Pro-ish Camera Setup

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by bumzo1, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #1
    I've had an HF20 for a few months now and I love it! its an amazing camera. I am looking to make my setup more professional to use it for short films and primarily chromakey. I already have a lapel mic that I like and a UV filter for my Camera but I need everything else. I have about $400 to spend on everything so it doesn't need to be professional things. What do you recommend in the way of lighting, camera accessories, tripods, etc?
     
  2. 321estrellas macrumors 6502

    321estrellas

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #2
    $400 will barely get you a good tripod :( and I think that's the first thing you should get. And get a good one too (Manfrotto 503HDV/055b or whatever the latest models are now), you'll regret getting anything less.
     
  3. danimal99 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #3
    You don't really need to spend $400 on a tripod. A good Manfrotto tripod is nice, but still... You can always find something to fit your budget, from a $30 cheapie on up. It just depends on your use. Even a cheap (light, so not as sturdy) tripod can be made more sturdy by hanging some weight off it's center column, so its center of gravity is lower.

    For lights, that REALLY depends on what you're doing. On a budget, Adorama has a house brand 3 light kit that I think is supposed to be better than the $50 ebay kits. I've had one of these in the shopping cart for a while, and have been thinking hard about pulling the trigger.

    http://www.adorama.com/Als/ProductPage/LTSP7.html#ProductReviews

    You might also want to also add a reflector or two, and those you can get on ebay for pretty cheap.

    Green screens and frames are probably ok to get on ebay. I really don't know anything about then quality-wise, but honestly, I think all you need is a consistent background.
     
  4. R.Perez macrumors 6502

    R.Perez

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #4
    What kind of advice is that?

    Seriously $400 for a tripod? that is a joke.

    I have this tripod

    [​IMG]

    with this head

    Manfrotto 488RC0

    [​IMG]

    it handles my 400mm f5.6L with NO problems

    The entire setup was about $215, and easily pro quality.

    Anyway to the OP, try and pick yourself up a used canon rebel to get you started. They are a great line of cameras for beginners and the Xti's can easily be found under $400 with a starter lens.

    I would suggest buying used from somewhere like Adorama, there are also a number of really reliable sellers on POTN: the canon digital photography forum.

    hope that helps
     
  5. Seo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    Cupertino, California
    #5
    First you want a good tripod. A Mathews M25 tripod is pretty decent, especially if you don't plan on using it with a 35mm adapter.

    Second, you want good lighting. 400 dollars can't buy any good lighting kit, so start with clamp lights, work lights, CFLs; whatever you can find.

    Third, you want good audio. This can get complicated, so I recommend you go over to HV20.com and hit me up (I'm Seo). Be sure to search over the audio threads over there.

    So 400 dollars isn't enough, no, not even for the basics, but it's better than nothing.
     
  6. baypharm macrumors 65816

    baypharm

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #6

    I find your post confusing. On one hand you say want to make your setup more professional yet a few sentences later you say it doesn't need to be professional.

    I will tell you to spend as little money as possible on equipment and accs. Audiences don't see what's behind the camera. Only what appears in front. Spend your money on set decoration, travel, or lighting if you have to. If you don't want to spend a ton of cash on lighting, snoots, diffusing materials, reflectors, and barn doors, try using available lighting if it fits the scene you are shooting. The type of camera, etc means very little in the scheme of things. Three decades ago before video and media cameras were mainstream, Super 8 and 16mm ruled the indie force. Even then it was not the camera that made the film. It was the person using it. He or she decided early on to put their money where the audience would see it: out in front.

    I realize this may not be the answer you are looking for but I can tell you from one who has spent the last 4 decades in the industry that this where your priorities should be.
     
  7. danimal99 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #7
    It shouldn't have been confusing. He said he wanted more professional results, but didn't have the money to buy professional equipment. So he wants advice on how to work within his budget. He's also talking about video, not an SLR.

    I thought my advice was pretty good.
     
  8. baypharm macrumors 65816

    baypharm

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #8
    Danimal99, you did give some good advice. I wasn't bashing you! I was telling him how to work with the equipment he already has and not get caught up in equipment-mania. That is the intense and unending desire to have the latest and greatest of everything electronic. I've seen it too many times: people invest heavily into the latest equipment and cameras. Then they go out and make a film and it looks so bad the septic tank rejects it - they wonder how that can be when they have the latest and greatest of everything.

    I was simply saying that a basic camera - film or video - it doesn't matter - and some sticks and a fluid head is really all you need equipment wise. The rest comes from talent, experience, and perseverance. The last two comes from shooting, making mistakes, and trying again. Talent is something you either have or you don't. Obviously the other part is talented actors - but that goes without saying. But you did good Danimal99! Good job!
     
  9. gødspeed macrumors regular

    gødspeed

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    Getting a DSLR is not bad advice for video. The most recent ones -- Canon 5D mark II, 7D, Rebel T2i, or Panasonic GH1 -- are all some of the best options presently for low-budget filmmakers. But the T1i is not very good for video... pick up the T2i if you can afford it.

    I am surprised that you use a ball head for video, though. Isn't it terribly twitchy when you pan? I've always used fluid heads.
     
  10. bumzo1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #10
    Thanks for all the feedback. And I was looking to make the most of what I have meaning I don't need a manfrotto tripod or a dlsr. My current tripod is crap. It's about 30 years old and its not even a fluid head so anything would be better I was specifically looking at this one by bescor and for lighting just a simple light kit like the adorama one listed above. Also do you have any suggestions for a cheap lav mic preferably under $50 that will work with the HF20? Mine is making a horrible hum and its getting on my nerves.
     
  11. danimal99 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #11
  12. bumzo1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #12
    haha thats the exact mic I was talking about. I guess I bent the cable the wrong way or something because now it makes a very annoying buzzing sound. Any suggestions on an XLR mic thats not too expensive?
     

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