December 8, 2014 at 10:23PM


Best first camera?

For someone who wants to start making films, what is the best quality (relatively inexpensive) camera to get? Considering I'm extremely tight on money the most I could probably throw down for it for would be somewhere between $250-$1000. Also, in line with the first question, what gear should be purchased alongside said camera, for all the other basic components used to create a short film (in regards to lighting, props, programs, etc.)? I don't care if I have to do it guerilla-style. I'm extremely new to this so help would be appreciated :)


I would look at the following cameras...

Nikon D5200 Digital : $598 on sale

Panasonic Lumix G6 : $600 on sale

Panasonic Lumix GH3 : $698 on sale

Sony A5100 : $498 on sale

Sony A6000 : $598 on sale

You will want to add a good quality audio recorder to what ever camera you go with, something like this...

Tascam DR-40 Recorder : $175 with rebate

You will also need spare camera batteries and memory cards to shoot with.

December 8, 2014 at 11:39PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

I have the Nikon D5300. It can record a file up to 20-30 minutes. I guess with a good editing platform you can take the smaller 20 minute shots and turn it into something full length?
BTW...just a new hobbyist here....go easy on me..lmao

December 14, 2014 at 5:15PM, Edited December 14, 5:15PM

Jon Taylor
Automation Tech

I think the Panasonic cameras listed here are the only ones that do not have a recording time limit. ( I've shot a 2.5 hour musical performance as one take with my GH3 camera )

Guy McLoughlin

December 17, 2014 at 8:07AM

If $1000 is your max budget, I'd say make sure you keep support gear in mind. A decent monopod or tripod runs a couple hundred bucks, and is invaluable.
Also, none of these cameras are going to ship with a decent fast prime, but mirrorless cameras give you a ton of options for adapting old manual lenses (FD, M42, etc.) - I've got a $10 Minolta 50mm1.7 that's pretty wonderful.
I'll second the audio recorder - I personally use the DR-40 mentioned above, but the Zoom H4N is pretty standard, and it's nice to be used to running gear that everybody's used to.
Nady has a ~$35 shotgun that, while far from perfect, is going to get you better sound than an on-camera mic.
Also, lights and stands are pretty essential. There are some decent LED panels for under $50 that can throw a little light, and of course, a trip to a hardware store can get you something that will work in a pinch.
Extra batteries! Whatever you're shooting with, have spares. There's not much worse than running out of juice with one last scene to shoot.
As far as cameras, I haven't used, but have heard good things about Sony's mirrorless APS-C cameras. The a5000 is only about $300 right now with a lens, and it might make a good starter camera.
Good luck

December 18, 2014 at 12:11PM


Canon 60D or blackmagic pocket camera cinema

January 18, 2015 at 4:49PM

Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director

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