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Old April 17th, 2013, 10:19 AM   #1
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Studio equipment

Hello

How are you guys and galls :)

A friend of mine aproached me few days ago asking for my help.

She is managing an organization afiliated with church which is helping people in need, and recently someone offered her sponsorship in order for her to make a small production company that would focus on documenting the work they are doing.

She has never done video related things before, so she doesnt know what she should buy for her studio.

Here are some of the stats:

-Her budget is around 12000 usd

- The videos that she has in mind at the moment are, interviews with people who would come to her studio with lights setup and everything, music videos, travelin to hotspots and interviewing peple on the move. Something along these lines.

- later on she wants to get their videos on television. (They have connections with a local Christian chanel)
so I dont know what limitations/set of standarts that would imply for her to achieve.



I dont know a lot about studio equipement, so I wouldnt dare tell her what to spend money on from my personal opinion.

If I'm looking on a really budget production Id say:

Get Canon 550d + Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 L USM Lens

Zoom h4n + a decent boom mic

Tripod for about 400 usd

No idea about lights tho or other atributes needed for a studio.




Would appreciate your input.

for 12000 usd, what should they be focusing their money on, what are the essentials and what specific equipement you would recomend.

If you need more info, let me know

Edit: Thx chris! This section seems like a better fit.

Last edited by Gustavs Repse; April 17th, 2013 at 11:30 AM.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #2
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Re: Studio equipment

Thread moved from Techniques of Ind. Production to our studio outfitting forum, Home Away From Home.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 11:42 AM   #3
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Re: Studio equipment

If you are going to do a full studio setup with at least a basic light kit I would recommend against using a dSLR. Go with a real video camera. It may be more expensive than the Canon but you gain the ability to feed the audio directly into the camera eliminating the need for the external recorder. Your post production workflow it is so much simpler if the audio is already synced with the video.

If you are looking for the large imager look you can get a Sony FS100 or Canon C100. Either of those will consume just under half the budget. Either will offer you a much better operational experience with longer record times and better audio handling.

The balance of your budget will fit nicely with getting a lighting kit, good mics, and tripod.

Spend $2-3k for a couple of Kino Flo style key lights and get a couple of hard lights to handle rim/hair and background.

Plan for $800 for a good set of heavy duty stands and weight bags.

Spend $1k to $1.5k for a decent tripod (such as this one -
Vinten VB-AP2M Vision Blue System with Mid Level Spreader
).

I have a set of the AT899 lav mics and find them reasonably small, offering good sound, and not a budget buster.
Audio-Technica AT899 - Condenser Lavalier Microphone AT899 B&H

Wireless audio is nice but many times not necessary. A 50' XLR cable is much cheaper than an equally good sounding wireless setup.

Based on the parts above you'll have $$ left over for those little bits and pieces you always need.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 03:35 PM   #4
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Re: Studio equipment

Thank you Chris:)

I have my doubts about the camera. It does cost 5.5k usd and here in Latvia it will most definetely cost even more. Besides 5.5 is only for body, so a good lense will also be needed and I bet it will go for 1k usd.

I love the idea of video being synced, because having a separate device just for audio and all the post problems it brings with it is very annoying. But for the kind of productions they will be running, I think they can go for a cheeper camera. ( with audio recording option on camera)

The rest I still have to research rest of your sugestions.

Could you give me some more info on the lights please, perhaps you have some specific models you can recomend me ?
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Old April 17th, 2013, 04:18 PM   #5
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Re: Studio equipment

Spend some of the money on getting an an expert to initially advise. They will find out what you want to do, and produce your shopping list and then they will train you how to use it. If your friend is clueless and you are not up to speed either, then neither of you can do this without help. We can advise, but you need local help!
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Old April 17th, 2013, 08:13 PM   #6
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Re: Studio equipment

^ +1. Producing competant video programs that people will watch, is not something you learn to do overnight.

I've seen this before, as we all have. Someone is enthusiatic, gets it all up and running over some time, maybe years, then leaves the organisation.

