Camera and editing advice

(Ray Robinson) #1

For Deliver Me, I’ve been fortunate that a co-worker at my normal job is skilled in filming and editing. However, his time is a premium, and with about 10 different short films and series ideas I want to pursue, I’m considering becoming my own tech crew. I am somewhat familiar with editing, so I’m confident that I should be able to pick up what I need to what are essentially “vanity” projects/resume builders.

So I’m looking for advice on video/cameras that are inexpensive yet amateur-friendly, as well as the same type of recommendations for editing software.

(Bri Castellini) #2 @hermdelica @movieguyjon @OSTSG @ghettonerdgirl @EricaHargreave

A few things! First, highly recommend checking out this week’s Forget The Box podcast, which is all about post-produciton! :slight_smile:

Second of all, check out @hermdelica’s article series on here about editing! They’re mainly VFX-themed, but there are still things you can pick up from them! This one changed my life: Colour Correction Primer

(Herman Wang) #3

It’s been a while since I’ve been shopping for gear or software, so my info’s probably out of date. But I can say this: I bought the most expensive camera I could afford knowing that it was going to be my workhorse for the next long while. I’m still using it 8 years later, so it did work out cost-wise, in a way.

(Erik Urtz) #4

I would check out DaVinci Resolve. I believe you can get a fairly full featured version of the editing software for free.

Camera wise, its hard to say, really just depends on what you want to do. I’ve shot stuff on a Red and on an iPhone. If you are looking at getting a decent all around camera that isn’t crazy expensive I would probably recommend something like a Canon 80D.

(Eric Brown) #5

Looking at camera recommendations and camera reviews online can be a little overwhelming. The truth is that the gear doesn’t matter as much as the story and direction. Decide how much you want to spend and buy the camera that comes closest to your budget. Keep in mind that you’ll want a couple lenses. Zooms for an independent filmmaker are best because they give you a variety of focal lengths without having to buy or carry a lot of gear and you don’t have to take out time change out lenses as your shooting.

The Canon 80D that Erik Urtz recommends above is excellent for independent filmmakers. It has a great touch screen, you can monitor sound (not possible on many lower level cameras), plug in external mics, best autofocus around, nice rack focus feature, long recording times, etc. Get the two kit lenses 18-55 and 55-250 and buy the nifty fifty lens and you have an excellent setup to start.

Premiere Elements may be a good software for you to start with. It’s inexpensive and feature rich. It has a small learning curve. That will prepare you for moving up to something more feature rich like Premiere Pro in the future.

(Kate Caplis) #6

I would suggest learning a pro software like Final Cut, Premiere or Resolve. You will find you have more control and if you need to you can do the majority of the editing or logging and then send the project to your editors to finish the editing, (color,sound, fx etc).

Resolve is currently free and is a fast and comprehensive package, however the learning curve may keep you from being interested. Download the program and watch some tutorials. The software works with NODES instead of timelines or layers that other software uses. If you are just starting out and have never seen editing software before it may be easy to learn, but for those of us used to timelines, it’s a different mindset. Great color control however, may want it just for that.

I like Premiere since they seem to keep up with digital video formats and most are easy to import. Also for workflow purposes the Adobe CC product line allows for easy integration into After Effects and Media Encoder.

I am an editor so not familiar with the best cameras. I do know a few camera people who swear by the Panasonic GH5/5S LUMIX for color reasons and easy workflows.

(Jonathan Hardesty) #7

I second @SnobbyRobot about DaVinci Resolve. Play around with the free version as it should have most of what you need. Avid also has a free version that has a good feature set. I’m partial to the adobe suite, but that’s a bit spendy long-term.

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #8

What kind of camera did you get? I’m looking to buy one within the next year.

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #9

Whatever post-production software you choose, chances are there will be plenty of forums and tutorials on youtube. I use FCP X because it was easiest for me to learn and use cost wise. I’m not a fan of subscription costs since Adobe charges you monthly.

(Herman Wang) #10

I got a mid-level Panasonic for about $2000. It has a fixed lens mount, which I came to regret because I got stuck with a huge depth of field. Other than that though it’s done the job for me.

(William E. Spear) #11

On the camera side, I wrote down the characteristics of my next three projects on insight on the gear. Next, I was brutally honest with what I could afford and found cameras that were capable of capturing those stories. When it came to prices, I chose to buy used. When the camera arrived, I walked around Trenton, New Jersey - my day job is with the government of the State of New Jersey - taking hundreds of pictures to better understand the camera’s strengths; even joined an online photo group to submit stills. Along the way, the video I’ve shot was posted elsewhere for reaction. At present, I am writing and rewriting projects to best use the camera’s technical abilities. This has taken nearly four months but everything is moving positively. Hope this helps.