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May 8, 2013 at 8:09 AM #59809Hello all,I'm a newbie and am hoping to get some responses for my quest. I'm a photojournalist and my paper is looking to buy our first video camera. Of course our budget is low ($1000. range). The video's we plan on producing will be news, features and documentary. It would be great if we had the capability to also produce short (lower end) advertisements as well. I also realize we will have to budget for audio as well (not included in camera budget). Considering I know absolutely nothing about video cameras any assistance would be greatly appreciated.Thanks
May 8, 2013 at 11:01 AM #207269gldnearsMember
This is a joke, right? Who came up with the $ 1000 budget? Rick Crampton
May 8, 2013 at 1:12 PM #207270gcancelmoMember
There is a lot you can do for 1,000 especially when starting out. I actually used a soney HD cam probebly $700.00 off the shelf today and pulled some footage from it (adjusted the ISO for light) and it was great. Yes we use insane cameras that cost the price of a new BMW but sometimes the simplist things work in the condition you keep your footage at HD when working in your software.
Adjust the camera to to the light and having some light available always helps. There is a lot to choose from for 1k,
The good news is they will all give you film to edit, the question is how long will you work on the footage to make it look good or better or to what your end use is.
Hows this for thought, you make a production with a very expensive camera and crew, then you make it look old and grainy, should have jjust used your someone elses I phone I chucked mine years ago…!
The bottom line, make sure it records HD @ 1920 x 1080. If the zoom is not that powerful get yourself on a skate board.
One PLUS factor, if you have a jack to add your own microphone (instead of built in mic) will save you a lot for sound editing and help you better manage your documenturies.
Hope this helps.
May 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM #207271
Before you spend any money, I recommend you plan EXACTLY what you intend to create. For instance, who will write the scripts? When will they have time to write the scripts? Who will be your talent? When will they have time to read the material? Who will perform the camera work?
It sounds like you will spend a lot of overtime hours. Just a thought…
May 8, 2013 at 2:13 PM #207272
Hi Xkalifornian – if you're a photojournalist, you should get a video-capable DSLR like the Nikon D5200 with the 18-105mm lens for $997.
Here is some D5200 B roll from New Orleans on Super Bowl weekend:
Please watch at 1080p:
And here is a commercial, also shot with the D5200:
I would add $25 to the $3 you have left over and get From Still to Motion: A photographer's guide to creating video with your DSLR. I have this book, and it is a good basic guide for photographers who are entering the world of video.
Hope this is helpful,
May 8, 2013 at 8:43 PM #207292
May 9, 2013 at 4:12 AM #207294
XKalifornian – you aren't doing anything wrong. The 5D Mark II was a first generation video/still camera and had some real challenges. My first video/still hybrd DSLR was a Canon T2i, and as soon as I switched it to video/live view mode, it too lost the autofocus and the viewfinder. Same is true of the $3300 5D Mark III. Frustrating.
I sold the Canon and bought a mirrorless "DSLM", a Panasonic GH2, which had autofocus and an electronic viewfinder that both kept working in video mode. It also had unlimited continuous shooting time (early Canons were limited to 12 minutes). This was a real video-centric camera.
Here are the kinds of stories shooters have been able to tell with the GH2 (shot by a BBC cameraman):
But the GH2 is now out of production and very hard to find for a reasonable price, or I would have recommended it (there is one available used for $999 at Amazon as of this post). And its replacement, the Panasonic GH3, would have been perfect for your needs (it has lightning fast autofocus, a headphone jack and is very intuitive for video), but it is $1300 body only, so it is above your budget limit. Here is the kind of stories it can tell:
All of that said, I still recommend the Nikon D5200. Its viewfinder still goes blank in video mode because of the anachronism of the reflex mirror, but it resists shot-ruining moire. With a $1000 budget, I think it's the best you're going to do. Its image quality even holds up well against the GH3, especially in low light:
Again, hope this is helpful,
May 9, 2013 at 8:37 AM #207299
Once again guys, I'm grateful for the stellar input.
Before inquiring here I fumbled around and am considering
the Canon Vixia HF G20 or maybe a comparable Sony or
I don't believe I will consider the Nikon
Canon lenses and won't be able to afford to get a new lens system to
accommodate the Nikon or Panasonic.
Something I didn't make clear is I don't need still capabilities from the video camera.
May 9, 2013 at 3:27 PM #207307
The Sony HDR-FX1000s are over $3000.00 and really designed for videography. As such, the biggest drawback is no XLR input for sound.
HeroCams are simple devices. They don't have zooms, many don't have LCD screens. They are rugged and have waterproof housings.
Here's an example, with both of the aformentioned cameras:
May 9, 2013 at 4:51 PM #207306
Completely understand. The Canon HF G20 will give you great results in most situations, with the added benefit of power zoom, when you need it. You will not get the shallow depth of field and bokeh effects seen in DSLR video, but those features are "nice to haves" and not "must haves" for journalism or commercials.
That said, the $997 price I quoted for the D5200 included the 18-105 lens – so your actual cost – with a general purpose zoom lens – would be less than for the $1279 Canon HF G20 from Amazon – or even the $1049 it would cost if you got it from pmidigital via eBay.
May 9, 2013 at 10:55 PM #207317dstarksMember
Awesome advice everyone, I needed to hear this too! You guys rock!
May 10, 2013 at 6:37 AM #207326
I agree Demetrius, this info will help greatly.
Thanks to all. Mark
June 16, 2013 at 4:48 PM #207883paulandereggParticipant
Xkali……have you made a purchase yet? I just bought a Sony PJ710v and Panasonic X920 ($900@) from B&H, and expect them early this week. I am a TV station photog, and wanted a newsworthy passenger seat cam for things like pursuits in progress. I will be testing both cameras side by side and keeping the best one. Since anything shot with this camera would end up being broadcast on the air, and I shoot news for a living, I figured my opinion on the best $1000 mini-cam might be useful to you. 🙂
May 8, 2013 at 2:31 PM #207277dstarksMember
This is great Bill, thanks for the tips!
Do you think Nikon is better than Canon as far as quality vs price? Or are they basically the same?
May 8, 2013 at 9:10 PM #207293
Since you're already working with video, spending whatever time that is necessary, I would suggest several camera's – including the one you're using. First, maybe a HeroCam by GoPro. They're relatively inexpensive. They're fantastic for a first-person perspective or to similate falling, flying, etc.. I would then consider a prosumer camcorder (I use Sony HDR FX1000s but you may prefer Canon) to accomplish your main video shots. Good luck!
May 9, 2013 at 8:36 PM #207312EddieValiantParticipant
I would suggest taking a look at the Sony HDR-CX580V http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/838311-REG/Sony_HDR_CX580V_HDR_CX580V_HD_Camcorder.html
I don't have any personal experience with it but the price is in your ballpark and it shoots 1920×1080.
With that $1000 budget, you'll still need a few accessories, and if you purchase the Sony from B&H by 5/12, they're reducing the price. Sounds like a good deal to me!
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