Video / Buying Guide

Basic Equipment for New Filmmaking Students

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Your first day of film school is right around the corner and maybe you’re already thinking about what kind of gear you’ll need to make the most of it. Sure, you’ll most likely get access to a lot of great equipment through your film school, but what if you want to practice framing a shot, lighting an interview subject or capturing sound on your own? After all, it’s your passion and inspiration that brought you to film school, so it makes sense that you’ll want to work on a project outside class or during one of your term breaks.

So, how much equipment do you really need? Should you save up for a prosumer camera? Or can you make do with a consumer camera that goes for less than $300? The answer to these questions depends on your goals, your budget and your vision, but it also depends on your willingness to make the most of some basic features you should look for in a camcorder including: Full HD video, microphone jack, headphone jack, variable frame rates and manual controls.

What sort of camcorder do I need to purchase?

You don’t have to spend a fortune on a camcorder that will help you work on your filmmaking skills. While you’ll certainly want to get a professional or prosumer-grade camera once you’re about to leave school and launch into your career as a filmmaker or videographer, at this point, you can save money by concentrating on learning to frame a shot, capture it and edit it, all of which can be accomplished with cameras costing less than $1,000, and sometimes even less than $300, if that’s what your budget requires.

A camera as simple and as affordable as the Canon VIXIA HF R500 has enough features to make it easy for you to film an interview or even shoot a short scene in HD. It has an external mic input, a headphone jack and 1/4"-20 tripod mount. It won’t help you practice your manual focusing skills, but it will capture HD images that will help you practice your editing skills. The HF R500 can be used with a 64GB SDXC card and can hold roughly six hours of 1080p video.

As useful as a pencam or simple solid-state cam can be to use, these models won’t give you the chance to work with focusing on a subject or to practice zooming in on a scene for effect. Companies like Canon, GoPro, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony offer excellent camcorders in the $300 to $500 range that have more powerful lenses and that give you the ability to zoom in and out. Several of these models are also capable of capturing full 1920 x 1080 HD Video in 60p and/or 24p. These cameras are tapeless, using removable SD Cards, Memory Sticks and even internal flash memory instead. While not all of the camcorder models in this price range have headphone jacks, the majority of them do have mic inputs and tripod mounts, as well as slightly higher quality image sensors for better motion rendering and low-light capabilities. These cameras record in AVCHD and MP4 formats that you can easily transfer to your computer to practice your editing.

While selecting your camcorder, you’ll probably want to pay more attention to the sensor size, the recording resolution and the memory capacity rather than the LDC screen size. While it’s nice to have a large display, it’s more important for your work to have the largest sensor that suits your budget and your film style. Bear in mind, however, that the larger the sensor, the more information the camera will capture, which also means that it will use memory faster than cameras with smaller sensors, and it will also take a bit longer to transfer to your computer.

There are also some excellent helmet cameras available within the consumer price range, with several models designed specifically to handle outdoor sports—including automobile racing and surfing.

What about filming with a DSLR Camera? 

DSLR cameras offer film students benefits that are not possible with a camcorder. Prosumer DSLRs feature relatively larger sensors, which allow for greater depth of field and a more “filmic” look. Plus, an affordable DSLR usually allows for a comprehensive set of manual functions. While footage from DSLR cameras can be beautiful, they require a higher level of expertise and they tend to accentuate mistakes more than an HD camcorder. Images tend to go in and out of focus quickly, and when you sit down to edit shots on your computer, you’ll find that two scenes that could go together perfectly may be difficult to match up smoothly. If you do shoot with a DSLR camera, you may also want to look into getting some type of support rig or stabilizer.



 


 

Do I want a prosumer or entry level professional camcorder?

Of course, if you have the budget for it, or think you’ll be able to line up some gigs to cover the cost, you may also want to look into the prosumer models at B&H. The biggest benefits of these more expensive models are access to interchangeable lenses in addition to larger image sensors. Sony has a couple of interchangeable lens models that start around $1,500. They accept E and/or A-mount lenses and use single CMOS sensors. However, if you’re interested in a camera with both interchangeable lenses and 3CCD image sensors or something like Sony’s Exmore Super 35 CMOS sensor, that will catapult you up to the $5,000 range—where you’ll also have to make sure that you budget for the cost of additional lenses and add-ons like XLR microphones (at least two is ideal).



