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Out the camera game for a while - what can you suggest for now? (low budget but decent)


andrew00
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Heya,

My partner is an expert tailor and is starting a YouTube channel to showcase her talent. She wants to do videos of herself making things and has an idea of what she's going to need.

She's looking for a 2x camera setup, locked off shots, with good colour and autofocus. She's trying to be budget conscious to start with, so won't spring for the A7Siii yet. In fact, she's looking to keep to ideally a £800-1000 range for the two cameras and two lenses, looking at one general and one macro lens.

The video at the bottom is her model, you can see the style. Very nice and pretty, quite slow and contemplative, nothing crazy but quality appreciated.

I've been trying to think what to suggest to her but I'm so out the camera game I have no idea what to suggest. Should she go second hand, is there a budget option now that's great etc etc. My brain says a pair of Canon 70D's but I don't know.

Can anyone suggest something she should be looking at? As above, budget is an issue to start, and she needs two, so second hand or entry level is the deal atm.

 

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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

Get one of the Sony A6 cameras. 

A6100

A used A6300, A6400, A6500. 

The 70d works too. Bad low light performance though and of course no where near as detailed of an image. 

But yeah for a video like that the lighting seems good and the shots are static without need of focus change. Literally any camera would work. Maybe two Panasonic G6's with a samyang/rokinon 12mm f2 and a Panasonic 25 1.7

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Thanks for the comments so far!

On the auto focus point, she's an amateur with video so I'm trying to think in terms of what someone who doesn't know what they're doing would want. Auto focus + macro would be a bit odd but for a general shot, I thought having it just keep her in focus would be smart. My thinking being, how many things can someone who doesn't know what they're doing do without being overwhelmed.

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12 minutes ago, andrew00 said:

how many things can someone who doesn't know what they're doing do without being overwhelmed.

Which is why I'd recommend "learning how to deal effectively with AF" off the list. 

Manual is very simple.  Focal plane is 3 feet away.  Stay 3 feet from the lens.  Object is 1 foot away from the lens, set focal plane 1 foot away.  And so on.

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I think single focus AF could work well. I mean, they still need to know HOW to use focus. 

If they don't need to film themselves (vlogging-style), then as @Grimor mentioned, a used G85 (what they are called in the US of A, guess in Japan they are the G81), could work great. AF-S is trustworthy. 

They will need to know about lighting though, and M43 sensors do like having a lot of an appropriate amount of light. 

I see them go for about $450 to $475 used on a popular website.

The panasonic 30mm f/2.8 macro is currently selling new for $300.

If she is going to be filming herself and will be moving around in the frame, or basically needs AF-C, then a used Olympus E-M1 MK II is a good camera with reliable continuous autofocus (if it is an MSC lens) and very nice straight-out-of-camera colors. 

Hope this helps.

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11 hours ago, andrew00 said:

My thinking being, how many things can someone who doesn't know what they're doing do without being overwhelmed.

Not a whole lot. Things can get complicated quickly.

AF is probably the most important factor here. Even if your shots are locked the person recording the video must be confident the important stuff stays in focus. Will that person be able to check that every time she records? What if the subject moves about 6 inches during recording and she locked the shot at F2.0 at the start of the session? Boom! A 40 minute video turns out being completely out of focus.

This is not trivial. That's why people love their cell phones. The DOF is so deep practically everything will look like it's in focus even if it's not perfect.

In conclusion: jump for the absolute best AF camera you can afford, even if you sacrifice output quality. For a one-person-band, this is a no-brainer.

Two 70Ds are probably a good bet, or a pair of SL2s. With the budget you mentioned it will be hard to buy two cameras with good, dependable, solid AF that record above 1080p. Search for videocameras by the usual suspects (Panasonic/Canon/Sony) that feature a long zoom with small sensors to ensure correct focus (not a very popular reccomendation in this site 😅).

I'm not even touching other critical factores like good lighting and quality audio. And of course, AC power for your cameras. Nothing worse than being about to start a session just to find out your batt is dead!

As I mentioned, lots of things to consider can overwhelm anyone. Specially if it's not her field. 

Good luck.

 

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1 hour ago, EduPortas said:

Not a whole lot. Things can get complicated quickly.

AF is probably the most important factor here. Even if your shots are locked the person recording the video must be confident the important stuff stays in focus. Will that person be able to check that every time she records? What if the subject moves about 6 inches during recording and she locked the shot at F2.0 at the start of the session? Boom! A 40 minute video turns out being completely out of focus.

This is not trivial. That's why people love their cell phones. The DOF is so deep practically everything will look like it's in focus even if it's not perfect.

In conclusion: jump for the absolute best AF camera you can afford, even if you sacrifice output quality. For a one-person-band, this is a no-brainer.

Two 70Ds are probably a good bet, or a pair of SL2s. With the budget you mentioned it will be hard to buy two cameras with good, dependable, solid AF that record above 1080p. Search for videocameras by the usual suspects (Panasonic/Canon/Sony) that feature a long zoom with small sensors to ensure correct focus (not a very popular reccomendation in this site 😅).

I'm not even touching other critical factores like good lighting and quality audio. And of course, AC power for your cameras. Nothing worse than being about to start a session just to find out your batt is dead!

As I mentioned, lots of things to consider can overwhelm anyone. Specially if it's not her field. 

Good luck.

 

After watching much of the video the original poster linked to, I think that using cameras with good autofocus would be a disaster... if they intend to use CONTINUOUS autofocus

Much of the video is made up of shots of a hand that is near the camera moving back and forth. There seems to be NO continuous autofocus in that video.

Even if the camera's were able to track the hand accurately, the continuing shift in focus as it tracks the hand, and the amount of breathing on the lens, would be VERY distracting.

Now, if they want to shoot video of something else, then continuous AF MIGHT be important.

But to simply replicate the cinematography in the video which was linked, continuous AF would not be important. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

For something different, what about a 1 inch sensor compact.    Some of the Sony RX100 cameras have amazing AF and can focus quite close and later if she wants to upgrade you can still sell them for a decent amount if looked after.    Sound would have to be maybe done apart unless you get one with a mic input.

The AF in my little Rx100 iv is great and that is  old now and the last of the CDAF only RX100s so the v and va are better still or maybe the Sony ZV-1 might be good (if pricey...Maybe used?) Or even an older and newer model combination....

The coming APSC ZV-E10 would be ideal but too dear.

Any of the other large sensor compacts? Canon?  Panasonic?

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On 8/4/2021 at 10:03 AM, fuzzynormal said:

That's a general misunderstanding about AF, innit?

Is it? I've never heard that. The sample the OP provided was classic videography. A decent camcorder would lock onto that and hold it. More than likely, the video was shot on a small sensor Canon... probably a G7X Mark II. That camera doesn't even have DPAF yet it was still a favorite of the YT crowd because it held focus well and had a fast lens.

Slightly OT but there seems to be a weird mix of "AF sucks" and "I NEED AF" on this site, when the truth is that AF is great for certain jobs. If I was a wedding videographer, Canon DPAF would be locked onto the bride. No question. But for a short film, there's a bunch of other features that are needed before AF.

Right tool for the job, I suppose. 

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53 minutes ago, mercer said:

Is it? I've never heard that. 

So, there seems to be a sentiment of “I need AF” when one buys a new camera.  I do think that’s a misconception, yes.

Maybe I’m misjudging?  Numerous YT vids about enthusiast cameras sure make it sound like AF is an absolutely critical function —and inferior AF is enough to dismiss a camera outright. 
 

Since I’m a manual focus guy, I don’t agree with this assertion, but to each their own. 
 

 

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