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Thread: Some purchasing advice

  1. #1
    DDK's Avatar
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    Some purchasing advice

    I'm not one to do things by halves so I've sold everything I can spare and will be buying as much kit as I can to dive head-first into the world of image capture!

    I do, however, want to do so in an informed manner. I'm on a tight budget and need to be able to buy a lot of things in addition to what is listed below but I'm not listing them simply because they have to do with movie-making rather than photography. So far I'm thinking that my best options are the following:

    • Canon EOS 600D
    • Canon EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS II Lens
    • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Standard Lens
    • Manfrotto 804RC2/190XB Photographic Tripod Kit


    From what I understand, these aren't top quality but they're also very good for the price and should cover most of my initial needs. I've been told that a good 14mm prime should also be on my list but looking over the options, they're way out of my price-range at this point in time.

    Although my ultimate purpose is to make films, and thus I need a DSLR camera that records decent video, I want to learn the skill of creating the still image as a springboard for further study. So for the purpose of learning photography, and given that I can get the above items brand new for $926 (AUD) from a reliable retailer (which is basically my entire budget for a camera and associated kit), are there any other things I should consider? Should I look at other camera options? Other lenses? What am I missing or have forgotten? Could I get these cheaper? Are there lenses that are only slightly more expensive but are of significantly better quality?

    Are there any questions I should be asking others or myself that I haven't listed here?
    Last edited by DDK; 8th May 2013 at 01:08 AM.

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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Are you getting the tripod for video? If not, a tripod is one of the least-used accessories in photography. You'll get a lot of blather about how you need a tripod that costs at least a gazillion dollars, but the plain fact is that almost no photographer uses them with any regularity at all. Save the money on the trpod and spend more on lenses or get a flash unit.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    If you are looking at getting into video, I would advise you to rethink your strategy, and do your homework before your make some serious financial commitments. Get yourself a reasonable video camera instead (look at Panasonic and Sony). A still camera is not a great choice for video work for a lot of reasons and a DSLR is probably your worst choice amongst the still cameras. If you absolutely want to go with a still camera, have a look at some of the Panasonic mFT units, these are really a much better fit for video work, but still not as good as a purpose built video camera.

    A still tripod is relatively useless for video; you would want to get a reasonable video tripod with a friction head and spreader (I prefer a mid spreader, but that's because I tend to shoot in uneven terrain). For good video work, a good tripod is mandatory as you don't want to end up with an audience that gets motion sick as a result of a bobbing and weaving camera.

    I don't agree with Tom, I virtually always have a tripod with me, and no it did not cost a gazillion dollars. It depends what and where you are shooting, and yes, I do handhold a lot of my stills as well.

    If you do go for the Canon, skip the f/1.8 50mm; you already have that focal length covered in the kit zoom lens.

    If you do get into video, save some of the money you would have spent on the 50mm lens and invest in some decent video editing software. While post-processing work is important is still photography, it is critical in video work. In still photography, good composition is critical, but in video work it is all about the edit. You will also need a decently fast computer as video rendering is very, very resource intensive.
    Last edited by GrumpyDiver; 8th May 2013 at 01:43 AM.

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    DDK's Avatar
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Get yourself a reasonable video camera instead (look at Panasonic and Sony).
    Guh!

    This is the exact opposite of what I'm hearing elsewhere. Now I'm just confused.

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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Have you checked out the gear in use for films that fit your style on Vimeo? You can turn out some fantastic video with DSLRs because of those large sensors but be mindful if your camera can break through the 2GB file-size limit, doesn't have overheating issues and if it can autofocus and auto adjust exposure while filming (harder to find than you think)...best of luck!

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by DDK View Post
    Guh!

    This is the exact opposite of what I'm hearing elsewhere. Now I'm just confused.
    I can't think of any serious video shooters that would not give you that advice (and I am both a serious still and video shooter); so I can't comment on the advice you are getting. If you are primarily going to be shooting stills and taking the occasional video clip, I might agree, but if you say your primary goal is to get into serious video, then I will have to disagree. You can retrofit a still camera to turn it into a reasonable video camera, but if you price everything out, it will cost you more than a good video camera. The problem isn't the camera or the capabilities, it is just a lot more difficult to shoot good video with a still camera than a dedicated video camera.

