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Best camera for pro videography/indie filmmaking?

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  • Best camera for pro videography/indie filmmaking?

    OK, I have a dilema. I am planning to shoot an indie film that a friend and I wrote together and got the OK from the wife to drop some coin on a good camera. The only stipulation is that the camera I get has to be able to double as a professional videography camera (she feels that I should put my cinematography/editing skills to work and be able to earn some money with the camera on the weekends if I plan to spend that much on the camera/editing software/lighting/sound equipment).

    I'm looking for recommendations on an HDV camera in the $2k to $3k range that will look great for both applications (shoots in native 24p/30p and 16:9 but can also shoot high qualty live video). I could potentially go higher than $3k(not much though) so any recommendations for camera above $3k would be welcome as well as there is always Ebay and Craigslist ;^). So basically, I'm looking for a camera that will largely be used for filmmaking purposes, but must also have the capability (and looks) of a pro videographer's rig, so i.e it can't be something like a Canon Vixia HV40 (which was recommended to me by someone else) or anything.

    We've been looking at the Panasonic AG-HMC40, but I don't like that I have to get an XLR adapter for it. How does the HMC40 compare tot he Panasonic AG-DVX100b? From what I've read, the DVX100b was THE camera for indie filmmaking a few years ago.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by video-jon; 05-18-2010, 03:19 PM.

  • #2
    You don't want HDV, HDV is dead. Did you try searching these boards, this particular forum on the subject? This topic comes up about every other week.
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    Eric Peterson (AKA, "Zwick")
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Zwick View Post
      You don't want HDV, HDV is dead. Did you try searching these boards, this particular forum on the subject? This topic comes up about every other week.
      What do you mean that HDV is dead? Does that mean the AG-HMC40 is dead as well?

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      • #4
        Canon T2i would be right up your alley. HMC40 is AVCHD not HDV, so no not dead at all.

        Noah
        GH2, GoPro HD, AC160, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D training at www.CallBoxLive.com
        40% discount for 2-poppers! Use code 2pop2012 on these titles.

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        • #5
          Canon T2i ($849), DSLR would be my choice, with a nice rig and double system sound. You don't say what the "weekend" video is going to be but assuming that includes weddings, I'd think about 2 cameras and with added gear that's probably a bit rough at $3K.

          You may want to read the Stickies and search here a bit and Google the web.
          DSLR Cinematography

          EDIT: Also, it may be good to know what your computer and editing system are.
          Last edited by Zwick; 05-18-2010, 05:36 PM.
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          Eric Peterson (AKA, "Zwick")
          Person in charge
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          • #6
            In good light, the HMC40 shoots gorgeous, crisp AVCHD footage. Not HDV.
            David
            2-pop Guide

            A New Blog About Video
            secondchairvideo
            http://www.secondchairvideo.com/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Zwick View Post
              Canon T2i ($849), DSLR would be my choice, with a nice rig and double system sound. You don't say what the "weekend" video is going to be but assuming that includes weddings, I'd think about 2 cameras and with added gear that's probably a bit rough at $3K.

              You may want to read the Stickies and search here a bit and Google the web.
              DSLR Cinematography

              EDIT: Also, it may be good to know what your computer and editing system are.
              Isn't the Canon T2i a digital (still) camera? Although the video looks nice, I imagine it wouldn't be recieved as well by someone who pays me for my services. They would probably be looking for their hired videographer to show up with something that looked more like a pro video camera.

              That being said, I do find the video the T2i takes to be incredible considering that it's coming frm a DSLR. Does it film in 24p and 30p like the HMC40?

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              • #8
                You might want to do some homework, the comment about not "looking pro" shows no research. I also indicated you will need a rig... and double system sound.

                The HMC40 suits your budget, is a nice entry level camera that shoots good images. So why not go with that? Keep in mind though a camera alone isn't all you need if you want to shoot professional looking video.

                Also, you didn't answer on what your computer is and what NLE you are using.
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                Eric Peterson (AKA, "Zwick")
                Person in charge
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                http://www.ericnp.net

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                • #9
                  Really? You think this:



                  looks less pro than this:



                  Think again Sparky...

                  Noah
                  Last edited by NoahKadner; 05-20-2010, 08:21 AM.
                  GH2, GoPro HD, AC160, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D training at www.CallBoxLive.com
                  40% discount for 2-poppers! Use code 2pop2012 on these titles.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NoahKadner View Post
                    Really? You think this:



                    looks less pro than this:



                    Think again Sparky...

                    Noah
                    WOW!!!! I stand corrected!!!! What are the individual pieces in that particular rig?

                    Can the T2i shoot a comparable video to the HMC40 (i.e. native 24p)?

                    To answer Zwicks post above, I did do a little homework n the T2i, but everything I saw showed it as a digital still camera, but not with a rig like that on it. I will be using my quad core PC with Sony Vegas pro 8 or 9 for video/sound editing. Also, I know that a camera isn't all I need, great lighting can make a $500 handheld look like a $30K pro camera. I do have experience as a videographer, I am just really new when it comes to digital cameras and needed help selecting the right camera for me.

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                    • #11
                      go to zacuto's web site.
                      David
                      2-pop Guide

                      A New Blog About Video
                      secondchairvideo
                      http://www.secondchairvideo.com/

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by video-jon View Post
                        WOW!!!! I stand corrected!!!! What are the individual pieces in that particular rig?

                        Can the T2i shoot a comparable video to the HMC40 (i.e. native 24p)?

                        To answer Zwicks post above, I did do a little homework n the T2i, but everything I saw showed it as a digital still camera, but not with a rig like that on it.
                        If you go back to that link I included in my last post, to Philip Bloom's site you'll see all sorts of info on DSLR cinematography... also note I mentioned Google, DSLR cinematography, not the camera. You might decide in this new light that the T2i is not the DSLR for you if you decide to take that route. You want to look at the technology behind DSLR cinematography 1st and then hone in on the specifics.
                        Last edited by Zwick; 05-20-2010, 11:30 AM.
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                        Eric Peterson (AKA, "Zwick")
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                        http://www.ericnp.net

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                        • #13
                          Sure the Canon shoots 24p, yes it's awesome. And yes folks like Zacuto and Redrock Micro can trick out a camera to look as high end as your clients desire.

                          I happen to like both of these cameras. The HMC40 is a solid, ergonomic camera with good audio and controls you can use everyday. The Canon is not nearly as user friendly but capable of delivering better cinematography in the right hands. So go out there and get some hands on demos already!

                          Noah
                          Last edited by NoahKadner; 05-20-2010, 11:52 AM.
                          GH2, GoPro HD, AC160, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D training at www.CallBoxLive.com
                          40% discount for 2-poppers! Use code 2pop2012 on these titles.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NoahKadner View Post
                            Really? You think this:



                            looks less pro than this:



                            Think again Sparky...

                            Noah

                            Noah,

                            Thats perfect. How much less pro could that rig look than that plastic body camcorder look by its self.
                            Thats a perfect comparison.
                            Unless one is purchasing a Vericam, how could you call anything pro looking.
                            Just a thought.
                            That DSLR rig looks allot like my 5D rig.

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