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    Are Shoulder-mount ENG cameras losing out to HPX250 sized cameras?
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    I have noticed that the larger shoulder-mount cameras don't seem to be the norm like they once were. I realize that technology has rendered vast improvements with respect to the smaller chip cameras, and that studio and theatrical applications will probably still command the larger cameras, but overall the trend appears to be to downsize.

    I was recently hired to help out shooting a reality series, assisting a pretty high-profile production company out of Hollywood. I was really surprised when I showed up, they are all shooting the mid-sized Sony (don't remember which model), but pretty much the Sony version of the HPX250. I had my 500, and my 250, and the 500 never made it out of the case.

    Comments?
    Last edited by Brad Neal; 05-09-2012 at 08:30 AM.


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    Senior Member GaryNattrass's Avatar
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    IN the UK the reality shows and docos use these cameras more and the operators tend to be graduates or even runners, the canon XF305 is the favorite here as it is BBC approved and I suppose you can have two or three of them buzzing around the so called z-list celebs that seem to be the new talent here.

    Sad to say we now have shows that are USA friendly in format so they can be sold to discovery etc but I suppose they have to fill the airwaves with something but it does become boring as every Gordon Ramsey kitchen nightmares etc is the same format for every show with just a different restaurant or subject featured.

    It's cheap and it shows on screen but hey its what the viewing public and accountants want!

    Personally I still use ENG cameras as I find them easier to hold steady for long periods of time but do use the 250 as a B camera.
    Last edited by GaryNattrass; 05-18-2012 at 03:22 AM.
    Over 15 minutes in broadcast film and tv production: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1044352
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    Senior Member videoatlanta's Avatar
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    Yes I do think the small to mid size cams are becoming more popular, more in use for pro jobs. It's the quality and price. Both have gotten better in the smaller form factor. I've owned several of both and I like both for different reasons.
    Chris Tompkins


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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryNattrass View Post
    Personally I still use ENG cameras as I find them easier to hold steady for long periods of time but do use the 250 as a B camera.
    I'm pretty new to the reality thing, and this is my first experience with a major production of that sort. But speaking of holding the camera steady, the cameras were all hand-held, even for the interviews, and they never stopped moving. Swaying back and forth through all of the interviews. I know today's audience (youth!) like things to keep moving, but I got dizzy watching these to guys sway back and forth all day long shooting these interviews. But when I saw the final edit, the cuts were so fast paced, you really didn't notice the movement.

    A brave new world out there. I guess I'm getting old...


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    Senior Member KINOKS's Avatar
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    All reality shows in my country are still done on ENG. Maybe some low profile/student/low budget things are done with smaller cams but these are not things meant for broadcast.

    I can't imagine doing an interview hand held with one of this small cameras for more than 1 minute. Anything more than that is going to get wobbly and shaky
    Sanjin Švajger


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    As almost all mainstream large scale tv production(in essence reality) in Norway still are disc Xdcam 422hd and archive for the majority are xdcam as well. Shows shooting on smaller cameras still go back to xd discs so it`s not that much cheaper to go with say Ex1 and employ extra assistants to archive it.

    What I`m most worried about is if networks stop caring for quality and settle for good enough in the majority of productions, then a lot of us will be out of work in the future....regardless of 1/3", Alexa or 2/3". And there would be nothing new and exciting on tv.

    Still this puzzles me, a 1/3" camera, large sensor or dslr demands way more from the operator than proper ENG 2/3" do. 1/3" offer limited dynamic range and are a pain in the A** to hold still 10 hours for a full working day, large sensor cameras demand way more experience working with different lenses and pulling proper focus, add dslr and horrible codec in and it`s even more important to do it right. I've done to much online and grading on 1/3" stuff being blown out or shows with dslr where i would guess 20% of the footage came in out of focus....


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    Senior Member Kolor-Pikker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KINOKS View Post
    All reality shows in my country are still done on ENG. Maybe some low profile/student/low budget things are done with smaller cams but these are not things meant for broadcast.

    I can't imagine doing an interview hand held with one of this small cameras for more than 1 minute. Anything more than that is going to get wobbly and shaky
    You might want to look into those Easyrig stabilizers that you wear like a backpack. It has a cable on a rod going over your head that holds the weight of the camera and you just stabilize it by holding it with your hands; all weight is transferred to your hips. They have models for small, ENG and even big film cameras.



    Turtle X

    Edit: Also consider the fact that it costs 1/3rd the price of a steadicam with the same load capacity and has a smaller footprint.
    Last edited by Kolor-Pikker; 05-22-2012 at 07:16 AM.


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    #8
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    I now own both the 500 and the 250. Over the last 4 weeks I have done a mix of news stories using both of them. I shoot mostly at night and that is were the 250 and similar cameras fall down. The 250 stands up ok in a wide shot but the loss in light during a zoom starts very early in the zoom and is quite dramatic. In reality TV and Docos this is not that important, but I can't see news rooms moving to them full time for awhile. (except for VJs)
    The good thing I found with the 250 is you can by things like steadicams and jib arms a lot cheaper. Getting a lot more bang for your buck.


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    #9
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    I still like shoulder mount better. But in my price range of camera (HPX250 or less) there just isn't much of anything to choose from. In the majority of situations I'd rather shoot with a shoulder mount. I cannot afford 2/3 CCD cameras so I'm stuck using 1/3 CMOS and CCD.


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    Senior Member Kolor-Pikker's Avatar
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    The good thing I found with the 250 is you can by things like steadicams and jib arms a lot cheaper. Getting a lot more bang for your buck.
    You should look into Libec, they make fairly good (but also inexpensive) tripods, as well as jibs, dollies and so on. Their JB-30 and new Jib-50 are only 2k for the arm or 3~4k for the whole kit, but they're tough enough to lift up a full-size cam:



    Already saving up for mine! ... What they don't say in the video is that the track has extension kits including curved sections, so it can be as long as you want.

    I still like shoulder mount better. But in my price range of camera (HPX250 or less) there just isn't much of anything to choose from. In the majority of situations I'd rather shoot with a shoulder mount. I cannot afford 2/3 CCD cameras so I'm stuck using 1/3 CMOS and CCD
    Yep, 2/3" CCD at it's cheapest would set you back about 30k, 18k for 2/3" CMOS. It's a Grand Canyon of a price valley to the closest 1/3" options, of which the HPX370 is the priciest at 9k, 7k if you get in on a discount.


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