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Digital Camcorder Recommandations

445 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Dec 28, 2006 4:16 PM by SteveKir RSS
irishcas Calculating status...
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Dec 26, 2006 3:02 PM
Hi Everyone:

I'm looking to purchase a Digital Camcorder to make semi professional videos to sell.

I am totally confused as to what to buy and what is compatible with my Powerbook G4 running OSX 10.4.8.

I plan on buying Final Cut Express to do the editing.

My budget is 1200.00 - 1500.00.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Kim Cassidy

Powerbook G4   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  
  • Alchroma Level 6 Level 6 (16,910 points)
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    Dec 26, 2006 11:04 PM (in response to irishcas)
    A Mini DV camera with 3 chips (CCDs) and external mic input would be a good start. Panasonic has a few in their lineup. Hi-Def cameras are another option (now affordable) if you are thinking of "future proofing" your footage.
    I'd stay clear of DVD base and Hard Disc Drive cameras at the moment untill editing applications can adequately cater for them. eg. FCE cannot use these directly, so some converting and hoop jumping is necessary.
    Whereas, Mini DV fits like a glove to FCE.

    Al
    iMac, Mac OS X (10.2.x)
  • Michel Boissonneault Level 5 Level 5 (4,765 points)
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    Dec 27, 2006 6:14 PM (in response to irishcas)
    Hi(Bonjour)!

    Many SONY's models can use the "intelligent" accessories hot shoe mount on top, or the "mic" 1/8" audio plug.

    What is your choosed model ?

    Michel Boissonneault
    PowerMac G5 dual 2.3, 4.5 Go, Apple Cinema display HD 23", FX-1, Mac OS X (10.4.8), and iMac G4, HD LaCie d2 triple interface 250 Go, FCE HD 3.5, macuser since 1988
  • Studio X Level 7 Level 7 (26,835 points)
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    Dec 27, 2006 8:09 PM (in response to irishcas)
    What is it that you are trying to sell?

    What is it you will be shooting?

    How much experience do you have?

    How sophisticated is your market?

    x

    not sure what semi-professional video means ...
    society of the dilletanti, Mac OS X (10.4.7), Nvnc avt nvnqvam (now or never)
  • Christopher Meinck Calculating status...
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    Dec 28, 2006 6:46 AM (in response to irishcas)
    I too would like to join this discussion. I am planning on shooting an upcoming project for use on the web. I'm a complete amateur, but know my way around iMovie and have dabbled in Final Cut. The shooting will take place daily, so I need something easy that will allow me to covert and get online quickly. I was obviously lured into the HighDef cameras, but I'm thinking that's not best for my project. I'm know thinking high-end DV camera like the GL2 or a SONY. An external mic option is a requirement. This is a business purchase, so I have to decide quickly.

    Also, any recommendations on tripods and additional accessories that are necessary?

    Thanks in advance.
    Dual Core 2.0 PowerMac | PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.3)
  • Michel Boissonneault Level 5 Level 5 (4,765 points)
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    Dec 28, 2006 6:46 AM (in response to irishcas)
    Hi(Bonjour)!

    I own and use two RODE models: The original VideoMic and the new Stereo VideoMic.

    For directional purpose, I use VideoMic. It' a good product and not much expensive. You can hook it on any standard boom pole or even a tripod near your character.

    Only one caveat: I had to lubricate the elastic bands with some silicon spray to avoid a "squeaky-squeaky" sound when moving the mic.

    The Stereo VideoMic is more expensive and deserve a more ambiant sound capture, not as directional than VideoMic.

    These two products have a 9 volts battery power supply on-board, and a standard 1/8" stereo audio plug. (fit very well with any 1/8" audio cable).

    Michel Boissonneault
    PowerMac G5 dual 2.3, 4.5 Go, Apple Cinema display HD 23", FX-1, Mac OS X (10.4.8), and iMac G4, HD LaCie d2 triple interface 250 Go, FCE HD 3.5, macuser since 1988
  • TomySky Level 3 Level 3 (670 points)
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    Dec 28, 2006 9:10 AM (in response to irishcas)
    I love my Canon GL2. I've been shooting training and educational videos professionally for years on it, and it's still going. That's my 2 cents.
    ~Luke
    G5, Dual 2Ghz, 2.5 Gigs RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.8), FCP 5.1
  • APPLE27 Calculating status...
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    Dec 28, 2006 9:51 AM (in response to TomySky)
    I recommend getting an HD cam if you plan to use this for a somewhat extended period of time. Only problem is HD cameras that people have a chance at affording are still being developed like crazy. HDV cameras are garbage. If you want decent HD, the best way to go is the Sony XDCAM HD. You'll just have to hope the format doesn't die, but I don't think it will. Everythign else about the camera is rock solid. Under $40k with a decent lens, and about $15k for the deck. Hope for 6-10 years out of it and you made a sweet investment.
    Quad G5 2.5Ghz 8GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.7), PC: AMD 64x2 DC4400+
  • diffkid Level 3 Level 3 (790 points)
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    Dec 28, 2006 10:45 AM (in response to irishcas)
    If you like what you see from that Panasonic, I would actually check out the next model up: the AGDV30. It is slightly more expensive. The electronics in the camera are practically the same, but the DV30 has a few more bells and whistles (such as an optional XLR adapter, which is always better than using the 1/8" connector). You might also like the form factor better. I've used this camera, and never had any complaints about it (just don't expect miracles).

    It's always hard to answer a question like this. A lot of people may advise you make a much bigger investment in equipment if you're serious about producting a professional product. And that would be good advice. But an investment is only worth it if you know you'll get a return on it. Given your camera budget, the costs associated with producing HD(V) are probably too high.

    Also, the other most important thing you'll probably want to invest in is a good light kit. Nothing looks worse than poorly lit DV, and I would imagine barns are a lighting nightmare.


       
  • SteveKir Calculating status...
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    Dec 28, 2006 4:16 PM (in response to Christopher Meinck)
    Also, any recommendations on tripods and additional
    accessories that are necessary?

    Thanks in advance.


    I have a Velbon tripod which is good, recommended to me by Ian R. Brown on this forum (thanks Ian). They make several weights. A fluid head is useful for smooth pans. Although it is time-consuming to level a tripod, I use a ball-head between the tripod and its fluid head. It speeds levelling a lot. However, for shots where a tripod can't be used, a monopod is (at least for me) a huge help in keeping the camera steady.

    On cameras, I read on this forum that some people find that Canon cameras (although good) sometimes have difficulty in being recognized by FCE, which is a nuisance. Sony ones seem to have little trouble.
    G5/2.0 GHz, Mac OS X (10.3.9), 1 GB RAM, 150 GB HD, Sony DCR-HC96 mini DV, FCE HD 3.0 DVD SP 3

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