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Help me build a DSLR kit

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Jensen Yancey
Help me build a DSLR kit
on Mar 31, 2010 at 2:41:05 am

I recently won $2000 in a film contest and so I've decided it's time to start buying some of my own equipment. Right now, the only things I actually own are my camera (T2I), a zoom audio recorder, boom pole, and tripod. What are the pieces of equipment that I'll get the most benefit out of? I want a dolly and jib, but is there any reason I should buy a ready made one instead of using one of the DIY templates? how much better is a steadicam vest and arm than the cheap $14 one? Should I channel my money into a shoulder mount? or would buying some really high quality lenses be my best bet (I already have a set of nikon primes)?


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Jensen Yancey
Re: Help me build a DSLR kit
on Mar 31, 2010 at 7:50:11 am

Also, I forgot to mention that this will be mostly for event videography and microbudget film


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Norman Pogson
Re: Help me build a DSLR kit
on Mar 31, 2010 at 12:35:42 pm

I think a slider would be a good investment and give some nice shots.
Here is the Glidetrack, there are lots of other brands.

http://www.glidetrack.com/home

My Canon 7D Blog


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Tom Nelson
Re: Help me build a DSLR kit
on Mar 31, 2010 at 3:45:46 pm

Tough question. It depends on what kind of shooting you're going to be doing - I'd want to invest in a solid, smooth video tripod if I was doing shoots on dollies and locked down, for sure. I think a home-built dolly is the way to go to save money - just go on youtube and search for a how-to. If you've got any money after that, I would recommend an HDMI monitor, like the Marshall 70p, so you can reference your shots better. If you're doing mostly hand-held, a Red Rock micro stabilization system with follow focus and an LCD viewfinder attachment would be a good purchase. I'd say set up a test shoot similar to one you would normally be doing. Try the shoot with the gear you've got, and at the end, determine the peices of gear that you would have wanted to have the most.

Tom Nelson
Videographer/Editor
Essex Television Group


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Gary Milligan
Re: Help me build a DSLR kit
on Mar 31, 2010 at 3:37:41 pm

[Jensen Yancey] "Also, I forgot to mention that this will be mostly for event videography and microbudget film"

I was/am under the impression that DSLR's are not the best to use for event videography due to their short (12-20 minutes) recording time. I'm waiting for a model with HDMI out (before compression) to plug into a NanoFlash or similar recorder... or is there already one out there?

Gary

This is me - this is what I do - http://web.mac.com/garymmw


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Help me build a DSLR kit
on Mar 31, 2010 at 6:11:09 pm

Well, I saw these guys at last year's NAB and I really liked the rig - really light, easy to assemble, and relatively cheap:

http://www.indiedolly.com

This one is on my list of things to get when the money is there - might be our next production we're shooting this May! Their Universal Dolly runs $1200 - has a seat and pushbar and it's designed for a sturdy tripod with a good head. Dunno if that includes track, but they tell you how to make track with pvc, too. For a cheap, fairly decent tripod, check out E-Image (saw them at NAB): http://www.eimagevideo.com - nice, light, solid, fluid heads, run less than $200 - not for long-term pro use, but good for indie film work. I find great deals on these on ebay (do a category search and find complete tripods, new, from top-rated sellers and you'll find some great deals on these).

Steadicam, glidecam, and varizoom -type products are worth it. You'll spend a lot of time building something on it won't work as well as one you bought. Look for a used one to get a good deal on it and make sure you're getting something rated for your camera (you don't need one made for a 50# camera when you are using a DSLR).

If you are into DIY, check out http://www.dvcamerarigs.com/ - good rigs, not much money. I've build a couple rigs in there and the jeans sandbags. Good stuff.

Also check out: http://homebuiltstabilizers.com/. I've used the $14 steadicam and it's just too cumbersome to make it work for long term - my arms were tired after an hour and I couldn't hold the thing up anymore. It all depends on your ability to build stuff and your ability to follow often incomplete instructions.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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John Frey
Re: Help me build a DSLR kit
on Mar 31, 2010 at 6:28:14 pm

The t2i reportedly does not have a real-time simultaneous hdmi out while recording to the card. That negates the use of an add-on hdmi monitor. Perhaps Magic Lantern will provide the hack to fix that.

John D. Frey
25 Year owner/operator of two California-based production studios.

Digital West Video Productions of San Luis Obispo and Inland Images of Lake Elsinore


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Norman Pogson
Re: Help me build a DSLR kit
on Mar 31, 2010 at 8:00:27 pm

Using the Canon utility software that came with your camera, connect your camera to a laptop with the software installed using a USB cord and you will get recording to the card, the lcd will be in use and the live image will be on the laptop as well.

My Canon 7D Blog


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Steffen Wiegand
Re: Help me build a DSLR kit
on Apr 1, 2010 at 6:08:33 am


Hi,

does this mean that you could use a laptop as external monitor? Since I've been trying to get to know my 550D (why is it called T2i-Rebel somewhere else ..?) I looked into the manual yesterday in order to find out more about the HDMI-output and it just names the connection to a HD-TV-set for viewing purposes.

See you
Steffen


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Norman Pogson
Re: Help me build a DSLR kit
on Apr 1, 2010 at 1:05:38 pm

Yes you can use your laptop as an external monitor and a remote control for the camera, using a USB cord that was supplied with the camera







My Canon 7D Blog


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Mark Welch
Re: Help me build a DSLR kit
on Apr 1, 2010 at 4:35:36 pm

Don't forget lighting. Arri has some great softlight kits. Old Mole Richsrdsons are available on Ebay. Bounce them, pump them through silks. At least buy some foamcore for bouncing available light into faces on the closeups. DSLR cinematography without lights is a disadvantage right off the bat. Or check for local gaffers in your area you can hire.

All the great DP's started off first with a good understanding of lighting.


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Nakul Sood
Re: Help me build a DSLR kit
on Apr 1, 2010 at 6:42:37 pm

Hi take a look at what all we're making.

http://www.embracevideo.com and http://www.oomagamma.com

I'd recommend 3-4 things that might be very helpful, we make a phantom powered box that'll allow you to use XLR mics. We're making a Plate Array mic that's an original and probably the most versatile mic in all conditions. We've got an inexpensive dolly that's portable, smooth and sets up in about 2-3 min.

I'm working on stuff for DSLR HD video, making a magnifier for the lcd, a followfocus and grip. It should be considerably cheaper than anything on the market without any short changing on quality, I'm gonna try to price it under $300 for the whole kit.



New Devices for Audio and Video recording
http://www.embracevideo.com
http://www.oomagamma.com


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