Basic Equipment for New Filmmaking Students

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Congrats on starting film school! Your first day of classes is around the corner and you are probably already trying to figure out what equipment you’ll need to get started. Fortunately, most programs have many important tools available for students—namely big stuff such as camcorders and lights. Still, there are accessories, expendables, and other pieces of gear that you’ll want to have on hand or own yourself. So what exactly do you need to be prepared for film school? Luckily, not all that much.

What camera do I need?

To get started, you can likely get away with a camcorder, mirrorless camera, or DSLR with high-quality Full HD video capabilities. It is quite easy to get an inexpensive model with 4K video these days, so that is definitely worth looking into. If you are just starting your program and you are lucky enough to have access to great, modern cameras, then you should be okay getting something relatively cheap for your personal kit.

I would recommend a current mirrorless model, and some of the most common for beginners would be the Sony a6400 and FUJIFILM X-T30. You could also go the camcorder route, though it is turning into more of a niche these days. I think the latest 1"-type camcorders are the most interesting and offer a great price for the features available. In addition, you could consider adding a GoPro or DJI Osmo Action for some specific shots where you don’t want to risk your regular camera. I will say, if you have the cash, you can just go for it and invest in a Canon C200 or Sony FS5 II, both excellent cinema cameras. All of these options, when handled properly, can create cinematic footage.

Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Lens

To be honest, if you are in a multi-year program, by the time you finish, whatever camera model you have will be on its way out of style, as is the nature of digital filmmaking. If you want to make some serious investments, I would say go for good lenses and accessories that will last for years to come. Which leads us to…

What lenses should I get?

If this is your first interchangeable-lens system, it is hard not to advise going with a versatile kit zoom. The bundled zoom lens can do a decent job and shouldn’t be avoided. Good technique will allow you to make great films, regardless of equipment. You should look into getting some new lenses though, some that will be good even when you get your next camera. I’m a fan of primes, especially for video. If you do want a zoom, perhaps for documentary or run-and-gun filmmaking, you will want to look for terms such as “parfocal” and “constant aperture.” Parfocal means that focus breathing is non-existent, allowing you to zoom the lens without shifting the focus position. Constant apertures mean that the aperture (and therefore brightness of your image) won’t change as you adjust zoom position. This is important in video where you need things to stay consistent as you make adjustments during a shot.

ZEISS 15 - 30mm CZ.2 Compact Zoom Lens

As for primes, go for something in the middle. A 50mm, or 50mm equivalent if you are using a format other than full frame, is one of the safest bets. I prefer it a bit wider, at 35mm, so decide based on your own personal preference and vision. Assuming you went with a zoom along with your camera, you can always pay attention to what focal lengths you use most and build from there. As for features, ideally you’ll want a lens with a stepless aperture ring and a smooth, linear-response manual focus system. Also, you want focusing to be mechanical, since it gives a reliable and repeatable feeling, but modern focus-by-wire lenses will offer linear-response MF as the next best thing. Additionally, AF in video is now quite good, so there is no reason to avoid current autofocus lenses if you intend to stick with the system.

Along with your lenses, you should look into filters. Once you learn and understand the 180° rule (which essentially says you should try to keep your shutter speed equal to 1/(2 x frame rate), you’ll quickly realize the importance of a ND filter. Circular polarizers are nice, too, but ND filters shine for video. The best solution is to pick up a large 82mm Variable ND Filter and a set of step-up rings. This lets you use the same filter for any lens.

Tiffen 82mm Variable Neutral Density Filter

Should I buy external light sources?

If you have access to a gear locker that has lighting equipment, I would highly recommend using that instead of buying your own. Lighting equipment is bulky, not exactly something you want to store in a dorm room. Also, the equipment your school has is likely more professional and I would advise that you learn how to use that first. Now, the massive improvements to LED technology over the past decade have changed the equation.

Interfit F5 Three-Head Fluorescent Lighting Kit with Boom Arm

Building your own compact lighting kit is totally doable and affordable, thanks to the latest LEDs. These also have added benefits over classic tungsten and fluorescent fixtures. Namely, they can be extremely compact and run on batteries. This is why you may want to consider picking up a couple for yourself and building a kit that can end up supplementing other lights you may end up using on set.

Genaray Ultra-Thin Bicolor 288 SMD LED On-Camera Light Basic Kit

A nice key, or primary, light is something powerful and modifiable. I would go with a single-point option such as the Aputure Light Storm LS C120D II. It’s a very good, very popular light. Another route is an affordable LED panel because it provides a nice, softer source and many have adjustable color temperatures for matching other light sources. You can even get both or other types of lights to use in different scenarios. Of course, you can always look into tungsten and fluorescent if you want.

