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AndrVlad says

Absolutely agree with felt_tips!

One additional thing i want to mention, neutral density (ND) filter is very useful addition to any camera and lens to escape flat and cheap picture during the day light. Right DOF and motion blur with ND filter change picture a lot. Many beginners as i see underestimate it.

Best regards, Andrey

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thepainterman says

Wow,appreciate the pointers everyone,I am new to it all so it’s genuinely great to get a professionals perspective on lenses,pro and cons etc.I’ll take a look at the canon and panasonic and treat myself to a nice christmas present.

Have a great christmas and new everyone and thanks again for the advice and pointers :)

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dorde says

I have canon 60d and I feel that it’s made for me, especially with magic lantern. :) And I’m gladly recommending it to my friends who ask me for opinion for best buy dslr, but since I saw footages from panasonic lumix gh2, I recommend them to consider it too.
Check out this video, 60d vs gh2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6bzQfZ8OCQ

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Creattive says

Get a Canon…

I don’t like it if people are directing newbies to one brand. The time of canon’s monopoly in video-dslrs are long gone.

They have a certain look, and I do like that look. But even at cheesycam you can read that there are plenty of alternatives to canon. eoshd.com, a blog that was meant to report about canon dslrs, has now totally switched to a gh2-fan-blabla, which isn’t the holy grail, too.

I’d say the threadstarter has these options:

Canon (600D, 650D, 550D, 60D):

sensor size:
aps-c sensor size (crop-factor of about 1.6, i.e. a 50mm lens becomes an equivalent of an 80mm lens on a full frame camera)

advantages:
  • “Canon”-Look (might be achieved with other cameras in post, too)
  • Magic Lantern: a whole community developing new features for the camera, really good, but not official, ie. more a hack. Someone does bother that.
  • a huge collection of canon-lenses
  • great display-resolution
  • great photographs
  • can record in many framerates: 1080P: 24, 25, 30fps, 720p: 60/50 fps
disadvantages:
  • only a few old manual lenses can be used with adaptor because of the long distance between lens and sensor.
  • very soft (more like 720p than 1080p)
  • moiré and aliasing problems
  • viewfinder useless in videomode, display might be useless on sunny days, too.

Panasonic (primarily GH2):

sensor size:
4/3”, crop factor of 2: i.e. a 50mm lens becomes the euqivalent of a 100mm lens. hard to find wide-angle lenses. also, the now so popular depth-of-field-look is not so extreme as with an aps-c sensor, sinze the blurriness of the background relies not only on the f-stop of the lens, but also on the length. i.e. a 100mm lens gets more blurry (in the out-of-focus-part) than a 25mm lens at the same f-stop.
Since you achieve the same field of view with an 50mm lens on an aps-c sensor like you do with a 40mm lens on a 4/3 sensor, aps-c movies tend to have shallower depth of field.

advantages:

  • you can use almost ANY old manual lens and get them really really cheap at ebay. I got 50mm 1.4 canon FD lens for about 10€ (and this doesn’t fit on a new canon dslr). BIG advantage if you are on budget and for videos manual lenses are good because autofocus is anyway pretty much useless.
  • electronic viewfinder – can be used while recording video
  • best resolution nowadays in this segment
  • firmware hack available, but not so great options as magic lantern. does give you the option to up the bitrate, though.
  • lightweight: you can save money on stuff like shoulder rigs and steadycams, sliders etc. if your camera is light.

disadvantages:

  • sensor size: hard to find a (fast) really wide angle lens, although there are some lenses from panasonic now (14mm 2.5 = 28mm on full frame).
  • no optical viewfinder: you must decide if that’s a disadvantage for you
  • photos don’t look as great in my opinion, but could be me. I like canons more for photographs.
  • lightweight: can be a disadvantage in the handling, but you should try that out in a store.
  • not so much framerate options: gh2 can record in 1080 24p, but not 25p or 30p, only 50i or 60i, depending on the country where you bought the camera. I guess the hack already changed that, but I’m not sure.
  • not so much new lenses (still growing, the format is pretty new), but the option to use old glass does this make obsolete for me…

Also you should take a look at the

SONY NEX Series (primarily NEX 5n, NEX 7)

sensor size: aps-c (like canons)

advantages:
  • built in peaking! shows you what is in focus, very very helpful. (some canons can do this with magic lantern, too.)
  • you can use almost ANY old manual lens and get them really really cheap at ebay. I got 50mm 1.4 canon FD lens for about 10€ (and this doesn’t fit on a new canon dslr). BIG advantage if you are on budget and for videos manual lenses are good because autofocus is anyway pretty much useless.
  • electronic viewfinder – can be used while recording video. (only NEX7, for NEX5n you have to buy it extra)
  • very very lightweight and tiny: you can save money on stuff like shoulder rigs and steadycams, sliders etc. if your camera is light.
  • photographs look good, I own a NEX 5n and prefer it over my gh2 for photographs
  • 1080p 60/50fps, i.e. you can record slowmotion in fullhd. option for 24/25p is available, too. framerate relies on the country where you bought the camera. .
disadvantages:
  • no optical viewfinder: you must decide if that’s a disadvantage for you (NEX 5n has no viewfinder at all, but can be bought seperately)
  • very very lightweight and tiny, not so much buttons, primarily control over touchscreen (nex 7 has more buttons than 5n): can be a disadvantage in the handling, but you should try that out in a store.
  • not so much framerate options: fps depending on the country where you bought the camera.
  • not so much new lenses (still growing, the format is pretty new), but the option to use old glass does this make obsolete for me…

I own a GH1, GH2, NEX 5n, and also got my hands on a 600D and 550D. I really like the Sony NEX, I wonder why there are no more people using it. I’ve recorded a whole music video on that tiny little thing.

