First post but been reading threads for a while and really appreciate the wealth of information a lot of you guys freely share with newcomers such as myself. I am going to shoot a low budget horror feature next year. I have complete control over the locations so I can light as I like and there are no exterior night shots. Anyways I was looking at different camera options and wanted to get tap the wealth of experience and expertise here.
Right now I have a Canon T4 which I use for in a real estate company I own with my wife. I shoot real estate videos (virtual tours), client testimonials, about us type corporate videos and will be shooting 2 commercials for digital distribution one this month one next. I like the image out of the T4, LOVE its ease of use and the workflow into Final Cut Pro X makes my life easy but I wonder if it will be good enough to shoot a feature with a distribution plan that include VOD, festivals and at least one theater screening (even if we have to rent the theater ourselves)? If I have to have the footage color graded or corrected (which I would most like outsource) will I be shooting myself in the foot with this type of footage. Our film is self funded with a budget of 50k, the locations are all free for me to use, and all the equipment will be bought via the other company I own so nothing will roll down to the film balance sheet, the film budget will be mainly comprised of cast, effects (main are backend loaded), wardrobe, small crew (PAs hair, makeup), travel, food , formatting, marketing and misc. So my thoughts were:
Canon XF 100 - this seems like a great camera in the right price range for me, wondering about the workflow, ease of use and the image quality for distribution, and how will it cut with the T4 assuming I use the T4 for some shots?
Canon Mark III - seems like a good upgrade from the T4 with a familiar form factor, but is that upgrade enough to justify the price and passing on a dedicated video camera with an easier sound capture system? Images from the Mark III can look amazing but I know it takes a lot of work to make them look so, and I would rather focus efforts on making the story good then getting a camera to perform.
Panasonic AC90 - really this one came up through reading forums, seems like a lot of people really like this camera, was wondering though how would it cut with the T4 and regardless of price is the XF 100 a better camera for my goal?
Ideally this camera would serve two purposes: used on this film and then used in commercial shoots (digital distribution). My main concerns are image quality, ease of use, and the workflow into FCPX. Are there other concerns I should have? Are there other camera's I should be considering?
My “want” list in order of importance would be:
Ease of use (this is my first real shoot and I want it to be as easy from a technical standpoint as possible so I can focus on the million other things, I also want to handle the shooting myself, part of that childhood dream thing)
Workflow to FCPX
Image Quality – obviously I want it to look good and not like a home made movie
Final Image issues – I want the final product to be good for VOD as well as a theater screen (as I mentioned we would just rent a theater to show it if necessary for the hell of it)
Budget – want to stay under 5k for the camera setup
Why not Black Magic - from what I read the workflow is very demanding
Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated