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Low budget filmmaking cameras

DSLR filmmakers - any thoughts on which camera to invest in for near enough cinema quality filmmaking?

  • The old metaphor "How long is a piece of string?" comes to mind. How much so you have to spend?

    Weighing up the relative cost effectiveness of renting or buying kit against production aspirations for a particular film project might be further considered within an overall business plan. If a singular production is actually a part of a wider development plan that begins with starter film followed by further projects that build on the experience of the first, then buying kit that can be added to as means allow is a good idea. Canon, Blackmagic, Sony and Panasonic are all offering full frame HD cameras in the c£2000 to £3000 range. The one that offers 4K however would seem especially compelling to me. There'll be a few differing preference mooted here I'm sure. What one loses on the swings one gains on the roundabouts; depends whether you want to swing or spin! With careful and canny second hand buying one can add the essential extras in terms of minimally adequate lenses, grips, sound and lights for as little as another £3K. All that needs adding, apart from post production, is a cracking good script and content design.

    Theatrically released films have been shot on miniDV, Super 8 and all sorts. The DSLR revolution has brought the potential of filmic quality to low cost cameras but it's worth remembering that most of those theatrically released productions added a whole lot of ancillary equipment that together far out cost the basic price of a the camera.

    3 years ago
  • I'd suggest renting. If you want cinematic quality (which is a moving feast - currently it's 2k, 4k, maybe 3D but 8k is on its way and 2k on its way out, 48 fps may or may not become bigger) then a good camera is expensive. Especially with all the associated grip, cards, data wrangling stuff, monitors, cables, lenses etc - in fact you can get a sensor in a box for a few grand, but it's not the expensive part any more. Lenses might cost you £12k each for a top end prime, and you'll need 5+.

    But you can get great rental deals. In fact unless you're using your camera 3+ days a week you could well find rental cheaper in the long run when you consider obsolescence and repairs etc.

    3 years ago
  • I agree with Paddy. But... if you want something to get your filmmaking chops down with, buy anything within your budget to practice. When you decide to do something "serious", rent. As Paddy mentions, this area changes incredibly fast, and there are always new and better just around the corner. Better to let a rental shop deal with all the new tech.

    3 years ago
  • If a film has a proper budget then renting to get the best performing result must be a no brainer but these days there's a lot of things going on that don't necessarily fit that model. Having ones own kit to hand can be very liberating from the top heavy imperatives of the old established methods and business models. Certainly in my own career having the means in house to make films, other than feature theatrical releases, has been the difference between making those films and not making them. The devil is in the detail.

    3 years ago
    • Absolutely true, John. I have my own camera, and love having that immediate availability, and don't think twice about the image, really. But Kyri was asking about "cinema quality", whatever that means nowadays.

      3 years ago
    • @Dan Selakovich By "cimema quality" I suppose I was referring to cameras (as relatively inexpensive as possible) capable of producing footage for a film whose picture quality would be deemed acceptable by even the more prestigious film festivals.

      3 years ago
  • I was really thinking along the lines of, if/ when I earn some money, what will I need to spend/ be able to buy to create film that would be adequate in quality for cinema level screening. My initial thoughts were geared towards something like a Canon DSLR and, depending on money available, their 5D. But I wanted to explore other alternatives if there were any, hence the question. I wasn't thinking of the rental option but more as what can I own that I can use for regular projects once I've got started. Money is the issue and that will dictate what I can stretch to and that's something I don't yet know. But it's still likely to confine my options to the absolute minimum spec. I can get away with. So we're looking at "up to" 5D "or" equivalent, if a better or more suitable equivalent exists.

    3 years ago
  • Couple of parts to the question, and one of those is 'when you have the money' and 'cinema level screening'. If you swap 'cinema' for 'modern TV' at 1080p, then one of the canon DSLRs will do you, and you needn't spend as much as a 5D, maybe a 550D or similar. If you actually do need a better camera later, wait for it to be cheaper or rent it.

    Fact is that content is far more important than the camera used to capture it, and it's pointless using a 4k camera for cinema quality if you don't have similar levels of investment in lenses, lighting, sets, cast, script, sound, score, edit, etc. 28 Days Later was shot DV, but it's lot more striking than high-res by-the-yard weekly glut of Hollywood output.

