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Purchasing a Digital Camera


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#1 Ren Kimcheck

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 01:05 AM

Hello everyone, this is my first post here. I am a second year cinema student and I am looking to purchase a digital video camera to begin making my own films without having to rely on the school's cameras. I am looking to spend between $1000 and $1500 on the camera. I have done some research but the choices are overwhelming and I am hoping someone with more experience in the field can guide me in the right direction. All help is appreciated.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 08:21 AM

At that range your only real options are used SD cameras like the PD150, DVX100, or XL1. For new, you're really limited to the DSLRs with a video mode, such as the GH2, 7D, 5D ect. Of that set I'd be inclined to go GH2 if only to be able to buy an adapter and use whatever lenses you so choose (like older manual Nikons, my favorites.)
In truth, you don't get into real cameras until you break the 5K mark for price. And a camera is just a part of the equation. Once you figure out the cost of even a meager camera package you're normally around 5~10K depending on which camera you buy.
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#3 Jon Amerikaner

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 12:59 AM

You need to ask yourself what you want to accomplish. If you just need a camera to act as a recording device for class assignments, the you should definitely look into a used video camera. Check B&H's used site. This way you can do your projects on time and learn. Remember school is the place where you want to make mistakes. So it's good to have a camera that allows you to make movies and doesn't frustrate you technically or financially.

A 60D might be in your price range for an HDSLR. But you may find some disadvantages to the bare bones HDSLR such as focus and monitoring, as compared to a traditional video camera system. As written earlier, the HDSLRs come into play when you can outfit them with the necessary accessories.

You might also consider renting a camera with your budget. You can look ahead at what projects you have, contact a few rental shops, and divide your 1500 into a few camera rentals. This way you can get the quality of the higher priced cameras without breaking your budget.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:22 AM

Also does not your school have an equipment office? Pretty much every film school here in Phila has some kind of camera rentals for free for students.
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