I certainly agree with Erik


I certainly agree with Erik also, although I'm a Panasonic man and the GH3 is a good consideration at about the same price.  However, the very FIRST thing you need is a VISION.  A script or at least an outline.  The better and more detailed your vision, the better you can buy equipment to make it come true.  Write down the storyline and types of shots.  Will you want a dolly?  Will you want a crane?  Will you be doing interviews so you want to add a lavalier mic (not replace the Rode, but add to it).  How will you distribute?  Via website, YouTube, DVD, live streaming of events?  Don't start your thinking with hardware, start with concepts, scripts, types of shots, methods of distribution.  Will you need a new computer for editing and/or streaming?  How do you want to capture, transfer, backup?  Certainly you want a camera to capture HD, but will you distribute SD DVD's or stream SD?   Make sure you include backup drive(s) to avoid losing your archives.  How much experience do you have?  If very little, then get local help and advice.  Will you want 2 cameras and tripods?  A board?  That depends on your vision. Look around at what other churches have done.  Many now stream services and have very elaborate equipment and several people to operate and edit.  Others record, create DVD's and distribute to those who can't attend services.  Obviously, esp with this budget, you have to start small, but have a vision for the future and growth.  Here's where you are – where do you want to be – how are you going to get there?   The principles are the same, whether for a church, a business, making a feature film, commercial or a documentary.  Who are your "customers" and how do you keep their interest, entertain or inform them?  What is your objective?  To win them over to "your way," or simply inform, or entertain?  Most productions have some of all these, but you should have a plan.  Is this simply to complement services and archive, or is to grow the congregation?  In your planning, include how much time of your life can/will you devote to this?  Are there others who will help?  Do you watch TV?  Look at the credits at the end of even a short show (and not a major popular program) and see how many people are involved in a 30 minute show.  There are many one-person production shops, but most are paid or trying to make a profit; and they get help for large productions.  Usually for a church it is volunteer work.  Plan for concept, time, to avoid burn-out, and how to deliver a dynamite message to your target audience and accomplish your purpose.  You'll probably find many locally willing to help, but you have to find them and ask.  Good luck.

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