Filmmakers: Seeking Camera Advice

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by JE Smith, May 29, 2017.

  1. JE Smith

    JE Smith Commander Red Shirt

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    Filmmaking pals: it's time to upgrade my camera, and I'm torn between the Canon AX30 (1080p) and the Sony FDR-AX53 (4K, but about half the price of the Canon, and presumably a less sturdy/hearty cam overall). Any advice? And please don't suggest DSLR, I'm done with those for shooting video. Also, the AX30 is about the upper limit of what I can afford, so there's no use suggesting cameras that are above $1800 US or so.

    Also, while the cam will be used to shoot scripted fictional stoires, there won't be a lot of greenscreen/SFX type work. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    I'm very happy with our Sony. We've used a Canon, but it was kinda clunky. The Panasonic was nice, but thoroughly outdated now, as is the Sony and the Canon. If you want to keep up with the technology but at a reasonable price, buy one that's been on the market for two years.
     
  3. The Cutest of Borg

    The Cutest of Borg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Panasonic makes a couple of great cameras that would work well for your production (disclosure: I've been shooting on Panasonic cameras for nearly 20 years, and I absolutely love them). The Panasonic AC30 will run you about $150 less than the Canon AX30, and has a very similar form factor. I have 2 of the AC30's big brother, the AC160, and they are fantastic cameras.

    I know it's a little above your budget, but I'll still throw this out there. You'll be future-proofing yourself if you step up to a 4K camera. The Panasonic UX90 goes for about $2,100, and gives you a whole lot more bang for the buck. I just bought one of these for event work (concerts, recitals and stage events), and I'm probably going to purchase another one early next year to replace one of my aging cameras.
     
  4. captainkirk

    captainkirk Commodore Commodore

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    Do you only mean actual DSLRs such as Canons and Nikons, or DSLR-like cameras such as Sonys and Panasonics? Because they gibe the best bang for your buck in terms of resolution, sensor size, interchangeable lenses, and price. Right now you can get a Panasonic G7 from B&H for $597.
     
  5. JE Smith

    JE Smith Commander Red Shirt

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    The problem I have with DSLR is that they are designed to be a still camera, and have limitations that you actively have to work-around when doing video (such as the automatic shut-off at 30 minutes -- some of what I use the camera for is for filming live performances of plays, and acts often run more than 30 minutes, meaning I have to find some "creative" way to pause and unpause somewhere I won't lose story). Yes, they have their advantages, but for video they are too much trouble in my book. I've shot two productions with a Canon Rebel T5i, and both caused extra headaches I never had with a more traditional video camera. Just my .02.
     
  6. Galaxy

    Galaxy Commander Red Shirt

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    I think what captainkirk meant was cameras like the Sony VG900Pro which while created as video cameras, use a mount made originally made for DSLRs, in this case the Sony E-Mount, opposed to cameras which use a dedicated video mount like the ARRI PL mount.
     
  7. JE Smith

    JE Smith Commander Red Shirt

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    I haven't tried one of those, might be worth a shot.
     
  8. captainkirk

    captainkirk Commodore Commodore

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    Actually I was thinking more along the lines of the a6300, although I've heard it suffers from overheating issues. If the 30-minute limit is an issue, then the Panasonic GH4 would probably be a good option. The replacement for it has just come out so you can probably find them fairly cheaply, they have no recording limit, and are almost designed more for video shooting than photo shooting.
     
  9. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    Okay, I do not know anything about high-end video cameras, but it seems to me the same theory of pricing applies as it does to computers. Every computer I built, I found that there was a steady increase in price of parts as you went up the scale (faster CPU, bigger HD, etc.) until you reached the top with the newest thing out, then there was a huge price jump for little gain. Ergo, I always built my machine with the second- or third-best parts and thus overall saved 25% - 50% over building THE BEST possible computer money could buy. What I'm saying is unless you NEED to be at the bleeding-edge of technology, don't buy the newest model that just came out, but rather buy the one that's been in the stores for six months or a year.
     
    Potemkin_Prod likes this.
  10. Galaxy

    Galaxy Commander Red Shirt

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    Well same mount, so I would say at least we are on the same page. I would argue that if he is ambitious about it, he should go for something that was built as a video camera. Something like VG900 has a usable microphone built in, plus it has the XLR connector to hook up external mikes. The a6300 is much more limited in this regard. But in any case, although Sony can be infuriating at times, the E-Mount is something they got right. You have the relatively cheap consumer lenses, but you also have Zeiss. Plus adapters for most mounts, and since most lenses require a relative long flange focal distance, that the adapter ads back in, the compromise is relatively small.
     
  11. captainkirk

    captainkirk Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed. I use a Canon DSLR and I hate the long flange distance which prevents me from using a lot of older lenses such as Minoltas. Having proper sound inputs would be a huge advantage which unfortunately I don't think any hybrid cameras have incorporated yet, presumably because it would add to the bulk.