    Let me try an analogy; if you are moving furniture and you own a sports car, yes you can probably do it, but it is a heck of a lot easier if you have a truck. Using the right tool is always easier. By the way, the converse is also true, a video camera can take still images, but I wouldn't use them for any serious work either. I could probably give you a couple of pages why a dedicated video camera is the way to go.

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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    I am not by any means an authority on the subjects you are speaking of, but I will say that I do know a little bit about both. My experience regarding video comes from several teaching colleagues and a lot of high school students. If you want great video that's easy on the budget and a blast to use, take a look at the GOPRO line of video cams. The GOPRO Hero 3 Black is extremely popular with the masses and sells for around $400.00 on Amazon. I have seen a lot of videos from this little gem and am very impressed. Very durable and waterproof. It also shoots stills. You could get yourself one of these little guys and a decent crop sensor DSLR for under $1000.00 US and just have a great time with them.

    I am an owner of a Canon 5D mkII which shoots amazing stills and video but I will be the first to admit that the best images and video are conceived and produced in the area of 6 inches behind the sensor. In other words, learn the craft and forget the money.

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    DDK's Avatar
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I can't think of any serious video shooters that would not give you that advice (and I am both a serious still and video shooter); so I can't comment on the advice you are getting.
    It's a matter of entry point and learning equipment. My entire budget is going to be around $1,500 for video, audio... everything. This is the stuff I want to use to get out and learn by doing. I'm what they call a kinaesthetic learner. That and I have a sleep disorder which makes concentrating on reading textbooks for any length of time difficult.

    A dedicated video camera is upwards of $2,000 AUD. Even second-hand, they have a high resale value. I'm not looking for the best equipment at this stage, I'm looking at what I can afford and a $400 600D brand new fits my budget and needs (at least as I understand them). I do genuinely want to learn photographic techniques as part of the journey towards making a film, but making a film is a long way off at this point. And when I am ready to make a film, it will be because I understand all these things and have developed contacts and experience at which point I will have greater access to better equipment, and hopefully more money to spend on it all.

    But I'm not there yet.

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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by DDK View Post
    It's a matter of entry point and learning equipment. My entire budget is going to be around $1,500 for video, audio... everything. This is the stuff I want to use to get out and learn by doing. I'm what they call a kinaesthetic learner. That and I have a sleep disorder which makes concentrating on reading textbooks for any length of time difficult.

    A dedicated video camera is upwards of $2,000 AUD. Even second-hand, they have a high resale value. I'm not looking for the best equipment at this stage, I'm looking at what I can afford and a $400 600D brand new fits my budget and needs (at least as I understand them). I do genuinely want to learn photographic techniques as part of the journey towards making a film, but making a film is a long way off at this point. And when I am ready to make a film, it will be because I understand all these things and have developed contacts and experience at which point I will have greater access to better equipment, and hopefully more money to spend on it all.

    But I'm not there yet.
    One thing we've all overlooked is what will be Djoran's cinema style.

    Djoran,

    With video, do you plan to shoot stage productions, animation, etc.? Will there be any action shots? Two current trends in video that are totally unappealing to me is the jerky, handheld, reality TV camera style, where fast moving camera angles are a substitute for action. Hopefully by the time you get into film making this trend will have died down. The other issue with current, but not all video productions is the use of camera lens. With the setup you are looking into, the kit lens and prime, you are limiting yourself to a narrow frame of scene. In order to get a full action sequence you will either have to pan from scene to scene or cut different sequences together to combine one epic event. I would consider adding a wide-angle lens to your collection. You will be able to sequence scenes with better fluidity and also you won't have to shoot so close to the action.

    Also, what will you be using for lighting? Any night scenes in any of your productions?

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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    Are you getting the tripod for video? If not, a tripod is one of the least-used accessories in photography. You'll get a lot of blather about how you need a tripod that costs at least a gazillion dollars, but the plain fact is that almost no photographer uses them with any regularity at all. Save the money on the trpod and spend more on lenses or get a flash unit.
    Interesting comment. I must say that when I'm landscaping, which is most of my photography, I use a tripod 90% of the time. Therefore I think tripod use is tied to the genre you prefer and hence the question of what you are likely to be doing is an important one.

