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Someone gives you £12.5k ($18,800) to buy filming equipment. What would you do?


Oliver Daniel
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No one seems to have asked a really important question: how much revenue is he expecting to generate following this investment? Equipment choice isn't just a question of depreciation. You also need to have an idea of ROI. Big budgets don't always mean big profits. 

Well, as it's pretty much the same as my own business model, I expect the investment will boost product quality, improve productivity, increase creative and technical options and ultimately attract a better client base.

As long as you work hard, network, stay on the money and let your creativity run wild - it's a system that will eventually begin to pay off. If these things don't happen, then the investment is a waste. People hire your brain and not your camera ;) 

This is quite a good topic - thanks for all the feedback and I hope it helps out!

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Screw gear Tell your friend to take a trip around the world with that money.

Haha, well I'm sure he would if he didn't have to provide receipts of everything he wants to buy for his business. I know for sure he's getting a top spec 5k iMac and Thunderbolt 2 RAID Drive Whatever TB now anyway (with a 17% discount). Not a bad start! 

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If he's working on corporate videos that are fully lit, my recommendation would be the Blackmagic Ursa 4.6K. It's incredibly well built, has all the amenities for a 3-man crew, and even lets you upgrade the sensor down the line without eating a loss on the body itself when/if he wants to upgrade. The files are large, but he'll have the option of 4K and 2K ProRes, which should flow like butter through even a more modest computer. It'll give him great dynamic range (which means more flexibility in his lighting), 4K deliverables for clients who request them, and a rugged, professional body that no client will dismiss (happens more often than you'd think, especially at the corporate level). If he wants to save a little money, he could also go with the 4K Ursa, which has less dynamic range but a great image nonetheless. If he's lighting all his work, the reduced DR in the shadows shouldn't be a killer, and he can always upgrade to the 4.6K head for $2K if he feels limited.

After that, I'd put my money into some PL glass (or get the EF Ursa if he's happy with his current lineup) and some nice LEDs. He'll also want to pick up a new tripod, since the URSA weighs about 16 lbs.

 

The key here is to pin him down on one question: Where does he feel his current gear holds him back creatively? Not enough DR? Compressed color space? Working style? Lack of lighting flexibility? Clumsiness with non-cinema lenses? Computer choking on VFX sequences? Once he does some soul-searching and figures out where he'll appreciate that money the most, his path will unfold pretty clearly.

Cheers!

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If it was me i would go for a fast PC but for him a MAC and editing software and what ever extra software may be needed, lights i am so glad i got what i have so far never can have to much, I would buy two cameras the new JVC 4K CAM GY-LS300 as it has a ton of features and ready to shoot with XLR inputs both 4k or HD that would be such a easy camera to just grab and start shooting with in a small package. And a Samsung NX1 they both seem to have the same quality 4K look to the clips i have seen. I have the NX1 and love it but rigging it with audio recorder and everything it gets to be a big setup the JVC would be a go to camera to start shooting fast with everything built in.

The A7S is good but then you are looking at that extra cost for a 4 k recorder both the JVC and NX1 can all ready do.

Then add on lens and you are set. If any is left i would buy some CDs of buy out music another thing you always end up needing.

Also monitors, camera cases, lighting cases.

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The A7S is good but then you are looking at that extra cost for a 4 k recorder both the JVC and NX1 can all ready do.

 

​JVC nor NX1 can do what Sony A7s does, not even close....... Iso and Dynamic Range not even in the same league, let alone Full Frame. JVC hasn't put out a good camera in forever and their color science has always been behind Panasonic, Sony, etc.  NX1 is a nice disposable camera at the price, but not something I would base my business off of and I can assure you he would never purchase it.

 

Sony Fs700, Fs7 and A7s are the top contenders here, but Blackmagic Ursa Mini also looks amazing if able to properly light.

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Here is a new video out shot with the JVC looks darn good to me.

Other then better low light shooting i do not see the Sony as any better in any other way,  Both the JVC and NX1 record 4K, And the JVC gives you pro audio, Video streaming and a lot more. I like the JVC for a camera you can go shoot with that has everything built in ready shoot, I have had no problems shooting with my NX1 i have had since December i have well over 100 hours on it the image quality is sharper then the Sony and when you need auto focus the NX1 is much better, and i have no problem with Dynamic Range. And he HD slomo is quite good to at 60 and you have 120 as well.

 

And here is the guy that shot all that talking about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW_U93HJbAo 

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Movie looks horrible , looks like ENG Camera footage...... Just because your such a fan of the NX1 and this JVC for whatever reason doesn't mean you should force your opinion. Pretty safe to say no one here would say that footage looks even remotely "cinematic"

 

Back on topic, no point on derailing thread

peace

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C100 looking good! How you finding it Aaron? 

I think the JVC has its purpose - they said themselves it's a camera designed for educational video. Very specific, but i think they just mean low end corporate. Looks absolutely fine for that. 

No news what my pal is doing with the money other than an iMac 5k purchase. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Off Topic (or not): Aaron, give us a small review on the C100II when you get the time, just the little things. It's getting more tempting and tempting after hearing ALL users falling in love with the mkII, I mean ALL. 

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Other people have great opinions on cameras. I would say lenses are the next investment after the Mac. Camera bodies will probably continue to come into fashion based on specs, but lenses are just glass. Bang-for-buck-wise the Rokinon cine primes are a great budget option. Higher up the scale, are Leica R primes. I recently bought a set and am having them converted to cine-style. Or the Veydras look great if he's on an MFT platform. After that I'd look for a lightweight lighting package (LEDs or something similar). He'll probably always be renting big lights for big jobs, but something light and cool that fits in a couple bags or cases means he's not always running to the rental house for just a couple things.

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