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Old 01-25-2010, 01:29 PM   #1
danjfiore
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HD Camera, Mic, Etc. "Starter Kit"

Hey everyone.

So, I've made a few films in the past (mostly student films) using a simply Sony home video cam and am now ready to start making some more professional-grade shorts and eventually a feature.

I've saved up a decent amount of money to help fund these projects and the first step I'd like to take financially is to invest in new equipment. I'm looking to get a pretty basic HD Camera (nothing too fancy, maybe around $2k), some audio equipment (hopefully a boom mic that would connect directly to the camera if at all possible) and some miscellaneous stuff like lights, tripods, etc. I'm pretty good at using what I have to get what I want, so I'm not looking for anything absolutely amazing to start out with.

Does anyone have any suggestions for starter equipment? I already have decent post equipment, so I'm not worried much about that. Ideally, I'd like to be able to operate as my own little production company so that I only have to outsource for a few things through out the process.

Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:24 PM   #2
Visual Typist
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I believe there are a few threads that answer your very question. Just use the search button on the top menu bar.

Other then that you have a few questions to answer:

* What did you want to film? Shorts, Features?
* Do you really need to buy a camera? Can you get away with renting one?
* Are you also planning to shoot things like wedding videos or just narratives of your own?
* Do you need to shoot at night?

If you're starting "professional grade" shorts then you would be spending time organizing and planning out the shoot. In my opinion renting a camera is better suited for shorts and features. That way you're not spending $2000 on a camera that will be superseded by something else next year.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:43 PM   #3
Alcove Audio
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From a purely investment perspective purchasing audio gear - with the possible exception of the digital recorder - is a much sounder investment. Quality audio gear holds its value (the key word here is QUALITY). I have 20 year old mics that I could sell for about 60% of what I paid for them (not that I would want to). How many 2 year old cameras could get 60% of their value?

If you are still hell bent on purchasing, spend at least a grand on the audio gear.

"Sound if half of the experience"
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:38 PM   #4
danjfiore
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After I posted this I looked around a lot more and kind of picked up the answers scattered through out the threads.
I'm basically looking to initially do commercials and music videos until I save up a little bit of money to do some shorts.
Right now, I'm basically dead set on just renting an Panasonic HVX-200 instead of buying something.
I'm going to be shooting a commercial within the next two months and my biggest fear isn't the lighting, shooting, editing, etc. It's the audio. I have just about no idea what I'm doing and I can't afford to hire someone. What I've always kind of assumed (and I'm really hoping someone like Alcove can help me here) is that all I'll really need is a Boom mic and a recorder (I have a Marantz PMD 660 & 670 available) + whatever cords I might need. But, I feel like I'm being completely naive here and I'm missing out on a lot more. For some reason, I always skipped the audio classes apparently in film school cause they taught me nothing.
Please help me out and let me know how completely oblivious I am. Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:50 PM   #5
danjfiore
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Just to give you an idea, I have access to a Sennheiser ME-66 and ME-80. So would the Senn and the Recorder basically be all I need to worry about? And can I dump the audio once I'm done straight into FCP from the Recorder?
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:20 PM   #6
Will Vincent
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You ought to be able to run the mic right into the camera.. pretty sure the HVX has xlr inputs
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:16 PM   #7
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Ok, great. I actually just found some pretty decent youtube videos that gave me a better perspective. Now I just have to work on my audio editing and figure out how to light this thing...
Thanks guys for all the help and comments.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:08 AM   #8
Scoopicman
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If you didn't see it, check out my post about using the Sennheiser ME66 with the HVX200, in THIS Thread.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:31 PM   #9
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Awesome and very interesting post. Thanks for the heads up!
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