    3 years ago
  • So many nails being hit on the head there, in particular regarding further expense on lenses, lighting etc. Indeed, it's not just the initial outlay for the camera. I suppose it's a balancing act then; what camera can I get and then what do I do about lenses and other peripherals. And with camera quality and pricing being an unknown variable there's always the risk that I won't be future-proofed for long enough to justify the initial expense.

    Totally with you on content. I remember 28 days being shot on DV (although don't know what else they used apart from their DV camera; maybe they spent loads in post and/ or had other equipment). I also remember thinking at the time, when I first watched it on a big screen, that it did look a bit grainy but deciding it still looked virtually good enough for the big cinema screen.

    Doesn't this raise another question: if DV was/ is good enough for a cinema release then my current consumer level HD camcorder must also be good enough?

    3 years ago
    • Your current camera is good enough if your story etc is good enough. If you've something unique and exceptional that people will watch, the camera model isn't what will stop people seeing it. Blair Witch Project - need I say more?

      Yes both of those films were shot on what is now sub consumer-quality kit, and was certainly cheap and cheerful back in their day, too. Yes, they both spent a heap of time and money on post, but as your other thread shows, the technology is free now.

      What they both did, though, was have something unique and brilliant to show people. If your audience are immersed in the story they'll get over the pixel count. Festen, another example. Or any of the classics shot on old celluloid with less fancy lenses than modern days, black and white, but Citizen Kane is still very watchable!

      If you already have a camcorder and the images look OK on a TV (realistically, you're not aiming at theatrical distribution without a big bunch more cash to cover legals etc at a bare minimum, regardless of camera), then stick with it and get the lighting right, get the sound right, get performances that deliver an awesome script brilliantly, and edit it right. If you do that brilliantly, you may find it easy to raise finance on a bigger project (by which time whichever camera you would have saved up for is out of date anyway!)

      3 years ago
    • @Paddy Robinson-Griffin I am getting to like this angle. It reminds me of a film last year called Third Contact which was shot on a camcorder similar to mine with a crew of two people; the camcorder/ director guy and a separate sound recordist/ boom op. They had one basic light that the director carried around and used as and when.

      They entered the film into a bunch of festivals and it got selected by a few; I belive it picked up some awards too. In the UK it premiered at the IMAX in Waterloo (not sure which festival was associated with that screening). If a camcorder-made film can be screened at the IMAX (and do well at international festivals) then this definitely lends serious weight to the film production process that you outlined in your last post.

      So here's me, with a deep-rooted paranoia of "nobody will take me seriously as a filmmaker if I just turn up with my £300 camcorder from Argos", attempting to dispel this feeling through an upgrade to a full-frame DSLR, where there is adequate evidence that now seems to suggest that it really might not be necessary.

      The solution may just boil down to how to manage other people's expectations better rather than blowing a bunch of cash on new gear.

      I'd say this matter isn't categorically resolved but plenty of food for thought has appeared on the plate!

      3 years ago
  • It seems an audience will accept a not perfect image. What they don't accept is bad sound. I'm reminded of all of the great Dogma films that looked like garbage, but were great films for the most part.

    3 years ago
    • This is so true and is something that seems to be overlooked by some filmmakers. Sometimes we concentrate on the picture and pay relatively little attention to sound.

      3 years ago
  • I would say beg or borrow a camera from someone in the first instance or find a DP that has their own kit and wants to help. Too many filmmakers IMO get off on what equipment they should use but refuse to spend money on a professional script editor to help make there story great. I've seen this several times on locally made features already - they've spent a lot of money making the films - in one case over £100k but those films will never see the light of day or get sold because the script was pants.

    If you can't blag a camera then renting is the best. Stewart Addison at Pannyhire (www.pannyhire.co.uk) who are very indie filmmaker friendly can talk you through the options for your budget.

    3 years ago
  • I shot a few films on camcorder but got frustrated by the lens limitations. If you are buying and on budget I would get a cheaper DSLR body (second hand 7D would be great) and invest in great lenses. I've shot films on a 550D with decent lenses and seen them projected on a cinema screen and they looked great. 5D (or 6D) are a lot more outlay for the body and useful for wider angle or shooting in low light, but otherwise put the money in the glass. Or follow all the advice above...!

