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Recommendations for a beginner

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Hi

First post from a new member.  Any recommendations and advice greatly appreciated.

Am finding my interest moving over from stills to video and am looking to rationalise my gear and learn about editing etc. 

Have slowly learnt stills photography by spending countless hours trying things out and learning from the results.  Recongise thats probably whats needed for video too but am keen to start off on a good footing.

With stills my workflow is RAW files, through DXO Optics pro to JPG.  I've had a look round for a decent beginners guide to getting started and most seem very trivial 'use a tripod' type stuff.  Please feel free to point me toward some good guides or youtube channels etc, as an absolute beginner I could be searching for the wrong thing.

Understand the best bet is to record with sharpness, contrast etc turned down low and add it afterward.  Is there a decent free package for doing this/learning on?

Been reading lots on here about different camera reviews.  I have a Panasonic GX1 with kit lens along with a Nikon D700 and some nice glass.  The Nikon doesn't do video at all but the output of the GX1 appears fine to these non videocentric eyes though sadly with no mic input.
Which cameras would you recommend? 

I see the 5d mkii makes it into the League one in the EosHD 2015 list:

http://www.eoshd.com/2015/01/dslr-video-quality-rank-january-2015/

This is comparible in cost to my D700 so I could switch ranks easy enough and still have a decent stills camera to boot.  Also understand you can get Magic Lantern focus peaking on it which could be good news for legacy lenses.

Alternatively there's plenty of Panasonic options on the league two list like the G6 which is available very resonably second hand.

The list is two years old now, has anything come to the party thats rendered it obsolete? 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Well you can buy a Panasonic G7 used for less than 400 dollars and get 4k with it. And they are good at low light also. Plenty of used GH4's out there now for less than 800 dollars also. It is for the money probably the best video camera you can ever buy.

Also Black Magic BMPCC and BMCC are really a great way to use a raw camera, and get, for the money, the best Cine look for the money also. Used Sony A6000 are cheap also.

The main thing you need to do no matter what you buy when you get it shoot, shoot, shoot ,edit ,edit, edit. By doing it over and over to see what you did right and what you did wrong best way you can really learn what to do. I would suggest using Black Magic Resolve because it is free. Really a powerful software package.

I could go on forever on cameras, but you are the one that has to make that decision. Plenty of info on the web. I like Camcorders myself, but good ones are pretty expensive. They are made to shoot video and need very little rigging to do it. Not some camera that has video added on to it.

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If you can find a secondhand Lumix G7 for cheap, that's probably the way to go. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest you do not start out using flat profiles, but instead use the Standard photo style with sharpening and noise reduction dialed down. Adjust white balance in camera when shooting, do not rely on AWB. Once you feel confident, then you can begin playing around with flat profiles. BM Resolve is not for the faint-hearted, 

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Download Devinchi Resolve, a really powerful free editor. 

If you like Nikon I would stick with it for now. Get the D750, fantastic video in small file sizes. Use your existing lenses.

Get a Tripod, a good external mic. and a lavaliere mic.

Then shoot and edit as much as you can. Upgrade your gear as needed after that point.

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10 minutes ago, Geoff CB said:

Download Devinchi Resolve, a really powerful free editor. 

If you like Nikon I would stick with it for now. Get the D750, fantastic video in small file sizes. Use your existing lenses.

Get a Tripod, a good external mic. and a lavaliere mic.

Then shoot and edit as much as you can. Upgrade your gear as needed after that point.

@Iford Go ahead and watch a few tutorials for both DaVinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro and decide for yourself which is better for a beginner. Here are the steps to editing a project in Final Cut:

1. Create a new library (hit File, NEW, library). I usually choose an external drive for the Library location, but you do as you please.

2. Create a new event (hit File, NEW, event). You will also be prompted to create a new project at this time. I name the project and choose 4K, 24p. done.

3. Import clips.

4. When finished editing, select SHARE in the File tab, export. Finished!

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Having been making the same journey myself over the last few years here's what you'll probably learn:

- Color correction / grading is "horrible" in video compared to shooting RAW photos (which is almost cheating and that's fine by me).  If you're used to using lightroom and RAW photos, you'll be in for a unwanted surprise in most NLEs.  It's important to get it as close to "right" as possible in camera due to the bit rates and color depth limitations in video files (one photo vs 24fps).  Although I am getting better, I really wish they would just put the Lightroom tools into Premiere already (you don't even want to experience Premiere before the Lumetri color correction tools).  This is the perspective of someone who started photography in the last 10 years and not shooting video from the 80s.  You can shoot the D750 with an almost black photo and pull something useable out of it!  Not so with video.

