I have a client who wants to shoot his own green screen footage, and he's asking me to advise him on green screen and camera set up. He has the tripod. I've figured out the green screen. I was wondering if anybody could suggest a camera that is high quality enough to get a decent key with? He wants to spend as little as possible, big surprise I know. I'll be keying in Keylight in AE CS4.
I'm only half the thing I say I am, the other half are me.
The HV30 is a good well priced HDV cam. The next step up would be a XH-A1 which is a great camera for the price but costa rund 3000.
Remember that even good lighting is the most important thing, so make sure you have descent lights. Also get plenty of distance from your talent and the screen to keep away spill. I'd all suggest watching the COW tutorial on creating super tight mattes, and if you already have it, Red Giant's Key Correct Pro plug ins are a good addition to Key Light
The absolute best keys come from 10-bit footage. 8-bit footage has 256 levels in each RGB channel, 10-bit footage has 1024 levels of gradation in each RGB channel.
I pulled some 10-bit Apple ProRes 422 HQ footage into Keylight in AE CS3 and it literally nailed EVERYTHING with 1 click. Perfect matte, down to strands of hair blowing in a fan!
Of course, this involved a Canon XL-H1 with HD-SDI out going into an AJA Io HD box, converting from 1080i to 720p on the fly. So yes, it's a lot of gear and expense. But I would expect similar results from an HV30 kicking it's HDMI output into the Io HD.
So that's around $3k for the box and little cam, not counting a computer.
Here's a low quality YouTube of the Original footage:
Here's ONE CLICK in Keylight later (plus after following a "Sin City" effect tutorial). Remember he's keyed OVER a black background. Those aren't the original pixels!