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  #1  
Old 07-22-2009, 10:46 PM
rabrown rabrown is offline
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Default HD Video

Currently shooting hd with my 5d mkII, but if I continue with my current plan I know I'll probably need a dedicated video camera.

Anyone have suggestions as to cameras? Red's Scarlet looks awesome, but don't know how much $ that will be. Some are saying a rig that is totally ready would be 15k more than I can imagine I can justify.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2009, 01:09 PM
plunkettphoto plunkettphoto is offline
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My personal choice is the Canon XH-A1. About $2,600 - $2,700 (I think) and a truly impressive camera. Can make both HD video, SD Video and record still shots to a separate SD card.

bill
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2009, 10:17 PM
rabrown rabrown is offline
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Do you have any concerns about HDV format limiting where you can sell, or show your work?

I imagine the end result most of the time will be on the web, but I want to leave options open.
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  #4  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:46 AM
rmklass rmklass is offline
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Default Video Camera

I would also recommend the Canon XHA1 - I bought one about 6 months ago for just under $3000 - you might be able to find one used for the 2,800 - 2,500 , though I wouldn't count on it, as they seemed to be pretty popular items on ebay.

The quality is excellent, and it is small enough to go with me on long hikes or even backpacks. I bought it, as the cameras that take HD video are fairly limited when it comes to audio recording, and I'm currently working on a feature length documentary - so audio is just as important as video. Also, the SLRs that shoot video aren't very useable in terms of pan and tilt.

I know the camera might cost $3000, but when you're budgeting for it, you'll need quite a bit more - as there are some other things I would recommend. If you buy a video camera, you'll need a good pan / Tilt head - fluid ones can cost well into the thousands, but bogen makes some acceptable options for a couple hundred. Also, you'll want to get a good shotgun microphone - this is useful for people, background sounds, or wildlife to name a few - they typically run 200 - $300 for a decent model - of course you could always spend more.

If you're planning to record people, then that's another story - you'll also need a lavalier microphone - probably 200 - $300 or so. You'll also want to pick up continuous lights if you don't have - especially if you'll be recording indoors. Tungsten lights are the most cost-effective, and can be purchased on ebay for a couple hundred dollars each. HMIs are nice, but are very pricey - well out of my range in the thousands - used. You also want some good light stands / C-stands to hold the lights, diffusers, reflectors and such.

As you can see, there's a more expense than meets the eye here. The Canon also offers a Direct-To-Edit DTE solution for the camera - this is basically a Hard Drive that you plug into the camera - it can record to this instead of to a tape - these can be handy and cost effective, though storing your video files on your hard drives will take up a lot of space - about 200 MBs / minute in RAW - close to 1 GB per minute transcoded into ProRess 422 (apple's newest editing codec).

All to say, video is a lot of fun, but don't expect the only cost involved here to be the camera - the batteries are several hundred dollars for the Canon, and I would at least get 1 backup of the larger capacity battery.

Happy shooting.
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  #5  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:54 PM
rabrown rabrown is offline
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Looks like I should keep camera cost down, so I can afford all of the other needs.

The current docu-short I'm working on with my 5d II needs one more very critical sequence. Not sure when that event will take place though. Not guaranteeing I'll wrap it up though as some other things might happen that would be great to include.
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  #6  
Old 08-11-2009, 12:01 PM
bmcampbell bmcampbell is offline
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Default HD Video

It seems like many of us will have to learn more about HD Video as time goes on, especially to survive in the current economic climate.. Knowing that this is coming, the next Summit will have at least one Breakout on Digital Video.. So look at the Breakouts when the schedule is announced.. We will be trying to have more on video over the next several years at the Summit as we all make concessions to the type of content our veiwers (and buyers) want.
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  #7  
Old 08-14-2009, 08:40 PM
rabrown rabrown is offline
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Interesting that video gets talked about in that manner, because honestly at first I didn't want to do it, but was hearing that it is becoming increasingly necessary. Then I saw Laforet's Reverie, got a 5d II, and started playing with HD video; it's a blast. Now I just wish I could get deeper into it, but with the cost, my cash flow doesn't allow for rapid involvement.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2009, 07:40 AM
rmklass rmklass is offline
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Default HD video

For me, I've been waiting to get into video, and finally had the right excuse - a project that will really be ideal for the video format. I ended up buying my video camera just a couple months before Nikon came out with a still camera that does video - though I don't think that their or Canon's option would have worked for me.

I think that as we move along, not only video, but other areas of multimedia will be important for photographers to have at least a basic understanding of. Photos simply aren't worth enough any more - we have to find ways to increase the value of them by incorporating them into the final product and selling that - albeit a video, a website, or a book. Video is just one of the tools out there to allow us to use our most important asset - out artistic vision - and come out with a different product for a different market.

