Basic Equipment for New Filmmaking Students

Basic Equipment for New Filmmaking

First of all congratulations on starting film school! You are probably already trying to figure out what equipment you will 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.

Lenses

If you’re buying an interchangeable lens camera, you can buy it with a kit zoom lens, or buy the body alone and choose lenses separately. For an APS-C camera with the kit lens, I recommend adding an affordable 50mm lens for low light shots and creative shallow focus.

Sound Equipment

Sound is as important as pictures, and you won’t get great audio with the microphone in your camera. Using a separate microphone will make a big difference. Lavalier (‘lav’) microphones, which clip onto clothes, are the most affordable way to get good sound.  Wireless lavs are great if you can afford them. You can also use a directional microphone on a boom pole.

You really need to be listening to the sound on headphones as you shoot. But some cameras have limited audio recording options – and no headphone sockets – so you may need a separate audio recorder.

Tripods and Camera Support

It’s important to keep your camera steady. Some cameras have very effective built-in stabilization, but most filmmakers use a tripod or monopod at least some of the time. If you want to be able to pan and tilt your camera smoothly, you’ll need a fluid head tripod. You can also get sliders (for smooth tracking shots), electronic gimbal stabilisers (for continuous flowing shots), and jibs (for vertical camera movements).

Lights and Reflectors

Once you start to get serious about filmmaking, you’ll want to control the lighting. You can use inexpensive five in one reflectors to enhance natural light. Basic work lamps are a good starting point for learning about creative lighting. For filming on the go, LED panels are the most convenient option, though good ones are expensive. For a budget studio setup, CFL soft box lights could be a good choice.

Editing

You can edit on Macs, PCs, phones or tablets.

Computers

I use Macs. They’re designed for video editing and widely used in the film and media industry.

You’ll get more for your money with a PC, but they aren’t as user-friendly and you’ll need to check that the spec is good enough to run your editing software. Video editing – especially 4K – takes up a lot of space and needs a powerful computer.

If you don’t need to be portable, a desktop computer will be better value for money than a laptop.

Storage

If you’re just doing small projects, you can keep all your video on your main system drive, but for large and more ambitious projects you’ll probably need external drives. Solid state drives (SSDs) are faster but more expensive than hard drives.

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.

Best Cameras In 2021

The Best Cameras In 2021: DSLR Cameras For Beginners, Enthusiasts, and Professionals

The best cameras have to do all sorts of jobs, from wedding, to high-resolution commercial photography of sports to video . The best cameras are some of the most hardy and reliable thing around – as mirrorless camera technology becomes more common. While mirrorless cameras can be tempting propositions, the best DSLRs can offer incredible shooting experiences, often incorporating mirrorless technology and features, such as on-sensor phase-detection autofocus and m

 Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 is budget friendly, light, small and easy to use camera– all the qualities that beginners can be appealed also. It seems as if camera system is advancing at great speed right now, but this camera has all the qualities we look into for in a beginner’s camera, and we still haven’t found anything to touch it at this price.

Type: DSLR

Sensor: APS-C

Megapixels: 24.2MP

Lens mount: Nikon F (DX)

Screen: 3in, 921,000 dots

Max burst speed: 5fps

Max video resolution: 1080p (Full HD)

 User level: Beginner

Canon EOS 90D

This is the best Canon camera for enthusiasts that left few professional videographers and photographers taking a look too. It came with groundbreaking specifications that no other camera in this category can match at all.

Type: DSLR

Sensor: APS-C

Megapixels: 32.5MP

Lens mount: Canon EF-S

Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots

 Viewfinder: Pentaprism

Max burst speed: 10fps

Max video resolution: 4K UHD

User level: Enthusiast

Nikon D7500

Nikon followers looking for an all-round equivalent to the all purpose Canon EOS 90D should also take a look at the Nikon D7500. It offers a slightly faster 8fps continuous shooting speed, and a proven 51-point autofocus system with the ability to capture 4K video at once. This camera has a lower resolution (20MP vs 32.5MP) but in real-scenes shooting its high performance sensor delivers potos which are not far behind the results by the Canon, despite the difference in megapixels.

Type: DSLR

Sensor: APS-C

Megapixels: 20.9MP

Lens mount: Nikon DX

Screen: 3.2in tilting touchscreen, 922,000 dots

Viewfinder: Pentaprism

Max burst speed: 8fps

 Max video resolution: 4K

User level: Enthusiast

Nikon D780

Nikon D780 takes detection autofocus in the on-sensor phase of Nikon’s own mirrorless Z6 to offer a DSLR with mirrorless camera live view in fantastic performance! This camera is like a supercharged, modernised version of Nikon’s popular D750 model. Nikon D780 doesn’t just have advanced live view but it also comes with a high resolution tilting touchscreen, dual UHS-II compatible memory card slots , 4K UHD video, and continuous shooting speeds about 12fps in live view mode.

Type: DSLR

 Sensor: Full frame

Megapixels: 24.4MP

Lens mount: Nikon FX

Screen: 3.2in tilting screen, 2,359k dots

Viewfinder: Pentaprism

Max burst speed: 7/12fps

Max video resolution: 4K UHD

User level: Enthusiast/professional

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

We adore Nikon D780, but Canon EOS 6D Mark II has been in the market longer and has much impressive feature. The 26-megapixel sensor is more than enough, it also does have Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, so the autofocus in live view is very speedy and effective.

Type: DSLR

Sensor: Full frame

Megapixels: 26.2MP

 Lens mount: Canon EF

Screen: 3.2in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots

Viewfinder: Pentaprism

 Max burst speed: 6.5fps

Max video resolution: 1080p (Full HD)

User level: Enthusiast

 Nikon D850

Nikon D850 is a costly camera but its features put it in a class of its own. It has 45.7MP resolution, and 153-point autofocus system. It can capture pictures at 7 frames per second – or 9fps with an optional MB-D18 battery power.

Type: DSLR

Sensor: Full frame

Megapixels: 45.7MP

 Lens mount: Nikon FX

Screen: 3.2in tilting touchscreen, 2,359,000 dots

Viewfinder: Pentaprism

 Max burst speed: 7fps

Max video resolution: 4K

User level: Enthusiast/professional

WRAP UP

Choosing the best professional camera is not just about picking the one with the most enticing specifications but you have to look at the camera as a whole, its model, its lenses, and what is set to be released in its future. Before choosing a system, it is worth asking yourself a lsit of questions: 

1) Are you switching from a different systems? If you are switching from a different system, it is worth looking well into whether there is any potential compatibility between your existing and new system. Existing system migration is much simpler and cheaper than starting with a whole new setup again.

2) What lenses will you need? Think about the typeof work you need and the lenses you reuqire for the purpose and check whether the system you are choosing can meet those requirements.

3) DSLR or mirrorless? It does sometimes feel like mirrorless is getting around the world, but the best DSLR cameras do still have their advantages, like the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, are making new ground.

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