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Thread: First professional camera, budget 3000-4000

  1. #1

    Default First professional camera, budget 3000-4000

    Hi all,

    I am currently training to be a freelance camera operator with a production company. I also do lots of other small jobs all over the country. I am now at the stage whereby I am going to need to invest in a Professional camera.

    I am used to using a DSR 500, and also know the Sony Z1 and EX3. Are these worth looking at? Also whats the advantage of solid state rather than tape. I'm used to using DV tape. I have worked on a feature using a Canon 5d Mark ii, would this stand up on a professional level?

    With a budget of about 3000 I know I have allot of options so any help would be great.


  2. #2


    With that budget you might want to take a look at the Panasonic AG-AF101. I think it will be a big seller this year.

  3. #3


    thanks, looks like a great camera. Is solid state the way to go rather than tape? Any other suggestions?

  4. #4


    I would say solid state is the future and tape is the past. OR get a HVX200 which has both.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Manchester, UK


    Midnight, Panasonic looks really nice but it can't leave much space for lenses surely.

    I might be a bit bias here as I've just made a jump to the Canon 550D (1080p 50fps! Who could argue with that?!) having watched films made on other DSLRs and I have to say the evidence speaks for itself and if you can get over the feeling of looking out of place because you've a still cameara in stead of a breeze block* with switches on the tripod then that's my recommendation. You could always put a matte box on the front!

    However you also have to get around the sound issue as there is only a stereo mic input with an auto gain control on it which can be got around with Magic Lanterns firmware but you have to be brave. I did it and now can record sound on board. Of course it still gives you only one stereo mic input but it's usable.

    I don't know of the filming differences between the 7D and 550D but I got mine for 500 (ex display with a standard lens) and given your budget I'd still have 2.5k to spend on lenses.

    One thing I do like about it and this is a bit off topic. If I drop something and it's a right off, or something is stolen chances are I've still the lenses in my kit to fall back on and it's not going to cost the whole budget or insurance claim to replace. This is probably the best reason for going tapeless: If there is a problem recording to the data card the camera will tell you there and then and not like tape when you've wrapped up the shoot and started transferring it. Peace of mind!

    Hope that's a help.

    *There's nothing wrong with breeze blocks, I've still got mine as backup.

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