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Your thoughts plz: big camera/big equipment or small camera/ small equipment

Luke Heights's picture
Last seen: 11 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/26/2012 - 10:04pm

I have my Cannon HF 200, 14 oz.

I purchased a jayblizer (made for 2lb+ cameras)

I spent a few HOURS trying to adjust it since it is made for heavier cameras. I wasn't happy at the end. I went on my bike ride today and tried to film with the new stabilizer, but i spent most of the time carrying it on my shoulder. Too big, too heavy, just didn't work. I did better when I just held the camera in my hand...

My dilemma... I purchased the bigger stablizer thinking I would grow into it. Meaning I will eventually get a bigger HDSLR camera...

Now I'm wondering, do I really want to keep getting bigger? I'm a solo team, so it would mean more to carry.

Would the improvement in quality really get me into the big leagues? It "seems to me" that the quality on the smaller cameras HD is getting better.

I'd like to stay with the small, light weight, least amount of baggage, is that gonna be possible guys?

Your thoughts please, your experience please...

Thanks


chuckzootz's picture
Last seen: 12 months 4 days ago
Joined: 02/07/2012 - 7:16pm

I just finished cutting a video of a play that I shot 2 years ago with a vixia hf 10 and a vixia hf 200. I was surprised again at how good the images and the footage came out. The biggest problem was working out continuity problems since I shot 3 plays with 2 cameras each for a total of 6 view points. I finally upgraded my camera to a vixia hf g10, which is still a small camera. I did decide that the advantages of the small size of the cameras for portability, and being able to carry my cameras, sound equipment, and cables in one backpack and the ability to keep the camera unobtrusive were really to my advantage


Brummie's picture
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 05/02/2008 - 2:42am

Well Luke. It really depends on what you call the big leagues :-) Let's start with the simple fact that it still all comes down to the photographer/filmmaker assuming that he/she does at least have adequate equipment. I am an older chap and made my living for fifty years as a photographer with modest equipment while most of my competitors loved to purchase the shiny new cameras with the new buttons. I even made my own softboxes etc. I have seen some lovely films made with modest camcorders and DSLRs. True, most of them are not going to see the big silver screen so the question for you is "Are you aiming for Hollywood or are you going to be content with making a living producing business videos, training films, product introduction reels or films for festivals etc?"

Before HD became 'the thing' I was making money using the Canon GL2. Now I have stepped up to a couple of DSLRs and a modest Canon XH A1s. I will admit I am going to upgrade to something a little more capable for low light shooting - maybe FS100 or AF100 but still modest. Then its is up to me to make my own skills count.

Luke, until you ask yourself "realistically, what is my real goal?" you should continue to hone your own talents and then based on what you determine to be the path you want to take, choose the equipment you can afford and that will accomplish the jobs you seek. Big or small is not the only question. There are some great short films out there that have been produced using items like the GoPro and Drift cameras (action of course) that have just been strapped onto the photographer in his pursuit of sport.

Having the very best equipment available does not gaurantee success. Handing someone a paintbrush does not make them a Michaelangelo. Sorry if I have overstated all of this but I really shudder when I see chaps around the city here rushing to drop their dollars on the newest stuff and yet their work is, at best, average.

I am off the soapbox now :-)


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

Hi Luke,

In the days when I was teaching photography on a more frequent basis, I would see the absolute worst students come in with their Nikons and Blads and proceed to produce crap - I could outshoot them with a Brownie.

The same goes for video (IMHO) - I have done pretty good with a consumer camera (Sony SR11) as my main workhorse for years. Did it limit me? Certainly as I was forced to spend more time in Post to get usable footage. But it can be done acceptably, depending on the project.

It is your technology that should limit you - More than fine to start off with good but affordable and easier to learn equipment and master that before moving up.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

I'm an ocd nutcase. My advice is buy big cameras, buy small cameras and everything in between...
BUT...
don't waste your money... buy things that fit specific needs and purposes... and build your kit as you go...
I have d-slrs, and there are some jobs where specific lens, body combos are the best gear I have for the specific job.. then there are other shots where I'll leave the d-slrs alone and grab a go-pro... then there are jobs where the video camcorders are the right tool for the job... I have on occasion left my hdv and avchd higher end sonys in the bag and grabbed my flip cams..... Ishoot 3d stuff with a pair of flips....
the key is to know your equipment, buy the best you can afford, and learn to use each peice of equipment to it's utmost potential...


Luke Heights's picture
Last seen: 11 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/26/2012 - 10:04pm

@everyone, very good thoughts and feedback.

My main goal is training videos, TV production, capturing the spirit of life and hopefully getting paid to do it.

I will keep at it with what I have and earn my stripes as I go.

Thanks again for your continued support. This kind of conversation is what keeps me coming back.

Have a great day


Rocky M's picture
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 03/12/2010 - 5:53am

Experience has shown me that a quality small camera is far less intimidating to non-professional talent in interviews. I consider I get a far more relaxed and better interview than with a big camera. For interview shoots I use a Sony HD camera model HVR-A1 and for other work I use a Sony HVR-Z5 (with the A1 as a back up or second camera). I have taken the A1 around the world in small personal around the waist camera bag, its a great workhorse and always gives great results.