DSLR Filmmaking Entry Gear

By September 5, 2012DSLR Filmmaking

I had a friend ask about entry-level DSLR film making gear. Here is a quick write-up I sent him:

Getting into pro DSLR video on a budget.

Because the 5DMiii is out, used Canon 5D Mark ii’s on ebay have been selling body-only for $1500. You’ll spend $2300ish with the 24-105mm kit lens, which is a nice L glass.

But you could just get the body and pick up a new 50mm 1.8 for about $100. A great first prime.  http://amzn.to/ORDWzZ

Total $1600

I have the Canon 60D which was all I could afford but its a great.. $869 body-only new.  http://amzn.to/Q56fKU  The articulated screen is very good for odd-angle shots and it’s lighter than the 5DMii. It is crop-sensor though. Multiply 1.6 to any regular lens you put on it. If you get one, don’t make the 50mm your first prime. It’ll be a 85mm. Check out some 24mm lenses from Sigma $549.  http://amzn.to/ORG8HE

Total $1448

Lastly I’d look at the Lumix GH2.  http://amzn.to/RJu5fu
It’s small but it does great video. It doesn’t suffer from moire or rolling shutter like the Canon’s do (though they might have fixed this with the 5DMiii, honestly I’ve not read a lot about the new Canon.) It comes with a 14-42mm lens. The lenses available are only a handfull compared to all that Canon offers.

Total $785

The 5DMii has that auto-gain issue which makes in-camera recording bad. Some hack it with Magic Lantern firmware  http://bit.ly/NLjPZ5

while others just record off camera. I own this good field recorder with pro inputs for $200  http://amzn.to/Q4qZYE
Later you can sync your audio and video with a program called Plural Eyes.

If you want a great starter on-camera mic, I own and recommend this RODE:  http://amzn.to/UqQKRJ
You can also throw this on the end of a boom pole and plug in an extension cable. Or mic your subjects with lavaliers.

You’re probably going to need a fluid head tripod. I got a Ravelli with wheel attachment for $170 on Amazon.

After the above, well it’s film making. The amount of gear and costs just go up and up. But the above will get you started.

Some must-reads:

Here’s Phillip Bloom’s Blog:

Here’s the film noob’s blog:

Here’s a forum for DSLR film makers: