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New Company.....any ideas?

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memevertical
New Company.....any ideas?
on Mar 9, 2007 at 1:08:45 am

Hi everyone.....for the last 5 years I've worked for a Company doing Animations in AfterEffects, and editing video in Premiere. I've moved, and no longer work for that company, but now I think its time to start my own Company.

My company will practically start doing Weddings events, recording them, and editing, and giving a Final DVD to the customer.

In my old job they had a Canon XL1 for that, and I used a personally ensambled PC with Adobe Creative Suite.

Since Im starting from scratch, what is your advice? what Camera should i start with? My budget is like 2,500 dollars for the camera

Should i get a steady cam to get smoother shots?

What Video Capture card should i get?

Im gonna start with my current Laptop, which has Windows Vista.....so keep that in mind.....

Thanks for the advices......

mEmE



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Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Re: New Company.....any ideas?
on Mar 9, 2007 at 2:23:11 am

Heya...

Since you are very familiar with the XL1, and only have about $2500 to spend... maybe you should just get another XL1.

There are a LOT of people out there like me: XLH1 users who still have an XL1 (or 1s or 2, with very few hours on the heads) laying around that they don't use anymore, and they are all over eBay where people are practically giving them away. You could consider the XL1 a "temporary" camera to use for a while until the biz gets off the ground... and then move up to something like the XLH1 later (which would be a natural graduation, since you know the XL series).

I'll buy used film cameras all day, but usually shy away from used electronic cameras... however the XL1 was SUCH a good camera and you can get them SO cheaply now it would probably be a pretty good and safe gamble.

Heck, you would probably have a fair bit of money left over from your $2500 to put toward a grip, support, lighting or sound package.

Todd




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memevertical
Re: New Company.....any ideas?
on Mar 9, 2007 at 3:21:34 am

Thanks for your advice, it does make sence. What would you recomend when it comes to lighting and sound? Where can i fand those accesories and which ones do you recomend for what im going to do.

thanks


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Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Re: New Company.....any ideas?
on Mar 9, 2007 at 6:15:33 am

Well, it's hard to say. I'm not sure what all your needs might be, or what equipment you already have, if any.

Obviously, #1, you need a tripod and a good fluid head (and probably a spreader or wheeled spider dolly). If you want something new, be prepared to spend big bucks, or go with something lower-end like Bogen (which is still decent equipment, actually). Sometimes you can find older versions of higher-end stuff on eBay for next to nothing. I recently bought a several-years-old but great-condition Oconnor 50D head and sticks for I think like $600... whereas the current-model equivalent new is several SEVERAL thousand dollars.

Secondly, lighting: that might be easy... usually when shooting weddings they won't LET you use any, so you'll have to go with available light. If you're shooting the receptions, etc., as well, you'll need a couple of lighting instruments.

Thirdly, sound: I've never shot a wedding (we mostly do broadcast commercials) but I think of all he wedding videos that I've been forced to watch they rely heavily on radio mics (wireless lavaliers), at least one on the minister and maybe some on the other parties. Unfortunately really good ones are kinda expensive....my top of the line choice would be Lectrosonics, at about $2500 a pop (and that's just for one transmitter and receiver, add a few hunderd more for the mic itself). For something more affordable, Sennheiser makes a wireless system that isn't bad for about $600. I think technically it's a consumer system not a pro system (unbalanced 1/8" outputs instead of balanced XLR outputs), but the price is right. You may also want a directional (shotgun) mic. The little mic that comes on the XL1 actually isn't too bad, but you might want to consider getting a "real" one. A good mid-range one is the Sennheiser MKH416, but it's still about a thousand bucks. Audio-Technica makes some lower-end (i.e. "cheaper") ones that aren't too bad.

Fourthly: a field monitor... you don't want to totally rely on your viewfinder, especially when shooting something long and boring like a wedding. A small LCD monitor (like one from Varizoom that you can use on-camera) should be adequate.

Fifthly: general grip stuff. Whatever you need... stands, clamps, lamps, bags, cases.. whatever it takes to complete your package.

As for where to get it... you can find a lot of this stuff used on eBay or from the classified services such as mandy.com. For new equipment, we by 99% of our stuff from B&H Photo (bhphotovideo.com). Their prices aren't always the best, but they are usually in line... they always have most everything in stock, are friendly people, good return policy, ship fast... etc etc etc.

Hope this helps,
Todd



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memevertical
Re: New Company.....any ideas?
on Mar 9, 2007 at 1:29:36 pm

Hey, thanks for ALL the advices, you've really helped me a lot.....

One more question though, when it comes to the "Video Card" to capture video, what do you recomend? We used to use a Pinnacle DV5000 (i bealive that was the name), but i dont remember if the XL1 had Firewire so that i dont have to use Analog.....

Which one do you recomend?

Thanks a lot.....


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Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Re: New Company.....any ideas?
on Mar 9, 2007 at 4:02:04 pm

Couldn't really say, I'm not too up on what is currently out there.

We recently bought a system based on the Aja XenaLHe card, but that was so we can do high-def.

I LOVED Canopus stuff for years, and we still have two Canopus-based suites (one DVrexPro and one Storm2)... but we edit with PremierPro and Canopus got out of bed with Adobe in favor of their own editing software, so we had to leave Canopus.

Even though weddings on the surface seem very simple and not production-intensive at all, you'll still want as powerful a system (with as much storage) as you can afford. With something like a wedding (where the whole thing, including reception, could be a couple of hours long) you don't want to waste any more time rendering, or transcoding video files for DVD, than you absolutely have to.

You might inquire in one of the other forums (maybe Editing).

T2



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Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Re: New Company.....any ideas?
on Mar 9, 2007 at 4:09:21 pm

Sorry, I missed one of your questions.

Yes, the XL1 definitely has firewire out, so you COULD use it as a source deck if needed and your computer only had DV inputs (and even if you COULD take analog into your card, you'd be much better off using the DV firewire feed than the XL1's composite or S-video out anyway).

I'd put a real deck on the list of stuff you "don't have to have right away but need pretty soon." I just don't like using cameras as feed decks. They'll do it, but it's not what they were built for. I'd rather wear out my cameras shooting than wear them out feeding tapes into the NLEs.

Todd



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memevertical
Re: New Company.....any ideas?
on Mar 9, 2007 at 7:16:53 pm

Thanks....

My laptop has a Firewire port, can i capture from the XL1 to Premiere Pro thru that port?


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eyecamiam
Re: New Company.....any ideas?
on Mar 12, 2007 at 5:49:46 am

Yes. But you'd be better off getting small Canon mini-cam to use as a deck. Why wear out your xl and plug and unplug every time you need to capture. My experience with the Canon, however, is that it takes great pics if you light correctly. For available light which you might well be stuck with for a lot of weddings and churches -- you might consider the Sony pd170. It's also SD and does a great job in low light. Very forgiving cam. brand new at b&h for around your price point.

OSX 10.4.7; Quicksilver Dual 1 gig; FCP 4.5, 3.0.4; Sony camcorder vx2000/pd170; write professionally for a variety of media;teach video production in L.A.


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memevertical
Re: New Company.....any ideas?
on Apr 3, 2007 at 11:26:52 pm

I've been looking at ebay's auctions, and I see Canon XL1s for around $1850, is that a good price? Should I go for it?

Thanks.


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memevertical
Re: New Company.....any ideas?
on Apr 3, 2007 at 11:40:46 pm

Wait, one more question......I have this dilema, because a friend of mine says that if i get the "XL1", instead of the "XL1s", there are gonna be 2 major disadvantages, the first one, that since the XL1 is such an old model, it's gonna be giving me trouble sooner that if i get a XL1s, and the second problem, is that he says that when the XL1s came out, there where some major light issues that where fixed, and the XL1s works better with poor light, and the XL1 needs a lot of light in order to record good......

Any thoughts on this matter? Thanks.


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