September 9, 2014 at 6:22PM

0

Camera gear

Hi No Film Schoolers! I have almost 1k to spend on a new camera. I know that there is no one perfect camera and I really hate to post a question about gear, but I feel like I've hit a brick wall and I can't figure out what camera is right for me. That being said, I will tell you what I will be doing with the camera so you can help me decide which will be best for me.
1) I shoot weddings. This is VERY important. I need something that does fine even when it's not the best lighting conditions.
2) I recently got a good external mic. so I don't need the most amazing in-camera audio. (Although good in-camera audio would be a nice extra.)
3) I will use this for short deadline passion projects, so it will have to be something good for run and gun or at least something I can rig up for run and gun.
4) I am a hobbyist photographer and it would be nice to have an all in one solution. Otherwise I will have to buy a used Canon DSLR for photography and have two separate cameras.
Cameras I am considering:
These are the cameras on my mind.
1) Blackmagic Pocket- I love the RAW and Prores, but am slightly worried about the size of files it will pump out.
2) Panasonic FZ1000- I feel like the GH4's is just slightly too high for me, so if I'm looking at 4K and slow motion without the signature GoPro fisheye, this is the camera. I would love 4K to correct when I don't have the perfect framing and for down sampling to HD. However, I wouldn't have RAW or Prores and I'm really concerned about being stuck with one lens that can never be changed. (Although the built in lens seems fairly nice.)
Let me know if what you think! One of the two cameras or am I leaving off an important camera?

12 Comments

Just a side note: I buy used and am really good at finding good deals. I would be able to get the BMPC for a least of $850 with a lens or the Fz1000 at least $75 off because of being open box, so I will have room for accessories with these cameras.

September 9, 2014 at 6:31PM

7
Reply
Beau Wright
Filmmaker
395

hmmm sounds an awful lot like me ... video shooter before photog but that being said dslrs do a beautiful job of video and you can use them for photos too... i run a cannon eos 600d and find it supersedes my needs atm i got he twin lens kit but you can pair cheaper aftermarket lens with it too... i guess it will depend on weather your preference when acting photog is full frame or asp-c cropped frame... as the 600d is asp-c camera but it is still kick ass for film/video (audio is clear but not great though)

September 9, 2014 at 7:16PM

0
Reply
avatar
Bryce
whatever... can do any crew position
175

If 1k is the budget, this isn't a bad entry camera. There are much better cameras out there, but for the price it's a great getting-started camera. I just wouldn't invest too much in Canon glass just yet!

September 9, 2014 at 11:54PM

0
Reply
avatar
David S.
3034

The Blackmagic pocket camera is great! I haven't used it on any shoots yet, but a friend of mine just bought one and I got to go play with it and I prefer it over even the 4K camera. Some downsides are files size, like you mentioned, but also battery life. Its terrible. I imagine it would not be fun to use on any type of run and gun set (or wedding), even with them being removable batteries.

I think for you, its just about finding a solid DSLR. I've never used the Fz1000 so I can't give you an advice about it, but it does have a clean HDMI which is a big deal. So even though it doesn't have solid internal recording, the clean HDMI output gives you the ability to record in ProRes in higher bit rate files. This would mean that if you had a big shoot where you needed more flexibility in post and could handle the file sizes, you could pickup an Atomos or Convergent recorder for that project. I don't really like the "built in lens" idea because I think thats really limiting, but if thats something that you can work around then go for it!

September 9, 2014 at 11:13PM

5
Reply
avatar
Aidan Gray
Director of Photography Assistant Camera | Gaffer
1481

Given 3 of your 4 qualifications, I'm having a hard time understanding why the BMPCC is even an option.

1) If shooting weddings is important to you, I think that largely throws out the BMPCC. Weddings require acquiring a whole lot of footage, ability to adjust settings quickly to adapt to different lighting conditions, and low-light performance. Not to mention battery life (as Aidan mentioned).

2) The audio situation on it is pretty weak (but looks like it's getting better with firmware).

4) No stills.

Just my thoughts.

September 9, 2014 at 11:53PM

8
Reply
avatar
David S.
3034

I agree, though the BMPCC is a bit better solution now than it used to be now it has the lighter flavours of ProRes. You could shoot with say ProRes LT for ages for instance.

