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So I'm kitting myself out, beginner style...


Matthew

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Hey guys,

 

How's it going? I'm new to the forum, so please forgive me if I've posted in the wrong place  :)

 

So basically, I'm looking to invest in some of my own video equipment. I've spent the last year or two either borrowing other people's DSLR's and lenses, or using what is provided on set.

 

I've done a lot of research into what it is exactly that I'm looking for, and so far I've decided on;

 

The Rig:

http://www.camerakings.co.uk/lanparte-professional-kit-v2-with-7-hdmi-monitor-save-800

 

The Lenses:

http://www.amazon.com/Full-Rokinon-Cine-Lens-Kit/dp/B00COBBON0/ref=pd_sim_sbs_p_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=0C6FYJ70JXY3BDKC1KA1

 

Now what I'm stuck on, is the camera body and how I'm going to deal with audio.

 

I want a full frame camera, but I don't have enough for a 5D MK3, so I was thinking the 6D, but I've read so many varying reviews on it, that I really am getting completely lost.

 

I film things like short films, live events and a little Youtube video series based in a tattoo shop (think Miami Ink, but amateur haha  :P ).

 

Is there anybody here who could advise me on which camera body would suit me best? And perhaps the best way to deal with audio?

 

I usually work with a zoom etc, but I'm kinda looking for a whack everything on the rig solution, if it's possible to just have a mic plugged into the camera that Magic Lantern hack might make usable...

 

 

I apologise if this doesn't make sense, I have a bit of experience in DSLR shooting, but I'm stumped at this point!

 

Any help is a blessing  :D

 

Thankyou guys  :wub:

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Audio is ideally not dealt with as a "whack it on the rig" solution. A firmware hack won't change physics and the fact of the matter is a mic placed on top of your camera will very rarely be close enough to pick up good sound. "Good" meaning crisp, clear, deep, isolated sound. Might be good to have a mic on your rig as a backup or in situations where there is truly no time, but it's best to avoid relying on such a setup.

 

If you're trying to work as a one-man-crew, spend some money on a nice wireless lav system (sennheiser or sony are the first two I would look at). If you think you'll be able to get a friend (or whoever) to come out and help with audio, then think about investing in a nice boom mic + pole (NTG-2 or NTG-3 are the first mics that come to mind). Usign a boom mic is harder than you'd think, so take time to learn it. You'll also need a mixer/recorder if you want to get an actual audio kit together. Tascam DR-60 looks interesting, and pretty cheap.

 

It looks like you're going to be spending quite a bit of money on your camera + rig, so don't skimp on audio. Yes, you can get 'usable' audio for cheap, but just keep in mind the fact that poor audio quality will ruin a film (or whatever you're creating) easier than poor video quality.

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Guest d5f8611fa423d0e628c016f9d5c93b47

I guess the cheapest decent full frame set-up would probably be a Sony a6000 with an E-mount Speed Booster. 

 

Then it would probably be a used A7 (not "S" or "R").

 

The A7S sounds like the best camera for you though IMO.

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Educating yourself is free.  First, learn how to use a mic rather than buying an expensive one, or even a cheap one.  

 

Additionally, for what it's worth, I make films all the time and never use a "rig," so I don't consider that a worthwhile investment either.  A good (wise) eye for the shot and a tripod is more important than rigging gear.

 

The form factor of my GX7, for example doesn't slow me down.  And my Canons works great just basic handheld with a loupe.  Shot entire documentaries that way.

 

I never gone for a shot and then thought, man if only I had that RedRock rigging gear... so I'm not fond of the rigging stuff; my personal preference.  I kinda wonder sometimes if that equipment is more of an ego thing for the owner of it to look "pro" than actually a pragmatic solution.

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I want a full frame camera...I film things like short films

 

Why do you want a full frame camera?  FullFrame sensor size is larger than 35mm motion picture film.  If you're making motion pictures, why not get a camera that approximates the traditional and popular film emulsion size of moving pictures?

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Educating yourself is free.  First, learn how to use a mic rather than buying an expensive one, or even a cheap one.  

 

Additionally, for what it's worth, I make films all the time and never use a "rig," so I don't consider that a worthwhile investment either.  A good (wise) eye for the shot and a tripod is more important than rigging gear.

 

The form factor of my GX7, for example doesn't slow me down.  And my Canons works great just basic handheld with a loupe.  Shot entire documentaries that way.

