Filmmaking Camera For Your Movie

As a filmmaker, here is the one question that is most often asked – What filmmaking camera should I buy?

This depends on your budget. If you’re an entry level filmmaker and looking to buy with a limited budget, your best bet is still the Canon T2i. Canon has released a T3i and T4i, but the internal components are basically the same. You can get the T2i for around $450.

If you are looking for a better Canon DSLR, check out the Canon 7D or the 5D Mark III. Canon is also going to release a 6D in the near future. That’s a lower level 5D Mark III.

Another company is Blackmagic. Ever since NAB this camera caught the indie world by storm. The downfall to this camera? It still hasn’t been released yet. There were problems with their one manufacture over the sensor and that caused all kinds of delays.

A select few retailers have this camera now and there’s test footage online. But the one thing to remember is this – if you want to shoot RAW with this camera at 2.5K, this is going to take up a lot of storage space. Hard drives are dropping in price but it is one thing to consider if you’re on a limited budget. This camera also offers ProRes at 1080, so that is also an option.

The Blackmagic camera is going to be about $3,000 dollars in price.

A camera that sort of under the 10K price range is the Red. They just had a sale for their Red One MX camera for 4K. That’s 4K resolution at a 4K price point. The one thing to remember with this, it’s just the body of the camera and you will need other accessories from Red. The final price would probably be around the 8K-10K price point. Once again, storing your footage is another thing to remember. Also, this camera is not made for a run and gun type of shoot.

Another great camera would be the GoPro Hero 3. This is mostly used as a b-camera or a crash cam with some shoots but it produces some pretty good images. The new Black edition offers 2.5K resolution. The downside, everything is pretty much auto with this camera and it will lack the ability to create shallow depth that the cameras above can do.

Blackmagic Camera and NAB Recap

NAB 2012 Recap
By, filmmaker Joseph Ort

Here is a breakdown of some of the key stories from NAB 2012 for indie filmmakers.

GoPro Hero firmware update to 24fps & 35Mbit (previously 15Mbit)

This is great news because now you can match your Canon DSLR footage seamlessly with your GoPro footage. They are also going to release a Cinestyle with the GoPro, so you will have more color correction latitude in post. Find more info on the GoPro HERE

Canon released their DSLR 4K camera

The EOS 1D C. Initially we thought this was going to be a great new camera for indie filmmakers. But then the price was released. The camera is going to run you around $15K, so that canceled hopes for indie filmmakers.

Keep in mind that this kind of footage is going to use up a lot of hard drive space. Even though the Cannon 4K is impressive – you need to remember that hard drives (while getting cheaper) are not that cheap. And you are going to need a few hard drives to handle the data.

Here is a quick breakdown of 4K storage:

  • 4K RAW (4096 x 2160), 24fps, 10-bit: 253.125 Megabytes per second15.2 Gigabytes per minute – 911.3 Gigabytes per hour
  • 4K RAW (4096 x 2160), 24fps, 12-bit: 303.75 Megabytes per second – 18.2 Gigabytes per minute – 1.093 Terabytes per hour
  • 4K RAW (4096 x 2160), 24fps, 16-bit: 405 Megabytes per second- 24.3 Gigabytes per minute – 1.46 Terabytes per hour

You will want to store this footage twice, just in case drives fail. An average 3TB drive is around 200 bucks.

Introducing The BlackMagic Camera

Then out of nowhere, the company Blackmagic released their 2.5K camera for 3,000. This camera was the best kept secret at NAB and when released, the news became all the buzz. If you are eager to get your hands on this camera, the release date is sometime in July.

With the Blackmagic camera, the breakdown is:

2.5K RAW – (2432 x 1366)  12-bit, at 24fps: 144 Megabytes per second.  6.8 Gigabytes per minute – 410 Gigabytes per hour

So that’s not too bad, but just remember your post workflow when dealing with these new line up of cameras. More info on the Blackmagic Camera HERE

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