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Video Recording

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  • Video Recording


    New here and really only on here for a certain specific reason since I don't have much else to really INPUT into the forum as of yet...

    I have been making videos of Aquariums for a good 5years now and have been using a "DSLR/Hybrid" camera to capture 1080p quality footage which I have been utilizing to make videos.

    However I want to seriously ramp up my hardware/gear to get better quality, so I am looking to purchase a rather decent high quality setup (budget is $10k), previously I have been using a simple and cheap Nikon 1 V2, so this is a fairly serious jump up for $1k to $10k but I also expect a serious jump up in quality.

    I'd like to state that I learn best by utilizing a product itself rather then reading things about it so I was curious if a...
    - 1080p HD camera
    - UHD (>1080p but <4k) camera
    - 4K camera

    Would be better suited to me even though I have had no experience in the latter 2, I would over time self learn it as I did with the N1 V2, I'm really just trying to get the best definition I can buy within my budget.

    The use is extremely specific...
    - I don't need to take photos.
    - I don't need to take slow motion.
    - I DO need to get the BEST definition possible (within my budget).

    So no hybrids or features that others might see as "choice" for other situations because the video camera is NEVER going to be used for anything other then filming a single specific aquarium indoors under specific lighting ( lighting which I can create as required to suit filming).

    Any input would be good and highly appreciated.

    P.S. - Not sure which the best sub-forum would be for this sort of question so I placed it here.

    Hope to hear your thoughts!


  • #2
    I'd like to also add the following.

    Aquarium dimensions are not all that large, internally from front glass to rear glass its only 40cm, then the camera could be positioned directly onto the tanks front glass or X cm's away from it.

    Subjects in the aquarium range from 6inchs in size to 12inchs, some of the filming would require Macro processing (super close up stuff) whilst other filming would be more generic in that I'd like to capture the whole animal(s) in the footage.

    There is no 'far off zooming' footage involved here again the tanks total 'depth' is only 40cm.

    Hope this helps further.


    • #3
      What I would reccomend:

      Black Magic Ursa (4.6k, ef mount) -$5000

      Rokinon Cine Kit (Four prime lenses, no autofocus but I don't think you need that given what you said. EF mount) -$2000

      Some extension tubes (decrease the focusing lengths turning any lens into a macro lens, also prevents focusing to infinity when on but in an aquarium you would never need that) -REALLY CHEAP. Get some cheap ones because the one thing the cheap ones don't have that the expensive ones do is compatability between the lens and camera as if for autofocusing, etc. but on a manual lens you don't need that.

      72-77mm step up thread (makes the one lens in the kit that has a 72 mm thread compatible with filters from the other lenses.) - REALLY CHEAP also

      Nice polarizing filter- Around $100, depends which you get

      Nice tripod - Around $1000. You can find them cheaper and more expensive, just an estimate. Here's one example:

      That covers the basics. However, that's not everything you'll need. Memory especially with 4k can be eaten up fast. Hopefully you have a good editing computer, because you do need one for 4k. Also, it sounds like you already have lights, but if you don't you need to get those. If those last three things ARE a problem, then you may have to cut back on some of the other costs such as the tripod. You can find decent ones for much cheaper, they just wont have the same pro feel to pans, tilts, and locked down power in general. Also, you do have $1800 leftover from buying the stuff I recommended for stuff like the memory.

      Don't just take this as exactly what to get, see what other people say as this is just my opinion. Good luck!



      • #4
        Your opinion is highly appreciated and I'd like to state that the main camera body you mentioned (The URSA 4.6K) was the exact camera I was considering (except the PL mount).

        What I meant about the lighting was that I do NOT have lights for the aquarium because the aquarium itself doesn't 'NEED' lights, so I am open to actually utilizing just filming style lighting rather then any lighting required to actually sustain some sort of life within the aquarium itself, any lights I do purchase would never be used except for filming only, so it makes sense to get lighting for filming (not for the aquariums inhabitants who do not need it anyway, if that makes sense).

