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DSLR gear shopping list- am I making any stupid decisions?

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Timothy Lovegrove
DSLR gear shopping list- am I making any stupid decisions?
on Apr 17, 2013 at 11:57:42 pm

I know this is a lot, but if any of you are willing to give your opinions I will be grateful. Basically I'm asking if you might skim through my "shopping list" and see if you catch any really stupid decision I'm making! I'm a video newbie, but am learning as fast as I can (background is in still photography).

We are recording videos for our church using a Sony A57 DSLR, 35mm/50mm/85mm primes, Sennheiser Wireless, and Zoom H4n. Our primary focus is mostly talking-head style videos (you can see here

for one that was made before we started doing external audio), but we will also like to make some simple event and interview style videos as we go along, as well as recording sermons.

Our long-term goal is to add an e-mount camera similar to the Sony FS100, but for now we're interested in utilizing the A57 as best we can.

I have about $2000 to spend right now on some system stuff that we need. I've included a brief description with my estimated budget range.

One other note - I am very open to the possibility of including used equipment.

Field Monitor: ($300-$600) won't be using this outdoors very much, but do need a good portable monitor for indoor use (especially since the talking head videos are done by a solo-crew: the same person who is on camera). Already have mini-hdmi to hdmi cable.

Video tripod: ($200-$500) Would like it to be sufficient for something like the Sony FS100 down the road, and for a DSLR cage now. I'm not using large enough lenses to need a sliding base plate; it's fine if the tripod is heavy; I'm not concerned about being able to lower it close to the ground; I don't think I need a ball level.

Editing software: ($400) I currently have Sony Movie Studio, and am planning to get Vegas Pro.

Key Light ($250): we record the talking-head videos in a room with ambient sunlight in mid-afternoon. We need a light to provide some fill on the face. We've been using a very cheap softbox with CFLs, but the green cast is just too annoying and we really need something a little more durable for being hauled around. This could be either a cage-mounted LED panel, or some sort of light mounted on a light stand. (do not need to be able to hot-shoe mount). Either way would work fine (maybe the light stand would be more flexible). I have some cheap light stands, but nothing very sturdy.

DSLR video cage: ($100-$250) For mounting zoom, field monitor, Zoom H4N, and possibly light. Will probably also need at least one adapter arm, and 1/4'' adapter screws or whatever is needed for attaching to the cage.

Shotgun Mic: ($200) The Rode Videomic probably? for casual interview settings, events, etc.

Variable ND filter ($75): Probably the Lightcraft Fader ND ii, unless something like Hoya or Cokin Pure is worth the price difference. (55mm would fit my Sony primes)

Do you have any input on those things - and big mistakes I'm making here?

Thank you,

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Steve Crow
Re: DSLR gear shopping list- am I making any stupid decisions?
on Apr 18, 2013 at 4:05:36 am

I think the light stands will be way more flexible in setting up the lights in the right position, maybe think about a bounce board as a simple fill light (perhaps held by a stand) for those interviews in the sunny room

Don't see anything foolish on your list at all - lights are expensive so you may have to buy used

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media

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