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Gerardo Flores
video camera best choices
on Nov 19, 2010 at 8:48:24 pm

Best regards every one

Im planning to buy a digital video camera; I have look for some very nice camcorder from RED and ARRI ( very expensive ones ) as well some normal camcorder from Canon and Panasonic

Im a photographer who will like to start in the magic world of video.
Basically I will like be able to do:

- blur background footage ( play with the focusing )
- play with the aperture
- at least 120 - 300 fps
- acceptable lens zoom

I know that this can be expensive but a believe that in the last years the video cameras has done a huge
improvements and maybe some of you can know the best choice for that.

I know that can be difficult to find everything in a cheap camera but I will like to have the best and the cheaper choice as well maybe you can classified cameras in this way
a) price between 2000-5000 USD
b) price between 5000-10000 USD
c) price between 10000-20000 USD

thank you a lot for your comments















learning after effects


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Todd Terry
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:40:17 pm

Others may chime in with specific suggestions... DLSRs or a smaller-chipped camera using a 35mm DoF coverter will accomplish what you want as far as soft backgrounds go. Or the new big-chip Panasonic camera you mentioned.

However... sorry but there are no conventional cameras in anywhere near any of your price ranges that will shoot anything even close to your requested "at least 120 - 300 fps."

For that you are looking at specialty high-speed video cameras, or shooting real film with high-speed cameras (which are also specialty cameras), or renting a Panavision PhantomHD as needed.

T2

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



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grinner hester
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:49:34 pm

It's a take yer pick kind of thang.
Check out your favorite DSLRs and check out RED's Scarlet then go from there.



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Gerardo Flores
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 20, 2010 at 9:27:49 am

Hi Todd

Thank you again for your comments.

do you think is difficult to find a good camera which will record at list 120 fps???
today even some phones record that kind of videos...

Grinner said
"Check out your favorite DSLRs and check out RED's Scarlet"

Regards Grinner... I saw a nice chat about the red scarlet on VIMEO
http://vimeo.com/forums/topic:11780
Jesus I will love to have one of those RED cameras believe me... but God they are expensive.
do you think there are other choices to make what I want with less money?

and what do you think about this comment about ONE of those guys in the forum:
" I'm not interested in spending 10-15K to get a camera all equipped. In two years or less we'll have the 5D shooting Raw and it wont matter what the hell Red does."

thank both of you for your comments.
Regards from Prague.
Gerardo.

learning after effects


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Todd Terry
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 21, 2010 at 1:04:38 am

[Gerardo Flores] "do you think is difficult to find a good camera which will record at list 120 fps???
today even some phones record that kind of videos.."


Sorry Gerardo... you were either misinformed or someone was seriously pulling your leg. There are no camera phones that record anywhere near that high a frame rate.

There are a few conventional video cameras that will overcrank up to 60fps, but that's about it. And with most of those, that comes with a price...resolution reduction. That is, most will shoot "normal" frame rates at 1080, but drop down to 720p to record high frame rates (or the RED which drops from 4k to 2k resolution when overcranking).

To get up anywhere near the rate you are talking about, in the video world that means high-speed cameras used for scientific purposes... and their images are not what you'd ever want for a real project. Or it means choosing from just a few very specialty high-speed cameras, such as the Panavision PhantomHD (which isn't for sale, only for rent), or a couple others that are many many tens of thousands of dollars. Some over $100,000.

There are also high-speed film cameras, but they too are very expensive. They are also expensive to operate, as they eat up hundreds of dollars' worth of film in just a few seconds.

Unfortunately you are asking for something that doesn't exist... akin to wanting to buy a top-end turbocharged Italian luxury sports car that can go from zero to 80 in four seconds... but want that for the price of a Chevy Aveo. I'm sorry, but there just isn't one.

T2

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



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Gerardo Flores
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 21, 2010 at 2:28:58 am

Thank you for your comments Todd.

and thank you for the clarifications I maybe get confused for this mobile "LG KU990 Viewty"
which they and a lot of people say that is able to record at 120 fps.
http://www.gsmarena.com/lg_ku990_viewty-2070.php

look this video







of course the video doesnt look like those recorder in RED ONE at 120 fps...
any way Im not interested in a phone I will like to buy a decent video camera...