        I can make my budget a little higher but I wouldn't want to go over a absolute max/hard budget of $12,000.


        • #5
          Yup Black Magic is the way to go


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mick Scarborough View Post
            Yup Black Magic is the way to go
            Although most of my productions will be publicized onto YouTube I was reading about how if you film in 4k and then compress it to 1080p (the common YouTube High Quality), it can look better then standard 1080p HD (like 1080p recorded in a DSLR HD video).

            The setup is extremely specific since it's hard to find any information on FILMING aquariums let along any information on Filming 1 thing specifically (not a varying environment), most/all would think it a waste to purchase something so expensive to do 1 task only and not be utilized for anything else.

            But I am really trying to produce the best footage possible for my budget for the specific task I have (Filming a single specific Aquarium) and even then there is nothing actually IN the Aquarium itself besides the talent/subject/animal, even the base of the tank, sides of the tank and rear wall of the tank are all being covered in black acrylic to create a uniform overall look with the ONLY difference being the subject within the aquarium itself.

            It's just rather difficult to find any information on filming aquariums, all I have learned so far has been merely trial and error.


            • #7
              Hey Dan, just curious, what is the context of the films you make? Is it educational about the animal or what?



              • #8
                I like to call it more along the lines of Educational Entertainment.

                Entertaining whilst educating at the same time!


                • #9
                  One thing I dislike about the URSA which I keep reading about is the memory it utilizes, CFast 2.0 which is extraordinary in costs for very low/short recording time which would equate to potentially spending more then the camera itself to get extended record capabilities...

                  Unless I'm reading old threads and the problem is now solved....?


                  • #10
                    The CFast card is necessary for the data transfer speed required to store 4K data without dropping frames. It may be expensive but again the URSA is not a consumer camera, its prosumer. You pay more for the superior equipment. Also the 256 GB card costs as low as $600. That's a far far cry from costing more than the 4 thousand dollar camera.


                    • #11
                      Guess I was just reading mostly older threads from when the camera was still new...

                      I think the 256GB card will record for 10mins in 4K .RAW which isn't too bad I guess considering it can hold 2 chips for a total of 20mins.

                      Don't really see anything in my filming taking over 20mins of recording time mostly "single digit" minutes (1min - 9mins).


                      • #12
                        Well that plus even when shooting feature films you shoot scenes. Like when I am shooting a scene its often just 2 minutes or less and that gives me 5 takes before swapping cards. Then your assistant downloads one card to your storage media while you shoot on the next card. you can make it work.


                        • #13
                          With the BlackMagic URSA under serious consideration I'm beginning to wonder about certain lenses for the camera...

                          A Macro lens with the largest Focal Length for my lighting is going to be mandatory for those extra close up recordings and allow as much as possible to be clear within the recorded footage itself.

                          But I'm wondering about the "other lens" for footage where I would like to capture the animal and perhaps another animal altercation (this is a predator & prey scenario), movements would/could be swift and random but I would like to still be able to capture both subjects and fill the screen with both subjects as accurately as possible without to much camera movement...

                          I'm not going to need any sort of mega zoom far off distance lens, the aquariums depth (front to rear) is 40cm (as stated earlier) and 60cm Top to Bottom of tank and 120cm side to side of the tank, the camera can be positioned up to 1m away from the tank, whilst it would be easy to setup the camera to capture the whole 120cm x 60cm Length & Height I don't believe it would yield a good footage result in the end because the primary subjects being filmed are only 20cm long each and like I state above I really want to fill the screen with the subjects as much as possible whilst still maintaining minimal overall camera physical movement...


                          • #14
                            Always have a 50mm F1.8 prime in your arsenal. It will separate the background from the subjects better.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mick Scarborough View Post
                              Always have a 50mm F1.8 prime in your arsenal. It will separate the background from the subjects better.
                              Ok...Anonymous Filmmaker the first person to respond put down the 'Rokinon Cine Kit' as a worth while investment seems legit

                              ( Rokinon 24, 35, 50, 85mm T1.5 Cine DS Lens Bundle for Canon EF Mount ).