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Re: ENG, low light, quick workflow, size, durability...which camera?!

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Nick BroadRe: ENG, low light, quick workflow, size, durability...which camera?!
by on Jan 19, 2011 at 3:40:30 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm sorry for the delay in my reply. I'm on the road, using a dongle to connect via satellite, so have to prioritize everything! (currently at 0.2mbps). In fact, I'm writing this response off-line.

Thank you all for your replies. I am leaning in one direction because of some needs, but first, I think these are the issues stated above::

DSLRs, Pros:
  • Cheaper
  • Lighter
  • Better footage taken
  • Better in low light
  • Come with add ons for support etc
  • Record onto small, easy flash cards
  • Easy to upload footage to web.

DSLRs, Cons:
  • Harder to zoom
  • Trickier to set up
  • Must re-encode footage before editing
  • Require 2nd audio at all times
  • Can't take footage for long periods

CAMCORDERS, Pros (not mentioned above):
  • Record onto editable codec
  • Quality on-board sound
  • Makes faster edits on the road
  • More stable

I have a couple of follow-up questions:
1. Is there any way of gettiing synched audio on a DSLR? I'd like to be able to shoot immediately, if possible, and cut down editing time
2. If I have to break a shot in two because the DSLR doesn't have the film length for more, would the synched audio turn off as well?
3. It seems for on-the-road filming/editing I'd prefer to have a camcorder (for simplicity's sake). I will also be travelling with a couple of DSLRs (Canon T2i is one). Perhaps that would be a good solution for the low light thing?
4. The need for extra lenses with a DSLR - is this the same as for, say, the AF100? Because that bumps the price, trickiness and bulk up of the DSLR...

I'm thinking about going with camcorders instead of DSLRs. See if you think that's the right decision based on these factors:
  • Spending 5 days in each city. Normally travelling for about 1-7 days between cities.
  • Some acts will be expecting us, and some will not.
  • We will be "bumping into" acts as we travel around cities, and want a fast up-and-running time.
  • Finding the time to edit for web will be tough (of course we're making backups to send home for end-of-trip edits)
  • Much editing will take place on the road

A couple of questions about camcorders:
4. If I have to spend more to get a camera with a bigger chip, roughly how much more?
5. Any more votes for the Panasonic AF100, Sony EX-1R, or other cameras?
6. I've been advised that I only need to get 64GB of p2 cards for the HPX-170: one 32GB card and two 16GB cards. This is less than I was expecting, but does bring down the cost. Thoughts?

Thanks again for your time. I will try to get back online again soon!

Mac OSx 10.5.8, FCP 6.

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