Todd please If you will be in my position which camera will you buy?

Regards.
Gerardo

learning after effects


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Todd Terry
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 21, 2010 at 6:48:06 am

Well Gerardo... I'll stand a little bit corrected. Apparently there is a camera phone that will shoot 120fps.

BUT... look how crappy the picture is. That's "QVGA" resolution... or only 320x240 pixels. That's a fraction of even standard definition video... and it's actually only 1/27th the size of an HD image. Yes, a full 1080x1920 frame has TWENTY SEVEN times as many pixels as that. It's marginally ok for a YouTube video, but not much else.

What would I buy in your position? I couldn't really say. I don't have any idea what you want a camera for... i.e., what kind of productions you intend it for or what type of shooting you will be doing or why you need the exact features you have spelled out. I don't know your cinematographic expertise level either, or what you are really willing to spend since you have listed a pretty wide range ($2000-$20,000). If you can share any of those details it might be helpful.

T2

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



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Gerardo Flores
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 21, 2010 at 5:19:59 pm

Hi Todd

Yes you are right: the quality is terrible. that is a shame that internet sometimes make me forget that there are a huge world of images and video with a 5 start quality videos... those phone videos are good for youtube but not for nothing else...

My cinematographic expertise level is -0 Im just a photographer who loves films and I always saw them with a photographic eyes... last months Im trying to learn after effects and I will love to make some films
maybe some single footage with models and landscapes at the beginning and some documentary small films and if everything goes well thinking to earn some money from that.

As a photographer I will feel frustrated that I have no blur backgrounds in my fimls :(
and a slow motions videos are as well interesting if i will show you a film where are footage that I will like
to be able to do will be this one:

Last Minutes with ODEN from phos pictures on Vimeo.



the topic is maybe not the best one but this guy have a VERY nice footage there.

What I will really will like to expend??? :) thats a nice questions for me ...
and all the time my answer it is the same " as little money ( the less ) as I can "

but if you ask me how much money I can expend on this maybe will be a top of 10k becuase I will like to get some dolly and some jib as well....

Hope my answer can help you to have an idea about what I need...

Thank you a lot again for your help
Gerard.

learning after effects


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Kevin Cannon
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 22, 2010 at 7:33:42 pm

The "background blur" you are looking for is inherent in cameras that have a larger sensor. Usually this is compared to the size of the aperture on a 35mm or Super 35mm film camera.

The least expensive cameras that have this feature are Digital SLRs like the Canon 5D Mark II (which has an especially large sensor) and the 7D. These cameras also have the advantage of using cheap interchangeable lenses with which you can play with aperture, focal length and focus. And they shoot in HD, but they need to do a significant amount of compression to write the data fast enough...

So a digital SLR would meet all your requirements except shooting 120fps which as Todd pointed out isn't a feature on any cameras in that price range (that I know of).

And a side note for Todd, sometime in the last year Panavision sent all their Phantoms back to Vision Research, saying thanks but no thanks!


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Todd Terry
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 22, 2010 at 10:19:00 pm

[Kevin Cannon] "And a side note for Todd, sometime in the last year Panavision sent all their Phantoms back to Vision Research, saying thanks but no thanks!"

Wow really? I hadn't heard that... I wonder what the problem was.

Panavision still has the Phantom listed as available on their website... and I know they are used a lot. Mysterious.

Interestingly... since the Panavision Phantom is actually, yes, a Vision Research camera, it is the only Panavision camera you can actually buy (well, without the Panny name badge). But, if Panavision isn't offering it anymore, I guess one would have to get it from Vision now.

I'm really curious as to what all is happening there... the camera can really do some amazing stuff.

T2

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



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Kevin Cannon
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 22, 2010 at 11:08:33 pm

Yup, they need to update that website...

I think Panavision hates to be in the position where there's a problem with a camera, and they can't make it right. I gather there were too many of their clients having issues in the field, and "don't blame us, we didn't design the thing," isn't an acceptable answer.