 

I never gone for a shot and then thought, man if only I had that RedRock rigging gear... so I'm not fond of the rigging stuff; my personal preference.  I kinda wonder sometimes if that equipment is more of an ego thing for the owner of it to look "pro" than actually a pragmatic solution.

 

that

 

sry for the fullquote, but it's impossible to shorten this w/o throwing very valuable information away.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

 I kinda wonder sometimes if that equipment is more of an ego thing for the owner of it to look "pro" than actually a pragmatic solution.

No  :wacko:

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Going all in on full rig is a super exciting prospect, but it looks a bit like you're putting the cart (...rig) before the horse.  1620 (or nearly 3K USD) is a huge amount to spend on rig before selecting your camera -- and though Lanparte makes some quality stuff, you'd do best looking at something potentially more purpose-built for the camera you choose than an 'everything-and-the-kitchen-sink' package.  Plenty of other vendors make purpose built rigs for various DSLRS/Cams, or, check out places like smallrig.com for a huge array of single bits for assembling your own rig (I spent a bunch on a Movcam FS700 rig -- which is super often, and is great -- but went with mostly Smallrig parts for my BMPCC and it works just as well).  Not to dissuade you from getting the Lanparte, but, you might consider kicking some of the budget over to the camera itself, lenses, or audio -- or build it up as needed (a monstrous rig can be a real pain for some shoots).

 

If you're intent on a DSLR up to about 3k USD, it seems, at this point, either an A7S or GH4 is really what you want (low light, or 4K on-board).  The E-mount coupled with APS-C mode on the A7S plus the MFT on the GH4 allow a huge array of lenses, so you could still stick with all EF-Mount Rokinons for either cam, if you so chose (and I believe all the Rokinons in that package are Full-Frame, so you could go with a simple EF to E-Mount on the A7S, no Speedbooster necessary).  The A7S is full frame, and the GH4, with the right glass, can still give you a nice shallow depth of field -- or a wide one, if you need it.  The A7S paired up with a Shogun down the road might make for a really formidable 4K package.

 

Also, be careful on using solely a full Rokinon prime set -- not all of them as well regarded as others.  I own the 35, 85, and 8 Cine lenses, and though they're pretty great value for the money, I don't tend to use them terribly often unless I need heavy depth of field or super low light shooting (in which case, they have been extremely useful) and virtually never if I'm running and gunning.  Since it sounds like you'll be shooting a fair bit of 'mobile' projects, you'd do well to consider nabbing something like the Canon 24-105 or Tamron 24-70 (both with IS) for flexibility.  With a slight bit of grading, the Rokinons mix fine with either the Canon 24-105 or Tamron 24-70.  Whatever you do, if you stick with a DSLR -- get some good ND filters for your lenses. Absolutely critical for shallow depth of field.  A good variable ND (ex: Heliopan) that fits your largest lens can do the job, with step up rings for your smaller lenses

 

Stick with Zoom and pair up an H6 (or an H5 if you only need two XLR inputs) with either of the above DLSRs for mobile XLR input, plus the added benefit of a handheld recorder when needed (or get the GH4's YAGH unit if you run with an external battery rig), and, as mentioned, you'll probably want to invest in some lavs if you're a one-man band.  As mentioned, DON'T rely on a single cam mounted shotgun mic -- that can work totally fine for ambient noise, but is a recipe for disaster if it's your only source for dialogue (I've been shooting a short mobile interview series as a one-man-band, and found an NTG-3 cam mounted for ambient noise, plus a Sennheiser MD46 handheld mic w/ Evo wireless works great).

 

Finally, if you think you'll be running around shooting more doc-style work than 'studio-style' films, you might consider a C100 paired up with a Ninja Star or Ninja Blade.  Though on the aging side, the C100 is still a fine bet for doc style work (and matched with an external recorded, virtually as good as the venerable C300).  Having on-board ND and XLR inputs is super useful on my FS700.

 

Also, get a light.  A small, decent quality light you can toss on your camera can make a huge difference for run and gun shooting.

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No


I do understand the need for advanced rigs when doing production like scripted drama, but for other stuff I'm a monopod/tripod-run-and-gun type of guy. Just don't like the cages with a bunch of stuff on it.

I like shooting from weird angles and wedging cameras into corners. Unencumbered works well for that.
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Hey guys, 

 

Firstly, thankyou so much for the advice!

