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Video Equipment Thread

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Hello!

I thought now would be as good a time as any to start this thread given the recent price drops of RED and the Sony announcement and an industry that seems to be blurring prosumer line faster than at any time before.:

http://nofilmschool.com/2012/11/red-cuts-epic-price-half-scarlet-under-8k-red-one-4000/#more-32104

So what are you guys on? I am struggling to love my 550d and 2.8 18-55 lens anymore after shooting on RED< it just doesn't seem to cut it and the aliasing makes my eyes cry. That said, for the Price, the 1080 is still great.

I have a couple of LED lights, a Rode Shotgun and a NT3 into a juiced link pre-amp with magic lantern enabled. I tried the glide cam but even though it got okay results, I'm not sure it was worth the cash. I have a jib, which is cool but I could really do with a heavier tripod to mount it on as my manfrotto one isn't quite doing it, and neither is the 501 head.

I shoot mostly crowd sourcing ads for places like eyeka and mofilm and have won a few, though ideally I want to do a feature at some point, need to write it first. This is probably the most favourite if heart breaking thing I've done (it didn't win anything) which was a crowd sourcing ad for playstation and you can see our very own cheeko robbins at the end firing off a helicopter :)

http://my.mofilm.com/video/318589

I'll use this front post to do a quick glossary to useful film sites to for production:

www.cinema5d.com

www.dxinfo.com

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/

www.cheesycam.com

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These price drops are pretty crazy. In ten years we'll be able to buy an Epic for a packet of Monster Munch! That said, the prices are still a bit misleading as the peripherals are still pretty pricey and you'll still need an EVF, LCD Screen, Bars, top mount, Breakout box, Batteries, Charger, Cradle, SSD Mag and cables. That's probably an additional $8000, so prices are still not completely accessible.

Current kit:

1. RED MX package (6 batteries and multi-charger, 640gb drive, 320 gb drive, EFV, CF cards, 7 inch LCD Screen, long bars, medium bars, short bars, cradle, Breakout box, Peli Case etc).

2. K-35 PL prime cine-lenses - 18mm, 24mm, 35mm, 55mm, 85mm. Took me ages to complete the set. They cost more than the entire camera kit but well worth it as they are outstanding lenses. They won an Oscar for design and were used on Aliens and a bunch of other classic films. They won't lose their value like the RED body either so it's a pretty good investment and they're also future proof as they're full-frame.

3. Miller 55 Arrow tripod with wooden camera dove tail and plate.

4. Canon 5D Mark II shooting kit - Zacuto EVF and Z-finder pro. Shoot 35 cine-focus. Manfrotto 504HD and 535k legs.

5. Canon set of lenses - 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4, 24 - 70 L f/2.8, 70-200 L f/4, 100mm Macro f/2.8

6. IDS Dolly with accessory plate. 12 foot of straight track, 12 foot of curved track.

7. Magiqam Series 2a full body steadicam rig.

8. Shoulder rig and 1.5m glidetrack slider.

9. Sennheiser ME66-k6 shotgun mic kit with boom and stand.

I've been working as a professional filmmaker since 2005. Mostly direct commercials and promos, occasional music videos. I'm about to direct my first feature which is exciting but daunting.

I also rent out my kit for extra pocket money and so far the RED has been a pretty good investment. What I'd like to do now is upgrade to an EPIC so depending on what happens next year, that will hopefully be the next major purchase. I'm also looking at converting a warehouse in London into a soundstage to try and use it as a green screen studio for my own productions and for rentals.

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Hey Scratchy, awesome kit, Couldn't spot it on your website - how much d'you charge for rentals?

Also, if you ever need a tea maker / runner extrodinaire at the weekend give me a bell. Has to be weekend alas as still working full day job as an audiologist at the hospital :o

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Rentals - Totally reassessing prices now due to RED's new price model! To be honest though, I've never really had a strict pricing policy, except when renting to features or commercials. What I've always done is assessed the job and then charged accordingly. For example, the chances are, budgets are going to be mostly nonexistent on a student shoot and so if the camera is free and they're insured, I'll probably give them the body for free if it's only a couple of days. Lenses are different though as there's always demand for them so can't really justify giving freebies on those. For commercials and corporates, day rate for the RED and lenses was around £750 per day (£400 for lenses, £350 for RED package including grip equipment) but I'm going to have to probably reduce that to around £500 - £550 now.

When I was starting out I found it difficult raising cash to rent a camera (This was way before the SLR boom) so I generally try and help out new filmmakers if I can.

Runners / Help / etc - Cool, sounds good! Drop me your details and day rate in a pm and next time I've got something coming up I'll get in touch!

By the way, I watched your playstation entry and I though it was awesome dude! Really nicely put together and beautifully shot. Was that on the 550?

