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Thread: basic equipment advice

  1. #1

    Default basic equipment advice

    I'm studying sociology and was thinking of doing a short documentary as part of my graduate work at university. I'm looking for advice for basic/good equipment regarding camera, lighting and sound. I have some experience with cameras (so I'm looking for a decent 3ccd camera). I think an HD camera would kill my CPU, so I was thinking about a lower end prosumer camera. So, can anyone give advice for which equipement would be goood? Stay basic please. Camera, lighting kit, sound kit! I understand the miscallaneous gear part of the equation. Don't have a budget in mind - want to see what I'm up against first. Project will be mainly indoor interviews with stills thrown in during post.

    This is my first post.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Truth is, you can do 'talking heads' stuff with just about any old borrowed DV camcorder on a tripod, daylight from a window and a white reflector - if you already have experience with cameras you could do it. If you want more sophisticated kit then hire/borrow it from the Media Dept. at Uni.
    If you're determined to spend money then for around 1200 (with care) you could get a Sony HDR-HC7 palmcorder which does 1080i HDV (and DV if you're PC can't cope). This has all the manual overrides you need for the job - its just a bit fiddly to set up, being so tiny - but the quaility is stunning (or theres the Canon HV20 - same but without the LANC socket for zoom/focus control). Add any old fluid-head tripod, a mike and stand (Rode NT3 or NTG2 rifle), an XLR to mini-jack adaptor from Maplins, headphones and maybe a Pag Light (C6 ?) and you're in business.
    Beyond that, you could look at the more expensive Sony Z1/FX1 or V1/FX7 or assorted HDV Canons & JVC camcorders that are easier to control manually, if you know how, but honestly, is anybody going to notice the marginal increase in quality on the presentation ?
    And what about edit and effects software - do you want to tart-up the talking heads with some exciting graphics ?

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