How to choose camera for live event projection

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by George, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. George

    George Guest

    Hello group
    I am a live sound company owner and i am adding video projection to my
    services
    right now I am working on the learning curve with consumer gear(hi-8
    palmcorder feeding s-vhs to my benq 6200)
    next spring I hope to offer 3 cameras, 2 fixed on remote pan/tilt/zoom
    systems and one camera floating with a operator, all fed to a video
    "mixer" that I will control along with my audio mixing consoles
    I am asking for details in what to look for and what to avoid
    my budget will be about 2-2.5K per camera, if i need to spend more I
    will reduce the cammera count
    also if this is covered in a FAQ please link me to it
    so I may learn what most of you would consider the basics
    thak you
    George Gleason
     
    George, Oct 1, 2004
    #1
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  2. George

    MSu1049321 Guest

    Any of the modern cameras will be suitable lihgt-wise... what you'll
    particularly want to spend money on is really good glass on the front of the
    cameras.
     
    MSu1049321, Oct 1, 2004
    #2
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  3. George

    b gleason Guest

    Hi Geoge - nice last name -
    I use 3 dsr370 cameras into a grass valley swithcer. Your choices are
    many but it really comes down to no-genlockable cams and genlockable
    cams. Also the ability to use CCUs is a big choice. using the CCUs
    means you can paint the cameras to perfectly match but the cameras and
    cable are more expensive. I tape about 9-12 3-4 camera shoots a year.
    Good luck
    Bruce Gleason
    thumbsupvideo.com
     
    b gleason, Oct 1, 2004
    #3
  4. Indeed. And a significant factor is how well lit the anticipated venues
    are.

    If you don't have the budget for DSR-370s (I have only one DSR-300),
    lesser industrial cameras are frequently available on eBay. How cheap
    you can go depends a lot on how well lit your subjects are. I have
    several older Sony DXC-3000 cameras, but they don't perform all
    that well without adequate lighting (frequently that means more than
    the venue "normally" runs with.)

    From bitter personal experience, don't try to make anything that resembles
    decent multi-camera productions (whether live or recorded) with cameras
    that lack genlock and CCUs. (Unless you anticipate rather low production
    values and that is appropriate for your business model?)
     
    Richard Crowley, Oct 2, 2004
    #4
  5. George

    George Guest

    so where is the lowest useable camera come in Vs pissing money away on a
    Looks like a pro camera
    in sound terms which cameras are the "soundcrafts"(good units) and
    which ones are the Mackies(look like the good units but work like 1/2
    assed amature crapola)?
     
    George, Oct 2, 2004
    #5
  6. "George" wrote ...
    Maybe not that simple. Several very highly regarded recordings
    on the r.a.p collections were later revealed to be mixed on Mackie
    equiment and using other generally pedestrian-quality equipment.
    Depends on WHAT one is producing, under what conditions, one's
    budget, and how smart one is about using equipment within its
    limits and squeezing the most out of it.

    We can only guess at some of the OP's requirements: Portable,
    reliable (short setup-time), reasonably high quality (for large-
    screen projection), consistent (for multi-camera), sensitive (???
    for avaiable light, a critical datum not stated???) etc, etc.

    If I had the 2 - 2.5K$ budget (per camera) I would look at used
    industrial cameras rather than new pro-sumer. But then I can
    likely fix most anything wrong with them myself, so that likely
    biases my preference.
     
    Richard Crowley, Oct 2, 2004
    #6
  7. George

    George Guest

    this is the stuff I am too new to know(I am the OP) do I get old three
    tube? Panasonic/JVC or do I look at Ikigamis and Sonys how old is too
    old
    how important will interchagable lens be
    what used cameras are of good reputation and what ones are shunned
    what features are "must have" and what features are gimmicks
    what about repairability and factory support if I buy a camera that
    needs a power supply, cable,tripod mount or other accesorie?
    What things (like a bad power supply ) ncould add hundreds if not
    thousands to the cost of a "good deal"
    ie. a video projector with a blown lamp can easily be 500$ extra to get
    up and running
    Thanks
    George
     
    George, Oct 2, 2004
    #7
  8. No, definately not tube in my opinion. Too old, too fiddly,
    not sensitive enough, and not enough useful life left in them,
    at least for your intended application.
    I have a long-term preference for Sony, both audio and
    video. My first recording rig (in high school) was a Sony
    TC-250 and three ECM-22 mics. And my Sony C-37A
    large-capsule tube mics are working museum pieces.