September 10, 2014 at 6:25AM

5
Reply
avatar
David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2530

If you are shooting weddings... might you need more than one camera?
I couldn't imagine shooting a wedding with only one!

If so, then with your budget I'd suggest getting three Panasonic GH1 cameras and three RJ Len Turbos.
http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/9086/rj-lens-turbo-m43-ada...
You can pick up a GH1 for about US$200 or less these days, and it is still a very nice camera to shoot with (I still use my GH1 for weddings):
http://www.anycamerawilldo.com/old-but-not-out/

Otherwise, if you only need one camera (perhaps you're just second shooting yourself, or you get other second shooters in to cover your other angles) then I'd suggest one of these: Nikon D5200/D5300/D7100, Sony A5100/A6000, or Panasonic G6.

Noam Kroll regards the Nikon D5300 as the best entry level DSLR on the market:
http://noamkroll.com/6-dslr-video-tips-that-will-dramatically-improve-yo...

I use a Nikon D5200 myself, which is quite a bit cheaper, and as EOSHD showed it performs very nicely when compared against the much more expensive 5DmkIII:
http://www.eoshd.com/content/9713/nikon-d5200-vs-canon-5d-mark-iii

The D5200 is basically almost as good as the D5300 but at a big discount in price, however.... lately the folks at NikonHacker.com have been making great progress and the hacked D5200 is looking even better than the D5300!

The one significant downside of the D5300 for weddings is the time limit on it, but if you get a external recorder (the Atomos Ninja 2 would be very very nice with its monitor! But that would blow your budget, so look at the Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle 2 instead which is much cheaper. Although... as this is a piece of equipment which should last you a reasonably long time as you can take it with you to your next camera, you may find it worthwhile to invest in the more expensive Atomos Ninja 2. That is my plan).

I believe however mirrorless is going to be the way of the future, so let's check out Panasonic and Sony:

The Panasonic G6 is also a stronger contender, as the G6 is in many ways the updated Panasonic GH2 which was a big hit with filmmakers on a budget (check out "Upstream Colour" as an example of a feature film made with it: http://nofilmschool.com/2013/02/panasonic-gh2-shane-carruth-upstream-col... ):
http://www.eoshd.com/content/10824/panasonic-g6-review-the-gh2-redux
http://personal-view.com/talks/discussion/6788/panasonic-g6-topic-gh2-re...

Then there is the Sony A6000 and the newer A5100 which is even cheaper but is arguably an even better camera (due to the 50Mbps XAVC S Codec in it):
http://www.eoshd.com/2014/04/surprise-sony-alpha-a6000-video-mode-huge-i...

The Panasonic FZ1000, Sony RX10, Sony AX100 and others like them are also ones to consider. I think they're all quite tempting cameras too, but the ones I've already listed earlier would run circles around them in terms of low light, image quality, and general versatility. Thus I wouldn't go for them personally (well... maybe when the RX10 gets cheap enough second hand to go for a song, in a couple of years from now or more, then I might pick up one for some certain casual uses such as at the beach. As the RX10 does have a fair few tempting features, and now it has got XAVCS in its latest firmware it is even nicer. But it is in my view still far too expensive when compared to what else I could get instead! i.e. a Sony A5100 / Panasonic G6 / Nikon D5300 / etc).

September 10, 2014 at 6:44AM

3
Reply
avatar
David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2530

Thank you everyone for you help! FYI I do have have more one camera I use on weddings for those asking. (A T1i and Gopro for B cams) I've taken the Blackmagic off my list after hearing about the battery life. I could probably deal with needing lots of SD cards, but not the battery too. I'm now looking at the Sony a5100 or Panasonic FZ1000. Any thoughts?

September 10, 2014 at 5:43PM

6
Reply
Beau Wright
Filmmaker
395

I would buy the FZ1000 for the 4K 30p image quality and the really long zoom range.

