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Old December 5th, 2016, 08:18 AM   #1
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What camera for studio band work?

My nephew is looking for a "new look" for his YouTube videos. He's in a band, and gives drums lessons and has a recording studio in his basement. He's been using a GoPro to make his videos, but wants that blurred background typical of a dlsr. I would assume that it would need a good AF system, so he can set it and be in the video. $500 budget. Would the Lumix FZ1000 blur the background in the confined space of a basement? I considered selling him my Canon 60D (1.6 crop) with 18-135 lens, but thought there might be a better camera for the price. Thoughts? Thanks.

Last edited by Larry Johnson; December 5th, 2016 at 10:28 AM.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 11:40 AM   #2
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Re: What camera for studio band work?

A used DSLR with a 50mm f/1.8 lens would be the best for shallow DOF on a budget.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 12:30 PM   #3
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Re: What camera for studio band work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
A used DSLR with a 50mm f/1.8 lens would be the best for shallow DOF on a budget.
Thanks Jon. Which DLSR. Make/model?
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Old December 5th, 2016, 02:21 PM   #4
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Re: What camera for studio band work?

I'd go with a Canon. As far as the model, I'm not sure. It depends on which models have fallen below $500 in good condition on the used market.

An important note: the 50mm lens will be tight if the basement is small. On a crop sensor camera, it's a good interview lens, but not wide enough to capture a whole drum kit. The wider the lens, the less shallow the depth of field (i.e., the less background blur.) You want lenses with the lowest f-stop numbers (e.g., f/1.8 rather than f/4) as these have the largest apertures, which give the most blur and need the least light. But wide lenses with large apertures aren't cheap.

The other trick is to get the camera close to the foreground. If the camera is one foot from the foreground and ten feet from the background, you will get lots of background blur. If the camera is seven feet from the foreground and ten feet from the background, there will be very little blur.

So it's unrealistic to show a whole drumset in a small space and still get background blur. The lens would need to be very wide and/or far from the kit, and that's not the right recipe for shallow DOF. But if he shoots closeups of himself or individual drums/cymbals, shallow DOF is easy to obtain.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 02:28 PM   #5
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Re: What camera for studio band work?

Examples:

There's no possibility of shallow DOF here:
https://www.michikostudios.com/wp-co...rum-studio.jpg

Shallow DOF is hard to avoid here:
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3688/...48682311_b.jpg
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Old December 6th, 2016, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: What camera for studio band work?

I like Jon's advice. I haven't worked with one for a couple years, and even then that was as a C camera, but the Canon Rebel T2i (or was it a T3i) produced pretty decent images. Looks like used units cost about $250 from dealers. Toss in the $100 Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, 2-3 new batteries, and keep the GoPro for a wide "Master" shot or stunt work (mounted on drum sticks!).

Then after he works with those for a while, he'll get a sense of what he needs (as opposed to what he wants :-) ) next. That might be a wide lens for those mandatory/goofy/fun shots so common in music videos. But that could be a rental...

Or first let him borrow you 60D and see if he sees making music videos more fun than hassle.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 10:17 AM   #7
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Re: What camera for studio band work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Examples:

There's no possibility of shallow DOF here:
https://www.michikostudios.com/wp-co...rum-studio.jpg

Shallow DOF is hard to avoid here:
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3688/...48682311_b.jpg
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Feeley View Post
I like Jon's advice. I haven't worked with one for a couple years, and even then that was as a C camera, but the Canon Rebel T2i (or was it a T3i) produced pretty decent images. Looks like used units cost about $250 from dealers. Toss in the $100 Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, 2-3 new batteries, and keep the GoPro for a wide "Master" shot or stunt work (mounted on drum sticks!).

Then after he works with those for a while, he'll get a sense of what he needs (as opposed to what he wants :-) ) next. That might be a wide lens for those mandatory/goofy/fun shots so common in music videos. But that could be a rental...

Or first let him borrow you 60D and see if he sees making music videos more fun than hassle.
Thanks Jon and Jim. I've offered him my 60D and we'll see where it goes from there. Here's his videos. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmc...s0Fy6RQ_blUyCQ
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Old December 6th, 2016, 10:31 AM   #8
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Re: What camera for studio band work?

FWIW, it looks like you can get an EOS-M with the 22mm f/2 lens for about $200 used. You can get a Fotodiox EF to EOS-M adapter for $40. Add the 50/1.8 lens for about $100 and you've got a nice setup for under $350. That leaves some money for a cheap tripod and some lights. A garage shop light bounced off of a white surface above and behind the camera will deliver a smooth fill for little cash. For audio, record into the computer, given that he is in a fixed location. Being a studio, he hopefully already has some mics and a decent audio interface.
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