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DevonChris

Camera to shoot stock video?

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1 minute ago, HockeyFan12 said:

Those Netflix originals (and the most recent Sundance feature I worked) were released last year. Things are moving fast, but large professional markets are the slowest to catch up.

I'm just offering my experience, maybe elsewhere things are different. 

If you have been in this business for years than we are Dinosaurs. New comers are going to hand our asses to us.

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Yeah but there is this misunderstanding that 4K from an iPhone is as good as 4K from a GX85 or that 4K from a GH5 is better than 2K from an Alexa. It’s not. 

But I think the real point is this... stock footage sounds like a great thing to make some cash. You hear stories of people making money and a living off of it, but you don’t go into a business venture thinking you are going to sell to the BBC or a BBC production or to someone that has a brother in law that watches the BBC. Most likely, any sales will be to YouTube channels or maybe to a corporation that needs generic footage for a trade show video. You do not need 10 bit 4:22 4K footage for that.

Start small, grow a catalog and learn from watching the trends. If the OP needs a GH5 for some other work, that’s a different discussion, otherwise he may as well shoot with what he has.

If anything, I’d invest in a gopro drone for stock video before a $2000 camera.

Also remember that there are guys that shoot stock footage with Reds and Alexas. They will spend a small fortune traveling the world to get the shots that sell... these people are your competition. 

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19 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

If you have been in this business for years than we are Dinosaurs. New comers are going to hand our asses to us.

Decades lol. But I wouldn't be so pessimistic. My favorite filmmakers (Spielberg, Scorsese, etc.) are more from the golden age than from today, and I don't think others have gotten any better than them. 

In terms of viewership, I agree with you, but not because of image quality. I think Jake Paul and video game commentators are the future of film/video consumption, but not because they're shooting 4k... just because they're younger and the culture has moved on to a point where that's what it wants. I still think it's about content.

They'll probably be shooting 4k soon enough, though... certainly before Spielberg. 

So you have a point.

As I mentioned elsewhere, my interests are mostly in narrative (and maybe a niche vlog about politics and movies). I've accepted that what I'm interested in isn't mainstream popular. But I'm starting to think my views here might not be helpful to others for that reason, so perhaps I'll bow out for a while if I'm not being helpful to myself or others.

But vinyl sales are doing great now, just not in competition with Apple Music, if you know what I mean. So I'm not that pessimistic, but maybe I'm a dinosaur after all.

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Glenn in 2 or 3 more versions of Smartphones it won't make a crap. 4K is 4K. It just depends mostly on the lens in this day and age. And that gap is closing fast on cell phones. How many people are ever going to go to a real movie theater down the road? Nobody. The future is unimaginable. And it sure as hell is not going to involve a DSLR, even a Mirrorless.

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I'm just offering my experience, maybe elsewhere things are different. For stock footage I totally agree you want 4k bare minimum, fwiw.

Some good discussion, here. Thanks everybody!

For future proofing, if nothing else, I would definitely want to deliver 4K stock footage.

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If you are trying to break into this industry, or make a living doing it, you sure as hell better have a camera that is broadcast 4k ready. Good 1080p is a thing of the past, not down the road

This will be supplemental income (hopefully!) and I like the idea of building up a portfolio that brings in passive income.

I also want to document some of the amazing places around here, so although a niche market, there is not much competition for footage which is why I want to create broadcast ready video, as long as the gear cost is reasonable.

I haven’t got a problem with buying a GH5 and delving back into the Panny world. A used GH4 and 4K Atomos would cost about the same as a refurbed GH5. I like the internal 10 bit recording of the GH5 and the IBIS would be really useful.

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Glenn in 2 or 3 more versions of Smartphones it won't make a crap. 4K is 4K. It just depends mostly on the lens in this day and age. And that gap is closing fast on cell phones

it’s a bit off topic, but I could not believe how good the photos are from the Pixel 2. In good light I was getting photos that were really close to the XT-2. Computational photography is amazing. Video quality is excellent from the Pixel 2 also.

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6 hours ago, DevonChris said:

Camera to shoot stock video?

What camera do you own now?  You could do time lapse photography and make 4k movies from that.

Stock video sites certainly do accept 8 bit 1080p footage.  I suppose if you are going to shoot a bunch of footage it might be best to future proof your work.  Honestly though I would have to check to see if they even accept 10 bit footage.  Due to space constraints some may not.  These clips are going a few seconds long.  As others have stated broadcasters and Netflix have stringent requirements for A cams but B and C cams that are used much less have more latitude and a 10 second clip?  LOTR used a crappy Gopro for a few seconds.  So some 1080p clips aren't a problem.

I don't know where you live but just because the place looks nice doesn't mean clips will sell.  If you are shooting on spec get ready for a less than minimum wage payout.  Unlike photographs I haven't found an easily accessible site that sells stock video footage for a reasonable price.  I've sold pictures for $800+ as a hobbyist.  Usually prices are a lot lower for editorial stuff but $500 sales happen from time to time for advertising.  But that assumes a model and property release depending on which is applicable.

