Camera, camcorder suggestions for indie film

How to shoot best high-definition video in various specific situations, regardless of camcorder model. Accessories: tripods, stabilizers, lights...
willax
Posts: 2
Joined: 17 Nov 2011 03:42
Location: Colorado

Camera, camcorder suggestions for indie film

Postby willax » 17 Nov 2011 03:57

A friend of mine is wanting his script shot for an indie film competition. I also did wedding videos years ago using a Sony Vx2100 setup. I no longer have camera equipment but would like to get back into this to help my friend and possibly progress on my own doing indie stuff. My current entry level budget is around $2000 usd (have some flexibility here, just don't want to get in over my head) and was wondering if I could receive some input on your recommendations and why you like your recommendation.
I'm already setup for editing because I still have my audio/video computer studio setup. Brand is not as important as quality, and features . A plus is 24p, low lux, dof, etc.
Thanks
Willax

steve
Posts: 74
Joined: 28 May 2010 10:04
Location: UK

Re: Camera, camcorder suggestions for indie film

Postby steve » 17 Nov 2011 11:12

willax wrote:I'm already setup for editing because I still have my audio/video computer studio setup. Brand is not as important as quality, and features . A plus is 24p, low lux, dof, etc.
Thanks
Willax


Your choice of camera will be constrained if you want to continue with your 'audio/video computer setup. Virtually all cameras under $2000 will record in a MPEG4 derived format, e.g. AVCHD, H264 etc., so any computer setup from VX2000 days is unlikely to enable fluent editing of the files.
As far as your 'plus' list is concerned, if 'dof' means depth of field, then all cameras have that, you need to specify what you mean. If it's weddings that you have in mind then only couples who see themselves as stars in some sort of cinematic [sic] production will appreciate the disruption to their day. In the future, when the bokeh fad is over, most couples will be more receptive to a cameraman that is equipped to catch these never-to be-repeated moments without waiting for focus setting, lighting and other critical choreography aspects that destroy any spontaneity that they want to reminisce on. SLRs used as video cameras are a kludge - you have to be careful to reduce the impact of moire patterning and sampling artifacts and they are not ergonomically designed for quick reaction availability and continuous shooting.
There are many real camcorders available for your stated budget that will perform well in a wedding role. The Canon G10 and Sony CX700 are both well within your budget and will shoot 1080p/24. You will need to budget for memory cards and also address the performance of your editing facilities.

Steve

acgold7
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Location: Woodinville, WA, USA
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Re: Camera, camcorder suggestions for indie film

Postby acgold7 » 17 Nov 2011 20:28

Steve's right -- the CX700 will do everything you want. But it is a small consumer handycam and doesn't allow for a lot of pro-type adjustment on the fly. All commands are menu driven via the touch screen. But the images are fantastic, it has a lot of features and the price is within your budget.

On the pro level, I think the pinnacle of the Sony HDV tape cam is the Z5 with the CF card recorder known as the MRC1k. It'll set you back five grand or so but it has unparalleled versatility and controls with nearly all of the advantages of the newer NX5 with none of the drawbacks. Quite simply the most astonishing cam I have ever used in its class.

Obviously way above your budget. But if you are serious about filmmaking you should at least look at it.
Adam

willax
Posts: 2
Joined: 17 Nov 2011 03:42
Location: Colorado

Re: Camera, camcorder suggestions for indie film

Postby willax » 17 Nov 2011 21:04

Steve, thanks for the info. As far as my editing setup, I am current since I'm using Adobe production studio CS5.5 so I think I'm good there. Yes, I did mean depth of field , but the Canon we have been borrowing did not offer that unless we faked it by having the background extremely far from the subject. Just basically looking for something a bit more manageable than that. I have looked at the G10 already. And no, I'm done shooting wedding videos. That was my previous job in video and am retired from that. Now it's about learning other techniques and having some fun with video/film.

acgold7, thanks for the confirmation with steve's comment on the CX700. Will have to check that out. Pro adjustments not crucial at this time. I'm more interested in setup and shoot right now. Yeah, definitely not ready to dive into the Z5. Too much for me to learn first. That's kind of what I meant by getting in over my head.

Definitely appreciate the input. Hope to give you an update on my directional choice soon.

bamboopictures
Posts: 1
Joined: 13 Jan 2013 04:40
Location: Singapore

Re: Camera, camcorder suggestions for indie film

Postby bamboopictures » 13 Jan 2013 05:19

Sony VG900 offers many new innovation for Indy fillmakers:
•Full frame sensor
•Autofocus
•Power Zoom rocker
•XLR interface (with optional unit)
•sub$5000 price tag.


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