June 9, 2015 at 2:27AM

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Low-Budget Camera Suggestion

What camera is best for shooting films in low-budget? DSLR?

19 Comments

What do you want to shoot ?

What's your budget ?

Do you own any other production gear ? ( i.e. audio gear, lighting gear, etc... )

June 9, 2015 at 7:17PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30527

I always love Guy's answer to all these equipment questions! And he's right!

June 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

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Tony
338

The best camera to start with will be the one you can borrow for free. To emphasise Guy's comment, which camera you use is only one part of a very large equation to which I will also add, and how will you edit and post produce (is that even a verb?)?

When you decide to make a film, what camera you will use should not be the first question you ask yourself.

June 10, 2015 at 7:28AM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1345

not trying to hijack, but I do love this forum both Guy and Julian are asking the right question. If this was the Frugal Filmmaker forum on facebook we would have multiple suggestions to buy a A7s, any of the Blackmagic Cameras and at least one person suggesting a Red Camera purchase and most of the suggestions are by people who do not own those cameras.

Which camera do I suggest? no one talks about this, I would suggest buying the camera that feels good in your hands (ergonomics), that the controls make sense to you and are easy for you to access the functions you need. What are the additional costs associated with your camera of choice? The cost of memory cards can be cheap or high? The costs of batteries and lenses? Buying used makes sense, but compare with new cameras. For example buying a used Canon 5d may make sense for about $1500, but I would rather have a Panasonic GH4 for about the same price. So be sure to look at what is new in your price range, often the older cameras bought used at a high price do not deliver as good value. However only you can decide.
Fitting the camera to the style of work? If you are doing sports or run and gun, maybe the best camera is a camcorder with automatic controls? Auto exposure and focus. For events, you might be able to run the camera for an hour without changing memory.
The biggest advice I can give and the other two posts say this as well. Think of a camera body as just one component, you still need: lens, memory, batteries, tripod, lights, audio recorder so budget accordingly.

June 10, 2015 at 10:46AM

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What kind of films are you going to shoot? As I always say, there is no perfect camera, and needs are different for each person and project. I'd say that a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Canon T3i (T4i, T5i perhaps) are in the lowest budget segment, but each have their own pros and cons. Remember that you'll also need lenses (at least one if nothing comes included with camera), accesories (tripod, etc.) lighting, audio and post-production equipment to do a film, so keep that in mind. I'll personally recommend to shot with whatever you have at hand (and better invest in audio) and if you still plan to buy something, is better to try before you buy. Also, it is worth to try to find a "very good almost like new" camera in second hand sales to save some money, especially if you are into a tight budget.

June 10, 2015 at 2:30PM

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Ulises Bravo
Filmmaker, DP
404

Low budget first camera. A Black Magic? I'm going to call a foul on that one before someone mentions RAW. He needs a cheap camera that can handle lenses so old, the instructions are in Latin.

June 10, 2015 at 5:38PM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1345

Well, I was thinking in a low budget "professional" (even this can be debated) camera, of course I was thinking only in the camera body and nothing else, but that's why I think that it is better to shoot with whatever he has at hand (even a phone) and spend the money (assuming he has some money sitting somewhere) on audio gear or something else that can add some production values to his films. But everything of course is pure speculation because he didn't gave us more details about the kind of projects he wants to shoot and how small (or big) his budget is.

June 10, 2015 at 8:38PM

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Ulises Bravo
Filmmaker, DP
404

The fact that he didn't give details hints at the fact that he is at the Happy Shopper end of the market.

June 11, 2015 at 11:12AM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1345

With hindsight, that sounded a lot bitchier than I meant it to be.

EOS-M with radioactive 70's Japanese lens. I'm Happy Shopper too.

June 11, 2015 at 4:47PM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1345

Damn the double posting.

June 11, 2015 at 4:47PM, Edited June 11, 4:47PM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1345

Julian, you hit the nail on the head, I think Guy recommended or you did earlier to borrow a camera and that makes the most sense as advice. I have found great deals thru canon.com for refurbs, the trick is to phone and they make unadvertised deals on the phone esp like around holidays, So phoning around july4 helps. What does budget mean? To a poor person maybe $100 is budget, where I grew up $10k would be budget and chump change for alot of people. The advantage of used Canon rebels are Magic Lantern software to add features for free, also you can get the nifty fifty lens, that combined with a Rebel or eos-m creates a pretty happening combo for around $300. It all depends if you need bragging rights or are going to use it? Which is a legit question. Many people online are into showing off their camera rig over actually using it. I think also when we make these recommendations to people, is that we say, "buy this camera" but in reality it is about a choice we made in the past about cameras which were available at the time to us and that we have experience with, to fit our shooting style and genre. I mean, I like women who are in their 50s that have a little meat on them, but that suits my needs. However your interests are likely different and cameras are that way. To recommend a Red or Arri Camera with Cooke lenses is a budget choice for Hollywood, but not for me. Which means that with the best of intentions we recommend cameras that likely are not suited for their needs which makes the whole recommendation worthless or we recommend cameras based on reviews, which is the same thing. The reason we don't have information about shooting style and needs is that likely the OP doesn't know which is also why it is a budget choice, budget which we also don't know. It always surprises me to have no information given and an army of recommendations for specific cameras with no discussion of needs, use or ability of buyer.

June 11, 2015 at 12:13PM

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Agreed!
Though, I love Cooke lenses on everything!

June 12, 2015 at 12:14PM

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Tony
338

A7Rii or Canon Xc10

June 11, 2015 at 9:51PM

5
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Three grand with no lenses is a budget camera?

June 12, 2015 at 4:43AM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1345

Then the Canon "mother sucker" Xc10 ;)

June 12, 2015 at 11:46PM

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Hello to all participants.
All your suggestions are really excellent. But where is Sidhartha Tripathi? Is he listening?
All of you are asking him those vital questions so you all can suggest some practical solutions, but Mr. Siddhartha is silent....

June 12, 2015 at 8:15AM

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Dibyendu Joardar
Director of Photography
692

"A7Rii or Canon Xc10"
my point exactly

June 12, 2015 at 9:15PM

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I think the Canon XC10 is gonna be a big hit when it hits the streets. It's gonna rip it apart. It's the new 7D, the new revolution in cinema.

June 12, 2015 at 11:48PM

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Any Canon DSLR , As Long As You Can Afford it , i Use Canon EOS 1300D , Cheapest DSLR Possible I Guess. And Great Result .

October 6, 2017 at 4:01AM, Edited October 6, 4:01AM

3
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Arsh DSJ
Director Editor Producer
358

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