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  • Best starting cheap equipment?

    Hi guys I love make video of snowboard, skate, nature, spot, everything, but now I want to start a real short film! I don't have much money, I've about 1000-1500 and i think that I basicly need to buy a camera, a microphone and maybe a new pc. I found a used notebook for 380 (i5, 8gb ram, ati hd7670 2g, ssd 128GB). For the camera I was looking for a gh2, but there also is the canon eos 650d that is cheaper and in low light condition is better, but the gh2 is smaller and sharper. I also have some old full frame optics: zeiss 50mm f1.7, zeiss 135 f2.8, yashica 28mm f2.8, a 2x multiplier and a fisheye, but with wich camera I can use this optics in the better way? with the gh2 the 50mm,for example, will be a 100mm right? I also want tu use the camera for shooting photos, not just videos. And I really don't know wich microphone is better.
    FInally I want to know what are the useful support (shoulder rig, jib, glidcam etc etc..)
    I know that my english is not perfect, but I hope tha can be at least understandable.
    Thank everyone(:

  • #2
    Be careful on your choices before you spend your money. I would be very leery with that laptop. With HD footage you will need lots of storage (I have 8 terabytes) A great graphics card like the top Nvidia cards and tons of ram. You also need editing software to do good work. Now I know I will get flamed for this but I will tell you anyway. I have been using it for years. You can go with a PC instead of a MAC and save a ton. I use Adobe Premiere Pro cs5.5 and After effects for 99% of my work. (You have to have the Nvidia cards to run the new Adobe suite.) I’m talking feature length projects. Just so you know AND the new release of FCP is not too desirable from what I read. Anyway, I know I will be flamed but take it for what you will, I am totally convinced and satisfied with my work flow equipment.
    The GH2 is a good starter camera and I will venture further that you can do some pretty awesome stuff with it. It boils down to sensor size for me. If you plan to blow it up on a big screen then do look at the sensor of the camera you are using. I use the Canon 5D for a lot of work for that reason (full size 35mm sensor) ;)
    So in short, go beefy on the editing machine, you will need it. GH2 is good but look ahead at what else you may want to do. You can get a 5D mk2 frame for a reasonable price right now. Rent some lenses and you are in business. Get a good little 3 light lighting kit.
    Sound. I use the Zoon HN4 recorder for small projects. Get a good boom mic. Save for some good lav mics…makes a BIG difference in sound.
    Now you could go with a good video camera that capture quality sound and be in business as well. I use a Sony cam for TV shows, commercials etc. Total package for the cam was about $2500. But you get quality sound with it. AND you can make short films all day long!
    Hope this helps a little.

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    • #3
      Like tseverio says, that laptop isn't sufficient. It's got seemingly good specs, but you'll need to replace the RAM (I have 8gb, which is a good amount for a laptop) and find a bigger HDD (I have only 500gb, but I delete all my source files after editing)
      https://vimeo.com/gradeb

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tseverio View Post
        You can go with a PC instead of a MAC and save a ton.
        I would like to second this. I have said it before, and I will say it again (and again and again), Macs are way over-hyped by the film and video crowd. It all stems from a (pretty smart) advertising campaign Macintosh launched and spent lots of money on promoting Macs as the computer for "creative people" and painting PCs as just not up for the task of serious artistic uses like video editing, audio editing, etc. While this marketing campaign literally saved the Macintosh from becoming completely extinct at a time when it was in very real danger of becoming so, there's really very little truth to it. The truth is that a PC with the same exact specs as a Macintosh will cost you tons less. You just have to do a bit more research and make sure what you're buying is actually good because there is so much more variety in PCs.

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        • #5
          Unless you are getting a Macbook or something please don't get a laptop. It is basically what the post above me was trying to tell you. With HD footage that thing will maybe last a year and even then, the footage will show up choppy. I would custom build a PC.

          I'll make a little list. You are saying your budget is about (basically) $2,000 US dollars, but they will basically convert the same.

          So.

          Camera: $800 on Ebay used. Body only. Canon 7D.

          Lens: $90 on Ebay New. Canon 50mm 1.8. AND Canon 35-80mm New. $60 (this is a cheaper one, but still a decent lens)

          Tripod: $70-200. New. Really depends on how much you are willing to spend. But you need a good tripod. I'm still keeping the price low for you.

          Custom PC Build: $800-1200. This price varies, but you can really get a nice custom PC build for around this. $1000 would be ideal and it would support the HD footage that you will be importing.




          Right now you have basically hit your spending limit. You could for sure do short films with just a camera, a nice lens and a tripod, but honestly....if I were you I'd save up some more and get a couple of bonus things.



          Slider: $125-200 on ebay. This will help with smooth panning shots.

          Glidecam HD 2000: $400.



          Then you need some things to take into account like lighting, sound, small equipment, more lenses.

          Not a very cheap hobby, but you can get a great set up for right around $2500.

