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Thread: New York Camcorder Deals - Help Please!

  1. #1
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    Default New York Camcorder Deals - Help Please!


    Greetings,

    Ive left a few posts on different forums recently about filming live concerts and like everything video and audio, each answer results in 20 more questions. Although I have been advised to post each question separately:

    a) I would lose track
    b) I might get answers not relevant to the subject
    c) While casual readers might be put off, serious filmmakers & media junkies should find some tasty morsels to chew on.

    Im flying to New York in two weeks time, and with the good exchange rate I can make savings but I must get the right equipment. Thanx in advance for any advice you can give. J

    Quick Overview

    I have recently started a one-man business filming gigs and other live performances. My aim is to offer a high quality, reliable service mainly to buskers and new bands who wanted promotion using live footage / documentary / video but couldnt afford it. Their only option so far had been to get a friend or fan to film the concerts.

    Thanks to You Tube my videos are getting lots of views and more importantly Im getting enquiries and bookings. There is a long-term business plan and vision but I need to make the right decisions now if initial interest is to sustain and grow. Those decisions will involve substantial cost and risk, especially because camcorder technology (like all broadcast / reception technologies) is in the middle of a revolution, changing the possibilities for the established media and increasingly every online person on the planet.

    Product Questions

    New York Stores Does anyone have any experience of B + H photos http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ and 42nd Street photo stores? http://www.42photo.com/ Are they reputable dealers and are there others stores I should investigate?

    Budget What the options are (relating to equipment below) in pounds sterling:
    1) 500 1000
    2) 1000 5000
    3) 5000 and above

    Camcorder format Mini DV, Hard Disk, Mini DVD or AVCHD cards?

    There are quality, performance and redundancy issues with the emerging formats so should I stick with Mini DV for the time being?

    Camcorder type which models have worked well specifically in indoor low-light / extreme light variation venues?

    Microphone - is there a definitive camcorder/ event mic for each of my three budgets?

    Audio Recorder - What is the best portable one to use with camcorders? Does it take a combined feed from the sound desk or is each track (vocals, guitars, drums etc) kept separate?

    Accessories What other bits of kit should I consider, e.g. XLR adaptors, lenses, wireless mics, boom poles etc?

    Manufactures dispensing with headphone jacks and mic input sockets on camcorders is everyone in agreement that this is a good thing? Its understandable for organised events with sound desks but what about when on the move? I need everything in one box, life and equipment is complicated enough.

    Thanks again


  2. #2
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    B & H is probably the best photo/video store in the world, let alone New York. Be prepared to spend a lot of money if you go there, oh and the place is massive, I love it. A word of warning though, it's shut on Saturdays, the owners being strict orthadox Jews. They are absolutely straight and completely trustworthy, I've dealt with them on numerous occasions and have found them superb (albeit a bit unfriendly at times).

    As for the assignment you've decided to set us.

    In the past you have been advised to post questions seperately but have chosen to ignore our advice.

    This isn't a free consultation service designing new businesses, it's a forum for videomakers and I (and the others) would be happy to answer each of your sixteen questions, on an individual basis, in the right forum. You write that you don't want to make the effort to keep track of which questions you've asked and don't want to risk having to read answers which aren't directly relevant to your scheme for making money.

    The point is that the answers might be relevant to others and if you can't be bothered to ask the questions individually, why should the professionals on this forum put in the effort to reply (for free) to your list of questions?.

    Since you'd be making money out of the knowledge you gained for free, you might consider paying for the advice? You're basically asking for all your research to be answered in one forum. I really wish you well in your new venture and, once you get going, you'll find loads of experience people here who will answer individual problems and questions but expecting such a huge package for free is a bit much.

    I suggest you read "Basics of the Video Production Diary" by Des Lyver, "Sound Techniques for Video & TV"by Glyn Alkin and "The Essential Television Handbook" by Jarvis, which will give you a good grounding in running your own production company.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 03-09-2008 at 03:29 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Pollard View Post

    I’m flying to New York in two weeks time, and with the good exchange rate I can make savings ....
    Even with the exchange rate being so good, don't expect not to have to pay tax on every item on your return. That'll chunk up the price.
    Apart from that point, every one of your questions has been asked (and answered) here many, many times before....
    Use the forum search function to hunt the answers out. You'll find it very productive. Time consuming, yes, but ultimately you'll almost certainly learn far more too.

