Fan Film Production Equipment

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by CJCade, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. CJCade

    CJCade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Since before I joined TBBS, I have been following Maurice's Fan Film Writer's Primer and Fan Filmmaker's Primer. Both been extremely informative and fun reads and I am always watching for new posts in both. Reading them has led me to post this thread to get an idea of the type of equipment some of the resident fan productions use.

    I am interested in doing a fan production sometime in the near future and have began to look at my needs in regard to equipment. I know that some will probably be brought along by those I am able to recruit for the project, but I am interested in getting some of it myself. The first item on my list is the camera.

    I have researched quite a bit online but recommendations can get quite overwhelming as they are so varied. I have my eye on one on Ebay, a Canon Vixia HF G20 HD Camcorder. The features combined with the price is what drew my attention as I have three kids at home and want a decent camera that won't break the bank.

    What are others' thoughts on this camera? What are some other good cameras at a reasonable price that you would recommend? Most important, what do others use for their productions?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  2. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Quick reaction:
    Fixed lens = limiting
    For the same price you can buy a DSLR that shoots video and has interchangeable lenses. You'll want to compare the sensors and other specs between this and those to really make your decision.
     
  3. CJCade

    CJCade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thank you Maurice. I've checked into some DSLR cameras as well. One that was on my possible list was the Canon EOS 7D. I just did a quick check on Ebay and found this package deal. Thoughts?
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thoughts: Compare the lens packages, sensor types, and all the specs and see which is the most flexible. Read some reviews and seek out pros and cons.
     
  5. captainkirk

    captainkirk Captain Captain

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    For video there's not a great deal of difference in the Canon range. Except some are much more expensive. You might be better off getting the t2i/550D like this one and using the savings for sound equipment.
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You mean T5i/550D, which is what you linked to. A T2i only shoots at 720p max at 30fps.
     
  7. captainkirk

    captainkirk Captain Captain

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    Sorry, yes. I linked to the T5i, but the T2i is what's also known as the 550D and it shoots 1080p. I've had one for nearly two years and shot countless videos with it.
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I could have sworn it was a T2i I was thinking of. I moved to a T4i later, so it's possible I'm misremembering the model in question. I do recall whatever Canon camera I was using back in 2010 couldn't do 1080p and 24fps, which is why some of my early music videos are at 720p at 29.98fps.

    One thing you do have to be careful about with cameras using SD cards for video is that the cards you have are Speed Class rated high enough for HD video recording (link). I never use anything less than Class 6 because I've had cameras abort recording when the card can't keep up with the data being thrown at them.
     
  9. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've got a 550D, which I love.

    Many of my students use the Blackmagic, which has a really nice sensor.
     
  10. captainkirk

    captainkirk Captain Captain

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    I think there was one in the early days of DSLR video but it didn't last long.

    Definitely. I bought a Class 4 card which sometimes stops randomly.
     
  11. ozzfloyd

    ozzfloyd Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I recently had to purchase 24 64gb class 10 cards for a big 8 cam shoot of a concert...Did not have any data issues and we were running 4k.
     
  12. CJCade

    CJCade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'll check out the other suggestions. Thank you for the help and discussion. I'll definitely make sure to use the proper class card when I finally get a camera.
     
  13. JE Smith

    JE Smith Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    One minor point to make here is that DSLR cameras are primarily geared toward still photography -- they do shoot great video as well, but they will assume a lot more knowledge on your part than a regular prosumer camcorder, which (these days) are made to cater to the "point and shoot" crowd. I shot this entire web series with a camera very similar to the one you linked in your first post. It stood me in good stead, and was a great learning cam for a beginner. When I recently upgraded to DSLR, there was a bit of a learning curve. For one thing, you'll need to adjust your audio levels, because even with a good quality remote mic, the standard settings will give you the dreaded "DSLR hiss." Also, when shooting video, the auto-focus is basically useless. DSLRs are great tool, and as Maurice says, the fixed lens of a typical camcorder is very limiting. But they do take a bit of mastering.
     
  14. JoeRalat

    JoeRalat Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    May I suggest to look at the Blackmagic Cameras, they are not perfect, but for the price and the results that I have seen, they look great.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I suggest spending a little money on separate sound recording gear and not using the sound the camera records at all.
     
  16. JE Smith

    JE Smith Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Obviously that's the pro way to go, but when you're basically doing everything yourself, sound-synching hours and hours of dailies is not a luxury everyone can afford. On the web series, we had decent mics (the ever-popular Rode Videomic), made do with sound-to-image recording, and got reasonably good results; if I'd had to match separate sound files to all my video, I'd STILL be doing post on the show. :p But yeah, if you have the money, the time (or, even better, somebody else to do it for you), then that's the better option.
     
  17. Karzak

    Karzak Commodore Commodore

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    If one knows what they're doing, using separate sound equipment to record audio isn't nearly as time-consuming as you imply.

    I watched the trailer for your web series and it looks fun. I'm going to try to check it out this weekend. But recording sound is a good thing to invest one's time and effort into. It just requires patience and coordination when shooting. No, it's not a swift walk in the park, but it's not some decade-long endeavor either.
     
  18. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Most modern video editing software syncs second sound for you, and there are also plugins to do that. DualEyes did it for all the footage on Polaris,on what amounted to something like 13 days of dailies.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  19. CJCade

    CJCade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I've got to say the price for the Canon 550D as a package with extra lenses is very attractive. I like the Blackmagic and have heard good things about them. I would definitely record to a secondary sound system just in case something went wrong, so that equipment was already a consideration for me.

    This makes a perfect lead in to what are some possible systems to consider for recording sound separately?
     
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The advantage to some of the Blackmagic cameras is they shoot UHD 4K.