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DevonH
11-16-2011, 08:14 PM
Over the past year I've come to love videography through my GH13, which just a set of Canon FD's I picked up off of craigslist, I've gotten some amazing results, and found a new passion. I've worked with technology for years (freelance web development, web design, major nerdry in general), so the technical aspects have been fairly easy for me to pick up on, and my love for telling stories has made all the difference when it comes to what I do behind the camera. I've decided that later next year I'm going to provide video production services to local businesses, we have several local shops that do great work, but we've also got quite a few churning out low quality work (in both picture quality, and content quality). I'd enjoy coming in as an affordable alternative to the latter, who are usually overpriced in their offerings. I've spent the last 4 years in the local business scene as a freelancer, which has given me a great head start when it comes to managing and marketing a business.

The GH2 is affordable enough that I believe I've been able to put together a kit that will cover a wide range of scenarios at a relatively affordable price, I'd like to share it with you guys and get your input. My work will consist of talking heads, product overviews, training videos, etc.

Perhaps this will also serve as a starting point for someone else looking to put a kit together around the GH2

Camera & Lenses

GH2 w/14-42mm Lens
GH13 (already owned)
Canon FDs: 50mm 1.8, 24mm, 35-70mm (already owned)
Rokin 85mm 1.4
Rokin 35 1.4
Panny Pancake 20mm 1.7

Audio

Rode NTG-3 with Blimp Kit w/ Dead Wombat Windshield (also a Rode Windshield for when I use the mic mounted on the camera for run and gun)
AT4053b with Rycote Baby Ball Gag and Windshield
G3 Wireless Kit with Rode Pin Mic
Sennheiser - HD 280 Pro Headphones
C-Stands, Shockmounts, XLR cables, etc.
h4n (already owned)


Mounting Options
Sachtler Ace Tripod
Manfrotto 561 Monopod
indisystem "UltraCompact" System (Includes Matte Box, Follow Focus, shoulder rig)
indisystem Jib
Konova Slider
Steadicam Merlin (joined with vest add-on as soon as possible)


Lighting
Cool Lights 2x55 Flos (2)
Cool Lights 4x55 Flo
Cool Lights 150w Fresnel
Diffusion (would enjoy some tips here, 1000h, Half White, Opal, etc)
Stands, Foamcore, Cheap Muslin, etc.

Pelican Cases to protect the camera and audio gear, extra batteries, and plenty of SD cards.


I've spent several months researching as I put this kit together, and I'd enjoy seeing your thoughts, especially when it comes to my lens selections. DVXUSER has been an amazing resource for me, and I thank all the great people that have answered my questions, and submitted awesome content on other threads.

Due to the wondrous thing that is Christmas, I've convinced my Fiancee and close family to "invest" in around $2,000 of the above. The only two big considerations I have left are a DP6 Monitor, and a Mix Pre D Mixer (thoughts there?). The total cost for all of the above (with some things purchased used), is around $12,000. I know some members will say this is a large investment for someone newer to working with video, but I want to put my best foot forward. All of the above will allow me to handle most small to medium sized jobs.

A big thanks to ggrantly, who was one of the first people here on DVX who lent me a hand, and whose suggestions helped build this list.

wgzn
11-16-2011, 08:26 PM
most of what youre talking about is reasonably good - but id stay the hell away from that indisystem jib. i like several of their products (their higher end model is one of the better budget follow focus systems) but using water as a counter balance for a jib? HORRIBLY BAD IDEA. like on the level of retarded.

DevonH
11-16-2011, 08:37 PM
most of what youre talking about is reasonably good - but id stay the hell away from that indisystem jib. i like several of their products (their higher end model is one of the better budget follow focus systems) but using water as a counter balance for a jib? HORRIBLY BAD IDEA. like on the level of retarded.

I was going to opt for just the Jib and pick up some regular weights, have you had any experience with the actual build quality on it?

john flores
11-16-2011, 09:47 PM
Devon, I'm on a similar path. I'm acquiring bits and pieces as I progress and learn, each piece slowly adding to my capabilities and confidence. To be honest, it would a bit overwhelming to acquire all that you described in a very short period of time. There's a big difference between learning how to operate something and learning how to use it, I mean really use it to move a story along, and to use it in conjunction with other bits and pieces so that they are working harmoniously. For example, I'm at my limit just monitoring audio, checking focus, making sure there's not too much glare in the subject's glasses, and monitoring batteries, memory cards, and whatnot for a simple interview with a camera on sticks. I can't imagine having to add something like making the camera move or pulling focus on a moving subject without something else suffering as a consequence. I guess I'm at the threshold for needing assistance, and with your list, you'll need someone just to help load and unload LOL!

Also, what are you budgeting computer-wise? You sound tech-savvy so I imagine you have the RAID arrays and the render farms all ready to go.

But hey, if you think you can get a grasp of all those toys at once then Merry Christmas! Enjoy the toys and let us know how it goes!

DevonH
11-16-2011, 10:08 PM
Devon, I'm on a similar path. I'm acquiring bits and pieces as I progress and learn, each piece slowly adding to my capabilities and confidence. To be honest, it would a bit overwhelming to acquire all that you described in a very short period of time. There's a big difference between learning how to operate something and learning how to use it, I mean really use it to move a story along, and to use it in conjunction with other bits and pieces so that they are working harmoniously. For example, I'm at my limit just monitoring audio, checking focus, making sure there's not too much glare in the subject's glasses, and monitoring batteries, memory cards, and whatnot for a simple interview with a camera on sticks. I can't imagine having to add something like making the camera move or pulling focus on a moving subject without something else suffering as a consequence. I guess I'm at the threshold for needing assistance, and with your list, you'll need someone just to help load and unload LOL!

