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Jose M. Torres-Lopez May 24th, 2010 12:30 AM

$2400 in a mo. or so to buy a camera, what would you buy?
 
I was looking initially at any prosumer camcorder with solid state memory/SDHC. I narrowed it down to just the Panny HMC40 that for the price I see a lot of people doing stunning stuff.

My main reason to get a camera is to actually shoot not only my own music videos (I am a rapper on the Latin Urban Music genre) and be able to actually make some money eventually by producing music videos for local and regional artist in any genre, and also to be able to be flexible in order to accommodate clients with different needs ie. Business Commercials, Events, etc, etc etc.

After reading and seeing a lot about this DSLR video camera and seeing reviews and example of the footage produced by these DSLR's i wonder if this would be a better path for what I want to accomplish. I also know that $2400 buying a HMC40 would leave me little money for, SDHC Card, tripod, maybe a UV filter or so, but not much else. I wonder if buying a DSLR like the T2i would give me more for the money and allow me to have things like a steadicam and more accesories or even a lens or two.

Like i said I have read a lot about the DSLR's in general, but wanted to ask you guys, the people that use them and precisely use the T2i on a constant basis what would be the cons of buying it, comparing it to a regular camcorder. I say the cons, because the pro's are so obvious!

Now for the big question, If you had right now $2400 what would you buy with your T2i?

I was looking at the 7D but that is also around $1800 like the HMC40 and i guess i would not have enough money for goodies.

Remember to give me what are your cons compared to a regular camcorder! I also realize that most likely at one point in the future i would need to buy either a regular camcorder or another DSLR to do some type of jobs that would require extended time of continuous recording.

Anyways, thanks for the responses in advance.

Jose

Joel Peregrine May 24th, 2010 08:31 AM

Hi Jose,

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jose M. Torres-Lopez (Post 1530563)
Now for the big question, If you had right now $2400 what would you buy with your T2i?

T2i body-only...$800
2 x 16gb SDHC $35 each...$70
LCDVF viewfinder...$170
Zoom H4N...$280
Lower-end shotgun mic...$150

If shooting outside:Variable Neutral Density filter...$100

That leaves under $1000 for lenses, which isn't bad if you don't mind older manual focus Pentax or Nikon primes with an adapter. The Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 is also a great lens at $250. Tamron, Sigma and Tokina have some fast options many of which have their version of image stabilization, but hthat may not be an issue if you're going to be on a tripod or stabilizer. If you were shooting events I could give you more direction with the lenses. My need is big apertures, whereas you will have more control of your lighting.

Bryan Cantwell May 24th, 2010 09:09 AM

I would take a little different look at the audio, personally.

I run a Sennheiser G2 wireless receiver directly into my T2i's mic port, and get nice clean audio with no hiss. :) You *can* (and should, if possible depending on the situation) run 2nd system audio, but with the right equipment it's not necessary.

I would rather see that extra money go toward a Zacuto Z-finder & one or two fast prime lenses... And rails & a follow focus (Redrock Micro makes a slick follow focus, and it's cheap compared to some others).

If possible drop by a shop that has some things in stock, and see what set-up you're more comfortable with.

Marc Faletti May 24th, 2010 09:12 AM

Wait, if he's doing music videos, why does he need audio gear at all? The T2i should be perfect for music vids since he's just gonna sync it to the song for audio in post.

Grab the T2i, a couple prime lenses, a Zacuto Z-finder, and you can stay well under $2400 with much better imagery than anything else at that price point.

Bryan Cantwell May 24th, 2010 09:47 AM

The OP also mentioned use with commercial clients.

Jose M. Torres-Lopez May 24th, 2010 10:01 AM

Well, that sounds interesting. To tell you the truth i wish i could have with that amount of money either a shoulder rig or something like the "blackbird" (Is that the right name??? ) stabilizer for around $450 or $650 with for the kit.

Since i will be using this camera for around 95% video, them prime lenses (not that i know a lot of what is a prime lens and what is not) are the way to go for cheap? I mean good and cheap right?

To tell you the truth i have never owned a SLR/DSLR or Pro Camcorder and even though I have done a lot of research on the HMC40 (the only thing bugging me is the low light performance), I have almost no clue on the DSLR side.

Can I get away not buying the Zoom for now ( have no need for good audio if I will be doing music videos for now ) and just buy something like the RODE Video Mic for a general purpose type of sound, and how would i rig that to the T2i?

Jose M. Torres-Lopez May 24th, 2010 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bryan Cantwell (Post 1530711)
The OP also mentioned use with commercial clients.

But can I get away with a simple RODE Video Mic type of setup? I have seen local type of stuff in my area and all I can say is that i could have done a better job with the headset from the PS3. I am an audio type of guy, having to record myself and mix my vocals and then mix them with premixed instrumental on Cubase I have mastered the art of making my $100 studio mic condenser sound A LOT more expensive with a mix of Gates, Compressors and Limiter and some slight EQ =).

