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Thread: Need advice, which budget camera?

  1. #1

    Default Need advice, which budget camera?

    Please can someone help me with some advice: I wish to begin making my own films. I am on a seriously restricted budget, with a capital S.


    I will need to shoot travel films, so a lot of my shooting will be done in situations in which I will be shooting on the go. I would also like to be able to take good quality photos, but my main priority is filming. One thing that is important to me is to be able to zoom in on things. I would also like something to which I can connect an external mic.


    I have already bought a Velbon Videomate 538 tripod for those moments when I am able to stop to take a proper shot, so that's the tripod sorted. I have a 32gb sd/micro sd card. I have a macbook pro with FCP X.


    Lets take into account that I have 300 to spend on a camera, I may be able to go a bit over that but only if it was really worth it.


    So now you have some info on my needs, I would like your advice. What is my best bet? On one side from my own investigations I can see that due to having to shoot on the move, a camcorder has the advantage of image stabilisation and comfort of use. But I am also aware that it is not good for stills, which are of some degree of importance to me and if I understand right camcorders give a flatter image for filming. I have been told that DSLRs or SDLR-like cameras (such as the Sony ones) are better for image quality, but want to know your advice regarding this in view of the on-the-go nature of some of the filming I will be doing.


    I have heard that Sonys are very good for their price, and have looked into the Handycam HDR CX450. I have also checked out the cameras but there are so many options that it is a bit confusing.


    I would be very grateful for any advice you can offer me.


    By the way I am in the UK so would be buying the camera here.

  2. #2
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    A DSLR gives you a nice picture

    if that's what you want, then go for it

    if you are planning to shoot video and you don't want a lot of hassles, then get a camcorder - Sony or Canon or Panasonic

    thats pretty much it

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zamiotana View Post
    A DSLR gives you a nice picture

    if that's what you want, then go for it

    if you are planning to shoot video and you don't want a lot of hassles, then get a camcorder - Sony or Canon or Panasonic

    thats pretty much it

    Thanks for your reply Zamiotana,

    One question that arises for me, please elaborate a little on what that "hassle" of using a DSLR would entail compaired with the ease of a camcorder? Also, any suggestions of the best options of DSLRs for the 300 (UK pounds) I have to invest?

    Cheers.

  4. #4
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    A DSLR does not give you a "nice picture", it is a tool, like a pen, poor handwriting is not improved by a 200 fountain pen.

    DO NOT forget to check Pre Owned gear

    London Camera Exchange

    MBP Photographic

    etc

    I hate to sound bad but the Velbon Videomate 538 tripod is a totally rubbish as are in my opinion any tripods under 120, a decent set of legs without a head are 1-200, my Manfrotto fluid head alone is 100 Manfrotto MVH500AH and that is cheap, in all things you get what you pay for.

    If you don't know what to buy, and have no idea between compacts, DSLRs and video cameras then you really need to brush up before spending any money at all.

    With such a limited budget I would 100% look at pre owned, if you only want video then a reasonable .

    http://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Panas...50_143250.html

    If you want still images also then forget any video camera, only a DSLR will do for both, stills from video cameras except expensive ones are garbage, so look at a (for the 300, sorry)

    http://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Nikon-D7000_145000.html

    Then you have to buy a lens, also spare battery

    Please ask advice BEFORE buying. Join a camera club.

    As for make, I would NOT get a CSC or compact, and stick with Canon or Nikon

    https://www.facebook.com/JRSPhotogra...homepage_panel


    Last edited by JR1; 04-05-2016 at 01:50 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteW View Post
    Thanks for your reply Zamiotana,

    One question that arises for me, please elaborate a little on what that "hassle" of using a DSLR would entail compaired with the ease of a camcorder? Also, any suggestions of the best options of DSLRs for the 300 (UK pounds) I have to invest?

    Cheers.
    At this price point believe me there is a hassle with either, unless you are looking at 2k plus

  6. #6
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    Hi PeteW and welcome to the forum.
    Zam and JR1 are both right. A DSLR will give you great pictures, but you'll need to know how to use it. It's unlikely you will get something worthwhile and the lenses within budget and even then, shooting "ion the go" will be problematic (typically DSLRs aren't really point and shoot, but take setting up for each shot)>

    Thanks for giving us your budget. Even mentioning the tripod tells us a bit about where you are at. Despite what JR1 says that tripod will be fine if you just need to set the camera up for a still or if you don't want to move the camera in video mode. It's when you move it, it becomes problematic. The problem isn't so much the legs (although the sturdier the better) it's the PH5358 head. I have one of these (on a Velbon DV6000 tripod. and after about 6 months it started seizing up (ie the "fluid" head became worse than a non-fluid head). A bit of research and this is a common fault with this head. The PH368 with the slightly more expensive DV7000 doesn't have this problem. But, as I say, if you don't need to move your camera, it will do the job fine (in the same way that ANY stable surface will).