 

There's a lot to take in, so I'm going to quote and reply best I can:

 

 

Audio is ideally not dealt with as a "whack it on the rig" solution. A firmware hack won't change physics and the fact of the matter is a mic placed on top of your camera will very rarely be close enough to pick up good sound. "Good" meaning crisp, clear, deep, isolated sound. Might be good to have a mic on your rig as a backup or in situations where there is truly no time, but it's best to avoid relying on such a setup.

 

It looks like you're going to be spending quite a bit of money on your camera + rig, so don't skimp on audio. Yes, you can get 'usable' audio for cheap, but just keep in mind the fact that poor audio quality will ruin a film (or whatever you're creating) easier than poor video quality.

 

Yeah it's not exactly what I want, I've done a lot of sound work for projects using booms and external recorders, I just wondered if there was something decent to "whack on the rig".

 

The rig isn't THAT important to me, most things I've shot have been entirely hand-held anyway, but I've had a lot o advice from film makers that I've worked with/friends with, that eventually, something may come up where you wish you had a rig of some kind. Through my research (not that I'm that great at research aha), the one I posted seems to be a whole package, so for me, that just seems easier with my limited knowledge.

 

 

 

 

I guess the cheapest decent full frame set-up would probably be a Sony a6000 with an E-mount Speed Booster. 

 

Then it would probably be a used A7 (not "S" or "R").

 

The A7S sounds like the best camera for you though IMO.

 

I've never actually even looked at any other brand other than Canon! This is mostly because I've only ever worked with Canon cameras, but I will defo do some research into this! Thankyou very much =D

 

 

 

 

Educating yourself is free.  First, learn how to use a mic rather than buying an expensive one, or even a cheap one.  

 

Additionally, for what it's worth, I make films all the time and never use a "rig," so I don't consider that a worthwhile investment either.  A good (wise) eye for the shot and a tripod is more important than rigging gear.

 

The form factor of my GX7, for example doesn't slow me down.  And my Canons works great just basic handheld with a loupe.  Shot entire documentaries that way.

 

I never gone for a shot and then thought, man if only I had that RedRock rigging gear... so I'm not fond of the rigging stuff; my personal preference.  I kinda wonder sometimes if that equipment is more of an ego thing for the owner of it to look "pro" than actually a pragmatic solution.

 

I have about 8-10 projects worth of external mic/boom experience so far, so I still have a LOT to learn, but it's better than having none at all haha. I do fully agree with you about the rigging comment, I've seen friends shooting music videos with steady cams for static shots, which I've done completely hand-held and had the same result. That being said, as I mentioned earlier, it's mainly based on other film makers saying that I will wish I had one eventually. I'm not experienced enough to build my own rigs or to know what I'd need for what projects yet, that's why I opted for this rig, at it does seem to have everything that I might possibly need, if I need a rig at all. Do bare in mind though, although it's listed down, I wont be buying these things in this order, or prioritising rigs over camera equipment, it's just something that I will eventually acquire when the time is right!

 

I mainly use free hand, but for a short film that I helped with last month, we were using a RED with a shoulder rig, and I found it incredibly useful. Saying that, after this thread, I may well choose something entirely different, it's just what I have in my mind at the moment.

 

Thankyou for your advice!

 

 

 

 

 

Why do you want a full frame camera?  FullFrame sensor size is larger than 35mm motion picture film.  If you're making motion pictures, why not get a camera that approximates the traditional and popular film emulsion size of moving pictures?

 

Again, this is exactly why I've posted this, as I'm not entirely sure aha! I have a few friends with 7D's, 5D mk3's, 6D's, 60D's... And all of them with full frame say they are so happy they invested in it, and all those without it say they wish they had it, so when chatting to them, they said even though I may not have use for it right off the cuff, if I can save a little extra and get one, then I'll be thankful for it down the road.

 

 

 

Going all in on full rig is a super exciting prospect, but it looks a bit like you're putting the cart (...rig) before the horse.  1620 (or nearly 3K USD) is a huge amount to spend on rig before selecting your camera -- and though Lanparte makes some quality stuff, you'd do best looking at something potentially more purpose-built for the camera you choose than an 'everything-and-the-kitchen-sink' package.  Plenty of other vendors make purpose built rigs for various DSLRS/Cams, or, check out places like smallrig.com for a huge array of single bits for assembling your own rig (I spent a bunch on a Movcam FS700 rig -- which is super often, and is great -- but went with mostly Smallrig parts for my BMPCC and it works just as well).  Not to dissuade you from getting the Lanparte, but, you might consider kicking some of the budget over to the camera itself, lenses, or audio -- or build it up as needed (a monstrous rig can be a real pain for some shoots).

