We are a small company that produces corporate videos and news-style commercials for broadcast. Traditionally, we outsource production and have been filming using Sony Betacam and sending BetaSP tapes to the stations. We are now bringing everything in in-house and purchasing our own equipment.
I am wondering if someone can give me some insight into the best camera/format to purcahse? I hear that everything is going to HD and that soon stations will require only HD. Obviously, we would like to keep our costs down, but not make a purchase that is only going to serve us only for the short term.
What camera would you suggest that we purchase?
[Stephanie073] "We are now bringing everything in in-house and purchasing our own equipment."
...which WILL of course include this VERY SHORT list of gotta-haves....
...like a host of lights, gels, flags, color-balancing filters, various reflectors, portable stands, sandbags, several types of microphones (including wireless), at least three lavalier mics, a portable audio mixer for field shoots, a multi-channel field audio recorder, headphones, portable TV monitor, at least two different sizes of tripods, perhaps a dolly and a jib, a small studio set-up, various kinds of camera and light attachment gear, extension power cables, video cables, audio cables, professional video editing software (NOT the stuff that comes free on your Dell), compositing software, 3D animation software, artwork creation software, audio editing software, music package rental, stock video rental and purchase, a few DVDs worth of digital compositing backgrounds and other elements, a budget for software upgrades, at least 2TB of RAID storage for your editing system, a high-end capture card for your editor, a videotape deck and an audio tape deck, an audio mixer for the editing system, a waveform monitor, a vectorscope, a broadcast monitor and a dedicated room for editing..... right? PLUS a dedicated vehicle in which to carry the necessary equipment for
You DID say you're going to bring EVERYTHING in-house, right?
Well, then, to maintain your current production values, you can't POSSIBLY forget the so-called "little" stuff that you've been TAKING FOR GRANTED for years because it was provided by the people you hired to do it for you. Not to mention that you will also be losing the talents of people experienced in shooting, lighting, audio recording, editing, compositing, and artwork.
I can think of at least two dozen items I left off the list.
[Stephanie073] "I am wondering if someone can give me some insight into the best camera/format to purcahse?"
Check out the Panasonic HVX 200; it will shoot 16x9 720p at various frame rates, with center punch for SD work. It can use either tape or Panasonic's P2 cards. And if you go with Apple computers, you will have the ease of capturing in DVCpro HD using your capture card, for future HD work.
Sr. Promotion Producer
I feel like you are mad that I am bringing production in-house ;-)!! lol I don't take anything or anyone for granted and I do appreciate your camera recommendation.
I'd recommend you use the Cow resources. Research, research, research. Go to each camera forum and the HDV and HDTV forums and see what the industry pros face. Everyone has an opinion. Those are useful because it gives you a wide range to apply to your situation. While Dave likes the HVX-200, others like the JVC GY-HD200/250, which can be adapted for the studio. Others like the Sony XDCam HD, which is more expensive than the HDV cameras, but less that the top of the line HDCams and VariCams. We were early adopters and faced a limited selection of HD choices so we spent a lot of money, but are well pleased with the results. Had we waited, we wouldn't have had any money. We ended up with 4 GVG LDK-6000 studio cameras and a Sony HDC-700a field camera. Today our choices would be much greater and much less expensive. Those choices await your company, so good luck and good hunting.
fire*, smoke*, photoshopCS2
Charlotte Public Television
My suggestion would be to ask your most significant regular clients what they anticipate for future delivery formats. I would also do some research on the clients you would like to have. What are they using? What are your competitors shooting on?
Are you hiring a camera operator/lighting technician? Have you asked them their opinion?
All the camera accessory gear, lighting gear, and microphones that Dave recommends in his post