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  1. #1
    Camera Operator/Producer lake54's Avatar
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    Choices, choices...

    OK I haven't been on much since before a couple of days ago - sorry, been very busy!

    Here's my dilemma:

    - Save up to upgrade current camera to the new model (from an HD1000 to MC2000 - basically better lens and solid-state recording, no more tapes woo!)

    - or, save/purchase for current camera (e.g. monitor/LANC remote/Wireless mic pack) - along this route, I'd look at getting a monitor and remote at the first stage, so that event recording from a fixed position is made massively easier. At the next stage, I'd think about a wireless pack - I do tend to do more event recording where audio isn't as important, but I know that I need to think about getting these at some stage.

    Would you upgrade your current camera, so that you no longer have to purchase tapes each time you go to a shoot, or would you prefer to (potentially) get better results with your current camera?

    Obviously there's tradeoffs in each case, namely if I were to upgrade, then I couldn't get the 'extras', i.e. the monitor/wireless mics etc, however, as mentioned, I wouldn't have to keep relying on tapes, and I could still use all my current kit on the new camera (batteries and so on).

    A possible third option (which would be nice, but has a lot of tradeoffs) would be to save for much longer (it'd take me a while) and upgrade past the next model, at first glance this would appear to be the Sony S270, although I'd look around a bit more. The reason I post this option is that as I get more serious about my filming, I'm finding holes in my current camera - one is the extremely poor low-light capabilities, the other is (although seemingly 'small') the zoom rate - it's just too slow! Again, if I were to upgrade to a 'better' camera, I'd have to get a fair bit of new kit to go along with it, batteries and so on. But, I could get far better images with it.

    A final, fourth option, is the reason I did start saving in the first place, and that would be to get myself a proper editing rig. My current one isn't up to the task, but as I work in a tech shop, I can get handy discounts off any components, which would ultimately reduce the overall costs. Benefits of a new rig are obvious, and I'm tired so I'll quit writing now :-)

    If it were you, would you:

    - Enhance to a point, your current camera
    - Upgrade your current camera
    - 'Super'-upgrade your current camera, but have to wait a while before doing so
    - New edit rig

    Some links:

    Sony HVR-HD1000E - my current camera
    Sony HXR-MC2000E - the next in line to my camera, just released
    Sony S270E - the 'Super'-upgrade
    Swit 1080C - a possible monitor
    Varizoom VZ-Rock - LANC Remote
    Sennheiser G3 ENG Kit - what would appear to be a good wireless kit

  2. #2
    Hi James

    Decisions, decisions, decisions!!!! You will definately save money moving to SDHC cards for a start!! I probably save close to $400 a year by not having to buy tape!! However don't under-estimate audio it's critically important!! You don't have to go for Sennheiser ..I have 3 Azden wireless setups and for around a mere $150.00 for the VHF units they work very well.

    I cannot comment on the cameras as I'm a Panasonic person but moving to card does make sense!!

    and...... Merry Christmas !!

    Chris

  3. #3
    I still shoot on tape a lot (I do have some SSD Cameras) You will save some cash not shooting on tapes, but in my package i sell to clients i make them buy a hard drive, so i can use a tape over and over, dumping the video onto a drive for each client. (It is not really a drive for each, as i have a 10 TB server that i save a lot to, but it is the point, and i always have a drive on hand if the need the footage) That being said, i would vote Quality audio over SSD cameras if that is your choice. and you do not have to go Sennheiser as stated above i use Sure and AudioTechnia for equal results at a fraction of the cost.

    I hope that i have at least made sense to you.

    Happy new year
    Manoni Productions
    Pass me another beer...You are still ugly!

  4. #4
    Hey there!

    My personal take is to save up. However it might be a good exercise to weigh out how much I can save (by making an almost-immediate change) and how much I will spend on tapes/etc (if I want to save up).

    I am looking at Datavideo DN60/70 as an interim use with HVR-V1P before I go fully into cards or possibly VDSLR. Changes that has to be considered besides the actual shoot includes having NAS (Network Attached Storage) for ingest and backup (burning them out is one option but it is really slow to copy the needed files back into the computer). It's a $$$ thingy so weigh out things and give your verdict.
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  5. #5
    Camera Operator/Producer lake54's Avatar
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    Cheers guys, and a Merry Christmas + New Year to you too :-)

    Chris says to go with SSD, kawsakimx6 says to go with tapes... hmm I guess I could compromise, and buy a firewire adapter for my laptop, and just record to disk when I'm on a tripod, I've had a go at this before, and even got a little routine sorted for how to 'switch' on the fly, quickly and not losing much footage.

    But, then I'd (most likely) have to buy an external disk drive etc etc etc, I guess it's something to think about, for sure, and I wouldn't in a way save as much, because I don't film enough in the first place to see those sorts of savings.

