Recommend camcorder for film student?

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Nildram news, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Nildram news

    Nildram news Guest


    Could anyone recommend a good buy for a camcorder for a budding film
    student - price ~£1000.. could stretch a bit if I was going to get years of
    service from it, but not much...

    I think that it should have miniDV, manual focus and zoom rings, decent >10x
    zoom, zebra striping, progressive scan/cinema mode, ideally some gamma
    setting, decent low light performance, obviously excellent picture quality,
    maybe 3CCD? (what about high def???) and generally allow the user to
    concentrate on the filming rather than working the camera... oh, and not
    weigh a ton either!

    And what would the best edit software be to go with it?

    Is there's anything waiting in the wings I should hold out for?

    I have been researching this for a while now and find the whole thing
    overwhelming! I've read reviews and specs until I could keel over... what
    can you say from experience?

    Many thanks


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    Nildram news, Mar 1, 2006
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    :::Jerry:::: Guest

    Ok, all IMO;

    You are contradicting your self, half the point is to learn to both
    operate the equipment and 'make films', but, yes something that can
    be manually controlled - focus defiantly, iris and back light
    controls etc. preferably, a manual zoom will also help in (speeding
    up) the focusing and composition of shots.

    Don't necessarily rule out a SH semi Pro unit that comes with a
    warranty if you are talking about wanting to make a professional
    career in the TV / film industry, the sooner you get into how they
    work the sooner you will feel at home and confident. I wouldn't
    bother with HD, I doubt many Colleges / Uni's will be kitted up of HD
    for a while - heck I don't even think ITV is yet! :~)
    If this is for a course at school, college or Uni' then find out what
    they are using in terms of software etc. anything that you obtain
    will need to be compatible with theirs, without knowing more about
    how the equipment will be used it's a bit difficult to make
    suggestion, also if this is a college / Uni' course find out what the
    course structure is as this could well effect what choices you make
    :::Jerry::::, Mar 1, 2006
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  3. Nildram news

    Nildram news Guest

    Thanks Jerry -

    I wasn't really contradicting myself, just not expressing myself as clearly
    as I might have - I meant that I didn't want to be struggling idiosyncratic

    And it's actually for my partner - who wants to do some film-making but
    isn't on a film making course (doing an MA in Eng Lit & Lang)... though I
    will be joining in! So there's no kit except what we get for ourselves.
    Thanks for the back-light and iris suggestions, though I didn't understand
    the ref to "SH semi Pro".

    With this revised list of features what are the choices in terms of make &


    Nildram news, Mar 2, 2006
  4. Nildram news

    :::Jerry:::: Guest

    Then you don't want the silly LCD 'menu > sub menu' controls found on
    the postage stamps that are now called camcorders!... :~)
    Sorry, short hand, Second Hand, Semi Professional, cameras such as
    the Sony PD170 or the Cannon XL range.
    If it's just personal enjoyment almost anything that you and your
    partner feels happy with, but work backwards from what you want to
    achieve, if you WANT the finished film to be in a high definition
    (HD) format it's pointless looking at non HD kit, on the other hand
    if you are happy with 'VHS' quality then you could get away with a
    Hi8 (or SVHS) analogue camcorder and a analogue <> DV converter (to
    get your shots into and out of the computer for editing). If you see
    what I mean? :~) I would suggest that you stick with DV though, good
    analogue kit can still give good results in the hands of someone who
    knows what they are doing but bad kit in bad hands will be a

    As for editing, you might like to look at the Sony Vegas+DVD software
    for editing, again, choose your software and then work backwards to
    decide on what your computer requirements will be.
    :::Jerry::::, Mar 2, 2006
  5. Nildram news

    waterspout Guest

    Make sure you get one where you can have proper manual control over: iris,
    shutter, gain and white balance. You can only make professional pictures if
    that is the case.

    Chris W
    waterspout, Mar 21, 2006
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