for the past year or so. And not from shooting ( dont have camera ), but from the posts and the red tests I did...with a mousey computer....

                                        that said, I'm thinking about the cost of upgrading my computer, premiere, and buying camera all at same time if I go HD.  I cant do that now.  I can handle the SD and this camera seemed OK re: the basics...

                                         

                                        I do appreciate what you mean and suggest but I can afford this thing and use my current computer and cs3...and at least shoot something with it and begin to learn what that is all about ( shooting with the video camera instead of film ).

                                         

                                        Im behind you re: whats new and all that, but its OK... and in a couple years can probably upgrade to hd and deal with that then ( if I have a client or 2...cause frankly, without monetizing all this stuff its just a hobby and not worth spending a lot of money on  )

                                         

                                        Id rather eat the time for capture now and afford it than go nuts with buying stuff I cant afford and have no clients or jobs to pay for it. ?? make sense  ? dont forget , I dont know if I even have the "talent" to write, shoot, edit a simple "story" yet...

                                         

                                         

                                        • 17. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                          Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                          Yeah, I know you don't want to upgrade the computer at the same time as the camera (ouch!). What I was thinking is that you might find a good used camera out there that's chip based but supports shooting in both SD and HD.

                                           

                                          Some of the folks here could probably make more specific model recommendations. If you were able to get into a camera like that you could shoot SD for now, have the convenience of a chip based system, and not have to upgrade the camera when you move your computer to one capable of HD.

                                           

                                          Alternatively, you could go with an HD camera and use Cineform or some other converter to move the footage into a lower bandwidth format that your CS3 system would be happy with. Either way, you get something you can work with today and be HD ready for the future.

                                          • 18. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                            Community Member

                                            That makes a lot of sense....do you think I could find something like that for about this price now? I bet in a year or so I could but am not sure about right now. people are dumping the sd stuff to go hd and Im riding the "last generation" wave...

                                             

                                            http://www.keh.com/camera/Canon-Video-Camera-Outfits/1/sku-VC0199907433605?r=FE

                                             

                                            at b&h its more like this....

                                             

                                            http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/339002-REG/Canon_9549A001_XL2_MiniDV_Camcorder.html

                                             

                                             

                                            • 19. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                              davidbeisner2010 Community Member

                                              The XL2 is a good camera and if u want something in the prosumer category, u wont get chip based hd/sd recording for under $2k... plenty of handycam models, but they leave a lot to be desired.

                                              • 20. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                                Community Member

                                                thats sorta how I'm feeling Dave,

                                                 

                                                get the SD thing now that I can afford ( used ) and get HD later or upgrade computer and cs3..and borrow red maybe..

                                                thats getting too far ahead for me to plan.....

                                                 

                                                hows stuff at home ??

                                                • 21. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                                  davidbeisner2010 Community Member

                                                  Yeah, that's what I'd do... sucks, I know--especially with the beauty of HD. But if you can't justify the expense with income, then you're making the right decision.

                                                   

                                                  Things at home are great! Little guy's just over two weeks old and already sleeping up to 6 hours at a stretch at night, so we're definitely happy!

                                                  • 22. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                                    Community Member

                                                    Dave,

                                                    ---------

                                                    Things at home are great! Little guy's just over two weeks old and  already sleeping up to 6 hours at a stretch at night, so we're  definitely happy!

                                                    ------------

                                                     

                                                    GOOD news !  now you are getting more sleep too, and can now remember how to do simple tasks like "turn on light in living room", " turn on camera at work ", " drive car " , " boil and egg ", etc

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    • 23. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                                      Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                                      If you're looking at a used one for around $2000 (i.e., $1999), the new Panasonic HMC-150 (which the more expensive Sony just barely beat out for my own purchase) is only $750 more. And if memory serves, I believe it shoots native SD as well as HD.

                                                      • 24. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                                        Community Member

                                                        chris,

                                                        thanks...

                                                        hmmm, will keep in mind...the keh one is $1600. b&h was the 1995....lets see what happens...am working now and just making the $ to buy SOMETHING...will take a couple weeks, due to the usual nut to crack each month etc....

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        • 25. Re: New camera tomorrow
                                                          Community Member