November 8, 2017 at 5:36PM

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What are versatile, inexpensive cameras good for documentary work in the field?

Our budget for each camera ranges from $1,000-$1,500.

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Great question Jennah!
Definitely not Black Magics.... In terms of DSLRs tho, I'm no expert.

November 8, 2017 at 6:18PM

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Depends... do you need to be discrete? Can you have a big honkin' camera rig b/c you're mostly doing interviews in a staged area? Inside and you control lights? Outside and no lights?

Maybe invest in a good tripod, circle light, and microphone. Then get some battery extenders and use your cell phone (yes, on a tripod with lights and microphone). If you have a DSLR or something big, people will react differently.

November 13, 2017 at 12:47PM

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Ethan
Producer/Writer/Director/Prop Maker
296

Canon HF G10 has the same sensor and processor as the XA10 and XF100. It goes for about $400 on ebay. I'd say get a tripod, pick up a few cheap LED lights, like the Dracast LED500 kit. They are light and you can get 3 for about $500. A Tascam DR-60D mkii or and a Rode NTG2 would cover your audio. With this kit, you would have a light, portable, easy way to record almost any interview (for documentaries) as well as have a reasonably versatile camera and audio kit to get you by in run and gun situations.

Of course if all you need is a video camera, I'd say go for a GH4 on ebay. It's relatively cheap on ebay, they make lots of relatively cheap lenses for m4/3 mount. The battery is better than any Sony camera at the moment, and does 4k internally. It's not the most "run and gun" camera out there, but definitely the best image for the price.

November 14, 2017 at 5:19PM

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Matthias Claflin
Videographer
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