    I've had a look at Azden, Chris, and they seem great value indeed, never heard of them before today, but I will certainly look into them! What kit have you got from them? The ENG series, or the Pro series? And kawsakimx6, what kit do you use from your manufacturers?

    I guess it's one of those things, a bit like TVs perhaps, although there may be a slim improvement in the quality, at the end of the day you just pay for the brand...

    kawsakimx6 - that 10TB server - is that a local NAS server, or something online? I'm assuming NAS, but would be interested in how you have it set up - 5TB in RAID, or just purely 10TB? That is something I've also been looking at, but initially I'd have large drives in my case (it's a huge case - look it up: Akasa Infinity Pro)

    And just as I was about to press submit, nagar has put in his reply too, sneaking it in there

    That Datavideo box looks quite nifty, and certainly cheaper than I've seen similar units going for. Have you managed to test it out, or is it still in the 'thinking' stage?

    As a reference, I buy tapes at 6-7 each, and on a typical shoot, I'd probably use 3 of these (call it 20). Now, I've had to leave filming over the past couple of months, and for the next 2 at least, while I have my exams and such, but realistically I could do probably 1 small shoot each month, and perhaps a larger one every 2 months, so 18 * 20 is 360, say 400 for ease. Going for the DV DN-60, would be 370, say, plus a card or two, say 420. Hmm, in a year it wouldn't make much difference, but I can certainly see that over a year or more, it would save quite a lot. And, if I did make enough money to upgrade to SSD, it would be useful as a backup device, or even as extra storage.

    Oh, by the way Chris, I tell you what I did see on Azden's website, check out the CAM-3, it's a powerless, 3-way mixer, combines 3 mono inputs into a stereo output, which can then be recorded, in my case, on my camera. Seems nifty enough, but I'd have to see how I'd mount everything onto my camera, perhaps get one of those Hot-Bloc things, that give you more shoe mounts. At the moment, I have two, one at the front and rear, the front is taken up with my light, so depending on what route I went down, I'd also have to attach a mixer, monitor, wireless receiver, and/or an SSD recorder... heavy!

    nagar - when you say save, do you mean for the next in line, or the 'super'-upgrade?

    Right, time to do some thinking - SSD recorder, wireless mic, or save...

  6. #6
    Camera Operator/Producer lake54's Avatar
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    Would it help for me to list exactly what kit I have here and how much I have saved up so far?

  7. #7
    my Sure kit is "Shure PG Series Dual Wireless Lavalier Microphone System" Dual wireless lav.
    and the Audio Technica is nto so much a kit as 4 wireless lav mics all running into a wired mixer.

    as far as the 10tb drive, i have this
    http://store.micronet.com/pr10000sata.aspx it was pricey out of the box, but worth it so far.


    I guess in the long run, if you are just upgrading because you can, but not because you need to, i would pocket that cash and wait for something you need and not just a toy. If you had money to buy all the toys you wanted, then you would not be asking us how to spend a limited budget.

    Hope i helped a bit.
    Manoni Productions
    Pass me another beer...You are still ugly!

  8. #8
    Hi James

    Remember I do around 4 weddings a month plus at least 20 realty shoots so that would mean that on tape I would go thru about 30 or more tapes at least a month. My Panny Pro tapes used to be $8.00 a tape so that's a whopping $240 a month for media!! A 16GB card costs me $35 now and I can re-use it over and over (I actually retire my cards after 6 months but they are supposedly good for 100,000 writes) For me then I would use the price of a new camera JUST in tape !! I guess it depends on your useage???? Bear in mind that cards are also way faster as you copy the files and don't have to "capture" in real-time. Time is also money!!!!
    I have a variety of Azdens all the Pro series both VHF and UHF!! I did have a little Azden passive mixer but gave it away as I never used it. I just plug into the cameras XLR inputs and record to each channel...much easier.

    Chris

  9. #9
    Camera Operator/Producer lake54's Avatar
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    I tell you what I've just found - for 750 (so very cheap for what it is), there's a Glidecam V-8 (predecessor to the SmoothShooter), the full package (so vest, arm, sled, monitor, cables, low mode adapter, offset adapter, and vehicle mount). 2 years old and supposedly in good condition.

    I think nearly all my shoots would benefit from a steadicam rather than any of the other things I've been thinking on whether to buy or not.

    I've emailed the seller asking to confirm the contents of the sale, and if he thinks it would hold my camera (I've also emailed Glidecam themselves about this, and also for the manual).

    Chris - what Steadicam do you have again?

  10. #10
    That is a great idea, and getting one for around $1000 that is a deal. Depending on your shooting (what you are doing the most) your work will greatly benefit from this. make sure you have the right counterweight for it, and the right springs for your camera weight, and you can literally run down stairs with just the slightest motion out of the camera making your shots look wonderful.
    Manoni Productions
    Pass me another beer...You are still ugly!

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