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What should I buy for $4k?

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John Clawson
What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 13, 2011 at 4:01:38 am

I might have $4000 to buy a Canon 5D Mark ii and additional gear. I need advice on what to buy. Perhaps I spend more money on certain must haves such as lenses and buy remaining gear later. What is good enough and what is the best?

I'm pretty much starting from scratch. Here's my wish list:
-Canon 5D Mark ii
-1 Prime Lens & 1 Zoom Lens
-Memory Cards
-Tripod
-Shoulder Camera Mount
-On Camera Shotgun Mic
-Wired or Wireless Lavalier Mic
-Audio Field Recorder
-3 Point Lighting Kit
-Extra Batteries
-Camera Bag
-Must Have Accessories

Any advice would be appreciated on any of these items.

Thanks!


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Richard Harrington
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 13, 2011 at 1:36:06 pm

Go with 7D and put saved money into a few batteries and used lenses

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: From Still to Motion, Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques


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Frank Giardina
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 13, 2011 at 9:04:07 pm

Hi...

Nice list!!!

I agree with Richard. Get yourself a variable ND filter too... you'll need it for shooting outdoors.

http://www.singh-ray.com/varind.html

Best Regards!

Frank Giardina
17 Video Production


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Christopher McCron
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 13, 2011 at 3:08:38 pm

I am looking at Canadian pricing, but it looks like you would want to go with the 7D body as opposed to the 5D MK II if you are looking to use your 4k to get that wish list all in one pop.

Also, if you are looking to get all those items, I would say spend your money on an "as needed" basis. I think buying everything at once could possibly lead to having a few items that you won't use very often, but felt you would at the time of purchase.

Looking at your list, it could be a bit difficult to get all that with 4k. Do you have any lighting or lenses in mind that you were leaning towards? Or are you looking for DIY lighting?


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 13, 2011 at 5:05:46 pm

I'd say go with the 60D, get a decent zoom lens and some primes (many primes), get a whole bunch of 8 and 16 gb class 10 sd cards ( I have fewer overheat problems with class 10 vs class 6). Skip the on camera mic, but pick up the H4n, a set of good lavs won't hurt and a good boom mic and pole are nice. I build most of my own equipment for camera rigs, but get a tripod that won't break the bank.

The big question: what are you gonna shoot? That will drive the gear.

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


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Christopher McCron
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 13, 2011 at 5:17:50 pm

Judging from the responses thus far, it looks like the 5D MKII isn't the best option. lol : P


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Alf Hanna
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 13, 2011 at 5:31:19 pm

What do you plan to shoot? Studio, advertising, sports? It affects the choice. 7 D is environmentally sealed, extremely rugged, ESP. For sports, outdoors stuff. Built like a tank.

Alf


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Bill Davis
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 13, 2011 at 5:47:16 pm

They are both fine cameras but they ARE different.

So I agree you need to define your work AHEAD of the purchase.

For example, most people can't go out and buy a comprehensive set of glass because that's too costly. So often, you'll be looking for RENTAL LENSES. Those lenses will work just fine with both bodies, but there will be a crop factor to deal with on the APS-C sensor of the 7d NOT on the full-frame sensor of the 5d.

Also, if you're going to shoot stills for advertising and need the MAX resolution possible for doing large format printing as in Duratrans kiosk work, vehicle wraps, or billboards, the resolution difference WILL be a factor in those areas - tho NOT in direct to video work.

Finally, the "ecosystem" for the transformative 5d is gigantic and growing. It's the top of mind brand that says "serious DSLR video shooter" in general conversation. Anything less is a step down, but NOT necessarily a step worse. It's perception. And sometimes perception matters.

One guy told me six months ago that he was selling his P2 Panasonic camera because in the space of a month, every call he got SWITCHED from asking if he shot P2 to asking if he shot a 5d.

It's got that "kleenex" branding thing about it that no other camera has to date.

Whether any or all of this means it's worth the extra $1k to YOU or the people who might hire you is hugely debatable. But you should realize that there are factors other than just cost in play.

They are both fine cameras. The choice is yours alone and no matter which way you jump, you can make some great looking video once you learn how.

