Getting Into The Movie Business On a Shoestring Budget
March 29th, 2014
If you’ve had an idea in the back of your mind for a documentary or short film, then now may be the best time to think about making your cinematic fantasy a reality. Thanks to Sony and Rokinon, you can now get a totally decent HD camera and a set of prime cine lenses for right around $1,500. Scrape up another $500 and you can add a decent set of lights, a Rode shotgun mic, a tripod and sound recorder.
Just because the price tag is low doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing quality. Sony put the Nex-5R on sale at B&H for $348 (body only). That is a great price for a camera that delivers full HD at 60 and 24p, has a 16.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, a tilt rear screen, and is wifi capable.
Don’t let the size of the 5R fool you, the video footage from the Nex series is excellent, check out this footage by Tom Antos.
Excellent video quality and that was shot with a kit lens! Add one of the much faster high quality e mount cine lenses from Rokinon and you’ll have a camera that really rocks. The best part is it’s so small, hardly anyone will notice if you’re filming outside or in public places. Pack all your gear in a standard backpack and take it anywhere.
Here’s some video I shot with my Bower 35mm f/1.4 prime, which is made by the same company, Samyang, it’s just sold under a different brand name. The lens was mounted on a Canon 7D, which also has an APS-C sensor.
Even though it’s a manual lens, you couldn’t pry it out of my hands. It’s f/1.4 fast and tack sharp. The cine lens is the same lens except it’s calibrated in T-stops and doesn’t have aperture click stops like a still lens. You can get this whole set of prime lenses for less than the cost of one expensive prime lens.
Once you’ve finished your video masterpiece, you can still take excellent still pictures with same camera and lens setup. Excellent quality that also comes with versatile application.
I’ve watched prices on video gear since 2004 and this is the best quality and value for the money I’ve seen in 10 years. To give you some perspective, you’re getting an entirely decent HD camera and set of prime cine lenses for almost $1,000 less than the cost of my old Sony VX2000, which shot in blazing standard definition NTSC video, that I bought new in 2004.
So, if you thought filmmaking was only for people who had a lot of money, here’s your chance to put together an entirely decent video kit for just a little more than I paid for my last bicycle. No more excuses, get out there and start shooting.