 

Should I buy external light sources?

Regardless of which type of consumer (or possible prosumer) camera you purchase, you should not expect to get much use out of the onboard light. Since you’ll be using the camera to practice your shooting skills, you should set yourself up with a basic three-point lighting kit. As you’ve probably already learned, a three-point lighting arrangement is pretty much the standard for a video or photo session or interview, and it calls for the use of a key light, a fill light and a back light (see the B&H InDepth article, Lighting for Interviews, as a basic example). As the name suggests, the key light is your main light, and it will set the level of warmth and brightness for your scene. The key light will be the brightest light you use, followed by the fill light, which, as its name also suggests, will fill in shadows and add to the lighting effect of the key light. The back light will help add more dimension to your shots by separating your subject visually from the background and accentuating the physical outline of your subject.

Besides daylight, you’ll likely be shooting with tungsten, fluorescent or LED lights, so make sure that you know how to adjust the white balance on your camera to match the color temperature of the most prevalent light source before you start. Also remember that you can sometimes get warmer hues simply by using a blue card (or a blue piece of paper) while setting your white balance. While most new cameras have good automatic white balance settings, as a student of film it would certainly behoove you to know how to make a shot that looks more appealing than what an untrained person would capture with the same camera.



In order to get the best results from your lights, you might have to pick up some light stands or clamps. You could get a pretty decent light stand for around $30, and can even add to the height of a light stand by adding a boom, or even go ahead and pick up a kit that includes a stand and a boom. Of course, once you start working with lighting, you might find yourself wanting to have a set of filters, diffusers and gels and barndoors. Though you will probably have access to a lot of this lighting equipment through your school, it’s good for you to take the time to learn about the options available out there and the costs involved in assembling the tools and gear you need for professional lighting techniques and results. Eventually you may also reach the point where it’s time to invest in your own cine meter or spot meter, so take a look at what’s out there, and think about and plan for the kinds of lighting tools that might be part of your future as a filmmaker.

How can I capture really good audio?

While consumer cameras aren’t likely to have XLR inputs, many do have mic inputs that will enable you to plug in an external mic so that you can get the microphone closer to your subject and away from the camera. Even on some more expensive prosumer cameras, the onboard mic will capture some of the noise from the camera. The best way to avoid that and also ensure that you get a more professional final product is through the use of an external shotgun or lavalier microphone or even a handheld digital recorder. If your camcorder does not have XLR inputs and you want to use a mic that has XLR connectivity, you can always solve that problem with a camcorder XLR adapter.



 

For a decent professional-grade microphone with XLR connectivity, you’ll probably have to pay at least $200, but prosumer mics with 1/8" (3.5mm) connections can be more affordable. A professional wireless microphone can cost you more than $500. Sony, however, does offer an affordable wireless mic, the WC S-999, that’s excellent for interviews and situations in which you don’t need a long range and aren’t setting up a shot that’s susceptible to a lot of interference. This type of mic is ideal for interviews and can even be used to shoot a scene for your short, experimental video or for a Web-based project.

An external, handheld digital recorder is sometimes the best solution for capturing audio. Consumer and prosumer cameras rarely feature manual audio controls, and without a wireless microphone you will always be tethered to the camera. An external recorder will give you much greater versatility and significantly higher quality. However, one drawback to consider is the hassle of syncing audio and video in post (and placing the recorder close enough to the talent in your video to capture sound well).



 

Whatever type of recording system you use, keep in mind that often, what makes a film seem like a home video isn’t so much the look as the sound. A built-in mic won’t get you close to your subjects, and won’t be directional enough to focus on the sound you want to capture. Also, don’t forget that it’s a good idea to monitor your audio with a pair of headphones, so consider a digital recorder or camera that allows you to do that. Optimally, a camcorder or HDSLR with a headphone output will allow you to hear the sound in the camera; you won’t have to wait until you upload your footage, and it will help you avoid technical complications regarding audio connectivity.

