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Which Camera to use for a Job?

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Zevie Tannenbaum
Which Camera to use for a Job?
on Mar 8, 2011 at 9:15:13 pm

Hi,

I have a job at a summer camp to film the campers throughout the week and edit all the footage at the end of the week, into something around 5 minutes long and upload it to the web...

I would be using Final Cut Pro to cut the footage and I would need to the video quality to be high, since I'm releasing DVDs at the end of the summer....

I have to tell them which camera to buy.  I thinks it best to go digital, since it would save me time and be simpler.  I would be shooting during the day and and some times at night, does anyone recommend a specific camera?  Should it be DSLR or a camcorder?  Thanks!


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Steve Crow
Re: Which Camera to use for a Job?
on Mar 8, 2011 at 10:10:14 pm

The resolution of a DVD is actually rather low, let's call it 720x480 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD-Video ) so not much more than standard definition VHS. Bottom line, any modern camera you choose is going to be up to DVD quality and then some.

It sounds like you will be "running and gunning" so while I normally recommend filming with a DSLR, unless you really know what you are doing operating a DSLR for video, you may find the experience too slow and frustrating at first for you to be efficient.

That said, I can see tons of opportunities for beautiful, moving shots filmed with a DSLR in a camp situation but maybe you employ a 2 camera process - using a traditional video camera for the majority of the filming and then the DSLR for the beauty shots...no they won't match but no one will care - they will just be amazed.

So maybe go for a HDV camcorder for your main camera and then look at the Canon T2i for the DSLR - I would also look at renting these cameras, not buying since them is only for this one project and I gather the budget isn't all the great.


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Zevie Tannenbaum
Re: Which Camera to use for a Job?
on Mar 8, 2011 at 10:58:49 pm

Thanks, funny you mention the T2i, just ordered one for myself last night :D. The camp seems to have a pretty large budget, and I would have around 3 months to figure out how to film on a DSLR. Getting a HD camera and a DSLR, sounds like a great idea.

Do you think that the standard lens that come with the canon T2i would be enough to get the quality I want? I have professional Canon telephoto and wide lens at home, but Im not going to bring it to camp....

I'll be using great Canon lenses at home, and should have great video... Do you think its going to make a difference if I use basic lens on the T2i for the video? If they are not telephoto, would I have to get close to film something, of does it have a decent zoom? The lens I'm referring to are, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens...

Thanks for all the help,
Zevie


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Christopher McCron
Re: Which Camera to use for a Job?
on Mar 9, 2011 at 12:41:05 am

The 18-55 isn't a very fast or sharp lens. In the night shots, you will need to crank up the sensitivity of the sensor to get enough "light" to the sensor. That will create more noise and lower the video's overall quality.

That being said, it doesn't sound like you will be up against the hardest panel of judges. If they won't notice the noise, than there is no point in fighting it.

If you can get yourself the 50mm 1.8, it will be a lot faster. There is a shitty little focus ring on it, so manually focusing is tough, but for tripod shots with little action in the scene, it will help at night more. It's $139.99 CDN.

For your purposes, the 18-55 will probably suffice. I'd personally feel better with more options.


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Christopher McCron
Re: Which Camera to use for a Job?
on Mar 9, 2011 at 2:57:22 pm

Yes, the 1.4 is much better. I didn't mention it because it sounded like you were on a tight budget.

For simple sound, use the H4N, or Sennheiser MKE400, or Rode Videomic Pro. Don't use the internal mic.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Which Camera to use for a Job?
on Mar 9, 2011 at 3:03:14 pm

Normally, I'd recommend a dslr because I am so In love with them, but I think for on-the-fly shooting, you're better off with a higher end consumer camcorder or a lower end pro camcorder. I like the canon vixia series and the hmc150 by panasonic for both of those - they won't break the bank and they still give you good quality.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Matt Doe
Re: Which Camera to use for a Job?
on Mar 10, 2011 at 4:37:42 pm

If you end up going with a DSLR, you'll want to invest in some form of rig. Hand holding and moving around with a DSLR is a big issue.

I've had a 5D Mark II since shortly after they were released, and I can tell you that, while with the right lens, getting decent looking hand held footage is possible, you'll want a rig.

I've worked out a bit of a system if I have to hand hold, using my 24-70 f2.8 where I brace my left hand up on the bottom of the lens hood and dock my elbow into my chest, basically trying to stay as compact as possible to minimize camera shake. It takes a lot out of you to try and hold a camera like this all day long.

Another simple inexpensive thing I did to supplement the actual full rig I have, is bought a cheap mono pod, works well in small rooms and is easy to move around and get stable video footage.

Another thing to keep in mind is focus. Pulling and keeping focus on the move with a DSLR is very difficult, and with some lenses damn near impossible (50mm at f1.4) when your subjects are constantly moving; and if you do not have external audio, hope you enjoy the sound of your hands on the lens and the lens itself as you zoom or pull focus (at least on the 5D the mic on the camera is right next to the lens mount and picks up any noise in lens movements).

As much as I'd love to recommend the T2i as your main camera, judging from what you want to shoot, you are much better off going with a prosumer camcorder, much easier to operate in a run and gun type situation.

Having the T2i on hand is not a bad idea, but as far as video goes, use it to supplement the other camera if you want to get some creative shallow DOF shots.



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Brent Dunn
Re: Which Camera to use for a Job?
on Mar 16, 2011 at 3:29:38 pm

Canon has a new camera, the XA-10 which should be great for your purpose. It'll give you video camera features with a lot of flexibility and audio controls.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/749467-REG/Canon_4922B002_XA10_HD_Pro...

Use a tripod. You can fold the legs together and extend one leg for monopod use. If they have the budget, then get the new Canon 60D DSLR, not the Tli.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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