    Today, all my regular cameras are Sony DXC-3000 and even
    my smaller, "everyday" video switcher is a Sony SEG-2000.

    Sony makes reasonbly good stuff, there is a good supply
    stream on eBay and from other used (off-rental, etc.) sources.
    And because of the regular supply, the prices are not inflated
    beyond their real worth. Some people like Panny and JVC
    and they are probably OK if you can qualify which models
    are good and determine what a good price is (harder than
    with Sony IMHO). Ikegami seems like the high-priced
    spread and you need a good reason to spend that kind of
    money. I wouldn't think you would get as much bang for
    your buck in your intended application with Ikegami.
    Tube-era is definitely too old IMHO. The Sony M series is
    too old IMHO. Even my DXC-3000 era cameras are getting
    long in the tooth, but still quite workable with adequate
    lighting, and rugged enough for use by amateur camera operators.
    Maybe not as importantant for "interchangability", but an
    indication of a certain "class" of camera. OTOH, you may
    need at least one camera with a good long (18x or more)
    zoom for live use. Or maybe even with a 2x tele-extender
    if you have enough light.
    I have only my narrow, personal view, perhaps some others
    here can share their criteria.
    IMHO, gen-lock, metal cases (vs. plastic), interchangable lenses,
    multi-pin (for big camera cable and CCUs), conventional range
    of connecors, mounting hardware, etc (for viewfinders, pan/tilt
    heads, operator headsets, etc.)
    That is getting to be a harder question. I buy the service manuals
    (another reason I like Sony) and do my own work. But people
    who are dependent on factory support are stuck with dwindling
    number of repair places and higher rates, regardless of vendor.
    Another reason to get "industrial" cameras with industry-standards
    for power supplies (virtually all of them run on nominal 12VDC).
    And another reason I like industrial Sony because accessories are
    relatively easy to find, both new and used.
    I run most of my cameras on <$100 bench power supplies made for
    testing auto components (13.6v). But I have broken down and bought
    a couple of real Sony power supplies (on eBay) because of the
    automatic voltage compensation for long camera cables.
    Rather scandalous IMHO. But you can always take along a spare,
    crummy consumer camera (for locked-down use, etc.) in case one
    of your "prime" cameras fails. A TBC (or more correctly, a frame-
    synchronizer) is also on my list of indispensible equipment for both
    video productions and live image-mag applications.
     
    Richard Crowley, Oct 2, 2004
    #8
  9. George

    George Guest

    video productions and live image-mag applications.
    thank you
    this kind of understanding and experiance is exactly what I was looking
    for
    Thanks
    George
     
    George, Oct 2, 2004
    #9
  10. George

    Steve Guidry Guest

    Richard,

    I couldn't agree more. Using DV cams in an ISO setup - - specifically the
    lack of "central-point camera level control" is a heavy burden to place on
    your post guy. And it's a hurdle that sometimes can not be overcome.

    My staff editor is "fixing in post" a production that was donated to a local
    civic organization. It was done with 3 pro-sumer DV cameras. The camera
    operation was OK, but the levels were all over the place. Blown-out whites,
    black levels that skip around with the individual camera's interpretation of
    what gain level it should apply to the particular shot, etc.

    As an "old-school truck guy", I say that it's sad to say, but these kinds
    of productions are getting all too common these days. Mostly it's because
    of the cost. Even if the donator had charged his full rate, it would have
    been $2000 or so less than my small truck would have been.

    But he's paying the piper now in higher post production fees. And his end
    product will never be as good as it could have been. There's only so much
    you can do with filters and processing. If the detail is not there, it's
    just not there.

    More later . . .

    Steve
     
    Steve Guidry, Oct 4, 2004
    #10
  11. George

    George Guest

    [/QUOTE]
    Two Newbie type questions , and if they are in a FAQ please post a link
    but how do I know if the cameras and mixer"genlock" ?
    I have a vauge Idea that this is some sort of shared sync but I would
    appreciate more detail on this.
    also what is a CCU, what does it do, and how can I be sure i am getting
    it?
    oh and BTW there would be no "post" this is a live projection not a
    recorded project(at least at this time)
    George
     
    George, Oct 4, 2004
    #11
  12. George

    Steve Guidry Guest

    Two Newbie type questions , and if they are in a FAQ please post a link
    OK, this is why I wanted you to email me and let's talk. It's a long
    answer, and we probably won't get it solved here in the NG.

    here's the reader's Digest version . . .

