Cinematography : Do it all camera. by Caleb Wood

Caleb Wood

Do it all camera.

So I am still in college but have been saving up to get a very nice new camera for a while. I would like to get a specific camera that can kind of "do it all." I love doing documentary style videos but then again, I would also like something that would look good for promotional videos and/or commercial filming. What's a good camera for me to look into?

JD Hartman

No such thing a one camera that does it all. Every camera has it's strengths and weaknesses. Some require more accessories to actually work than others. Why don't you start by stating your budget?

Eduardo Angel

Caleb, there isn't a perfect camera. It all depends on the story/project needs, budget and your technical experience. JD is right, stating a specific budget is a good place to start.

Caleb Wood

Ok. My budget it $15K

Francisco Escobar (Franz Esko)

For a 15k budget, the closest thing to a do it all camera would be a Nikon D810, 36mpx full frame, 1080p true hd, 24/30/50/60p, has a great cinematic look with files small enough to edit on a basic system, also offers a raw Hdmi out option if you want to upgrade later to more advanced editing system. It won't do 4k but color reproduction and menu options are better than anything in its class right now. I just got one myself about 4 months ago to do low/no budget personal projects when I need to handle post production myself. I work as a print photographer as well, so it works for my purposes. Since I've gotten the camera, I've shot a lot. (icl. 3 TV pilots, 8 short films and 2 documentary projects). If you have more money rent a higher end camera. The only other camera in your price point that would deliver the most cinematic results would be the digital bolex. Retails for around 3 grand, but you will need more drive space (3k resolution uncompressed) and access to cinema lenses which will eat up most of your budget. Hope this helps. Hit me up if you have more questions. Always keep in mind that while most companies sell based on resolution. The real thing to look for is data compression rates and color reproduction. Those specs are really going to be the things you have to look for when selecting an "all purpose" camera that you want to have when working in a low budget situation.

Francisco Escobar (Franz Esko)

Also, lens options include Nikon, Zeiss and schnieder, glass with nikon F-mount that would be adaptable to most other cameras with interchangeable lens systems, can be adapted to canon ef, pl mount, b4 etc. so those lenses you choose will be compatible with red, Aja, arri, bolex, canon, Sony and black magic 4k cameras, should you decide to upgrade the camera body. Your lenses will always be the more solid investment.

Landis Stokes

I'll echo the, "no perfect camera" statement. Investing in a camera is really subjective. If it's possible, why not rent one or two cameras you really like for the weekend? No video review or specifications list will ever beat hands on troubleshooting in real world environments. Only you will know what works for your needs and what doesn't.

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