Filmmaking / Directing : Equipment by Diana Murdock

Diana Murdock


Looking for suggestions for a basic camera to start filming with and any additional equipment to go with it. Thank you!

Delphine Jean

If you want to start you should try yhe panasonic GH4 with lens standard 14-140mm and to start just a simple tripod, its a really cinematographic camera very complete.

Diana Murdock

Thank you so much Delphine. I appreciate your advice.

Lindbergh E Hollingsworth

Hi Diana - checkout the Canon Rebels T3i - T5i ... great little cameras that shoot 1080p. They're also work well with a full line of Canon lenses; for audio/sound - checkout the Zoon H4N (but would still need the boom, mic and cables). Best bet is to reach out to local filmmakers in your area - DPs, Sound - as they'll have their own gear. More economical to pay someone than to incur the costs (and then have to hire crew to use it).

Lina Jones

Good question Diana I am writing down some of these suggestions I to am in the market for a new camera.

Phillip Lupo Jr.

Try any DSLR. They are portable and easy to use, many lens options, and workflow is pretty simple into editing software.

Diana Murdock

Great! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! This is very helpful.

Bala Bishop

I would ensure you never let the equipment be the excuse for working on the project. go get it !!

Diana Murdock

Thanks, Bala!

Mitchell Eiven

Hi Diana. I purchased some basic equipment and it didn't cost a great deal of money. Cannon T3i (DLSR camera) - The T6i is the newest version. The Tascam DR-100 for sound recording. Bescor LED95DK2, basic LED lights. This basic package package has been very helpful to learn the basics of cinematography, sound and lighting. As I get a little better with it, I'm finding it really useful for professional looking YouTube videos. It's not so great for making movies or shorts, but, as a beginner, I like it a lot.

Jerry Kokich

You already have the equipment you need, if you have a smartphone or tablet.

Diana Murdock

Thanks, Mitchell. That's quite a helpful list. I appreciate that. I'm looking into everyone's suggestions. Jerry, if I were to use my tablet, which editing platform would work? For that matter, do you all do your own editing?

Jerry Kokich

On an iPad, you can use the iMovie app. I produced a web series using my iPad, and did all my own editing on my iMac. It was pretty much a no-budget project, but limitations force you to be creative. You can check out the series at and an article I wrote, Ipad Filmmaking On A Budget at

Lindbergh E Hollingsworth

If you use an iPhone or iPad for shooting do not use the video camera as is. Grab the FilmicPro app, and use this to shoot video on your iPad / iPhone. The issue you'll encounter is the auto-exposure and auto-focus will be constantly adjusting which will wreck havoc in post. The FilmicPro will lock in exposure and focus. As Jerry pointed out iMovie is a good, solid platform to use.

Jerry Kokich

Thanks, Lindbergh! And guess what app I use? Yup, Filmic Pro!

David Timber

I could recommend camera and other basic equipment, but I think I would prefer to recommend a website: You can get very relevant and accurate info and advice along with great reviews, then we can talk. -Dave

William Dickerson

Canon 60D is a terrific and affordable intro camera.

Diana Murdock

Thank you!!!

Mitchell Eiven

I'm right there with is an outstanding resource. I'm always learning something new there.

Diana Murdock

Great suggestion. Looking at it right now.

Doug Nelson

You don’t say where or what you’re shooting: scripted, Indoors, outdoors, how about audio, editing…? Most of the consumer level DSLR’s (Canon, Nikon…) will suffice along with a fluid-head tripod, a microphone and some basic lighting. They’ll shoot in 1080p and provide an adequate projected image for the typical mall-type cinema screens. The “prosummer” DSLR’s provide a few additional bells and whistles (I use a Nikon 610D for a lot of stuff.) You can step up another level in the DSLR family for a lot more money with limited value added. Sounds like you’re not ready to talk about shooting 4K with all its features and expenses yet. Don't mess with shooting on a phone - go for the real thing.

Donny Broussard

I've shot quite a bit with the Canon 5D Mark II and it's great for a starter camera. I also, really enjoy the Black Magic as well as the Canon C300.

Winter Maza

If i may get primitive for a moment....Panasonic ag af 100 w/ 1080-24p (2500$) dual sd card holders, holds lumix (sp?) lens. Not a fanboy of the the DSLR

Doug Nelson

Winter – allow me to play Devil’s advocate here. You hold what against DSLRs?

Crystal Diane Stevens

Diana, please contact me, because we have someone that you can consult with who can answer ALL questions and then give you complete guidance, from what camera to use, how to work with with that best in post, lenses - everything. I am at

Liam Kelly

I have a Canon 5D Mark 2, with a 50mm f1.8, and a 24-105mm f4. I bought all this gear second hand, and wouldn't have done it any other way. The 5D (25k shutter actuations) and the 50mm, with a bunch of batteries and a camera bag, viewfinder etc. cost me $1400. It was the best thing I did. I just hunted and waited for the right deal. ONLY USE PAYPAL if purchasing online. If going the iWay, Filmic Pro is a great app, but if you can get iOS 8, you can lock off all those settings, and the cameras on them aren't too shabby, particularly the newer iPhones and iPads Best of luck!

Diana Murdock

Awesome information! Thank you! You all are rock stars.

Jerry Kokich

Yes, Diana, yes we are.

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