View Full Version : Camera Choice
12-29-2006, 07:57 PM
I am in the process of writing two scripts for two short films I am doing. We are trying to decide which camera we would like to use. This is an ULTRA-LOW budget film and and it will be a VFX film, so we weren't going to toss out all of the money on a super camera that will do everything but wash dishes. We have pretty much decided to go with the Sony HDR-FX1 (if we go HD) or the Panasonic AG-DVX100A (if we go SD). We wanted you guys' opinions. If it matters on the look of the film, we are shooting a WWII short, and a sci-fi short. Also, if you think of any other cam (that's fairly cheap) that would be good, let us know. Like I said, these are going to be VFX shorts, so we prefer to focus on VFX rather than the cam, although it is important. Thanx!
12-30-2006, 04:53 PM
Since you'll do alot of VFX, I'd say none of the cameras you can buy for home use will be adequate if there is any greenscreen work involved. The compression is just way too high. I seriously think that for the money you need to buy a fx1, for instance you can go to any rental service, be nice to them, tell them its a no-budget thing and they will give you a real camera for little money. However you will need someone who is able to operate it (otherwise, the rental house won't give you anything if they are afraid you break it). If you are at filmschool that might work out to find someone who has some experience.
My serious advice, try finding someone studying in the camera department who already has some experience and make him enthusiastic for that project. Then he can deal with all the things you are not interested in doing (cinematography) and the 3000 bucks for an fx1 are much better spent on renting the real stuff. You can get so much discount from rental services if they see its a non commercial project that they find interesting.
You'll end up having much nicer images that way.
my 2 cents
01-04-2007, 12:29 PM
If you can choose between consumer HD and consumer SD, you have to go HD!
Like Kai said both have compression and 4:1:1 color space (which really sucks for chromakeying), but with HD at least you have lots more pixels, which just makes the image much richer in details, much more beautiful.
So film and work in HD, and in the end, you can downscale the final film to normal PAL or NTSC for your DVD release, and you'll lose most of the 4:1:1 artifacts because your master is HD.
And light well, or else your camera doesn't matter! :) Get El Mariachi on DVD, listen to his 10 minute film school about lighting on the ultra cheap with only 2 light sources.
Get china lanters!
01-05-2007, 06:02 PM
K. How does the Sony HVR-Z1U compare to the JVC GYHD110U. I know the JVC shoots at 720p, but it's a pro cam.
01-06-2007, 09:57 AM
I think the images of the z1 do not justify 1080 res. Its just not sharp enough. If you deinterlace (which you should do to get at least a slight "cinematic quality" to your images), you'll lose even more. So when downscaled to 720p it just starts to get sharp. So considering that this JVC seems to have a much better lens (!) I'd asume you'll end up with the same if not better sharpness/resolution with the JVC. However it's still HDV compression which really is a no no for keying. If you downscale to SD you might get slightly better relative keying results cause you even out the chroma subsampling for some amount. But I'm sure a decently configured SD Digibeta will still give better keying results (and probably even better sharpness at SD).
For decent keying quality I'd either go either a digibeta (be careful with "detail" setting which essentially is an edge-enhancement) and stay SD
or get an HDCAM (750 maybe) downscale to 720p or even SD to lower compression problems cause even normal HDCAM is rather compressed.
or shoot 35 film and tk / scan.
or use the highend HD cameras with HDCAM SR format or no compression (recording to memory/discs) (Viper/950/D20/Genesis/Red???)
I'm sorry but keying demands high image quality and that is not cheap
so I'd still say its better to collaborate and then rent a cam.
01-06-2007, 09:57 AM
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