FORUMS: list search recent posts

Out of college, without much money, entering documentary work (Camcorder Recommendations)

COW Forums : Cinematography

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Tomás Monzón
Out of college, without much money, entering documentary work (Camcorder Recommendations)
on Aug 25, 2018 at 3:27:27 pm

Out of college, without much money, entering documentary work (Camcorder Recommendations)

Hello everyone,

Back on the COW after a long time. I've been doing journalism and documentary-style video for many years, but I'm just out of college and have always done these productions using someone else's equipment. I'm now trying to get my own documentary outfit off the ground, but as you can imagine, don't have all the money in the world to do so.

So far I've discovered that shooting long interviews, or doing handheld work in the field without having the time to set up my shots (as is the case in run'n'ngun documentary work) is a hellish experience with my Nikon D3200 DSLR. Great for photography and very specific cinematic shots but otherwise ill-suited to my work.

My simple question is: with a small budget, what's the best bet for purchasing a proper camcorder that will get me the best video quality possible? Consumer-grade camcorders have a ton of features but ultimately don't do well in low-light, batteries don't last very long, don't have sufficient connectivity (XLR), etc. The Canon XC10 looks beautiful but is expensive (for me) and looks a bit fragile for inclement weather/rough conditions.

I'm leaning towards purchasing an older HDV camera (ENG-style) and putting an Atomos Ninja 2 on it and calling it a day. Is this a viable option or would I be making a bad investment?

Thank you all for any ideas you can provide.

ElMonzon.com | Independent Multimedia Production

Dude in his 20s, fresh out of college, entering the freelance documentary world.


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Out of college, without much money, entering documentary work (Camcorder Recommendations)
on Aug 25, 2018 at 7:23:25 pm

[Tomás Monzón] "Is this a viable option or would I be making a bad investment?"

I certainly think that's a viable option.

One I would look at is a Canon XLH1 (I still have one around somewhere). You can get one for peanuts and pair it with a recorder. Before I moved to Canon's C300PL (when they first came out), I used the H1 for years with a P+S Technik lens converter for cine-style shooting... but it its original configuration it's a GREAT doc and ENG-style camera. I've been doing this for a long time and it is still one of my all-time favorite cameras.

And as I said, you can get one for very little these days.

I'm sure there are plenty of other cameras that would perform similarly, but that's the one I have a lot of experience with and can heartily recommend it.

T2

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



Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Out of college, without much money, entering documentary work (Camcorder Recommendations)
on Aug 26, 2018 at 11:00:53 pm

Do you have access to rentals where you live?


Return to posts index


Tomás Monzón
Re: Out of college, without much money, entering documentary work (Camcorder Recommendations)
on Aug 26, 2018 at 11:23:03 pm

I do, but everytime I've asked for quotes they really do charge a lot of money. I'm talking at least a few hundred for a day's shoot; which, of course, is an understandable price given the quality of gear you can get but at the same time, in my limited documentary experience, subjects can flake or otherwise have things pop up in their lives which, if you're going along with it all, you have to respect, you know? But go on...?

ElMonzon.com | Independent Multimedia Production

Dude in his 20s, fresh out of college, entering the freelance documentary world.


Return to posts index

Rick Wise
Re: Out of college, without much money, entering documentary work (Camcorder Recommendations)
on Aug 27, 2018 at 12:38:37 am

I totally agree: for doc work, owning your own camera works well. Later, if you start doing more long form, rental may be a better solution, though there are lots of cinematographers who do own their own camera package. I didn't. Once I left docs, it was rental all the way.

My workhorse camera was a 16mm CP 16-R, a solid and reliable body, coupled to a 10-150 Zoom outfitted with a fluid zoom control, plus a decent tripod. Today I have no idea what I'd get. I suspect Todd's suggestion is excellent.

Let us know what you end up with.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2018 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]