Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

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Anastasia

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Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostSat Jul 25, 2020 12:09 am

Boyfriend gave me a blackmagic 4k is just the body no lens no nothing...Could anyone suggest what basic gear I need to get? what type of lens? audio etc etc I am totally clueless but I am willing to learn, I would like to spend no more than $1000 to get vital/basic equipment that would help me start shooting
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carlomacchiavello

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Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostTue Jul 28, 2020 7:50 am

I ask you to give us more infos about videos that you want to shoot, infos help us to suggest right gears to you.

I can start do a small priority list about gear, but a generic list be cause I don’t know what kind of video you want to shoot.

Step 01
- small lens zoom
- batteries
- t5 disk or other support where record video in camera.
- cage to protect camera and mount eventually accessories, with handle to help you to grab it.


- audio (mic or small recorder)
- tripods where put camera when you want to shoot not hand held.

Anyway, my best suggest is, before to buy learn a bit, buy some book or video course to understand why you need to buy every gears

Just to start :-)


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Stephen Press

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostTue Jul 28, 2020 9:43 am

Don't buy anything yet. Offer to crew some shoot's. Short film makers are always looking for cheap/free help. See what they do, work out what would work for you and go from there.
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Kim Janson

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostTue Jul 28, 2020 10:14 am

Get some inexpensive around 12 to 50 zoom lens, maybe used and SD card for recording media and start shooting. You need to learn what you need, Do you need fast lens, what focal lenght, is AutoFocus usable for you or do you manual focus etc. Spend just 300 at this time. You can start with the in camera mic, but pretty soon need to think about geting lav mic or shotgun or both. That also much depends of what you do with it.
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Richard Boniface

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostTue Jul 28, 2020 11:53 pm

I’ve spent a lot of money on gear I thought would be useful because famous Youtube personalities said it was essential & I’ve never used it once. Keep that in mind.

You could easily spend tens of thousands of dollars on gear depending on what you want to do. So the key question for you is to define what you want to do and you need to accept your budget won’t let you do everything.

Acquiring gear is all about compromise & it’s also a never-ending rabbit hole.

One thing is for certain, that camera is not going to produce one second of footage unless you have a lens & storage media (whether that’s an SD card or an SSD). Another thing most people find limiting about the BMPCC4K is battery life so you will probably want more batteries.

If you don’t want to use a tripod, you might want image stabilised lenses because you will get a shaky image otherwise.

If you had no idea what you were going to do with it & just wanted to start filming to see what inspired you try this:

1. Tripod - Buy a really cheap 2nd hand tripod that could get the camera up to your sternum/chest level (this will save you money on buying an image stabilised lens). Get the seller to set it up for you then apply a bit of pressure in different directions to make sure none of the joints slip,
2. Media- Buy an SD card, with ideally 256GB capacity but make sure you Google to see if there are any reported incompatibilities between it & the BMPCC4K (even ask on this forum),
3. You are almost certainly going to need some batteries unless you will have wall power. Buy genuine LPE6 batteries if you can but if you aren’t check this forum to see if anyone has had issues with a non-genuine brand you are considering,
3. Lens - this is probably the most expensive thing so try & find a friend who has a micro 4/3 camera like a GH5 & borrow one of their lenses to get some experience. Preferably you want a zoom lens to give you flexibility. Most scenery (unless you’re framing a distant scene) is shot on wide focal lengths like 12mm to a maximum of 35mm. If you get a lens that can go wide like 12mm it will give you the opportunity to shoot outdoors & indoors & get more of the room in-shot. Focal lengths up near 50mm-100mm are more for interviews & filming far off scenery.


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John Paines

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostWed Jul 29, 2020 12:44 am

American universities turn out tens of thousands of unemployable film school grads every year, last I heard the Writers Guild of America was registering 70,000 screenplays annually and the medium is full of senior citizens still dreaming about their first feature -- any day now -- even as movie theaters disappear.