Aputure Light Storm LS C120D II LED Light Kit with V-Mount Battery Plate

To get the best results from your lights, you have to pick up some light stands or clamps. You might find yourself wanting to have a set of filters, diffusers, and gels. 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.

Impact Multiboom Light Stand and Reflector Holder - 13'

How can I capture good audio?

There are levels to audio, and the best of the best is to have a dedicated sound expert on set to handle all your recording needs. A separate person just can’t be beat and audio is just as, if not more important than your video. If you are doing it yourself, or simply want to monitor what is going on while on set or in the edit bay, you will need a set of nice headphones. You don’t even need to spend that much to get a solid set with some of the most popular being the Sony MDR-7506. These will let you listen to your sound, which is the only way to know exactly what you are getting. Not having headphones would be like recording video without checking your camera’s screen.

Sony MDR-7506 Headphones

Upgrading your personal camera’s audio is the next step if you are doing this on your own. The simplest solution is to go with an on-camera mic that plugs directly into your camera’s 3.5mm input. A RØDE VideoMic will certainly do the trick. The shotgun is great for mobile recording and capturing ambient audio but for vlogging and interviews it is hard to beat the classic lavalier. These exceptionally small mics can be wired up to your talent and provide crisp, clear audio for talking subjects.

Rode VideoMic with Rycote Lyre Suspension System

To get better than that you will need to move up for professional microphones and dedicated audio recorders. Though, some cameras do have professional XLR inputs that can work directly with some of these microphones. Go-to options for video are the shotgun mic, wireless lavaliers, and sometimes cardioid and omnidirectional. Some recommendations would include the RØDE NTG3 and RØDE Wireless GO if you are looking for some mics to start with. Keep in mind that you will need some accessories to make the most of them, including boompoles or lavaliers. If your camera does not have XLR inputs and you want to use a mic that has XLR connectivity, you can always solve that problem with an XLR adapter.

RØDE NTG3 Precision RF-Biased Shotgun Microphone

An external, handheld digital recorder is the best solution for capturing audio and will likely be necessary for professional mics. This is called dual-system sound as it is completely separate from the video camera. To make the most of this you will need a slate to mark the start of a take and help with syncing in post. There are a lot of different options for audio recorders, but if you are getting serious about film I always say go for something with at least two XLR inputs. This will give you a good starting point and a little room to expand later on.

Zoom H6 6-Input / 6-Track Portable Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Mic Capsules

Do I need some kind of camera support?

Absolutely! 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.

Manfrotto 504HD Head w/546B 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod System

Another approach is to add steady movement to your shots. This can be done quite effectively with modern sliders and handheld gimbals. Sliders are the closest thing to a dolly you can reasonably get set up, travel with, and use by yourself. Gimbal stabilizers have completely changed handheld filmmaking. Effectively replacing the Steadicam, current gimbals will help you capture super-smooth footage even when bouncing around with your camera. Both of these are seriously good options for making your footage look more professional.

GVM Professional Video Carbon Fiber Motorized Camera Slider

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. A convenient gaffer’s kit can 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.

ProTapes Gaffer's Kit

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).

Cavision Cinematographers 65-ft Tape Measure

Key Takeaways

  • Essential features in a camera should include high-quality 4K and Full HD recording, manual controls, audio inputs (at a minimum a 3.5mm mic jack), and good lens options.
  • Invest in a good, solid tripod. This can last nearly forever if properly cared for and is easily one of the most important tools on a film set.
  • Start with whatever lenses you can get, but if you want to upgrade, look for video-specific features such as parfocal for zooms or physical aperture controls.
  • You don’t need to buy lights (hopefully), but if you choose to, LEDs are the best bet right now and offer a good deal of portability if you want to supplement more serious kits you are borrowing from school.
  • Audio is just as important as video, so make sure that you are investing time and money into capturing clean sound for your films. You need headphones to monitor audio, and a good shotgun mic or lavalier can work wonders.
  • Many accessories will make life easier. You will want to have filters, diffusion, gaffer tape, work gloves, tape measure, multi-tool, and more small things to really make the most of your equipment and time. The basic features you should look for, even in an inexpensive camcorder are Full HD, a tripod mount and manual controls.

As always, you can ask any questions in the Comments section, below, and we will be more than happy to help you as you prepare for film school.

Items discussed in article

92 Comments

What camera body, lens ect. would you recommend for around $2000?

Essential features in a camera should include high-quality 4K and Full HD recording, manual controls, audio inputs (at a minimum a 3.5mm mic jack), and good lens options.

The A6600 is a great option to consider.  It will give you high quality 4K and HD record, has fully manual controls and a 3.5mm mic input.  There are also plenty of great E-Mount lenses options on the market.  We have it in a kit with an 18-135mm which is in your budget and a great starting option.

https://bhpho.to/2m7ihjT

Thanks!

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.

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