This is my first post on the forum, I'm hoping it will be the motivating and educational community I need to break into the world of cinematography. I currently work as a graphic designer and dabble in some motion graphics, special effects and video editing. Gaining an understanding of cinematography seems like the natural route to round off these skill sets and allow me to bring my ideas to life.
My first major project is a personal one. Next summer I'm hoping to go on a 1-year around the world backpacking trip and want to be able to document it and tell a compelling story. My inspiration includes the show Departures, the documentary A Map for Saturday and the documentaries by Vice. As a lone traveler and inexperienced filmmaker I don't have delusions of creating anything as high-quality as Departures but think something along the lines of A Map for Saturday is doable as long as the story is compelling. I haven't quite narrowed down a theme to focus on yet, I want to blend all my passions together and create a final product I can be proud of.
Anyways, my most recent hurdle is trying to decide on a camera. I need something portable and am hoping to get the necessary equipment for under $5000. As much as the trip is my focus, I would like something I could use for projects including music videos, corporate videos, etc. as well. With much research, the ones that have caught my eye are the Sony Nex VG-30, the Nikon D800 and Canon 5D Mark III. I do photography as well so have a familiarity with DSLRs and have seen some amazing videos come from them. I could use them as a dual purpose tool including photography and video. That being said, I'm not sure how I feel about the rigs and all the gadgets needed to make it perform well as a video camera. I like the feel of the Sony NEX VG-30 and it's ability to change lenses. I've consulted quite a few sales reps and it seems like it would be a suitable solution but having little experience with video gear it's tough to make a final call. Audio will be important as well and I think the VG-30 being built for video would handle it better and offer more accessories on the market.
Those are the ones that have caught my attention but there are so many options out there it's hard to make that first leap and feel confident about a substantial investment. One thing they all have in common that I like is their ability to change lenses offering a lot of creative freedom and the artistic look associated with a shallow depth of field. If anyone has any advice I would be grateful.