    Hec

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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy hec View Post
    I must say that when I'm landscaping, which is most of my photography, I use a tripod 90% of the time. Therefore I think tripod use is tied to the genre you prefer and hence the question of what you are likely to be doing is an important one.
    I don't deny that some photographers use tripods. However, this isn't a matter of speculation -- go anywhere that photographers tend to take pictures. Look at what they are using. You'll wait a long time to see a photographer show up with a tripod just about anywhere you go. And everywhere you go, you are likely to see an awful lot of photographers. I would guess that half of them have been coerced into buying a tripod of some sort by folks insisting that they absolutely have to have one, and they simply leave it in their closet unused.

    I am not opposed to tripods -- I am simply saying that very few photographers actually use them. The man has a limited budget. Unless by some fluke he is the one in a thousand (probably too generous a number) who actually puts a tripod to routine use, getting the tripod will be a waste of his limited resources. That's all I was saying.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    I am not opposed to tripods -- I am simply saying that very few photographers actually use them.
    Sorry Tom, but by implication you also suggested that a tripod shouldn't be thought of as really necessary. I need to be in with those who can't agree with you on this.

    I fully accept that Djoran may not need a tripod for what he wants to do (although I would say it ranks second only to camera if you want to do filming).

    I would agree that the vast majority of people who have a camera and take photographs do not use a tripod. I would also argue that the vast majority of photographers use a tripod on a very regular basis.

    But if you are striving to be very good at photography and suggest that a tripod is not really essential (unless you're exclusively into sports action or similar, in which case a monopod might serve you better), that is, with respect and in my opinion, not good advice.
    Last edited by Donald; 8th May 2013 at 11:06 AM.

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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I would agree that the vast majority of people who have a camera and take photographs do not use a tripod. I would also argue that the vast majority of photographers use a tripod on a very regular basis.
    Ah, yes. The "no true Scotsman" argument. Well, I suppose that if anyone is entitled to make it, you are...

  14. #14
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    First I'd like to say that the posts here have helped immensely. I am very new to all of this and the reason I made this thread was to learn and learn I have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I fully accept that Djoran may not need a tripod for what he wants to do (although I would say it ranks second only to camera if you want to do filming).
    First I want to learn a few things about lighting, composition, lenses, etc. but yes, ultimately filming will be the end goal. So a tripod will be part of the kit but finding a more suitable one for filming, probably at a later date, seems like a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    One thing we've all overlooked is what will be Djoran's cinema style.
    This for me is a starting point. I don't intend to go out and make a film tomorrow. I'm just going to experiment, learn, read, ask annoying questions here and elsewhere, and through all of that discover my style.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Djoran – Let me give you are quick rundown as to where my head is at when it comes to making recommendations on using a proper video camera, rather than a DSLR for shooting video. Just a word of warning; serious video shooter do not use autofocus and auto aperture settings when shooting. Videos were the aperture setting changes throughout the shot or the camera goes in and out of focus as is seeks a focus point are the two main signs of amateur video. There are a couple of other dead give-aways as well; improper colour balance between shots (serious shooters to a manual white balance every time the light changes) and the unsteady shots referred to in other postings.

    1. Video is now shot in HD, generally 1080 x 720 or 1920 x 1280 formats. This means sharp focus is critical. Better video cameras provide certain functionality to help focus on the subject; one of these is called focus peaking, where the areas in focus are highlighted. Other techniques include using a larger external monitors to ensure that the focus is bang on.

    The reason that higher end video is shot using manual focusing is that video contains movement and it is important to maintain focus throughout the shot. If the subject is moving, as camera with autofocus will try to track the movement and this will result in the camera overshooting and undershooting sharp focus. In good non-professional video this is accomplished by choosing an aperture / focal length that keeps the shot in focus, regardless of where the action is. I professional level production, focus is pulled during the shot, using a follow focus mechanism.

    For a DSLR, most video shooters will go to a screen magnifier, with Zacuto being the most common one I see out there. These add-on units are not cheap, selling for several hundred dollars.

    2. Lenses – I assume you will be shooting with zoom lenses. Still camera lenses are varifocal design, which means that the point in focus varies by focal length, whereas proper video lenses are parfocal, which means the lens stays sharp and focused on the focus point, regardless of the focal length. In English, this means if you focus in on a point with a camera lens and then zoom in or out, the shot will not be in focus, while doing so with a proper video lens means the shot will stay in focus. One can work around this to a certain extent by choosing playing with the depth of field.

