aghostsapathy asked: What DLSR cameras and(or) lenses do you recommend for someone who is just beginning to get serious about storytelling via the film medium? I know it is not the equipment that makes good videos but any suggestions for the most efficient ways to make videos will help! Thanks for being an inspiration, and well...you.
this is something I get A LOT, so I’ll cover it here! I may stray from the initial question because I’ll try to be as clear as I can because this isn’t a simple answer of recommending which one you should use. I’ll also make it quite universal!
It’s great that you’re thinking of using DSLR to make films, they are incredibly fun to work with and they can provide great results when used correctly. too many people think buying a DSLR will make everything look fantastic without any effort, this is not the case.
I would strongly recommend reading about cinematography, watching a lot of films, and maybe even buying a really cheap handy cam for £100 to practise composing shots and then cutting together your footage. If you’ve never worked with cameras before in this field, I wouldn’t suggest jumping straight into DSLR without a bit of practise first.
once you do feel comfortable enough to spend at least £600 on an entry level DSLR, then make sure you read into which one will work best for you. do you need an articulating screen? do you need full-frame? are you vlogging? doing stop motion?
once you’ve decided on the body, you’ll have to start looking into lenses. this is where it can get expensive, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. If you’re making vlogs then you can get by with the kit lens that comes with the body, but if you’re thinking of making short films or maybe even commercial work, you’ll want to invest in some good glass.
It’s so important to read and learn about what you’re buying. I know too many people who buy DSLR and have no idea how they work and end up not getting the best results out of their camera. you’ll be learning about ISO, aperture, shutter speed, white balance, picture styles, latitude, depth of field and so much more. It’s incredibly important to learn what all of these functions mean and how they work in conjunction with each other, because that is what DSLR is built around.
okay, so that’s the main portion of what I have to say, I’ll move onto what I use. this is not me recommending equipment to use because It’s not necessarily going to apply to what you need.
so I use the Canon 5DMKii at the moment, I started with a 550D but when I started doing professional commercial work, I felt it necessary to upgrade. I have a variety of lenses such as Canon 50mm 1.8, Canon 35mm 2.0, Tokina 11 - 16mm 2.8, Tamron 28 - 75mm 2.8, Tamron 17 - 50mm 2.8 and some others that I can’t remember right now. again, It’s really important to learn about focal length, sensor size and what these lenses do because some apply to different situations more than others.
so once you’ve got your camera and lens(’s) sorted, you may want to invest in other bits of equipment, again, depending on what you’re intending to make. a sturdy tripod is important. you don’t want to spend over £1,000 on a camera and then have it fall over and get damaged!
lighting! lighting is a huge part of film making. shooting with your DSLR under natural lighting can produce some pretty decent quality footage, but as soon as you start shooting inside, at night, you’re going to have to start bumping up the ISO and your video quality will began to degrade. luckily you can get away with using desk lamps and what not, but if you want to get the best out of your camera, you’ll want to use something like white light soft boxes.
we’re nearly there, I promise. another thing that’s pretty essential is sound. no matter what you’re doing, sound is important. Rode do a really good videomic range which are somewhat inexpensive. I personally use a Rode videomic pro and a bluebird condenser mic.
that’s pretty much the essentials to get going. eventually you might want other accessories. I use bits of equipment like an external monitor, a zoom, oh, also batteries! lots of extra batteries! and other little bits and pieces.
I must stress that this might not be for you, whether it’s because of costs, or maybe because you’ve found other alternatives like handycams, this is just covering almost everything if you want to start making professional content with DSLR. this is also just my view on it, you’ll find some people swear by DSLR and some people absolutely hate them. It’s all about what works best for you.
my closing thoughts on this is to research into it, because if you’re spending your own money, it’s a pretty big commitment. I wish you the best of luck with your film making journeys! I hope this has helped in someway.