Also, what are you budgeting computer-wise? You sound tech-savvy so I imagine you have the RAID arrays and the render farms all ready to go.

But hey, if you think you can get a grasp of all those toys at once then Merry Christmas! Enjoy the toys and let us know how it goes!

There is certainly a lot to learn, and I'm compensating that by not only a massive amount of pre-purchase research, and a lot of dedicated time slots for each piece of gear post-purchase. It's not necessarily difficult to learn how to use a slider, or a glidecam, or even a jib, but using them in the correct context within a project is a whole other ball game, and something I can only learn by practice.

I currently have a 27in i5 iMac that handles my GH13 footage reasonably well. I'm beefing up the ram in it, and will be nabbing a few TB drives to begin with.

Hehe toys? Everyone's grouching because it's all for "work". I think everyone that's around me on a daily basis is soon going to be avoiding me if I don't shut up about framing this, composing that, and the cool ways I could use a jib. They don't seem to realize it doesn't feel like work to me.

Phenixone
11-17-2011, 07:45 AM
Also as people said, I would purchase all this slowly and one by one, by buying one thing, you may realize that you should have gotten something else different. In your package I see some essentials missing and some extra useless (for now) things.
Have you considered a monitor? and a Battery plate to feed your rig? I was like you and didn't think of it but a monitor is critical. (you go from: I think it
s somehow focused to i KNOW it's sharp!)
Don't rush and go with the most important. You should consider the things I put in bold for you.

I personally went in this order since this summer:
(already own mic system + on cam light + tripod)
Camera + 14-140
single grip handle
express35 run n gun trio
panny 20mm
nikon 55mm f2.8 manual
nikon 35mm f2 manual
SmallHD monitor DP6

My next steps are:
Battery plate to feed the rig (Leaning toward Dolgin plate for Panasonic batteries)
Matte box (rent?)
Follow
Slider
and maybe steadicam (still not a fan, prefer slider, plus it is a LOT of learning)

Depending on what you shoot, I would recommend going for a second GH2 body instead of a jib (and rent a better quality jib when needed). Having 2 bodies gives you 1- a backup, 2- a B cam (you just need a friend to operate)

DevonH
11-17-2011, 11:31 AM
I've been looking at the the dp6, definitely something I'm heavily considering

blake2404
11-17-2011, 04:17 PM
I hate you...lol.....very similar to my "wish list" kit.

peripatew
11-17-2011, 10:03 PM
Well thought out list. I just ordered the Samyang 35mm/1.4 to try out, and sent it back. Smooth, sharp, and nice built quality, but it was just too big compared to everything else I have. I got a Canon 35mm/2 instead. Liked the extra stop, but size matters when I'm running around.

I like the 20mm a lot, but hate focusing with it for video. Trying out the Voigtlander 25mm right now. LOVE it so far, other than the focus ring is l.o.n.g. w/o a follow focus, especially when my kids are running at me :D

john flores
11-19-2011, 04:03 AM
The OP is not talking about documentaries, but still this article provides the perspectives of budget documentarians:

I Have $5,000... What's the Ideal Documentary Kit?

http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/2011/08/camera_kits_on_a_budget.php

DevonH
11-19-2011, 04:41 AM
Well thought out list. I just ordered the Samyang 35mm/1.4 to try out, and sent it back. Smooth, sharp, and nice built quality, but it was just too big compared to everything else I have. I got a Canon 35mm/2 instead. Liked the extra stop, but size matters when I'm running around.

I like the 20mm a lot, but hate focusing with it for video. Trying out the Voigtlander 25mm right now. LOVE it so far, other than the focus ring is l.o.n.g. w/o a follow focus, especially when my kids are running at me :D

I'd love to nab the Voigtlander, but it's a bit out of my budget. I'm highly considering selling my existing set of Canon FD's and going with older Nikon Primes (though they can be more expensive as well). I've also reached the decision that the Steadicam may wait a few months, and instead of the 8ft Jib, I may go with the 4ft one featured on Cheesycam.

john flores
11-19-2011, 08:25 AM
I currently have a 27in i5 iMac that handles my GH13 footage reasonably well. I'm beefing up the ram in it, and will be nabbing a few TB drives to begin with.

I'd say that 8Gb RAM is the minimum that you'd want for an editing workstation. HDs are the big bottleneck in my experience. Look at RAID.


Hehe toys? Everyone's grouching because it's all for "work". I think everyone that's around me on a daily basis is soon going to be avoiding me if I don't shut up about framing this, composing that, and the cool ways I could use a jib. They don't seem to realize it doesn't feel like work to me.

Be sure to add a bit of gravitas to your pitch so it doesn't sound completely like your buying toys ;)

DevonH
11-19-2011, 09:12 AM
Looks like I'll be selling the MacBook Pro and upgrading it in the coming months as well.I'd love to know when the Dp6 monitor bundle with the accessories is ending.

Phenixone
11-19-2011, 10:28 AM
I doubt the bundle is ending. It is just a promotion if you buy it all at once. Advice is to use it. You could regret not having the hood and a battery plate. even if you use an external battery, the battery is useful if you change your rig or use the monitor without the rig like on a jib)

DevonH
11-19-2011, 10:33 AM
Yes, but it says "deal extended due to customer demand", so naturally, as soon as I go to make my purchase it won't be available any more ;)

Further adjustments: Dropping the 4x55 bank for now, keeping the 2 2x55 banks and the 150w fresnel.