    Genlock, mutual sync - - or whatever you want to call it - - is necessary to
    make switching seamless between two sources. Some switchers sort of get
    around this by having frame syncronizers in front of each buss, but that
    really is a poor substitute, and makes for problems of its own. To start
    with, you have to have a camera that is capable of accepting external sync.
    There will be a BNC connector on the side labeles genlock or ext. sync. Run
    a cable from the Black Burst output on your switcher or sync generator to
    the genlock input of your camera. Next you'll hgave to adjust your
    horizonbtal timing and subcarrier with the menus or pots on the camera.
    This will make the seamless switching possible.

    If the camera has no such input, you can't run it this way. Most DV
    pro-sumer cameras don't have this capability.
    CCU is short for a camera control unit. It allows you to adjust the timing
    signals I mentioned above, as well as manually control iris, master black,
    and the camera's color parameters.
    Live production is the kind that most benefits from a real setup like the
    one in a production truck or well-equipped flypack.

    Steve
     
    Steve Guidry, Oct 4, 2004
    #12
  13. George

    George Guest

    OK, this is why I wanted you to email me and let's talk. It's a long
    answer, and we probably won't get it solved here in the NG.

    here's the reader's Digest version . . .

    Genlock, mutual sync - - or whatever you want to call it - - is necessary to
    make switching seamless between two sources. Some switchers sort of get
    around this by having frame syncronizers in front of each buss, but that
    really is a poor substitute, and makes for problems of its own. To start
    with, you have to have a camera that is capable of accepting external sync.
    There will be a BNC connector on the side labeles genlock or ext. sync. Run
    a cable from the Black Burst output on your switcher or sync generator to
    the genlock input of your camera. Next you'll hgave to adjust your
    horizonbtal timing and subcarrier with the menus or pots on the camera.
    This will make the seamless switching possible.

    If the camera has no such input, you can't run it this way. Most DV
    pro-sumer cameras don't have this capability.
    CCU is short for a camera control unit. It allows you to adjust the timing
    signals I mentioned above, as well as manually control iris, master black,
    and the camera's color parameters.
    Live production is the kind that most benefits from a real setup like the
    one in a production truck or well-equipped flypack.

    Steve
    [/QUOTE]

    thank you
    with this information I think I can begin learning
    Sorry I did not see he email request, my newsreader cancels all posts
    read or unread at closing unless I mark them for later reading
    George
     
    George, Oct 4, 2004
    #13
  14. George

    MoleWhacker Guest

    Howdy, George:
    I read the other replies ( good stuff!) and thought I'd add my thoughts. A
    wee bit'o'background...I've switched multicam from studio and truck since
    the beginning of Industrial level equipment. Many moons....

    I can presently field Prosumer 4-6 cam shoots live for 1/10th the cost of
    the Industrial level gear of olden days...
    I use a Newtek VT3 with the big Break Out Box: this allows me to synchronize
    all of the cameras, and provide scopes ( waveform and vectorscope are
    critical to setting up a multicam show: or, if not critical, damned
    handy...). Each input of the B.O.B. can have a Processing Amp: a virtual
    Camera Control Unit, that allows you to match exactly the signals from the
    cameras. So all of the necessary pieces and processes are in two boxes (
    computer and B.O.B. ). This reduces cost, complexity, and set-up time.

    We use ( approximately ) matching cams ( Sony VX-2000, VX-1000, GL2 ) and
    they can all be matched well. A full manual set-up of the cameras, and
    mutual and simultanious white balancing with the only white lights gets you
    close. The trick is using the scopes to compare and tweak the cameras. They
    can be matched perfectly.

    All that said....the only reason I would want to get my hands on some used
    big iron would be because of the porportional servo zoom lens,
    which would be wider and longer that the prosumer grade cameras.
    The ability to draw focus, have an incredibly slow zoom with gentle
    acceleration /deceleration in and out of the zooms is the stuff that music
    video ( or recitals, or stage plays, or bands, or evrything but a boardromm
    shot, or a deposition ) are made of.....

    A modern prosumer rig is far easier and less-costly than piecing together
    used broadcast/industrial level gear, but the quality of the zooms blows the
    illusion of big time tv.

    Ted

    Oh.... and great fluidhead tripods, and GREAT operators make it happen.
     
    MoleWhacker, Oct 4, 2004
    #14
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