 

If you're intent on a DSLR up to about 3k USD, it seems, at this point, either an A7S or GH4 is really what you want (low light, or 4K on-board).  The E-mount coupled with APS-C mode on the A7S plus the MFT on the GH4 allow a huge array of lenses, so you could still stick with all EF-Mount Rokinons for either cam, if you so chose (and I believe all the Rokinons in that package are Full-Frame, so you could go with a simple EF to E-Mount on the A7S, no Speedbooster necessary).  The A7S is full frame, and the GH4, with the right glass, can still give you a nice shallow depth of field -- or a wide one, if you need it.  The A7S paired up with a Shogun down the road might make for a really formidable 4K package.

 

Thanks for this, defo some new stuff to look into! As I said, I have no experience with these other cameras, but have seen some great stuff from them, so will look more into them over the next few days =]

 

With 4K though, I've heard so much about it not being fully "out there" yet that there's no point using it? I'm not entirely sure what that means, but what's you opinion on it? (I've never seen any 4K footage yet, nor do I have a 4K monitor, so I have absolutely ZERO experience in this).

 

 

 

Also, be careful on using solely a full Rokinon prime set -- not all of them as well regarded as others.  I own the 35, 85, and 8 Cine lenses, and though they're pretty great value for the money, I don't tend to use them terribly often unless I need heavy depth of field or super low light shooting (in which case, they have been extremely useful) and virtually never if I'm running and gunning.  Since it sounds like you'll be shooting a fair bit of 'mobile' projects, you'd do well to consider nabbing something like the Canon 24-105 or Tamron 24-70 (both with IS) for flexibility.  With a slight bit of grading, the Rokinons mix fine with either the Canon 24-105 or Tamron 24-70.  Whatever you do, if you stick with a DSLR -- get some good ND filters for your lenses. Absolutely critical for shallow depth of field.  A good variable ND (ex: Heliopan) that fits your largest lens can do the job, with step up rings for your smaller lenses

 

Stick with Zoom and pair up an H6 (or an H5 if you only need two XLR inputs) with either of the above DLSRs for mobile XLR input, plus the added benefit of a handheld recorder when needed (or get the GH4's YAGH unit if you run with an external battery rig), and, as mentioned, you'll probably want to invest in some lavs if you're a one-man band.  As mentioned, DON'T rely on a single cam mounted shotgun mic -- that can work totally fine for ambient noise, but is a recipe for disaster if it's your only source for dialogue (I've been shooting a short mobile interview series as a one-man-band, and found an NTG-3 cam mounted for ambient noise, plus a Sennheiser MD46 handheld mic w/ Evo wireless works great).

 

 

OK it seems that I'll be getting an external mic set up! I've used plenty of Zoom mics, so I think I'll stick with that.

 

With the lenses, all the stuff I've looked at so far has really been about having a kit, and the Rokinons seem to pop up everywhere I look aha, but yeah the reason they're here now is mainly because it seems to be a good starting point, although I have been looking at some other cine lenses but they are a little bit out of my budget for now (50k anyone?). I've been told to stay away from zoom lenses and get as much experience with primes as is humanely possible, as apparently this will help me out in the future if I ever want to work on bigger projects. I'm not sure how true this is, so maybe someone can shed some light as to why, but that's what I'm working off at the moment.

 

In regards to the filters, I hadn't even thought about that! Cheers =D

 

 

 

 

 

Save your money and buy a nice camera (a7s maybe) with some nice glass (speed booster and maybe some sharp cine primes). Skip rigs and get a nice cheap benro monopod.

 

This A7S keeps popping up, beginning to think I should do some serious looking into this! 

 

Thanks! xD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm really sorry for the way I've quoted this stuff out, hopefully it's not too much of an ass to read, but again, thankyou to all who are replying and giving advice, I really do appreciate it.