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Creattive says

I have canon 60d and I feel that it’s made for me, especially with magic lantern. :) And I’m gladly recommending it to my friends who ask me for opinion for best buy dslr, but since I saw footages from panasonic lumix gh2, I recommend them to consider it too.
Check out this video, 60d vs gh2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6bzQfZ8OCQ

hm I don’t want to say the test is super bad, but judging cameras at youtube quality is always a bad idea :)

But let’s compare the results: moire/aliasing: clear winner: gh2
resolution: winner: gh2, although it’s not so visible at youtube, maybe because of how the guy tested it.
colors: you might like 60d more. I do, out of box. but there are possibilities in post.
fps options: clear winner: 60d, no doubt on that. gh2 hack wasn’t available at the time of the test, though. I guess that has changed now.
rolling shutter: both ugly, maybe gh2 a bit better

but hey, did you see that he used the canon lens on the gh2? try it the other way round ;)

Some other critique was quite nonsense, nobody serious does record audio with a 60d or a gh2, and even if you do they work kinda the same, although you need an adaptor for about $1 at the gh2. but xlr-connections does have neither of them.

And that you might have to read the manual before first using the camera is okay, I think. I’m used to work with panasonic, and I have problems with canons, too.

But you have to be careful with these youtube tests, it’s quite obvious that the guy likes his canon. there are plenty of tests an vimeo and youtube where gh2 kicks canons ass.

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Leupsi says

I totally agree with placdarms,

spend some more money for your camera so you don’t have to invest all the time in new little things…
This is why i decided to buy the 7D with a good L lens and the combination is in my opinion really powerful.

Additional, with Magic Lantern or the different cinematic film looks like technicolor cine style you can set at the camera, this camera will become a weapon and gives you unlimited control possibilities!

The only minus point in my opinion is the fixed screen, so i will buy an external tft monitor for this camera!

Hope this helps you a bit, best regards& have a great day! :)

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thepainterman says

Thanks again everyone,as always great advice and I like the differing options as it gives me something to look into. All mentioned cameras are well within budget so that’s good news.

Thankyou for the youtube clip it tells me I have much to learn with the different types of lenses and their uses as well as looking at as many reviews to get an overall view of the cameras mentioned.

Buying the camera is the easy part it is learning how to use it properly that takes the skill.It’s an investment I am happy to make.I realise with the increasing quality of projects here that quality footage is needed to compliment the project look.

Under the tree will be my treat to myself and I will let you all know on xmas eve which one it is. I like the 7d,I am not sure it may be too much for me right now but then you can counter that with once I learn I won’t need a camera.

Again I thank you all for your valued input and much to consider.

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felt_tips Moderator says

Thanks again everyone,as always great advice and I like the differing options as it gives me something to look into. All mentioned cameras are well within budget so that’s good news.

Thankyou for the youtube clip it tells me I have much to learn with the different types of lenses and their uses as well as looking at as many reviews to get an overall view of the cameras mentioned.

Buying the camera is the easy part it is learning how to use it properly that takes the skill.It’s an investment I am happy to make.I realise with the increasing quality of projects here that quality footage is needed to compliment the project look.

Under the tree will be my treat to myself and I will let you all know on xmas eve which one it is. I like the 7d,I am not sure it may be too much for me right now but then you can counter that with once I learn I won’t need a camera.

Again I thank you all for your valued input and much to consider.

Rest assured that whatever you spend your money on, it will be absolutely stunningly, incredibly brilliant compared to what was available on the market in the same price range ten years ago. HD was in its infancy, h.264/mp4 was not an officially approved standard and it would be 4 more years before the RED One would be released.

Let’s face it, you’d probably have been shelling out about 2 grand for a Canon XL1 standard definition Mini DV camera. Yep it had a tape with reels that went round and round. :-)

We’ll probably look back on 2012 and these cameras and laugh.

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thepainterman says

I’ve decided on a canon 600d or 650d I am primarily looking at this from a video point of view.There is around £60-70 of difference so price is not an issue. Although the 7d is in the price range I am new to this so I feel the 2 models are good entry level models to learn.As I learn and it starts producing an income then I feel would be the time to progress to the very high end models.

I’d like to thank everyone for their views and help it’s really helped me understand why I am choosing one of these 2 models instead of just going out and buying a camera because I can.

I wish you all a fantastic xmas and new year and I genuinely hope you all have a prosperous new both here on videohive and your own ventures :)

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