February 18, 2015 at 4:48AM

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Camera and lights, 7-12k budget

Due to funding issues, the small production team I work in has been reduced from three to one - me.

If the budget allows I will be hiring freelancers, but more often than not I will now be handling all production as well as post (I was the full-time editor and spare pair of hands on set).

The production side of things isn't the problem - I've been around long enough to be more than competent on lights/camera/sound etc - the real issue is the equipment, or rather the size.

As a unit we've built up masses of gear over the years and have progressed from film to digital so consequently it is old skool ie. big and heavy - fine for three to transport and rig, but no good for one.

Most urgently I need to replace the camera and lights as these make up the bulk of the equipment.

If I can trade or sell the older gear I'm looking at a budget of £7-12k.

Initially I was going to hire camera/lights on a per job basis, but occasionally due to time constraints this wouldn't be feasible so I've been told by the powers that be I must invest in new gear.

The kit would have to be good for multi-purpose use. Long interviews, green screen, drama, documentary, 99% studio or internal set.

Lenses could be hired or in emergencies (mainly interviews or when the budget is tight) I can borrow various Canon EF or legacy lenses from our photography department.

So in short: A good all round one man camera and lighting kit (with any leftover cash possibly for lenses or smaller or more suitable sound gear.)

Any suggestions?

ps. I have a Canon 7D Mk1 at my disposal, but I believe there is an issue with overheating and record time. Also it's not great for keying.

7 Comments

Given your budget I would look at the Canon C100 or Sony FS-7. Both cameras produce a very nice image and have no issues with shooting long-format projects.

The C100 can be bought used for as little as $3,200, which new models range from $4,000 - $5,500.

The Sony FS-7 is by far the more advanced camera and is considered to be the "it" camera under $10,000. ( it can shoot 4K and slow-motion up to 180 fps )

Either one of these cameras can produce gorgeous results.

February 18, 2015 at 8:17AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31594

February 21, 2015 at 11:18AM

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Andrea Labate
Director / Cinematographer
103

Thanks. Had considered the C100, but will look into the FS7 too.

February 25, 2015 at 12:19PM, Edited February 25, 12:19PM

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Stelrad Two Machine Doulton
Editor by choice, film maker by necessity.
293

...and the Sony 28-135 F/4 Power Zoom should cover most bases.

February 25, 2015 at 1:07PM

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Stelrad Two Machine Doulton
Editor by choice, film maker by necessity.
293

Canon C100 - yes. Especially with the upgraded focus and the possibility of recording 4:2:2 directly off the sensors thru the HDMI port.
Add Alzo light kit - as good as Kino-Flos and much less expensive and you are up and running.

February 28, 2015 at 12:55AM, Edited February 28, 12:55AM

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Lots of good cameras out there now, but which one comes down to use and preference a bit. C100mk2/fs7/fs700/a7s/bmcc all good options. Personally I'm partial to fs700+7q but fs7 is more convenient. A lot may come down to your workflow preference vs image quality preference/requirements. Sony can produce better image quality with the right workflow but canon can be easier and bmcc can be a pain to rig for run and gun, comparatively. Lenses depend on your style as well, but a speedbooster with the sigma 24-105 covers most things. The 28-135 power zoom lens isn't likely to be wide enough for s35 and that'd eat a chunk of your budget.
For one man band shooting I use a bunch of yongnuo yn600 LEDs in daylight and bicolor and umbrella softboxes and lightweight stands. Remote control dimming helps without a gaffer, very lightweight, good color, and the price is hard to beat. You'll likely want some extra lights and modifiers... If get some frames, clamp, arms and maybe some lightweight lowel tungsten. And one awesome big rolling case that fits it all so you can take it all in one trip on your own and not have to stack and pack a cart by yourself constantly.

March 1, 2015 at 10:38PM

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I would personally go with a used FS700, small set of lenses, then lighting. Big fan of the Westcott Skylux. Then some good audio. Maybe and H5, couple lavs, and a shotgun.
Don't forget rigging.
Then a 7Q+ is there is $$ left, if not, its usually easily rentable.
The FS700 has it quirks tho, as any camera does. Good for Slower paced stuff. Events, Narrative, corporate. Not so much run and gun (altho it manages just fine).

March 6, 2015 at 1:52PM

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Josh Wilkinson
Music Video Director/DP
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