Film Equipment Question
March 20, 2004 6:34 AM   Subscribe

Film equipment question.

I'm wondering what recommendations people have for digital movie cameras and also for pc movie editing , this is for a short film.
posted by sgt.serenity to Technology (14 answers total)
 
Final Cut is the standard for editing, I'm sure there's a similar Windows software

what's your budget?

because there's all kind of cameras really

HD for Indie Moviemakers
posted by matteo at 7:46 AM on March 20, 2004


A bit of an open question there Sarge. Like asking "what car should I buy". Depends greatly on your budget, are you looking for a Kia or a Porsche?

Big buget? The most popular DV cam these days seems to be the Canon XL1S for those with gobs to spend (just over $2k US stripped).

I, on the other hand, have a smaller budget. I'm partial to Panasonic, especially the AG line. I've used the AGDVC7 which is the lower end of the Panasonic Pro line with success ($900 - $1300 US). At home (very low budget) I have a Panasonic PVDV-203 palmcam ($500 range).

As far as editing, again budget dictates. Media 100 is common upper end editing suite ($8 to $10k for hardware and software). The desktop standard for those of us without megabucks to spend though is Adobe Premiere. Definitely a much easier learning curve than the Media 100 there as well.

Adam Wilt is one of the most knowledgeable folks on the technical side of the subject I've met. His site is well worth a look.
posted by m@ at 7:46 AM on March 20, 2004


The most popular DV cam these days seems to be the Canon XL1S for those with gobs to spend (just over $2k US stripped).

indeed.

Academy Award-Winning Director Steven Soderbergh Uses Canon XL1S DV Camcorder to Create New Motion Picture: Full Frontal
more on Soderbergh here

this month's Wired on Von Trier's digital setup:
The Cameras
Thirteen Sony PD100 mini-DV cameras were hung off a square metal frame just below the ceiling lights. A wire camera rig was used to follow cars and bicycles. After Von Trier filmed the action, Mantle shot extra footage from above, using a hi-def Sony Cine Alta shooter mounted on a SuperTechno crane. He moved quadrant by quadrant, reenacting scenes with stand-ins; the camera streams were coded, then merged into one warped panorama.



you should also consider that it makes a lot of sense to rent the equipment

posted by matteo at 7:56 AM on March 20, 2004


you should also consider that it makes a lot of sense to rent the equipment

Especially if you are planning on only shooting this short film. You can pick up a Canon Xl1s or Sony PD150 rig for around $100 bucks a day - a large difference versus the purchase price of the camera. Don't forget audio either. If you are recording sound, the on camera mics are notoriously bad. Separate sound equipment is expensive to purchase, though extremely cheap to rent.

Another suggestion would be to hit craigslist.org or a local college's film program to solicit volunteers for crew on both the production and post (editing). They will know how to work the hardware and software, saving you precious focus for 'your vision'.
posted by jazzkat11 at 8:51 AM on March 20, 2004


This is good stuff guys , keep it coming .
To clarify : I've not much money , but i know you can get very good quality with digital cameras , i just dont know their names and i'm not looking for perfection here , just the means to express a few concepts.
Thanks for the sound tip by the way and i'll go and look up this adobe program .
Yes , hiring a camera is possible here , i'll look into that.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:01 AM on March 20, 2004


Sgt: You'll need a 3 chip camera. The best one at this time, a way better choice than the pd150 or xl1s is the Panasonic AG-DVX100, which is about 2500 bucks. If you cant spend that much, get a sony trv 950. If you actually want to show this movie to anyone but your friends, you should buy a separate microphone, which is a whole other discussion.

As for editing on a pc, just get kazaa lite and download adobe premiere.
posted by mert at 9:08 AM on March 20, 2004


from years of working video production, i tell you this...your concept, storyboard, script, and editing are way more important than the devices/software you use.

the main difference between my office, where we have Media Composer 100 on an Avid system, and a friends shop that uses Final Cut PRo?

we have a great editor.
doesn't matter that we use more expensive software.

sound and lights are another thing...as mert said, mics are a whole other discussion. most of what you seen in film has been rerecorded.
posted by th3ph17 at 9:58 AM on March 20, 2004



As for editing on a pc, just get kazaa lite and download adobe premiere.

/meta
it's comments like these that put AskMefi (and Matt) in a bad position.

posted by matteo at 10:03 AM on March 20, 2004


re: kazaa-- yes, you're right. I take that back!
posted by mert at 10:18 AM on March 20, 2004


from years of working video production, i tell you this...your concept, storyboard, script, and editing are way more important than the devices/software you use.

I agree with you a hundred thousand times.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:13 AM on March 20, 2004


If you are going to be using DV, Avid offers a free version of their DV editing program for trial purposes, so you can see if you like it before you plunk down the cash for the whole deal.
posted by Hackworth at 12:54 PM on March 20, 2004


Check out this previous AskMe thread.
posted by gi_wrighty at 10:24 AM on March 21, 2004


this is very informative stuff guys , i really appreciate it .
(although now i have some learning to do)
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:45 PM on March 21, 2004


See earlier camera discussion here. The Sony PD170 looks like a really sweet camera.

Get a tripod. Get a good mic or three. Get a sound tech that knows what they're doing. It will make a lot of difference -- viewers will forgive crappy video a lot more readily than they'll forgive crappy audio.

And as far as editing goes, most NLE platforms do the same thing in mostly the same ways. I hear good things about Final Cut, but it's by no means the only option (as some out there seem to think (and I'm not referring to you, matteo.)) I have heard terrible things about Adobe Premiere, but I haven't used it myself. I don't personally like Media 100's interface too much, but YMMV. I use Pinnacle liquid.blue at work and love it -- the prosumer version, Pinnacle liquid Edition, looks good too. (And all the Pinnacle systems share the same well-designed interface.)

And as a video production guy myself, I second (third?) th3ph17's advice all the way.
posted by Vidiot at 8:46 PM on March 21, 2004


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