Abel Cinetech in LA and Fletcher Chicago have them for rent though. And Clairmont has the Weisscam HS-2 which is a neat camera itself...

But the RED, Weisscam, and Phantom are the only 120-300fps (and above) HD cameras I can think of...

KC


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Gerardo Flores
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 22, 2010 at 10:19:19 pm

Hi Kevin

Thank you for join us with you comment...

Im agree with you. but I steel want to know why this cameras like RED are so special...
if you see the adv. in this page maybe as me you will get a link to ARRI ALEXA...
if you see in google the price is 60000 USD to 120000 USD with some components

I mean I know that photographic equipment are expensive but I know what the can do...
even now you can buy a 400 digital camera and make amazing pictures with them...

But I steel dont know much about video cameras and of course I like to have some fuctions there as 120 fps and play with the focusing...

there are as well cameras like this
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/627521-REG/Sony_PDW_F800_PDW_F800_XDC...

and I still dont know the real difference ( or why RED cameras are so special ).

Regards

G.

learning after effects


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Kevin Cannon
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 22, 2010 at 11:35:11 pm

I think you're looking at a lot of cameras that are very different. If having shallow focus is a priority, a camera like the Sony F-800 has a smaller sensor and therefore isn't as good for that. It would be a better camera for instances where shallow focus is a problem, not a good thing.

The RED popular because it has a 35mm sized sensor so you get shallow focus, and gives you enough resolution for TV and film prints. And it's cheaper than competing cameras, so lots of projects have started using it.

The Alexa is expensive because it also has a 35mm sized sensor, and it gives you enough resolution for TV and film prints. But compared to the RED, it does higher-quality image processing in the camera, is more light-sensitive, has other good professional features.

Digital SLRs have the 35mm sized sensor, but are usually thought to have too much compression and visual artifacts for TV and film work, and not much exposure range. A lot of the data that the sensor is capable of is compressed because the camera doesn't process and write the data quickly enough. That said, people have succeeded in using them in feature films and high-budget TV shows.

You just have to balance price vs. quality, and really know what the issues are with each camera to shoot them best.


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Gerardo Flores
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 23, 2010 at 10:41:28 pm

Kevin said:
"The Alexa is expensive because it also has a 35mm sized sensor, and it gives you enough resolution for TV and film prints. But compared to the RED, it does higher-quality image processing in the camera, is more light-sensitive, has other good professional features."

Hi Kevin please which camera you say have better light sensitive?

Regards

G

learning after effects


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Dan Brockett
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 22, 2010 at 9:31:25 pm

Wow Gerard, that doc about Oden is amazing, I don't see how anyone can watch that without shedding a tear. Thanks for posting that.

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Gerardo Flores
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 22, 2010 at 10:06:34 pm

Hi Dan

Isn't ??? I love the footage and how he play with the focusing...
The story is to sad for me :( but is great.

It is amazing what you can do with a small camera ;)

learning after effects


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Jason Jenkins
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 23, 2010 at 6:59:44 pm

Gerardo,

The to-be-released-next-month Panasonic AF100 might be a good choice for you. It has a large 4/3's sensor and you can use your existing photographic lenses with it --and it will overcrank to 60fps. Price tag of $5k.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Gerardo Flores
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 23, 2010 at 11:11:49 pm

Hello Jason

Thank you for your comment.

I have just watch your demo reel and you have a lot of beautiful footage there.
can you share with us which camera you usually use and which for some special footage...

Please Jason I got a lot of digital (mustily for canon) and analog lens.
- Which kind of lens can I use with the Panasonic AF100?

I think the Panasonic AF100 is the best choice for cameras under 10,000 USD
but do they have 35mm sized sensor or can I use it for cinema or tv works?