While it might not be the best camera for weddings, it`s enough to get you started if you are very careful how you shoot and how you mic for audio. ( Oscar Sound Tec OST-801 lav mics rigged for a 3.5mm mic jack cost about $90 and sound great, and can be plugged into a small audio recorder like the Tascam DR-05 which can be slipped into a pocket, clipped to a belt, or hidden within a dress )

September 23, 2014 at 9:55PM

0
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31977

My first kit was under $1000 and I shot a lot of weddings on it. I used a T3i and it is great because it allowed me to grow into a full frame like the Canon 5d Mark iii. I bought the T3i for $500 and it came with the 18-55 mm kit lens. A good lens to start out but in low light it craps out. I then invested in the "nifty 50" which is a canon 50mm f1.8 prime that I think everyone should have in their kit starting out. Great in low light and great shallow depth of field. It only costs $100 and is well worth it. I them put a Rode Video mic go on top and plug into camera. It is also $100 and is great to not have to sync sound later. I also bought a tascam dr-40 which is a great recorder for about $150 and then I rent wireless lavs as needed. I then got a nice monopod like the Benro or Manfroto style monopod. This allowed for great stability and so many options to get creative on shots. So for under $1000 you can get a great kit and make some amazing wedding films. Hope this helps.

September 25, 2014 at 12:16AM

6
Reply
avatar
Chad Fortenberry
Director of Media Content
189

Hey there Beau, I would seriously recommend booking a few weddings and renting for the first 1 or 2. Figure out what works well with your particular style. Being a wedding videographer I can tell you that you might want to really start considering everything else you'll be needing to successfully film weddings. Real quick basic of what your bag should have(and I'm sure you have acquired some of these already).
-fluid head tripod
-monopod
-at least 1 lav mic, you can get them cheap, and a zoom h1 to plug into
(A shotgun mic will not suffice for capturing a wedding, you can use the lav/h1 during the vows. Then at the reception use the h1 alone to plug into the Djs board to get a recoding of the nights audio)
-Your camera(pending...) *2 would be preferable for a ceremony but receptions you'll be fine with 1.
-2 lenses, (there's no such thing as a one size fits all lens, and if there is some 18-3million mm lens it won't stop down to a wide enough for low light.)
-get a fast 50 1.8 dirt cheap and that covers your low light
-and something in the 24-70 zoom lens range. (Glass is expensive so defiantly buy used)
-your going to Need 3-4 batteries
-lots of sd cards, all need to be class 10 for video, 16gb and beyond. If your shooting alone you may not have time to run to your computer and dump a card, back it up, and reload. So memory is extremely important, you'll want good cards too that are fast and reliable, the worst thing at a wedding is running out of space right before the first kiss, or dance, etc.

You want to not even worry about 4k or some camera that is going to leave you with way over 100gb of footage at the end of the day, all to then process on your computer, and buying a new computer that can handle it is obviously way costly. I do recommend buying a Samsung 840 ssd (Evo or pro) to use for editing and running your main applications off of.

-really important is a nice bag or preferably hard shell case that has all of your equipment neatly stored and easily accessible.

Sorry for the long post, it's just all of the little things add up and before you know it, batteries, memory cards, filters (little things) add up to a couple hundred dollars easy, and that's just scratching the surface.
I only say all of this because your doing weddings, if it wasn't for that than this process of just buying a camera would be simple.

With all that said I would rent for a couple gigs, search craigslist daily, talk to your local photo video friends and jump on any really great deals. I don't know the rules of the forum, but I being in your position starting out I can relate, and I think a canon apsc camera is a great bang for the buck, I have a t4i with a 24-105L that id be more than happy setting you up with as a first camera for that price, and being a fellow wedding videographer I can help you acquire a cheap kit, let me know if you ever need anything. Good luck man

September 28, 2014 at 8:26AM

0
Reply
avatar
Robert Mazey
Owner Bmazey@692media.com
81

If you are really interested in film then understand that the BMPCC is one of the most solid cine cameras you can find and you cant beat the price. I don't get the big issue with space, you are talking about the quality you get outs the camera, you spend $200 and buy A HGST (Subsidiary of Western Digital) 4TB drive. Its an investment. If you just want this to be a Hobby then buy something in the Canon rebel Series like the T3i (Still A very kickass camera!).

March 5, 2015 at 9:50PM

0
Reply
avatar
Wentworth Kelly
Director/DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2256

Your Comment