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Right now, there aren't many outlets for 4K (case in point, I can shoot 4K with my FS700, but I don't yet have a 4K monitor!).  That said, we're quickly speeding ahead to 4K adoption, so it's not a bad idea to future proof.  In the short term, however, shooting 4K gives you a ton of flexibility if you're delivering at 1080p.  You've got lots of extra resolution for post-stabilization, and the ability to reframe or crop your footage in post (this is great for interviews, giving you a wide and C/U for quick cut ins with just one shot/setup).  The post-options alone make 4K extremely enticing, but certainly not necessary.

 

Re: lenses -- Yes, absolutely, primes, particularly cinema quality primes, are go to lenses on 'real' sets.  But, the Rokinons (while pretty awesome value, and totally worth adding a few to certain kits) aren't in the same league as the more expensive stuff, and the optical quality of zooms can be quite good (see the Sigma 18-35!!).  More to the point though, if you're shooting a lot by yourself, you may not have the luxury of constantly swapping out lenses.  And, if you're handholding, especially at longer focal lengths, IS is a huge, huge asset.  Which is to say, if you can swing it -- and you'll be bouncing between narrative and doc-style gigs -- get both.  But, the best shots are the ones you actually get, and a good zoom can make that far more possible when you're rushing around out in the field.  I'd recommend having at least one good zoom in your kit (also for practicality, lugging around three to five primes simply might not be possible for certain jobs).  FWIW, that all said, I've no intent to sell off my Rokinons any time soon, and I love shooting on older Canon FD primes for certain projects!

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Here's some broad generalizations, but it's how I see things:
 
My bottom line opinion is worry about the storytelling first, then fret about all the other junk.  The craft and gear will fall in line behind a great idea.  If you know the shots you want to create to tell a story, you can usually find a way to make even the cheapest camera/mic effectively capture it.   
 
On the other hand, if you come at it from a mostly technical side don't expect compelling videos that will enchant a layperson viewer.
 
Walking around street shots of Berlin, London, or L.A. with a new camera is great for us here at this forum, or for people that are into gear-porn.  Heck I love to see what new tech offers too, but it's a snooze-fest for  a regular person that watches those types of videos. The technical side of the craft is fun, challenging, and exciting, but if you want to really be a filmmaker it's not what you put at the top of the priority list.
 
Real film makers aren't making movies for those of us that dig that stuff, they're telling stories to a much broader audience.
 
Try to build something like this:  http://tinyurl.com/kk23m4b
 
over building something like this:  http://tinyurl.com/kak87tc
 
...and you'll be a step ahead of so many others in the low-end side of the biz that seems more concerned with buying things rather than making things.
 
Just about EVERYONE in the modern world can get access to gear that has the capability to make astounding images and tell great stories.  (They carry it around in their pocket and call it a smartphone)  I'd argue that the majority of people with this new affordable gear don't make great stories with astounding images.  So you really got to ask yourself ...which one of those people do you want to be?
 
I'm making a short right now with a used $200 GH1 and a $20 prime lens.  The image is ridiculously good.  I mean...it's nuts what I'm getting for less than $250.  Which is cool.  Great.  I'm not worried about the image.  I trust what I can get based on the quality of the gear and the skills I've acquired.  At this point what I worry about is the story I'm trying to tell.  Is what I have my characters doing interesting to the viewer?  Do my frame compositions covey the proper emotion that helps support my story?
 
Having a Sony lowlight camera or Panasonic 4K doesn't mean squat if you don't do anything interesting with that capability.
 
My advice about gear and kit:  Don't worry about your gear and kit.  Get what works well enough and then use it.  That's my rant and I'm sticking to it.
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Right now, there aren't many outlets for 4K (case in point, I can shoot 4K with my FS700, but I don't yet have a 4K monitor!).  That said, we're quickly speeding ahead to 4K adoption, so it's not a bad idea to future proof.  In the short term, however, shooting 4K gives you a ton of flexibility if you're delivering at 1080p.  You've got lots of extra resolution for post-stabilization, and the ability to reframe or crop your footage in post (this is great for interviews, giving you a wide and C/U for quick cut ins with just one shot/setup).  The post-options alone make 4K extremely enticing, but certainly not necessary.

