Which camera for pro movies?

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    • #69096

      Hi! I use Sony HDR CX700 for weddings and some simple short movies. I am not really happy with the camera. Nice colors and white balance, but capture the movement in 25p is not good. 50p looks good but who need it? Maybe for a slow motion only. I want to buy a real pro cam for not only weddings, but real movies. I can use a lot of money if it is worth it. I have a friend (writer) who believe I can be a good camera man and maybe director for his project. Story is set in Africa and the movie will be filmed in Africa. Most of the scenes during the day, but many in the dark too.

      I try to find out the best solution and I have chaos in my head. What is the best DSLR cam or camcorder today? I think about Canon 5D Mark III with 24-105 f4L, but maybe it`s a good idea to take a loan from the bank and buy Canon 1D C? I want to use the camera maybe next 5 years. I see also: Canon C100 and C300, but I am not really sure I can use so much money. Anyway, what do You think about these all different cams?

      I think also about camcorders: Canon XF100, Sony PMW200 and Sony HDR AX2000. I do not know what is the best solution. I know saying “You got what you pay for” is not always true. Maybe something between Canon 5D Mark III and Canon C300? The movie we are going to make, must have a good look and quality, if go to cinema or TV.

    • #208322
      AvatarArmchair Geographer

      I think the canon solution is very popular at the moment but it has drawbacks, like needing to get a lot of other equipment to make them into video cameras. Some of the sony solutions, nex vg 20 or 30, vg90 or the vg100 if you have the money give good results and have things like view finders, interchangable lenses and so on in a compact ready to go format. I love them and find my vg 20 to be very handy for quick set up solutions. The VG 90 is a great camera and has scope and simplicity of use on its side. The Using FCP X or even vegas to edit provides a large range of useful options for editing and post production and the continuosly expanding family of lenses built for video leaves the canon family back in the photo world which is what they are good at.

    • #208324

      Hi kj – If you're looking for a camera between the 3400€ Canon 5D Mark III with the 25-105mm and the C300, it sounds like you're looking for the Canon C100 (or perhaps the 9090 Sony FS700, if you need autofocus).


      I am not prejudiced against Sony, and the NEX-VG series cameras are fine cameras, but they are limited to 25p and 50p, and have: no ability to adjust sharpness or color, no color bars, no professional XLR mic inputs, and no ND filters.  These cameras produce nice images, but are not really suited for pro cinema or TV work flows.


      Here is what the C100 can do:






      Here is what the FS700 can do:





      You can order the C100 with the 24-105mm lens from Amazon US or Adorama in the US for $6099.


      Hope this is helpful!



    • #208332

      Keep in mind that a good camera is only one part of the whole picture. You also need to budget for a decent tripod, lighting kit and audio gear. The good stuff isn't cheap but it will last a long time so spend wisely. For example, my tripod and lighting kit are over 20 years old. In that time, I 've gone through 3 (or is it 4?) different cameras. The basics always hold their value.



    • #208337

      Thanks for comments and examples. I read a lot and watched a lot of reviews. I think the best camera for the movie is Sony NEX FS700 with its quality, functions and the price. I want to try it in a different conditions and with different lenses, not only from Sony ( Canon, Nikon), filters and microphons. That`s true "The good stuff…" is very important. First of all, I have a very very good computer (not any fruit πŸ™‚ ), because I work with 3d design and animation. The video editing software I use is Sony Vegas Pro11. I do not think Adobe Premiere Pro is better and I do not need After Effects (If I need a tree in the scene which doesn`t exist, I can put a photorealistic tree from my 3ds max. Chroma Key with green or blue screen works properly in Vegas). I use tripods: Vanguard SBH-30, REDGED RTC-436 with Manfrotto 701 HDV. I think the second one is good, but maybe I need better head. I have good hands to keep the camera stabile, but it could be nice to have a good stabilize system (steadicam). Which one is good enough for the FS700? I am not an expert of microphones and sound. I used Surround Mic from my HDR CX-700 and operated it in Vegas. I use also studio condenser mic sE2200a with PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL. I do not know if I can use it in the movie. Maybe it could be great to find surround solution helpful in Africa. As You write rs170a: "…camera is only one part of the whole picture."                      Krzysztof (Christopher)

    • #208342
      AvatarArmchair Geographer

      Another comment; even the great quality of the sony NEX on camera mic only works well if you are close to the tallent, It provides great surround sound, but the voices that are critical to your success need quality pick up close to the source and that wont work if you are using say a 100 mm or 85mm lens to get an out of focus background from a distance, even 3m is too far in a lot of cases.

    • #208341
      AvatarArmchair Geographer

      Yes, If you have the money for the Canon C100 it is a good camera and will give you more latitude in the field as a more professional tool. The Sony NEX series, some have the XLR audio inputs but not many cameras have the full sound picture. Use a separate audio recording system and use the camera sound to sinc things up. The balanced three pin pro audio is most important in the studio or when using external power to the camera and separate ac power to other tools as they can pick up hum. You can get hum eliminators to go from balanced to unbalanced audio or simply run DC from batteries in the field. Some more complex cameras provide a whole range of options but shooting in the field is often about getting the picture in the can and changing it in post when you bring evrything together. On sound… surround sound is easy to stuff up, but it is not hard to get right provided you find a simple formula that works for you and you stick to it through the production. Get quality mics on the tallent, lavelier or out of shot shotgun, get the surround audio on separate tracks but in sinc then bring it together in your editing process.

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