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Looking to upgrade from a DSLR to a video camera


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#1 Lee Tamer

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:00 PM

Now that I'm no longer a student film maker i felt like it would be a good time to make the transition from shooting on a DSLR to an actual video camera, I'm looking to hopefully spend under $6k.

Ive been looking at the Sony FS100, the Black Magic Cinema Camera, and possibly the Canon c100.

Could anyone recommend a good entry level video camera for under $6k?
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#2 Travis Gray

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

Do you have glass already? Do you have specific requirements you're looking for?

I shoot with the FS100 and love it. The quality is great, and I like that it's a Super35 sized sensor. There's adapters out the wazoo for it. I have both a PL and Nikon adapter (since I shoot Nikon stills, and it's nice to have the option). Camera functions like a video camera too. Haven't used the BMCC, but from the looks of it, just about everything is on the touchscreen menu?

FS100 is great for module stuff as well.
I like that I can shoot cards and harddrive, and then I have the clean HDMI out for an external recorder if I want.

I dunno. I love the camera. But, haven't used either of the other ones, and Canon has kinda disappointed me with stuff lately with price to feature ratio. I think the FS100 is great bang for the buck, and since it's kinda old now, you should be able to pick up a new model for a decent price, or used for even better.
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#3 Alan Rencher

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

There is no black and white answer to that. There are a lot of variables. First, why are you upgrading the camera? Do your clients have need of a higher-end camera? Do they have a preference? What kinds of work do you do mostly? Docs, shorts, commercials, music videos? What bit-rate and colorspace will be required for your deliverables? Is it web, TV, Theater, or Blu Ray content? There are so many things can affect a decision, and the advice that I always give to people who have to ask what gear to get is: If you have to ask, you should not be buying anything. Rent for a while until you just know.
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#4 Lee Tamer

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

Honestly its just for personal experience. Would it be cheaper to rent cameras if I just want to learn how to use them? If a DSLR is the only thing I own it might also limit the type of client i get. As of now I've just been doing freelance, and mostly music videos
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#5 Giray Izcan

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:00 PM

I think it is a good idea to move from dslr to an actual camcorder. It seems like fs 100 is pretty decent if you cannot get the newer 700. Bmcc seems decent, being raw and 2.5k. The question is do you have the means to handle raw or any other less compressed camera systems? Post workflow tends to get pretty much same as shooting on film. Many people think.it is great to have raw or other less compressed pro cine cameras without realizing what comes during post. Since it uses a massive amount of data, you will most likely need a dedicated person to handle post production workflow. Also, bear in mind that digital cameras tend to be obsolete in no time. If I were you, I would look into 35 or super/ultra 16, because, then all you would have to.do is rent pl glasses and maintain your camera.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:43 AM

Investing in a camera system; regardless of format, only makes sense when you have a client base built up who will be wanting and needing to use that camera specifically in enough time to pay it off before they move on to the next camera system. That being the case; your mileage may vary on what is in demand around you.
If that demand happens to be DSLRs; and there is a lot of DSLR demand I would upgrade. If that demand is something like Scarlet, I would save and grab that-- but only when/if you can honestly pay it off within a few months of working. Otherwise, you'll be sitting with a very expensive paper weight as newer and better come out ever 12~18 months.

As for film cameras. Lord knows I love them enough to own 3! However, it's often hard to talk clients into shooting and paying for 35mm or S16mm when they're so used to digital things.
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#7 Lee Tamer

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:38 PM

I think it is a good idea to move from dslr to an actual camcorder. It seems like fs 100 is pretty decent if you cannot get the newer 700. Bmcc seems decent, being raw and 2.5k. The question is do you have the means to handle raw or any other less compressed camera systems? Post workflow tends to get pretty much same as shooting on film. Many people think.it is great to have raw or other less compressed pro cine cameras without realizing what comes during post. Since it uses a massive amount of data, you will most likely need a dedicated person to handle post production workflow. Also, bear in mind that digital cameras tend to be obsolete in no time. If I were you, I would look into 35 or super/ultra 16, because, then all you would have to.do is rent pl glasses and maintain your camera.


I don't have experience in those types of camcorders. I was trained on the Panasonic HVX and the Canon GL2, I actually own a GL2. Though I don't use it anymore
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#8 Giray Izcan

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:07 PM

Well, it shouldn't be too hard to get used to different camera systems. As I mentioned, if you don't have sufficient hardware to handle raw or less compressed cameras, you should get a camera with a decent internal recording system. Bmcc seems decent internally, prores; however, the camera itself with LCD screen seems rather unappealing. You would definitely need something.like zacuto vf. For me, looking through vf and using light meter beats any monitor out there. Also, you shouldn't get used to maintaining a particular t stop by cranking up and down you ASA setting, as most dslr users do. It is crucial to maintain by adding or removing ND, increasing or decreasing light source distance from the subject etc. I would probably take exposure reading on highlights more on digital cameras, since they suffer in highlight more than shadows. With film negative, I would take readings on shadows more due to negatives' highlight handling capabilities. It just depends.. Also, it seems like,you should treat dslrs like color reversal, meaning underexposing by a half to a full stop yields better color rendition. In sum, even if you shoot digital, treat it as if you are on film, sound prep and calculations before rolling the camera. You shouldn't have I can fix it in post mentality. Also, if you do too many takes due to some technical mistakes, it would make you look bad as a dp. And, you never know when you have to shoot on film...
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