Sell the camera.
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Denny Smith

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostWed Jul 29, 2020 1:05 am

Keep it simple — I second starting out with just some basic kit. Get a Panasonic 12-35 or short Olympus Pro zoom, a couple of SD cards, and a tripod with a decent video head, and learn to use the camera and basics. You will need a few Nutural Density filers, preferably of the IR/ND variety to get a 2-stop and 4-stop reduction in light, and combine the two for 6-stops. A small external monitor, like the SmallHD Focus, and a few Canon LP-E6 batteries with a charger, and you are set to go. ;)
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Ellory Yu

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostWed Jul 29, 2020 2:26 pm

Hi Anastasia, so you will receive a lot of well meaning responses from folks here, and some not at all. That's just the nature of a forum. But since you are new to filmmaking, let alone the use of a new camera that you have no idea what you need to get started, I suggest learning to crawl before you take your first steps. Obviously, you cannot use that camera without some basics, and I mean just some very basic stuff to use it. I also don't want you to spend a lot of money now. So here is what I will advise you to buy. They are enough to get you started and learning, in fact you can make beautiful pictures with it over time as you get yourself familiarize with the camera. I also made sure that you won't be spending a lot - around $350 for the basic things. I included links where you can order the items. If you take care of them, they will last but be aware this is a starter kit.

What you will need are the following:
(1) LENS:
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f/4-5.6 O.I.S. Lens - $148
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... 150mm.html

(2) MEDIA:
SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO SDXC Memory Card - $69.00
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... s=pi&pim=Y

(3) Battery Grip for BMPCC 4K - $66.00
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mcoplus-Vertic ... 85c45fbf03

(4) Batteries
Amazon.com – Buy 6 Wasabi LP-E6 batteries with charger - $50

I am suggesting getting the knock off battery grip because it is very cheap and will give you enough hours (up to 3 hours) of recording time. You will need batteries so go buy 6 of the Wasabi LP-E6. The battery grip takes 3 batteries at a time so you should have plenty. Oh, buy the battery charger too. You can find these sold in packs and comes with the charger.

Optionally, I suggest getting a small LED light since the lens is not a fast lens. It will also be nice for lighting your shots and experimenting with lighting which is very important to learn as a filmmaker. I recommend this one. Now this will add more money but with the optional items, you're going to be under $600 (if you get the light and a basic microphone), which is still very reasonable. You can get them later if budget does not allow at the moment.

(5) Basic Light Source
Aputure MC LED Light - $90 (Optional)
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... s=pi&pim=Y

(6) Audio (Optional)
There are many kinds of microphones and external recorders. For starters, you really don't need it. But if you are going to want to have good audio, it's good to invest in one. You can get this later.

Once you have everything to get the camera working go use the camera whether it is taking some shots of sceneries outdoors or of people indoors - and just have fun with it first. Also, set your camera so you are recording in Prores 422 LT at 4K UHD, 24fps. This will give you better mileage on the SD card.

Without spending so much, you will be able to learn and if it doesn't work out, it's not a big hole in your pocket. I do hope you'll learn to love making pictures. Good Luck!
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rick.lang

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Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostThu Jul 30, 2020 2:51 am

Anastasia, a zoom lens can be very handy to work with a variety of focal lengths to frame your clips. When I was first starting on my first Blackmagic camera, I did begin with a zoom as well. But since then I’ve learned that fixed focal lengths lenses also known as prime lenses) have their appeal. I don’t think you’ve told us what you want to shoot and at what distances so it’s difficult to know the most useful zoom lens.

I would recommend you select one prime lens to begin and after you’ve learned lots about the camera and what you want to do. It could be a wide angle or a normal or telephoto lens depending upon what you are shooting and any distances that will be typical.

It might be safe to start with a 25mm lenses which would frame your subject with a view similar to what your eye sees.

If you going to shoot close subjects like a small number of people up close or a landscape you might want something like to 15mm or so.

If you need to bring more distant things closer, then a modest telephoto such as 35 or 50mm might be a good start.

Eventually you may shoot almost all your subjects with any primes or zooms around the breadth of the Olympus 12-100mm lens, but you will learn more about framing with a single prime lens when learning.

The camera is not designed for quick snaps of any subject like an iPhone. It requests you to be aware of light, aware of your frame, aware of the best angle, exposure, colour, and so on. Very rewarding but not an iPhone. We all stumble and make lots of mistakes and eventually learn what we want and how to get it. It’s a creative tool at its heart to reward your efforts with a growing sense of accomplishment. It doesn’t make pretty pictures. You do.
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Ellory Yu

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostThu Jul 30, 2020 3:31 pm

rick.lang wrote:It might be safe to start with a 25mm lenses which would frame your subject with a view similar to what your eye sees.


I have used the Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 and that a nice little lens. I second what Rick suggest here. The only reason I did not suggest it because this lens has no Image Stabilization and I want to keep your cost very low in case you change your mind and decided to not pursue the art.

rick.lang wrote:Eventually you may shoot almost all your subjects with any primes or zooms around the breadth of the Olympus 12-100mm lens, but you will learn more about framing with a single prime lens when learning.