What sort of tapeless media is optimal for me?

You’ll still find some high-end prosumer and professional cameras, particularly from Sony, that use miniDV, though just about all of the consumer cameras you might be choosing from now capture to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, Memory Sticks or onboard solid state memory. The advantage of shooting to memory cards is that they can help you keep costs down since you don’t have to buy a lot of additional memory, and can you can also transfer video easily from the card to your computer, or directly from the camera to your computer or even an external hard drive, between shots.

You might also find it easier to have multiple memory cards, so that you can continue shooting while transferring your footage to your drive. Memory cards can cost you between $20 and $100 depending on the capacity and read/write speed. For external hard drives, the cost per Gigabyte is even less, as you can now get a 500GB portable hard drive for less than $100. You also have lots of styles to choose from among portable hard drives, from rugged, slim designs to models that can hold up to 8TB. Just remember that speed is important when working with video files, so get one that can handle your file transfers quickly, and that also has the right capacity for your work, and the right connection types for your laptop. Sometimes it makes sense to get two smaller external drives so you can work with one on-set while handing another off to your editor (even if it’s you).

Do I need some kind of camera support for the times I am not handholding my camera?

A tripod that can pan and tilt is a basic requirement for shooting video. A fluid head video tripod will give you the best results, but a regular photo tripod with a pan-and-tilt head can also work. Your goal when shooting, even with an inexpensive consumer camcorder, should be to get still shots that don’t look like home videos. Mounting your camera on a tripod will not only keep your camera steady, it will also help you avoid shooting from the familiar angles that scream “home-video” to a viewer. With the rock-solid framing support that a tripod can provide, you’ll end up with better, more consistent footage that aligns more with your vision. And when the time comes, you’ll be able to shoot without the tripod for more dramatic effects.



 

If you want to get even more traction out of your tripod, however, and plan on incorporating smooth tracking shots into your work, you should think about getting a dolly. Just set your tripod into a dolly and those three wheels will give you the freedom to track a shot and avoid the bounce of a handheld camera. You can also use a dolly with a track for smooth shots even on rough surfaces. And while it might be too early in your film career to invest in them, it never hurts to start learning about the costs of jibs and cranes and the different models that might be within reach throughout the different stages of your career.

What other gear should I have in my kit?

In addition to the camera, mic, lights, and headphones, you may also want to set yourself up with some essential tools to have with you on your shoots. B&H offers a convenient gaffer’s kit to get you started, but if you want to put together your own, you should include a few different colors of 2" gaffer tape, a multi-tool with a good blade (a serrated blade can be especially useful for cutting rope), a handful of permanent markers and a decent pair of work gloves. Your gloves won’t just protect you while you’re setting up or taking down a set, they’ll also protect your hands when you’re working with hot lights, doing things like adjusting barndoors or swapping out gels. As for the flashlight, one is a must, but having a backup on hand could really save you some headaches if your trusty torch gives up the ghost, or a day shoot lasts well into the night and there’s nowhere nearby to get batteries.

Though it might not fit into your tool kit, it also never hurts to have a small, LED book light that you can clip onto your notepad or your shooting script. While your multi-tool will be very handy on the set, you may also want to supplement it with a 6–8" crescent wrench as well as a screwdriver with interchangeable heads, and a tape measure. And, of course, don’t forget to get yourself a handy tool pouch. One last thing to note: if you’re doing any work on a film crew, whether during the school year or during a break, it never hurts to bring along your own two-way radio headset (that’s labeled with your name).

