I was just wondering:
If I want to record home movies that looked like, lets just say I was watching LoTR on DVD, could it be done with high end consumer cameras less than $8000? Or is it a camera/lighting technique? I see some deleted scenes/ incomplete scene footage that looks really bad. Is it some type of filter or software effect?
I was just wondering, don't bother asking: "You want to spend $8000 to record home movies!?!?"
Just to add what type of cameras/film do big blockbuster films use?
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Movies are still mostly done with 35MM movie film. Even with that, they shoot ten times more film than they ever use. They also have 20 or more people on the set, each one doing something important to see that every second of film is the best it can be. Some of the outakes you see are from digital video cameras that are used for preview for the director. The real question is can you do as good as a professional film crew? Well, with a good digital video camera you can come close. Some of the higher end 'amateur' cameras in the $3000US range do a remarkable job. But you need very good lighting, smooth camera operation and a lot of practice. This is along with excellent editing, correction and post processing. Check your local college for film making courses if you really want to learn more. If you live in a large city, and you have lots of money, you can rent a Panavision camera that the film makers use. Check the net for movie equipment rentals.
We've used Sony DSR-500s to good use, but they're not quite in the $8000 range. With the big anamorphic CCDs they allow for you to crop the image if needed and not really lose much quality (similar to a pan-and-scan method). The wierd thing about 35mm is that you still have to capture it over to digital to master it anyway which is another very expensive toy. Granted that source into DV AVI makes for some very nice footage to work with. The thing is if you're a good cinematographer you'll be able to make do with a prosumer digital camcorder and make it look wonderful. Someone like Asakazu Nakai or Gunnar Fischer could probably take my little TRV25 camcorder and shoot beautiful footage that doesn't need to be cropped or adjusted. My rule has always been that to shoot great film it's 80% skill and 20% equipment.
....on a second thought I'd have to say there are some technical limitations that cannot be overcome with the talent/skill only.
Everyone knows that and no reson to waste time to dispute it.
Let me rephrase the question or add to it: What is to be expected from a 690k miniDV under brodcast conditions (televised) vs 1Meg and higher (1.5Meg) single chipper. Pro, semi-pro grade, as we know it, has better coverage but the info on the most confusing subject like: what output in terms of quality can be achived from miniDV "consumer grade" 500-1400 bucks range is scarce. Which cams deliver and which do not? It's not exactly as simple as watching the picture on a TV screen.
I doubt that many will opt for 3 to 8k cam to use it once or twice. But there is huge number of miniDV cam owners that would like to know more about this.
I think most of the quality of the MiniDV consumer camcorders is in the optics. As long as you're going with a brand that has good glass you should see pretty good picture quality. Low-light filming would be another factor to consider. I've only got experience with my Sony and I get really good footage from it in most lighting conditions.