Show menu
Shooting People
 
Search
By continuing to browse this website you are agreeing to allow us to use cookies

Creating basic and cinematic client promo videos - what equipment would you recommend?

I'm thinking of upgrading my basic video camera I've been using and wondering what would be the best camera, audio and lighting equipment to look at for small scale client promo videos for small businesses.
Suggestions gratefully received :-)

  • For Corporate work I would have thought Canon C300 MkII, Sony FS7 and Ursa Mini would be the front runners. For lighting I'd get some cheap LED panels: Aperture do good ones. No idea about sound though.

    4 months ago
  • We've reached a point in technological evolution where cameras like the FS7 and especially the new MK2 version, are quite capable of shooting a big budget movie given good lenses and a skilled camera team. But such kit in the £10k plus bracket may not be an option for Nicola. The term "cinematic" is bandied about quite a bit these days. At its most fundimental technical definition it usually relates to cameras with full frame 35mm sensors capable of 4K at high bit rates and crisp control of depth of field with great contrast and colour latitude.

    Great films with a cinematic look can and have been created with pro-consumer DV cameras and at HD 1K standard with HDV. The issue for Nicola is what, where and how are these corporate (includes any project not required for significant theatrical or EBU 4K broadcast) projects required for? Also what resourses are available? There's some quite astonishing cameras from Sony and JVC that have full frame sensors that don't quite meet the full 4K broadcast specs but are as near as damn it and are relatively easy traditional run and gun video cameras with decent on board audio options, that are in the £1,700 to £3,500 bracket. Without knowing exactly what Nicola is trying to do, a definitive answer to her question can only be speculative.

    4 months ago
    • I'm looking to create small basic promo videos (even more basic than the one I've posted) for clients (solopreneurs etc) and also larger versions with more filming and editing, that have a more narrative story base to them, if that makes sense. Not necessarily full broadcast quality, until later perhaps :-)

      4 months ago
  • I have and use a Sony HD Handicam with a clip on mic at the moment. The quality is very good, but may not look the part if I want to expand. This was created with this set up.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajht4ajkJ1c&...

    4 months ago
  • I remember the day in 1997 when the first DV camcorders came out. We bought one of the first VX1000 camcorders in the UK and were impressed with how well it cut with our Betacam SP's. In order to help our corporate type clients feel justified in paying our fee while using the DV camcorder, we were not above setting up a Betacam as a prop. Ironically whilst shooting the 1997 London Fashion Week, we used the VX1000 connected to a sound recordist/boom operator and mixer with a enough professional aplomb to be feted amongst a gaggle of big media camera crews and the fashion houses as being high tech super cool. We got stuff others were just too bulky to shoot.

    There's always been a self concious element in the camera department that equates the cost and supremacy of mega buck kit with the quality of production prowess. There's probably as many trite and ill made films shot on high end kit as there are compelling and well produced ones shot on low cost camcorders. Nevertheless having access to the best tools is lovely even if not essential. Confidence in ones professional ability and self presentation can impress potential clients more than 'Rolls Royce' cameras.

    4 months ago
  • This is so true. Having a high end 'cinematic' camera will not make your pictures cinematic. It is the person behind the camera that makes the 'cinematic' images; not the camera. As Steve Yedlin said (DOP on Star Wars Episode VIII) "a camera is just a data collector."

    4 months ago
    • The same with photography :-) It's not the camera that makes the photo, it's the photographer :-)

      4 months ago
    • You got it in one -- the "cinematic look" is a result of artistry and technique, not the gear.

      4 months ago
    • @Rakesh Malik Absolutely - over the past decade I've had people tell me that 'film look' is down to aspect ratio, pixel count, compression algorithm, rack focus, bokeh, framerate, progressive frame, etc whilst not considering that what goes INTO the frame makes the movie.

      4 months ago
  • Sony NX100 is a snap at £1300. Great sound'n'vision (large sensor, XLR's etc.)

    4 months ago
  • Optimum recording format uses MPEG4 which uses super compressed, your footage will therefore extremely limit your options when grading, as for any post digital fx's also if needed. It's fixed zoom lens, even with large manual focus, zoom and iris rings (which I love), means you do not have the option to attach and use any other glass primes, so for me this camera is dead in the water except for corporate and educational usage. Any other suggestions guys and girls please always gratefully appreciated?

    4 months ago
  • Having watched your clip I'd say the audio is what could benefit most from an upgrade. If you're a solo shooter then a decent radio mic makes sense. Look at seinnheiser or if you choose a Sony camera then Sony's mics have a direct connection through the hotshoe. Based on what you shoot I'd maybe recommend Canon C100 mk2 or Sony FS5. Good luck

    4 months ago
    • The Sony FS5 looks fab! I'm a photographer and it looks like it would suit me, if I can use my current lenses. I shoot with an Olympus E3 and have a 12-60mm & 45-150mm zoom lens. In the video the chao says you can use any lens if you have an adpator. Do you know if it takes Olympus lenses? www.sony.co.uk/pro/product/broadcast-pro...

