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What do you recommend?

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David Curtis
What do you recommend?
on Feb 2, 2012 at 1:45:52 pm

Hello, I'm a long-time videographer who's joining the DSLR revolution. I'm planning to buy a Canon 5D Mark II for my office, but I need some advice as to other gear to purchase with it.

As a one-man video band, what do you recommend I purchase to trick it out? I'm looking for rig, focus, lens, mic, monopod, tripod, and other recommendations.

I've done research on what's out there, but I want to hear from folks who've actually used the gear. Thanks in advance for your help!


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Todd Terry
Re: What do you recommend?
on Feb 2, 2012 at 4:25:31 pm

Im not a DSLR guy (in fact the one and only project I had to do with one made me swear to never stray from a "real" video or film camera again)... but I can speak a bit to a couple of pieces of the ancillary equipment.

For focusing, you can't beat the follow-focus unit from RedrockMicro. You'll find tons of follow-focus units on eBay made in China and India that look almost exactly like them and are only a couple hundred bucks... but most of them are pieces of junk. There's just way too much slop in their gearboxes for them to be accurate (or even usable), which will be especially important when shooting with a DSLR since the SLR lens focus rings are so incredibly touchy. A cinematographer buddy of mine calls them "Fisher-Price Follow Focus" units. The Redrock FF unit is the only one I've seen/used that approaches the quality of an Arri or Chroisel FF unit (which will be in the $2-3K range), and it's a lot less expensive... well under a grand.

For microphones, we absolutely live and die by the Sennheiser MKH416. It's been one of the best investments we have ever made. It's a highly directional shotgun, and really sounds great. It has a very warm, open sound... you'll hear it used on a lot of feature films. Now, it does require phantom power to operate, which of course the 5D doesn't output... but I'm guessing that like most DSLR guys you will be shooting double system sound... so if you use something like a Zoom recorder for audio, most of them do output 48v phantom power so it works just great with them. The mic is not cheap, but worth every penny.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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David Curtis
Re: What do you recommend?
on Feb 9, 2012 at 4:10:21 pm

Thanks for the input, Todd. It's funny that you've sworn off DSLRs after using them. I'm trying to make sense of using DSLRs but hate how you have to tack on all the other things (an extra recorder because there is no phantom power? Yeesh.) to make it work. Not easy for a one-man show.

I'm also thinking about the NEX-FS100U but I'm not a huge fan of the overall design. Looks a bit clunky. Have you used this camera before?


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Todd Terry
Re: What do you recommend?
on Feb 9, 2012 at 4:33:39 pm

[David Curtis] "...thinking about the NEX-FS100U...Have you used this camera before?"

No, I can't say that I have... nor have I ever seen one in person. The specs on it are pretty good though, and if I recall they are pretty inexpensive especially for a 35mm-sensor camera.

Certainly worth considering, but I'd definitely want to do plenty of research on them (and test drive one somewhere, if possible) if you think that might be one you'd like to put on your list.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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