View Full Version : Recommendations for Studio Cameras?

02 February 2005, 10:50 AM
Hello everyone

I am desperately looking for a proffessional camera to use in film production and shooting actors on green screens and stuff. I saw this Sony HDV camera

and it is 4000 USD approx, my budget is around 4000USD (6500 AUD). What's the best camera i can get for around that price?

The main function i need is that it can be hooked up to a PC (USB or firewire mainly) so that i can transfer the footage, and ofcourse crisp quality recrding.

Thanks alot

02 February 2005, 02:51 PM

That is actually the professional version of the model you linked. As you can see there is a price difference. But it is well worth it.

If you want to stay around 4000, you are better getting the Panasonic DVX100. That comes with the most professional features at that price point.

02 February 2005, 03:01 AM
Thanks alot george, and this is 4,000 AUD u mean, or US dollars?

i cant seem to find it on panasonic website,

Are there any cameras out there under 3,000 AUD which are good for greenscreening, hi quality (cinematic) recording etc..?

02 February 2005, 03:39 AM
If you are going to do PROFFESIONAL quality chroma keying, I would buy an older BETA ANALOG 4:2:2 or something that is not DV, DVCAM, or HDV. you will not be able to pull a perfect key do to the color compression of the low end digital formats.

even the new HDV Sony cameras work of a MPEG2 compressed stream which is 4:1:1 and they have the same problem. the only way I could see the HDV camera working is if you capture in 1920x1080 then scaled down 4:1:1 to a lower res of NTSC but not scaling the chorma channel and using the higher res image for the key. that would give you 4x times the detail of a 720x480 image for that key. (lots of extra work though)

if you don't mind some jaggy edges or loss of detail to things like hair and thin objects, a DV or MPEG2 based camera should be ok. but be prepaired it will not look like something from a local broadcast studio or the latest FX movie.

here is a forum for new HDV cameras, search for green screen or chroma keying. you will see images and issues with 4:1:1 compression.

mJR (

02 February 2005, 06:31 AM
Thanks michaeljr for the response, so what you reckon is a good camera which will shoot atleast 720x576 (800x600 or more would be good) video footage at a good quality and for relativly good compositing shots for a relativly good price? (are there any under 2-3000 USD?)

02 February 2005, 07:25 AM
well NTSC is just that, 720x480, and PAL is PAL, Some cameras are marketed as higher res, 500 lines, 600 lines, 800 lines, then that is scaled down to 480lines cause that's what NTSC is. I have a megapixel camera, it's not HD, just the still camera portion is 1megapixel, the video camera only uses a portion of it.

since you are on a budget, BETA and anything 4:2:2 is probably out of your price range.

I personally really like my Sony PDX10. 3CCDs, true 16:9 (not chopped), DVCam support, XLR inputs, lightweight, and it's under 2k, now you can get it discounted because probably a new camera is coming out this spring or summer.

A friend of mine had a full out Canon XL-1 until he got married. He had someone else video tape the wedding with his XL-1 and I had my PDX10 on the other side as backup. well when he got back to edit it together, the stuff I took looked a lot better when compared with the older XL1 camera. the next month he packed it all up and sold it on EBAY to buy a new PDX10.

for 1700$ then that leaves enough to get a good tripod, lights, and everything else you need for greenscreening.

I have some pics of my PDX10 in action in my garage studio, ( under New Work.

You could also pick up something like a MATROX RTX10 or RTX100 that's a NLE board, it offers a Chroma scaling to help pull greenscreen.

michael JR. (

03 March 2005, 06:01 PM
Hi I am new here in cgtalk. It was very conforting for me to find this cinematography forum. I have been having many questions about cameras and I am about to buy one. I just read all the discussion obout the advice you gave to Plat4m6 and those answers Michaeljr gave are very detail. Thank you for that. In your answers you say a few things that I do not understand because I am a beginer in chroma key and amateur film making. I would like to ask you a few questions. I do not understand what is the number relation 4:1:1 or 4:2:2 and why is one better than the other. Finally, do you think that Beta analogic cameras are definitively better than the digital cameras?

I am sorry if my questions are too basic but I will realy appreciate your help.

Thanks a lot.

03 March 2005, 09:28 PM
I'll give you the basic, if you want more detail, search for it on the forums or look at this page

but here is the run down, to allow a small camera to playback good quality video, yet not cost a fortune or be as big as a full size camera, they had to compress the video. same as they do on a DVD, digital cable, or your DirectTV satellite.

besides a lower resolution, they remove color values that the average person won't notice on a normal TV. this is your color sampling. 4:4:4 is all there, all the original color and everything is saved, 4:2:2 certain values are cut in half and 4:1:1 the values are cut by a quarter.

4:4:4 is used on high end HD cameras ($100,000 plus)
4:2:2 is used on high end Digital Beta cams and analog beta cams ($10-30,000)
4:1:1 is used on DV, HDV, MPEG2 (DVD, Digital Cable, DirecTV) ($200-10,000)

I believe, for example, that the same price camera in a digital format will be a much better image, because when you dump it to the computer, it's all numbers, nothing is lost, where as when you dump your analog footage, you just made a copy. but an analog camera and setup, such as a Betacam 4:2:2 will have more color value for something like greenscreening. also most analog cameras are older, where as newer gererations of digital stuff is constantly inproved upon

but nowadays, almost eveything is in some digital format, unless you go find some old Betacam stuff, you will most likely be limited by your budget.

03 March 2005, 03:51 AM
Thank you very much for your answers. I am already reading the link you gave me. Now I am understanding a lot more what I have to be looking for.

Thank you very much.

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