The Takeaway

  • As a film student, the basic features you should look for, even in an inexpensive camcorder are Full HD, a tripod mount and manual controls.
  • It’s also really helpful if you can find a camera with a mic input, headphone output and variable frame rates.
    On average, a decent consumer camcorder will cost in the range of $300–$500.
  • Cameras with interchangeable lenses start at around $1,500 for models with a single sensor, though models with 3 image sensors start at around $5,000.
  • You should budget for a three-point lighting setup, with a key light, a fill light and a back light, including light stands and light-shaping accessories.
  • External mics dramatically improve your ability to capture video that doesn’t sound like a home movie, and for more professional results, camcorder XLR adapters easily connect XLR mics to 3.5mm mic inputs.
  • Memory cards cost between $20 and $100.
  • Portable hard drives now cost around $100 for 500GB and less than $200 for 1TB.
  • A tripod with a fluid head is ideal, but any tripod is better than no tripod—and it’s never too early to start thinking about adding a dolly to your wish list.
  • You should also assemble a gaffer’s kit that includes gaffer tape, work gloves, a couple of permanent markers, a multi-tool, a tool pouch and a couple of small LED flashlights.

 

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So what is the cheapest list of essential items?  / price tag?  

This would have to have items that don't need maintenance outside of operation, have a lot of longevity and are easy to show staff/teens who may not know otherwise how to use it.

I'm trying to put a budget together to get the supplies list for teen short film/book trailer as an offering to our young people. 

This has been very helpful, thank you so much!

I have been making podcasts using a Zoom H6, Audio-technica 2100 xlr mic and an Aputure lavalier mic. I want to add video but don't know where to start with a good but reasonably priced camera or camcorder.  There will be two main formats: indoor interviews and short outdoor scenic pieces, usually with voiceover.  Whatever I get will need to work with my existing equipment as audio quality is important to me.  Can you recommend any cameras that would fit the bill?

Hi Elle - 

Not sure what kind of budget you would be working with Elle.  an excellent choice in a consumer grade camcorder:

The Canon 32GB VIXIA HF G20 Full HD Camcorder (Refurbished) shoots 1920 x 1080 Full HD video at 60i, in native 24p and 30p. With the 24p frame rate option you can give your footage a cinematic look. Using Cinema-Looks Filters you can boost that film look with multiple built-in adjustable filters. The HF G20 (Refurbished) features a genuine Canon 10x HD video lens with an 8-Blade iris, for more professional-looking video and stills. It has a 30.4 to 304mm (35mm equivalent) focal length. The camcorder is also equipped with a Canon HD CMOS Pro image sensor that supports improved low-light performance and a wide dynamic range.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

hello, am 27 and am very passionat in movies and music ,thinking of making a big decision by studying cinematography but i need yoour advice please ,

What is the cost for all of what you have shown?

Hi Betty -

Please click on the green underscored words and phrases above to follow the links to the specific product pages of our B&H website where you will find the pricing for the products featureed in the article above.  

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Anonymous wrote:

What is the cost for all of what you have shown?

In need of a filming setup to use for recording floral design videos.  The design courses will range from 1-3 hours and will be using a fixed and moveable setting.  Would prefer HD quality and will be interested in lighting, separate mics for dual instructors, and a stable setup to prevent shaky production.  Budget is around 2k.  

Hi Carol -

     4K is no longer reserved for theatrical cinema presentation; it is in demand at all levels of production. With Ultra HD recording, the GY-HM170UA 4KCAM Compact Professional Camcorder with Top Handle Audio Unit from JVC is designed to fulfill the requirement for professional functionality. It offers ND filters, custom-assign buttons, and professional audio inputs with manual gain control in a form-factor closer to a consumer camcorder. The camera records 3840 x 2180 4K in 24 or 30p, at a bit rate of 150 Mbps, encoding the file in an .MOV-wrapped H.264 codec. With two SDHC/SDXC card slots, the camera supports dual, backup, and continuous recording. Besides 4K, it can also record 1080p at up to 60 fps in an 8-bit 4:2:2 50 Mbps .MOV file, or in AVCHD for compatibility with consumer editing software. 

