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Thread: 4k video smartphone. DSLR or camcorder?

  1. #1

    Default 4k video smartphone. DSLR or camcorder?

    Hello,
    Looking to learn video shooting and I have a budget of around 2k.
    There are so many options to choose from, so to help me narrow down my choices I have a couple of questions for you wise people.
    1 sound seems just as important as video for a professional result, so would it be worth spending a good chunk of my budget on audio equipment?
    2 I have seen some very impressive video from the LG v30 phone, any reason to go for a DSLR ?
    3 any personal recommendations of equipment that would be suitable?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    You could get a zoom and attach it to your iPhone for sound

    is the camera on the lg v30 phone better than the one on the iPhone 8? Really? Are you sure?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by trebor28 View Post
    Hello,
    Looking to learn video shooting and I have a budget of around 2k.
    There are so many options to choose from, so to help me narrow down my choices I have a couple of questions for you wise people.
    1 sound seems just as important as video for a professional result, so would it be worth spending a good chunk of my budget on audio equipment?
    2 I have seen some very impressive video from the LG v30 phone, any reason to go for a DSLR ?
    3 any personal recommendations of equipment that would be suitable?

    Thanks
    You mention "profesional results" who/what is your audience ?
    'No longer are the pleasures of Home Movie Making limited to those with ample funds. Now the man and woman of moderate means can join the sport'..... Kodak catalogue 1933

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by trebor28 View Post
    Hello,
    Looking to learn video shooting and I have a budget of around 2k.
    There are so many options to choose from, so to help me narrow down my choices I have a couple of questions for you wise people.
    1 sound seems just as important as video for a professional result, so would it be worth spending a good chunk of my budget on audio equipment?
    2 I have seen some very impressive video from the LG v30 phone, any reason to go for a DSLR ?
    3 any personal recommendations of equipment that would be suitable?

    Thanks

    1. Depends what "a good chunk" is I'd definitely see if you can get a decent recorder. ZOOM makes excellent ones and heir main competitors are TASCAM, Roland and OLYMPUS. I'd check if you can get your hands on a second hand one or an ex rental. These things are generally really durable and it can save you quite a bit of money. I'd look for something around the 100-200 mark.
    2. DSLR gives you the possibility to get experience shooting with actual lenses and you can't show up to a paid gig with just your phone (sadly because yes the modern phone can shoot impressive vids). Another pro for DSLR is that the size of the imaging sensor gives you much much better performance in low light. Still if you're only looking to get some experience before you go and pursue paid work you can stick with the phone for now.
    3. A second hand Panasonic LUMIX GH4 is perfect to start out with, especially if you're not too interested in photography since it only has a 16MP sensor. Panasonic recently released the GH5 which means that quite a bit of GH4 shooters are upgrading. From personal experience I can recommend the Zoom H4n Pro which is a great all round audio recorder.
    The cats are watching us...

  5. #5

    Default

    Hi,

    First, i can already tell you that buying a phone to use as a camera in order to learn "video shooting" is like buying a three wheel bike in order to learn how to drive a car. Don't do that, you will just waste your money.
    Second - audio is very important, but so is lighting as well. Do not forget about that too. It obviously depends if you want to shoot inside in a controlled environment or out in the field.

    Here are some PROS and CONS for using a DSLR setup vs a Phone.

    DSLR PROS


    1. Dynamic Range.
    2. Changeable lenses.
    3. Full Manual settings.
    4. Low Light capabilities.
    5. Weather Sealed equipment.
    6. Image quality
    7. Better audio solutions.
    8. The fact that you will look like a professional vs a tourist who's using a phone.


    DSLR CONS


    1. Weight
    2. You will need to charge a lot of batteries.
    3. Someone might try to steal your gear in tourist places.
    4. Price


    PHONE PROS


    1. Size and Weight


    PHONE CONS


    1. Price - a flagship phone costs as much as a decent mid level DSLR (it's ridiculous).
    2. Bad Dynamic range.
    3. Forget about bokeh.
    4. The image sensor is the size of a penny. (bad for image quality and low light)
    5. Garbage low light.
    6. No changeable lenses (don't you dare say: "but you can attach fish eye and other phone lenses")
    7. The fact that no one will take you serious if you will want to MAKE MONEY as a filmmaker.



    Either way there are a few question you need to ask yourself or if you already know the answers, then we need to know them in order to help you.


    1. Do you want to just shoot video or do you need a camera that's also decent at taking pictures?
      • Why is this important - Cameras are usually designed with one or the other task in mind. You don't want to buy a camera that's primarily built for photo, if you intend to do mostly video on it.

    2. Do you want to film action (sports, fast moving subjects), regular stuff ( nature, people, cities ect.), interview type of stuff or do you want to vlog for youtube ? Or all of that?
      • Why is this important - action requires better Auto Focus abilities, Nature and urban would require a full frame sensor and better image quality, for YouTube vlogs you would want a flip out screen and a wide angle lens. Interview stuff will need decent lighting and audio.

    3. Do you plan to travel with your gear? As in - do travel shoots. Like hiking, very hot or very cold climates and so on.
      • Why is this important? WEATHER SEALED equipment - you don't want to have a sensor that's full with dust etc, a camera that's not overheating in direct daylight, a camera screen that you can actually see in harsh daylight - hello Sony Alpha series...

    4. Do you need 4K video?
      • If you absolutely need 4K video, then this will limit you to only a very few (1-2) cameras that are in your price range and you will have almost no money left for anything else.



    Based from you budget i can give you some example equipment lists. 2000 (is that Pound or EUR?)


