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Here's your chance to reach a broad public interested in documentaries. Get the (D-)Word out!

Please include a LOCATION. Spam will be deleted.

As this is a PUBLIC forum, it is also a good idea to write email addresses longhand (person[AT]d-word[dot]com)

Laura Moire Paglin
Pro

Robert – thanks for responding. I'm going to post my question and response to yours in the editing section.

Fredric Lean
Pro

Hello,
what would be the best options in terms of camera to shoot a shoestring budget documentary which requires a lot of outdoor shootings following a subject discreetly in different local public places and some indoors for interviews- (pretty much guerilla/ news style)?

here are the options:
-Panasonic DVX 100b
-Panasonic AG-HVX200(P2 cards + camera =outside our budget range-unless somone knows a great place to buy it cheap)
- Sony HDR-FX1 (someone told me good but not so great)
-Sony HVR-A1U
-Sony HVR-Z1U

now i have been told, since the film style will be pretty much hidden camera style (almost) , to use may be a high end HD consumer camera so i can hide it even in pocket.
does anyone know anything about the quality of these cameras below:
-Panasonic HDC-HS9 (HD & 24p)
Canon HV20 HDV (HD & 24p)
Panasonic AG-HSC1
Sony HDR-CX7

any suggestions or help?

thank you

Christopher Wong
Pro

it's nice that IDFA wants to do this, but c'mon, that's friggin expensive. first and second time directors who are currently in the midst of producing their films do NOT have the money to jaunt off to amsterdam for a bit of mentorship. to go from the u.s., you'd have to spend about $2500-$3000 for tuition, airfare, and accomodations. no IDFA Summer School for me.

Matt Dubuque
Pro

Fredric-

This might well be a question for the mentoring section.

That said, the Canon HV20 is probably the best disposable high definition camcorder you can buy. Because of its plastic parts, it is unlikely to last you much more than one film. But for what it is, a disposable HD camcorder, it can't be beat. It has a very nice lens and superior image stabilization. Ranked as product of the year (2007) by Videomaker magazine.

Matt Dubuque
Pro

I must add that one nearly fatal flaw in the Canon HV 20 is the sound. In my book, any camcorder that uses mini-jacks for its mike inputs is completely unacceptable for almost all serious work by any documentary professional.

You can, however, bring the sound quality of the HV20 up to a level that will be acceptable to the vast majority of viewers by using good mikes connected to an XLR adapter (such as a Beachtek). That XLR adapter then plugs directly into the HV 20.

Nigel Walker
Fan

Matt, I was interested to know how you went about getting permission to film in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Joe Moulins
Pro

An XLR adapter will do nothing to improve sound quality for an HV20, or any camcorder. The adapter plugs into the mini-jack, so you're still dealing with that bottleneck. Plus, you're adding another noisy connection to the path between mic and tape, and the pots in the adapter itself which will get dirty and add their own noise. In fact, even when they're not dirty they're pretty noisy.

There are some decent mics available (Rode, Sennheiser,?) with 1/8 inch plugs. I'd go with one of those, or record audio to a separate recorder altogether.

Matt Dubuque
Pro

Thanks for the clear thinking Joe!

Nigel, one of the qualifications for being a Member here is that I need to be of demonstrable use and benefit to the professional documentary community. As things appear to stand now, I need to wait until completion of one of my films before I am granted membership. Unfortunately for me, that will be next year.

I do not object to that requirement. I am willing to play by the rules; that's fine. I am not complaining about the rules and I am not attempting to change them.

If you can assist me in becoming a member sooner, then I am willing to share what I know about this with you and others immediately upon receipt of Group Membership. I am aware this decision is not up to you.

As a member, you have much more power in this group than I do. You have access to all sorts of discussions that I am not privy to, that I would benefit enormously from.

Until that fine day when I become a member, I have to zealously guard certain crown jewels which I do possess. Otherwise I would be at a complete and absolute disadvantage to every member here.

Nothing personal at all. It's just part of paying my dues.

Very best wishes to you.

mdubuque@yahoo.com

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