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Recommend Camera and Equiptment for Newbies

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#1 C Kenneybrew

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 05:08 PM

Hi all,

 

I am looking to buy a camera and I want to know what camera I should take a look at. I've heard a lot about the Canon 7D, RED, etc. But I want to be sure. I am looking for a camera that doesnt require much color correcting, used in music videos and feature films, stop motion, good battery life, etc. Any ideas ore recommendations?

As far as equiptment, what would you say a filmmaker should always own? Lighting, etc

 

Thanks!


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#2 C Kenneybrew

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 05:18 PM

Sorry for my bad english. I want to know what camera I should get as an investment. Currently I own an OLD canon zr65 that shoots on mini dv tape. I've found a liking towards DSLR's now because of the convience of quickly uploading files on my laptop. I am creative so any camera that can do it all would be great.  Any ideas or recommendations?

Thanks!


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#3 Alan Rencher

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 05:23 PM

Alexa Plus XT is my vote.


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#4 Giray Izcan

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:23 PM

Alexa,
Alexa is not for a newbie.. I would recommend a bolex to learn lighting exposure etc.
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#5 C Kenneybrew

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:22 PM

I hear RED is better in some ways. But still out of the RED, Alexa, and Canon 7D...you guys think Alexa is better? They use that camera in a lot of tv shows. I assume its extremely expensive.


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#6 Alan Rencher

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:30 PM

I am looking for a camera that doesnt require much color correcting, used in music videos and feature films, stop motion, good battery life, etc. Any ideas ore recommendations?

 

This is what I based my recommendation on. If I had the choice, I would go Alexa.

 

On a serious note, there is no definitive answer to this question. It gets asked here almost everyday, and what I say to anyone who is asking is: If you have to ask, you shouldn't be buying.


Edited by Alan Rencher, 11 March 2013 - 10:31 PM.

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#7 Giray Izcan

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:48 PM


I hear RED is better in some ways. But still out of the RED, Alexa, and Canon 7D...you guys think Alexa is better? They use that camera in a lot of tv shows. I assume its extremely expensive.


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#8 Bill Rodgers

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 05:56 AM

If I didn't have access to Canon C300s via work I'd be buying a Blackmagic Cinema Camera myself right now, with a selection of lenses, a decent shooting rig, and an external battery. All that wouldn't be so terribly expensive.

 

 

The footage can look incredible but shooting RAW requires a lot of extra external hard drives (plus a lot of correction in post) for the footage.

Add to that some decent sound recording equipment, a sturdy tripod plus an external LCD HD monitor and you will have kit you can use for a fair few years to come.

 


Though I'm sure the price on 4K cameras will decrease over the coming years too.


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#9 Vobla Unsane

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:54 AM

I am looking for a camera that doesnt require much color correcting

 

It doesn't depend on the camera, but rather how you set it up, light your sets, etc.

 

For this reason you should know how to read various meters, waveforms, scopes, etc. rather then blindly relying on what you see on your monitor or hear via headphones.

 

In short, for a newbie kit, I would suggest the following: Canon 550D + Magic Lantern (http://www.magiclantern.fm/), several manual lenses, couple of tungsten spot lights, reflector, diffuser, tripod..

 

Cheers


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#10 Seba Vuye

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:55 AM

I don't think of RED or Alexa as a newbie camera. Just look at the price of those two.

I myself bought a Canon t3i a year ago and pimped up with a rig, mattebox and so on, i'am happy with it. Some things bother me more after a year using it, like the crappy h264 codec for example.( it's really a pain i the ass, in post) But it remains a good learning tool, untill you get to the next level.
But, being in your position now, I would go for the Black Magic Camera for sure, and if the money isn't an issue, go for Alexa or Red, can't go wrong there.
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#11 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:21 AM

Don't buy into this "newbie camera" advice. Buy the best camera you can afford. Start figure it out, by the end of the first day you won't be a "newbie" any more and by the end of the first week you probably be shooting some decent footage. Month after month you'll be learning and growing together.


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#12 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 06:24 AM

I don't think cameras like an Alexa should be considered as a first camera when starting out, unless you're someone who doesn't need to ask the price. There are a lot of sub $10k options, what will allow you to shoot a wide range of productions. Not wanting to do much colour grading limits the choices a bit, but there are still many possible cameras out there. You really need to decide what you want to use it for and if possible clients have demands for minimum technical  standards.

