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Camera, lighting, etc. package - Questions


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#1 Tyler Poppe

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 01:18 PM

At my current school we have tons of film equipment, really nice stuff, but the big problem is that we only have access to this equipment if we are currently production based class or shooting our thesis.

So I am would like to build a small little film package for the students so that would allow them to do small little "over the weekend" projects. I was thinking something like a Cannon GL2 and an Arri Kit. I am trying to keep price down as much as possible because this really is for the students that just love shooting. This is not for the students who can only make a film if they have an HVX or the new RED.

What do you guys think? Does the GL2 make sense or should I do the DVX? I prever the DVX, but isn't it a bit more? Does an Arri kit (2x 300, 2x 650) make sense or should I put together a Kino kit? I like the Arri kit because it comes in a nice secured case, that has lights, scrims, and stands all bundled together.

Suggestion/advice?

Edited by Tyler Poppe, 12 November 2008 - 01:18 PM.

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#2 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 02:24 PM

If I were one of your students, I would rather have a DVX100 and an Arri kit. The Arri kit is going to be way more versatile than a set of Kinoflo's. The DVX because it has 24p.

I'd also want my own trailer.
:P
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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 02:48 PM

I'd lean in favor of a better camera and mic. Slack the lights. Consider theater cans with 1K PAR lamps for low price, high power, longevity and versatility. Kinos are good for medium to close-up and interiors. But, there will be night exteriors where you wish you had something that can punch out and fill-up a larger space. You can always diffuse or bounce hard light. You can't sharpen soft light. Just something to mull over.
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#4 Tyler Poppe

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:15 PM

If I were one of your students, I would rather have a DVX100 and an Arri kit. The Arri kit is going to be way more versatile than a set of Kinoflo's. The DVX because it has 24p.

I'd also want my own trailer.
:P


Haha yeah I hear you. I'm just wondering if it is going to cost a lot more to purchase. My school will purchase the camera from Birns and Sawyer, not an online outlet, so I can not really refer to online prices for the Cannon or the DVX. Does Panasonic have anything that is like the GL2?


I'd lean in favor of a better camera and mic. Slack the lights. Consider theater cans with 1K PAR lamps for low price, high power, longevity and versatility. Kinos are good for medium to close-up and interiors. But, there will be night exteriors where you wish you had something that can punch out and fill-up a larger space. You can always diffuse or bounce hard light. You can't sharpen soft light. Just something to mull over.


Oh yes a mic will be a good idea to add on to that bundle. Good point. Though I am thinking perhaps we should avoid the 1k lights because these kits are going to be used mostly by freshman and Sophomores. I figure most shoots are going to go on in the dorms, their apartments, or in houses, and not really outside. If they are shooting in doors the 1k's are going to get a little difficult especially if the students are unfamiliar with power and circuit breakers. :P

What do you think?
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#5 Evan Pierre

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 03:06 AM

Though I am thinking perhaps we should avoid the 1k lights because these kits are going to be used mostly by freshman and Sophomores. I figure most shoots are going to go on in the dorms, their apartments, or in houses, and not really outside. If they are shooting in doors the 1k's are going to get a little difficult especially if the students are unfamiliar with power and circuit breakers. :P


I would only really be worried about circuit breakers and such with 2ks. I would hope that your students have at least a basic understanding of what happens when they plug lights in :lol:

1Ks are very versatile and as a student I would rather have those available and not just only lower wattage fixtures.
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#6 Evan Pierre

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 03:07 AM

**Sorry for double post, is there not a delete feature?

Edited by Evan Pierre, 13 November 2008 - 03:08 AM.

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#7 Carol Hicks

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:58 PM

My school has a nice little consumer camera that is surprisingly good. It's a Panasonic AG-HVX200. I don't know what your budget is but if you can afford it I say get it. It's easy to navigate and you get a really good picture quality.

If you want to get some super cheap lights I recommend Chinese Lanterns. They make a nice soft light and if someone makes a mistake and breaks one it's no big deal. If you need a hard light they wont do you much good, but other then that they are great.

-Carol
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#8 Jeff Clegg

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 11:29 PM

I would second the 1K suggestion, even if just replacing one of the 350's in the arri kit with a 1K flood (I think there is still a kit with 2 650's, a 300 and a 1K). The 1k is good through diffusion, as a background broad light or really great if you want to bounce off of a ceiling or wall. It is much better to have to take it down a bit if you have to than to not have quite as much light as you would like/need.
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#9 Mike Lary

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 12:00 AM

I'd take the DVX over a GL any day.

When I was a student I built a small kit consisting of (two each ) 150 fresnels, 650 fresnels, and 2K fresnels. The 150s were rarely used, and in retrospect 300s would have been a better option. The 650s were versatile and always used. The 2Ks made it difficult to maintain power, especially in older houses with bad wiring and houses that weren't up to code, but it was worth it. Having even one 2K for key with a couple 650s for fill, backlight, etc.. was the next best thing to having a small HMI.

As far as Kinos and students are concerned, every student should know how to use them, but Kinos encourage laziness. The harder the light, the more the student needs to think and work to create the desired aesthetic. And for the money, a second hand Arri fresnel kit will give you more bang for your buck.

I'd stay away from China lanterns with students because they're such a fire hazard.
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#10 Matt Read

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:49 PM

I would splurge and go with an HVX over a GL2 or a DVX. Nobody's going to want to shoot on SD in a few years. The HVX will be useful to your students longer than the GL2 or DVX. Plus you can shoot SD or HD on the HVX, so students without the hardware for editing HD footage can still use it. The HV30 also seems like a decent HD camera to consider. Don't forget about a tripod either.

As far as lights go, stay away from china balls. They are cheap, but they can get broken easily. You'll end up spending $10 to $20 replacing either the bulb or the actual ball once a week and I'm sure the higher-ups at your school wouldn't be too happy with that. China balls are cheap enough, that if you students really want them, they can easily afford to buy a few themselves. Frankly, I'd just buy some work lights from a hardware store and some 500w photofloods and a few light stands from a photography store. That's all your students will need and it's cheap. You can then have extra money to buy a Road Rags kit and a few C-stands so your students can shape the light.

Definitely remember to get a decent mic, boom pole and XLR cables, otherwise your students might have a great picture, but no sound.
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