Topic: Film Equipment..

Howdy all.. I'm looking to buy a digital video camera and sound equipment as i want to start making some short films... I don't simply want a camcorder but something a bit more professional looking... Something affordable too... Would anybody be able to help me out by suggesting what i could buy that would be suitable for what i want to do?

Cheeeeeeeeeers

Re: Film Equipment..

Check with your local film industry they usually have equipment you can rent for a low cost while filming, they will usually also have a list of emails and phone numbers of available indy and student crew members looking for experience to help out

heres a link to my local film group just as a starting reference point
http://www.winnipegfilmgroup.com/rentals.aspx

Re: Film Equipment..

Affordable when it comes to cameras varies.  When it comes to professional gear the new generation of digital cinematography cameras can go for as high as $50,000+

The cheapest professional digi cine camera for an 'affordable' price compared to all others is the RED One, a 4K (four times 1080p resolution, which also atm makes it the highest resolution camera, most like Arri's Alexa only go to 2K at best) camera, the brain (not including lenses and other stuff) is about $20,000.  Adding lenses, tripod, batteries, harddrives etc. will run you about $50-80,000.

But since I don't think you meant that much; I'd suggest something along the lines of an HPX170 or HVX200; both can do 1080p and have decent images.  They also shoot on P2 media which exports MXF files, which if you cut on Avid; those files Avid natively uses.  Both can cost about $5-10,000 I should think.

If you only wanna spend about $2,000 the Cannon 5D MkII or the 7D are good alternatives.  5D MkII has a full 35mm sensor and 1080p but 7D can do 1080p at 24fps (I think 5D MkII can too) so it has a much more film like feel. 

Problem with both is that they're not purpose built digital cinematography cameras (they're DSLR, basically high tech still cameras) and so they do have the chance of rolling shutter or dead/hot pixels when in video mode.  But both export Quicktimes.


My roommate is a sound design major and I'll ask him for something he could recommend.  If you can avoid it; avoid using camera audio as the main source, audio is always secondary on them.  Double system (which you capture audio separate and synch in post) is the way to go.  I'll ask him what he recommends for affordable capture tools.

Last edited by thegoldensimatar (2011-02-14 23:46:06)

Re: Film Equipment..

Sweet thanks a lot.. I think i'll prob lean towards something more like the HPX170 but will do more research...

I was planning on doing most of the sound effects in post production..

Thanks a lot for the help, i need as much as i can get cause i'm kinda new to the technical side of film.. Thanks!!

Re: Film Equipment..

Basically his thing was your budget; first and foremost. 

But you need to get a high quality microphone as well as a good quality digital recorder with a level meter so you can adjust and won't get blown out audio. 

He said he'll poke around for some specific brands.

Re: Film Equipment..

As a photographer and filmographer, I recently purchased the Canon 60D, because not only does it take amazing photos, but videos as well. This is much easier for me, because now I only have to carry one camera instead of both a camera and camcorder. I prefer using an SLR to a camcorder for one reason: the lens. I find on a lot of camcorder, even if it's high def, the lenses aren't nearly as good as one you would find on an SLR.

I do want to note that on my website, we use a Canon Vixia HF40, which is Mini DVHD. I prefer the look of DV or using flash drives (I don't know, it's silly), but we also shoot at different speeds and such, depending on what we are doing, which is also something you may want to consider.

Last edited by MacheteMassacre (2011-02-20 00:59:58)

Re: Film Equipment..

Sweet thanks a lot.... Yup i think good Sound is really important.

I never even considered speeds and what not but i guess that's something i'll learn as I go along...

Re: Film Equipment..

MacheteMassacre wrote:

I prefer the look of DV or using flash drives (I don't know, it's silly), but we also shoot at different speeds and such, depending on what we are doing, which is also something you may want to consider.

Wow, you're the only person I know who likes DV.  I personally hate DV; capturing is such an annoyance and (at least for the SD Panasonic DVX100) footage is too soft.  Best tape footage I've ever seen is HDCam stock for our Cinealta; though HDCam tapes go for about $40 per tape.

Last edited by thegoldensimatar (2011-02-20 09:47:21)

Re: Film Equipment..

Everyone seems to be buying the 7D here lately.

Re: Film Equipment..

7D is cheap and gives a decent image compared to most systems.  I've worked with T2i shooting a teaser for my thesis; footage turned out okay, but was a bit grainy cause it's latitude isn't as good in extreme low light.

My DP for my thesis doesn't care for them, she'll shoot them if that's the only option, but prefers 16mm/35mm film, Cinealta or Red as they're purpose built for shooting movies. 

Just acted in a film that used 5DMkII; slightly better because it has a full 35mm sensor.

Re: Film Equipment..

thegoldensimatar wrote:

7D is cheap and gives a decent image compared to most systems.  I've worked with T2i shooting a teaser for my thesis; footage turned out okay, but was a bit grainy cause it's latitude isn't as good in extreme low light.

My DP for my thesis doesn't care for them, she'll shoot them if that's the only option, but prefers 16mm/35mm film, Cinealta or Red as they're purpose built for shooting movies. 

Just acted in a film that used 5DMkII; slightly better because it has a full 35mm sensor.

She doesn't care for the 7D? Damn, that's odd, it gives a good picture quality. 16/35 kind of expensive isn't it?

I like the Cine Alta, we used that on GT. I'd love a Red, but they're expensive.

Re: Film Equipment..

Her contention is that they're not purpose built digi cinematography film cameras and the latitude isn't as good as a purpose built digi cinematography film camera.  She likes 16/35 and is currently shooting a thesis on 16 cause the director got a Kodak grant for it.

Film I'm cutting right now shot on Cinealta, but the F-900s we have though can only use HDCam and their too early of builds to get the ProKeys adaptors.

If Cinematography was my track (Writing/Directing/Editing is for me) and if Red had released the Scarlet on time; I'd probably buy one of those. My school ordered 12; but till Red gets a 3K drive in the size/price they want...I don't think that thing will ever come out.

Last edited by thegoldensimatar (2011-02-20 15:52:51)

Re: Film Equipment..

Unless you are going very high end... rent your camera, otherwise it'll be out of date 10 minutes after you leave the store.... the way they upgrade stuff today. Better yet, if you get a cameraperson onboard, get one who has their own camera.

Re: Film Equipment..

Another thing you might want to look into if you haven't is editing software. I know I probably shouldn't but I edit in after effects cs4 lol. Its the program I'm most comfortable with and provides the most amount of adjustments for footage. But its a bitch to work with, with a low end laptop trying to do 720p or 1080p Fml... Right now im using a Sanyo Xacti 2000 its a pretty cheap camcorder but has mic input, a decent amount of manual settings, 1080p @60fps. It all comes down to the style you want. Crank 2 used a bunch of consumer cannon cameras, 28 Days Later used Dv cameras in some parts.

Re: Film Equipment..

I personally cut on Avid Media Composer 5; I think it's the easiest to use. 

Then again with editors it's personal preference.