View Full Version : Wannabe needs a camera, where to start?


fiddilydee
05-11-2011, 04:57 PM
Hey guys, I am really new to film-making, I have done some small personal projects on a couple minidvs, a flip video, an sd hdd cam and a consumer hd panasonic cam. I looking to get into making commercials for small local businesses. I am having trouble finding info and comparisons of pro-sumer cameras. On top of that I'm not %100 sure of what I want. I want to to have a small focus depth (not sure of the correct term, aperture? not sure of the usage). I also do a lot of greenscreen work, I have been able to achieve pretty tight keys with the the digital cams and a ton of lights. I don't have a lot of money so I want value but I also want the most realistic, cheapest possible options. I prefer HD but I would like to know more about the general price difference between the 2.

I was also wondering about lenses, How do you know if cameras have interchangeable lenses, Are lenses proprietary and if so is it usually brand specific or model specific? How important is it that I have both a wide and small angle?

I think that is about it, thanks for taking the time.

Ernest Worthing
05-11-2011, 05:32 PM
You can start by going through the old threads here on Indietalk. You may be interested in the ones that mention DSLR's. Pretty much all the information you're looking for is in there.

If you still have questions or need clarification, feel free to ask here.

:)

fiddilydee
05-11-2011, 06:36 PM
Geez most of the threads are pretty specific, Too bad you couldn't pin some comprehensive gear lists. I'm getting lost looking for answers to any of my questions. I really just need someone to explain it to me so I can respond directly to really gain an understanding. I'm looking for something a little more personal.

Could you point me towards any specific threads you think may answer my questions? I looked through the first 3 pages of this forum and have done a lot of searching on google.

Thanks for the reply.

Ernest Worthing
05-11-2011, 06:57 PM
Ok, what's your budget and is your sole goal making commercials for local businesses? If you have any other goals, plz list them.

fiddilydee
05-11-2011, 07:48 PM
Mostly commercials and music videos, but I do a lot of short-movie type stuff. Whatever I buy I would ultimately want to make a movie with it. My original post has technically what I THINK I'm looking for. My budget is as cheap as possible. I guess $2000 would be the top maybe $2500. If I could get something for less, even $1000 or $1500 would be ideal, are there any good resources for used cams?

My prime concerns are a good picture, versatility and tight focus depth, (again, unsure of terminology and usage).

Thanks alot for taking the time, I know you guys are trying to keep the forum clean.

USNFilms
05-11-2011, 09:18 PM
Mostly commercials and music videos, but I do a lot of short-movie type stuff. Whatever I buy I would ultimately want to make a movie with it. My original post has technically what I THINK I'm looking for. My budget is as cheap as possible. I guess $2000 would be the top maybe $2500. If I could get something for less, even $1000 or $1500 would be ideal, are there any good resources for used cams?

My prime concerns are a good picture, versatility and tight focus depth, (again, unsure of terminology and usage).

Thanks alot for taking the time, I know you guys are trying to keep the forum clean.

Dude, I was in your exact position a month ago. I wanted a camera that produced HD footage, yet I didn't want a consumer camera that was generic and gave me no manual controls, and I didn't want a 5 thousand dollar professional camera.

I settled for the Canon Rebel T3i which goes $900 new.

The great thing about the T3i is that it shoots very high quality videos, 1080p full HD at 24 frames per second, it is compatible with all of the cannon EF series lenses, and it has lots of manual controls.

Watch this video on YouTube in full HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ4FGm9Fwvg

That was filmed with the T2i, last year's model of the T3i, the only difference is that the T3i has a flip out LCD panel while the T2i's LCD panel is built in.

Anyway, with the T3i it comes with a 18-55mm lens which is good for zooming in and out and has manual focus so you can create depth of field.

Another beggining lens you may want is a canon 50mm lens. Preferably a Cannon 50mm 1.4 which runds around $400 or a Cannon 50mm 1.8 which is about half the price. The difference? the 1.4 is faster (meaning it lets in more light) so it can film well in low light situations and because it has such a low aperture it can create a really shallow depth of field, whereas the 1.8 can still film relatively well in low light, just not as well as the 1.4

Anyway, I strongly reccomend the T3i, feel free to message me if you have anymore questions.

superamazing
05-12-2011, 12:25 AM
T3i is pretty much standard these days. I'm using one myself.

fiddilydee
05-12-2011, 03:46 PM
It seems to be filming with dslr still cams is getting to be pretty mainstream, at least indie mainstream (whatever that is). Admittedly, I prefer the look and feel of a conventional video cam, it's nice for a bit more stability, although I have a homemade steady cam it could easily be mounted on. It's not purely aesthetic but the difference is not worth $1000.