 

If you're buying a camera for professional purposes  you need to consider the pay back time from its earnings. These days this has to be within a few months, because the next best thing is always coming out.


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#13 Alan Rencher

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:01 AM

No one picks up on sarcasm...


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#14 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:06 PM

The original poster seemed to miss it, although the odd person with deep pockets will spend mega bucks.


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#15 Jim Ross CinematixHD

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:04 PM

This is about as broad and vague a question as "I'm getting my license and want to know what car to get." What do you want to do with the car? How much money do you have? Where will you drive it? Same with the camera- how much cash do you have? What are you going to film? If you are going to make a living shooting weddings you don't need an Alexa. If you are doing rap music videos most of your clients can't afford you to shoot with an Epic. If you are new no one will PAY you what you need to PAY for that Scarlet you bought.

 

I'm with Christopher- buy the best you can afford, but the best for what you need now. You can always move up. No need to have that Lambo if you are going to be delivering pizzas! 

 

Jim Ross, Cinematographer

http://www.cinematixhd.com/


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#16 Shayan Scott

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:38 PM

If you are interested in making creative looking shots and attracted to the bokeh and shallow depth of field look, low light handling, etc… you would benefit from a DSLR. But if you just want a basic video camera that will get you good enough HD footage for documentary/news style shots, then get something like a Sony XA10 for £1600+, it will get you going just fine. If you are intending your footage for broadcast, you should check with that broadcaster what cameras they approve and what codec they require, and make sure you go for a camera that meets this.

 

I am working to a budget of under £2k, I will use my camera for corporate videos, creative videos, TV commericals and short films with my camera. I just bought a Nikon D5200 after seeing some great footage on Vimeo comparing it to other higher priced cameras. It's a very affordable place to start, and the lens choice is huge. Nikon are doing cash back deals this month. You'll need about £85 for 2 storage cards a second battery. 

 

Bower/Samyang/Rokinon Cine lenses are reviewed as being very good budget primes, so perhaps look at 35mm & 85mm. The Tokina 11-16mm is supposedly a good lens to consider too, but if you want to make life easier for you while you are starting out, try and find a lens with a low fixed f-stop and a macro zoom within 20-70mm. Sigma would be a good place to look for that. Anything from around £200-£600 per lens is a good place to start out and when you can afford and get the best out of Carl Zeiss glass, you can start selling your cheap ones. Whatever lens you get, do consider getting a UV lens filter. Make sure it's the right diameter for your chosen lens and not too thick. Good option is a Hoya Pro-1 UV filter £35+ and you might be able to get a unmarked 2nd hand one for 2/3rd's of the price of a new one.

 

Once you have sorted your picture, you now need to consider your sound. Audio capture on DSLR's are generally poor. You will need money to invest in a mic, and if you can afford it, an external recorder too. You would roughly need about £300 to get a fairly good setup but running a Rhode shotgun directly into your DSLR would suffice for a beginner. Forget radio microphones if you are on a budget, very expensive and you might have to buy an annual licence too. 

 

A good tripod and a rail rig are your next costs. If you can get both, great! But this is where you need to decide what type of shooting you will be doing. Better to get a good tripod with fluid head and a budget rail rig with follow focus if you are on a tight budget. For the tripod, Manfrotto 190 is a good starting place, 501 head is good enough too. I am trying to find a suitable rail rig on my budget so have no suggestions for that, but I'd love to get the Zacuto Crossfire if I could afford it. There is a lot of garbage on ebay but occasionally you will find a good deal to be had. Once you have a rail rig, you can attach an external audio recorder, a bigger LCD monitor, flags, follow focus wheel, and so on. If you have no budget to invest in all that, then a simple run and gun style shoulder rig will work fine, and you can get cheap follow focus alternatives like a lenstrap if strapped for cash. 

 

As others have mentioned, you will need to consider what your style of shooting is going to be because you can quickly spend lots of money trying to get the most versatile and best setup for a great shooting rig, but the beauty of the DSLR option is you can start cheaply and still get fair results while you build up your skills and get more adventurous. 

 

I hope this is helps. It's where my own research and testing has taken me. If your budget is nearing £5k, a used FS100 is a good camera body. Again, lenses, tripod and audio should be the best you can get within that budget. Anything over this budget, I would suggest getting yourself onto a good cinematography course and get hands on experience with good equipment and not need to rely on general free advice from people like me. 

 

All the best in your endeavour. 

 

Shayan


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