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Old July 15th, 2017, 12:49 PM   #1
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Beginner Run and Gun Kit

Been over a decade since I've operated a camera myself and am finally getting back into the video and filmmaking game. Previously worked on DV and HDV, so DSLRs are very new to me. That said, they fit my requirements and budget.

I'm looking for a versatile kit for around 5k that will allow me to shoot fitness videos, sit-down interviews/talking heads, as well as situational narrative skits and shorts. I'll be working both indoor and outdoor, utilizing natural environments with no studio work planned as of yet. Based on my research, here's the set-up I'm considering:

Camera:
- Panasonic Lumix GH5

Lens(es):
- Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
- Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO
- Alt.: Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art w/Metabones Speed Booster XL

Sound:
- Rode VideoMic Pro
- Rode Microphones SmartLav+ Lavalier Microphone for Smartphones

Filter:
- Tiffen 72mm Variable Neutral Density (ND) Filter - 2 to 8 Stop
- ProOPTIC Step-Up Adapter Ring 52mm Lens to 72mm Filter

Lighting:
- Aputure Amaran AL-H198 On-Camera Daylight LED Light, 198 LEDs
- 6-8 light stand
- Bounce card

Tripod:
- Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AP Aluminum-Alloy Tripod w/Fluid Pan Head

Bag:
- Vanguard Adaptor 46 Camera Backpack

I know fetishizing equipment, as well as newbie questions like, "What's the best _____ I can get?" can be annoying. However, I've done a bunch of research, and just want to be sure I've thought everything through correctly before investing in a set-up. Any and all opinions are welcome. Thanks in advance!
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Old July 16th, 2017, 01:39 AM   #2
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

If you buy all of that, my guess is the first thing you'll replace (and it won't take long) is the tripod.

I just did a quick search on B & H and it looks like the tripod you've selected is a photo tripod which will be no good for video. You won't be able to do any sort of smooth pan/tilt shot, or even keep your shots reliable level.

Ideally you'd have a minimum budget of about $1000 for a tripod, but I understand that's not always possible. At the very least you should check out the low-end offerings from Libec. They've recently released a few new models, and (assuming they're on-par performance wise with their predecessors) their ALX model is probably about the baseline of what I would consider a usable tripod for video.

Other than that you'll probably find the lighting a little lacking in power, but something is always better than nothing!
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Old July 16th, 2017, 07:24 AM   #3
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

Eng cameras aren't dead. I have both eng and dslr, I actually prefer eng for run n gun, so much easier.

Tripod is a must, you need one designed for video. You could get by for $500.
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Old July 16th, 2017, 12:26 PM   #4
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

Thanks for the feedback! This is precisely the kind of info I was looking for.

The B+H description page for the tripod isn't great, but Adorama has more on it:
https://www.adorama.com/vgapro2p63ap.html

I chose this tripod specifically because I thought it would be good for video. It advertises a fluid panhead, as well as bubble level. Did you think those features were absent, or do you just think they're not high enough quality? Again, somewhat new to the tech, so the nuances still evade me. I'll definitely check out the Libec ALX.

And yes, my lighting is pretty anemic at this point. Luckily, the Amaran system is modular and will let me build out over time.

Thanks again!
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Old July 16th, 2017, 12:36 PM   #5
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

That tripod is for photography and is useless for video, a good tripod at a reasonable price is this one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...Head_with.html
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Old July 16th, 2017, 12:47 PM   #6
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

Someone recently posted a good Carbon fibre 75mm bowl tripod here recently. All you need to add is the fluid head. This would help with a fast setup and light enough to lug around. For the camera there are loads of one inch sensor prosumer camcorders with good audio out there that will suit your needs.
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Old July 16th, 2017, 12:56 PM   #7
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

About your lens choices, the f2.8 Olympus pro lenses (I have both) are a solid choice to cover most of your focal length needs, this is quality glass and a good investment. The GH5 IBIS is good enough to stabilize the footage when you shoot handheld. If you want to save on size and weight you can also get the 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 from panasonic, make sure you get version II which is better optimised to work together with the camera IBIS.

F2.8 on a m4/3 camera is not fast enough though if you plan on shooting indoors in low light, if you can work under controlled environments then f2.8 is fine but otherwise f2.0 is the slowest you want to go in darker areas in order to stay clear from too high iso's.

