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  1. #1
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    Video Camera recommendations. . .

    My Brother and I are starting up a Photography and Videography Business and have been researching Video Cameras but would like some professional opinions.

    We will be working on A MacBook Pro 2.4Ghz 4 Gig and two iMac's 2.4Ghz 4 Gig, two running Final Cut Studio 2 and one with the Photo editing software.

    What I'm wondering is, should we go directly for the HD Cameras which also allow DV recording?

    Would the MacBook Pro handle full HD editing?

    Let's assume money is not a problem. We're looking to buy 3 Cameras and if they are all the same it would make the editing process a lot easier.

    We will be focusing on Weddings and similar functions.

    Any suggestions and personal reviews would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Corey.

  2. #2
    Hi Corey
    You didn't say what your budget was but as a wedding "videographer" I would go for the Sony HD1000 cams at the moment unless you have a bottomless chequebook!! They are selling for around $2300 and record in HD but will downconvert on capture to SD. (The majority of weddings here are in SD as 90% of TV's are still SD and 4:3!!!)

    Your really also need a "pro looking" camera and the Sony will do it!! Canon HV30's give a great picture but at around 6" long don't exactly instill much customer confidence!!!

    Where are you basing yourselves?????

    Chris

  3. #3
    Quote
    Quote: 3rdeye1111
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    Let's assume money is not a problem.
    That XDCam stuff looks like some nice toys

    In reality though, ChrisHarding's suggestions are very good (although I have not used the HD1000 myself, the look-factor and record-HD pretends-to-be-SD-later are good things to consider).
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs)
    http://www.videoproductionsupport.com/ Chat at: http://tinyurl.com/vpschat
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler

  4. #4
    Great suggestion Eric but one also has to get practical from a business point of view.
    It's really a little silly to spend $100K or more on gear for doing event videography!! In real life you can probably handle 40 events tops a year!!
    At a base price of $2000 you would only turnover $80,000 a year and after expenses, advertising, production and sharing the nett profit between two people it's not a very good return on your investment.
    You have to also bear in mind that 99% of wedding couples will NOT have a Bluray Disk player and a HD TV (they probably have a 5 year old 4:3 TV!!) so using state of the art gear that will end up in 4:3 SD is a little bit of a waste!! (In my 2007/2008 season I shot 36 weddings and did just ONE in widescreen and NONE in HD!!! and that was at the client's request! as the rest were SD AND 4:3!!!)

    If you are doing broadcast and commercial work for the industry then XDCam is justified as you will be charging industry prices which will offset the investment costs.

    Yeah, I wouldn't mind a couple of XDCams!!!if I had the work for them.

    Chris

  5. #5
    Quote
    Quote: ChrisHarding
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    If you are doing broadcast and commercial work for the industry then XDCam is justified as you will be charging industry prices which will offset the investment costs.
    Maybe... if you're one of the big three... maybe. Otherwise, I think the prices are still too high for most anything.
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs)
    http://www.videoproductionsupport.com/ Chat at: http://tinyurl.com/vpschat
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the recommendations. I've read a few reviews for the HD1000 and while it would be good option as the price is very reasonable and it gives you a professional look I'm leaning towards the Sony HVR-Z7U HDV and maybe two HDV HVR-A1P's.

    Has anyone here had experience with these two cameras?

  7. #7
    Hi there 3rdeye1111, and the rest,

    BroadcastAsia's in town now, and I had the opportunity to see the HD1000. It's a little less 'plasticky' as I thought. Footage from the HD1000 looks fine, with plenty of fluorescent lighting of course.

    Z7U
    I don't own any of the cameras you've mentioned but I speak as a Sony user. The Z7U is good, interchangeable lens, and the ability to record on CF (for the only time in Sony history, no propriety stuff) is good, but while we're on HDV talk, let me go further.

    If it's about the lens..
    You'll not need to use another lens apart from the one on your camera, especially for wedding videos, so why spend on it?

    If it's about recording on CF..
    Shooting on SD will give you .AVI files, and that's fine. You get .M2T files when you shoot in HDV. And you have to either convert it to .AVI or use a powerful machine to edit this 'raw' file. I believe you are doing online editing, meaning you will be editing the HUGE files as they are on your timeline. It may survive on the MBP, but it will be tough for your iMac because it is not built to even take FCP (IMHO).

    A1P
    The A1Ps are handy and the neat part's is the pro mic modules. They look small, but a little more pro.. than consumer. But they are expensive, and only single chip (1/3" CMOS I think). Good for even low lighting though.

    Other thoughts

    You don't need HD for weddings, unless you are shooting the wedding of some oil magnate's daughter. Few are asking for HD, and a DVD will suffice. Bluray is already seeping in, but slow and very dear. A friend's dad is planning to buy it, a player conservatively costs 10x more than a DVD player!

    While we are looking at future-proofing, the tagline is digital. And you might want to consider which brand gives you the best digital workflow, at least for the next 5 - 7 years you work with your gear.

    With the total amount I roughly worked out with the 3 cameras you mentioned, I wonder if you would consider getting 3 panasonic DVX102 instead. You'll likely have enough to buy at least 1 or more firestore drives. All pro looking and pro performance.

    Finally as I have mentioned earlier. It's overkill using FCP on an iMac. Very punishing for the machine. Just remember to consider having external HDD as back-ups. They don't make Apple like they used to, esp the iMacs and Macbooks.

    That's my 5 cents' worth. Exciting stuff you're embarking on.
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  8. #8
    Honestly, these mini "prosumer" video cameras don't look very professional to some people as they are the same size and formfactor as old consumer equipment, I would go for larger shoulder 'mountable' cameras (and they help you stabilize when moving and lead to less fatigue). I'd take the Z7 over the A1 and the S270 over the Z7. You could always use a mix of S270 and Z7 [or other similarly internally matched cameras in different form factors that also visually match] to pull off the professional look (if you have a large pro camera and two slightly smaller prosumer cameras with the same style, suddenly they look just as professional).
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs)
    http://www.videoproductionsupport.com/ Chat at: http://tinyurl.com/vpschat
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler

  9. #9
    Let's assume money is not a problem.
    You could always use a mix of S270 and Z7


    Okay, we have a match. Would this be a good solution for you 3rdeye1111?
    Last edited by nagar; 19th Jun 2008 at 15:14. Reason: html misplaced
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  10. #10
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    Quote
    Quote: nagar
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    Okay, we have a match. Would this be a good solution for you 3rdeye1111?
    Both are very good cameras. Now, is it feasible to spend $20,000 on two cameras + equipment when started an event videography business when we're probably going to start out charging clients less than $1000 a job to boost inquiries and then hopefully jobs?

    I guess what I'm getting at is if it's better to start out small with a few HD1000's for a quarter of the price and build from there or go all out and purchase the big stuff?

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