    3 years ago
  • Everyone is offering you some great advice. A good DoP friend of mine once said that the camera bodies will change but the glass lives on. We could all go on to no end about the DoF and resolution of each camera, but one thing that I don't like are how everyone and their mother's son must have the top-of-the-line equipment. I've been around all the new cameras. Many people are screaming about the Alexa v. Red OneMX/Epic and candidly speaking, you go back to the glass you are using along with lighting techniques. My last film was shot on Red OneMX and my DoP lit for 35mm (which I prefer as a medium) and the colourist at Technicolor NY thought it was 35mm up until one scene. Keep in mind that when scanned, 35mm is 3k. He and his team at TechNY loved the story and usually see a lot of Alexa/Digital medium stuff that is poorly lit and a mediocre story. My dear friend Patrick Wang just shot on Super 16 and I loved it. Don't forget that the Wrestler was shot on Super 16. It breaks down to choices but the standard rules should always apply.
    1. Write a good story -->
    2. Have a great script editor do a pass -->
    3. Cast it well -->
    4. Light for 35mm -->
    5. Don't skimp on sound -->
    6. Don't say you can fix it in post -->
    = Good Film.
    Even if you shoot on DSLR or a camcorder or any other medium, if you're story is solid, then you'll get a pass on items 3 - 6. But always remember that not every film can be the next Blair Witch Project. :-p

    3 years ago
  • There's no denying that other aspects of a film project also need to meet the mark. It's not a case of getting a good camera and ignoring lighting, sound, the quality of the script etc. The point is, as long as all aspects of the film are being paid attention to, what do we do about the camera when we're a low budget, independent filmmaker? There's no doubt either that my OP has opened up an interesting and useful discussion for everyone concerned.

    Just to add that there are films that cost well in excess of £100k to make and were still pretty dull viewing! It's not about the money, but the intelligent creative input that's gone into making the film.

    As for 5D, 6D, 7D comparisons, there are differences. For example, the 6D is a full frame camera which comes with its benefits. There are fans of each of these cameras who swear by them and others who don't. But even adding such cameras to a potential buying shortlist still doesn't conclude what might be the best option. One might even ask if there even is such a thing.

    Clearly the lenses play a huge part. And I agree that the lens limitations on a camcorder do mean that you are severely limited in what you can do. Having said that, the camcorder traditionally was the first port of call for people wanting to capture the moving image. It's only in recent years that the DSLR has come forward in leaps and bounds to offer filmmaking quality that's light years ahead than it was previously.

    Finally, as far as The Blair Witch Project is concerned it would appear that those kind of film successes are not as plentiful as we as filmmakers like to imagine!

    3 years ago
    • For every Blair Witch there are thousands and thousands of crappy knock-offs or forerunners who didn't get the promotion right.

      Go to Cannes one May and see just how many movies are for sale in any one year, it's mind blowing. Most of those cost well over £100k, and are crap. Most of those have a reasonable level of technical proficiency and are pedestrian or dreadful. The great majority you'll never see at all on TV, DVD let alone theatricality. In fact £100k is really really easy to spend, as is £500k - you'll be stunned how little distance it goes once you're aiming theatrical!

      This is why I'm so so keen on story. I will watch a great story, I'll watch great performances, but I won't watch a film because it's got a lot of pixels. Pixels sure help if the rest is in place, but a camcorder and knowing how to use it is a better storytelling combination than an Alexa and wooden performance (made one of them couple of years back, very limited release, no English speaking countries, so they could dub performance more readily!).

      As for which is the 'best' option, there's only 'best for you right now', and that will change over time.

      3 years ago
  • Shot on a 7d vimeo.com/m/38775602

    3 years ago
  • Hi Kyri,

    Whilst this is always an interesting discussion, it's actually probably the most frequently asked question on here, and always entails a wide variety of basically the same answers.

    Allow me to play devil's advocate here - the inference behind your question is that the gear is the one of - if not THE - main barrier/magic bullet to you making cinema quality films. (Let's not beat around the bush here - by cinema quality you mean something that looks like a major film or tv drama). In other words, if only you could sort out the gear side of things then you already have the rest of what's needed to make a movie - the talent, skills and ability to pull the whole thing together. Really?

