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A Video Camera For Indie Filmmaker... Cinema Quality?

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A Video Camera For Indie Filmmaker... Cinema Quality?

Postby Gannie » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:28 pm

I've been researching a little on video cameras for a few upcoming projects. Short films for festivals, a web series, and possibly a feature length film or two... I don't know a lot about video cameras. I know I don't want a dslr and I would prefer one that does NOT have tapes of any sort. I'm looking at $1500 or less but have room to go higher if needed. I have been looking at the Canon Vixia HF G10. Is that appropriate for what I'm doing? Have any suggestions?
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A Video Camera For Indie Filmmaker... Cinema Quality?

Postby Å¡lf » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:11 am

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RE:

A video camera for indie filmmaker... cinema quality?

I've been researching a little on video cameras for a few upcoming projects. Short films for festivals, a web series, and possibly a feature length film or two... I don't know a lot about video cameras. I know I don't want a dslr and I would prefer one that does NOT have tapes of any...
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A Video Camera For Indie Filmmaker... Cinema Quality?

Postby Porfiro » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:22 am

My definition of a professional video camera:

Lens diameter = 70mm or larger;

Imaging chip 1/3" 3CCD or 3MOS or larger;

XLR audio connectors;

Low compression video capture and storage.

The large lens diameter and large imaging chip are required for good low light behavior.

There is no "cinema quality" video camera that meets these requirements for under about $4,000. The closest is the Black Magic Design Cinema Camera (not the little one) and you have to add a lens. The Canon EOS Cinema Camera is great - but also more than you want to spend.

The closest is the Sony HDR-FX1000. It is a "prosumer" (HDR series) and lacks the XLR audio connectors (that the HVR-Z5 has). You can add an XLR adapter (juicedLink or BeachTek) to use XLR mics.

The Canon HF G10 has a 58mm lens filter diameter and is at the top of the consumer grade area at Canon. The XA series are the "pro" versions with XLR adapters.

Good for you for fighting the temptation to go the dSLR route. If video is important, then a camcorder is preferred. It is designed to capture video. And audio. Capturing still images is a secondary "convenience feature".

If stills are important, then use a still image capture device. Like a dSLR. Capturing video (and audio is a secondary "convenience feature". For example, if you read the documentation available for download from the manufacturer's web site, you will find most will overheat when capturing video "for prolonged periods" (about 15 minutes maximum) and stop video capture until it cools down (takes a long time)... or... check their built-in (mono) mic and no (or extremely limited) manual audio control. This means for your short list using an external audio recording device like a Zoom H2, H2n, H4n and take the extra steps to import and sync the audio when editing. There are generally file size and length limitations, too.

Basically you can easily end up spending more money and (learning) time you would not spend if you use the right tool for the task.

I am not saying any dSLR can't capture good video - they can - but they cannot be treated like a camcorder. There are workarounds for lots of things that you normally don't need to worry about when using a camcorder...

So... you get to either change your definition of "cinema quality" or increase your budget. And don't forget tripod or other steadying devices, lighting, camera crane, mics, cables, cases and upgrading your computer to be able to edit the video captured.

The best camcorders will capture low-compression HDV and HDCAM (Sony), DVCPro/HD (Panasonic), and MXF (Canon). Stay away from AVCHD unless you are in the Sony XDCAM area. The recording media (digital tape, flash memory) is not as important as the video quality.
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A Video Camera For Indie Filmmaker... Cinema Quality?

Postby Fyrsil » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:25 am

Cinema Quality Camera
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