Is this really the only difference between this type of cam and an actual video cam?

Is there anything cheaper than $2000 for a decent video cam?

What else do you lose from this option? realtime video monitoring/ext. mic?

I am filming something with a friend who has a brand new $2000 canon dslr, so Ill see how that goes, thanks to everyone for your help.

USNFilms
05-12-2011, 04:28 PM
It seems to be filming with dslr still cams is getting to be pretty mainstream, at least indie mainstream (whatever that is). Admittedly, I prefer the look and feel of a conventional video cam, it's nice for a bit more stability, although I have a homemade steady cam it could easily be mounted on. It's not purely aesthetic but the difference is not worth $1000.

Is this really the only difference between this type of cam and an actual video cam?

Is there anything cheaper than $2000 for a decent video cam?

What else do you lose from this option? realtime video monitoring/ext. mic?

I am filming something with a friend who has a brand new $2000 canon dslr, so Ill see how that goes, thanks to everyone for your help.

Difference between a DSLR and video camera? well, other than the really big price difference and size, there are a few differences.

DSLR's are noisy and require an external mic (one not plugged into the camera)

That said, you should be using a boom and mic no matter what camera you use, for you want to get the mic as close to the sound as possible, and quite frankly, the camera isn't the closest you can get.

Also, the video on DSLRs is limited to 4gb per clip, which isn't really a problem at all, considering movies cut scenes like every 5 seconds, but it would prevent you from doing something like a time lapse video. but who watches those anyways??:hmm:

chilipie
05-12-2011, 04:34 PM
Also, the video on DSLRs is limited to 4gb per clip, which isn't really a problem at all, considering movies cut scenes like every 5 seconds, but it would prevent you from doing something like a time lapse video. but who watches those anyways??:hmm:

DSLRs are perfect for timelapse shots, much better than most video cameras as you need to take stills or very low FPS video for it to work.

Smurfy8797
05-12-2011, 05:17 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Veho-VCC002HDKUZO-1080P-Super-Camcorder/dp/B002KHLN6Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1305237653&sr=8-2

this camera is proper cheap. it was my first relatively good camera.
It shoots up to 1080p. Its autofocus but that wont really matter unless youre making a proper movie, if youre just messing around with your mates then it will be good.
for indoor shooting, if you have good lighting in your house, it will look quite good. Even if your light is shit, then an uber cheap solution would be to use these (http://www.amazon.com/White-Chinese-Japanese-Lantern-Diameter/dp/B0026O87FI/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1305238133&sr=1-2) and then you can add whatever type of bulb you want, fluorescent, warm orange light, or just white light. whatever suits you.
thats a proper cheap way to light up your face and body on camera and looks suprisingly good. lighting backgrounds indoor can be as simple as getting a $20 worklight like this (http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Cable-One-Light-Hand-Held-Pivot-Base/dp/B00004SQJS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1305238108&sr=8-4) and using some car window reflectors. just use your brain.
youll need a tripod aswell. if youre going to be doing panning and tilting and camera movement then you might have to invest in a good tripod: $100-$200 but you can buy a $10 if you literally just want it to stand there. If you end up getting that camera, the audio is actually suprisingly good compared to a dslr. but if you want to get a microphone for other stuff then i would recommend a Zoom H2 which you can get new off of amazon for about $150 but that is not amazingly neccessary if youre just dicking about :P apart from that, any of the cameras mentioned are good cameras but that is just a cheap option ^^ right now i have a 500D which is about $600 new. that gives nice quality and is one down from the 550D or t2i.

hope this helps,
from a noob, to a noob :)

USNFilms
05-12-2011, 06:23 PM
DSLRs are perfect for timelapse shots, much better than most video cameras as you need to take stills or very low FPS video for it to work.

I'm talking about video timelapse not photography, but yes a DSLR would be better in a picture still timelapse

CamVader
05-12-2011, 06:30 PM
I'm talking about video timelapse not photography, but yes a DSLR would be better in a picture still timelapse

Oh, but stills make for the best video timelapses! Check this out! (http://www.vimeo.com/23413966)

SinEater
05-12-2011, 08:51 PM
I'm talking about video timelapse not photography, but yes a DSLR would be better in a picture still timelapse

What exactly do you think the difference is?