View Full Version : HVX outfit from the ground up
07-23-2007, 07:02 PM
I'm a cucumber on here and I have a major set of acquisitions to make in anticipation of doing a doc. I've decided on the HVX200, but it's the peripherals that I need advice about.
I need sticks, a fluid head, 7-8 inch onboard monitor and hood (my eyes aren't so good), extra battery(s), and a CHEAP stabilizer or rig for handheld shooting. I'm also wondering if I should forget the P2 cards and record straight to hard drive.
I see posts by people complaining about the 16 gig cards failing, and in HD the P2 cards record about a minute per gig so I'm leery of scoring 2 8 gig cards that'll give me 16 minutes of storage because it won't be nearly enough to record a decent interview and I don't want to be dumping footage every 8 minutes.
And what about a remote lense controller? I'd love to have a good zoom/focus control, but should I wait until I start shooting features to bother with it?
I have access to lighting kits and editing suites, so those aren't necessary at this point, it's the peripherals that look expensive. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.:Drogar-Happy(DBG):
07-23-2007, 07:38 PM
Sounds like your prepared to drop some cash. If your going to be doing a lot of work in the future I would consider buying a Satchler head and tripod - mine has given me a decade of service without fail.
I just bought two 16gig cards and haven't seen failure yet. From what I understand the P2 cards are stable - a Firestore unit could get dicey if your doing handheld or moving around a lot with the camera. Two 16 gig cards at 720pn offers a lot more recording time than a gig a minute. At 720pn I believe you can expect about 80 minutes of record time.
As for the monitor, I would go Panasonic. They have two units that fit the bill, its just a matter of cash to get a quality device that will help you work and sell your shots to clients.
Hope this helps.
I'm a cucumber on here.:Drogar-Happy(DBG):
oh my, this is the one place where you definitely don't want to be a cucumber........:D
07-23-2007, 07:57 PM
CHEAP stabilizer or rig for handheld shooting.Something like the DVRig or Multirig will work well for shoulder-supported shooting. A handheld stabilizer is very tough with the HVX because of the weight -- you are not going to want to do that for more than a couple of minutes.
I'm also wondering if I should forget the P2 cards and record straight to hard drive. The camera cannot record directly to a hard drive, you have to use something like the FS-100 or record using a computer and apppriate software (either dedicated to the task or through the NLE).
I see posts by people complaining about the 16 gig cards failing[...]Like where? I recall seeing one report, the rest of the posts are related to people not updating the camera firmware or the P2 drivers for their computers.
And what about a remote lense controller? I'd love to have a good zoom/focus control, but should I wait until I start shooting features to bother with it?The Foxi gets very high marks for excellent focus control, I personally use a Varizoom focus/iris/zoom controller.
07-24-2007, 07:19 AM
I have a major set of acquisitions to make in anticipation of doing a doc.
If you are just doing a single project you could find someone in your area with all of this equipment and talent to use it properly. There are tonnes of people on this board who are contract solutions for what you want to do, and they may have even more to bring to the project than what you are asking about.
As an example: if you are in the Carolinas I'd recommend Howard Adkins / Hi-Defining Moments (www.hidefiningmoments.com (http://www.hidefiningmoments.com/)). I've worked with him in the past and he is very knowledgible and a pleasure to work with. He has 2 HVX200s, 2 firestores, mics, a 12 foot Kessler crane, a PVC dolly, a platform dolly, a studio, and more. He (and many others on this forum) is a complete solution for what you are trying to do.
Even if this is the first of many projects for you it may serve you well to see the various elements in action before you start buying.
You could find someone like Howard in your area by posting your project in the Jobs forum.
head and legs - depends on what your plans are. are you more into light and fast or solid and ready for anything?
i do a lot with jibs, so i strongly suggest the bogen 510, 516, 519, 526 - all more or less new versions of the same thing. for legs id go either the 3193 or 528 legs. any of these setups are rated for like +50lbs, and dont even flinch
handheld stabilizer. ive had good results with the steadicam merlin. it just barely gets in under the max weight capacity and it takes a little time to get properly set up (but dont they all?!) and a good deal of time to learn to use properly - AND physically condition yourself. but once youve got it down, its pretty handy
there has been a ton of debate here about HD monitors and your choices are mostly the ikan, marshall, totevision, and panasonic. their prices range from $800 to about 3 grand - search the forum, they have ALL been evaluated in crazy detail!
i personally use the ikan.
as far as the hood goes i say get some black coroplast, gaffer tape and velcro and make your own to suit your needs - it'll run about $20 in material+time
zoom/focus controller. i use the bebob stuff and LOVE it - zoe and foxifocus. i tried the varizoom stuff, but i personally didnt like their feel - but thats purely a matter of taste as they are fine products... now if youre talking about a mechanical "follow focus" thats a whole other ball game and a lot more variables come in to play. again, search the forum, there have been a ton of chats about those.
as far as storage goes. i shoot all the time with 2, 8 gig cards and sometimes a firestore. and have had not a single issue (yet)
another thing to consider is a rods/grip setup. im about to drop the hammer on a big zacuto setup. pretty pricey stuff, but there is NOTHING that even comes close to their quality and adaptability. they are also running some really good summer deals for the next couple of days (as much as 25% off!)
also, a 35mm adapter can be a super handy accessory. ive been playing with a brevis for a few weeks now (the only one that doesnt REQUIRE rods) and its added a whole new dimension (no pun intended) to my work.
one more thing and ill shut up. there is a guy selling this home made shoulder mount on ebay. its called the cb-105 (search ebay for "steadicam" and it will come up). its basically a bent piece of metal with counter weight and foam padding. for $65+9 for the extra weight (which you WILL need for the hvx), its probably the most useful accessory for under $100 you will ever find. if balanced right it will just sit on your shoulder without much if any manual balancing effort. bolt some handles to that and you'd be fine more most any situation!
ok, i'll shut up now
07-24-2007, 06:41 PM
Thanks for the response, it really helps a lot. I appreciate the feedback on strategy, hiring folks on contract, and the recommendations on affordable peripherals. Can't buy me love, nor straight dope like that!