    YouTube Vloging & Beginner friendly setup 1 (Canon 70D)




    So this setup is perfect for some one who is just starting out. The Canon 70D is an older camera now (built in 2013), but it's still extremely good if you want to do vlogging style videos. It
    You will have 2 lenses, the kit lens is okay for medium and close up shots, while the 10-18 mm will give you a perfect wide angle for vlogging while you hold the camera in your hand or on the Joby tripod.
    This kit also has a big tripod for studio / home shooting and the Neewer 2 panel LED light kit is unbeatable for the price. It even has a 96 CRI rating so it should give very good skin colors for filming indoors.
    Obviously you would have 3 bateries with this kit (1 from the camera + 2 non original ones) and also 3 SD cards for a total of 192 GB, that should be more then enough for daily shooting.

    Obviously with this kit you have a money left for another lens.

    Total cost if this setup - 1568.00


    YouTube Vloging & Beginner friendly setup 2 (Canon Rebel SL2, also known as 200D)





    This setup features the new Canon SL2 (also known as 200D), it has a 24 MP compared to the 20 MP on the 70D and it has Dual Pixel AF and built in Timelapse feature. Obviously this is a much smaller DSLR, it only weighs 453g compared to the 755g of the 70D.
    So this would be a great choice if you intent to do more traveling where reduced weight is important.
    Also, image quality wise, being a newer camera, the SL2 might be better all around then the 70D.
    This smaller sizes comes with a disadvantage however - a smaller battery. And with the LP-E17 i have not found a reliable third party company that sells them for cheap, so you should go with the original ones.
    The rest of the setup is the same.

    Obviously with this kit you have a money left for another lens.

    Total cost if this setup - 1440.00



    Blow All my Money on awesome 4K camera and lens setup 1 (Panasonic GH5)




    Okay, This setup will give you the "best" and most versitile 4K camera in for the money, that has the best built in image stabilization, 4k @ 60fps and 1080p @ whooping 180fps. I mean, for the price - you can't beat this camera spec wise.
    However - it is NOT a perfect camera. The autofocus is garbage (It is much improved with latest firmware tho), and the other drawback is that this setup blows all your budged on just the camera + lens.
    The lens here is the equivalent of a 24-70 mm which is the most versatile lens out there.

    If you want to do cinematic style of filmmaking, then this would be a very high quality setup.
    Obviously you lack gear for sound and lights, but you could save up for that while using one of the best cameras out there right now.

    Total cost if this setup - 2627.00


    Best all round 4K camera setup 2 (Sony a6500)




    So, this setup is the best all around one of the ones i listed here. You get an awesome 4k camera that is very good in low light with the fast Sigma 30mm lens, you also have a 18-105 zoom lens that is very versatile in many shooting situations.
    Sony is known for very crisp images, because it actually is recording in 6k and down sampling to 4k, it has decent auto focus and 120fps slow motion.
    All in all, this is the perfect setup for your price range.

    The cons of the Sony a6500 are that it's very hard to see anything in the screen during bright daylight. Also, this is a mirrorless camera, that in itself has pros and cons, but you will have to be more careful with getting dust on your sensor using a mirrorless.

    Obviously you would probably want a tripod with this setup.

    Total cost if this setup - 2127.00

    Hope this helps you out a bit.

  6. #6

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    Additionally

    Obviously me giving you just some gear names, stats and insights in to different camera kits will not give you much to go on, so here are some YouTube clips from the Sony a6500 + Sigma 30mm 1.4 lens.
    I will link clips to this kit specifically, because as i already mentioned - it would probably be the best setup not just for your budged, but it's overall a very solid kit.

    Btw, those clips are not from me - they are from a very talented Russian who i found on YouTube, who uses this exact combo. It should give you a perfect example of what is possible with the Sony a6500 + Sigma 30mm 1.4

    Example video 1.
    Dreamy, slow motion, nature + model clip.

    https://youtu.be/rPrHIClDp9Y



    Example video 2.

    Very high quality, promo / advertisement video in slow motion, in doors.

    https://youtu.be/j4lom8XlqVA


    If what you see in those clips is something you had in mind by "learning video shooting", then now you should know what you can do with that camera kit.


    EDITED: Typo

  7. #7

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    Hello,
    Thanks everyone for some great advice. Looks like the Sony would be a great choice.
    Hopefully in the future I can help out a newbie like you have helped me

  8. #8
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    Some good advice above - sadly slim on advice about camcorders, but this seems to be an increasingly diminishing market - at least at the high-end consumer or semi-pro level. There's plemnty written about the pros/cons of camcorder vs DSLR so I won't waste space here.

    A couple of people have mentioned digital audio recorders and I use mine (a Zoom H5) extensively. RL_Sensie has mentioned the Rode VideoMic Pro which is a sensible choice (the original VideoMic was not popular here, having a bit of a "boxy" sound - I was very disappointed with mine).
    Be aware that for good sound you will need to get the mic off the camera and as near to your the sound source as possible.

    Bear in mind that this mic is unbalanced which means that longer runs of cable will be more prone to interference. Also, the 3.5mm input into the Zoom products is a bit noisier than the XLR inputs. Longer term you will be wanting balanced mics running into the XLR balanced inputs in your Zoom or in your "proper" camcorder. One thing with mics is that they are a mature technology and any investment in a decent one will outlive many cameras - you won't need to upgrade, just buy more specialised ones.

    If you are only going to be using an unbalanced mic for now, save a few quid by getting something like the Zoom H1 which has its own mic or you can plug in your (eg) Rode VideomicPro and, being tiny, is easy to conceal out of shot.
    Tim

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