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The dreaded question....

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Chris BakerThe dreaded question....
by on Apr 22, 2009 at 6:30:29 pm

Before I begin I did and have looked around at many, many different forums before asking and I am still at a loss.
After my first failed business attempt I'm starting over. My experience has been mainly with the Sony line of DSR DVCAM's (300 and 500 series) with some broadcast Betacam and DBeta. I'm finally selling my Sony DSR 570WS. Question is what to get next.

I'm looking at the JVC hd200 or hd250, Canon XL H1 or the newer Sony Z7 all of which can still shoot SD. At the moment I'm still stuck with my old clunky Avid which doesn't do any sort of HD-SD converting so any converting would have to be done in camera or strickly shoot SD for the time being. They all seem to be great cameras but after reading so much my mind has melted.

My first main project is an instructional video for elderly housing consisting of mainly interviews. Other projects will include corporate events, interviews, regional spots etc. During the summer I'm also looking into doing some indie stuff like music videos and some shorts.



The creative urge is the demon that will not accept anything second rate.
-Agnes DeMille


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Mark SuszkoRe: The dreaded question....
by on Apr 22, 2009 at 8:13:47 pm

Broken record here: whenever practical, rent the camera just for the job. it doesn't make money when its just sitting around depreciating.

In your case I'd modify that a bit and say: look at all your potential gigs, is there one camera that can cover them all? I'm guessing not. You're on that edge where there's still plenty of SD work, maybe the bulk of it still will be SD for some time, but you're afraid you'll be obsolete without HD capability. Normally, you'd just pick an HD camera that could also shoot SD, and cover all the bases in one. But you say your Avid is not up to HD.

Since your Avid is old, what I'd suggest near-term is to get a good, adequate, but inexpensive workhorse camera or matched pair that's still SD, (a bargain these days) and just rent a higher-performance HD camera only when the specific job or client needs call for it.

Take the money you save from not having the extra camera expenses and put it towards an NLE upgrade first, so when you need to do an HD program you'll be ready for it. The NLE is probably more the heart of your operation at this point than any particular one camera is.


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Chris BakerRe: The dreaded question....
by on Apr 22, 2009 at 9:34:23 pm

Thanks, I had thought about that. Of course with that said I'm looking at configuring a Mac Pro with FCP with CalDigit S2VRDuo for storage and the AJA Io HD breakout box. If I went this route would I need the Apple raid card that you can add when configuring the Mac?

The creative urge is the demon that will not accept anything second rate.
-Agnes DeMille


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Rick WiseRe: The dreaded question....
by on Apr 23, 2009 at 6:52:55 pm

About editing: If you have already begun to edit with FCP, then by all means continue down that road. There is another NLE made by Sony, Vegas (currently version 9)that is much, much easier to learn, every bit as powerful, and often much easier to use. However, your Mac would need to be able to run Windows, and you would need Windows installed. Note that Vegas is about 1/2 the price of FCP.

On the other hand, if you foresee hiring yourself out as a freelance editor, you do need FCP. Neither is anywhere near the same to use as Avid, other than basic concepts of bins, storytelling etc.

About cameras: the advice above is great. Probably not what you want to hear, but worth at least considering.

Rick Wise
director of photography
and custom lighting design
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.recessionvideo.net
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Chris BakerRe: The dreaded question....
by on Apr 23, 2009 at 10:07:11 pm

I've edited with Avid for 9+ years and dabbled in FCP. To me Avid was pretty complex and FCP was easier. The situation I'm in is a bit complex and the camera is the first priority but FCP isn't far behind.

The creative urge is the demon that will not accept anything second rate.
-Agnes DeMille


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Steve EisenRe: The dreaded question....
by on Apr 25, 2009 at 12:09:18 am

What you NEED to look at is Panasonic's P2 line. HPX-170, HPX-300 or the 2/3" HPX-500.

It will give you everything your DSR's, Betacams and Digibeta gave ALL in one camera and then some. No need to buy or rent multiple cameras.

I would stay away from HDV.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Board of Directors
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Chris BakerRe: The dreaded question....
by on Apr 25, 2009 at 2:17:10 pm

I would absolutely love to do that, trust me, I have drooled over those cameras. Even more so after using the HPX 500. Problem is budget as I am in the process of restarting my business. If money fell from the sky....

The creative urge is the demon that will not accept anything second rate.
-Agnes DeMille


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