     For monitoring, there is a flip-out LCD screen with a 920,000-pixel panel, plus a 0.24" viewfinder with 1.56-megapixel resolution—the latter being especially helpful when working in bright daylight. For an external monitor, connecting to a live switcher, or recording video externally, there is an HDMI port with live 4K output. The included top handle audio unit features two XLR audio inputs for use with external microphones, offering switchable Mic/Line/Mic +48 inputs with independent gain control. It attaches to your camera's accessory shoe and secures with a slotted thumbscrew. It features electrical contacts on its foot that enable audio signal transmission to the camera without any cable required. An accessory shoe and shotgun mic clamp are available on top.

     The Magnus VT-4000 Tripod System with Fluid Head is a stable, sturdy video tripod made from anodized aluminum that can support loads up to 8.8 lb. Overall, this tripod offers many features usually only found on more expensive models. The two-way fluid head provides smooth operation, and features a half-ball mount with a diameter of 65mm, with left and right pan bar mounts. It comes supplied with one pan bar. In addition, unlike most other heads in its class, all the head controls are positioned on the left side of the head, which leaves your right hand free for the panning handle. The VT-4000 tripod system weighs 7.9 lb.

The AT803B is a miniature condenser microphone intended to be worn on the clothing of performers for excellent yet unobtrusive sound pickup. The wide range capability of the AT803B ensures clean, accurate reproduction with high intelligibility for lecturers, singers, stage and TV performers.

Designed for clip-on lavalier and musical instrument use

Small size is ideal for applications requiring minimum visibility

Operates on battery or phantom power

6' (1.8 m) cable permanently attached between microphone and power module

     This Impact Interview Green Screen Kit has everything you need for creative color key photography or videography.

I am a high school teacher.  I teach math, but I love movies and movie making.  I started a club at my school for students who are interested in the same.  I have 12 students in the club.  We have agreed on creating a documentary about anxiety disorders and panic attacks among teenage students.  I don't have access to any cam corders or video camera.  So we mostly capturing video on phone cameras. I have started a gofundme project to try to raise enough money to buy at least enough equipment for one location (i.e. one camera, one tripod, and a couple of lights with stands).  I would appreciate information about how to maybe get a company to donate old equipment.  Any ideas? 

Edwin,

The camera & equipment are irrelevant. It's all about the story you're trying to tell. Good Luck!

Hi Edwin -

I would check with local universities and community colleges as they do upgrade equipment from time to time

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Check with your local public television station.  The usually allow use of equipment at no cost.  

I have been filming for a while and I am planning on going to film school, but lately I have not been happy at where I'm currently at in filming. I have two canon cameras and a go pro. I also have power director 13.0 for my editing softwear. I think they work fine, but do you have any suggestions as to how to make my filming better? 

Hi Sara -

     It sounds like you may have the basics covered.  You have not described your camerasthough Consider adding external microphones, since quality audio is so essential to good video storytelling. On-camera or studio lighting should be considered as well.  

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Awe is there anywhere I can rate this wep site... u deserve a 10/10
I didn't actually know where to start en how...

Thank you, Mario! You can leave us a review on Yelp, if you would like to!

https://www.yelp.com/biz/b-and-h-photo-video-pro-audio-new-york-4

I'm 21and I'm starting a film production, so what equipments do I need so I can start

Hi Mario,

This article is a great place to start your gear list. Also, check out this article from Thomas Simms: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/buying-guide/back-school17-needs-and-18-wants-film-school

...it is related to film school, but will help you get your production started. 

Also, feel free to email us at Askbh@bhphoto.com if you have more questions. Thanks for reading!

My 14 year-old daughter has been making videos using the I-movie app on her i-pad, and utilizing a cell phone to capture/edit videos as well for a few years now. She will be attending a digital media arts program at her high school the next 4 years, and I wanted you advice on what type of camera (and other equipment) we should get her, as she'll need to start filming for projects, etc.

Your daughter’s school should most likely send you a list of the requirements needed for a camera/gear for her program.  Once they do that, I would suggest sending us an email with the requirements, and we would be happy to make some recommendations.  If they haven’t sent you a list yet, and you are getting anxious about the upcoming school year, you could always contact them to see if/when they will send you a supplies/camera minimum requirement list.  Askbh@bhphoto.com

I am intrested in directing film. so i can bought a camera  and practicing video capture is NECESSARY?

