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$15,000 approx to spend - need quality + long lens capability.

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Gil Domb
$15,000 approx to spend - need quality + long lens capability.
on May 4, 2007 at 12:44:02 am

I am an experienced documentary film-maker, mainly natural history films, experienced in Super-16mm/DV Cam(Pd150)/Hi Def (sony F900 + Varicam). But I need to now get a cheaper set-up for a project I will be working on the next year, and I am not familiar with this gear. The film is about birds and will include wildlife + documentary footage. I need a whole rig - camera, decent lens(es, on board + 1 or 2 radiomics. I have only approx $15,000 for this (maybe a bit more), so realistically am looking at 'prosumer' market. I need to be able work solo (I am self-producing, will do filming, sound, interviews... everything). I don't want a full size 'off the shoulder' camera. I need to be more versatile, especially as I will be solo much of the time. I have used the Sony PD150 before, enjoyed it a lot, but know this has been superceded now. Don't know if its replacement is best option for me. What can you reccomend for the best possible camera now available? Sony, Canon, Panasonic... or other. I do need to be sure there is decent long lens capability, be it built in or otherwise. I have to be able to get decent wildlife footage. The camera must also be fairly robust - this is for field work. Product must have potential to be broadcast so must be best possible quality. Practical advice much appreciated. Tape, rather than memory cards, is probably best.

Gil D.


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Steve Wargo
Re: $15,000 approx to spend - need quality + long lens capability.
on May 4, 2007 at 2:49:00 am

I would lean toward a Canon XL-H1 with a big ass honkin' lens hanging off the front of it, a big bag of batteries, a solar charger, and a dozen boxes of tapes, seriously. That camera just begs for those 18" long lenses.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona

It's a dry heat!


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jiri vrozina
Re: $15,000 approx to spend - need quality + long lens capability.
on May 4, 2007 at 9:03:15 am

If You can wait,then new Sony EX camera should be good.
Solid memory,1/2' 1920x1080 block,basic manual Fujinon Zoom.
All around $8000. . . but if You can strech it,go for Panasonic HPX-500.


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todd mcmullen
Re: $15,000 approx to spend - need quality + long lens capability.
on May 4, 2007 at 12:07:36 pm

I think Steve is right on. I do not know about new Canon cameras but I know these can handle interchangeble lenses. Most cameras at your price point just don't have long enough leneses. Get a good tripod, long lens, and go.

Todd McMullen
Flip Flop Films
Austin
http://www.toddmcmullen.com


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: $15,000 approx to spend - need quality + long lens capability.
on May 4, 2007 at 6:57:32 pm

I second Steve's recommendation.

I'd go with the Canon XLH1. We've been shooting with it since right after it came out and I can't say enough good things about the camera.

The ONLY bad thing I will say about it, is that if you shoot 24f HDV at present you must use a camera to capture footage, there is no deck that will play the tape (but ONLY at 24f and ONLY WHILE shooting HDV. Any other combination, say 24f at SD, or HDV at 60i, work fine in standard decks).

We usually just use the camera body with cine lenses and a P+S Technik converter, but in the few instances that I have used the standard comes-with-it video lens I found it to be good...quite good, in fact.

It's quite a robust camera, made well, would be suitable for your harsh locations. I would suggest doing what we did: buy the A/B Gold Mount adapter which attaches on the back (three screws, I think), then you can power the camera (and accessories if you need) with the same big AntonBauer brick. Yeah, it adds size and weight (especially when compared to the tiny Canon battery), but a full brick will power this sucker all day and more... I've yet to run out of battery.

As for radio mics, look at Lectrosonics.





T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Steve Wargo
Re: $15,000 approx to spend - need quality + long lens capability.
on May 4, 2007 at 10:23:29 pm

I would think that nature beauty shots would go at 59.94 (which I think he mentioned in his original post) and if someone wants the film look, then go for 24.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona

It's a dry heat!


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Steve Wargo
Re: $15,000 approx to spend - need quality + long lens capability.
on May 4, 2007 at 11:46:42 pm

As for mics, when we travel, the Sennheisers that we've used are very reliable and small. For in town, we use Lectrosonics.
The Lectros are bigger and heavier.

I have a guy that might be able to help you with these things if you don't have a dealer. Jim at BKW. (602) 431-1158 Caution: He's a talker.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona

It's a dry heat!


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