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Best camera for green screen

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Corey Schatz
Best camera for green screen
on Apr 12, 2008 at 5:28:51 pm

I have been a professional photographer since 1995 and have worked extensively with green screen photography. I am getting great results- but video green screen is a whole new ball park- and I want in.
At first, I want to provide a simple- yet professional looking green screen presentation mainly for the corporate web entity. I will be using Composite Lab Pro to do my chroma keying. I have read that the Canon XP2 does not do as well as one would think with keying a green screen. (is this true?)
Question: Will most all the high end cameras including the Canon XP-2 provided that lighting and software are optimized and utilized correctly, provide adequate chroma keying?
Sincerely,
Corey


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Emre Tufekci
Re: Best camera for green screen
on Apr 13, 2008 at 1:07:01 pm

Yes and No.

A Yugo will get you to your destination but a Ferrari will do it faster,smoother and with less headache.

For chroma keeying, on the camera side look for:

-4:2:2 color space (if you can get a 4:4:4 camera,all the better)
-Get a Intraframe recording system. Less compression the better.(DVCPRO50, DVCPROHD, Digibeta, HDCAM...etc)

Stay away from: 4:1:1, 4:2:0, long GOP or Mpeg-2 recording formats.(DV,HDV)

People pull keys from hvd or dv all the time but it depends on your clientele and what they will accept as a final result.

Good Luck,

Emre
http://www.productionpit.com
Boxx Tech PC, dual-dual AMD 2.0,4BG ram,Avid Media Composer HD w/Mojo,UVW-1800,DSR-25, Adobe Premium CS3.Gspeed ES.Steadicam Clipper 2 OP/Owner.

"Creative cow is udder madness."


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Corey Schatz
Re: Best camera for green screen
on Apr 13, 2008 at 9:06:26 pm

Thank you so much for your response. Your response is both very insightful and practical (it is lonely here at the starting line). I will take the time to research and understand the specifics of your response.
Cost will be a factor as will be the availability of equipment specifics (I plan on buying used so that I can potentially get higher end bang for my buck). For Example: I am researching the Canon XP 2 MiniDV (easy to get lot's of them new and used) and interested in a JVC DV500 Pro MiniDV (very few- older technology- but expensive for it's day). Would these two cameras be in the same ball park or on two different plains.
I really appreciate your time in responding to these basic questions.
Sincerely,
Corey

PS: I would guess that the Canon XP2 would be an Ford Exporer and the JVC DV500 (range), would be an Ford Expedition.



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Corey Schatz
Re: Best camera for green screen
on Apr 14, 2008 at 7:42:01 pm

Emre, all of your image clips on your website are spot on. In clip number 2, the elderly women with the flag waiving behind her was green screen. What camera did you shoot that clip with as an example of a quality camera shooting green screen.
Sincerely,
Corey



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Emre Tufekci
Re: Best camera for green screen
on Apr 14, 2008 at 10:27:51 pm

Corey,
I am at the NAB so I will not be able to answer your questions until next week. Sorry for the delay.
Emre

Emre
http://www.productionpit.com
Boxx Tech PC, dual-dual AMD 2.0,4BG ram,Avid Media Composer HD w/Mojo,UVW-1800,DSR-25, Adobe Premium CS3.Gspeed ES.Steadicam Clipper 2 OP/Owner.

"Creative cow is udder madness."


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Corey Schatz
Re: Best camera for green screen
on Apr 16, 2008 at 5:24:07 am

Thanks for any advice you can give me. I spent time breaking down the data you wrote in your first response. I believe, by your standards that both cameras I mentioned to you, Canon XP and the other fall short. How about this one (for a quality, affordable starter cam)

Panasonic AJ-200p DVC Pro Camera.
Sincerely,
Corey



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Emre Tufekci
Re: Best camera for green screen
on Apr 21, 2008 at 2:24:24 pm

Hi Corey,I m back

To answer the first part of your question the interviews were shot with a Sony Mpeg-Imx camera (a 40K system with + 30 K lens).

Any system you look at whether its panasonic, sony, jvc, hitachi....etc you really have to look into the specs of the camera to make sure it meets you criteria for your production. Since you are looking to a lot of green screen you should opt out for a camera like the hvx-200 as it will give you the 4:2:2 color space and intra frame recording so you can pull easier keys. I don’t think there is a system in that price range that bundles up all those functions together.

With the HVX200 you can record dvcpro50 so you get high bandwidth with a better color space or even record HD for tighter keys and then downconvert to match your project.

Of course good lighting is always must. I use kinoflo lights with green bulbs to pull easier keys.

Can you use dv to pull keys? Definitely! It just will take more preparation and closer attention to detail in production and post ensure good results.

Hope this helps,


Emre
http://www.productionpit.com
Boxx Tech PC, dual-dual AMD 2.0,4BG ram,Avid Media Composer HD w/Mojo,UVW-1800,DSR-25, Adobe Premium CS3.Gspeed ES.Steadicam Clipper 2 OP/Owner.

"Creative cow is udder madness."


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Corey Schatz
Re: Best camera for green screen
on Apr 24, 2008 at 4:58:02 am

Emre, Thanks
You are a wealth of informaition. Much has been writen about the HVX-200 and I have read a lot of it over the past couple of days and intend to continue studying it. This will indeed be my entry point camera into video- it seems to fit my bill to a tee. Although, now I will have to put off my purchase of a Markiii 1Ds Cannon 35mm for a while:)
KinoFlo lighting will be my next expense to ready my studio for green screening. The smaller of my two green areas is completed (less the lighting)it is 16' wide with roll down green screen and similar chroma green paint covering the the rest of it's perimeter. The other is 30' wide with cathedral ceiling I plan to install two green screen drop-down rollers to cover this larger cove area- but want to do my initial testings first. Sorry, ok the question: KinoFlo's web sight pictured a number of huge green screen set-ups - most appeared lite from above. Do you have any suggestions on the size of bank(s) that I need? And could the green screen be lite soley from above? Because my studio is not L.A. huge I am hoping to ceiling mount as much as possible. By the way- if you ever need to borrow my green studio your welcome to it.
Sincerely,
Corey




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Emre Tufekci
Re: Best camera for green screen
on Apr 24, 2008 at 11:23:43 am

You should also look into the the hvx model that is coming out (I forget the model number). It's the same camera except no tape so it's cheaper. It also has 1/2 stop more sensitivity and less noise.

Lighting from just above is an option but usually if you do that you get top heavy chroma. I usually use stands to place my kino flo lights for 2 reasons.

1- I can move the lights around and get readings with my light meter to make sure the luminance is even.
2-It's a lot easier to take down the lights as I use them for location lighting all the time(not with green but 5600K and 3200K bulbs.)

I generally use 2, 2 bank 2 foot lights, and 1, 4 bank 2 foot lights. You can always add more lights if needed.

Remember not to stay extended periods of time with green lights on or your world will turn pink :)

Thanks for the offer and good luck.

Emre
http://www.productionpit.com
Boxx Tech PC, dual-dual AMD 2.0,4BG ram,Avid Media Composer HD w/Mojo,UVW-1800,DSR-25, Adobe Premium CS3.Gspeed ES.Steadicam Clipper 2 OP/Owner.

"Creative cow is udder madness."


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