Hi Saddam -

I agree. One of the very best ways to learn filmmaking is to grab a camera and start shooting.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

I am not a film student, but very mucch interested in film making

I'm about to make a short film, is it OK if I use an ordinary camera

Grab whatever camera you have available, go and make a film. I'll leave this excelent link to Werner's advice. Have fun! 

http://www.ukpicturesent.com/legendary-filmmaker-werner-herzog-love-advi...

very good article

Hello.

  Am planning to go into cinematography, do have such services or can you refer me to any geniune site i can run an online programe on that

Also am interested in buying those equipments,do you sell them.

Hi  -

Here are some resources that can help you get started:

First Light Video DVD: Camera Operation:  This introductory-level program focuses on camera components, white balance, zoom, focus, depth-of-field along with the dos & don'ts of basic camera operation.

If you're considering a leap into the world of digital filmmaking Sonja Schenk and Ben Long have written the guide for you. Their book from Cengage Learning, The Digital Filmmaking Handbook, 4th Edition, is a 608 page tome on the what, when, and where of the craft. Both Schenk and Long are entrenched in the industry; drawing on their years of experience the pair guide you with not only tips and advice, but exercises and summaries at the end of each chapter, meant to commend the topics covered to memory. You'll learn digital workflow from preproduction to postproduction, including how to work in HD and how to shoot successfully with DSLR cameras, among many other invaluable skills.

Written for beginning and aspiring filmmakers

End-of-chapter exercises and summaries help reinforce new material as it is learned

Provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects of digital filmmaking, from initial concept to post-production

New to This Edition

Includes coverage of all the latest digital video technology and advances, including HD video, shooting with digital SLR cameras, workflows for direct-to-disc recording, and shooting and editing multi-camera projects

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Writing and Scheduling
3. Video Technology Basics
4. Choosing a Camera
5. Planning Your Shoot
6. Lighting
7. Video Cameras
8. Digital Still Cameras (DSLRs)
9. Shooting
10. Production Sound
11. Workstations and Hardware for Editing
12. Editing Software
13. Preparing to Edit
14. Editing
15. Sound Editing
16. Color Correction
17. Titling and Motion Graphics
18. Output
About the DVD
Glossary

About the Author

Sonja Schenk
Sonja Schenk (Venice, CA) is a freelance producer and film video editor who has worked on a number of popular television shows and movies. She is also the author of Digital Non-Linear Desktop Editing and co-author of both earlier editions of The Digital Filmmaking Handbook

Ben Long
Ben Long is a San Francisco-based photographer and writer. The author of over a dozen books on digital photography and digital video; he has been a longtime contributor or contributing editor to many magazines including MacWeek, MacUser, Macworld UK, and others. He is a Senior Contributing Editor for Macworld magazine, and a Senior Editor at CreativePro.com. His photography clients include 20th Century Fox, Blue Note Records, Global Business Network, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Pickle Family Circus, and Grammy-nominated jazz musicians Don Byron and Dafnis Prieto. He has taught and lectured on photography around the world

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com 

ihave realy loved your website
@BandH.com.
my bro could always guide me how to edit and am much happier. that am gonna have tow ways of learning filmmaking.
thanks @BH and my bro.

hi Mark

thanks for the information very useful, would you be able to advise on a good camera for making documentaries? im only starting so something to play with till i can afford a more up to date one and when im more skilled. thanks 

Hi Jez -

The cutting-edge Sony HXR-NX30 Palm Size NXCAM HD Camcorder  is a handheld, excellently built HD camcorder that's capable of capturing AVCHD video in Full HD 1080p at 60 fps, as well as high-quality digital still images. It's equipped with 96GB of internal flash memory, an LED video light and NightShot capabilities. It also supports all AVCHD recording formats at 28 Mbps.

