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FilmMakerr
07-18-2005, 07:48 PM
Hi, Im an aspiring filmmaker. I wanna start somewhere, I've been browsing around on ebay and have found MiniDV cameras under $900 which is my budget. If you had to choose from all the MiniDv's (no handycams) for an novice, which one would you choose? I appreciate the respond, Thank you.

Shaw
07-18-2005, 08:47 PM
You wont get anything but a handycam for under $900

Scottdvx100
07-18-2005, 09:01 PM
Not sure how your labeling handycams. You want to get a camera that is MiniDV based so you can edit it. If possible get ne that you can set manual focus and exposure on. Mid-levle Sony's can. ideally 3 chip color cam but probably not for that type of money.

The main point is to get a camera and start creating short films so you gain experience with filmmaking and story telling. Fro mthere yo uget get a better camera and be ready to use it.

FilmMakerr
07-18-2005, 09:38 PM
Thanks for respoding. Actually, I have seen Minidvs (no handycams) on ebay for less then a grand. Which is why I asked what kind I should buy. I'm picky with cameras, I dont wanna get a camera that I cant use, I wanna be able to record, edit, etc. I'll take anything thats good and is willing to give me the usage that I need.

Pais
07-19-2005, 10:22 PM
With all MiniDV cameras (even the $300 ones), you'll be able to use the exact same workflow -- shoot, acquire via FireWire, edit, then (optionally) record back to tape, encode a DVD, or publish it on the web. The only difference is the control over the quality of the image that's recorded onto the DV tape.

Obviously, get the best stuff that you can afford, but it might be worth considering diverting some of your budget to things like a decent tripod, lights, and maybe even building your own dolly. These things can be used with whatever camera you own in the future, and while you're getting started, the camera itself is really immaterial.

Time and time again, folks point out that when it really comes down to it, the difference isn't 24p/60i, HD/SD, DV/film ... just pay attention to the craft itself and have fun. (Easier said than done, of course.) :)

Madmanden
07-20-2005, 12:50 AM
What about the Panasonic 3ccd's? Say, GS250 or GS400, or whatever they're called... should be possible to find new for around $1000. Less used of course. :)

Baluardo
07-20-2005, 02:28 AM
Yes, to learn you dont have to get expensive gear in order to learn the basic shoot-acquire-edit-dvd output process. and to learn how to write, plan, and shoot a film. get your experience with cheaper stuff (which still deliver very good quality, i have to tell you). The main difference with cheap and expensive cameras is with low light. plan more outdoor shots. and audio.
you can still clean up and mimic film look in post.

If you wanna start making films, my advice is to get a cam+tripod+ext microphone. and possibly a wideangle attachment (there are very cheap ones starting from 25$ on bhphotovideo), since low end lenses always suck in wideness (?) and virtually prevent you from shooting indoor.

CAMERA
You can go cheap. dont target a 3ccd one (too pricey and it's just a commercial thing sometimes), just some points:
- CCD as big (in inch) as possible
- dont look at the photo capabilities. you probably dont need it.
- you dont want it too small (less stable)
- you want manual or assisted control on exposure (be able to change aperture)
- you want manual focus function
- dont get excited at the big zoom capabilities. 10/15x is more than you will need (unless you're making a film on how to peep into other people's houses)
- Dv-in feature is useful if you plan to put your edited masters back onto dv tape.
- some control over audio. you want a mic input. and you want a headphone output to monitor what you're getting. recording volume, recording levels display, possibility to switch on/off auto levels are nice features but i dont think any lower end cam has it. if you find one, these are *very* important features.
- my preferred brands for the video quality (even for low end cams), in order: Sony, Panasonic, and then the others.

TRIPOD
get a cheap *video* tripod. try it and see which has the smoother head. dont waste money for it. it will be crap anyway under 250$

MICROPHONE
some external unbalanced mics are great: i personally used the azden sgm-x (shotgun) and loved it. you find it on bhphotovideo for about 130$. the only thing i dont like is the mount. you can self build a sort of anti shock mount with foam rubber and duct tape. use any stick as a boom stick. and lots of duct tape.

I personally used a small panasonic ds-28 for a while and got some decent filming with it.
Andrea

John C Lyons
07-20-2005, 07:10 AM
I would go with one of the 3CCD Panny's myself

FilmMakerr
07-20-2005, 11:11 AM
First things first, Thank you all for responding, I truly appreciate it. What I want to aim for, is a camera where I can record a decent set of quality, then put it on my computer and add things, such as music, credits, effects, ETC. I do know that some minidv's carry this internal card that allows you to plug it right to the computer and withdrawl whatever is in there to an program. I have also found 3CCD cameras, (the little ones that look like EVERY other "handycam" cameras) I know you said the bigger the better, but I've never seen a big CCD camera unless its one of those Xl2's/DVx/Gl1/Gl2 you get the point.