    Camera lenses by and large do not have built in zoom motors (I think Panasonic may have released a few that do), so zooming in and out with a camera lens. To do this with a camera lens is possible, but usually requires some fairly expensive add on features.

    Proper video lenses do not have click stops, varying apertures is smooth, whereas still cameras have hard stops in either 1/3 or stop increments, so changing aperture during a shot is very obvious.

    If you do shoot with continuous focus (and some shooters do), camera lenses have stepper motors which are not designed for continuous focus tracking, whereas video cameras use linear motors that are designed for the higher, smoother tracking.

    3. Exposure measurement while shooting – good video camera have a feature called Zebra Stripes, which are similar to the “blinkies” in a still camera that indicate areas of blown highlights. Still cameras will show this issue after the shot is, whereas video cameras show you that you are in trouble while you are shooting.

    4. Sound – This is another item that separates quality video from amateur video. Yes, your camera will have a built in microphone, but frankly, it does a really poor job picking up anything other than things it should not. It does a great job picking up camera sounds (zooming the lens, focusing sounds and you handling the camera), rather than picking up the sound you want to record.

    One thing that they are really good at picking up is wind noise, and there is no effective way of baffling that.

    In serious video production, and external microphone is always used; these pretty well universally use XLR connectors and require a phantom power connection. I have yet to see any DSLR or still camera that has this feature. The external microphones are available for some DSLRs but they are not great; and the wind protection that they come with tends to be cheap foam which does not work at all. As always, there are workaround, but they are not inexpensive.

    On top of all this, there is usually little or no gain control for sound input. This means it is difficult to record at the proper levels.

    5. White balance – in video shooting, there is no equivalent of Camera RAW, so each time the lighting changes; the white balance has to be measured before shooting. On a dedicated video camera this is easy; a stick out a white target and push a button and you are done. On a DSLR, doing a custom white balance is a bit more awkward.

    6. Steady shots – again, a dead giveaway of amateur video is unsteady hand-held shots and while these quirky shots seem to be fashionable right now, they are really hard on the people watching your video. If you look at high quality video productions, you may see a few clips shot this way (it seems this and extremely shallow depth of field shots are the fashion right now), but keep it up too long and you will give your audience a feeling of motion sickness.

    The usual way to get a good steady video shot is to use a proper video tripod that other than having three legs, bears little resemblance to a still camera tripod. A video tripod will be a lot more rigid and heavy to maintain a steady shot over a period of a number of seconds. It will have a friction head that allows for smooth panning shots (usually horizontally, but also vertical pans). In order to pan properly, a video tripod always has a level and a large (70mm is pretty standard) ball to level the camera. While Manfrotto does sell “video” tripods and fluid heads, these are really a bit of a joke; these are still camera tripods with a small fluid head. What is interesting is that Manfrotto is owned by a British company; Vitec Group that also owns Gitzo, a premium brand still tripod producers as well as Sachler and Vinten that are high-end video tripod and fluid head producers and O’Conner, another maker of premium fluid heads for video cameras.

    That being said, there are other devices out there for good, steady video shots (Steadicam and the like) as well as techniques for getting good hand held shots. The technique used for steady still shots (holding the camera tight to your eye and body) is totally different that the one used for video shooting (more of a cradling stance). I find that the design and balance of a still camera is all wrong for good hand-held techniques; a still camera has to be held completely steady of fractions of a second, whereas as video camera has to be held relatively still for quite a few seconds.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by DDK;309711
    This for me is a starting point. I don't intend to go out and make a film tomorrow. I'm just going to experiment, learn, read, ask annoying questions here and elsewhere, and through all of that [I
    discover[/I] my style.
    I think it is a very good idea that you get out there and shoot and get to know your gear, try not to re-invent the wheel. Just as there are some "rules" in still photography, and of course these rules are really more like guidelines that can be broken under the appropriate circumstances, video shooting is very similar in having rules. Establishing shots, appropriate coverage, the 180 degree rule, appropriate ways of assembling the video and sound elements, etc.

