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First camera recommendations? $2000 budget

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Erin Smith
First camera recommendations? $2000 budget
on May 4, 2015 at 5:08:00 pm

I'm an editor looking to get into making my own shorts and want to buy a camera. I have a $2000 - $3000 budget for getting the body and initial lenses, and any initial audio equipment I'd need.

I've worked with a Canon EOS 60D for some shorts before but have been frustrated by the audio limitations. I will be filming doc shorts and would like to be able to get good audio while moving around in a space, so optimistically would want a camera that could make good use of an on-camera shotgun mic.

Suggestions? Any help is very much appreciated!

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Bill Bruner
Re: First camera recommendations? $2000 budget
on May 6, 2015 at 2:31:07 pm

Hi Erin - with the advent of the latest large sensor, interchangeable lens 10-bit camcorders, older 8-bit models such as the $2499 Sony NEX-FS100 (body only) and shoulder mounted $2299 NEX-EA50 (with the 18-200 power zoom lens) have dropped into your price range.

These cameras have built-in pro XLR jacks and production quality in-camera sound.

The FS100 especially will give you much better image quality than the 60D.

Here is what this camera can do in a documentary setting:

Portrait of a Boxer


The biggest downside to this camera is its ergonomics. It is essentially a "cube" with a lens mount on the front of it. You will have to buy a shoulder mount or a cage to do handheld work with it.

If you want a camera that is built for handheld work, you might want to consider the EA50 instead. It can produce DSLR quality video similar to your 60D - with a built-in shoulder-mount and pro quality sound.

Here is what this camera can do when intercut with the 60D:

TELUS - "Spread the Love" for Valentine's Day 2013

Linnéa Benson plays "Abegg variations" by Robert Schumann on Steinway Gran...

I have shot with Sony NEX camcorders - they produce high quality video and are a very good value for your money.

Hope this is helpful and good luck in your transition from editing to production!

Hybrid Camera Revolution

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Kannan Raghavan
Re: First camera recommendations? $2000 budget
on May 8, 2015 at 4:53:55 am
Last Edited By Kannan Raghavan on May 8, 2015 at 4:55:57 am

Since Canon came out with C100 Mark 2, you can get really good deals on the C100 Mark . It is still a very good camera. You could start out renting lenses, and buy a few primes along the way.
p.s: I'm in the same boat too. An editor starting my own (small) productions. The yet-to-be-released BM Ursa mini looks like a great option.
Kannan Raghavan
The Big Toad Films Pte. Ltd.

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Al Bergstein
Re: First camera recommendations? $2000 budget
on May 30, 2015 at 3:26:24 pm
Last Edited By Al Bergstein on May 30, 2015 at 3:34:35 pm

I'd certainly buy used, maybe off Ebay. I've always had good luck with eBay. I agree with the notion of a used C100. I own one and it's one of the best video camera's I've ever owned. It's small enough to be great on a doc. But I don't see them going for under $2000 yet on eBay. If you don't want to stick with DSLR then you can buy cameras like the XF100 on bay cheap. They are nice portable camcorders that allow a secure Mic to be mounted. I used to have one.

If you like your camera's shots, have a limited budget then why not focus on a better recorder? Why not buy a Tascam DR70 for a couple of hundred dollars, attach your camera to it, and a good shotgun mic to the camera's hot shoe? It wouldn't add much weight to it, and would get you better audio quality. You then could monitor off the Tascam. A good shotgun could cost you $400 or so. Check out the AudioTechnica AT875r. And don't minimize having to use a lavalier. A decent package from Sennheiser is about $600.

If you really want to be able to do a better job capturing sound on the fly, then you should probably invest in the audio gear rather than the camera. Not a lot wrong with the 60d from a picture quality POV. Lots of folks do good work on them.


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Pauline Schram
Re: First camera recommendations? $2000 budget
on Jun 11, 2015 at 8:37:52 am

I'm an editor come director, even though not a big time but luck has favored me with few commercial advertisements and are looking forward other shorts in our list. Canon 70D is a good cam with auto video focus setting. One of the better ones in the specified range. A wide lens, prime and a normal lens will serve the purpose for the shorts, and renting will be much wiser. Rhode mic will also be a good add-on for capturing your audio. This was literally my gadgets for a demo ad done for the junk removal service in Toronto and they are quite satisfied with the project.

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