Video Cameras

PadawanGeek

Active Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2007
Location
Northern California
Hey guys. I was wondering what video cameras you all are using. I am currently using just a regular Sony, but I would like to get a Canon XL2. All of the features are great.
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
My friend has GL2 which he likes, and our campus library here also has GL2's and XL1's for checking out to students to do film projects (after proper training, of course, and with the 'pain of death' style contract which you must sign before checking one out. I'm planning on using a GL2 to film dance concerts this coming school year.
 

soundman1024

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2004
Location
Denver
The Canon XL1 is a great camera. The stabilizer on its stock lens is absolutely incredible. You could kick the camera and the image wouldn't budge. I haven't really used the XL1s or the XL2, but I would imagine they're great as well.

The Sony VX2100 is alright. I find the optics aren't as good as the image processing system. At the telephoto end (a mild 12x optical) the stabilizer can't keep up no matter how steady you are, and the image never quite looks in focus. I was out filming some football, holding the viewfinder against my cheek with a wide stance and my hands spread as far on the frame as I could have them and I still couldn't quite keep it smooth. It wasn't earthquaking, but it wasn't spectacular.

Those are the only professional level cameras I have experience with.
 

tomed101

Active Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2007
Location
Brisbane. Australia
My school wants a camera that works well in both very low and very high light. AT the moment, in low light the colors appear as sort of patch/blobs. We want to spend around $3000AUD so about $2200USD
 

soundman1024

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2004
Location
Denver
I would focus on getting a good low light performer, you can always get a neutral density filter to put on the front of the lens. Doing this you can effectively loose 1-4 stops of light, or more if you stack filters. Do be warned though that stacking filters can cause vignetting, or darker corners.

In my experience Canon's XL1 did a good job in low light, so I imagine the XL2 would as well. These cameras have a lens with a neutral density filter in it already. Turn it on when you're outside in the sun.
 

tomed101

Active Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2007
Location
Brisbane. Australia
I would focus on getting a good low light performer, you can always get a neutral density filter to put on the front of the lens. Doing this you can effectively loose 1-4 stops of light, or more if you stack filters. Do be warned though that stacking filters can cause vignetting, or darker corners.
In my experience Canon's XL1 did a good job in low light, so I imagine the XL2 would as well. These cameras have a lens with a neutral density filter in it already. Turn it on when you're outside in the sun.
Sounds good. I might look into it, and rent one for a while to try it out before we buy.
 

astrotechie

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2007
Location
Woburn, MA
I use a Canon GL2. Also in studio work at a local access station, I use JVC Studio Camera. The same camera I have used in robotic purposes. I love the GL2.
 

fosstech

Active Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Location
Tacoma, WA USA
Canon GL1 for me at the moment. I've been looking at the XH-A1 as an HD replacement, but I just don't have the cash right now. Hopefully the price will come down a bit soon as HD takes more of a hold on the video market.
 

kwotipka

Active Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Location
On the road
My cam of choice is the Sony HDW900. However, that is probably out of most people's budget. If the money allows, I would go with the HD format. It's here folks whether we like it or not. Also, if you get a camera with a removable lens, it opens the door to tons of other options. With the right adapter, you can use 16mm or 35mm film lenses and really get a great "film look".

The most popular student camera appears to be the Cannon line of XL cameras. Like the MAC, they have a ton of after market accessories for them.

I wouldn't give too much thought to low light qualities. These usually sacrifice image quality overall for the ability to work in lower light levels. Most of the time, your light levels will be just fine. Besides, since we do not "glow" or give off light naturally, your lighting is THE most important aspect of any good video.

kw
 

reddawnman

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
We use panasonic DVX-100s. If you have the B revision you can jam-sync the timecodes together so that multiclipping a 3 cam shoot in FCP is a breeze.

We also have an XL-2 and it works very well. One thing to think about is that most TV / event people seem to like the DVX's for their gamma curves and myriad of white balance settings that can be preset.

Most guys shooting amateur films love the Canon XL-2's because as stated before there are a bunch of aftermarket lenses, et al that allow you full iris control and the ability to rack focus for specialty sorts of shots.

I wish I had 20K to buy a RED one...