Good luck.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner


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John Clawson
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 13, 2011 at 6:13:16 pm

Thanks for the input everyone. I would say that my heart is most set on a 5D. I plan to shoot ads for local businesses, short films, stock footage, and interviews.

I could wait on some of the other gear and first focus on the camera, lenses, and memory cards.

Any suggested lenses? Some say go with Canon L series and some say Nikon has good low budget choices.


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Richard Harrington
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 13, 2011 at 10:08:53 pm

Why?

The video features on 7d are better, easier buttons and have HD monitoring.

The lowlight performance is only marginally better, and in fact I find it harder to shoot under daylight with the 5D and maintain depth of field without significant filtration.

Toss in the fact that we're not that far away from a new 5D.... and IMHO you're wasting money.

Why spend your wad on one piece of gear... when you're going to need other things to complete the package.

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: From Still to Motion, Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques


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Richard Cooper
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 14, 2011 at 4:43:48 am

Another thing to consider is that the 5d does nt shoot 60p where as the 7d does.... If you want to over crank, this is a critical essential for us..... And as said earlier, the 5d does not put out an HD signal through the HDMI while recording and the 7d does...sort of. Also when considering gear, you must have an external hd monitor (if your serious about focus) it really makes all the difference.... And a Z-Finder (loupe) for when you are shooting hand held. Those two things alone will run you about $1500.... that, with the 7d, extra batteries and a few lenses and you $4000 will be eaten up before you know it.... Plus some!

Then there is the rail system and follow focus, again if your serious about focus..... DSLR lenses have a notoriously short focal range (amount the ring spins through the focal range) vs cine lenses.... A real pain w/o a follow focus.... Actually a real pain with a FF!!

My advice would be to go with the 60d and use the rest of the money to built "the essentials" to your DSLR rig, and THEN, once you have all of that, make some money, upgrade your camera body(s) to both a 5d and a 7d so you have both.... They are different cameras and shine at different things..... The right tool for the right job.

Now that all of that has been said..... You could just go out and get an AF-100 for just a little more money.... Once mine arrives I will be dumping all the DSLR gear, minus lenses of course..... cause damn, it is a pain in the ass to shoot on.... No matter how you dress it up, it is just not made for professional cinematography..... But the images can't be denied if you know how to use it and can put up with all the challenges and limitations.

Just more opinions.... Really up to you to decide what is best for your needs.

Good luck!

Richard Cooper
FrostLine Productions, LLC
Anchorage, Alaska
http://www.frostlineproductions.com


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ryan loetscher
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 17, 2011 at 6:08:27 pm

I have to agree with what the Richard's said... the added all the draw backs I did not mention in my post below. Like I said... I ADORE my 5D. But I think you would be wasting your money. The 5D was created for photography and the video was an add on that started a revolution... the 7D was built with video in mind. The new features out way the extra shallow DOP (which some feel is over the top) and the wider angles... if you think conversely, its more expensive to get into the 300mm range with quality and on the 7D or other cropped sensors, you can get a cheaper 200mm lens that looks better and have it be a 320mm.

If I had to do it over given my current situation, I would have bought two t2i's and got additional lenses with the left over money.

The lenses are more important then the camera to a certain extent... the camera is the stereo system and the cameras are the speakers... so you have a bad ass stereo, great, but if your speakers are shitty little dollar store speakers, you aren't going to get the best out of the stereo.

You may not feel as cool, but you'll definitely be investing your money better.



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David Decker
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 14, 2011 at 6:27:11 pm

The 7D is great, and the only issue I really have run into is the crop factor with close wide shots. Plan on getting a nice wide lens. I have also opted for manual focus Nikon lenses all with adapters for the 7D, which have been great. I tend to use a 35-70 mm for interviews to change the shots in between answers.

The cadillac Zacuto Z-Finder is well worth the money.

The only advice I did not heed and wished I had, was to build your kit slowly to see what works best for you. I ended up with some gear that I rarely use (shoulder mount and cage).