The true innovation behind Sony's HXR-NX30 is its 1/2.88 ExmorR image sensor and ultra-wide angle Carl Zeiss 10x optical zoom lens. The lens is mounted within a gyroscope, which affords unbelievable image stabilization. Sony's calls their innovative technology Balanced Optical SteadyShot with Active Mode. In fact, you can choose to shoot in fixed mode, without stabilization, or you can easily switch on the SteadyShot whenever needed. This feature is great for walking and shooting or for journalists who may need to hold the camera steady, high-above their head while demanding the truth in front of city hall.

Other highlights include an onboard level control section with several professional audio controls for tweaking your sound levels just right. The camera also affords dual XLR inputs with phantom power and a stereo shotgun mic (included). If that's not enough, the camera's integrated projector, which is built right into the back of the LCD display, definitely puts this model over the top. Plus, with the ability to project up to a 100" diagonal image on any flat, near-white surface, the projector really opens up the possibilities of how you can use your HD camcorder. 

The innovative Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system eliminates the influence of vibrations from the body by enclosing the entire optical block, from the lens to the image sensor, in a "floating" space. Combined with electronic image stabilization that compensates for rotation around the optical axis, this new system provides powerful image stabilization even when shooting whilst zooming, which was previously difficult to achieve. You can record stable images with minimal blur, every time. To optimize the effect of Balanced Optical SteadyShot, the HXR-NX30 features a FIXED SHOT mode. Press a button and this expands the movable range of the optical block to keep you locked on your subject. This is particularly convenient when you want to maintain the same shooting angle for an extended period

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com 

Hi,

What would be the best camera and audio equiptment for a beginner whose interested in photography, doing short films and interviews?

Hi Jojo -

As you can imagine, there is no single camera or audio device that can be recommended without your input regarding budget, specific projects, shooting style and experience.  That said, consider the Sony Alpha a58 DSLR Camera Kit with 18-55mm and 18-135mm Lenses from B&H combines this compact APS-C format DSLR with two versatile zoom lenses to cover almost all shooting situations from wide-angle to full telephoto.

The Alpha a58 DSLR provides a 20.1MP Exmor APS-C HD CMOS sensor and the BIONZ image processor and the result is high-resolution still photography and full HD 1080p/i video capture at 24 and 60 fps, respectively. Translucent Mirror Technology and Phase Detection AF provide accurate and fast auto focus and 5 fps continuous shooting at maximum resolution. A 1,440k-dot SVGA Electronic Viewfinder and a 2.7" 460.8k-dot tilt LCD screen both offer playback and live view composition. SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization is an in-camera system for reducing the blur created by camera shake and the ISO range on the a58 runs to 16000 for clearer low light capture. Both a built-in flash and hot shoe mount are supported. Other features include Auto Object Framing, Sweep Panorama, Tracking Focus, Auto High Dynamic Range and Picture Effects.

For an external microphone. I recommend the Shure VP83 LensHopper Shotgun Microphone which is a compact camera-mount condenser that provides detailed, high-definition audio with DSLR cameras and camcorders. An integrated Rycote Lyre shock mounting system provides isolation from vibration and mechanical noise.

The VP83 LensHopper features an easily accessible three-position gain adjustment and low-cut filter, allowing it to adapt for different recording environments. Its lightweight, yet durable, metal construction provides dependability and long-life. The VP83 easily mounts to a standard-size camera shoe or a 1/4" threaded stand. The convenient, attached 3.5mm cable connects to your camera's audio input. Its efficient operation boasts 130 hours of battery life on just one AA alkaline battery. A foam windscreen is included to guard against wind and environmental noise.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com 

Aside from the obvious (and expensive) Adobe suite for video editing, do you have any other suggestions that work well for editing and allow things like chroma key and some minor SFX work?

Thanks.

