Challenge: $400 on needed equipment

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    • #44284

      I recently picked up a canon hfs10 from ebay for just under $600. i have about $400 left to spend on needed accessories: wireless system w/lapel, tripod, and lighting. I am looking for equipment that is just good enough -am producing some local commercials for business people in the area that may or may not actually air, just to build my portfolio and gain experience.

      For the mic, I’ve found - although I don’t know a lot about mics AT ALL. I’m only 70% sure that the system includes everything I would need to get better sound. –

      I’ve also found - for the tripod, although i’m hoping I can find a cheaper, trustworthy one for about 30$ less

      as for lighting, after trying to research about what the bare basics were – I’m unsure still of what to get. but if you all think the above equipment is reasonable, and after purchasing a $60 spare battery, I will only have about $80 left for lighting…and that doesn’t sound very doable to me…. any input on the pieces of equipment mentioned, other suggestions of how to make it cheaper, or lighting advice?? Thanks, all….

    • #185469


      Try Craigslist. I have gotten some amazing deals on “REALLY” good stuff for “REALLY” inexpensive.

      The advantage is it is usually local and you can go look at it and or call the seller and talk about the item. In the area im in there are alot of new postings daily so I may be just a lucky one.

      Check the frequency of the wireless unit you are looking at. It may be on the FCC banned list that is supposed to go into affect next month. Alot of people are putting their old “outlawed” equipment up for sale on ebay and craigslist to get rid of it.


    • #185470


      Having done this a number of times (equipping w/limited cash) here are my recommendations;

      Wireless Mic Kits

      Light kits

      I would save the ‘List’ and eBay as last resorts. Though there are deals to be found, you get what you pay for and at least this way if something’s broken when you get it, you can send it back for another or a refund.

    • #185471

      Thank you both! I definitely appreciate the advice on checking the FCC banned list – AND H. Wolfgang – I appreciate those links as well – Ibelieve I found some lights,but now I think I’m going start with a wired set-up before I try wireless -I’m not sure I’ll have the need for wireless yet. But, my camcorder only has the mini stereo jack – so I was wanting to pick up an XLR adapter, butnever have used these adapters and had a question – I went ahead and made a new topicw/ it because I’m not sure if people will notice it if I put it here! Thanks so much for all of your help. –

    • #185472


      I can help you out with the wireless mic info. I’ve had and used the AT Pro88W wireless mic system for a little over a year. It has been finnicky at best. It seems that it all depends on the location you’re using it – sometimes it works great and provides nice clear and clean audio. Then other times it’s terrible with cracks, pops and static interference making the audio completely unusable. Have not yet found a rhyme or reason to it. If you dopurchase and useit, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS monitor your audio into your camera and if possible, do a pre-shoot sound check with it to see if it will even work at all.

      If you can get away with wired micsinitially as you indicated, then I would definitely do that and save up some money for a decent UHF wireless system when you need it.

    • #185473

      Sadly, monitoring your audio isn’t enough unless you have options to quickly put into place when you run into a signal problem – notice I didn’t say “if” πŸ™‚

      You must also be ready to yank out the mini plug and use the onboard camera mic if you have no other alternatives, realizing that ANY audio in some situations is better than total loss due to an extended signal interruption period from your wireless.

      So, while to figure out the best bank for the bucks, and spending within your budget limits for potential solutions, keep in mind you will experience occasional signal problems, especially when monitoring, and need to have some kind of backup plan.

      One of those would be to consider, when you can afford to, including one or more Zoom H2 or other standalone digital recorder systems in your redundant audio backup strategies. Better some audio than expecting your viewers to have excellent lip-reading skills πŸ˜‰

    • #185474

      great – thanks for the info on the at pro88w….

      Here is how my 400 has been budgeted so far. I went with a

      Slik Pro 400DX Tripod w/panhead from Amazon for $99

      Rode Videomic and video bracket from Amazon for $148

      the Audio Technica ATR35 from for $28

      So i have…$125 left. my wants would be some sort of lighting, the deadcat for the microphone, an extra battery, wide angle lens, lens hood. but I’m not sure which would be most important/most used. so maybe I should just wait and see after using the camera more often

    • #185475

      Power backup would come first, seems to me, then lighting. But as there are numerous workarounds for lighting situations, maybe power backup would stay on top.

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