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Amateur Videographer Needs Advice On Equipment


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Hello all,


I am new here and am looking for some help from experienced videographers.  I have experience shooting stills for about 3-4 years now, but this year I have started doing a lot of video work and had surprising success.  It started with a friend wanting me to shoot a wedding video for her and now it has turned into an almost every weekend gig.  I think that with more practice/learning It could develop into a full time profession that I love. I need help with budgeting money and getting your advice on what equipment I should most intelligently choose to purchase/upgrade. I'll start by telling you what I currently own and I would like input on what my next step should be and why.  I will give a budget that I am looking to spend.


Currently own:

  • Canon 5D Mark II (With Perfect LCDVF)
  • Canon T1i w/ kit lens (I am going to sell this and put money towards new body)
  • Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Monopod
  • Canon 50mm 1.4
  • Canon 50mm 1.8
  • Rode Videomic
  • Zoom H1

I also have access to use Canon 70-200mm f/ 2.8, and Canon 16-35mm f/ 2.8. Everything else I rent.


What I am thinking about purchasing:

  • Canon 60D
  • Canon 7D
  • Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera
  • Panasonic Lumix GH2 (for hack)
  • Panasonic Lumix GH3


What it will be used for:

  • Wedding Highlight Reels
  • Music Videos
  • Short EPK work for Musicians
  • A documentary about my hometown starting next summer

What I need from my new upgrade:

  • 60 fps (preferrably @ 1080p)
  • Very sharp IQ (I can get lowlight and DOF out of my 5D Mark II)
  • Easy profile for grading in post (This is what I need most help on, my grading skills)

Budget: $1500


I know lighting/location/style have alot to do with it, but which sensor of the 5 listed above gives the most cinematic look? BMPCC? I have been extremely impressed with what I have seen out of the GH series.


Keep in mind Lenses and Rigs will be a priority too.  I can continue renting lenses if I go for a more expensive body, or I could get a used GH2 and buy good cinema glass.


So if it were your decision and you needed a second body used PRIMARILY for video. How would you use your money?


Thanks and looking forward to hearing from this community.

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BmPCC is not good for the uses you mentioned. It requires heavy grading and additional gear to make it functional in a professional environment, battery life is shocking, lcd is useless. Go the GH3, it's a workhorse, stable, very good IQ, 60fps at 1080p and what you see is what you get, expose correctly and you won't need much grading or post work.



GH2 is a great option also, image quality when hacked is as good as the gh3, although the GH3 has better dynamic range when dealing with lower light situations. Gh2  only does 60fps at 720p and the menus on the gh2 are a bit un-intuitive when compared to the GH3.


If you can deal with those short comings of the gh2 it is a very solid camera, you could use the extra money to invest in better glass, which is always a better investment than camera bodys :)


My 2c

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Although I love the BMPCC, as Paulio said, RAW video requires time and a way of thinking to make it worth the extra storage and cost, etc.  You won't know if it's right for you until you try it.


You can run Magic Lantern on your 5DII.  I would experiment with shooting some RAW on that to see if you like that look.  Or rent a BMPCC or BMCC for a day.


Otherwise, if the question is selling the T1i to get a GH3, for video, that seems like a very good idea.  Lights might be good too.

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GH3. GH3. GH3. GH3. GH3. GH3. GH3. 


Otherwise, go with the 70d because of it's rockin' autofocus. The BMPCC is a filmmaker's camera, not a documentary camera.


The GH3 gives you 60fps. It also gives you something critical -- a headphone jack. You'll have all kinds of latitude in grading. Cuts well with your 5D2.


Also, you need to get a wider lens for your kit. Consider the new Sigma 18-35. 

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