March 9, 2015 at 5:15AM


Do I need two cameras?

Hi there,

I'm thinking of selling my Canon 60D + 18-135mm lens in order to buy a speedbooster for my GH4. I'm also thinking of getting the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 to go with it, and sell my Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 to help fund this.

I am mostly doing corporate videos/interviews so I'm thinking that I might be limited with only having one camera. Is it necessary to have 2 cameras for these situations?

Basically, is it worth selling my Canon 60D and Panasonic 12-35 to get a speedbooster and Sigma 18-35 for my GH4?

So far, I haven't found that I've really need 2 cameras, but I'm worried that I might come across a situation where I do and then be stuck!

Thanks in advance for any help!



Most of the time I shoot corporate interviews with a GH4 with a SpeedBooster and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI-S lens that I stop down 1-2 F-stops. ( this combo is equivalent to a 35mm f/1.0 lens that I stop down to f/1.4 - f/2.0 )

I also own the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 lens that I really like for handheld shooting, which I would not want to give up. ( it's one of the best GH4 stabilized lenses for handheld work )

If you're not using your Canon 60D, then I wold sell it. ( I owned a 60D years ago, but switched to shooting with Panasonic GH2 cameras, so I sold off all my Canon gear )

As for shooting with a second camera, you can simulate this by shooting in 4K and "punching in" with a 1080 HD crop of your GH4 4K footage. It's a simple way of cutting from a wider shot to a tighter shot, without having to use a second camera. If you have time for a second camera, you can shoot b-roll with almost any camera that can shoot at the same frame rate. So even a pocket camera shooting a wide shot from a different angle can work pretty seamlessly, just make sure you get the color relatively close.
( I am thinking of picking up a Panasonic LX100 camera to use as a compact b-roll camera that won't take up much space in my main camera case )

March 9, 2015 at 9:47AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Thanks again for the good advice. I suppose the 'punching in' was part of the reason for getting the GH4, so I might as well us it!

Paul Cummings

March 12, 2015 at 3:21AM

When you're doing work that you're being paid for I believe you should always have a back up camera just in case something goes wrong with your primary. I shoot on a bmpcc and kept my T4i as a back up even though I don't use it much. Back when I bought my T4i I kept my previous T2i as a back up. You don't want to lose good rapport with clients because of technical failure. Good clients pass your name along to other clients sometimes and you don't want them looking you over for future work or referrals because your camera died and you had to shut down production.

March 10, 2015 at 7:36AM

Don Way
Writer/Director of Photography

Good point. Definitely something to consider! I'm thinking that I could find a used 550D (T2i, I think?) for fairly cheap nowadays that could easily replace the 60D, seeing that it has the same sensor.

Thanks for the advice!

March 12, 2015 at 3:23AM


My combo is a t3i and EOS M, which lets me share EOS lenses. I love having the option to cut into a tighter shot from a slightly different angle during interviews.
I know Sony also has some APS-C mirrorless cameras that can use vintage stills lenses pretty easily. They take up very little room in a bag, and it's nice to have a locked off shot to cut to.

The other thought for you might be a used GH3 - you'd be able to use the lenses you already have, wouldn't need new/different batteries, and they look like they run $500 or $600. The colors would probably match better than using two different camera brands, too.

March 12, 2015 at 8:08AM


I reckon two cameras are definitely a must. You will for sure sooner or later run into a job where there's only one of you and lots of action going on and you'll want two shots. Yes you can punch in with 4K but that can never substitute for another angle. I've definitely done jobs before where I had 6 cameras running between two of us and it worked a real treat! I have met some people that even sometimes use their iPhone as a backup wide shot. Your suggestion about the 550D is a great one. I started with the 550D and then eventually moved to the 60D and now to the 6D - the 550D was the camera to beat back then! Of course you now also have the slightly more recent models like the 600D and 700D which are a little more expensive but a bit fresher for your needs. Besides just having two cameras for corporate gigs, sometimes I like the safety of taking my cheaper camera out to somewhere, like taking a 550D to a concert for instance and not have to be AS worried as if I was to take out say a GH4 - I like to call this good but reliable second camera my "suicide cam".....because I'm not afraid for it to take a couple hits, scratches and drops etc

March 12, 2015 at 5:46PM

Promotions / Production

I own the speedbooster and sigma 18-35 and i have really enjoyed that combo on both my blackmagic pocket and my panasonic g7( gh4 baby brother). I like having the option of the shallow depth of field,( the only advantage over your panasonic 12-35) but If i were you and i was doing mostly interviews, I would recommend selling your Canon and getting a panasonic g7 which is currently on sale for $600 with lens. then you can do two camera shoots and it would match perfectly with your gh4.

April 9, 2016 at 9:55AM, Edited April 9, 9:54AM

chris shenkle
Filmmaker, Dp, Actor, Singer

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