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Old July 29th, 2013, 10:42 AM   #1
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Help me build my video rig

I have an intermediate background in film editing and a professional background in audio (Music Production Degree). However when it comes to filming there's still a little bit to learn. I understand most of the basics to capture good footage (Lighting, focus, WB, exposure)
I have a decent setup but there's a few more pieces I need so I was hoping some people on here could give me some advice.

Most of the shooting I'll be doing is for my day job. I'll be shooting conferences, interviews, elearning classes, and possibly making some marketing content too. I'd like to run at least two cameras simultaneously and be able to mic up multiple speakers at the same time. I want everything to look and sound as professional as possible. As for gear selection I have a bit of a budget but there's so much stuff we need that I'm trying to keep each item as affordable as possible.


What I currently have.

Canon XA20
Panasonic consumer camera that shoots at 1080p/60 and records to mp4
Canon 50D
Nikon D100
Nikon D3000

Rode NTG1 (Camera Mounted Shotgun Mic)
Sennheiser EW G100 lavalier kit
Sennheiser HD-25 Headphones
(2) Tripods still camera tripods (no fluid head)
(2) Lights with 70W 5400K E27 Fluorescent Bulbs and Day Flo Ez light soft boxes over them

What I think I need/want

Blackmagic pocket cinema camera (not sure what to get for lenses, maybe I can use the ones from our DSLRs?)
(2) Video tripods with fluid heads (don't know which one to get)
Lens filters (not sure which ones to get)
Gels
Green Screen
Background fabric
Roll of white paper for white infinity background (I forget what this is called)
Something to hold all this up
More wireless lavalier mics (not sure what the proper setup is to wirelessly mic up multiple people if my camera only has two audio inputs, maybe I need an external recorder too?)
Boom pole
Better shotgun mic for boom pole
2 more lights (not sure what kind to get)

That's all I can think of at the moment. If there's anything I'm missing or if anyone could help with specific things I need let me know.

Thanks!
Mike Fisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2013, 11:35 AM   #2
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Re: Help me build my video rig

Well Mike you seem to have quite a broad remit and it would be pointless trying to be specific giving a whole slew of ideas, but I have three suggestions.

I recommend that if you wish to shoot an event or more than one semi-pro camera, you get two (or more) identical cameras. (Even with professional cameras of different models, matching can be a problem.) Otherwise you will spend much of your editing time matching camera outputs, colour correcting and tweaking the gamma, to try and achieve a professional finish.

By the sound of it, (no pun intended) you need a small audio mixer, rather than an external recorder. That way you don't have the additional audio tracks to synch on your timeline. Also, when you are using more than one camera, you can feed the same audio to each camera to which makes synching up of multi-camera timelines so much easier.

Finally, since you have such large and varied set of requirements, don't be afraid to hire equipment. If you find you are hiring things on a very regular basis, then and only then consider buying it.
Guy Caplin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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Re: Help me build my video rig

Thanks for the tip! The only problem is renting is great in a traditional environment, but because this is mostly for my day job the financials get complicated. Whenever I need to spend money I have to track down someone high up and get a budget approved, so renting all the time isn't going to be feasible. Also there's always last minute shoots where I would't have time to run out and rent gear. So unfortunately I need to have the stuff laying around. The good news is someone else is paying for all of it :)

So really I'm just trying to piece together a bread and butter setup. I hear you on getting an identical camera but I think I can get much better footage on a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema than the XA20 (the XA was purchased before I was hired) Also $999 dollars for the Blackmagic vs $2200 for another XA20 will be much easier to explain to my non tech savy boss.
Mike Fisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2013, 12:18 PM   #4
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Re: Help me build my video rig

Why are you looking at a Black Magic Pocket camera??? any thing specific ?

I would personally buy two Panasonic AG AC90's after selling a few of my existing cameras. They are good in low light too and have the latest tech.

If you want large sensor, look at sourcing two pre-owned VG20s or VG10s even.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #5
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Re: Help me build my video rig

Mike when you say you are shooting conferences and classes, what sort of room size are you talking? What's the longest shot distance? Will you be shooting stationary or run and gun?

If you're only running 2 cameras I wouldn't worry about a mixer. I would just add a juicedlink with 3 xlr inputs attached to the main camera and let the b cam capture nat sound. No problem synching in post and no mixer to deal with plus great preamps from the juiced link.

You already have florescent lighting, so you should add to that or start anew.

As far as the camera goes if you are not in gigantic rooms I would go with the Sony NEX-EA50, you can get a great look and there's at least 13 pro users on this board that have that camera.

Your audio background will no doubt serve you well.
Al Gardner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2013, 01:26 PM   #6
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Re: Help me build my video rig

Thanks for the info guys! My interest in the Blackmagic was because the best footage I've seen shot on something affordable seems to come from DSLR cameras like the 7D or 5D. The Blackmagic basically seemed like a DSLR style camera (large sensor) but built specifically for video. Also the $999 price point is pretty huge. Again I'm new to this so there might be something key I'm missing here.

I'll be shooting mostly on a tripod with two cameras. The room sizes will probably range from as small as 15x15 to 75x20. Some shots will be capturing live conferences while others will be more rehearsed studio style shots. All of the live rooms also have horrible drop ceiling style fluorescent lighting that I most likely wont be able to turn off. I'm not sure what I can do about that yet.

The juiced link seems like a good option. Is there a multi channel wireless mic setup or do I have to purchase two more ew 100 g3 kits? Also being an audio guy first the idea of recording multiple speakers on the same channel really kills me.

Also is there like an essential accessory kit I'm forgetting. Things like gels, white cards, ND filter, soft light filter etc etc.
Mike Fisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2013, 01:39 PM   #7
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Re: Help me build my video rig

As far as audio you will have to purchase more g3 kits.

I don't see the problem with multiple speakers on the same channel? I do it all the time. It's a content driven piece not a movie?

As far as lighting goes ceiling style fluorescent lighting can often time provide at best "even lighting".
Unless you can find another way to light them without walking in and out of the light.
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