    Let's assume you have 3 grand to buy some kind of Blackmagic camera with a few Canon EFS lenses or similar. Great! You've got a 2K/4K camera! Or even a 5D. Great! You've got the famous 5D! Now which tripod are you going to use? And follow focus? And matte box? And which monitor? And how many batteries do you have? What about chargers? How are you doing handheld? blah blah blah... What decent DoP or focus puller is going to put up with the crap bunch of kit that you've assembled for 2 to 3 weeks of arduous drama shooting...?

    Look at your favourite shorts or features. See how they were shot and by whom, and where did the kit come from? Did these people own it all themselves - no!

    I would imagine that 95% of all award-winning shorts are not made with kit owned by the director, writer, producer or even DoP, and almost 100% of all decent features. IT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS, AND FOR A GOOD REASON. What happens if your camera breaks half way through shooting? Have you got the cash to replace it? Or hire in another one? Likely not.

    Invest your 3 grand, 1 grand, 500 quid in a rental of a decent camera and lighting package, and collaborate with someone who shoots and lights for a living to use that gear in the way that you want it to be used.

    The wonderful thing about filmmaking is the opportunity for collaboration with people of varied skills and talents. Not to mention the partnerships that are there to be struck with rental houses, post houses and production companies. A friend of mine is about to make their first feature, on a budget of just under £400K. They've made a deal with a rental company for all their kit (Alexa, lenses, grip and lighting) where they WON'T EVEN PAY for the rental unless the film makes a certain amount of cash back.

    There are better deals to be made than buying your own gear.

    3 years ago
  • I agree with Paddy on the story aspect. Cannes is good example of all the film that isn't sold.
    As for the 7D or any of those cameras, it is all in how you use it. The Vimeo link from Gareth shows what the quality can be; however, Vimeo is the great equalizer of all things HD. Project it or even display on 40 inches, you'll see the differences, BUT from my original statement, the glass helps massively for image quality. I've seen Canon and Nikon glass on a Red look just awful. You could use a Cooke 5-1 for a particular look and schedule...say a film noir. I always prefer primes if I can help it. It really boils down to the look you prefer. If you have DoP who has access to multiple options, take your time exploring and enjoy!

    3 years ago
  • Kyri, Have you heard of the sony a7s or panasonic gh4...check some reviews here at

    philipbloom.net/2014/08/06/a7svideorevie...

    philipbloom.net/2014/06/30/gh4/

    Philip Bloom is a good source for all gear reviews.

    And BTW - The Blair Witch Project was filmed using a mix of cameras from video camera to 16mm cinema CP-16 (source: filmschoolrejects.com/features/32-things... / www.imdb.com/title/tt0185937/trivia)...

    3 years ago
  • And check our the black magic pocket cinema camera

    philipbloom.net/2013/08/27/pocketcamera/...

    3 years ago
  • Do people here really think the answer is to BUY rather than rent and collaborate..?!

    3 years ago
  • Everyone has their unique aspirations and requirements. It's no good just iterating ones own perspective as a generality. There does seem to be a tendency within this discussion for folks to press the line that best serves their own businesses and/or career paths.

    The fundamental realities underpinning our diverse activities are not what they were just a decade ago and are continuing to shift exponentially. Technology is allowing a greater degree of freedom from top heavy assumptions. I predict that technology is going to have the same affect on film production as the steam engine had on ox carts; no matter how superbly skilled were the teamsters who drove them.

    There are perfectly good reasons for choosing to invest in one of the increasingly effective low cost cameras as there are perfectly good reasons not to buy but to rent. Issues of camera reliability are rarely fatal, even if only because cheap cameras can be hire cheaply too. The chances of productions under £1m losing everything (before tax advantages) are pretty high, even though the contracted crew and rental houses get their fees; it's easy to see how their perspectives are formed. With ultra low budget projects it may well be that at least the essential tools are retained for another day. Which risk suites you best? Take your pick!

    3 years ago
  • I hear you John. What I'm doing is responding to Kyri's specific question of what camera to invest in for cinema/TV drama quality production. And buying a 5D simply doesn't cut it.

