I'm a student producer just starting off with the world of filmmaking and cinematography and I was wondering what kind of under $1000 camera would be recommended.
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I use a 7D, it's not the best quality out there but its really easy to use and a lot of fun to play with... Aside from resolution I don't really think it has held me back from achieving the look I am going for each time I use it.
Hi Sarah, with 1k you can get a good camera for filmmaking but unfortunately it's the lens that'll cost. Are you willing to buy used or refurbished? You can get great filmic results from a Canon EOS 5D MK2. Cheapest I've seen on Ebay is $700 no lens.
what do you think about a canon rebel?
Ken, can you really get a 5D for that cheap?! Might be time for a little upgrade. And Sarah, don't listen to Alle. I hate to go completely against anyone but DSLR's are relatively inexpensive, extremely easy to use, and are capable of some amazing things. Yes, the lower priced ones will not give you as big of a resolution as some of the more expensive ones but if you're just starting out it is a relatively small investment to start getting your feet wet. As far as quality, if you stick with it you will most likely want to upgrade at some point, but you can do some great work with even the most basic DSLR's. For instance, the film 'Like Crazy' was shot almost entirely on a 7D (http://www.definitionmagazine.com/journal/2012/3/29/case-study-like-craz...) and went on to be a huge success. I guess I am trying to say, the technology of a DSLR won't limit you (especially if you're just starting out) as it comes down to who has the camera in their hands and how dedicated they are to achieving the look you're going for... but as you're skill grows, you will for inevitability want to get better equipment, much like a kid who loves looking at the stars will always want a stronger telescope.
Alle, goes hard on her comments, lol. I do agree in some ways DSLR isn't horrible for shooting a film. To start it's gonna be a learning experience for sure. But, I would go with a pro style camera like Black Magic Cinema. They have the new URSA 4k coming out, but, it's about 6k. This will be my next camera hopefully, waiting a bit for a few factory runs of the camera to head out. So all the kinks and little issues can be worked out from previous run.
James, I'm looking at a Black Magic also as the next camera. I was a bit off put that everything is touch screen but they are such great cameras... stoked the price leveled a bit as well.
Thank you all for your comments. You gave me plenty to think about! I definitely love creating videos and I know the right camera helps a ton.
Thomas, that BMC URSA does look amazing. Although I'm gonna wait it out for a couple generation runs.
Hi Sarah. If you're willing to spend extra to rent lens, then buying a black magic design pocket camera ($945 B&Hphoto) will give you very good filmic results with the right DP, or as you learn more. I have one myself, it's essentially a super 16mm size digital sensor. Don't take anyone's word for it see for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XzzrsH1okM If you need more test footages example, workflow questions, please don't hesitate to ask or email me. If u tell me where you're based I may be able to recommend places you can check out cameras before you buy.
Alle, First you say, "As a Cinematographer, and having recently used a DSLR for a student shoot, I'd also say NEVER use a DSLR for a film shoot." Then you say, "You're a newbie, get a second hand DSLR and play, play play." ... if you put these two sentences together it literally reads, "NEVER use a DSLR for a film... get a second hand DSLR!"
Buy to learn. Any basic DSLR will teach you the basics of ISO, exposure, manual focus, and how the combination of those things will affect the look/feel of your overall image. Get a used Canon T2i, 7D or similar camera body. Spend the rest on getting either 1 good zoom lens (ideally 24-70mm range and f2.8 throughout) or a few primes (like one 20mm, and one 50mm). Get at least 2x memory cards (so you can shoot on one while dumping the other), and at least 3x batteries (one in camera, one on charge, one ready to swap in) Ideally, you'd have money left for a decent tripod, but I'm afraid for only $1000 you'd be out of money by this point. Best wishes!
Alle, Sarah (original poster) has a budget of $1000 to get a basic camera package that she can learn on, and what I recommended will meet her needs as someone just starting out. A camera can't teach you anything, that's up to Sarah. But it can (at a bare minimum) have manual controls for all the things you'd find on top-end cameras. A true student will take the time to completely explore the tools they are given and eventually find the limitations (like in ISO or how touchy DSLR lenses are with manual focus), be frustrated with those limitations, and then grow into new gear that allows them to explore more. On the flip side of that: Sarah, I completely recommend that you find a way of getting to experience the results of top-level gear at some point so you'll be able to know what kinds of beautiful images you're aiming for with your lower end gear.
Wow. I apologize Sarah! Apparently a suggestion of DSLR technology as an adequate camera to learn with for under $1000, has somehow caused your thread to be hijacked into .... I'm not sure exactly what just happened there. Nonetheless, enjoy your new camera (whatever you decide to buy) and your exploration of cinematography! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
Some of the advice here is a little off base. Sarah, as you're starting out, get an entry DSLR and learn it well. It's a good first step.
BMD Pocket Camera
I've been using a camcorder so far if you're wondering.
It all depend on your commitment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKFzEBf-K68
Spend another $700 and grab a GH4 - best bang for buck. It really changes everything, mirrorless, 4K, small, inconspicuous and easy work flow - if you already have a MFT you can bank on those lenses as well - yes you will want to get better glass down the line, but wide angle lens who cares? For CU and MED work I use a Nokton 17.5mm 0.95 (35 EQ) yes it spreads a bit but the look is novel and never had a complaint except from that one guy with a huge nose....
I have a BMD Pocket - selling it for various reasons: it's difficult to focus is the number one issue - this is not a walk and talk, run & gun camera. Even if you do like it prepare to spend at least another $700 to be functional as far as production quality. That $1700 is better spent on a much more complete and diverse Lumix GH4. Plus your money is better spent on a GH4 simply because it is buying you into the 4K realm and even if you don't see yourself needing 4K who wouldn't love the ability to scope and reframe any shot into a 1080 format?
Alle, you stated, "Some places are already saying they won't accept your material if it's not in 8K from June 2014. " Which places said that to you? I'm very curious since I find it an odd deliverable requirement at this time. Was the specification only for deliverables or did it also pertain to image origination?