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Thanks! It was shot on RED Epic and was horrendously over budget, but I was a bit in love with the idea at the time - was interesting as I had a DOP and lights guy which I usually don't but man, that was an insane shoot, the night before the van I was riding in exploded :o

PM'd :)

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For personal stuff I've got a Nikon D3200 which I'm totally in love with, bunch of Nikon primes and a few zooms. Also a half decent heavy tripod, a 1m Konova slider (sliders are great), a Rode mic and a variable ND filter (essential for filming).

At work we've got a Red Epic, an Alexa, a full studio, lights etc and a small army of motion control rigs (from the massive Cyclops to little Sprogs) - we're planning on getting a high speed camera (Phantom most likely) and a new proprietary high speed motion control rig in the New Year.

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I had no idea rllmuk was so well equipped, nice thread Mr.Waters :)

I've got a DSLR (600D) shoulder rig, wide and tele zooms, the standard 50mm prime and an anamorphic adapter which I saved up my pennies for.

Then I worked on three consecutive projects shot with the RED Epic and now I see all the faults with DSLR footage :(

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Hi folks :D

Currently shooting on a GH2 packing custom firmware. Been renting most of everything else but am in the process of building up the basics, got some nice vintage Gitzo legs recently for an utter song and getting some Manfrotto bits to sit atop. I've got a real hodge podge of different stills lenses as I enjoy exploring the different looks you get out of each but need to start building up a proper set.

How are you finding the Juicedlink Johnj? I've been eyeing one up after being mightily impressed by their comparative tests.

I'm not doing any production work at the moment as I'm working full time as a technician (which is funding my kit purchases) but that'll be changing in the new year, which is good because I miss it!

Ooh yeah, anyone got their mitts on a Blackmagic camera yet?

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The Jucied link is great - expensive but great. It's nice having XLR inputs, it does give great quiet amplification for scenes with just speech. Being able to monitor and look at a kind of useful level meter is cool too.

On the other hand - it doesn't seem to clip on well to the bottom of the camera, so I always wedge in a piece of card. You need rechargeable 9Vs for it as it eats em. And it significantly reduces the portability of your dslr and just adds a fuck load more faf and cables and little junctures where a cable can come out without you realising.

If they can sort out the audio a bit more the Blackmagic looks great. But tbh I think if I was getting another camera, it's gonna be a Scarlet or Epic in a few years, I'd rather save and get something that has an upgrade path and 4k is just....awesome.

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Hey all, lots of smart people on this thread - could I get thoughts on a camera setup? It's a multimedia music project - a couple of musicians in the middle of a room plus a person working multimedia stuff, which includes an overhead projector (and which I'd be happy to talk more on Creative once we've got up and running). I'm thinking a locked-off camera to cover the whole room, one roaming and a third looking down on the desk with the multimedia - kind of a close up cam. Two questions.

1. Presuming I can find a bit of money, what's a good videocamera for £400 or thereabouts? Nikon D3200, Canon EOS 600D (DSLR) and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 are all mentioned in this thread and I've previously looked at the Canon XL1 and Sony VX1000. I'm very entry level if you haven't worked that out yet so really looking for something that's a good introduction rather than anything else (I'd imagine my budget will confirm that too). This might be a dumb question cos I'm being too broad in my definition. Sorry all...

2. Any thoughts on the locked-down cam for close ups on my desk and the bits on it - such as the OHP, transparencies for same and a diary? I'm wondering about a Go Pro Hero but would be interested in any other, possibly even more modest options. Emphasis here is on something small and flexible I can put on a boom or tie to the rafters etc. Ideally something that produces at a resolution that matches with the roaming camera. Any ideas welcome!

Thanks for any advice in advance - even if it's just 'Do more research'.

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You've said you're looking at getting three cameras to get coverage, but do you need that? Can you not just film from each angle individually then edit the footage together later? Unless you need to capture a single performance in one go, it's probably an unnecessary expense. Don't forget to budget for lenses, and something to put the camera on, and sound! Whatever camera you get, the built in mic probably won't be up to the job.

Helped some people out on a short film recently, used my GF1 out of pure necessity Results were patchy at best. A competing project used a GH2 and the footage from that looked wonderful. My brother has a 5D mkii and I'd probably rate it's output slightly lower, but tbh it's practically a negligible difference and you should base your decision on the other differences between the platforms, particularly if you're thinking about doing this long term.

If you do need a close-up cam as well, if the area is well lit then why not a phone? A modern smartphone will have similar fidelity to a gopro anyway.

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Cheers Liamness. Really appreciate this.

I should have mentioned that we're looking to capture a single performance in one go - the work is improvisation-based. Sound will indeed be a trick - think we'll have a feed for a producer to capture. I've been using a Tascam recorder so far which is okay but over a twenty minute improvisation there's like a one second descynch between the audio and visual.

