March 6, 2016 at 9:05AM


First camera

Hi, Im a high school student with a budget of $700 for my first camera and accessories. I have some experience as I have been in my schools media program for 3 years and have used the schools' GH3s. We are only allowed to use these cameras when we work on our projects however and I want a camera to learn and create short films. I need some help as I am really stuck between just getting like a used Canon 60d or T3I and investing more in the lenses and accessories or getting a G7 w/ kit lense and rode mic for $600. Any help would be appreciated... Thanks


If you like the GH3 then I would try and find a used GH3. ( they were selling new for $600 a couple of months ago, so you might be able to find a used body for $500 or less )

Otherwise, I would look at buying a used Nikon D5200 or D5300 camera which produce a very nice video image, they don't have the moire problem that most Canon low cost DSLR cameras have, and can sometimes be found used for very low prices. ( I've seen the Nikon D5200 used for as low as $250 for the body )

March 6, 2016 at 5:29PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

thank you for your response

Alex Afran

March 7, 2016 at 6:15PM

With a budget of 700$ I'd definitively look into the G7, which sells at around 600$ with a nice 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. I own one myself, and I think it's the absolute best beginner camera out there right now that will be around for a while, along with the newly released Sony a6300 (if it's as good as it reads in the specs) and which should sell for around 1000$.

The G7 is pretty much as good as the GH4 in all video and still features (sharp UHD, very good battery life, light and small, not great in low light, around 10 stops dynamic range, etc.) with a couple of features missing:
-no true 4K (4096x2160. UHD is 3840x2160);
-no headphone jack;
-no V-log (which adds around 2 stops of dynamic range);
-not weather-proofed;
-slow-mo tops at 28mbps 60p, which is not all that good if you want to grade your footage heavily;
-30min. recording time limit;
-no 10-bit output via HDMI.

There are some other differences, but these are the ones that matter for video shooters.

Then again, if you're only looking for a camera specifically for shorts, maybe the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera would be a more suitable option, as it has very good dynamic range (around 12-ish stops) and records RAW or ProRes internally. Then again, it brings many costs that the G7 doesn't, as you'd need to invest much more in storage and battery solutions.

If the 700$ budget you mention is not only for the camera, but also for some other gear, then Guy's suggestions are probably the way to go.

March 7, 2016 at 9:47AM, Edited March 7, 9:50AM

José Pedro Pinto

thank you for your response. I am definitely going to consider just saving up some more for the bmpcc

Alex Afran

March 7, 2016 at 6:17PM

also consider that the bmpcc needs to be rigged out to be usable considering the battery life is really poor, from what ive experienced the audio is really poor, you almost absolutely need an external monitor and what not

March 10, 2016 at 6:13AM

Carsten Weizer
Independent swiss army knife of a film maker

The Panasonic GH2 is currently the best bang-for-the-buck and is more versatile than the BMPCC. I picked one up for $175.00 including shipping a few weeks back. With the hack, the 1080P/100Mbps footage is detailed enough for use as a B-cam with my NX1. It's also compatible with some m43 speed boosters.

March 10, 2016 at 8:46AM, Edited March 10, 8:48AM

Marc B
Shooter & Editor

I would go for a GH2/GH3 too. I've just picked a GH2 with kit lenses for 225 euro, so I have plenty of money for gear and even lenses. Can't figure out other way to better video camera + gear.

March 30, 2016 at 3:59PM


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