Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › OK…..where do I start?
- August 27, 2015 at 2:32 PM #86256The MayorMember
I write short stories. I’m also a songwriter. I would like to learn about video as I have some things I would like to film. I know absolutely NOTHING about video. I only have about $500 to spend on a camera. After reading so much on this site, that sounds like a joke. But what the hell, I gotta start somewhere. If anyone would have a recommendation for a camera that would be near my budget that I could start learning on, I would be deeply grateful.
For around $500, it will be hard to find much more than a consumer-grade camcorder. I would have suggested, perhaps, a Panasonic G6, but it looks like it has been discontinued on B&H’s website, although you can probably still find one for sale somewhere. Otherwise, you might look for a used Panasonic GH2 on eBay. Either of these cameras will have a little bit of a learning curve, due to the fact that they are interchangeable-lens cameras instead of easy-to-use camcorders. But the image they provide is superb.
Hi Jerry – if you can stretch your budget by $15, you might want to consider a brand new $515 Panasonic G6 with the 14-42mm kit lens: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5575034783&toolid=10001&campid=5337235943&customid=&icep_item=321613840675&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg
This is the best value-for-money camera in this price class.
Here are a few examples of the image quality this camera can produce:
It is a capable still camera too: https://www.flickr.com/groups/lumix-g6/pool/
As you get started, you may also want to read a basic how-to book. I recommend “How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck” – which you can download on Kindle for $7.69: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051NHJFU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0051NHJFU&linkCode=as2&tag=videomaker22forum-20
This book was written by Hollywood writer/director Steve Stockman: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1870021/
Steve directed Sally Field in “Two Weeks”: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000TV1ST2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000TV1ST2&linkCode=as2&tag=videomaker22forum-20
His book is a great introduction to visual storytelling.
Here is the trailer: http://vimeo.com/24147165
Reading Steve’s book will save you a lot of time and money – and make your movies better right out of the gate.
Hope this is helpful and good luck!
Hybrid Camera Revolution
Thank you Bill for these films. I’ve never seen the G6, but it looks like an amazing piece of equipment for the money.
The Canon EOS M came recommended and so far I have not been disappointed. Has a mic jack for external too.
Jerry, you sound a lot like me!
I started out writing short stories and making music with my computer, but also started tinkering out with video as soon as a friend of mine got a camcorder and we figured out we could use two VCRs to edit.
Play, Pause, Record, Play, Stop… man I can’t believe I ever edited like that!
Anyway, a couple of years ago I had the same question as you, with a similarly restricted budget and went for a Canon 650D. Yeah, it was cool at the time!
I’m still using it now, and with the right lighting and careful camera setup, I can get fairly professional results.
Over the past few years, I’ve learned the full Adobe suite, from Premiere and After Effects to Audition and Illustrator.
It takes a lot of time and can be frustrating, but it can be very rewarding for a creative storyteller like yourself, as it gives you new ways to express yourself.
Don’t fear the consumer-grade stuff, it’s how you use it that counts, especially when you’re just starting out.
The learning curve is pretty much the same (basically limitless), regardless of equipment.