Sure, one of the more popular options we recommend is Adobe Premiere Elements.  See the link below for details:

http://bhpho.to/1zo94Og

Very helpful info, thanks!

       ihave a groups with my friends my group name is future camp(critical art in motion picture)we are try to take one short film this blog is very useful to our team to work easily thanks to B&H

hello dude

we have a team to make short film and good story 

if u intrest share with me we have no camera suggest any rent camera available in bangalore

looking fir training in film

Hi Habib -

Here are some resources that can help you get started:

First Light Video DVD: Camera Operation:  This introductory-level program focuses on camera components, white balance, zoom, focus, depth-of-field along with the dos & dont's of basic camera operation.

If you're considering a leap into the world of digital filmmaking Sonja Schenk and Ben Long have written the guide for you. Their book from Cengage Learning, The Digital Filmmaking Handbook, 4th Edition, is a 608 page tome on the what, when, and where of the craft. Both Schenk and Long are entrenched in the industry; drawing on their years of experience the pair guide you with not only tips and advice, but exercises and summaries at the end of each chapter, meant to commend the topics covered to memory. You'll learn digital workflow from preproduction to postproduction, including how to work in HD and how to shoot successfully with DSLR cameras, among many other invaluable skills.

Written for beginning and aspiring filmmakers
End-of-chapter exercises and summaries help reinforce new material as it is learned
Provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects of digital filmmaking, from initial concept to post-production
New to This Edition
Includes coverage of all the latest digital video technology and advances, including HD video, shooting with digital SLR cameras, workflows for direct-to-disc recording, and shooting and editing multi-camera projects
Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Writing and Scheduling
3. Video Technology Basics
4. Choosing a Camera
5. Planning Your Shoot
6. Lighting
7. Video Cameras
8. Digital Still Cameras (DSLRs)
9. Shooting
10. Production Sound
11. Workstations and Hardware for Editing
12. Editing Software
13. Preparing to Edit
14. Editing
15. Sound Editing
16. Color Correction
17. Titling and Motion Graphics
18. Output
About the DVD
Glossary
About the Author
Sonja Schenk
Sonja Schenk (Venice, CA) is a freelance producer and film video editor who has worked on a number of popular television shows and movies. She is also the author of Digital Non-Linear Desktop Editing and co-author of both earlier editions of The Digital Filmmaking Handbook

Ben Long
Ben Long is a San Francisco-based photographer and writer. The author of over a dozen books on digital photography and digital video; he has been a longtime contributor or contributing editor to many magazines including MacWeek, MacUser, Macworld UK, and others. He is a Senior Contributing Editor for Macworld magazine, and a Senior Editor at CreativePro.com. His photography clients include 20th Century Fox, Blue Note Records, Global Business Network, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Pickle Family Circus, and Grammy-nominated jazz musicians Don Byron and Dafnis Prieto. He has taught and lectured on photography around the world

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com 

Filming with my camera glad to enjoyment of film crew.  Always to have vynal gloves also for prevention of STD.

Seems cool...

How to use camera

Great post. 

Will my digital camera Nikon Coolpix L830 be best for filming? 

Hi Kaziz -

Your camera is an excellent beginner's tool to learn the basics of photography and videography.  One of the features I feel is lacking is an external microphone port for better audio.

 Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions: Askbh@BandH.com                                                                                                                        

i really liked your information about cameras. I am a film student and will benefit from this information .

Good day,

Best wishes Happy new year,

I'm sure this message found you well,i'm want to study video production  if you can send me the cameras pictures.

i will choose wich one to buy.

Many thanks.

At the end of this article, just above the place to submit this comment, is a section entitled "Items Discussed in Article".  You will there see several product categories and the ability to scroll through them, and you may then click on any one of them to take you to a link on our website featuring all the relevant/recommended models within that category.

thanks for this wonderful leacture. i would like to find out if i can get a catelog if yes kindly help me with one.

NAME: IGURE HUMPHERY

ADDRESS: 3,OLUWANISHOLA STREET BARIGA

LOCATION\CITY: LAGOS

COUNTRY: NIGERIA

POST CODE:+23401

Thank you.

I have signed you up for our catalogs using our catalog request form on our home page.  You will receive our future catalogs once they ship out.  Thank you for choosing B&H!

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