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Camera and Lenses Recommendation for $5,000


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I am a one man shooter who makes corporate videos and documentaries and I want to invest about $5,000 in Camera and lenses for my video projects. I live in West Africa so I really need to get a system that works well.

I was looking at the Canon 5D MK III and lenses (Sigma Art Lenses: 50mm, 85mm) and Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens.

I look also at the Nikon D810 and the Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless camera and the upcoming Panasonic GH5.

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Nowadays the 5D3 and D810 are completely outclassed and outdated for video work. They're still great photo cameras, but if your focus is video you can get a LOT more for your money.

To make specific recommendations we need to know more about what & how you are shooting, and what equipment you already have. For instance many corporate gigs would require lighting- if you have no lighting equipment you need to knock your camera/lens budget down to be able to get some lighting. But maybe you have a lighting rig already, or your clients typically don't want/care about lighting.

Same goes for audio... shooting length (media and battery)... shooting speed (zooms vs. primes, auto modes)... ruggedness/weatherproofing... transport/storage... what looks you want to be able to achieve. Do you need photo capability? What about autofocus? Do you already have lenses or other equipment you need to maintain compatibility with?

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Yes you don't want to touch a DSLR rig with a 10 foot pole. C100 mkI or mkII is the way to go. Great skin tones for people pictures. Get a 18-..mm STM lens, a decent microphone, damn good tripod, not a cheap lightweight one, and you are 80% there. You need some lighting equipment, maybe a small external recorder to up the Codec a bit. They are cheap for 1080 recording.

The C100 is a dream for the two things you mention. They all involve people and they Have to come out looking good, no great, and the Canon can do that. Get a C100 with the DPAF in it. People tend to weave back and forth, rock side to side when excited, so you Need AF.  Make sure you don't go with too shallow of a DoF, but you do have to isolate them. Takes practice.

Go for the mkII if you can swing it, DPAF is included, and the EVF and LCD are Tons better on it. Your budget is within reason using the Canon's. But you will find out there is no end to the money you sort of would like to spend LoL. :grimace:

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Many thanks, guys for your response. Currently, I have a the following:

1. Sennheiser Lavalier Mic and the Zoom H5 Recorder.

2. Tripod with wheels

3. Lighting Kit

I have been renting cameras and lenses in the past and want to get my own camera and lenses for corporate videos and short documentaries. I have used mostly DSLRs and Sony XDCAM EX3 in the past. I want to spend $5,000 for the Camera, Lenses, media and batteries. I will also consider using an external recorder like the ninja star.

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21 hours ago, jpfilmz said:

If the budget is only $5000 i'd recommend this kit.

Canon C100 MK1 - $2499
Sigma 70 - 200mm f/2.8 - $1299
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 - $799
Rode Videomic Pro - $229
SanDisk 128 GB Extreme Pro - $66

Total: $4892

I would also include:
1 spare Wasabi Power Batteries for C100 - $30 and your good to shoot all day long.
1 Z96 LED light(on camera light) - $70
 2x NP-F970 Battery + DC01 Travel and Car Charger Adapter - $45

Total: $5037

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5 hours ago, jpfilmz said:

1 Z96 LED light(on camera light) - $70

Not to nitpick or derail the thread, but there's much better options than the Z96s now. I had three and sold them off a couple months ago. I went cheap and scored a couple "Pico 228" lights off eBay for $20 each. Much brighter than the Z96s, adjustable color temp, and they stack up much nicer/flatter in my gear bag.

I would recommend watching Caleb Pike's recent LED shootouts on Youtube, lots of great options covered there.

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