Jose M. Torres-Lopez May 24th, 2010 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marc Faletti (Post 1530693)
Wait, if he's doing music videos, why does he need audio gear at all? The T2i should be perfect for music vids since he's just gonna sync it to the song for audio in post.

Grab the T2i, a couple prime lenses, a Zacuto Z-finder, and you can stay well under $2400 with much better imagery than anything else at that price point.

Would this be the z-finder you are talking about for the T2i?

Zacuto | Z-Finder Pro 3x | Z-FIND-PRO3 | B&H Photo Video

And my point being is I love smooth shots from them stabilizer rigs, even if it's without the vest & arms of the steadicams I would love to have some sort of thing I can manage to get great fluid motion out of.

Jose M. Torres-Lopez May 24th, 2010 10:13 AM

[QUOTE=Originally Posted by Bryan Cantwell
The OP also mentioned use with commercial clients.[/QUOTE]

Jose M. Torres-Lopez;1530720]But can I get away with a simple RODE Video Mic type of setup? I have seen local type of stuff in my area and all I can say is that i could have done a better job with the headset from the PS3. I am an audio type of guy, having to record myself and mix my vocals and then mix them with premixed instrumental on Cubase I have mastered the art of making my $100 studio mic condenser sound A LOT more expensive with a mix of Gates, Compressors and Limiter and some slight EQ =)

And i mean TV Ads when I said Commercials. Consider that I never done this for a profit or not. It will take a little time to master my equipment by doing some low budget videos and such before I would try to sell my services to a Business for a TV ad.

Marc Faletti May 24th, 2010 10:26 AM

Hi Jose,

Yep. That's the Z-Finder. Without it, it can be nearly impossible to get reliable focus if you're going with a shoulder mount or anything where an external monitor is too cumbersome (or you don't have or want an external monitor!).

Bryan Cantwell May 24th, 2010 10:28 AM

Jose,

If you've got audio experience & don't mind cleaning up a little hiss & noise then the Rode Videomic on-camera is a great cheap set-up. I've got a friend that uses the Videomic on his 5D for commercials, just runs a hiss filter on the audio and it's good to go. You can just mount the Videomic in the hotshoe on top of the T2i, run a short cable to the mic input and off ya go!

That is the Z-finder I'm talking about, and I can tell you one thing about the new model out now... I would much rather use the mounting frame that attaches directly to the back of the camera then use the metal thingy they've got on there now. You can get mounting frames directly from Zacuto for $12 (http://store.zacuto.com/Z-Finder-Extender-Frames.html), you put it on the back of the T2i (around the LCD screen) and the Z-finder pops on and off. Good stuff.

As for a stability rig, I'd recommend the Redrock Micro Ultraport (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/672552-REG/Redrock_Micro_8_003_0089_Ultraport_DSLR_Bundle.html) as a base model. You can build it up into a few different configurations as you have more money to spend. I've got the "Captain Stubling" version (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/672558-REG/Redrock_Micro_8_003_0090__Captain_Stubling_DSLR_Bundle.html) which has longer rails and their follow focus rig (which is awesome.). You can also build it into a shoulder mount type thing as well... Lots of options there.

Oh, and a prime lens is one with a fixed focal length (i.e. 50mm) rather than a zoom lens.

Jose M. Torres-Lopez May 24th, 2010 10:52 AM

So a Prime lens i can focus it (if i am saying it correctly) but can't zoom it in or out because is a fix focal length. Go it.

The only con about them RedRock supports is that they are expensive!!! (edit: The things that i want are expensive, the basic setup is not! =))

I was looking for something more of a hand held feel and I haven't seen a video showing the base configuration in action, I have no idea how would one handle it beside grabbing the handles and going at it. Sounds a bit much like them ring rig type of stabilizers.

Bryan Cantwell May 24th, 2010 11:02 AM

Redrock's stuff is only expensive until you compare it to Zacuto or Cinevate!! lol!

This video shows some of the rigs in use, you get an idea of how much this system is capable of... Canon 5D Mark II Rigs at Red Rock Micro Video

Jose M. Torres-Lopez May 24th, 2010 01:29 PM

That looks nice, and the captain stubling looks awesome, but i was and still looking online to see actual shots with these rigs, to see what the shot looks like.

You see if i buy an HMC-40, i will not have enough room for a 35mm adapter and/or a cam stabilizer like the steadicams or blackbird or merlins of the world. Now my question is, would i get smooth shots close to a steadicam with this rigs from RedRock? I just don't see it.

Bryan McCullough May 24th, 2010 01:50 PM

No, you will not get smooth steadicam like material from rigs like the RedRock ones linked to.

What you'll get are more stable shots that would be similar to a shoulder mounted camera. Shooting handheld with a DSLR is a very shaking experience, so you need some kind of rig to be able to help get the shots more stable, which is what these rigs do.

But they're not going to give you steadicam smoothness.


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