To Buy or Borrow
This is a silly question maybe, but I'm in a pickle. I've got an upcoming shoot for a testimonial video that will be placed on a website that I will create, and the video will also be used as a looping item on a TV via DVD within their organization. I am currently without a camera however, and a friend has offered to let me borrow his Canon XL1. I would like to buy the Sony HDR FX1000, but I'm not overly happy about going back into video camera debt. HOWEVER, I want and need my footage to look great for this gig because it's an important one because the middle guy will prob give me more jobs like this in the future. I guess my question is, should I A) rely on someone else to lend me his stuff. and B) can an XL1 really give me something decent in image??
I recently sold my GL2 because I wanted HD, but I've been waiting for a big enough gig to repurchase, this gig is only $2K. I'm an editor, shooter and now a web designer. I would think the consumer HD cams with a single chip would be fine for a website, but I'm not too keen on spending that much money for a non-pro, or non-semi-pro item. If I'm going to lay out, it might as well be bigger and better. But right now, should I just borrow??
Any business advice out there for me?
The XL1 would be sufficient as long as standard-def is OK, and you have really good pro lighting.
Don't buy a camera for one gig, especially a low-dollar one.
Is there a camera rental facility in your city? This is one of those instances where it sure seems like renting is the way to go.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
[Lisa Koza] "I want and need my footage to look great for this gig because it's an important one because the middle guy will prob give me more jobs like this in the future. I guess my question is, should I A) rely on someone else to lend me his stuff. and B) can an XL1 really give me something decent in image??"
Todd is quite right that the XL1 is sufficient.
I had one for a couple of years and loved it. I always like to say that Canon has set their chip technology to mimic the warmer "Kodak film's reds and golds of autumn" look, rather than the greens and blues of Fuji look.
But that is my preference.
If you are going to be using Photoshop and After Effects, you can do a little cheating and deinterlace in AE, export as numbered sequential files from AE, open the numbered files in Photoshop and batch process the files up-rezzing them using something like onOne Software's Genuine Fractals plug-in to a larger size image that you want. (Contrary to what some may think, I have had very good results from Genuine Fractals -- I hate the plastic look of Alien Skin's Blow Up plug-in which looks like visual crap most times.)
Another trick I have done in addition to the process just outlined -- that I once used for a piece that I did which director Gene Snow of MadTV watched and swore was shot on 35mm film (it was actually some old Hi-8 camera footage that I had laying around of a subject that was very important to me) -- is to lay the same footage on top of itself in exactly the same position on the timeline and set the blend mode on the top layer to influence and modify the lower layer's image. Sometimes, the multiply mode will add some real saturation and intensity when it is set anywhere from about 15% up to around 40%, depending on the footage you are tweaking.
By deinterlacing, exporting as sequential numbered files, up-rezzing, duplicating the video layer and affecting it using blend modes, you can many times get images that are far beyond the starting point.
Would I do this on a long project? No. But if the project is a short enough project and you have some time on your hands and want to learn some tricks that you can add to your creative repertoire, you may wish to play with this idea a bit.
Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry
Hi Todd and Ron, thanks so much for your input. I believe I agree, that for this one I should just borrow the XL1.
Ron, I'll look into that process. I've done the 2 layers with the blur and the overlay or softlight, ect effects, and I think it looks awesome. I still want a new cam however, so I'm gonna hope for more gigs in the near future!
Oh, and as far as renting, I didn't really include such a fee in the budget, but what do you think it would normally cost to rent something decent? I'm an hour and half from NY and Philly, so it's not a major city.
If it's a sit down interview, I also say go with the XL1. I've used it plenty of times for broadcast TV with no complaints. I just wouldn't rely on it for anything that you need to follow focus on.
As the others said, good lighting is the key!