June 28, 2018 at 12:39PM


10k to Spend. is a sensor worth investing in.

I've been shooting videos for about five years now, mostly borrowing or renting gear. since the freelance market in my area is starting to take off and i've been getting alot more jobs, i've decided to invest in my own gear. i was looking at getting a refurbished Ursa mini Pro for 5-6k. My question is would I be better off, investing less in the camera body, which will be outdated in two years and spend more on glass and other equipment like Gimbal, lights, recorders ect... or is the bang for the buck of the ursa mini pro worth the investment?


I would recommend to base what you buy on what people ask you for. When someone contacts you about a job, do they ask you if you have your own lights? Do they ask about sliders, gimbals, jibs? What lenses to you hear about most? I'd base it heavily on that.

For me, I'd recommend taking about $2k for lighting. I'd probably invest in either Aputure lights or Boltzen by Came-TV. I've never used Boltzen but I've heard good things about them and you can get a 3 light softbox kit for about $1k which means you can still have $1k for some more specialty lights.

When it comes to a camera and lenses, I'd recommend getting something around the price of the GH5. I am currently experimenting with the JVC LS300 I got from a friend which has an impressive amount of features for the price point, (422 8 bit 1080p and 4k codec, xlr inputs, built in ND, log color profile, a super35 sensor with mft mount, etc.) I am not sure I like the form factor or how menu driven it is, but these are just little issues. Either way I would personally go for mft mount because you can get rokinon cine primes to start and have an upgrade path to the Veydra mini primes for about the price of two rokinons. I'm a huge Veydra fanboy though, just to be completely transparent. Also I think Veydra is making Sony E mount lenses now too.

That said if you picked up an LS300 or GH5 (with the add ons to make it a viable option,) you're looking at roughly $5500 in your budget to get a few lenses and build your rig. If you buy a set of 3 veydra primes, you're looking at about $3000. You can get 6 rokinons and then some for that price. I would only recommend the veydras with the LS300 because the camera allows sensor mapping for resolution under 4k (including c4k, c2k and 1080), so you could reasonably get a bit more reach with each prime.

That being said you'd be left with $2500 for building out your rig, (matte box, follow focus, shoulder mount, external monitor) and for support gear, (a good tripod, gimbal, slider, etc). This is where you would see the most benefit from going with a GH5 as it is drastically smaller and lighter than the LS300 so you would save some money on things like a gimbal or slider.

Anyway, this is all my two cents based on most of the work I'm doing and all this really depends on what kind of work is in demand in your area and how you like to operate.

June 30, 2018 at 3:26AM

Matthias Claflin

The GH5 is amazing, but don't forget that video monitoring is also an important part of the kit. The Atomos SHOGUN recorder/monitor provides a great monitor with helpful tools (focus, waveform, vectorscope, LUT, etc) that allow you to really optimize your image capture. Without an external monitor you have to use a screen that's too small, with focus peaking that's too generous (to the camera, not the image).

You should also audition the Blackmagic camera for its color quality. I never liked BM's color. I do like GH4/GH5. Color is very much a matter of preference, so really important that you like the color you are buying. LUTs can only do so much...

July 8, 2018 at 5:23PM


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