Q. What digital camera would you use [for a short]?
Depends on your budget of course. If you want a professional look, there are plenty of excellent "prosumer" (professional/consumer) digital video (DV) cameras. Google "prosumer digicam".
The step up from there, I believe, is HDV (high definition video), and the step up from there is HD (high definition television). High Definition Video is the top quality video for a regular TV (NTSC standard in North America, 525 lines of definition); HDTV is another standard entirely (1080 lines of resolution, requires an HD television to play). You don't need HD unless you're planning to screen your short on a big screen at festivals. We'll shoot HD if we have the budget for it, otherwise HDV. It's the difference between $750 a day to rent and $750 a week, I believe. You can buy a prosumer DV camera for a couple thousand bucks, I think.
But let me open this question up to the readership. What cameras have you used, and what were your experiences with them?
DVX100 for DV (24fps)
HVX200 for HDV (24fps)
I used to use the filmmaker's friend, the DVX100a. It worked quite well ... to the extent that I was capable of using it (I was my own DP).
I've heard good things about most of the prosumer HD/HDV cameras, including the HVX200. But I must correct the above information from Scott. The HVX200 is not an HDV camera. It is an HD camera of a prosumer quality—the only camera of its type.
DVX100 for my last short film and my DOP made it look like Super 16mm. My previous short was shot in Super 16mm and the costs were four times as much.
I've directed things using the JVCHDU100 and it's a great camera. It's light weight enough for a DP to successfully manuever and the quality is great.
Although the Panasonic DVX100 is a nice camera that looks great, it's not HD.
Keep in mind, the difference in cameras is not about the quality of the picture. The difference in cameras is all about how it interfaces with the extras. The quality of the picture is all about the filters.
I shot mine with two Panasonic DVX100, but a friend of mine used the Canon XL2 with very nice results.
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