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23 minutes ago, cantsin said:

Both numbers are wrong.

I was told 15+ by a lead engineer at Deluxe who was working with Canon and Dolby in developing future HDR workflows. It's my bad if I'm misquoting him, but I thought he was a reliable source. To be fair, some of the demo HDR material he screened for me was from cameras with only 14 stops of DR–and it was still great. 

I was given similar numbers by an engineer at Dolby and customer service rep at Arri (when they admitted that the mini's sensor rates above 15 stops but they don't publicly state it to avoid confusion since the original sensor rates a bit less–both seemed incredible to me).

That said, I haven't read any white papers and I could be wrong. Are you referring to Dolby or HDR10+? What white paper are you referring to? I'm sure I'm wrong here regarding one of the two standards because of the competing standards and the fact that they haven't been finalized yet, but I'm curious because I still think I'm right about Dolby, or perhaps I misremembered or it's changed.

As regards the black magic 4k camera, my own experience with it would indicate far less than 12 stops, more like 8-9 and then a lot of fixed pattern noise, so I agree with you there, but I was trying to be generous and not offend anyone who owns one. My apologies.

The pocket camera, however, and the 2.5k, both seem to have very good DR, 13 stops perhaps, though I don't have an exact number.

So that I don't make the same mistakes again, can you provide the correct information?

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What camera do you own now?  You could do time lapse photography and make 4k movies from that.

XT-2’s so yes they can be used for time lapse and 8 bit 4k.

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I don't know where you live but just because the place looks nice doesn't mean clips will sell.  If you are shooting on spec get ready for a less than minimum wage payout. 

South West of the Uk where there is not just nice scenery (with low commercial value) but a strong tourism industry, diverse sports and leisure activities, a strong industrial heritage, historic sites, a wide range of artisan producers and crafts, which would require model releases.

Number one priority must be to concentrate on content creation with commercial value and find niches where there is minimal competition where I can exploit my geographical advantages and contacts.

It sounds like the camera/gear doesn’t matter. Where have I heard that before :-)

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7 hours ago, HockeyFan12 said:

I could not disagree more strongly. Look at what gets into Sundance and only about 20% of it is shot in 4k+, probably less, and even that which is shot at higher resolution sees a 2K DPC finish 99% of the time. I can't think of one Sundance feature that was finished at 4k.

I get that Sundance is on the low end of the industry since it's mostly indie, but even in broadcast, there isn't any demand for 4k yet. Chances are there won't be. The infrastructure to switch to 1080p was enormous and costly, and streaming services are supplanting broadcast anyway. There is demand for 4k on streaming services, and a LOT of it, but those clients (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) will tell you up front what they want and give you the budget to rent any camera you need. The Netflix shows I've worked on include originals purchased outright from 1080p masters and those that Neflix themselves produced used HD stock footage freely (with a 4k A camera, but again, rented, so who cares what you own).

The black magic cinema camera barely has 12 stops of dynamic range, though, and HDR requires 15+. The Ursa 4.6k perhaps is another story, but any file from the 4k BCC would be rejected by QC for excessive noise (for HDR). 

Maybe you should read up on HDR before making such uninformed statements. Any camera that shoots log or RAW is already shooting HDR. There is no 15-stop requirement. 

Also, tldr, but when you make statements about forum members demanding better image quality than Scorsese (for our personal work, no less!), perhaps it would be best to speak for yourself. 

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34 minutes ago, jonpais said:

Maybe you should read up on HDR before making such uninformed statements. Any camera that shoots log or RAW is already shooting HDR. There is no 15-stop requirement. 

Also, tldr, but when you make statements about forum members demanding better image quality than Scorcese (for our personal work, yet!), perhaps it would be best to speak for yourself. 

I certainly don't need image quality that high. I just noted that Scorsese was content with iPhone and C300 (C500 internal) footage for the equivalent of "stock footage" (or B camera) on Wolf Wall Street, and most users here are looking for something much better than that. All I was saying is not to go by this forum necessarily as a guideline for stock footage sales, as I know from experience that Netflix and other big clients don't care about bit depth or even 4k resolution for stock footage.

I apologize for getting the spec wrong. 15+ stops was a direct quote from an engineer at Deluxe, and I got similar information from an engineer at Dolby after that–but I think he was referring specifically to Dolby's spec.

Was just trying to help, and will continue to do so but this time by keeping my mouth shut.

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5 hours ago, DevonChris said:

South West of the Uk where there is not just nice scenery (with low commercial value) but a strong tourism industry, diverse sports and leisure activities, a strong industrial heritage, historic sites, a wide range of artisan producers and crafts, which would require model releases.

You don't necessarily need a model release for videos with people.  Some sites don't require them.  The clips can be used for editorial work.  I find a lot of sites sell royalty free clips for a set price.  That's why I like photo.  You can sell photos rights managed and the price goes way up for advertising vs editorial.  Fixed price royalty free kind of sucks.

