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I would like to get started in producing my own videos, but I can’t afford much gear at the moment. What gear would be the most bang for my buck? Which camera and mount would get the most value for its price point?
If you're on a REALLY low budget, use your iPhone. Personally, I don't care for that approach but it's increasing in acceptance. But really, the lower-end Sonys like the a6300 are under $1000 and the image quality coming out of them is excellent. Good lens choices also. But they're susceptible to rolling shutter, so be careful and don't bounce them around very much.
April 18, 2018 at 8:24AM
Thanks. I haven’t used an a6300 before but I do know a few of my mates who own them. I’ll try it out and see if that might work for me.
April 18, 2018 at 9:43AM
If you're looking for the absolute cheapest I would go with the Panasonic G7. It has good tools for filmmaking and is also really cheap.
April 18, 2018 at 9:08AM
Thanks. I’ll check it out.
April 18, 2018 at 9:41AM
My best advice if you're just starting out is to get yourself a used Canon 5D Mark II and a 50mm prime lens (great lens, runs about $90). This is not only cheap (probably under $650 total) but it is how I started and I actually still use despite now working with Blackmagic Cinema Cameras, RAW files, Sony F5, VFX workflows, etc. The reason? When starting it is such a great package for small time filmmakers. For me the selling point was that it was used on Mad Max Fury Road! But aside from that adding on Magic Lantern lets you record RAW beautiful footage and adds so many great professional features. Also if you're a freelancer, the photos are great! It is my only photography camera after 4 years of use. It pulls double duty for me constantly. Speaking of freelance, the small body and versatility make it easy to travel with and is far less conspicuous when doing events than higher end cameras.
Another big selling point is the lens mount and sensor. Full Frame + Canon EF mount. Not only will this give you a full frame sensor (which trust me, just skip the crop sensor DSLRs they aren't worth it and don't help you 'learn your camera' any faster), but the EF mount is one of the most universal mounts you will come across. I went from freelance to full time job and and back again and then to another job. Everywhere I went my EF mount was instrumental in our workflow. Yes, sometimes you work with Sony E mount, or micro 4/3, but nearly everyone will have Canon lenses. In my experience they are still the most universally used and the L series is sort of a gold standard (not ALWAYS the best, but they carry a reputation).
The downside to this camera is that the compression is ugly and the low light isn't great. Unless you are EXTREMELY knowledgeable on cinematography, and have the money to light and art direct things to the max don't expect any super 'cinematic' shots. Good composition is up to you, but the sensor will fail you when it comes to low light and dynamic range. For the most part its a good 'videography' camera and at best a decent B camera if you have the money (like Mad Max). Overally, a very solid starter camera.
May 1, 2018 at 8:10AM