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Old February 3rd, 2014, 04:43 PM   #1
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Purchases in Order

I am just starting out and I was curious what you all suggest I purchase, in order. I currently shoot interviews and b-roll but plan on getting into a little bit more.

I currently have a Canon T3i that I am shooting with. I plan on getting a second camera at some point but not sure when.

I have three lenses. I have the kit lens, a 50 mm and a 70-200mm

I just bought a nice camera bag.

I have 4 wireless azden mics

I have 3 lights and light stands

I have a light that goes on the hot shoes of the camera

I have 2 tripods

I have the itch to get a steadicam at some point, a slider, a second camera, maybe better mics and a few more things.

I guess what I'm asking is what do you guys suggest I purchase, in order? Anything you got early in your career that you loved or anything you wish you would have gotten early? Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old February 4th, 2014, 12:37 AM   #2
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Re: Purchases in Order

At work, we have the Kessler Pocket Jib that we use for b-roll. We also have the track and dolly wheels. Frankly, I rarely use the track and wheels as it's a pain to set up. (I call roll the thing on the standard wheels but to then replace them with the dolly wheels is not quick!) That said, I love being able to simply put the camera where I want it and to move it where I want it. It takes a small amount of skill, but nothing like flying a rig.

In my case, we generally use the Jib indoors for corporate stuff and we can simply roll it into the elevator and around the building. It's right for us but might not be right for everybody.

Oh, the other thing I'd get is a Tokina 11-17 lens. In my case, I've got the 16-35 on a full frame camera. I find it really helpful to be able to squeeze the camera where it fits and to be able to frame as needed.
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Old February 4th, 2014, 09:29 AM   #3
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Re: Purchases in Order

Do you have a field mixer to accept four audio sources and break them down into two outputs that you can jack directly into your camera?

I'd also suggenst you invest in a couple of Avenger stands. Much lighter, quicker and easier to use than standard C-stands. Being able to fly a light over a group can be a big help.

Avenger A1020B 6.5' Combo Alu Stand 20 with Leveling Leg A1020B

The travel and store MUCH more conveniently than the traditional C-stand.

A real shotgun mic would be nice to have too. Sometimes you will shoot things where you need quality audio but you don't have the time to put a wireless on someone.
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Old February 4th, 2014, 09:39 AM   #4
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Re: Purchases in Order

Consider the T3i a B-camera and upgrade to a better camera. Perhaps a proper camcorder with XLR audio input. Use the T3i for B-roll and beauty shots. At the same time, also consider improving your audio rig with a field mixer, boom pole and shotgun. I don't know what lights you have but a softbox or two are must have for an upgrade to your documentary look. How good is your tripod? If you didn't spend more than $600 then an upgrade is in order.
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Old February 4th, 2014, 09:47 AM   #5
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Re: Purchases in Order

For me, a 2nd camera would be paramount because, not only would it give you options for a 2nd angle when shooting, but be your backup. If you're already in the Canon DSLR ecosphere, I'd get a 70D and worship the live autofocus. Hopefully Magic Lantern will get us the audio levels soon. Even as you continue to upgrade, maybe keep the T3i as your emergency backup - we shoot weddings and I wish we had kept one to use the same way some folks here use a GoPro.

The rest would depend on your quality of gear. I found GOOD tripods/heads very important. A nice fluid head that lets you pan smoothly.

A nice pocket recorder with a matchstick head mic that can stay hidden was nice and is your backup to the wireless mic.

Once you've got backup, a good tripod, and good audio - are you happy with your lights? Maybe one wider lens (Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 or a 20mm... or Sigma's 18-35mm f/1.8 for $900 and it works with Canon's autofocus). You don't mention how fast your 70-200 is... if it's f/4, maybe get a longer prime that gets you f/2.8. We use our 135mm f/2.8 all the time or the 100mm macro. And once you have a 2nd camera, you'll want more lens options.

Then, and only then, would I look at a stablizer. I'm very tempted to try the Glide Gear DNA 5050 Vest And Arm Stabilization System Pro. Vest, arm, and glide cam mount for $700.
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Old February 4th, 2014, 02:07 PM   #6
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Re: Purchases in Order

Regarding a second camera, a used 5D2 might be worth a look. I have a 5D2 and an EOS-M. The 5D2 clearly wins the picture quality battle over the crop camera.
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Old February 4th, 2014, 02:35 PM   #7
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Re: Purchases in Order

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Regarding a second camera, a used 5D2 might be worth a look. I have a 5D2 and an EOS-M. The 5D2 clearly wins the picture quality battle over the crop camera.
I agree, though for us, the autofocus outweighs the picture quality differences. We use both 70D and 5d Mark 2's and can't wait to get a 2nd 70D (4 cameras total, each for it's own uses).
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