I need some advice. What is a good inexpensive camera which produces quality work that an independent filmmaker can use?
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a DSLR and a great DOP. for more budget you could go for a blackmagic or Red Scarlet. And of course a great DOP.
Panasonic GH2 or GH3 or the Canon 5d Mark 2 or Mark 3 are excellent dslr's to look at for filmmaking. Make sure to look up lenses also. They are just as important when it comes to a quality image.
"Nice Camera" is a little vague. Do you know how much you wish to spend? Camera, but what about everything else? You will also need, lenses, filters, matte box and follow focus, batteries and power supplies, monitors, tripods, heads & other support, recording media, transfer station, hard drives and LTO5 drive for back-up, wired and wireless on set image distribution, dailies assembly, and bunches and bunches of other stuff. Plus you will need duplicates of all of these things for every camera. Let's say a small intimate picture and you only have 2 cameras on the Main Unit and 1 camera on Second Unit. You will need 3 of everything and they have to match. As has already been said, the equipment list for your picture should be overseen by your DP. Nobody else. It is their job. Part of the reason for the large amount of money in easy to carry bags that you lavish upon us.