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David Pettet

Best budget camera with professional results

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Hey guys, hope you’re all good. 

I need some advice i want to invest my savings into my first camera to play around with for my third short film. I’ve always worked quite abstractly so used to use GoPros and also other strange devices or whatever I could film on. But for my third film I really want to step up and use a camera that yields beautiful results. 

My budget is £600 GBP... and I want it to shoot beautifully but also be able to get the hang of quickly and good for a beginner. I’ve heard about the Panasonic G7 but anted to get so,e more feedback before I actually buy! 

 

Thank you you all so much

 

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That would certainly be a step up from a GoPro, or an iPhone for that matter.  At your budget range, something like that would be fine probably.

 

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when considering a camera purchase I use to divide the budget in half. 

max.50% for the actual camera and at least 50% for lenses and accessories. That tends to work for low budget pretty well if you don't have all the accessories beforehand (all the needed lenses, support, monitoring and power) . helps to balance things out 🙂 

You may want to look carefully the lenses you would like to use. For indie films you can go either with modern lower end still zooms/primes or you can use vintage glass (some of it is affordable and good quality, I recommend trying Nikon AI-S primes and Pentax Super Takumars and SMC Takumars for starters if you are interested in low budget indie glass. both of them have very good mechanics if they are in good condition... by my opinion some of the Takumars can have almost as smooth focusing as real cine lenses if they are in good mechanical condition)

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3 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

when considering a camera purchase I use to divide the budget in half. 

max.50% for the actual camera and at least 50% for lenses and accessories. That tends to work for low budget pretty well if you don't have all the accessories beforehand (all the needed lenses, support, monitoring and power) . helps to balance things out 🙂 

You may want to look carefully the lenses you would like to use. For indie films you can go either with modern lower end still zooms/primes or you can use vintage glass (some of it is affordable and good quality, I recommend trying Nikon AI-S primes and Pentax Super Takumars and SMC Takumars for starters if you are interested in low budget indie glass. both of them have very good mechanics if they are in good condition... by my opinion some of the Takumars can have almost as smooth focusing as real cine lenses if they are in good mechanical condition)

Thanks so so much ... what would you rec for the actual camera itself... the lenses info was extremely helpful!

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14 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

What can you get a Blackmagic Pocket for these days? I'd go for that in a heartbeat.

Indeed or the 2.5k Blackmagic cinema cameras are probably coming down into the price range.

Although lensing on both might be an issue if you want "all in" for £600

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Posted (edited)
On 11/20/2019 at 5:08 AM, aapo lettinen said:

For indie films you can go either with modern lower end still zooms/primes or you can use vintage glass (some of it is affordable and good quality, I recommend trying Nikon AI-S primes and Pentax Super Takumars and SMC Takumars for starters if you are interested in low budget indie glass. 

I regularly use vintage lenses on my M4/3 cameras with adapters for stills and video. Also good for shooting time lapse since the aperture blades stay in a fixed position unlike modern lenses which open and close for each individual shot (increasing the chance of flicker.) Though I'm half regretting getting the Takumar 300mm f4. It has huge amounts of chromatic aberration. Extreme CA. I have tried but I cannot get rid of all of it in Raw processing software for stills. And I don't know any way of removing it in video.

Edited by Patrick Cooper

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Yeah seconding the Sony PMW-F3. I don't go any smaller than a Super35 sensor when looking for a premiere look. I'm pretty sure it's the cheapest camera with a super35 that doesn't record to some ugly compression.

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Hey Max, I am going down the route you mention with the Sony PMW-F3. I am recording on a Atomos Ninja Assassin, which has trouble with the format it receives over HDMI. Can you recommend a box that will convert the unusual data format coming from the F3 into something the Atomos recorder can handle?

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On 3/23/2020 at 3:47 PM, Hannes Famira said:

Hey Max, I am going down the route you mention with the Sony PMW-F3. I am recording on a Atomos Ninja Assassin, which has trouble with the format it receives over HDMI. Can you recommend a box that will convert the unusual data format coming from the F3 into something the Atomos recorder can handle?

Any HD video recorder or deck with HD-SDI input or HDMI input will do. Not sure what trouble you are having with the ninja assasin. I have used a NInja Star and Samurai Blade on the F3 with great results. I now have a Gemini 444 recorder and couldn't be happier. I rate the F3 quite high. Now quite cheap. It can be a bit noisy in low light at 6400iso, but the noise is random not fixed pattern like you will get with early Blackmagic models. I would steer clear of first generation blackmagic models on the whole. 

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Try a Panasonic Lumix, unless you actually mean video capturing, then go for a JVC Everio, budget costly, but precise in filming.

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