Question by sartredevours: is the sony handycam dcr-dvd301 a good videocamera for filmmaking?
if not what’s the best minidv to go with (if price isn’t as important)
Answer by Hazydave
Well, having made a few films (nothing major, my most successful sold around 4,000 copies), I would advice against a DVD camcorder. That’s largely just due to the storage… you get about 20 minutes per CD at full quality. Sure, that’s twice what you get on professional 35mm reels, but you also don’t have the crew to help out. And for live events, forget it.
“Best” is such a matter of opinion, it’s hard to say for sure… my best may not be yours. Both of my camcorders are good for certain kinds of filmmaking, or perhaps videomaking… I have a Sony HVR-A1 and a Canon HV10. Neither is ideal for making film transfers… if you want to eventually print to 35mm film for projection in a theatre (entering competitions, etc) you really want a camcorder that does 24fps. And these days, I’d demand HDV, though there have been plenty of theatrical releases shot on DV.
Now, as for price… it really is always important, that’s only a matter of degree. For the $ 1,000 price range, I would seriously consider the Canon HV20. At $ 3,000, I might consider the Panasonic AG-DVX100B if I was sure HD wasn’t important. If I could spend $ 4000, maybe the Sony HVR-V1. At $ 5000, almost certainly the Panasonic HVX-200. If I had $ 8000 to spend, maybe the Canon XL-H1… I’d have to think hard about the value of interchangeable lenses, versus the Panny’s P2 memory recording option (records at Varicam variable speeds on memory cards, as well as DV/HDV tape).
There are some other cool cameras around, shooting in HD on hard drive or flash memory, and yeah, I’d like one.. but probably as a secondary camera. The thing about DV/HDV.. you can get 63/83 minutes on $ 5-$ 8 tapes… so it’s easy to have a box of tapes with you at all times. HDDs and flash memory, not always. I bought the Canon for a 12-day backpacking trip I wanted to shoot… I brought eight 83 minute tapes with me (used up the better part of six).
If price is REALLY not important (that rich uncle offered to buy you anything)… . I guess I’d get the Red One, with a full wheelbarrow of accessories. But that’s going to be so much work to use, and I’d need a computer upgrade too, but that’s one used for serious TV and film, no doubts. And I’d add in a few of the others, and at least one flash-based model, like the Panasonic AG-HSC1, for the whole “no moving parts” thing.. once you CAN do multiple camera shoots, you’ll want to.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!