- Most 1080p files are pretty soft out of camera and don't get that much better with sharpening - and it's really easy to get a weird digital sharpening look.  When uploaded to youtube anything played back in 1080p will lose its sharpness anyways due to youtube compression.  A lot of content you see looks fine on mobile or played back in a little window, but when you blow it up it gets kinda mushy and blocky, especially compared to photos!  This is kinda why people went gaga over the DSLR shallow DOF look - when you have a shallow DOF I think your eyes think the subject is more "sharp" compared to the "blurry" background, and so you don't really notice the overall crap technical sharpness many cameras produce in 1080.

- "Getting into video" is like "getting into photography" in the sense that there are so many styles!  So you will get all sorts of different viewpoints.  Some people only shoot narrative and they don't understand you can't bring a full lighting kit to your run and gun event you are getting paid a few hundred to cover.  Some people never bothered to learn about lighting and don't think it's important even the whole "photography is light thing" is actually a thing.  But if you are just getting into it, it's helpful to pick a genre and learn how to do it well.

- Software wise, obviously there are a few big popular packages.  I think learning one of them is very beneficial if you are wanting to do paid work at all.  Mostly I hear about Premiere, FCP and Resolve.  I have tried getting into resolve but... dang man why can't you just drag and drop a file in there?!  WTF!

- Using the Kendy Ty example (check out his stuff) - he shot his stuff on the T2i!  Looks amazing because he worked his gear, subject, and setting very well.  Maximized his cameras strength of shallow DOF to "hide" the crappy sharpness of the T2i.  A lot of people will say "see, the camera doesn't matter, look what Kendy can do with the T2i".  Well if that was true everyone would use the $200 T2i to shoot everything with.  Different cameras have different strengths and weaknesses, really depends on what you want to produce.

 

Good luck!  

 

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47 minutes ago, scotchtape said:

Having been making the same journey myself over the last few years here's what you'll probably learn:

- Color correction / grading is "horrible" in video compared to shooting RAW photos (which is almost cheating and that's fine by me).  If you're used to using lightroom and RAW photos, you'll be in for a unwanted surprise in most NLEs.  It's important to get it as close to "right" as possible in camera due to the bit rates and color depth limitations in video files (one photo vs 24fps).  Although I am getting better, I really wish they would just put the Lightroom tools into Premiere already (you don't even want to experience Premiere before the Lumetri color correction tools).  This is the perspective of someone who started photography in the last 10 years and not shooting video from the 80s.  You can shoot the D750 with an almost black photo and pull something useable out of it!  Not so with video.

- Most 1080p files are pretty soft out of camera and don't get that much better with sharpening - and it's really easy to get a weird digital sharpening look.  When uploaded to youtube anything played back in 1080p will lose its sharpness anyways due to youtube compression.  A lot of content you see looks fine on mobile or played back in a little window, but when you blow it up it gets kinda mushy and blocky, especially compared to photos!  This is kinda why people went gaga over the DSLR shallow DOF look - when you have a shallow DOF I think your eyes think the subject is more "sharp" compared to the "blurry" background, and so you don't really notice the overall crap technical sharpness many cameras produce in 1080.

- "Getting into video" is like "getting into photography" in the sense that there are so many styles!  So you will get all sorts of different viewpoints.  Some people only shoot narrative and they don't understand you can't bring a full lighting kit to your run and gun event you are getting paid a few hundred to cover.  Some people never bothered to learn about lighting and don't think it's important even the whole "photography is light thing" is actually a thing.  But if you are just getting into it, it's helpful to pick a genre and learn how to do it well.

- Software wise, obviously there are a few big popular packages.  I think learning one of them is very beneficial if you are wanting to do paid work at all.  Mostly I hear about Premiere, FCP and Resolve.  I have tried getting into resolve but... dang man why can't you just drag and drop a file in there?!  WTF!

