October 5, 2014 at 4:46AM

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Budget camera kit options and ideas?

Hey everyone.
Just going round in circles trying to decide on which route to go for my shooting situation and figured I'd throw it out there in case anyone has better ideas than me or there's a glaring flaw in my plan!
The quick version is this: for one of my projects I currently shoot with a 550D (T2i) and vintage lenses via adaptors. The shallow DOF is very much part of the look but with a move to broadcast, the codec is no good. I'm looking for something to do a similar job or better but with decent codec without spending a tonne of cash. I like the Sony FS7 idea but really is way more than I want to spend. The FS700 hasn't really come down enough either (not inc the cost of the Odyssey 7Q) and rarely come up for sale secondhand in my country.
So my latest grand plan isn't that, err, grand.
Was thinking Blackmagic Pocket CC with the Metabones Nikon to BMPCC speedbooster to get a useable crop factor, then going with something like the Nikon version Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 to start with anyway. I'd go with the EF to BMPCC speedbooster but the lack of EFS compatibility makes glass a lot more expensive.
I've got a FF rig that I'd try and get it to play nice with, but failing that might go a mid range option like a Tilta combo.
I'd not be phased by going to an external battery, and the audio limitations aren't a deal breaker, I don't use any of the 550D audio currently either.
So, the question...any obvious issues with that idea that I've missed?
Or anything better I should consider? GH4? In a perfect world high frame rate options would be ideal too, but have to make sacrifices somewhere if I'm being the cheap guy.
Thanks a lot for any suggestions!

10 Comments

Hi. If you want really work for films, no doub, go for blackmagic. The best DR. I know that other things are importants, but i test a lot of this cameras and the look for blackmagic in that price is the best.

October 6, 2014 at 2:37AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7540

i concurr. blackmagic's color space really sets it apart form the rest of the pack in the price range. renting is also another good option

October 7, 2014 at 5:01PM, Edited October 7, 5:01PM

6
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Kazu Okuda
Filmmaker
1337

i concurr. blackmagic's color space really sets it apart form the rest of the pack in the price range. renting is also another good option

October 7, 2014 at 5:01PM, Edited October 7, 5:01PM

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Kazu Okuda
Filmmaker
1337

I would try and figure out what your camera budget is, and how much you are prepared to spend on lenses.

For low-light and shallow DOF the Sony A7S is probably the least expensive camera that performs well for these things.

I've been shooting with GH2 and GH3 cameras for years, so buying the GH4 was a no-brainer for me, and the 4K internal capture has proven to be a great feature for everything I shoot. I don't do much low-light work, so the GH4 was a good fit for me.

October 6, 2014 at 5:17PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30538

Guy,

Do you have a reel or something?

Alex

October 6, 2014 at 8:09PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3876

>>>Do you have a reel or something?

Hi Alex,

Nothing online at the moment. Most of my work is for internal training and education, which due to limited budget is not the sexiest footage around. I've been planning a new show-reel, but work keeps getting in the way of me completing it.

To give you some idea of the look I'm getting from my GH4, here's a frame grab from a medical film I shot last week about new patients calling a clinic for the first time. This was set-up and shot in about 10 minutes in a friend's kitchen. Lighting was mainly window light combined with color-matched 1x1 LED lights...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byy1CMO9ZfmrNW9BTllLT3lzWUU/view?usp=sh...

October 7, 2014 at 8:58AM, Edited October 7, 8:58AM

3
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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30538

Not bad at all!!!!

October 7, 2014 at 9:17AM, Edited October 7, 9:17AM

15
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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3876

Thanks a lot for the comments. I do really like the look of the BM footage but am now pretty sold on the GH4 with speedbooster. I've been concerned that it looked a bit too 'video' but found a few videos with the Sigma/speedbooster combo which look the goods.
The 4k, high fr, and battery life just sealed the deal. The 8 bit internal codec is the biggest drawback plus the low light performance, but the BMPCC hardly sounds like a low light warrior either.
Certainly considered the A7S but think it's out of my budget.
Now, tell me I'm stupid for going GH4!
Thanks again.

October 7, 2014 at 3:19AM

7
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btw the sigma lens does look like it would work with the bmpcc speedbooster. it's in the supported lens list on metabones site

October 7, 2014 at 5:02PM

1
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Kazu Okuda
Filmmaker
1337

For sure, it sounds like at your level and budget the BMPCC is the best choice!

I use a BMPCC myself with a RJ Lens Turbo and Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 (and a bunch more lenses... have a 50mm f/1.8, and Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for instance. And the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and 14mm f/2.5 pancakes, with the Panasonic wide angle adapter for use on my iGlide Glidecam. As pancake lenses help keep it to the "pocket" ethos nature of its name for when I want to go stealth).

This is one of the many reasons to go with Nikon F mount, you can get adapters for way cheaper than the Canon EF options. (and you've got a more future proofed investment in your lenses, as you can never predict what your camera will be in 10yrs or even what you next camera will be)

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/9086/rj-lens-turbo-m43-ada...

If you have faster paced productions (both on set, and in post for fast turn arounds) then maybe you might find the GH4 is a stronger contender for you over the BMPCC.

November 6, 2014 at 6:16AM, Edited November 6, 6:16AM

3
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David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2321

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