I’m looking for a camera, something under/around 700, I’ve been looking at a Canon T7i. Any suggestions?
Are you shooting video or photos primarily?
Videos, mainly for short films.
I have the Sony ZV-E10. Which is not in production due to chip shortage at the moment. But, I bought a used one on MPB.com. You can check out MPB.com for a ZV-E10. You should be able to get one for about $700. Or if you don’t need to shoot in 4K, there is the Canon M50 which you can get for about $500. It shoots 4K, but, the autofocus is better in HD. Definitely look at MPB.com. You will find the best deals for cameras that are in great condition for a used price.
Thank you so much!
My pleasure. Let us know what you get. I’d be happy to help you with whatever camera you get.
Will be sure to!
With your Sony, do you have any test footage and/or lenses to recommend. With the test footage, could you share some of you have some?
I would recommend the Sigma 16mm f/1.4. You can find some well priced ones on MPB.com probably. If you don’t see one right away, you will be prompted to subscribe to be emailed when one becomes available. I’ve also had a lot of success with the Viltrox FE 24mm f/1.8. It’s a good lens and well priced even if you buy it brand new. I’ll try to put together some good footage for you sometime soon. I’ll post a link to the footage on my YouTube channel.
With the M50, it looks great, but everyone says there are not many lenses. Any recommendations? Sorry for all these questions.
I have a feeling that @sam would have an opinion here! lol
I feel an obligation to start of with a speech about “it’s not the camera, is the person behind it” so I will. A lot of people incorrectly get hung up on the camera itself, and not the art behind everything else that goes into making a great image. Take the RED Komodo for example. RED finally produced a camera that fit within the common filmmaker’s budget, and everyone got one. Every filmmaker could now get 16-bit color, 16 stops of dynamic range, 4K Resolution, Global Shutter, and more, so the images should look like they just came out of a feature film! But all of the footage online from the RED Komodo is unimpressive and bland – and it’s not the camera’s fault. A lot of those people thought the Komodo would change their filmmaking and improve their images without considering that maybe the reason their old mirrorless footage didn’t look impressive wasn’t because of the mirrorless camera, but was because they put their focus in the wrong area to make great images. As a result, most people who do shoot good images with a RED Komodo are afraid to admit it thanks to the reputation it’s gotten for being “unimpressive”, including myself.
I say all of that to move onto this next point: one of the biggest things when it comes to filmmaking is actually lighting and lenses more than it is the camera. The right filmmaker or cinematographer can make a $500 camera look just as good as a $25,000 camera when they have the proper lighting and lenses. Of course there are very technical and sophisticated reasons for someone to want the $25,000 camera over the $500 one, but until you’re ready, those reasons are irrelevant.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ve got a few questions to help me better understand your position and needs, and from there I can make you some recommendations and we can find solutions to your needs!
What are you planning on primarily shooting?
Are you planning on working moderately heavy in VFX and color grading?
Do you plan to make money from your work, or is it simply a hobby?
How fast are you wanting to grow your skills?
If you buy a $700 camera, do you have any leftover budget for lights and lenses, or is the $700 to cover everything you need to get started?
1: I am primarily shooting video. I film short films and turn them into film festivals. The current short film I’m working on will have a lot of panning, but I have a action one planed. To cut it short, I will be filming a large variety of things. Did I answer the question?
2:I’m trying to limit VFX, and I will be doing light amount of color grading.
3: Currently it’s just a hobby, but I’d like my profession to be in film (I’m currently 13 years of age( Preferably a film director)).
4: I’d like to grow my skills as fast as I can!
5: The budget is for both cameras and lenses. @vfxtodd suggested a very awesome website, MBP.com. Lighting is something I have not looking into for two reasons.
1: I have been filming in public places and if I put up lights, I think I’d get kicked out.
2: I have used a green screen once for a film.
100% see why! This is awsome!
That’s awesome! I love to see it. I got a very early start as well, and it’s a great ride! So far I’m very impressed with your dedication to learning!
Definitely hold off on VFX for a while, and learn to make the critical decisions without it! That will make shooting it way easier.
I love the aspirations and goals! Keep it up, and you’ll go far. I would have had no idea you were 13 if you hadn’t told me. That was the age I began taking filmmaking more seriously as well.
I don’t know what kind of public places you’re filming at, but in my experience, most people are very open to allowing it with the right approach (asking politely) and letting them know it’s just for fun! You may run into a few discouraging souls, but the majority in my experience are very welcoming and excited about it.
To address your second point, lighting is for so much more than just greenscreening! Lighting is a great tool to really shape the way your image looks anywhere, and the sooner you make lighting your friend, the better your results will be.
MBP is a great website – kudos to @vfxtodd for recommending it!
I don’t have a specific camera recommendation, but I do have pointers to consider when making your decision:
- Make sure your camera uses a common lens mount like EF if possible, and invest in lenses as you go.
- Do try to work in lighting to your budget, or go with a cheaper camera for now, and invest in things like tripods and a cheap gimbal that can improve what your camera can do!
- My usual advice is to invest in your camera last, since it’s the least critical aspect of creating good content, and cameras become obsolete faster than attachments, stands, lenses, etc.
You can start out with cheap lights. You can even use regular light bulbs, which are usually Tungsten in regards to white balance. You can get those cheap work lights that have clamps. You can get those in Home Depot or other hardware stores. Or, if lights are an issue, start with filming during the daytime and use the sun as your main source of light. Or if you’re filming inside, shoot mostly during the day, and open the curtains on your windows to let in natural daylight.
Whatever camera you get, experiment with it first. Just go outside and shoot during the day and night to see what the camera can do. There are probably videos on YouTube for the camera you choose, so you can find videos on YouTube to help you learn your camera. The key is to get to know your camera well. Then you can get the most out of it.
Thank you! My father is a massage therapist, and has a lot of clients form the Sundance film festival (we live in Utah), I am so lucky because I get to meet film directories and producers. Thanks for the lens tip!
Will be sure to, thank you so much!