    3 years ago
  • has anyone actually watched Kyri's work before just rattling off their little rant about filmmaking?

    personally I think you'd be best just focusing 100% of your energy on acting Kyri, that is where your talent is.

    3 years ago
  • Just answering Kyri's general question Gareth, that's all.

    3 years ago
  • This is the case of a simple OP that's turned into a minefield! Before I say anything else I want to add that every single post from everyone is appreciated. Some of the posts feel like a tug of war, pulling the discussion and opinions into different directions. Makes it all the more interesting!

    The debate is useful and fascinating but I really did, as a minimum, want some suggestions for relatively inexpensive cameras that would produce high quality footage to get started with some small projects. This was with a view to upgrading from my current and fairly basic camcorder.

    Obviously, as has been inferred, I have no interest in the lighting, sound, quality of the acting, script or story. All I care about is the camera. I just want to make a really shit film with amazing picture quality.

    If the sense of irony inherent in the last paragraph wasn't lost on you then feel free to read on!

    There's no doubt that, with a bit more money to spend in due course, I could add to the camera by buying lenses and other peripherals from time to time as and when I can.

    John is absolutely right to point out that everyone's requirements and aspirations differ. For me personally, I am not in a position to indulge in a major production, renting out the latest equipment and getting a full, top crew on board. Indeed, why would people who do this for a living want to collaborate with someone relatively inexperienced for no money? No. I am at a starting point where buying a small camera and creating something feels like the most realistic and suitable option for me personally. For others, with a different level of experience, this would probably not be the best option.

    I have no reservations about stating "virtually cinema quality" in the OP as, from what I've read, the technology now available at the lower price ranges achieves this. Richard's camera suggestions back this up.

    There's a few other points to respond to but I've already covered those in previous posts in this thread. It may be that some recent contributors haven't read that far back, or just missed some bits and are covering ground already covered, so I won't repeat those comments. Just didn't want anyone to think I was ignoring them.

    On a practical note, Paddy's right. There's no one camera that's the be all and end all. It really is a case of what would suit someone for a period of time. There will always be alternatives and even these change as technology makes further headway.

    3 years ago
  • I own a 7D and it is now possible to attain 2.5K out of this camera with the help of Magic Lantern. Check out the link.

    nofilmschool.com/2013/08/canon-7d-2-5k-r...

    3 years ago
  • Just if it helps/muddies the waters a little - depreciation!

    A £1000 camera this week will be worth about as much as the bag you keep it in in 5-10 years, but a decent set of lights will still be a decent set of lights in a decade. There are some utter bargains to be had second hand too if you are flexible - I got 3 short adjustable beam theatre lights for £65 on ebay, they're really versatile. At that price, I can sell them in 5 years for probably £65 again!

    You can't shoot without lamps or camera - so you may have to hire one or the other. If that's the case, which is the better hire and which the better purchase? Similarly sound gear seems to hold value better than camera kit as well, so again that may actually save you more over time.

    Totally different needs for every situation, probably find there's no one 'right' answer, just a bunch of compromises you'll have to make along the way.

    3 years ago
  • I can't help but refer to the sound question - it is often overlooked and causes no end of trouble in post. I'm helping on a feature project where they put all the money in front of the lens, shooting with a great DOP and hired equipment, however got in a very inexperienced sound op. This is now causing delays as they are looking at having to go to the expense of ADR as the dialogue editor and sound designer can't "fix" the mistakes.
    So I'm of the opinion rent equipment and get a crew that knows what they are doing assuming you have a script that is compelling and worth watching.

    3 years ago
  • If you're thinking of shooting films at "cinema" level, take a look at the film "Act of Valour". The first studio film shot primarily on DSLRs.

    Here is a super informative video from Cinematographer, Shane Hurlbut (Terminator Salvation, Act of Valour) youtu.be/2kgTZQPVsIk

    P.s Shane Hurlbut is the dude that got yelled at by Christian Bale on the set of Terminator Salvation.

    3 years ago
  • Hulrbut used mainly Zeiss ZE lenses and Panavision Primos. The Zeiss's are pretty affordable quality lenses. The Primos are not so affordable. Budget was around $12 million.

    3 years ago
    • What's your point?