The Oly 12-100mm is not a fast lens but it is a nice lens. It is also expensive at $1300USD for a starter lens. If you were at the point that you think you're serious about the art, then I would have recommended this lens. But again, I err on the side that you are still unsure of the art and might not pursue it, so I suggested things to keep your cost low enough for you to still be able to do some appreciative work. Also, in the hands of an artist, the gear is irrelevant and they can do wonders with inexpensive gear.
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Curtis Campsall

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostThu Jul 30, 2020 5:35 pm

The previous answers have you well covered, so won't bother making a list. I will suggest that if you want to use it for narrative filmmaking stick with fully manual primes, and you may find that you use normal field of view, 25mm on P4k 90% of the time.

I really want to get into the Meike cine primes, but at $400 each may be out of range starting out, unless you start with one, the 25mm and add more over time. You could start with cheap throw away lenses that are actually remarkably good for the price. I have the small Meike lenses made for stills. The 25mm f1.8, 35mm f1.7 and 50mm f2.0, these are roughly $75 each on Amazon and perform as good or better than adapted vintage lenses without the hassle, you can't get a good wide at that price point, but if you can back up you may find you don't need it. Now an interesting hidden gem for 25mm is the 25mm f2.0 also by Meike, this is exactly the same lens as the cine version in a different housing, for much less money, it is $129 on Amazon, and even includes seemless follow focus rings. It was introduced at the same time as the 25mm t2.2 cine, maybe they were testing the market, and it is really big for a mirrorless stills camera, but perfect for filming. Unfortunately it is the only one they made that way, so no matching set possible, but it is a cheap way to get close to the mini cine lens experience.
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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostFri Jul 31, 2020 3:51 pm

Anastasia wrote:Boyfriend gave me a blackmagic 4k is just the body no lens no nothing...Could anyone suggest what basic gear I need to get? what type of lens? audio etc etc I am totally clueless but I am willing to learn, I would like to spend no more than $1000 to get vital/basic equipment that would help me start shooting

There are many types of film making.
Among those are:
YouTube presentations;
Web series;
Documentaries;
Interviews;
Narrative (of varying lengths, from few minutes and up to two hours).

What type of film making do you have in mind?
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MikeMeagher

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostFri Jul 31, 2020 8:30 pm

A friend gave me a SCUBA tank and Regulator once.. then I had to acquire the back pack, gages, wetsuit, fins, mask, training, experience.. etc.. 40 years later I still dive, and still keep buying junk.

Your BF needs to give you his credit card too. :)
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rick.lang

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostSat Aug 01, 2020 3:32 pm

Good point, Mike. Once she gets into cinematography, she won’t have any spare money left to buy him supper, and forget about clothes for the kids!
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David Peterson

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostTue Aug 04, 2020 3:52 am

Ellory Yu wrote:What you will need are the following:
(1) LENS:
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f/4-5.6 O.I.S. Lens - $148
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... 150mm.html


Sorry that is a TERRIBLE starting lens to suggest.

Any first lens suggested has to include the Normal FoV (which is roughly 25mm on a MFT camera), or if a prime at least be quite close to it. (for instance it would be ok-ish to suggest the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 as a starting lens)
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Ellory Yu

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Re: Totally new in filmmaking what gear should I get

PostTue Aug 04, 2020 2:56 pm

David Peterson wrote:
Ellory Yu wrote:What you will need are the following:
(1) LENS:
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f/4-5.6 O.I.S. Lens - $148
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... 150mm.html


Sorry that is a TERRIBLE starting lens to suggest.

Any first lens suggested has to include the Normal FoV (which is roughly 25mm on a MFT camera), or if a prime at least be quite close to it. (for instance it would be ok-ish to suggest the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 as a starting lens)


Did I say it is the best starting lens? No. To get a Normal FOV (25mm or near), there are no zooms or prime that has Image Stabilization in the less than $150 price range (well brand new). Although having a normal FOV is ideal, for a pure beginner, IS is important because they will encounter more jitter issues and it is a big help - especially if they are just using the camera to shoot anything but. Rick and I in later part of this post did suggest and mentioned the Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 which has a decent price but it had lack the OIS of which the 45-150 would be a good enough walk-around lens. I'm not disagreeing with you but considering that she is a beginner, little budget, and uncertain if this is for her, why break the bank. I still stand by my suggestion (not recommendation) for a package that is for an uncertain user. It is a suggestion only. One cannot just take things offered in the forum verbatim and without research.
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