What is your opinion about RED one or Red Scarlet???
have you worked sometimes whit red one???
it look like RED have a very good quality and functions and if you compare them whit ARRI alexa for example the price are very difference

Regards
G

learning after effects


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Jason Jenkins
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 24, 2010 at 8:56:17 pm

Thanks, Gerardo. I use a Panasonic HVX200 with a Letus Extreme 35mm lens adapter. Manual Canon lenses would be great use with the AF100. Here's a chart that compares frame/sensor sizes. The AF100 has a 4/3 sensor.
http://www.hotrodcameras.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/sensor-size-chart-w...
I haven't used a RED. Too pricey for my clients.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Gerardo Flores
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 24, 2010 at 10:56:55 pm

Hi Jason

do you know it is interesting for me that Ted Schilowitz form red said in one video
that red one became so popular because they were the first in offer the 35 mm resolution for a video camera...

Why if Canon 5D or 7D can make so nice videos why cinematographer don't use them in a movie...
I mean I know there must be a lot of functions that a RED camera offer that a CANON 7D don't...
but I will like to know which for you will be the biggest disadvantage to use a 5D camera in your footage instead of the Panasonic HVX200 that you usually use????

Regards

G

learning after effects


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Kevin Cannon
Re: video camera best choices
on Nov 27, 2010 at 3:36:47 am

Well, the RED camera company has always had a different opinion than others on what "35mm film resolution" is. A good explanation of some of the differences between 35mm film and bayer-pattern digital cameras (like the RED) is the "4K+" report by Arri: Arri Group 4K+ Systems. But yes, the RED became popular for it's combination of resolution, sensor size, and price.

As for the 5D and 7D, some cinematographers are happy to use them in feature films; Shane Hurlbut (Terminator Salvation, We are Marshall) shot a feature called "Men of Valor" primarily on the 5D Mark II. It would be a good one to track down to see how well it compares.

Those that aren't happy to do so often say that the rolling shutter makes camera movement and quick-moving objects feel wrong. The footage is compressed with codecs that are not suitable for intensive post-production (I think they all use the web standard h.264, but I'm not sure for all). As a colorist, I can attest that much of the shadow and highlight detail that is can be captured by those DSLRs in still picture mode is lost in compression in motion picture mode.

Since these cameras were designed primarily for photographers who need 5 or 8 frames per second, it's no surprise that they need to make a lot of compromises to get up to 24 or 30 frames per second.

Perhaps in a few years these cameras will be capable of data rates that allow for 24, 30, or 60 frames of RAW data, and will be able to receive the sensor data without having to employ a "rolling" shutter. At that point they will be much more on par with higher-end cameras.

It's also worth noting that high-end digital cameras have a completely different set of lenses, accessories, and support, which have a lot to do with how a film ends up looking.

KC


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Ryan Orr
Re: video camera best choices
on Jan 18, 2011 at 4:20:47 pm

I've read this whole thread, and it seems to me that you are wanting a camera that does the following.

1) As inexpensive as possible.
2) Very thin DOF.
3) Capable of high frame rates.
4) Good quality.
5) As inexpensive as possible...

Here is a list on BHphotovideo.com that is based around the Panasonic GH2. I have planned on getting in steps...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/wl/3B372DBD70

1) It's inexpensive...as in only $999, which is CHEAP considering you are wanting something that would cost you several thousands of dollars more...
2) It has a larger sensor, thus will give you that thin DOF you would desire
3) The GH2 gets you 1080p video (overcranking drops it to 720p though).
4) Nice swivel screen, so low angles are easier.
5) Did I say it was inexpensive? Not as inexpensive as a Canon 60D or T2i, but that swivel screen...blows my mind

You will see the flashNano in my list...that's for better quality video files. The in camera compressed files stink...but the GH2 outputs clean, uncompressed HD video out of the HDMI, and when coupled with a nanoFlash, the quality of the video is supreme!

If you want a higher framerate, you aint gonna get it from cameras in the lower price range. You could fake it in post, using programes like Twixor or a free plugin in Final Cut Pro. It works, with various results...but still much cheaper then buying a Phantom or Epic...

But as others have suggested, the Panasonic AF100 (which has the same exact sensor as the GH2) could possibly be the best choice. It can do overcranking without downsizing it to 720p...it stays up at 1080p. You wouldn't need to buy a separate audio recording device. The in camera compressed file still sucks, but with a nanoFlash, again it would be better.


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