    If you are astute and analytical, you should be able to figure much of this out yourself by watching well done video productions. If you are not, look at reading or courses. The local community college in the city where I live has single camera video production and video editing courses on offer. There is also a video coop (where I am an member) and a film coop (where I am not) that offer courses in all aspects of video production; shooting, lighting, sound recording, scriptwriting, compositing, video and sound editing, etc. If you are a hands on learner, rather than someone who reads books, there are resources out there.

  17. #17
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Well, I've no intention of getting into video, but if ever I did I'm now a lot better informed! Thanks, Manfred, for a fascinating post and condensing so much into a few paragraphs.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Well, I've no intention of getting into video, but if ever I did I'm now a lot better informed!
    My thoughts precisely. Fascinating and frightening all at the one time. I think I'll just stick to stills.

  19. #19
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    I started of as a still photographer and somehow got into serious video work about 10 years ago, where my photography was more or less incidental and complementary to the video work. I actually got into Photoshop when designing elements for videos, and that really got me back on track and getting back into serious photography. I picked up my first DSLR a bit over four years ago, and have been doing both ever since. I should mention I have a couple of serious video cameras in addition to the DSLRs; the latest one is worth a fair bit more than my D800.

    Now I do both, but am probably more into still right now, but am planning some more serious video work over the summer.

    There have been some tremendous strides made in the integration of video functionality into still cameras over the past few years. On the surface, a video is just a series of still images shown in rapid succession and current frame rate standards show their film and television broadcast roots. Video, like still images are dependent on sensor sensitivity, shutter speed and aperture setting, but the approaches to many of these functions is quite different, and for very good technical reasons.

    The work flows, from both the technical and creative sides are quite different for stills and videos. Setting up a video shot with a prosumer camera takes a lot more time and adjusting settings than with an equivalent still camera. With video, you do tell a story, and you have to collect enough footage (yes, that name remains, even though the data is all electronic now) to tell a story. In video and film this is referred to as coverage. The establishing shot (sets the scene) lets the viewer know where things are taking place, a whole mix of shots, taken at different focal lengths and different direction give the video editor something to use to piece a story together, and finally the closing shot lets the viewer know that the scene has come to an end. While still images are purely visual, a video also requires sound, and unless one is shooting a music video, the sound editor also needs ambient sounds, dialog, etc. to tie the images together. Voice over / narration is captured later.

    I’ve gone over the advantages and disadvantages of DSLRs and shooting video in a previous posting. Really the bottom line is that one can shoot video with a DSLR, but to get the convenience and control that one gets out of a purpose built video camera, the cost of the add-ons is going to exceed the cost of a really good Panasonic or Sony video camera, If I were to go with a dual purpose camera; I would look at the Panasonic mFT still cameras with the mirrorless implementation or the Sony with the fixed mirror implementation before I look any DLSR from the other companies.

    In still photography, we use an image editing tool, whether that be Photoshop, Lightroom, Gimp or one of the other products out on the market. In video work, the software requirements are far higher, and a whole suite of tools is required. Just looking at the Adobe Creative Suite; at a minimum I use Premiere Pro to assemble the final product. I will create the sound portions in Adobe Audition and with author a DVD with Adobe Encore. I will also use Photoshop and Illustrator to create the menus. I will do some work in Adobe After Effects (compositing, motion graphics, etc) on occasion as well. The Adobe Media Encoder is used to output the final video. There are a number of specialized tools that I do not use like Prelude and Speedgrade). Just like we have Nik plugins, the Red Giant is the source of a lot of video plug-ins. Unlike in photo editing, the video editing environment is a lot more competitive. Apple’s Final Cut Pro was the defacto standard for many years with Final Cut Pro 6 and 7 (until they came out with Final Cut Pro X and really ticked off the professional market) and Avid (who have been around for many years but were hurt when the business went to off-the-shelf workstations, rather than custom solutions). Avid is now more of a software supplier and they seem to have done well out of Apple’s stumble.

  20. #20
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    Re: Some purchasing advice

    There are some advantages to using a DSLR for video work and that among these advantages is the possibility of obtaining very shallow (and therefore very ceative) DOF.

    Some photographers argue that a drawback of the DSLR in video work is that most do not have full-time auto exposure and full-time auto-focus while filming.

