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Need recommendations for 2 cameras

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Bob Andren
Need recommendations for 2 cameras
on May 21, 2014 at 6:00:40 pm

Hello. After being a freelance shooter for almost 20 years, I am starting my own company with an eye towards targeting business clients for videos for their websites, as opposed to event/wedding clients.

I have been approved for a grant for $12,000. I am thinking about buying two cameras. One I would like to have is a 'digital cinema' camera to give certain videos the film look. The other I would like to have is one that would have a 'video look' like footage seen on newscasts. I could then give potential clients a choice, and there are some projects that would be more appropriate for one look over the other.

As I don't want to use a DSLR, the most affordable camera to be the 'film look' camera that I'm considering is the Sony FS-100. For the camera for the 'video look' I was advised to get the Sony FDR-AX1, as it shoots in 4K. I had been considering a used Sony EX-3 or similar, but am now leaning towards the AX1.

B&H in NYC sells the AX1 for $4500, and the FS-100 body only for $4000. However-

another place in NYC selling a used FS100 with lens and shotgun mike for $3425, and another used FS100 kit for $4500, which includes lens, 3.5 LCD, memory stick and Sony warranty. An on line site Global Media Pro is selling a used kit for $4130, which includes Sony E18 18-200mm OSS lens.

I don't want to spend the entire $12,000 on cameras, as I need to get a few other things too. Any advice is greatly appreciated, as well as the names of other places to go for the cameras. Thanks.


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Rick Wise
Re: Need recommendations for 2 cameras
on May 21, 2014 at 6:52:00 pm

If you like the Sony look, the your choices seem pretty good to me. Otherwise, the Canon EOS C-100 with the new autofocus would likely be a great choice for your "filmic" camera. For the "video look" why not get a prosumer camera such as the Sony 96GB HXR-NX30 Palm Size NXCAM HD for $1,800? Then you'd have a very distinctive difference to show potential clients. I'm guessing that unless price is too much of an issue they will all opt for the Canon. However, that little Sony has a fantastic internal stabilizing system which will allow you to make very smooth hand-held shots. It also seems to have amazing auto-iris and focus. There are some demo videos on YouTube you can check out. (Yes, pros don't use "auto" anything, except when they do.)

Rick Wise
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area

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