Help Selecting Equipment for Cycling Documentary...

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by acearchie, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    I am leaving school for good at the end of the summer term and some friends and I want to make one last film together as we have been making them over the last year and a half at school.

    We are planning on filming a documentary about 2 of my friends cycling from John o Groats to Lands End (This is in the UK by the way) a distance which will total around 1000 miles by small roads on the bike staying at various campsites in tents along the way and its all done for charity.

    The idea is to film a bit of the build up and then basically the entire journey which will probably take about 2 1/2 weeks max.

    I basically need to create a list of equipment I might need so as to get a real budget together.

    So far I have:
    • Panasonic HDC TM300
    • My friend has a large van with a sliding side and back door which we can film out of.
    • I have two seperate cheap tripods which do the job
    • A wide angle lens for the panasonic
    • Reflector

    However these are the things I think I will need:
    • I would like to rent/borrow/buy/steal! a Canon 500d/550d/5d/7d to get some really nice depth of field etc. and great low light quality
    • Two small weatherproof cameras (SD due to budget) which will attempt to record all day from the front of the bikes (Either on the face or facing the road or maybe the riders would alternate who would have the cameras each day) These would essential have to have really long battery lifes or are connected to a switchable battery pack.
    • Lappel mics and some sort of superior mics to the camera mics
    • A 12V to mains plug convertor so we can have the camera plugged in the whole time in the car
    • Bike spares and repair kit (won't need help on this on this forum!)
    • A nice light for outside use and low light use in/out of the car and at the campsites. Hopefully not to yellow!
    • Batteries, Batteries, Batteries + SD Cards
    • Maybe some homemade rigs for the camera to get some arty bike shots

    If you have any experience with using any of the required equipment or think I should add something to the list please do tell me!

    I've started the preparation early so that I can try and stay on top of things!

    Thanks for the help.
  2. gødspeed macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2009
    What kind of budget do you have? If you can afford it, I'd recommend buying or renting a 7D with this package:

    That'll fulfill your need not only for nice depth-of-field effects, but also is weather-sealed; the Canon DSLRs do have limits to recording time in movie mode though, so it wouldn't work well as the camera that's always rolling. That package also comes with a free 35w light -- it's flimsy, but it's quite bright and is definitely "good enough" for most low-budget applications.

    As for a microphone / audio recorder, I recommend with . Having a separate device for audio is very useful, and that particular one records amazingly clear and accurately. Pick up a couple cheap lavs with it, and you're good to go.

    Can't really help with the rest. I am curious though about what bicycles you'll be riding? I have a very old Peugeot road bicycle (early 70s) that I've been getting into taking on longer trips, and eventually I will want to upgrade to a newer one.
  3. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    Check out the GoPro Hero camera. Great for onboard action shots. Not sure how long the batteries last though. It's very cheap, $300 or so. They have different packs for rigging on bikes, cars etc
  4. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Really thanks for the help guys! Much appreciated. The GoPro HD looks pretty darn good and the batteries are quite cheap if I keep a few spares.

    The BHphoto links are great too! I'll just have to find a comparable UK site but I was hoping on getting my hands on a 7d or 5d!

    One of my friends shares a bike with his Dad and is planning on using a Giant SCRC3 . I'm not big on bikes but it's really light and he can get up to quite some speed on it!

    Thanks again for the great help!

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