    I don't like auto-exposure or auto-focus for filming video (now that is an oxymoronic statement "filming" video - I should have said shooting video). I don't like my the exposure for the entire scene to change because someone with a white shirt entered my frame. I also don't like my focus to change without my changing it.

    That said, I prefer to use a dedicated video camera to shoot video over shooting video using my Canon 7D.

    Most of my video shooting is pretty well restricted to shooting clips of my rescue dogs to place on rescue websites. I use a Panasonic HDC-TM9000 video camera which works pretty darn well; although there are, IMO, some ergonomic problems with the way the on-off and zoom controls are located. I chose the Panasonic because it has an eye level viewfinder. If I were wanting a more "profesional" video product, I would climb up the ladder of video equipment and spend a lot more for my camera.

    Although I will use the LCD for some of my shooting (I almost never use an LCD for shooting still images); I want to have the capability to use an eye level finder for video when I want to. I previously used a little HD Flip camera for videos. While the video quality was decent enough for my needs, I often had problems framing my shots on the LCD viewfinder; especially when shooting in bright sun.

    I have added a shield to my video camera LCD screen to prevent washout from bright sun, but when I am shooting in bright sun (specially with the sun behind me) I far prefer an eye level viewfinder. Using most DSLR cameras, you are pretty well restricted to live-view on the LCD screen when shooting video.

    IMO: the tripod is an essential part of any video setup. Even though in camera stabilization helps steady shots geatly, a tripod is definitely necessary for professonal looking video. IMO (again) the requirements of a video tripod are different from those of a tripod used for still photography. This is especially true when talking about the tripod head. Whle I like a ball head for still photography, a liquid dampened pan-tilt head is what I want in a video tripod.

    I do not trombone my zooms when shooting video. Zooming in and out can become quite anoying to the viewer. However, there are times when a zoom is effective and I far prefer the smoothness of a motorized zoom with zoom speed controls. This was also true when I shot 16mm film (in the "Dark Ages").

    I don't like the looks of most zooms accomplished with a still camera lens. They are generally not smooth. As far as focusing while shooting, the focus throw (physical distance the lens must turn from the closest maximum focus to infinity) is far too short on most still camera lenses. You can get around this by adding a focus device. In fact, you can deck out a DSLR into a video camera but, it looks like a "Rube Goldberg" contraption and will often cost a lot more than a dedicated video camera.

    One thing that a video photographer needs is some type of light. While available light is O.K. for many still images, you really need to pump in some light for video even when shoting outdoors. I have a four CFL bulb softbox which works fairly well for indoor stuff. If I did more video shooting, I would have several of these lights.

    When I shot film, I would literally travel with a ton or more of lighting quipment, tripods and ancillary gear.

    However, for run-and-gun present day video capture, there are few things better than a camera mounted LED video light. My LED light weighs very little, can be adjusted in brightness, runs an unbelievely long time on a single video camera battery and has filters for conversion to tungten or fluorescent colored ambient light.

    Additionally, a video frame like this one (there are a whole spectrum of varieties) allows mounting a light with the camera and also provides for smoother camera moves.

    This is certainly not a "professional" setup but, does the job for what I need.

    Some purchasing advice

    I have modified this frame by wrapping it with black parachute cord on the handles and by installing an Arca Compatible plate on the bottom and an Arca Compatible clamp for the camera...

    Some purchasing advice

    This will allow me to place the entire frame on a tripod or monopod which has an Arca Compaible Clamp

    Some purchasing advice

    The Arca clamp will allow me to quickly remove/attach my camera from the frame. The cold shoes facilitate light unit and microphone mounting. Some advanced videographers use a pair of mikes and a mixer mounted atop the frame.

    Finally, I personally cannot shoot video and stills intermittently during the same shoot! My mindset for video is different from my mindset in shooting stills and I (this is just me personally talking) don't do a good job in either stills or video when attemptng a combined shoot.

    Sound and video editing are venues far beyond what is considered for still photography. We usually have no sound connected to our stills whereas sound is an important element in video production. Additionally, you often need a more powerful computer with far bigger RAM to edit videos than you do in the rather simple (as opposed to video) still image editing...

    I am thinking that your $1500 budget for still and video equipment might be on the rather bare-bones side!
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 8th May 2013 at 06:15 PM.

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