      3 years ago
    • @Ned Hussain
      Sorry for the delay Ned. My point was simply that Hurlbut using DSLRs in this movie is not a sign that Kyri using them is going to produce cinematic results, nor that they're the most suitable camera for stuff destined for cinema screens - they're not.

      3 years ago
  • Just watched some of the Shane Hurlbut video. They had quite a few cameras as well as a whole load of other equipment so not really a basic, one camera job. Still interesting though.

    3 years ago
    • I was under the impression that you wanted to shoot films that would be good enough to screen in cinemas. So I suggested a video from a cinematographer that used only DSLR's and how he achieved the final result.

      You didn't mention budgets, lens or number of cameras. There is a lot of information in that video that i thought would benefit you whether it's mutlicam, small or high budget.

      Festivals will accept submissions based on the actual content rather than film aesthetics.

      www.raindance.org/10-most-expensive-mist...

      Which cameras were used at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival - bit.ly/1nTivSf

      Which cameras were used at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festical - bit.ly/VQNk0h

      Which cameras were used at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival - bit.ly/1nJzBzO

      Which cameras were used at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival - bit.ly/1zMJx14

      3 years ago
  • Jamie if I can just rephrase Kyri's question slightly -

    DSLR filmmakers - any thoughts on which camera (I should) invest in for near enough cinema quality filmmaking?

    I'm just saying I think that in answering the question who is asking should matter as much as what they're asking.

    Kyri this was shot with a 60D and a sigma 30mm, the same could be achieved with a 550D and a 50mm 1.8 vimeo.com/m/38775602

    I think a 550D would be the perfect camera for you to buy and no need to upgrade until you can produce results as cinematic as the ones above.

    3 years ago
    • I hear you Gareth. Like I said, I was simply answering the question as it was put. You give good advice Gareth. Kyri - listen to this man.

      3 years ago
  • Here's a little secret: If you are cheap, it's best to start with a good script/idea rather than focusing on what you can/should get and save the world from another Youtube home movie.

    But if you are beyond that, here's another secret:

    BLACKMAGIC Pocket Cinema Camera ($995) is now cut to $495 until AUGUST 31, then it'll be $995 again.
    www.cnet.com/news/blackmagic-pocket-cine...

    It has small glitches in post workflow. But for that price? What's not to like?

    So go get one, write a good script, and you owe me a good cup of Java. :)

    Best of luck.

    3 years ago
  • Oh, here's the image quality for the Packet Cam:
    Super 16 sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range, CinemaDNG raw and ProRes 422 recording.

    3 years ago
  • Just researched this pocket camera. It appears that the footage captured would require the services of expert colourists and graders, something I certainly know nothing about. The price of £325 is tempting however although the timescale to 31/8 wouldn't give me enough time to make a comfortable decision. The aforementioned Canons may be a more practical option but again, I don't really know.

    Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "cinema" in my OP as a number of people have misunderstood what I meant although I have since clarified the intention.

    I've also since explained where I am and what I'd like to achieve. As a recap, it's really a very low key affair. I just want to make a start in practicing and learning. This isn't something I already do. If anything, I'd like to think I might be able to make a short film at some point that might even be worth watching.

    3 years ago
    • As said above any of the canon dslrs which shoot video would be a good start for experimenting (I've also been tempted by the BMPCC but the MASSIVE crop factor means getting super wide (expensive) lenses. Also zillions of batteries and storage solutions needed so again budget/practicality issues)

      3 years ago
  • I believe, unless mistaken, that all Canon DSLRs shoot video. I'm just not sure though that they all necessarily meet the criteria.

    3 years ago
  • Just watched the video Gareth that you linked to Vimeo. That really does look "cinematic" and that, dear readers, is what I meant in my OP!

    In the notes and the comments the filmmaker does say he's done a lot of work on colour, grade etc. in post. So the overall process from start to finish is quite a long and complex one it seems. I never really appreciated how much one seems to have to do in post.

    3 years ago
  • That's where film convert would help you a lot filmconvert.com a guy called Denver riddle also did very nice simple colour grading tutorials on YouTube for fcp.

    I think really the best kit you need to invest in to help you start to grow as a filmmaker is a 550d or similar a 50mm 1.8 and decent edit software with filmconvert.

