Big Girl Camera (First Camera)

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    • #52334

      I am ending my time in University and have decided that its time to be a big girl and get my own vedio camera, since I will be losing access to the schools. The question is, what camera do I get? I intend to use it for short films, so it needs to have good image and quality. Since I am on a student budget, nothing to fancy or pricey would be best. Does anyone one have any suggestions for a good first camera to get? 

    • #205204

      Hi L – a few questions that will drive the answer to this question.


      First, where do you plan to show your short films and what is your distribution channel?  Festivals?  YouTube?  If you need 2K for the big screen, you need a different camera than if you're producing for Vimeo or YouTube.


      Second – what kind of cameras did you shoot with at University?  If you're already comfortable with small sensor fixed lens camcorders – maybe you should stick with them.  If you're comfortable with DSLRs or large sensor interchangeable lens camcorders, maybe you should look for something similar.


      What is your definition of "pricey"?  For some people that's £100 – for others it is £1000 or £10,000.


      With all of that said, I'm going to assume you want to shoot shorts for online distribution, that you shot with small chip, fixed lens camcorders (and perhaps a DSLR or two) at University, and that your budget is less than £800.


      If you are most comfortable with camcorders, I would try to get a £786 Canon Legria HF G10 (good in low light) or a £669 Panasonic HC-X900 (good all-rounder).  Both cameras have viewfinders and headphone jacks.


      Here is what the X900 can do:


      If you're most comfortable with DSLR-type cameras, I suggest the £799 Panasonic GH2.  Technically, it is a DSLM (where "M" is for mirrorless), and not a DSLR – but it produces fantastic images for the price.  Here is a post I put up over at indieforum with some examples of what it can do:


      I hope this is helpful, and good luck with your decision and with your film career.



      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #205233

      I have 4 Canon DSLRs in total: a 5D mark II, a 60D and 2 t2is. If you're looking to save money, I would HIGHLY recommend the t2i. You can buy a brand new body on eBay for about $500 and used ones for even less. Throw in a Tamron 15-50mm f/2.8 lens and you've got a nice starter kit that handles low-light well and comes in at about $1,000 USD.


      Of course you could start with the 50mm f/1.8 which will save you about $400 USD in cost.


      Don't forget to install Magic Lantern ( which is a free 3rd party firmware which adds TONS of functionality to your t2i. Best of all, it installs on the SD card, so it doesn't void your warranty.


      I've produced 2 TV shows and countless commercials, web intros, etc. with these cameras and absolutely love the quality. So do my clients.


      Feel free to message me for examples or with any questions.

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