Well... I bought a camera.

… Which is not surprising. I have a bunch of cameras. Lots of 35mm still cameras, and a collection of 16mm motion picture cameras. Plus a Handicam that belonged to my mom, and a few super-8s. But this one is different.

It’s a JVC GY DV500U miniDV camera. Broadcast quality. (On July 2nd, we used one to ‘go live’ on FOX.) Brand new, from a seller on eBay. Got an excellent deal on it, too. I paid for Next Day Air, so I should have it tomorrow.

It’s overkill for wedding videos, but it’s a good selling point. Brides and grooms go to other ‘studios’ in town. The studio may be a small storefront, or it may be in someone’s living room. The cameras most people use are Sony or Canon ‘prosumer’ models. Then they come to Shutterdog Media. There’s a nice leather sofa and a matching loveseat. Behind the seats, there is the jib. Yep, we often use a jib. Atop the jib is a DV500U with a Chrosziel matte box. Very impressive. After meeting with videographers whose equipment looks as if it could be picked up at Best Buy, the potential clients are blown away. ‘It looks so professional!’ Well, yes. It is.

We always use two of these cameras. At a wedding on Saturday the wedding coordinator said she’s used to a single videographer showing up with a small hand-held camera. We didn’t use the jib this time due to space limitations, but we did have these large-body cameras on a pair of very nice tripods, plus a wireless Sennheiser mic.

But there are other uses for the cameras. We do commercial videos as well. They capture great images, and with post-processing they can look as if we shot on film. Yeah, they’re overkill for weddings; but for other productions they’re just right. Jerry wants to shoot a feature, which he and Paul are writing. We can definitely pull it off with these rigs.

We still have to write down how we will integrate our gear into the business. Jerry has a bunch of gear, and I have a bunch of gear. The new camera is ‘mine’, but it will also be a corporate asset (when we incorporate). If, gods forbid, the partnership doesn’t work out, then we’ll have to decide on how the gear is divided. One partner may opt to buy the other out, or we may take out what we came with. Not that we’re thinking that there may come a parting of the ways; we just need to be clear from the start how everything is going to work, just in case.

So now we have three boradcast-quality cameras. (Or we will, when mine arrives.) If we’re going to keep the Bellingham studio open, we’ll have to get another camera; but it doesn’t need to be one of these. For weddings (which is what the Bellingham studio will do), a prosumer one is fine. We’ll bring up the big cameras when and if we get commercial gigs up here. Otherwise, we can use them in L.A. While we’re here, we can also do some three-camera weddings. Nobody else does that here.

I’m just a little nervous about the auction. The Buy-It-Now price was about $1,000 less than what it would cost from a camera shop. Also, it comes with a four-bank charger and two batteries (probably around $900) and a grip-mounted focus control. It seems too good to be true; but I contacted the seller, and he contacted me, through eBay, unlike a couple of scamsters I mentioned in the past whose e-mail was in the body of the ad and did not match the person’s contact address. And the DV500U is an older model that is being superceded by newer gear. Maybe the seller is just clearing inventory. I’ll feel much better tomorrow when the camera comes!

So when’s the porn…errr… independant productions studio opening it’s doors?


And to think not two years ago, you were cobbling up dollies from old skateboards.

Is there still a place in your life for film, or have you gone entirely over to video? And digital video, at that!

Quicksilver: Not planning on any of that. Not artistic enough. Still, if someone were to call for a personal video… :wink:

Gotpasswords: Actually, the skateboard dolly turned out very professional-looking. We’re thinking of getting some Matthews track for it. We’re going to make my 16mm equipment available for rental, which should be good in L.A. Four of them have crystal motors, though only the Éclair is quiet enough for sound filming. My short will be filmed on 16mm.

The DV500 is a great camera, we’ve gotten some beautiful shots with it. Do you know what lens you got? I think the standard package came packaged with a fairly high quality Fuji lense. Unfortunaetly it has a pretty narrow angle, so it can cause problems on indoor location shooting, where you can’t back up enough for the shot you need. It’s perfect for real stage sets though. But you might want to save the rest of your pennies for a good wider angle lens.

Ever try the $14 DIY Steadicam-like mount?

It has the standard Fujinon. And you’re right; it’s not wide enough. We have a wide-angle adapter on one of tha cameras that gives us a nice bend.

No, but Jerry once built a very servicable quasi-Steadicam clone. It worked; but for all of the effort that went into it, it makes more sense to buy one of the Brasilian (?) clones. (I don’t remember the company name.)

For the curious

I’d say you’re probably safe. With all the 24/30p cameras coming out there are deals on the 60i stuff.

Got the tracking number. It wil be here tomorrow. :slight_smile:

Sweet! The camera just arrived! It looks really good. (Well, it should; it’s brand-new.) Now I need to put it all together. And I’ll need to get an XLR cord so I can use the charger for AC power if I need to.

:slight_smile: :cool:

Is the camera DV or HDV?

:: a little envious, even though I know now that I don’t want to go into video editing on a full time basis ::

So… need any DVDs authored? :smiley:

Cool, Johnny!!!
Check the power cord though, usually they are 4 pin and not XLR.
Happy for ya man!

It’s a miniDV, not hi-def. I want to get more into editing! I now have a complete studio. I have my G4 PowerBook with Final Cut Pro, a 200-gig external drive, camera support, lots of lights… plus the 16mm equipment. Of course, it will go into the business; but if we ever dissolve our partnership, then I’ll have my share of the equipment. We (it still feels funny saying that) shoot and edit video, and create DVD masters. The clients have the masters duplicated using their own customary shop.