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Best video camera for a ski resort?

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Tom Vayianos
Best video camera for a ski resort?
on Apr 6, 2018 at 12:51:56 pm

Hello all,

TLDR:  The ski resort I work for is buying me a new video camera. As this will not happen again in the near future, I want to make sure we get the best we can for the best price. Budget is $4,000-$6,000... but 6 would probably be pushing it. I got 4Gs approved without any questions asked. So basically what camera would you recommend a ski resort to own? We shoot (obviously) action sports so slow motion is important, some events such as music concerts, so XLR inputs are necessary, powerful zoom capability would be nice. Any camera recommendations? More looking for a camcorder rather than a DSLR or something we'd need extra lenses for...

It's been a long time since I've been on this forum. I'd like t o start off saying I am a digital media producer for a ski resort and have been shooting action sports for a while. Started with a VX-1000, up to the 2100, then the Panasonic HVX, Canon 5D mark ii... I've borrowed my friend's EX-3 on occasion. I have experience with a large majority of cameras out there, from RED, Black Magic, GH4, DSLRs, etc.

This post is to ask if anyone would be willing to give input on which video camera we as a resort should now purchase. The absolute maximum would be 6,000, but that's probably pushing it. I think 4-5Gs (including accessories... and possibly more if I have an explanation) is what would make the higher ups satisfied with the reasoning for the increase in price that has already been approved.

I was originally going to go with the Sony PXW-Z150 4K XDCAM Camcorder. I've recently thought I should get the Panasonic AG-UX180 4K Premium Professional Camcorder instead. Thinking to go for the Panasonic camera instead, because shooting action sports on a ski resort there is a lot of run and gun shooting, some private shoots, some interviews (I own a good custom lighting kit), event coverage (some live music), etc... basically all you would think for mini documentaries, with an action sports twist). The higher frame rates at higher resolutions is great bonus for the Panasonic. The 20x zoom is a bonus. The auto-focus, which I try to use sparingly but must in certain situations is apparently better for the Panasonic.

Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Blaise Douros
Re: Best video camera for a ski resort?
on Apr 6, 2018 at 5:36:10 pm

The Panasonic is a good choice--looks like it fulfills your criteria.

I would also consider investing in something like a DJI Osmo, the nicest one you can afford in addition to your main camera, for stabilized camera movement. You have the opportunity to shoot a lot of dynamic stuff, and it would be good to have the capability to throw in your pack and get shots on the slopes without worrying about torching your main camera.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Best video camera for a ski resort?
on Apr 6, 2018 at 7:07:39 pm

Don't forget to buy a UV filter and a set of screw-on polarizers and ND filters to deal with the bright white outdoors. Add a monopod for run-and-gun work.
A brace of 4K action cams and mounts and accessories will be handy for many things.

Regarding the camera decision, you're asking this camera to do a lot of things well. On a percentage basis, how much is it going to be shooting skiing and boarding outdoors, versus non-ski events and promos etc. indoors? That will guide your choices.

A crazy suggestion: You need, not one camera, but two. For event work and such, it is incredibly useful to have a second camera covering wide shots and cut-aways/ b-roll. You can often get away with a lesser camera for this role, but I'd argue it's smarter to have two identical models that share power supplies, batteries, chargers, etc. and have identical optics and color response, making post easier and faster. Even for situations where you plan on needing just one camera, the other becomes a "hot spare" in case something goes wrong with the first one, or you can do simultaneous coverage from multiple locations like the top and bottom of a run. More cameras means you need fewer takes of something, saving time and eventually, money.

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