I was thinking about using iPhones for the close up shots so thanks for the thoughts on this. Would love to have something like what Origamibiro use for their stuff but I'm not sure what freaky camera they're using for theirs. Vid -

EDIT - Think I'll quietly retreat from the thread so as not to highjack, although I will start a thread on the project once we're moving. Thanks again to Liamness for being awesome.

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Have you considered renting? You could get 3 550ds (use onboard mic as scratch track and then sync from your mixing desk later using plural eyes) and a couple of lenses for that price. www.hireacamera.com is a good start.

The Iphone might be a bit pap if you haven't got much light to work with - what's the situation there?

Oh and get a lens with image stablization if possible.

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We'll be shooting for a couple of hours every week or so for the next few months, johnj - another thing I didn't mention in my original post!

Lightwise we should be okay. It's a gorgeous room, albeit originally rather overcome with pigeon poo. Shall I stick up a photo? Keep this under your hat!

feaWP.png

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Ah, nice room! Where's the project going to end up? I don't think you need anything as expensive as a go-pro for your coverage shots of the mixing desk. Is it mostly weekends or something? I'd be happy to lend you my 550d + 2.8 18-55 if it's just for a couple of hours of a weekend for a month

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Oh and get a lens with image stablization if possible.

I disagree. IS is great when shooting stills, but every time I've seen it used for video it just looks weird, like it hasn't fully corrected (or has over-corrected) the shake. What results is a sort of high-frequency jitter. I don't think it's necessarily a problem inherent with the technology, it's just that it's tuned for stills, and as such is trying to be overly efficient in its tracking of motion.

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Hmm. Well, I love what IS does for me and if you're going to have a roaming camera it's going to look like saving private ryan unless you have something like a glide cam or a shoulder rig, but then you're reducing your ability to move in a space like that.

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Thing is I like certain kinds of camera shake. I think a shoulder rig gives 'nice' camera shake, as long as the setup is heavy enough, and it's really not very restricting. You can even get a decent shot just holding the camera, as long as your technique is okay and you don't need to move around. Aronofsky got some shots this way in Black Swan (the subway scenes), just holding the 5D and pulling focus himself.

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Rented the FS700 this weekend for an for chevy, really like it. Feels good in the hand, lovely image, loads of off speed function, fantastic, looking forward to do something proper with it tomorrow. I think if I had the cash, this is trumpign the RED at the moment for me just cus it's so .... nice. Just everything seems sensibly placed and its nice and response, built in NDs, no fans, xlr, ahhh! And you can throw on 4k later if you want.

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Getting some Samyang lenses tomorrow, 1.4 85 mm and 1.4 24mm - (got a grant to make an ad) - hoping this means the end of lens renting when I need to do super slow mo! And in general, just renting ever again.

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Anyone go to BVE this week? First time I have been and really enjoyed it. Apart from all the cool kit, I managed to get to the Philip Bloom seminar which was inspiring as always. Now I just need to get out and shoot.

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BVE was great. Had a play around with the new Alexa and Sony F55 but unfortunately got roped into buying a bunch of new equipment due to the crazy BVE discounts! Which seminar did you attend Andy? I heard the 4k seminar was pretty good but I do find that Bloom tends to spend too much time talking about his airport experiences these days!

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I attended "The DSLR Journey from the 5DMkII to the 4K 1DC". Obviously very Canon biased but he showed a lot of his content and was brutally honest about the Pros and Cons of each of the cameras. 45 minutes was nowhere near enough though. Wish I was going to NAB - maybe next year.

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http://imgur.com/5uI15rg

And a dolly I just built:

http://imgur.com/5uI15rg,oWhMkSs,yPU0xmb#2

Yes that is the side panel of a chest of drawers, what of it ? :D

I also got this bag to keep all my cables / stuff for shoots in, I'm never going to leave anything behind again!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/C-k-Magma-MA2634-Tool-Tote/dp/B004Y57CTO/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1362347144&sr=8-7

So, so satisfying!

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That dolly looks great dude! Is that just standard diy tubing for track? Love homemade stuff!

I've just ordered this for my RED:

http://www.videogear.co.uk/images/uploads/indslidr.jpg

I had a play on it at BVE and couldn't believe how solid it was for its price. It's hard finding inexpensive sliders to comfortably hold the weight of the RED, so I'm pretty chuffed with this.

Also just bought two Filmgear Fresnel 650's, an Arri Arrilite 2k lamp, a touch controlled bi-colour LED panel from Lishuai and a new starlite 1k softbox. Hopefully that should sort me out for the next year!

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Ah nice. Yeah just pvc tubing, it's not perfect but any means but it's just about okay for what I need it for. I've seen that dolly track around, does look great!

When is the RLLMUK feature happening? :D

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