  4. #4
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    I wouldnt bother with trying to save cash by biying in NY - the figures dont add up.

    EG A nice pd170....


    NY Creative vidoe uk
    pd170 $2,900 1826
    vat $3,393 2136
    imprt duty 14% $3863 2136

    In quids 1983 2136.

    So you could save 153 -hardly seems worth the hassle.

    ( spacing got scrwed in above table, but i think my gist is clear.)

  5. #5
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    To Guru and Andy Lockwood

    Apologies for apparently giving the impression that I couldn't be bothered to use the forums properly, that I expect forum members to respond to my every whim and that I regard forums as nothing more than a free lunch.

    I am new to online discussions and to running my own business - and to so many other aspects of audio and video, although music has been central thoughout my life. Also I have a deadline for making the right decisions so forgive me for trying to utilise a fantastic resource and is it my fault that the forums operate freely? I have read with great interest other people's cotributions and I truly believe that forums like these are priceless.

    Can't help but feel a bit irritated though - are you always this harsh on newbies?

    Regards

    Nigel Pollard

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Pollard View Post
    ...Can't help but feel a bit irritated though - are you always this harsh on newbies?...
    Not at all Nigel. And I really don't think we're being 'harsh'. The simple fact is that The Guru and myself to a much lesser extent earn our living from this business and whilst we are happy to give tech advice / software advice and help freely and have done so many more times than I care to remember, I think I speak for us both when I say we don't want to spoonfeed away many years of combined learning in large chunks. I for one have had to struggle to get where I am with my insignificant little business and whether it's fair or not, I cannot find it in myself to hand it all out on a plate to the whole world.

    I wish you luck in your venture (truly).

  7. #7
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    Andy

    I appreciate more than I can say replies good or bad from people like yourself who have the experience and the scars to show for it. My girlfriend tells me it serves me right for asking all those questions at once. She doesn't know I've posted them on many different forums and that keeping track of them alone as well as everything else I am trying to find out is a big task. As I hope to use forums for the foreseeable future if you have any other protocol tips I would appreciate them.

    Thanks again

    Nigel Pollard

  8. #8
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    All you need to do is put yourself in the position of the people you're asking to respond to you, that's it really. I for one nip in and out several times a day and don't mind at all questions that ask specific points. This model camera or that model, What mic for this, how can I do that.... and that's fine. But when there's a barrage of Q,Q,Q,Q,Q,Q, do I have the time to reply in detail and with accuracy? Not usually. And I suspect most other regulars are the same.

    Also, I often think the sub-text of a Q,Q,Q,Q,Q,Q post is "I can't be bothered to do some research myself, who will do it for me?"

    Mark W did some online research for you (I doubt he knew those figures of the top of his head)... but you cold have achieved the same in ten minutes of Googling. I pointed out the tax implications of buying abroad and The Guru answered your question about B&H. I would call that a pretty good result.

    Anyway, let's move on now - ask questions by all means - all the regs come here to help - but just try to keep them in the sections they belong and a bit more specific eh?

    Cheers,

    Andy.

  9. #9
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    My 2 penny worth....

    You cant learn an art quickly. You learn some stuff by asking but most needs to be learned by practice, practice, practice.

    After 5 or 6 years at this game I feel I am finally sort of competant, and I am obsessed ! I can tell you want a jump cut is but I cant tell you in a few words on a board how the cut will affect an audience in the context of a piece of work.

    Some questions are easy, usually nerdy technical questions but the art of film making is what you must really learn yourself by doing, reading, doing, getting feedback - repeat.

  10. #10
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    I've always been as equally techy as arty, so I found my natural hobby in video editing! You can learn the techy and some of the arty stuff from a manual, but the really artistic side is really down to talent and practice.

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