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Forums Event Videographers Camera Recommendations?

  • Camera Recommendations?

  • Justin Hawley

    January 21, 2008 at 8:57 pm


    I am looking at expanding my business and need some help. I currently do a lot of live, 3-camera events as well as tv commercials. I would LOVE to find a HD camera that shoots in 4:2:2 or greater to solid state (so I can green-screen with it better) and also does well in low-light conditions. I currently use Sony DCR-VX2100 cameras. Also, the cheaper, the better!! I’ve thought about a Panasonic P2 camera, but I’m not sure if they capture at 4:2:2?? Any thoughts????

    Thank you!!!


  • Boyd McCollum

    January 21, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    The Panasonic HVX-200 captures in 4:2:2 and I think they are currently offering a deal to get one 16GB P2 card free with your purchase.

    Before you purchase, do some research on the tapeless workflow. You’ll probably need to have at least two P2 cards during production, not to mention additional hard drives to capture your footage to and back up drives for all that footage as. Also, DVCProHD requires ~4 times the storage space as DV/DVCpro, so you’ll need to account for that.

    The other thing you should look into is long term archiving of the footage you capture. While hard drives are cheap, they are not a very robust media for storage. Even a year or two of just sitting can cause them not to work. I’d consider a more IT solution, such as LTO3 tape drives for archiving and even as a back up for the footage you are currently working on.

    You should be able to find some very useful information on the Cow on the P2 workflow. And while the camera is well priced, you could double the cost easily with the initial investment in the workflow.

  • Justin Hawley

    January 21, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Very good thoughts. I would need to count on being able to capture at least 2 hours worth of footage per camera. As you mentioned, from what I read you can only get 20 minutes of HDDvdPro per 8GB card. Although, from what I read you can hotswap cards without stopping recording. Is that correct? If so, is there a cheap, large external drive solution that you could dump to at a show from a P2 card?

    Thanks for all your help.

  • Boyd McCollum

    January 21, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    I believe the P2 cards are hot swappable. But then you have the issue of downloading them which you can’t do directly to a hard drive, you’d need to use a laptop computer (or a desktop, depending on your set up).

    There are Firestore drives that you can mount directly on the camera and record to. I believe they run 100G. That should give you the 2 hours you need, and probably more cost effective then buying enough cards for each camera.

    If you are capturing during a show, you should have a dedicated person doing that, and come up with a way to ensure that cards are being captured and you don’t accidentally overwrite footage that hasn’t been captured. You should also have that person backup all the footage at the same time (writing to 2 or more hard drives).

    As for standalone drives they are getting rather inexpensive. You could look at Newegg or someplace like that (I don’t work for them) and you should be able to pick up some drives fairly inexpensively. I’ve been seeing 1.5 to 2 TB drives in the $500-600 range. Everyone has there own preferences for drives manufacturers and YMMV.

    “Go slow to go fast”

  • john markert

    January 27, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    The best bang for your buck right now is the Canon A1, but it’s not 4:2:2 and it’s just okay in low light.

    Sony will be coming out with new event cams in Feb. but expect to pay at least $5500. for 4:2:0 HDV.

    The camera you want hasn’t been invented yet. Maybe at NAB?

    You might want to look into the Canon HV30 for cheap thrills.

  • Jamie Kehoe

    February 1, 2008 at 3:04 am

    I would recommend the Sony XD Cam EX. It has a great lens, 1/2″ chips and everything is solid state recording, with a lot more time that can be recorded to card than a Panasonic. They use the SxS cards. I think Sony has a far better product than the Panasonic at the moment, only thing is you don’t have tape backup to shoot to.

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