David Decker


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Noah Kadner
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 15, 2011 at 6:09:30 am

If I had to pick a Canon for video shooting it would be a 60D. You will realize this the second you try to swivel the screen on a 7D or 5DM2- you can't. This is just death when you need to take any sort of remotely tricky shot...

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Frank Giardina
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 15, 2011 at 1:41:47 pm

I have the 7D and just ordered the 60D. That's two for the price of one 5D Mark II.

Frank Giardina
17 Video Production


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Brent Dunn
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 16, 2011 at 2:56:56 pm

60D looks good, but plastic body. 7D is built to last. 60D has that swivel screen which is valuable to a videographer.

Buy the canon L-Series Lenses. They'll last forever if you take care of them and the look and colors are worth the price. I try not to use a shoulder mount. These cameras do not work well with movement. They have a Jello effect when you have skaky handheld movements. I do use a glidecam with the 7D. Most of my shots are on a tripod.

Here are the lenses by priority: (all canon L-Series)
24-70mm 2.4 ( is what I use most )
50 mm 1.2 macro
70-200 2.4
80 mm 1.4

Prime lenses: 50mm 80mm 100mm are the best quality if you have the cash to buy all the lenses. I found it better to start with 2 and add more as your budget grows.

I also use the EX-1 for my other camera that also allows me to monitor and capture the audio.

Sony Wireless Lav
Zoom H4N
Rode shotgun Mic's
7" external HD monitor with HDMI (go to lcd4video.com for the best deal)
Tripod
Slider (either Glidtrack's new Hybrid or DP Slider: Both great for those Dolly shots and big budget corporate shots.)
Glidecam (later, when you have the budget add the vest)


All this being said. If I were doing corporate work, I would invest in the EX-1 first and buy a 60D as the B-Camera.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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ryan loetscher
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 17, 2011 at 5:59:43 pm

I haven't read through everyone's posts, just thought I'd send a suggestion... You aren't going to get your list with the 5D on 4k... I spent 5K for my camera with the 24-105mm f/4L kit lens, the $99 50mm mk1 f/1.8 prime and various accessories. It really is all about the lenses. If you can do with out the extra landscape of the full frame sensor, I would get the 7D (which also gives you 60p, yum) and get better lenses, and accessories.

ONLY buy IS lenses unless you have minimal movement on a tripod. Even on a tripod non IS lenses shake. If you need zoom, ONLY get USM lenses or your zooms will be terrible (if you need such a camera move). And I only get L series lenses, they really are worth the value.

The 25-105mm f/4L IS USM to me is a MUST have for video: $1400

I got a used 100-200m f/2.8L IS USM II for 2k... BAD ASS LENS! Gorgeous and worth every penny.

50mm f/1.8 is one of those rare crap lenses that is actually awesome! Sharp as a tac and having 1.8 at that price level is awesome... if you can, find the mk1 version. Much more solid build than the plastic mkII version.

Get yourself a variable ND Filter... IMPORTANT and under rated... and, depending on what your doing, a graduated filter. You should always get the basics like a polarizer and a UV filter. Tac on the battery handle with extra batteries, chargers, bag... you're getting up there in a hurry.

The lenses i have cover a lot of my range... but I wish I had the extra money for the 100mm f/2.8 Macro, a wide/fast prime and a lens in the 300 range. But I spent the extra money on the extra sensor real estate... which gets you shallower depth of field and more expansive wide shots... but lets be honest, that's still not really a problem for the 7D.

I ADORE my 5D... phenomenal... but if you don't need the DOF and wide shot benefits of it, you're better off with the 7D and investing in lenses and the other things listed. Hell, if it doesn't need to be in rugged situations and the "sexy" factor isn't in play on your ego, the t2i has the same visual quality for video as the 7D for half the price. Literally the difference between the t2i and 7D is the build and the photographic features.

One other suggestion, if you know you want to upgrade to the 5D at some point, I wouldn't buy any EF-s lenses... the EF tend to be better quality anyway, and you can use them on any of the cameras.



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ryan loetscher
Re: What should I buy for $4k?
on Mar 17, 2011 at 6:27:09 pm

I keep on saying t2i... that's the old model... 60D



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