Pais
07-20-2005, 03:51 PM
You need to do a little more research -- virtually any MiniDV camera will give you the ability to digitally capture video over FireWire. Not "some" of them, but all of 'em. Aside from the few cameras mentioned that don't support timecode, virtually all of them from $300 to $3,000+ work exactly the same in this regard. That's a good thing! :)

Seriously, I wouldn't worry about the camera itself too much. The lighting, sound, editing and overall production are much more important to the quality of your finished product than the camera itself.

esmat
07-20-2005, 07:17 PM
this looks like a good one if you up your budget a bit (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7531973104&category=20330&rd=1)
since your budget is 900 dollers i would suggest looking for a used trv900 somwere they are 3ccd and work very well. i also suggest don't getting a 950 because i belive the have smaller chips an the tuoch screen sucks

FilmMakerr
07-20-2005, 08:48 PM
Thanks for the response again. Let me clarify what I'm looking for, I'm looking for a good camera I can actually shoot on that has GREAT picture. I dont want something top of the line, just something short of a grand where I can shoot, put it on my PC, edit, add music, add credits, and then sit back and watch a piece of art that Ive made. I've takin all of your suggestions, and looking into it, thank you all again.

FilmMakerr
07-20-2005, 08:55 PM
Here are some I found on ebay. Take a look

(1) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7531820185&category=20333&rd=1

(2) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7532209658&category=20332&rd=1

(3) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7531296755&category=20332&rd=1

(4) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7532695739&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

(5) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7532614244&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

:shocked:

esmat
07-21-2005, 07:55 AM
i dpn't think that the vx2000 you found will end at 900 dollers, but if it does thats the one to go with

FilmMakerr
07-21-2005, 12:21 PM
i dpn't think that the vx2000 you found will end at 900 dollers, but if it does thats the one to go with


Most likely will. All the items arent included, no remote, no charger, no batter, no manual, I just put it up here so you guys can take a look at these cameras. :)

JefferyTahl
07-25-2005, 09:00 PM
I agree! Buy a hand held camera and practice the trade. What I would add is this.... buy into a brand that offers a pro camera in Mini-Dv also. Later on down the road, you can use the handy cam for the fire wire tasks. Thus, the same methods of tape rocording and playback( wet, dry ect.) are the same.
Jeffery Tahl

FilmMakerr
07-26-2005, 12:53 PM
I am now saving up for an DVX.

Once again Id like to thank you all for your responds, you've truly helped. Thank you

Ruff_Futtidge
08-01-2005, 02:43 PM
Baluardo has got it right in my opinion. If you're gonna be any good as a film maker, you'll be able to make good watchable stuff with almost any camera. - Sure, after having watched the trailer to your first low budget movie, I'll be able to say "Nah ! - the colours looked a bit bright, and the darker areas had a lot of noise, and the audio was a bit thin at the high end with that cheapo mic you've got . . . . " - notice none of that refers to you framing the shots or getting over the story to the audience ? -
An expensive camera won't make you a better film maker , it will just make the technical quality of what ever you shoot slightly better. The story you tell is more important than the camera you tell it with. Good Luck with whatever you decide to get ! - Please post us something to watch !!
ps. an external mic socket and headphones to check wot you are actually recording, are v. important. I rate my old Digital8 Sony TRV828 as a winner. The Digital8 system is much underated i.m.h.o. - Ruff.

FilmMakerr
08-01-2005, 04:49 PM
Baluardo has got it right in my opinion. If you're gonna be any good as a film maker, you'll be able to make good watchable stuff with almost any camera. - Sure, after having watched the trailer to your first low budget movie, I'll be able to say "Nah ! - the colours looked a bit bright, and the darker areas had a lot of noise, and the audio was a bit thin at the high end with that cheapo mic you've got . . . . " - notice none of that refers to you framing the shots or getting over the story to the audience ? -
An expensive camera won't make you a better film maker , it will just make the technical quality of what ever you shoot slightly better. The story you tell is more important than the camera you tell it with. Good Luck with whatever you decide to get ! - Please post us something to watch !!
ps. an external mic socket and headphones to check wot you are actually recording, are v. important. I rate my old Digital8 Sony TRV828 as a winner. The Digital8 system is much underated i.m.h.o. - Ruff.


Thank you for the post. I sure will, thank you again for the great advice.

Gills
08-06-2005, 09:10 PM
The first camera I ever filmed on (well, besides simple assorted Hi-8 stuff) was a JVC GRD30. It's a pretty good little camera for the money, if you can find one around. Eventually though, you're gonna HAVE to get a DVX. ^__^