Hi guys, i'm a newbie, im thinking of getting myself a new camera to start shooting and apply to courses to get into film school. I'm wondering between getting a DSLR Camera or a Camcorder. Currently im looking at Panasonic GH3 and Sony HDR-CX900 or the FDR AX-100. Any recommend or advice for me ? many tks
DSLR or Camcorder
Posted 16 November 2015 - 01:12 PM
Ideally? Start with whatever camera you can get for free. Cell phone camera. Old camcorder. Web camera. etc. Shoot with it until you can operate the camera controls blindfolded (without composing a shot of course). Then move up to a 35mm still SLR. Find a dirt cheap one on craiglist. Learn to compose and expose correctly. Film is expensive, and really will force you to give greater thought to you shots.
If you're going to film school... use the schools equipment.
But, if you have a burning need to click off money, get a DSLR. It'll let you learn the basics, and is more flexible all around.
Posted 17 November 2015 - 01:31 AM
I would look into a BM pocket or something like it-- used-- simple-- and can get your feet a little wet with post and color and the like. Also it's something to keep in your bag as it does come in useful as a throw away on occasion on bigger things.
Posted 17 November 2015 - 05:49 AM
Also depends on the kind of stuff you want to make. DLRS's are less good for run and gun documentary type shoots - then a camcorder with good sound. DLSR's have their limitations but the low cost and the ability to change lenses makes them a good starting place. The other advantage of DLSR's is they take nice stills, I use my DLSR more for stills then video.
If your looking to build a portfolio in order to get into film school then most cameras would be fine as they should be looking for creative ideas, framing, story telling, potential etc... Rather then great technical quality (you'd be taught that when you get it). So even an iphone would allow you to do that...
Posted 17 November 2015 - 01:14 PM
While I'm a fan of the Blackmagic camera line, and have a Pocket, I would not call it a 'general video' solution. As mentioned, if the area of filming is 'event' related, the a Camcorder is the way to go. I've had the Lumix GH-1, used it to shoot 'motion pictures' but I'd not consider it an event solution.
With the Camcorder, one can get XLR plugs and a bit better integration of audio and film than the either the onboard audio recording offered with most DSLRs or the Blackmagic Pocket. Otherwise for narrative work, a dual system is better in that the audio can have higher quality with the additional equipment.
And if the idea is to 'just get into making motion pictures'... any way and 'cheap'... the iPhone and something like Flimic Pro would work as well... same low quality on sound, limited 'lenses' (I've see adapters and the like, even PL mounts...) but for the naked phone it would get a person introduced to film concepts and some amount of technique.
Posted 17 November 2015 - 01:49 PM
I'd buy a pocket, Nikon to 4/3rds adaptor and get some old Nikon still glass off ebay. You can build a package for cheap money going that way vs the EOS/EF Canon mount lenses and Rokinon cine primes like I did.
Posted 17 November 2015 - 03:55 PM
If your plan is to go to film school, I wouldn't try to buy much kit ahead of going. One of the main reasons to go to film school is to have access to their kit. A good film school should have good facilities and you shouldn't need to bring your own kit.
Once you've had chance to learn at film school you'd be better informed about what kit (if any) to buy post film school. Many filmmakers don't own kit and rent borrow where needed.
The BlackMagic pocket is a fine camera but also look at some of the entry level canon or panasonic DLSR would be cheaper and still give you everything you need to learn with.
Something like this might be a good starting point for minimal cost:
Posted 17 November 2015 - 05:04 PM
What you are looking to do is the most important thing.
Do you want to DP? Direct? Cam op? Write? Compose? All of these at once?
Those paths will all take you a different way.
I see a lot of people saying blackmagic which is great for the DP but what if you want to use that camera to go make a couple hundred on a saturday shooting weddings? You're out of luck.
Video cameras I wouldn't recommend because they really dont give a cinematic look without a lot of effort put into it. Small chip is kind of frowned upon.
I would recommend the sony a7s and also say focus on youre photography story telling skills. I know it might be a bit more but the a7s can give you a complete look or a very flat cinematic look and is super versatile in what you can do with it.
Focus on your photography because if you can tell a creative, unique story using photos it doesnt matter what area of the business you choose that will always be a HUGE help as thats what film is.
Telling stories with pictures.