          Goodluck my friend! Hope this helped.
          http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOnlyHavey

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          • #6
            While I have to admit, I think your camera choice might have been a bit upper limit for a specificly "just starting out" posting Havey (Lots of folks like the t3i for starting out, from my research), my compliments on putting together a fairly comprehensive list for somone. I've seen similar posts, and the responses mostly just argued about how it wasn't enough to get a good camera, and then arguing.

            As for lights, you can DIY that to some extent, especially for starting out. Just make sure your shots are well lit.

            On the computer front, even with the little I've done so far I can say your priority is going to be processing/memory and Video (Sound is big too, but good headphones help there, I think). For an off the shelf solution, you might get a low/mid range gaming PC (Again, not Mac) and a tabletop. Should have solid hardware for early work, a good sized hard drive, and being a table top you can update it as you go.
            Find me on Twitter: [at]Shadoe_Fox

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            • #7
              Also on the computer front, CPU over GPU. To my understanding editing uses more CPU than GPU, don't skimp on a good processor.

              And get some fast RAM.

              Hope that helps!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kevin View Post
                While I have to admit, I think your camera choice might have been a bit upper limit for a specificly "just starting out" posting Havey (Lots of folks like the t3i for starting out, from my research), my compliments on putting together a fairly comprehensive list for somone. I've seen similar posts, and the responses mostly just argued about how it wasn't enough to get a good camera, and then arguing.

                As for lights, you can DIY that to some extent, especially for starting out. Just make sure your shots are well lit.

                On the computer front, even with the little I've done so far I can say your priority is going to be processing/memory and Video (Sound is big too, but good headphones help there, I think). For an off the shelf solution, you might get a low/mid range gaming PC (Again, not Mac) and a tabletop. Should have solid hardware for early work, a good sized hard drive, and being a table top you can update it as you go.
                Haha funny you say that! I actually use the T3i for all of my shoots :P. I guess I was just telling him to get a 1 up type camera! And they are going pretty cheap now so why not! But thanks.

                Yea lighting you can do it pretty cheap. Most people for some off reason like to go out and buy hundreds of dollars for 1 studio light, when you can run to your local hardware store and buy 2-3 industrial lights for under 60 bucks.
                http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOnlyHavey

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                • #9
                  heck, you can buy photography soft light kits, which will give you a pretty good basic set from what I can tell, for less that two hundred on Ebay.
                  Find me on Twitter: [at]Shadoe_Fox

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                  • #10
                    No doubt. The best way to really find anything at a good price is to just shop around. Find something on a big name equipment site, then hit up Ebay or Amazon and you can almost always find the exact thing for half the price.

                    And there is nothing wrong with buying used.

                    Filmtools: Hollywood's source for Motion Picture and Digital Video Equipment and Supplies - Filmtools

                    This is the site I use to basically look for everything. Of course they are super high dollar, but it is all professional equipment. Everything here is basically the best you can buy on the market. But it is an excellent place to look for stuff and get a pretty good grasp on things you might need.
                    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOnlyHavey

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                    • #11
                      I admit, among the group of friends I'm trying to get a production off the ground with, I have two people who are experts at finding things online for stupid low prices. I basically have gotten into the habit of looking around and going "Yep, need this. Get one to look it up."
                      Find me on Twitter: [at]Shadoe_Fox

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                      • #12
                        Thats basically what my friend and myself have turned into now. At first we just saw something, and if we thought it was an ok deal....we would buy it. But now, since budgeting is everything we really shop around. There are some great websites that have some amazing deals, you just have to catch them at the right time.

                        And of course you can always DYI a lot of expensive things.
                        http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOnlyHavey

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                        • #13
                          Luckily on my front I have a few guys good with tools running around. Makes life easier
                          Find me on Twitter: [at]Shadoe_Fox

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                          • #14
                            Ok... Sooooo, thank you, I really appreciate your help, but now I'm really confused... I forgot to say that I have a light (yes, just 1), I also have other cameras, but not for short film (canon s100, canon g5, canon fs100, gopro2).
                            Now, Wich camera I must to buy? I'm really really confused! the 7d is surely a good camera but is too big, sometimes I like to do some short trip and film everything I see, but canon eos 7d or 5d are too big to transport everywhere i think... Rebel t4i/t3i are not good? I love the panasonic also because is very small...
                            For the microphone I don't want to spend a lot, is my first film... It musn't be perfect...
                            And for the pc I prefer a laptop just because sometimes I need to work at school or in the bus... Everywhere! I don't have much time so I prefere to use all the time I have... The editing software I use are Sony vegas pro and after effect and acid for mixing music.
                            So, the camera? a bigger camera is better? And the mic? something not very expansive..?

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                            • #15
                              The canon eos series cameras are too big for what you want?

                              They are pretty small and compact. They are just DSLR, they aren't like shoulder rig cameras or anything. They would be perfect for shooting short films.
                              http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOnlyHavey

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