by miss karen
Question by I HAZ A TASER!!! PEW PEW PEW: What type of camera should a beginner filmmaker use?
Should a beginner filmmaker use a Film camera (super 8 or 16mm), Videotape, or digital?
Answer by Little Dog
It depends how serious you are… film can get expensive – between the film, processing, possibly digitizing for editing… adding audio (use a field recorder from Zoom, M-Audio, Edirol, Fostex, among others) and synching – but it is the closest to how many big screen films continue to be done today (but with cameras from PanaVision, Arri, VariCam, CineAlta, among others)…
Step 1: Set a budget.
“Video tape”? No too much analog tape around. If you are referring to miniDV, DVCPRO, SD/HD/XDCAM tape formats, all are as digital as hard disc drive (HDD) or flash memory – much lesss compress than HDD or flash, and continue to be professional’s choice for a wide range of uses… and is the recommended path to start with. The “DV” in miniDV = Digital Video”. Just because it is tape does not mean it is not digital.
If you are referring to consumer grade HDD or flash memory (or DVD) based camcorders – that would not be the recommended path. Too much compresion on the video stream results in discarded video information and results in reduced video quality.
Since miniDV tape is common, cheap and currently captures the least compressed video formats (DV/HDV) when compared to its HDD and flash memory siblings), I would suggest this would be the appropriate path. As your sophistcation grows, you could move to an external hard drive (like those from Focus Enhancements – in the FireStore series) or investigate camcordrs that use flash memory like the Panasonic AG-HVX200 or Sony HVR-Z7… (all of which continue to record to DV/HDV formats).
But… when you boil it down, it is all about content – and if the content is REALLY compelling, then what equipment was used or how that content was captured can be irrelevant.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!