Getting Started with Digital Video
September 7, 2004 3:49 PM   Subscribe

What are some good books or web sites for getting started with digital video? What's a good low- to mid-range camera? (I've just started taking classes, and I've got a G5 with Apple's Production Suite.)
posted by kirkaracha to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
I highly suggest the Canon Optura Pi as an introductory DV camera. New they were over $1200, but they can now be had for $400 or so on eBay.

The advantage is that this camera supports progressive-scan video as well as interlaced video. If your eventual target for the video is a computer (CD-ROM, the Web) or film, then you'll want to shoot in progressive mode. For TV, shoot in interlaced mode. (If you need to repurpose your video later, it's doable with the right software, so don't worry too much.)

It also has optical image stabilization, which is nice.

I have one which might be for sale soon...
posted by kindall at 3:56 PM on September 7, 2004

How serious are you about it? For a mid-priced camera, I'm a big fan of the Canon GL2 or Sony VX1000 or 2000.

For books, if you're serious about it, pick up a copy of "Grammar of the Edit." It's short and sweet but also expensive. Also not sure of the exact title but the walter Murch book something like "in the blink of an eye" is supposed to be good.

Contrary to what my resume says, I haven't actually worked with Final Cut Pro but for a good book on how to edit with it try the Visual Quickstart guide.

What are you looking tp do (movies? news? other?)?
posted by drezdn at 5:23 PM on September 7, 2004

I've enjoyed The Filmmaker's Handbook as a guide. It's updated for the digital age, so that's nice. YMMV.

I found that FCP was really tough to use at first until I took a hands-on class. Since then, I've been able to make more sense of the books on it.

For advice on editing, I'd say the sooner and more often you do it, the more you'll get the hang of it. You really get an intuition for the rhythms after a little while.
posted by rocketman at 6:44 PM on September 7, 2004

If you want to learn FCP, I'd recommend's excellent CD. Quickly gets you the basics in a hands-on way. They also had a Secrets CD with some nice tips, but I don't see that online anymore.

You should also check out the LA FCP users group website for reviews of books, plugins, and some hardware. There are a lot of resources online for FCP and DV. I've been working with it since 1.2.5, and I'm still finding new ways of doing things.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:46 AM on September 8, 2004

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