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Thread: 3 cam 1080p interview setup advice

  1. #1

    Default 3 cam 1080p interview setup advice

    Hi,

    I'm looking to put together a portable interview kit. I'm suspecting that I might need some equipment that I hardly know anything about so I figured you guys probably have some good tips.
    The budget would ideally be around the 2000 including everything from lights all the way down to storage.
    The interviews will mostly be held indoors and I suspect the lighting could be a bit tricky for smaller sensors but I'm hoping I'm wrong there.

    The setup would be the standard "two people sitting across each other at a table" and I'm thinking one camera on each person and one overview camera.
    For audio I was thinking something like a ZOOM H4n with two decent lav mics but there's probably a more cost effective solution than a ZOOM. but let's put a budget of 250 for decent audio

    For lights I'm thinking something like this: https://www.vidaxl.co.uk/e/871847582...amps-reflector
    or perhaps https://www.vidaxl.co.uk/e/871847584...-with-soft-box
    I'm guessing 200 max should be enough in any case

    Storage will probably be easy enough. SD cards cost next to nothing so let's say 50 should easily cover that

    That leaves around 1500 to 2000 for 3 cams which sounds really decent to me, since I'm not asking for 4K recording but...

    Now here comes the tricky part for me. The interviews are likely around an hour in length and to my knowledge that rules out most if not all DSLR systems due to recording limits.

    I guess I could get a gopro for the overview shot but I'm not sure about its medium low light performance. For the other two cams I'd like the DSLR look with a slightly shallow DOF but no clue how to achieve it other than on a DSLR. Camcorders an option?

    Oh and I guess I forgot tripods so... 1350 to 1850 for cams?

    Anyway I hope you guys have some tips for me.
    The cats are watching us...

  2. #2

    Default

    Ufff, that's a super low budget for 3 cams, lights, audio and tripods.

    I am not good at low budged stuff, but what i can help you with is the camera choice. You pretty much have only two options and i would even say only one.
    The Panasonic Lumix G7 or Canon M50 and i would strongly suggest the G7 over the M50, because it's just so much better.



    It's 500 with the kit 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II MEGA O.I.S lens and 320 body only.
    It's really good in low light for what it is, has a flip out screen, has even 4K WITHOUT crop, a lot of lenses to choose from for a good price and most of all - it has LOG.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-D...ay&sr=8-3&th=1

    I think it's a no brainer and you can even record longer then 30 min with it!

    Last edited by RL_Sensei; 05-15-2019 at 03:36 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RL_Sensei View Post
    Ufff, that's a super low budget for 3 cams, lights, audio and tripods.

    I am not good at low budged stuff, but what i can help you with is the camera choice. You pretty much have only two options and i would even say only one.
    The Panasonic Lumix G7 or Canon M50 and i would strongly suggest the G7 over the M50, because it's just so much better.



    It's 500 with the kit 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II MEGA O.I.S lens and 320 body only.
    It's really good in low light for what it is, has a flip out screen, has even 4K WITHOUT crop, a lot of lenses to choose from for a good price and most of all - it has LOG.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-D...ay&sr=8-3&th=1

    I think it's a no brainer and you can even record longer then 30 min with it!

    That looks great! I don't want to lock my options down right ahead but this is definitely a top suggestion!
    The cats are watching us...

  4. #4

    Default

    Cam:
    I was going to suggest something from Panasonic as well. I'm not fully familiar with all the models but overall they are going to come out on top for price/quality at this range. For context, My FZ2500 would feel at home for these interviews, but negatives are 1" sensor (smaller than 4/3 sensor), crop zoom in 4k and a higher cost.

    There are a few other models that will fit the bill in terms of cost, but double check that they can record long enough, and that you can sort out the battery to last long enough. my kit battery lasts about 50mins in 4k, but my after-market batteries last longer and it can take external power.


    Lights:

    I think you are on the right track. I have 3 light kits and my favorite one is the CFL kit with softboxes about the size you are looking at. I use CFLs bought at the hardware store, but you can spend more and get CRI guaranteed bulbs for a bit more. It is important that you get as much light as you can with the CFLs. In my experience, 8 100watt-equivalent CFLs provide enough light to film 2 people in interview setup at around 400-600 ISO. So right in the ballpark but a bit more light would be better. Your kit with 3 light boxes might add the extra amount to bring that down to around 200 ISO (assuming 12 CFL bulbs at 100-watt equivalent).

    IMO the quality of the light from this setup is very good (CFL lightboxes). The limitation is that it's not enough light output to get fancy with doubling the fabric or any other approach to soften the light further, but in my experience the light they put out is good to use as-is, no complaints. And if you want you can double your kit and have twice the output, then you can add additional modifiers, lower the ISO and still be under 500 actual watts total so it doesn't trip circuit breakers (like my tungsten kit with a similar output).

    Quick warning: I had one of these cheap softboxes fail during a studio shoot. I had backup lights and it was a scripted shoot so no worries, but keep that in mind. I would carry at least 1 extra softbox as a backup or something else that can stand in if needed.


    Audio:

    I would do 2 lavs as L/R using a splitter, and a shotgun mic. For me, recorders would be the camera and a Tascam DR-05 (because it's in the bag). I wrote more details on this type of setup here:
    http://www.videoforums.co.uk/threads...rview?p=226502

    In short, I like to record to separate locations as backup, and I like to have a shotgun feed as a backup. The L/R lav feed I would probably break up in Post for processing. The shotgun has to be just off frame on a stand/arm, so that it sits about 3 feet from the subject's faces (so as close as possible while not in the shot).


    BTW, recommendation on cheap mics. I really like these for the quality and ease of use, they don't need batteries and they are both loud:
    Sony ECMCS3 lav
    https://amzn.to/2VF3k9D

    Movo VXR10
    https://amzn.to/2LNTpdc

    Basically a copycat of the Rode Videomicro.

  5. #5

    Default

    Awesome I really like the microphone suggestions and the tascam is about half the price of the ZOOM I suggested myself so that's a plus
    The cats are watching us...

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