Imo a much better plan is to get off to a great start by calling in some professional help. You still need the 'enthusiastic person' in the organisation
and even then it's full time job for them.

Most importantly, the first video will look and sound professional, the viewers will come back to look at the second and third ones etc.

Cheers.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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Re: Studio equipment

+2
Hire a professional to consult, but one who understands low budget set ups and how to get the most out of your $12k.
You need to make a decision about trying to get it on TV up front, if you're serious about that, you can forget the DSLR right now.
If it was me I'd get an fs100. Around... $4500 new now? Best bang for the buck.
For lighting go directly to Dvestore, one of the forum sponsors, and talk to Guy there. Actually, go there for your audio too.

Im fairly certain i could put this together for under $10k... At least in NorthAmerica. :)
Actually.... Once you have the budget in hand, email me through the forum and ill help you with the camera setup side of things.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 11:38 AM   #8
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Re: Studio equipment

+3 really. that's what I told them myself, to get someone who will be working with this equipement and to let them know what he will need.

But, I was missing the point.


They have a sponsor who is generously willing to give them the money, without asking much or anything in return. These people that I am helping are willing to and they want to learn about how to get this all working, how to make video productions etc. It's more of a way to spread their message than it is bussiness.

But, they need equipement first.
Their moto, I guess, is <get the equipement first> and then get people who will operate it.
They have been doing things this way before as well, succesfully.

I find it a bit strange approach, but thats how it is.

Dylan, I will pm you, I really would like to hear your suggestions.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 02:13 PM   #9
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Re: Studio equipment

Hi Gustav,

All great suggestions. I actually have a Vinten Vision Blue tripod for sale at $750. Because of a lot of travel I am now using a smaller Miller DS10 with a Canon XF300.

Regards,

Jack Hubbard
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Old April 26th, 2013, 06:27 PM   #10
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Re: Studio equipment

Hey Jack D.

Thanks for the offer, but at the moment there is a lot of confusion from all sides about what they want/can afford/need. So we're not ready to buy anything, and when we will be, we will probably buy from a local retailer.

I will contact some of the local retailers, explain them my friends needs and budget and see what they can fit in that price ranger.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 10:32 PM   #11
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Re: Studio equipment

I recommend a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, which will give you a similar form factor, and the ability to record audio. You will also get Resolve, which I believe as of version 10 as some editing abilities as well.

Your lens will proportionately get smaller, and cheaper.

Once this camera has paid back its price, you can upgrade to the 4K version if and when it comes out.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 12:35 PM   #12
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Re: Studio equipment

Is your budget supposed to include computer/editing hardware-software? If yes, then it totally changes the ballgame. Most of the above suggestions would not be affordable.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 02:12 PM   #13
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Re: Studio equipment

Well

Black magic camera, hmmmm, why didnt others suggest it?

I crave it myself for personal use, but for a studio? Maybe the zoom wouldnt be as good as for a sony cam.


And the Editing software and computer, hmmm.

Computer has to be included in price, and I believe it will take araund 500 euros. I have a 500 euro pc, and it suits me quite well for editing.

Editing software, khemmm, they know "cheep" ways
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Old May 14th, 2013, 03:37 PM   #14
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Re: Studio equipment

The folks planning to do video production will face a pretty steep learning curve. If the priority is to produce a good looking product then I would contract out the work. If it is to learn how to DIY then I think at a minimum they need some training.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 04:30 PM   #15
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Re: Studio equipment

people who want to make programmes may have no idea of the convoluted workflows that clever DSLRs and other high end HD cameras have. A couple of real video cameras with zooms, studio viewfinders and a small mixer could be what is needed, and then edits become top/tail and a few titles. Using cameras that need a technician to keep running might be very silly. Blackmagic cameras are excellent - but they're not beginner friendly whatsoever are they? This is why many of us have said get an expert in who can ask questions. It may well be that ultimate quality simply isn't needed, but simplicity is?
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