View Full Version : Cheap 3chip, with mini35 adapter?

Blank Canvas
10-02-2005, 11:42 PM
I'd love to be able to afford a very nice setup, but the more I think it over, the more I realize I that I cant really afford something outrageously nice.

I understand the importance of quality, and film look with independent movie projects. Without that right DOF, it just doesnt look like a real movie.

So, i've been thinking...

Cheap 3chip camera, with some decent control over manual settings and a homemade, OR bougthen mini35 adapater for the film look, may be the "way to go" for me, atleast for my first real independant film.

So my question is this: What prosumer 3ccd camera, recent or not, thats on the cheaper side of things would you recomend for my project? When I say cheap, what im really saying is, "I'm 17 years old, I have a dream to film and make films, but I lack money. $5.15 an hour wasnt cutting it, so I quit my job, and im broker than ever right now untill I can get a new job :cool:"

How are the cheap Panasonics 3 chippers? I know that their lowlight isnt the greatest, and for a 3 ccd camera, it doesnt compare with bigger better models, but they're still better than a single chip wal-mart jvc or something.

What else would you recomend?

10-03-2005, 12:07 AM
What else would you recomend?

Blank Canvas
10-03-2005, 12:16 AM
Nah, i'd rather have it to own.

I get to keep it longer, i'll learn more about it, etc.

10-03-2005, 01:52 AM
Actually, renting is a fairly viable option.

You can learn all the basics on an owned inexpensive camera, and plop out a few bucks for the quality that comes with much higher-priced gear. The theory will remain the same.

You also won't be stuck with a camera that rapidly becomes obsolete.


The low-end panny 3-chippers seem to work pretty well, though several people on the board have mentioned dissatisfaction with the lack of manual control.

You certainly have an interest in 35mm adapters... I have no idea if any are made/suitable for those cameras. With your additional burden of being unemployed, you might want to look into the Marla ( website, where they have downloads available on how they made their own 35mm adapter from a few pieces of wood an an old SLR still camera.

The overall film had a bit more to it than just a jury-rigged contraption, but it's still rather impressive what they did.


Blank Canvas
10-03-2005, 07:54 AM
Well, I want to own, thats the thing.

I'd rather have something that is mine. If I buy a TRV-900 on eBay, use it, it works well for the project, etc, I can always resell it on eBay (for less, of course than what I payed for) and have some money down on a newer, better setup.

The prices of vx2000's have gone down dramatically since I remember... I wouldnt mind one of them...

10-03-2005, 10:08 AM
I'm also a proponent of owning for low-budget makes scheduling more flexible for your shoots. Especially when your cast/crew has day jobs.

Blank Canvas
10-03-2005, 08:29 PM
Well, i'd have to go very far out of my way to get a decent prosumer camera to rent.

The places here in town, that do rent out cameras, rent out low quality, pos wal-mart type cameras. I have a camera, thats not a problem. However, I refuse to do this project poorly.

I know the camera isnt going to 'make the film', but I can only do so much in post to make footage look anything worth show-worthy with my trv-318 that wont even playback footage, let alone offer me any manual control over the picture BEFORE I record.

However, im also on a tight budget/no budget. I'm 17 years old, I had a job but after working months and months at $5.15 an hour, inadequate checks that where LESS than what they should be, and two raises that NEVER showed up on my checks, I said "screw it" and quit.

Renting, I just dont want to. I went to a top notch camera store today about 80 miles away from my home in a very nice college town today on a college visit, walked in, and even they didnt have a good selection. I asked them about some place with some good prosumer cameras, and they told me the closest place would of been Indianapolis, which was another 50 or so miles away from where I was. Its just not worth the hassle and trouble of renting something.

However, renting equipment, besides the actual camera may be a little diffrent. I wouldnt mind getting a dolly or something, maybe a nice crane, but I learn and work with my hands so I wouldnt mind a DIY job.


Could someone make a camera recomendation in the $700-$1300ish range? Im looking for a used camera, actually. Considering alot of newer cameras suck (in that price range), unless you're a soccer mom who doesnt really know what to look for. I can get a good deal on something used, that still out performs the newer, smalled, and 'better' (ha) cameras for the same price.

Sorry if this was a bitter post, im full of anger right now. Not because of this thread or anything though, just because ;)

10-03-2005, 08:43 PM
used GL1 or GL2 would be nice and right around that price point. Good workhorse and good output.

DIY Crane:

And as a dolly, I'm using a heavy duty Garden cart...with air filled tires...smooth out the ride with plywood, makes for pretty stable shots (watch for weight rating and width/stability when buying).

Blank Canvas
10-03-2005, 11:55 PM
Thanks for the link, cranes can really come in handy.

If anyone is interested, I made a post with eight peices of old work i've done here:

I think its worth a look.

Samuel M. Hain
11-03-2005, 09:43 AM
Hey Blank Canvas,

We're in the same boat here. I'm a greedy sonofabitch and though I've considered renting equipment and cameras, I'm just too stuck on the notion of owning the gear. I've been looking on Ebay (alot) these days, and have seen some great deals on cameras and other accessories. I've seen XLs ans GLs and DV3000's going for less than a thousand. Just so you know.

I found a JVC GR-DV3000 there, startng bid was 1 cent. Granted, bidding on much desired items on Ebay can render you sleepless, depending on how badly you want a particular item, I'm well aware this 1 cent camera may or can skyrocket in price within a few days. But definitely worth checking out.


11-19-2005, 05:35 PM
"I'm 17 years old, I had a job but after working months and months at $5.15 an hour, inadequate checks that where LESS than what they should be, and two raises that NEVER showed up on my checks, I said "screw it" and quit.

Renting, I just dont want to."

Eating. I used to eat, but it got too expensive, 'cause I wanted to own the Hope Diamond. Why is life so hard?