The sigma 18-35mm f1.8 (you"ll need the canon mount version) with a speedbooster is a good choice and so is the 50-100mm f1.8, both are big and heavy lenses and you need 2 speedboosters if you want to use both lenses on different camera's simultaneously, the speedbooster is also quite expensive. You can expect the autofous to work a bit slower then with native lenses.

I personally prefer native prime lenses like the Venus Optics Laowa 7.5mm f2.0, the Olympus 12mm f2.0, Panasonic 25mm f1.4, Panasonic 42,5mm f1.7 and Olympus 75mm f1.8. Most of this glass is cheaper but perform very well for their price. If you have the budget then the nocticron 42,5mm f1.2 or some other Olympus pro primes are worth considering but most are around 1300-1500euro which is about the most expensive for m4/3 lenses.

One other thing to consider, all mentioned lenses are fly by wire, if you want to be able to achieve repeatable focuspulls and very accurate focusing you need to get a full manual lens like the voigtlander series, fly by wire can be a bit of hit and miss and the focus speed depends on how slow or fast you turn the lens, some lenses are better then others in that respect, most Olympus lenses (like the pro series) have the advantage that they have a focusring you can pull to switch to manual focus mode with hard stops and they are quite accurate.

Also be prepared to deal with photocamera's, it looks like you don't have any experience with them and they are more difficult to handle then a videocamera, you"ll need to learn to work around their limitations when it comes to handling.
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Old July 16th, 2017, 02:27 PM   #8
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald McPherson View Post
Someone recently posted a good Carbon fibre 75mm bowl tripod here recently. All you need to add is the fluid head. This would help with a fast setup and light enough to lug around. For the camera there are loads of one inch sensor prosumer camcorders with good audio out there that will suit your needs.
Interesting. Do you happen to know which thread that was in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
About your lens choices, the f2.8 Olympus pro lenses (I have both) are a solid choice to cover most of your focal length needs, this is quality glass and a good investment. The GH5 IBIS is good enough to stabilize the footage when you shoot handheld. If you want to save on size and weight you can also get the 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 from panasonic, make sure you get version II which is better optimised to work together with the camera IBIS.

F2.8 on a m4/3 camera is not fast enough though if you plan on shooting indoors in low light, if you can work under controlled environments then f2.8 is fine but otherwise f2.0 is the slowest you want to go in darker areas in order to stay clear from too high iso's.

The sigma 18-35mm f1.8 (you"ll need the canon mount version) with a speedbooster is a good choice and so is the 50-100mm f1.8, both are big and heavy lenses and you need 2 speedboosters if you want to use both lenses on different camera's simultaneously, the speedbooster is also quite expensive. You can expect the autofous to work a bit slower then with native lenses.

I personally prefer native prime lenses like the Venus Optics Laowa 7.5mm f2.0, the Olympus 12mm f2.0, Panasonic 25mm f1.4, Panasonic 42,5mm f1.7 and Olympus 75mm f1.8. Most of this glass is cheaper but perform very well for their price. If you have the budget then the nocticron 42,5mm f1.2 or some other Olympus pro primes are worth considering but most are around 1300-1500euro which is about the most expensive for m4/3 lenses.

One other thing to consider, all mentioned lenses are fly by wire, if you want to be able to achieve repeatable focuspulls and very accurate focusing you need to get a full manual lens like the voigtlander series, fly by wire can be a bit of hit and miss and the focus speed depends on how slow or fast you turn the lens, some lenses are better then others in that respect, most Olympus lenses (like the pro series) have the advantage that they have a focusring you can pull to switch to manual focus mode with hard stops and they are quite accurate.

Also be prepared to deal with photocamera's, it looks like you don't have any experience with them and they are more difficult to handle then a videocamera, you"ll need to learn to work around their limitations when it comes to handling.
Great info on all of the lenses. Ideally, I would have a 24-70 zoom, 12, 35, 50, and 85 primes, and a telephoto. But I only have about $2000 to spend on lenses to start. This is why I narrowed it down to two native zooms that cover a large focal range and have a fixed aperture. I'd originally considered the new Panasonic Vario ASPHs, but didn't see anyone raving about them like I did the Olympus lenses. Still, the IBIS compatibility is intriguing. Do you think this feature makes it worth it over Olympus? Unfortunately, I can't afford both adapters for the Sigma lenses, so if I went that route, I'd have to do just one, and then do a native for the other zoom. Still, with either Sigma, I'm losing some focal lengths on the low or high end. I can wait on telephoto, but definitely need wide angle for some of the action stuff I'll be shooting. I hear you on the low light though. Definitely a concern of mine and the f/1.8 on the Sigma is very attractive.

