January 8, 2015 at 4:04PM


Best Cameras and Set-ups for Shooting Inside a Car?

Do any of you awesome NFSers have experience filming stuff inside cars? I have no experience doing this and wanted to ask for some advice. Basically, if you were given the parameters below, what would your solution be?

Some info on the project in question:
-Two people driving in a vehicle. No space for a third (hence the need for mounted cameras). I'd like to either have a single wide shot that encompasses both subjects, or have two cameras with mediums/close-ups of each.
-Subjects are mic'ed up with lavs so audio's not a problem.
-Rest of doc is being shot on a GH4 so if possible I'd like this car footage to be 4K, as well, or at least really good HD that matches well with my GH4.
-Usually shooting 12 hours a day (not continuously - I'll have downtime to change out memory and power as necessary - but these are long days). I mention this because I also want to factor in issues like how many batteries and memory cards I'll need.
-Just hypothetically let's say the max budget is $1500. This includes all cameras, lenses, memory, power, rigging, etc.

Here are some of the options I'm pondering:

1. GoPros. Obvious, easiest, and probably cheapest solution. However, I have real concerns about the video quality especially in regards to how it will cut with my GH4 footage. I've only used GoPros a handful of times and have never been satisfied with what I get out of them. I've seen some pretty great stuff out there, though (Philip Bloom, in particular). I know the newest one shoots 4K but I've heard that it's not that great, and actually possibly worse than its 2.7K. Everything here seems real achievable, budget-wise, but then I think of shows and movies where a shot just screams GOPRO at me because of its distinct look. I'm sure you guys notice it all the time, too.

2. Panasonic LX100 with a suction mount. I've heard the LX100's video matches the GH4's very well. It's 4K. It's got a hell of a lens. My primary concern is with focal length. Is it wide enough to encompass both subjects, or would I have to get two? That stretches my budget quite a bit.

3. Nikon DSLR or BMPCC with suction mount. Obviously this gives me the greatest control over image quality. I can use whatever lens I want or need, I can be assured of acceptable IQ. I am also interested in getting a full-frame DSLR for stills so I could possibly be killing two birds with one stone here. The reason I specified Nikon is because I'm using Nikon lenses with my GH4. I don't want to have to get a whole new set of glass. But of course this option is basically just ignoring my budget.

Right now, I'm kind of favoring the LX100 option because it seems a good compromise between getting acceptable IQ and keeping within my budget.

I also have basic set-up questions.
-What have you found to be the best places to mount the camera? On the side windows? If so, inside or outside? On the windshield?
-What are some of the best ways to actually mount the camera? Will a basic suction mount (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/610980-REG/Delkin_Devices_DDMOUNT_...) be the best option for my needs?

I'd love to hear thoughts, advice, and wisdom from people who have done this before.


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