Buying Pro Camera, Need Advice.

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    • #75586

      Hi everyone, So currently I shoot with a T2i and occasionally my dads 60D. I mainly shoot stuff for film festivals and alot of free lance videography (sporting events, interviews and some product shoots). 

      Anyways im planning on upgrading to a dedicated video camera instead of using my T2i (which I use for photography as well). My budget is right around $1100. I love my T2i for video but the features it lacks (even with magic lantern) I feel it may be time to upgrade. With my 18th birthday just around the corner I feel it is a good time to get a new camera (With the help of a few family members haha),

      Here are a few I have though about getting.

      Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera (With A EF to M43 stepdown ring) So a grand total of around $1050.

      Another option a bit over budget is the JVC GY-HM70U HD if it good I would be good with spending the bit of extra money for it.

      Any suggestions? Another option to would be to purchase a cage system for my camera but then again im not to sure if I want to do this. 

    • #210209

      Hi Wes – if you want "camcorder-like" features for $1100 (e.g., hours of continuous recording instead of minutes, a headphone jack, a viewfinder that keeps working when you're shooting video, video autofocus and compatibility with power zoom lenses) you want the Panasonic GH3.

      Like you, I started out with a T2i, but I have since moved on to both the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC) and the GH3.  I can tell you from first hand experience that the GH3 is much more like a camcorder than either the T2i or the BMPCC.  In addition, it will give you the nice, large-sensor "cinematic" shallow depth-of-field look you've become accustomed to from your T2i (something the small-sensor on cameras like the JVC GY-HM70U and the similar Panasonic AG-AC8 cannot deliver).

      Here is what this camera can do:











      With an $1100 budget, you can get:


      – a brand new GH3 body for $899.95


      – a 14-42 kit zoom for $134.95


      – and a DSLRKIT Canon EF to micro 4/3 adapter with built-in aperture ring for $32


      Hope this is helpful and good luck with your decision!



      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #210227

      Hi Wes,


      I second Bill's suggestion for the GH3 for your budget. It was around this time last year I was shopping for a new video camera with a (relatively) modest budget, and was considering various setups and configurations (I was coming from a Canon HV30 camcorder), and at that time Bill suggested the GH3 to me as well. After careful research and consideration, I decided to go for it (I also bought two lenses with it, also per Bill's recommendations: a 12-35mm and a PZ 45-175mm) and haven't looked back. I love the small size, discreetness and light weight of the GH3 (as well as most MFT lenses), its all-around flexibility, and most importantly the excellent video quality I get from it.


      Also, as Bill says, the GH3 is definitely much more "camcorder-like" in terms of its video features than most (if not all) other stills cameras I looked into for video use. And because of the ability to use different lenses (either MFT or others with an adapter), I've been able to do so much more with it creatively than I might have with an inexpensive fixed-lens camcorder. Since purchasing the GH3 last year, I've since used it for paying corporate projects and personal video projects, not to mention that it goes with me all the time on family trips and outings due to its small size and weight – plus I've been using it for stills too. Quite simply, it is a fantastic all-arounder capable of very artistic uses for video (and stills) as well as more straightforward "ENG-style" stuff, especially with the Power Zoom lens.


      I did have some concerns about getting "locked into" MFT as a system (I didn't already have lenses from any other cameras), but with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and 2.5K MFT Cinema Camera (manual lenses only), and now the GH4 nearing release, I feel good about the money I've put into the MFT lenses I have at this point (I've since also added a Voigtlander 17.5mm which I absolutely love) with all of these other options now available. And, with the incredible GH4 as a direct upgrade path body-wise, I'm really loving it. And, if you already have lenses from other systems, chances are there's an adapter for them so you can use them with the GH3. While you certainly can get very nice shallow depth of field with MFT lenses (especially the incredible Voigtlanders) for fans of the full-frame shallow depth of field look, there's always the Speedbooster, too, although I've not used one personally.


      High-quality on-board audio recording is the one item that is a little bit of a pain point, but I have a Juicedlink Portable Mixer left over from my HV30 that I've attached to a FHugen cage ($99) that I put the GH3 into when I need that (typically corporate interview shoots). Using this setup cuts down on the overall simplicity and discreetness of using a GH3, but it's worked very well. Otherwise you can plug an XLR shotgun mic right into the GH3 via an inexpensive adapter cable or alternatively use an external audio recorder like a Zoom H4N.


      Whatever you decide, I'm with Bill in that the GH3 is a great option to consider. And, thank you Bill for recommending the GH3 to me last year and for your lens recommendations! 


      Good luck with your search!





    • #210239

      Thanks guys, very great suggestions. I will most likely go with the GH3 after seeing so many positive reviews. Thanks For your help!! πŸ™‚

    • #210380

      Remember you’re not just buying a GH3, but you’re also buying into a collection of micro 4/3 lenses.

      Since (I assume) you already have a collection of Canon lenses, consider the 70D as well. You should be able to pcik up the body only for roughly your price range.
      I used a 70D on a music video recently with a lot of action shots and was amazed by the auto-focus when coupled with an STM lens.

      In all fairness, though, the GH3 may have less moire issues than the Canons.

      But the 70D is also a great still camera. No one will mock you if you show up at a paid photo shoot with it for being so small. πŸ™‚

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