July 27, 2016 at 11:59PM


$4000 budget for Camera, Lens, and Drone!?

Hello everybody! First time posting on this site but after looking around for a while there seems to be a lot of knowledgeable people . I recently sold my old camera and lenses and am now looking for an upgrade to take my productions to the next level. I am looking at getting a camera, a lens for that camera, and a drone, all for around $4000. I am really struggling with the best way to split the money up.
-Drone, I am very interested in the dji phantom 4, but have also considered the yuneec typhoon q500. The phantom 4 is obviously better but the yuneec is selling for $700 so half the price. Going with the cheaper option would give me more freedom with the camera and lens
-Camera, my previous camera was the gh4, so I would like to get a little bit of an upgrade. Currently I am considering the A7s first and then the 5dMarkiii behind it. Would love the new A7sii but dont think thats possiblle. Im open to any other camera suggestions.
-Lens- This is where I have the least amount of knowledge because there are so many options. At the moment I am considering the Canon 50mm 1,4 with or without metabones if needed.

-In the end im just looking for some input and some suggestions. Thoughts on my possible ideas, and if you had $4000 for these three things what would you get.
-Side note. All of my projects will be 95% video based.
-Thank you for your help and knowledge I really appreciate it!


>>>My previous camera was the GH4, so I would like to get a little bit of an upgrade.

...So what's an upgrade to the GH4 ?

- Better dynamic range: Sony A7S, Sony A7S II, Sony A6300

- Better low light performance: Sony A7S or A7S II

- Built-in camera stabilizer: Sony A7S II

That's about the only areas that I can think of where the Sony cameras out perform the GH4. You have to be willing to live with short battery life, potential rolling shutter distortion, and in some cases camera overheating when shooting 4K for more than 30 minutes at a time.

There are no Canon or Nikon models that perform better.

Blackmagic is also a possibility if you are willing to give up on still photo capability.

Otherwise you could wait to see what the new Canon 5D Mk4 or the new Panasonic GH5 bring to the table, but these cameras might not ship until the end of the year.

July 28, 2016 at 4:08PM, Edited July 28, 4:09PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

I do mostly Aerial Photography. SAVE THE MONEY and get the Phantom 3 advanced or Pro. The camera is really not better on the Phantom 4 and you're just spending extra money on (shotty) guidance tech to help you not crash, the best solution is just to NOT CRASH! Practice practice. I have 5 Inspire batteries and I go out and fly two full charges every day. I crashed once and it was the first week I had the drone due to a compass error... practice practice ;)

July 28, 2016 at 9:43PM

Clark McCauley

I would agree get a phantom 3, then get a c100 second hand, if u need 4k then wait for the 5d mark 4 which might come out next month and see how that compares to the a7s.
but the c100 is a better camera at least for non "film work" and get some old nikon primes (and adapter) and maybe a canon 24-105. If u havnt seen this already here is the bts ( https://vimeo.com/132462755 ) to cartel land. the full film is on netflix and was filmed on c300 and 24-105/17-55 and the c100 shares the c300 sensor so the image should be the same

July 29, 2016 at 12:46AM


I just ordered an Autel Robotics X-Star Premium. Hasn't arrived yet so I can't say first hand, but every review I could find said it's on-par with or better than a Phantom 4, and considering the free battery, SD card, and case, it's half the price of a P4.

July 29, 2016 at 5:49PM


Btw you may just want to rent (Other than the drone, since rates are 3x the cost/value of other equipment, and they require a lot of practice). You can get a lot of mileage out of $4K for personal projects, and for paid jobs just build that into your rate. Just something I'd consider.

July 29, 2016 at 5:53PM


I mean this in all sincerity. I would invest in yourself and learn the GH4 better. There are many tutorials on using this particular camera for video.
You may want instead to put that money toward a lens. If you goal is upgrading, upgrading yourself will benefit you with any camera today or for the rest of your life.

July 30, 2016 at 8:51AM, Edited July 30, 8:52AM


For drone work a 50mm lens on a MFT sensor even when using a speed booster is not going to be very useful. You might want to look for something in the range of 10 to 25mm.

July 30, 2016 at 9:04PM

Cary Knoop

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