 

Re: lenses -- Yes, absolutely, primes, particularly cinema quality primes, are go to lenses on 'real' sets.  But, the Rokinons (while pretty awesome value, and totally worth adding a few to certain kits) aren't in the same league as the more expensive stuff, and the optical quality of zooms can be quite good (see the Sigma 18-35!!).  More to the point though, if you're shooting a lot by yourself, you may not have the luxury of constantly swapping out lenses.  And, if you're handholding, especially at longer focal lengths, IS is a huge, huge asset.  Which is to say, if you can swing it -- and you'll be bouncing between narrative and doc-style gigs -- get both.  But, the best shots are the ones you actually get, and a good zoom can make that far more possible when you're rushing around out in the field.  I'd recommend having at least one good zoom in your kit (also for practicality, lugging around three to five primes simply might not be possible for certain jobs).  FWIW, that all said, I've no intent to sell off my Rokinons any time soon, and I love shooting on older Canon FD primes for certain projects!

 

Perfect advice, thank you very much! I shall be investing more into various lenses =D

 

 

 

Here's some broad generalizations, but it's how I see things:
 
My bottom line opinion is worry about the storytelling first, then fret about all the other junk.  The craft and gear will fall in line behind a great idea.  If you know the shots you want to create to tell a story, you can usually find a way to make even the cheapest camera/mic effectively capture it.   
 
On the other hand, if you come at it from a mostly technical side don't expect compelling videos that will enchant a layperson viewer.
 
Walking around street shots of Berlin, London, or L.A. with a new camera is great for us here at this forum, or for people that are into gear-porn.  Heck I love to see what new tech offers too, but it's a snooze-fest for  a regular person that watches those types of videos. The technical side of the craft is fun, challenging, and exciting, but if you want to really be a filmmaker it's not what you put at the top of the priority list.
 
Real film makers aren't making movies for those of us that dig that stuff, they're telling stories to a much broader audience.
 
Try to build something like this:  http://tinyurl.com/kk23m4b
 
over building something like this:  http://tinyurl.com/kak87tc
 
...and you'll be a step ahead of so many others in the low-end side of the biz that seems more concerned with buying things rather than making things.
 
Just about EVERYONE in the modern world can get access to gear that has the capability to make astounding images and tell great stories.  (They carry it around in their pocket and call it a smartphone)  I'd argue that the majority of people with this new affordable gear don't make great stories with astounding images.  So you really got to ask yourself ...which one of those people do you want to be?
 
I'm making a short right now with a used $200 GH1 and a $20 prime lens.  The image is ridiculously good.  I mean...it's nuts what I'm getting for less than $250.  Which is cool.  Great.  I'm not worried about the image.  I trust what I can get based on the quality of the gear and the skills I've acquired.  At this point what I worry about is the story I'm trying to tell.  Is what I have my characters doing interesting to the viewer?  Do my frame compositions covey the proper emotion that helps support my story?
 
Having a Sony lowlight camera or Panasonic 4K doesn't mean squat if you don't do anything interesting with that capability.
 
My advice about gear and kit:  Don't worry about your gear and kit.  Get what works well enough and then use it.  That's my rant and I'm sticking to it.

 

 

You know what, that makes perfect sense! I've always lived by a rule of "until you can create a master piece with bare basic equipment, there's no point in getting expensive equipment". For now, I'm going to get a tiny little hand held rig and over time just add to it if and when I need it. Great advice, thank you so much!

 

As I'm new to all this, I'd be interested to see what other people on the forum are making and how they made it, is there a place where I can go, like on a members profile or something?

 

Thanks again everyone =D

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fuzzy - Great post! I was shopping for something recently and liked the BMPCC because it seems to get a really nice image (I rented one and liked both RAW and Prores)  and is very small and simple. But then I get caught up in the "4k! Full Frame! New features! Last months features are old hat! Upcoming even newer stuff!!!" hoopla. After viewing the Kendy Ty stuff I finally decided to just shoot with my NEX 5R and work with software until I really need to move up. I figure by then we'll be in a whole new cycle of technical whatsis. But posts like yours reaffirm that developing the vision should drive the equipment. 

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Whatever you do, if you stick with a DSLR -- get some good ND filters for your lenses. Absolutely critical for shallow depth of field.  A good variable ND (ex: Heliopan) that fits your largest lens can do the job, with step up rings for your smaller lenses

 

Those ND filters will need to add a IR Cut filter otherwise there's a strong color cast.

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There's a thread somewhere around here showing Kendy Ty's work shot on a EOS 550D. You know, something not very well regarded at this time.

 

Personally I think buying a ton of gear before you know what you're doing is a *bad* idea. Start small, and add stuff along the way. The reason why you're confused and don't know what to buy is because you have no experience. Start building that experience.

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