Ray
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2009, 04:26 PM
amjpix amjpix is offline
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Default Video battery choices

Am looking at 7.4 li-ion batteries for Canon XH-A1 and see that prices vary according to a number that ranges from 7200 to 6600 to 5200 and 4400. what do those numbers indicate and is it worth paying over twice as much for a 7200 battery versus a 6600 battery?

Thanks - this is not for my use, but for the videographer who is coming with me on my No Water No Life expedition to photo the Mara River in Kenya and Tanzania. I've raised funds to cover her expenses as well as mine - but have no extra funds, so need to be really careful about spending $$ for equipment.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2009, 03:25 PM
rmklass rmklass is offline
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Default Batteries

Hi Allison,

Congrats on raising funds for your latest trip - I know it's no easy task in this economy. As for the mystery number on the batteries, it indicates the capacity of the battery.

Here's how it works, your device, the camera needs a certain amount of battery power to operate - that's the volts, the 7.4 I believe you said. The second number, the capacity of the battery indicates the total capacity, basically how long the battery will last as it is giving juice to the camera. The bigger the number, the longer the time. I will warn you that these batteries are not like digital still camera batteries - a battery + 1 backup won't cut it. I figure that my camera uses a whole 7200 battery for each hour of film, so if you'll be traveling to a remote are, you are going to want a lot of batteries. They also don't charge as fast as digital still batteries because of their increased capacity. I would say that yes, the 7200 is worth the extra price - I believe there in the $140 range at B&H. The only downside to the larger batteries is weight, the 7200 weighs a couple pounds I believe - but lasts almost twice as long as the smaller capacity.

One more thing I should mention, the FAA changed their rules about Li-ion batteries, and now have very strict limits on the number, and capacity of batteries both in carry on and checked luggage, so if you're flying, you might just check to make sure you'll meet their standards.

Best of luck, I think it's a great project you're working on.
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2009, 09:58 PM
crbattreall crbattreall is offline
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Default HD Video

I finished my first documentary this year and made plenty of mistakes. There are so many elements to video and cinematography that aren't being address by photographers.

Most professional cinematographers don't own their own cameras, because they are too expensive (but that is changing) and because no one wants the same format, maybe Geo wants 1080P with a Panasonic while PPS wants 720P with a Sony and BBC want 4K RAW only. The chances of you having the camera that they want to use is almost zero.

Of course if you are doing your own projects and plan to do all your own editing, audio and final output, then it doesn't really matter what camera you use.

HD stock agencies don't want anything a DSLR outputs, because the bit-rate is too low, the bare minimum is 35mps.

The safest all-around camera that won't completely break you is the Sony EX1-EX3. You can get an adapter that allows you to use your Canon or Nikon glass. They are the only cameras under 8,000 that are approved for broadcast by the BBC and Discovery.

Personally, without true variable frame rates, I find the DSLR video cameras pretty useless for nature photography.

Carl
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2009, 12:43 PM
amjpix amjpix is offline
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Default thanks and 1 more ?

Hi Ray-

Thanks for the info which I've sent on to the videographer for the trip. What kind of video camera do you use? Same as her Canon XH A-1?? Does yours use up batteries at the same rate as hers?

Will fill you in on this No Water No Life expedition in Reno!!

Alison

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmklass View Post
Hi Allison,

Congrats on raising funds for your latest trip - I know it's no easy task in this economy. As for the mystery number on the batteries, it indicates the capacity of the battery.

Here's how it works, your device, the camera needs a certain amount of battery power to operate - that's the volts, the 7.4 I believe you said. The second number, the capacity of the battery indicates the total capacity, basically how long the battery will last as it is giving juice to the camera. The bigger the number, the longer the time. I will warn you that these batteries are not like digital still camera batteries - a battery + 1 backup won't cut it. I figure that my camera uses a whole 7200 battery for each hour of film, so if you'll be traveling to a remote are, you are going to want a lot of batteries. They also don't charge as fast as digital still batteries because of their increased capacity. I would say that yes, the 7200 is worth the extra price - I believe there in the $140 range at B&H. The only downside to the larger batteries is weight, the 7200 weighs a couple pounds I believe - but lasts almost twice as long as the smaller capacity.

One more thing I should mention, the FAA changed their rules about Li-ion batteries, and now have very strict limits on the number, and capacity of batteries both in carry on and checked luggage, so if you're flying, you might just check to make sure you'll meet their standards.