- Using the Kendy Ty example (check out his stuff) - he shot his stuff on the T2i!  Looks amazing because he worked his gear, subject, and setting very well.  Maximized his cameras strength of shallow DOF to "hide" the crappy sharpness of the T2i.  A lot of people will say "see, the camera doesn't matter, look what Kendy can do with the T2i".  Well if that was true everyone would use the $200 T2i to shoot everything with.  Different cameras have different strengths and weaknesses, really depends on what you want to produce.

 

Good luck!  

 

Agree with scotchtape 100%. Try to get the image you want in camera. Downsample 4K to 1080p in the timeline (or not), your images will have less moire, more resolution than shooting in 1080p. And don't get all caught up in useless discussions about specs and pixel peeping. Those people probably never shot a video in their life.

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2 hours ago, Snowfun said:

Blackmagic Pocket? Gives you the opportunity to play with the basics at a reasonable price and still get stunningly good results.

Put the raw files into Resolve... then decide you're better off with Prores 422 in Final Cut for the reasons stated above...

I agree, a BMPCC is probably the best way to learn Video. And like you said it is as good as a $5,000.00 camera output wise.

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It's amazing how many really decent sub $1K video cameras there are these days. 

For editing, my vote goes to Davinci resolve. You are going to end there at some point anyways, so you will have an advantage if it is your starting point. It is mind boggling what Resolve offers in a FREE package. By far the best NLE for color grading.  FCPX is $300 and needs expensive (>$100) plugins for any meaningful color correction and I won't even mention the cost of the hardware to run it ;) . Adobe premiere pricing scheme sucks even more so it's better to avoid starting a cash-bleeding dependency if you can, cause you will need any penny you've got for the additional things that you never knew you needed for video :) 

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3 hours ago, Liam said:

Hitfilm express is probably the second best free NLE, after resolve (but a $20 add-on might be kind of necessary). Not that you're against spending any money probably. can also run on a lower specced computer

100% second this. I use Premiere for editing, and resolve for footage printing, but I know several people who enjoy Hitfilm and make some seriously good stuff on it. 

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HitFilm and/or Vegas Pro are my top votes for editing if you're starting out.  (or Premiere Pro if you'll likely be working with/for others professionally in the future, as it is a near universal program)

 

As for camera, just stay with your Panasonic GX1 and Nikon F mount lenses, that is an absolutely fantastic starting point for a beginner!!


Yes, there are better options,  many of them very tempting indeed, and very attractively priced. But this is a never ending circle that can suck you down forever.... 

First  you consider the G7, it is so cheap secondhand it is almost free! No brainer decision. Let's buy it. 

But.... the G80 isn't really "that much" more is it in cost to buy? And it has IBIS!

However... now we're nearly halfway in price to a GH5, and that is omgmyballz amazing!!! Should get that instead. 

But however now we're nearly halfway in price to buying a Kinefinity Terra 5K!!!! OMGAMAZINGZWTF!!!!

Whoops, that is my phone ringing, let me answer that.... oh hello Mr Bank Manager, what are you calling about, my overdraft? Oops. 

 

Thus I say stick with you GX1 and Nikon lenses you have for now. 

If  you simply ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT resist the itch to spend money on gear (I know I know, I've been there, I understand!!), then instead spend it on filling in the gaps in your lens collection (maybe you need a UWA? Or a portrait lens? This too can go on forever....). As at least lenses can last you for decades. 

Or get a few quality audio pieces (microphones can also easily last you over a decade! I just purchased a newly two thousand dollar microphone myself... :-o ).

Or lighting gear! Again, this should last you longer than a camera body will. And quality lighting used effectively will go much further towards making  your film look amazing than a new camera will!


Then once you've progressed and learned  more, maybe in 2018 give in to buying a new camera? By that point  you'll be able to pick up a G80 for today's G7 prices, or less!

 

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I was on the same boat as you, i had been shooting stills for some time (D800) and wanted to get into video just for the fun of it so i got a G7 and the Zhongyi Lens Turbo Adapter, this way i can still use my lenses and have 4k and the 60p HD option. I am actually selling that kit at the moment (the G7 with kit lens + adapter). PM me if you are interested.

This was shot with that kit (G7 with lens adapter with 35mm f1.4 sigma art and Samyang 14mm f2.8) last saturday and edited on the same day, it was meant to be a test.
 

 

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