5 hours ago, DevonChris said:

It sounds like the camera/gear doesn’t matter. Where have I heard that before :-)

Gear certainly matters!  But you can take an 8 year old Canon Rebel and create 4k time lapses with it.  And 8 bit is okay.  So if you have an 8 bit 4k camera go out and shoot.

I just encourage people to go out and shoot creatively with what they have and see how it goes.  There is no need to spend thousands of dollars on gear if you are going to just give up in a few months.  Shoot with what you have and see whether stock shooting is for you.

If you like it then you can upgrade.  As has been mentioned with the BMPCC 4k coming out the stock video game is going to level up in a few months.

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Actually, when the Batcam comes out, there will be no quantum leap in either image quality or content. As always, 99% will be shiite like with every other camera ever released, with 1% who have an eye, a story to tell and who know how to grade. 

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14 hours ago, DevonChris said:

Hi

I am thinking about shooting stock video footage. Most of it will be outdoors, but I might extend into interior shots such as food, where I can control the lighting.

My thoughts are to aim for 4K 10 bit 4:2:2 delivery so the GH5 looks ideal.

I am considering either a GH4/Atomos Inferno or GH5 internal 10 bit to get started. Should I be considering something else?

I currently use Fujifilm XT2's for photography but there are no 10 bit recording capabilities with these.

Thanks, for your thoughts.

At the risk of getting flamed (yet again) for posting logic instead of camera specifications, here is my take on it.

  • You are talking about starting a business - therefore this is a business question not just a technical question
  • You should be choosing your equipment based upon two factors: what type of files will sell, and what it will cost you to get those files to market
  • I have spoken to a few people who make money from stock footage (I'm not an expert by any means) but what I was told is that a few clips will sell like hot-cakes and the majority will hardly sell at all, and you can never predict which is which, so you basically try and output as many clips as possible to maximise your chances.  They also said that things can sit and sell solidly for years, decades sometimes (I got told about real examples of stills imagery doing this).  It's a long game that takes ages to build income but can have a return that also lasts a long time, your historical content also supports longevity of sales.
  • So my recommendation about what will sell is to future proof yourself with formats.  4K was a dream only recently and now my phone does 4K60 - these things change quickly.  More resolution might be useful for things other than broadcast standards (3d trackers for example love resolution).  The cost of your camera is only a small part of the total time to identify locations, research best shooting times of day and seasons, arrange permission and releases, travel there, setup, shoot, as well as all the post-production, media management, and management of a sales pipeline.
  • In terms of what it costs to get files to market you should consider what formats might be easier to handle in post.  If you're shipping the files straight-out-of-camera then it's a question of what the sites you're selling on or end-customers will require, otherwise you should consider what transcoding or other conversions are required.  Not all media standards are created equal.

I hope this proves useful - and best of luck finding those winning clips that sell regularly and turning this into a profitable venture!

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3 minutes ago, kye said:

At the risk of getting flamed (yet again) for posting logic instead of camera specifications, here is my take on it.

  • You are talking about starting a business - therefore this is a business question not just a technical question
  • You should be choosing your equipment based upon two factors: what type of files will sell, and what it will cost you to get those files to market
  • I have spoken to a few people who make money from stock footage (I'm not an expert by any means) but what I was told is that a few clips will sell like hot-cakes and the majority will hardly sell at all, and you can never predict which is which, so you basically try and output as many clips as possible to maximise your chances.  They also said that things can sit and sell solidly for years, decades sometimes (I got told about real examples of stills imagery doing this).  It's a long game that takes ages to build income but can have a return that also lasts a long time, your historical content also supports longevity of sales.
  • So my recommendation about what will sell is to future proof yourself with formats.  4K was a dream only recently and now my phone does 4K60 - these things change quickly.  More resolution might be useful for things other than broadcast standards (3d trackers for example love resolution).  The cost of your camera is only a small part of the total time to identify locations, research best shooting times of day and seasons, arrange permission and releases, travel there, setup, shoot, as well as all the post-production, media management, and management of a sales pipeline.
  • In terms of what it costs to get files to market you should consider what formats might be easier to handle in post.  If you're shipping the files straight-out-of-camera then it's a question of what the sites you're selling on or end-customers will require, otherwise you should consider what transcoding or other conversions are required.  Not all media standards are created equal.

I hope this proves useful - and best of luck finding those winning clips that sell regularly and turning this into a profitable venture!

VR or HDR footage might be the next big thing. 

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1 minute ago, jonpais said:

VR or HDR footage might be the next big thing. 

Yes - they could well be.

On this note, it might be interesting to include a 360 camera in your setup (even just rent one perhaps) and take it to a few cool locations and put them up for sale and see how you go.

Considering you're going to all the trouble of going places to film anyway it might not be a huge addition to your costs.  360 is another whole thing and requires different shooting techniques (from what I understand you need to set up the camera on a monopod hit record and then go hide for the time it's recording).

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Just now, sam said:

I need help picking out a boat.  Do I want "logic" from someone who lives in the middle of a desert, or advice from a navy captain?

That’s why I recommend checking out Daniel’s work and possibly PMing him for advice.

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