Best of luck, I think it's a great project you're working on.
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:06 PM
rmklass rmklass is offline
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Default Video Cam

Hi Allison,

Yes, I am using a Canon XHA1 - I use it tethered to a computer for my interview pieces, and so I can use power from a 110 volt outlet, and then I use it with the miniDV tapes for when I'm shooting wildlife or in remote areas. The battery consumption thus far is my only issue with the camera, the footage looks great, and the lens has done a great job.

As Carl mentioned, the Sony EX1 or EX3 are both great cameras. They record in a less compressed XDcam format, and have larger sensors 1/2" instead of 1/3 inch. Unfortunately at $7000 or more, they just weren't in my price range. Until I find some sponsors for my project, I'm funding all of this out-of-pocket, and I think the Canon fills that niche well. It takes great footage if you are careful to control the exposure and make the most out of it. From what I've heard and read, BBC, PBS, Discover, Discovery HD, and GEO all accept the HDV format - though some have restrictions. To give you an example, the XHA1 uses the same sensor that the Canon XLH1 uses, though the XLH1 has interchangable lenses which the XHA1 doesn't - Art is using the XLH1 for his PBS series "Travels to the Edge" - so I know PBS is willing to publish footage from the camera, as well as it is done well.

Ray
Raymond Klass Photography
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  #14  
Old 11-13-2009, 09:29 PM
rabrown rabrown is offline
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Default NanoFlash

Anyone have any experience with the NanoFlash? Looks like one of those and an EX1/EX3 and you can record files roughly equivalent to the $40000 cameras.
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  #15  
Old 11-13-2009, 09:53 PM
rabrown rabrown is offline
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Default Depth of Field Adaptors

Another question.

I saw mention of depth of field adaptors on here, how practical are they for wildlife filming? They look a bit difficult to deal with ergonomically.
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  #16  
Old 11-14-2009, 08:38 AM
rmklass rmklass is offline
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Default HD Video

The NanoFlash adapter will allow you to record in 4-2-2 with either the Sony Ex1 or Ex3 through the SDI port. This is a pretty big step up, and almost a lateral move in price, considering how much Sony asks for the SxS media that only records in 4-2-0.

Traditionally in a studio setting this type of recording would have been done directly to a computer, but if you're looking to do wildlife, the NanoFlash might be a good option. Sony's SxS system has one advantage in that the cards are much lighter weight that the NanoFlash and corresponding battery will be. I know they show it as camera mountable, and I'm sure it is, but thinking to how much weight my small receiver for wireless lavallier mics is, and it all adds up when you're shooting hand-held. If you're on a tripod, no problem.

As for the Lotus Adaptor, I've heard good things about them, but can't comment myself as I've not used one and don't know how they would be on a wildlife shoot.

I hope this helps a bit. I know initially the difference between 4-2-2 and 4-2-0 might sound like a lot, but there are many production companies that seamlessly mix the footage on the same project. If your scene is well lit, both really produce a pretty good video. It's analagous to shooting JPEG instead of RAW. JPEG is almost the same quality if you're image is properly exposed and spot on during the recording - the difference is the leeway to make changes should something need tweaking, that's where 4-2-2 has the advantage.

Ray

Raymond Klass Nature Photography and Newsletter
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2009, 11:51 AM
crbattreall crbattreall is offline
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Default Adaptors and nano

The main benefit of the Nano flash is that it increases the bit rate, which is a main player in video quality. DSLRs don't have a high enough bit rate, one of the reason's why they aren't up to the task. The EX1-3 barely makes the bit rate grade at 35mbs, the minimum for broadcast usually. I agree that the Nano Flash is really for features and controlled documentaries.

I have used both the Letus and RedRock adaptors. They are massive and make filming a cumbersome task, not usable for wildlife and most nature work. They are popular because of the lack of depth of field, honestly, if I had to choose, I would pick a DSLR with video over a Depth of Field adaptor. Though if we had a big budget, we would rent a Red One.

Carl
www.photographalaska.com
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  #18  
Old 11-23-2009, 03:14 PM
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kaclark kaclark is offline
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Thanks for a great discussion. I bought a video camera in June and am having a blast but it is a challenge to take on a new format. What fun!

Kathy
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  #19  
Old 02-08-2010, 04:36 PM
cmhimages cmhimages is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaclark View Post
Thanks for a great discussion. I bought a video camera in June and am having a blast but it is a challenge to take on a new format. What fun!

Kathy
What camera did you get? Do you like it? I'm "sorta" in the market. So many things to consider. Yes, taking on a new format and learning a new type of photography is challenging for sure. Money aside ... which can be $$$$ ... often it is the TONS of time involved to learn new software, etc. that holds me back.
Cindy
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