    Don't dismiss JR1's suggestion of going second hand. Though again you really need to know what you're after.

    However, my suggestion, would be to look at getting a Sony RX100 mk II. Second hand they can be had within your price range,. This is a great compact camera which will do you great stills and video. Crucial is a 1" sensor which means you will be able to shoot inside in these tourist destinations without too much of a problem. It's small, light and can point and shoot. The MKiii adds various features (most usefully an articulated viewfinder), but get one of these and it's a great ll rounder. you won't be disappointed.


    At 300 forget good quality audio. You might get some usable ambient sound, but any "proper" audio requires a mic near the source, I'd normally say get something with an input for an external mic, but the mic will blow your budget. I'd suggest forget that for now. If good audio recorded on location is important, get a dedicated digital recorder (even a Zoom H1 will be far better and much more flexible than an on-camera mic). It can be a hassle to sync in post so if you do go down this route, for every shot once the camera and recorder are rolling give a short sharp clap and this will make lining up much easier.
    Tim

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Hi PeteW and welcome to the forum.
    Zam and JR1 are both right. A DSLR will give you great pictures, but you'll need to know how to use it. It's unlikely you will get something worthwhile and the lenses within budget and even then, shooting "ion the go" will be problematic (typically DSLRs aren't really point and shoot, but take setting up for each shot)>

    Thanks for giving us your budget. Even mentioning the tripod tells us a bit about where you are at. Despite what JR1 says that tripod will be fine if you just need to set the camera up for a still or if you don't want to move the camera in video mode. It's when you move it, it becomes problematic. The problem isn't so much the legs (although the sturdier the better) it's the PH5358 head. I have one of these (on a Velbon DV6000 tripod. and after about 6 months it started seizing up (ie the "fluid" head became worse than a non-fluid head). A bit of research and this is a common fault with this head. The PH368 with the slightly more expensive DV7000 doesn't have this problem. But, as I say, if you don't need to move your camera, it will do the job fine (in the same way that ANY stable surface will).

    Don't dismiss JR1's suggestion of going second hand. Though again you really need to know what you're after.

    However, my suggestion, would be to look at getting a Sony RX100 mk II. Second hand they can be had within your price range,. This is a great compact camera which will do you great stills and video. Crucial is a 1" sensor which means you will be able to shoot inside in these tourist destinations without too much of a problem. It's small, light and can point and shoot. The MKiii adds various features (most usefully an articulated viewfinder), but get one of these and it's a great ll rounder. you won't be disappointed.


    At 300 forget good quality audio. You might get some usable ambient sound, but any "proper" audio requires a mic near the source, I'd normally say get something with an input for an external mic, but the mic will blow your budget. I'd suggest forget that for now. If good audio recorded on location is important, get a dedicated digital recorder (even a Zoom H1 will be far better and much more flexible than an on-camera mic). It can be a hassle to sync in post so if you do go down this route, for every shot once the camera and recorder are rolling give a short sharp clap and this will make lining up much easier.
    Some GREAT advice here, as for tripods you really need to spend as much as possible.

    It is like a car, people spend all they can on a car then fit cheap tyres!

    The tripod is soooooo important, ok you are limited, but sorry, THINK very carefully before spending any more. I have been through the tripod world, starting with a Manfrotto at 65, nothing less, and now have two Gitzos, a CF Manfrotto and Benro CF monopod. The Gitzo, starts at 600, so you will understand that people who really shoot stills/video are very serious about what they put the camera "ON"

    Personally I would STILL ignore ANY compact/csc or video camera and look in LCE for a decent DSLR and lens combo

    https://www.facebook.com/JRSPhotogra...homepage_panel
    Last edited by JR1; 04-05-2016 at 08:27 PM.

  8. #8
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    OK for a limited budget

    http://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Nikon...VR_144737.html

    review here (it also does 1080p video)

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond5100

    and one of these

    http://www.lcegroup.co.uk/New/Rode-VideoMic_10472.html

    That can be used off camera as well

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zamiotana View Post
    A DSLR gives you a nice picture

    if that's what you want, then go for it

    if you are planning to shoot video and you don't want a lot of hassles, then get a camcorder - Sony or Canon or Panasonic

    thats pretty much it
    OHHHHHHH dear, please take care with such limited and false advice especially to a newby

    .............................. "thats pretty much it" NO where NEAR

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