      4 months ago
    • Because the Sony shoots 4k, I would also have to upgrade my laptop etc, so it may not be the best option at the moment, but must say I'm very taken with it :-)

      4 months ago
  • Thank you all so much for the input & advice. I've been busy so haven't had a chance to read through in depth.

    4 months ago
  • I'd second the C100 if you have the cash. Decent little camera with a more cinematic look than what you have already, plus take Canon lenses.

    4 months ago
    • Currently I have Olympus lenses as I shot with an E3. Do you know if there are converters for Olympus lenses?

      3 months ago
  • It might be best for you to compare your 'front runners' with each other. There are many camera comparison charts out there. I've got a simple one that actually compares the cameras mentioned already. Unfortunately there is no way I can share a pdf on the forum.
    You could also use 'camera vs camera' test/comparison videos on Vimeo or You Tube to see which look you like the best. And then, before you buy, rent that camera out for a day.
    One of my friends sold his Blackmagic two days after buying it. He didn't like how the menu was setup. It made his work unnecessarily difficult.

    3 months ago
    • Txs Alicja

      3 months ago
    • These camera comparos are getting silly. And pointless. If you have talent, you can make something great with pretty much any of the professional grade cameras out there today, from Black Magic's Pocket and Micro cinema cameras all the way up to a Millenium DXL.

      Choose based on what has the features you need, the best ergonomics, and fits your budget.

      3 months ago
    • Don't understand how Blackmagic Menues can make someone's work difficult. They are very simple to navigate around.

      3 months ago
  • I think a really amazing camera that would suit your needs is the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera with the Metabones Speedbooster adaptor for the BMPCC MFT TO EF mount. together would cost you about £1,300 (second hand cheaper) Its a film camera that has amazing capabilities, it can shoot in HD RAW which give you so much dynamic control over your image in the edit stage. Note that when shooting RAW you may need a good computer to edit your footage after. it also shoots in pro res 422 HD with amazing image quality. The rode NTG3 mic is a great all rounder, would need a zoom H5 or some smaller recording device to power the mic via XLR cabals. Also lavalier mics are good, especially wireless ones depening on your need/ and shot design etc.

    Really hope that helps and remember, its all subjective!

    3 months ago
    • The only thing that surprises me about this camera is that so few people recommend it.

      It's probably because it's an HD camera, and there's a silly perception around that 4K is important; in reality, it's only important in a narrow range of cases. I have an 8K camera, and probably about 90% of what I shoot with it is in 2K, because no one wants to burn 8K worth of data for a project that's intended for 2K finishing unless it involves VFX... and even then, only VFX shots need to be filmed in raw anyway.

      3 months ago
    • Thanks Tristram

      3 months ago
  • A lot of corporate videos/films that I see are being shot on Arri Amira or even Alexa... go figure. A bigger house normally owns these or a smaller one rents in as and when. All depends what you want to achieve though and what the expectation of the clients are!

    3 months ago
    • Its because a lot of clients, who know nothing about cinematography, like to see big cameras with names like Arri, Red, Panavision written all over them. It makes them feel like they are playing with the big boys/girls. Or am I too cynical?

      3 months ago
    • @Mark Wiggins lol - too cynical.

      3 months ago
    • @Mark Wiggins cynical but true :-)

      3 months ago
    • @Mark Wiggins You're spot on, Mark.

      3 months ago
    • @Mark Wiggins Also, many clients are obsessed with 4K, even when its for a Music Video destined for Youtube. I have a Sony FS100 which is a 2K Camera. I've used it on low budget features, promos and commercials; its fine. I've even used it as a B Camera to an Alexa; again, it was fine. As Cinematographers we are constantly coming up against people who think they have a lot of knowledge but in fact don't. I find its impossible to argue with them. You just have to go with the flow and let the producers worry about where they are going to put all that data and how they are going to pay for it. Still, they didn't have to insist on 4K to begin with, its probably going to end up 2K anyway.

      3 months ago
    • @Mark Wiggins Quite true. There are a lot of people obsessed with resolution because they think it will make their films better, even though most big-budget films, especially ones with a lot of visual effects, are still being finished in 2K and then up-rezzed for 4K DCPs.

      Most of what I've shot on my new camera has been in 2K or HD. I'm using the full resolution of 8K mostly for photographs and stock footage rather than for production. :)

      3 months ago
    • @Rakesh Malik Yes, and then we have to put nets, promists and Classic Softs etc on the front of lens to take off the edge of all this resolution.

      3 months ago
  • Whilst it's nice to use the best kit, content is always king. No amount of polish can turn a turd into gold.

    3 months ago
    • So true John.

      3 months ago
    • I used the "can't polish a turd" line once, and a friend assured me "no, but you can roll it in glitter". Take that metaphor where you will, but it made me laugh!

      3 months ago
    • @Paddy Robinson-Griffin
      Surely it is the cinematographer's job to polish the turd. Its what we do everyday by using our skill and knowledge that we've built up over years of doing this job. However, it is the cinematographer who does the turd polishing, not the camera. Having a good can of polish is a good idea but if you haven't got someone who knows how to use it, its a waste of time getting it. :)

      3 months ago
  • Thanks so much for all your comments and advice.

    3 months ago