View Full Version : sufficient cameras for >1000


Artin
03-06-2011, 03:23 PM
EDIT: check my last post for an update :)

I've been looking into some cameras here and there but I'm totally lost on picking one to buy.. DSLRs, camcorders.. it's all Greek to me.
This will be my first real camera for filmmaking, I'd like to start with the best possible camera for my budget but I just don't know whether or not to get a camcorder or DSLR.

David.rhsc
03-06-2011, 03:38 PM
Short Films, Music Videos, etc: DSLR.

Documentary, Weddings, Events: Camcorder.

You can do anything with either one, but some things are easier with one form factor over another.

If it is your first rig, I'd say just go DSLR at this point because you'll learn the most about exposure using one of those and you'll have the versatility of taking stills to experiment with compositions and such when not shooting or whatever.

Don't drop your whole wad on the camera. You'll want a way to record decent sound - which means a mic at minimum, and with a dslr, an external recorder. Folks should be along shortly to throw all sorts of specific pieces of gear and links your way.

:D

Artin
03-06-2011, 04:12 PM
Short Films, Music Videos, etc: DSLR.

Documentary, Weddings, Events: Camcorder.

You can do anything with either one, but some things are easier with one form factor over another.

If it is your first rig, I'd say just go DSLR at this point because you'll learn the most about exposure using one of those and you'll have the versatility of taking stills to experiment with compositions and such when not shooting or whatever.

Don't drop your whole wad on the camera. You'll want a way to record decent sound - which means a mic at minimum, and with a dslr, an external recorder. Folks should be along shortly to throw all sorts of specific pieces of gear and links your way.

:D

I've been checking out the RODE Video mic or video mic pro and it looks like a pretty good mic for my needs, and it has pretty reasonable price.
I have a tripod but I'd like to buy one with a level on it, unless mine is extended all the way the shot will always end up lopsided and it annoys the crap out of me haha

Cracker Funk
03-06-2011, 04:41 PM
Short Films, Music Videos, etc: DSLR.

Documentary, Weddings, Events: Camcorder.

I concur.

David.rhsc
03-06-2011, 05:22 PM
I have a tripod but I'd like to buy one with a level on it, unless mine is extended all the way the shot will always end up lopsided and it annoys the crap out of me haha

Buy a bubble level from home depot and attach, or just set it on top of the camera. Use that as your reference.

I have a few different shapes of cheap bubble levels in my AC kit for various situations.

Artin
03-06-2011, 08:22 PM
So would the T2i be a good place to start or should I get a cheaper DLSR and spend more money on lenses?

David.rhsc
03-07-2011, 03:41 AM
So would the T2i be a good place to start or should I get a cheaper DLSR and spend more money on lenses?

I'm not aware of a body cheaper than a t2i in the 1080p world, but there could be something out there. Lenses are variable, but highly likely to be useful on future camera investments.

Search around the forums for posts on the Zoom h4n, those threads should have enough mic and recorder info with discussion on using them with dslrs. Just browse through the search results and you'll get the picture. I have some audio knowledge, but not enough to speak on it.

Minimally you'll want:

-- the camera body

-- a fluid-head tripod rated about double the total weight you're going to place on it.

-- The kit lens might not be a bad idea just for the sake of having an inexpensive zoom for taking pics and playing with frames. Lots of people have shot with it.

-- As previously mentioned, search the boards for info on external recorder and mic.

-- DIY lighting odds and ends. Another good search target. Lots of good info around here on clamp work lights, china lanterns from ikea, inexpensive stands, homemade sandbags and so on.

-- decent 50mm, 85mm, and 24mm lens, I was lighting a shoot this weekend with a t2i running Nikkon mount Zeiss lenses, they seemed fine for focus, although I didn't get to check them with a chart. There are options out there.

-- I wouldn't get bogged down in the crazy world of erector set handheld rigs and what not. Spend some time with the camera, the 'minimum' here is follow focus, matte box, and enough iris rod/bracketry to mount those.

Don't sweat what you can't afford on the first pass. Start with the top 4 items on that list if it tops your budget. Get basic lighting gear going before worrying about investing too much money in glass. Lenses are rent-able in most cases. You don't personally need a ton of lighting a grip gear - enough to do say a small location interview without renting anything and a gradually built bag of tricks with weird cookies or xmas lights or whatever. That's another rental-able when you need more than your basic kit will provide.

I concur.

Search for stuff written by this guy ^^^. He's written pretty extensively around here about the t2i. You'll also find lots of posts about a few specific things I don't like about that camera (or Canon's line in general). Feel free to ignore those; my complaints with Canon's 1080p aren't relevant to what you are looking to accomplish.

TLDR version:

For your purposes the t2i probably the best bang for your buck.

Artin
03-08-2011, 07:05 PM
For your purposes the t2i probably the best bang for your buck.
I think I'm going to go with that. Should I bother with extra lenses right now or should I just get to know the camera first?

CamVader
03-08-2011, 07:26 PM
I think I'm going to go with that. Should I bother with extra lenses right now or should I just get to know the camera first?

I would get to know the camera first outdoors and indoors.

David.rhsc
03-09-2011, 10:56 AM
I would get to know the camera first outdoors and indoors.

x2.

Artin
03-14-2011, 09:25 PM
Alright guys, I've been thinking and doing research and since this will be my first camera for filmmaking, I think I'm going to start with a $2-300 camcorder until I get some experience. I've been looking at a bunch of camcorders on B&H and I REALLY need some help with a few recommendations, I don't know what the differences or pros/cons are for all the cameras.

Also, I'm planning on buying a Rode VideoMic with a boompole and 10 foot cable, do I need to buy a separate sound recorder?

sorry for all the questions, i just really want to start right haha

superamazing
03-14-2011, 09:29 PM
You can record directly to the camcorder fine. At some point, however, it should be a goal to start using a recorder.

Artin
03-14-2011, 09:31 PM
I see. is there a difference in sound quality?

David.rhsc
03-14-2011, 10:49 PM
There's a considerable difference between the audio bits in recorders and the ones in dslr cameras. By considerable I mean the basic consensus is that in-camera audio on any dslr currently available is only useful as a scratch track for editing/sync.

There's a considerable amount of info on recorders and DSLR cams around the boards.

Artin
03-18-2011, 11:41 PM
I've been looking at the camcorders on B&H and for my price range of around $2-300, I think I might go with a Canon Vixia HF R10. What do you guys think?

eivashchenko
03-26-2011, 03:14 AM
quick side question: which would be a wiser pick for all-around use: a dslr or a camcorder like a canon hv40 w/ a dof adapter?

Cracker Funk
03-26-2011, 03:50 AM
quick side question: which would be a wiser pick for all-around use: a dslr or a camcorder like a canon hv40 w/ a dof adapter?

"all-around" can mean lots of things.

Check out my blogs for the positives/negatives of DSLR.

eivashchenko
03-26-2011, 09:49 PM
Hmm, general, for me would be pretty much getting past the barrier of entry for some commercial work. I'm pretty certain that if you try to get gigs with a flip cam, or a 200 dollar camcorder, you won't be in much luck.

So if you'd want to do, say, music videos, weddings/events, maybe, if possible, get a short into some festivals.

And I'm definitely going to read the blog tonight after work. I'd do so now, but I'm finishing up my lunch break.

wheatgrinder
03-27-2011, 01:22 AM
Id pass on camcorder and go DSLR, if you fail miserably at making films, you still have a decent still camera, and everyone can use a good stills camera.