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  1. #1

    Talking Camera for Student Doc Filmmaker

    Hi all! I am noob to the forum, but I would love any and all of your advice.

    I am a student filmmaker, entering my last year of college and I am looking to purchase a camcorder or dslr. I will primarily be using it to film my senior thesis film (a documentary short), but I would also like this to be a tool for personal and freelance projects this summer and in the years to come. I have a lot of experience as an editor, but not too much as a camera operator. Most of my previous films have been done using the kodak flip digital camera, but I think it is time for an upgrade. I also have experience with my Nikon D80, but this does not have video on it.

    I plan to do promotional videos, interviews, documentary projects and a music video for one of my friends. I would love a camera that records sound well (or has the ability to attach a mic) and takes clear, crisp video. It is also important to me that it has a decent sized view-finder, is user-friendly and a good camera to learn and grow with. I know these cameras come with endless features and adjustable options, so I hope that either they are easy to learn otherwise they will be wasted on me. I'm also interested in a camera that has removable lenses so that I could add fish-eye, wide-angle, or long-zoom sport type lenses if I purchased them (although I'm not sure if this is even an last filming experience was using actual film strip on bolex cameras)

    Budget: ~$3000 for body, lenses and accessories. But if I am going to spend close to this much I'd like for the camera to not quickly be outdated by new technology (not sure if this is just inevitable or what)

    Thanks in advance for any and all advice

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    NW England


    Hi and welcome as you have a nikon already i would first look down that route, unless you have a good reason not too. second it may be better to do a split and get a dedicated camcorder and a DLSR.

  3. #3


    looking at the stuff you want to shoot a DSLR will do just fine as long as you dont mind manually focusing during shooting. A Nikon D600 is what springs to mind - you get a full frame sensor which is great for extra shallow DOF , low light shooting , has a mic and is well under 2000 so there will be plenty of change for a good lens and some accesories. TBH when it comes to lenses I would recommend you get one good prime lens and one zoom . Any extra lenses you might need for your projects you can just rent them as renting lenses is so cheap. Theres no point investing lots of money in lenses you might use once or twice a year.

    Camcoders at the sort of price you are budgeting at may not have a large sensor as a DSLR , a DSLR beats camcoders in the lens department as you will be able to attach so many common and exotic lenses ( lensbaby , tilt and shift ) & a DSLR can take better higher quality photos if you need some that the sort of pictures you can get from a camcoder...............on the balance of things I would favor a DSLR .


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