07-06-2004, 10:56 PM
I am a newbie to filmmaking and I've been catching up on the various dv camera's being used for low budget/indie films. Is there much of a difference between the Canon XL-1S, Sony DSR series and Panasonic dvx100a? Which one would be the better choice quality wise?
07-06-2004, 11:04 PM
It depends a lot on personal preference. I don't know a lot about Panasonic, but Canon is famous for making still cameras. As a result, their cameras have great lenses, which improves picture quality and, often, a Canon will have a 12x or 14x optical zoom where an equivilent Pan or Sony will only have a 10x optical.
Sony, on the other hand, manufacures electronics. They're cameras are a bit more rugged, they don't have that "plastic" feel that the Canons and Pans do. This is why a lot of rental places and film schools use the PD150s, VX2000s, and TRV900/950s over the Canon or Panasonic. They're more durable (I think their cases are titanium or some alloy thereof), and their knobs are less likely to break off in your hands.
I've handled both the Sony PD150 and the TRV900, and they're both quite easy to use, the PD150 a bit more so because its a little higher-end than the TRV. I haven't used the Canon or Pan at all, so I can't comment on that. Though, in my search for a camcorder thus far, I've found the Sony hand down is easier to oprate than the Panasonic or Canon - but I haven't tested very many.
The best thing to do imo is to check the internet. Just type in the camera you're looking at and you should get a good deal of reviews, and comparisons with other cameras.
07-07-2004, 12:31 AM
And also, they now make the mini35 lens adapter for both of those cameras (used to be just the Sony).
07-07-2004, 08:38 AM
The picture from Canon XL series cameras tends to be a little soft & very red. Sony generally gives a nice sharp picture with excellent skin tones. Panasonics are also sharper than the Cannons, & give better skin tones.
How much were you thinking of spending?
07-07-2004, 10:28 AM
Nice to see someone else who sees the Canon shoots too red!
I've done several side by side comparisons with my JVC (GY-DV500) and it's quite noticeable.
I'm not a fan of their video cameras at all - but they sure are popular. For a company that makes great lenses, the lenses on the XL and GL series are pretty bad. You can change them out for better ones - so THAT'S a good thing.
I'm bias towards the JVC's because I've been shooting with their pro camera for several years. Though I don't know a thing about their consumer cameras.
JVCs are nice cameras :)
I personally prefer Panasonics. I believe every panasonic camera comes with a leica lense - a well known maker of superb lenses. The amount of optical zoom isn't really that important IMO - especially if you are doing movies. Most of the time you will be physically moving the camera rather than zooming (as it gives a distant feel when you zoom in). I have never needed anything more than 10x.
07-08-2004, 08:02 AM
I've cut a lot of footage from the DV-500. It's a great camera- good low light performace, beautiful skin tones. And the larger size & weight discourage the 'jerky-cam' style of shooting that I hate so much...
07-08-2004, 08:03 AM
I've been looking to spend about $3600 on a camera. I have really been sifting through the looks of previous films that I've seen that have used these three particular cameras that I'd mentioned. I've been trying to track down more indie films that have used these specific cameras for their production so I could see the different types of looks that other direcors and cinematographers have come up with. I've seen the Canon in action but I've realized that because of the inconsistencies with the red playback that there will be more back end cost on post-p. When choosing a camera is it better to pay more up front for the top of the line (within your budget, of course) or do you really try to save it for post production costs?
07-08-2004, 08:15 PM
When choosing a camera is it better to pay more up front for the top of the line (within your budget, of course) or do you really try to save it for post production costs?
Garbage in, garbage out. Your final product can never be better than what you put into it.
07-09-2004, 09:50 AM
For $3600 the Panasonic DVX100A is the best bet. I'm a film DP who shoots some video and the DVX is the first camera I thought was worth own that was under $5,000. It's ability to customize its' settings is what attracted me.
Remember to save back from money for a good tripod and case.