October 1, 2014 at 7:15AM


Best Camera and lenses to start out - 5,000 - 7,500 USD Budget

I'm just starting out in this and I would really appreciate some advice as I'm willing to make my first "important" investment in my own gear... I have around 5.000 - 7.500 USD to spend and I've been struggling between what is the best camera and lenses for me to buy. I'm mostly shooting music videos, but I also shoot weddings sometimes. I've used the Canon 5D mark iii and I've really liked it, but I'm not sure if I should step up into something else. Any help will be much appreciated.


It sounds like low-light shooting would be an important feature given what you shoot. I would look at the new Sony A7S or the Canon C100, as both of these cameras are great for low-light work. You might be able to pick up the C100 used and save yourself $1,000 or more.

October 1, 2014 at 8:11AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Thank you very much Guy!.

October 1, 2014 at 8:52AM


I think your bestest bet would be the A7s... its an upgrade-able camera meaning you can get 4K out of it when you connect an external recorder so keep that in mind and of course the lowlight capability is like alien tech. Pickup a wide lens lets say a 16mm along with a 50mm and maybe a 35mm or a 85mm to go with that.

October 2, 2014 at 10:26AM

Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op

Thank you very much! I'm just a little concerned with the A7s as I understand that its minimum ISO is 3200 in S LOG2, so I'll have to get some decent ND filters to compensate and its price can grow up really fast (maybe you can give me a better advice over this)

Now about the lenses, is there any brand that you recommend? that can be adjusted to my budget?

Thank you once again

October 3, 2014 at 9:32AM


It's true that in S-LOG2 your minimum ISO is 3200. But I have used this camera for two shoots now have found that Cinegamma4 looks fantastic in a lit situation. S-LOG2 is perfect for low light shots because it does not crush the blacks.

October 5, 2014 at 3:08AM

Isaiah Corey
Director of Photography

C100 , B&H has a new kit that has a lot of value. comes with lens and prores record, use the rest of the money to get a decent tripod, sachtler ace I'd say.

Canon EOS C100 Kit with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, EF24-105 Lens, Atomos Ninja 2, SSD, HDMI Cable & Magic Arm


October 2, 2014 at 5:46PM

Peter Staubs
Camera Assistant

Thank you Peter, I think that for the moment the C100 is my preferred option as I'm looking to have a camera that won't much accesories to work correctly, but that will accept them in the future when i have a bigger budget.

My only concern is that it might be risky as they are "last generation" cameras, and their resale price might be eaten away by other cameras like the Fs7

October 3, 2014 at 1:19PM


Depending on what you want to do, it may be a better investment to rent some really nice gear and create a few videos with that. If your bread and butter are wedding videos right now, then I would highly recommend the C100, but if you are looking to get out of wedding videos fast and move onto music videos, I would recommend hooking up with some bands and using your budget to make some really well-shot, well-designed videos.

Good work will get you more work more quickly than any camera you own.

October 3, 2014 at 10:44AM

Kenneth Merrill

I agree completely with you, and it is what I've been doing for the moment ... yet still I've been thinking that is hard for me not to have a camera during my "spare" time, as having it will allow me to train and improve my skills. I'm taking a risk by getting an "expensive" camera, but I think is good for me to have at least one main camera that is of my own and that I rent other ones when I need a second or third camera.

October 3, 2014 at 1:23PM


Honestly, buy a Gh4 w speedbooster or NX1 (hispeed in these cams is great thing to have on hand for certain music videos[main reason I would not go with a C100], plus 4k in camera is useful)

Spend the majority on:
1) Lenses
-Tokina 28-70 2.6 [Angenieux copy, warm colour soft look -$300]
-Nikon 28-70 AF-D [Sharp modern look, used by Paul Greengrass. search online for one with a broken AF motor, they go for sub-$500 prices]
- Canon FD / Nikon prime set [Can usually swing a wide, normal, and short tele for under $500]
2) audio gear, especially for recording bands
3) support gear (tripods/rails/sliders)

March 2, 2015 at 11:02PM

Geoff C. Bassett

GH4, speed booster, and Nikon AI or AI-S prime lenses. Maybe a Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 as well.

November 3, 2015 at 1:35PM, Edited November 3, 1:35PM


Honestly you don't HAVE to upgrade. The diffrance in quality is not worth the investment, the 5d mark III is still very good for both still and video and I don't think that client that would be satisfied with a C100 image wouldn't like what comes out of a 5DmarkIII. Plus it has that litlle something in the colorscience that makes the images that comes out if it looks so nice. The only reason you would change is for ergonomics or if you need 4k but image quality wise you really need side by side comparison to see differances. If you want to get better quality out of it you can always shoot raw with magic lantern.

February 29, 2016 at 7:04AM


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