I own a DSLR, Blackmagic Pocket, various lenses, interview light kit, basic audio recording gear (Tascam DR60d), lav mic, tripod, slider, boom/shotgun mics and a few other small pieces. Total investment - Probably $3500+ or so. I started with just one camera. This gets me by on a lot of lower budget shoots. Delivers nice 1080p. Interviews can look great etc.
On higher budget shoots, typically a specific camera (or quality level of camera) is requested. I just work the rental price into the quote. If most of my shoots required (and had the budget for) higher priced gear - I would purchase something like an FS7/C300. But right now, where I'm at and where I make my money - it would make no sense.
My advice is just start small and grow as you need to. Here's my essential list for starting out (in no real order of importance)
1. 1080p camera (so many to choose from - I went the GH2 route to start - and clients still love the footage from it!) By the way, some people still request a 720p deliverable. Go figure.
2. Audio recorder
3. Lav mic (giant squid audio makes a decent $40 mic - then get a 20' cable and you're set for interviews)
4. Light kit (fluorescent is great and pretty inexpensive)
5. Fluid head tripod (B&H has pretty good ones for $150 - $180)
6. Vintage lenses. I bought a few Canon FD's. They look really great and are pretty cheap. Even a kit zoom lens can be handy with corporate b-roll stuff.
I shoot on GH2, Blackmagic Pocket for corporate videos, interviews with b-roll, personal creative projects. (I'll rent C100 or similar on occasion when needed).
1. Low light on interior b-roll shoots. (Maybe I should but the a7s or its successor? although clients never complain.)
2. Getting dynamic shots is too time consuming, so i usually just do tripod moves. (businesses like you in and out - even setting up a slider for a few shots isn't really worth it.)
3. Tripod adjustments. Can someone make a tripod that you can adjust all the legs at one time? That would be sweet. Video mono-pods are okay, but movement shots aren't stable enough for my taste.
4. Dynamic range on DSLRs. Booo.
5. Blackmagic battery-life and the need to use a monitor. I guess the quirks of the Blackmagic are just too much for me at this point to use it consistently on my corporate shoots. The GH2 is still my go to on 90% of shoots because it's easier to use - and the clients just don't care anyway.
6. This is not while shooting but... Cost to upgrade gear. Specifically camera gear. On low level corporate gigs they don't really care what you use as long as it shoots 1080p. So, I can't justify investing in a new camera system at this point even though I like making my pictures prettier.
7. Audio syncing. Not that big a deal.. but my camera pre amps are below the quality I like, so I shoot dual system. It would be nice to capture audio in camera without needing a C100.
If you say what you're making - I'll tell you if I'd buy it.
What's another quad that you get beyond gopro style filming with fpv for $3000? Everything I've looked at that flies anything heavier than a gopro is a good deal more money. Granted... you can fly a gopro cheaper than $3k, but you don't get all the features the Inspire offers (HD downlink, retractable legs for no props in shots, indoor stabilization without GPS etc. etc.)
Does anyone else really dislike what (I'm assuming web) compression does to skin tones? Green blotchy mess.
FWIW - skynamic, who shot a lot of the video that appears in the inspire promo said "we think the quality is way better than any action cam on the market" in the vimeo comments under their video. When I downloaded a clip from their untouched footage it did look really nice. Not sure if they're being persuaded by a pay check on that statement... but still. https://vimeo.com/111696405
Wow. Just downloaded some original footage here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9HlDWOq6Do&list=UU6IYWou_c_Xjm63Wp5IpZBA (check the description for the link). All I can say is the YouTube compression is really really horrible. Original footage looks very good. I am surprised.