    Also Kyri if you directed your drama and comedy showreels there are quite a few instances where the 180 degree rule is broken and the eye lines don't match, also there are general things about the framing of the shots that could make things a lot more "cinematic" I'd say one of the best things you could do is parody a scene but copy it exactly shot to shot,break it down with floor plans, story boards etc. and really get to the bottom of how it was put together!

    3 years ago
  • Filmconvert looks great. A free software that does some really good work.

    I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I think I'd quite like to make a short film using what I've got at the moment (a camcorder) until I've got a bit of experience of the process. Then, when I'm able, to get at least a semi-decent camera to help me along the next step.

    The drama and comedy showreels are just compilations of other people's work. I was just acting in them as directed and had nothing to do with directing or any other aspect of producing the underlying footage.

    It's quite an insight to hear that you've spotted so many issues with the work of many of these other "filmmakers". I also think some of the lighting and sound is pretty poor on some of the clips.

    3 years ago
  • Yeah all the new Canon's do shoot video. Some of the older lower spec models don't if you were looking second hand. They all shoot the same size video files as well (1920 x 1080 max, including the 5D III) - the different models will just give you additional features (ISO ranges, White Balance, exposure settings, frame rates, or in the case of full frame better in low light)

    3 years ago
  • Although DSLRs are great, unless you have a PL mount you're never going to be able to get good lensing. I still use my Sony R1 with an external deck because unlike full frame (36mm x 24mm) it has a 1" CMOS chip as first used by Arri so thus gives the same DoF as S35mm film. A tempting thought though is the new digital Bolex (remember winding them??) which has a S16mm size chip, and before you poo poo 16mm, remember all the great films (could YOU have made them??) such as The Hurt Locker and A Bunch of Amateurs plus quite a few other greats. Still, however, Bolex only claims a 5 micron pixel compared with Kodak film having the equivalent of 2 micron, but it's still tempting, and has a C mount so you can still use all your old Bolex lenses plus a few TV ones. Enjoy!

    3 years ago
  • Hi Kyri - To be honest, the best camera for you right now is the going to be whatever is easiest to use, and allows you to produce lots of work at top speed... Then, once you're feeling more comfortable with the process, maybe start looking at something like the Blackmagic Pocket - the latest firmware updates allow you to shoot in ProRes (so there's less processing work to do once you've shot your footage), and with a decent battery solution and a couple of inexpensive lenses you'll have something that is capable of great results. I've just shot my first feature on a BMPCC, and I'm posting stills on this Facebook page while we edit - have a look and see what you think. To me, it's definitely cinematic..! www.facebook.com/dsrmovie

    3 years ago
  • Just had a look at the pics from Don't Stop Running. They do look excellent. The BMPCC has been mentioned before in this thread once or twice. How did you find using it - easy? hard? steep learning curve? BM cameras apparently need more work in post than any other camera - are you finding that too?

    3 years ago
    • Bumping an old thread.
      I've used the BMPCC, and have seen people arguing about the need of more light, as well as the crop factor and work on colour in post.
      I've used in low light condition, and I'm not let down by the results. But one advantage I've had it's that my 16mm lenses are all primes. So a couple of stops more helps.
      But I've sensed a bit more difficult on post on balancing color and lights. But I'm not an expert colorist though, so that might have been more difficult to me.
      The down side is the battery life, mostly. I can live with all the rest, really. I have 6 batteries, and thinking to buy a couple more. Although I have 4 chargers, so I can charge 4 batteries at the same time and it takes around 2 hours to be full, so it's close to a day's work covered if you manage to turn off the camera every time. It sucks, but it's the way to go.

      3 years ago
  • Oh, and about the DSLRs vs BMPCC, I think it's hard to compare, for the reason dslrs are 35mm, BMPCC is 16mm. And depends if you use CINE lenses on each one as well, as opposed to still lenses, with exceptions made to the Zeiss T2, those are brilliant and many filmmakers use them on Alexas as they pair on results with the Cine Zeiss for way less money.
    In a sense, film look is hard to achieve on a DSLR. Actually it's basically impossible. You can cheat in many ways, but a DSLR is shooting always on VIDEO mode, as the BMPCC has also the option to shoot FILM. So a BMPCC in Film mode with a Cine lenses, that is then a proper "film look".

    3 years ago