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Camera choice for a comercial on national TV

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Josefin Sandberg
Camera choice for a comercial on national TV
on Jan 7, 2014 at 9:58:44 am

I just started working on a new comercial. I work on a local TV station and usually we make low budget comercials. But now I'm going to create a comercial that will also go on national TV. Usually we film all the comercials with normal video cameras (same as we use for editorial content). It's a panasonic, similar to this one

But I know that for comercials it's best with a camera that can give the film more depht. Shorter focus depth. Do you think it's good enough to just use the cameras we have or should I rent a DSLR or even a better camera like Sony PMW-F55 or PMW-F5? With the last one I will get the best out of two worlds. Best out of video cameras and best out of DSLR. And also a really good quality.

The comercial is going to be 30 seconds long.

What would you do?

I am used to the Panasonic cameras and also to manual settings. Is it easy/fast to learn a total new camera, or is it best to just do the safe thing and hire in a camera man that is experienced with the equipment we are renting?

It's importan to get a good result. The budget on the production is 40 000 NOK (6500 USD).

Appreciate all help and opions. Thankyou :)

/Josefin Sandberg

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Todd Terry
Re: Camera choice for a comercial on national TV
on Jan 7, 2014 at 3:46:14 pm

There's really know way to know what's best, since we don't know what your commercial subject is, what kind of style or look that you are looking for, or any of a bunch of other things...

But yes, I think your last guess is best....

On a lowish-budget project like that you will not have any wiggle room or budget to cover any mistakes, re-dos, or extra time to play with brand-new-to-you gear and get it right.

In that case I think it would be wise to hire an experienced DP who owns his or her own gear... something like a Canon C300 or C500, or an EPIC, or something along those lines (with a good arsenal of lenses). I think you'll be better off in the long run and get better results along with much more for your money.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Camera choice for a comercial on national TV
on Jan 7, 2014 at 5:45:13 pm

It's never been the camera and lens alone that determines a successful spot. Clio winners have been shot with cheap cameras as well as REDs. So much has to do with everything else: the script, the acting, the directing/composition, the LIGHTING, art direction, the sound, the post-production... dozens of factors.

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