With my requirements and my budget, it seems I could do one of the following combos:

COMBO 1
- Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
- Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

COMBO 2
- Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S.

COMBO 3
- Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
- Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Artt w/Metabones Speed Booster XL

COMBO 4
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S.
- Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Artt w/Metabones Speed Booster XL

COMBO 5
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S.
- Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

COMBO 6
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S.
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S.

Based on your knowledge, does any one combo strike you as superior to the others?
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Old July 18th, 2017, 09:12 PM   #9
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Coburn View Post
It advertises a fluid panhead, as well as bubble level. Did you think those features were absent, or do you just think they're not high enough quality?
Unfortunately advertisements and reality are often very different! This is a photo tripod and the requirements of a "fluid panhead" for photography are very different to a proper fluid video head.

For video, you want a half-ball/bowl for fast leveling (and to stay level once you pan), more weight in the legs (to eliminate vibrations from wind & handling) a sliding plate of some sort (so you can balance the camera for/aft to account for weight distribution with different lenses) and a counterbalance mechanism that will prevent the camera from tipping forward or backward when not locked off. A photo tripod does not need any of that stuff because everything is locked off and stationary for each exposure.
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Old July 19th, 2017, 10:14 AM   #10
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Coburn View Post
With my requirements and my budget, it seems I could do one of the following combos:

COMBO 1
- Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
- Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

COMBO 2
- Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S.

COMBO 3
- Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
- Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Artt w/Metabones Speed Booster XL

COMBO 4
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S.
- Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Artt w/Metabones Speed Booster XL

COMBO 5
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S.
- Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

COMBO 6
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S.
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S.

Based on your knowledge, does any one combo strike you as superior to the others?
That's is a difficult one, the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO is cheaper then the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II but it has a better build quality, the IBIS v2 should work better together with the camera sensor stabilization but I find the ibis alone very efficient with the olympus lens. The choice between the 40-150 or the 50-100 depends on your lowlight needs and needed focal lengths, if you can shoot at f2.8 then the olympus is a better choice, if you are shooting in caves then the Sigma is better but remember it becomes a 35 to 75mm (don't know the exact focal length but it's close to this) with a speedbooster and the Olympus has double that reach, the sigma is also a big and heavy lens. The olympus has a minimal focus distance of 70cm, the sigma is 95cm, the sigma is 1490gr, the olympus 760gr, in length the sigma is about 4cm longer with the speedbooster.
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Old July 19th, 2017, 08:47 PM   #11
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
For video, you want a half-ball/bowl for fast leveling (and to stay level once you pan), more weight in the legs (to eliminate vibrations from wind & handling) a sliding plate of some sort (so you can balance the camera for/aft to account for weight distribution with different lenses) and a counterbalance mechanism that will prevent the camera from tipping forward or backward when not locked off. A photo tripod does not need any of that stuff because everything is locked off and stationary for each exposure.
Great to know! Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
That's is a difficult one, the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO is cheaper then the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II but it has a better build quality, the IBIS v2 should work better together with the camera sensor stabilization but I find the ibis alone very efficient with the olympus lens. The choice between the 40-150 or the 50-100 depends on your lowlight needs and needed focal lengths, if you can shoot at f2.8 then the olympus is a better choice, if you are shooting in caves then the Sigma is better but remember it becomes a 35 to 75mm (don't know the exact focal length but it's close to this) with a speedbooster and the Olympus has double that reach, the sigma is also a big and heavy lens. The olympus has a minimal focus distance of 70cm, the sigma is 95cm, the sigma is 1490gr, the olympus 760gr, in length the sigma is about 4cm longer with the speedbooster.
Great info! Think the Sigmas are out for now. Just for clarification, were you saying the Olympus or the Panasonic 12-40mm had the better build quality?
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Old July 20th, 2017, 04:21 AM   #12
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

The olympus pro lenses have a much better build quality
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Old July 20th, 2017, 03:23 PM   #13
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Re: Beginner Run and Gun Kit

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The olympus pro lenses have a much better build quality
Great. Thank you.
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