best camera for setting up a studio

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alansunmeta

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best camera for setting up a studio

PostThu Dec 29, 2022 9:45 pm

Hello

Im tasked with finding a camera for filming teachers talk about the lessons.
The studio will be a converted office and has a lot of room.
Which camera/cinema cameras in your range do you recommend please?
I'm looking to put together low, middle and top prices for the boss.

so far iv read about the following
Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 12K
Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro G2
BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

they have pro and cons like the format its recording in?

any advice or guidance will be greatly appreciated
I also have to buy all the equipment so the list goes on but thought if the cam had mic n light and can plug in to other stuff.
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wemrick1

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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostSat Dec 31, 2022 2:44 pm

So many questions, so little time.

What are you going to do with the video? Will this be a live stream? Will this be recorded, edited then played back later? If it is played back later how will this be accomplished, streaming from a hosting service, steaming from a private server, played back directly into monitors? If direct to monitor, what is the quality of the monitor, HD, UHD, true 4k hdr? If material is to be edited how will this be accomplished? Will you be using an editing service and do they have preferred or constrained deliverables? Are you building a remote learning academy and if so what is your competition in regard to material quality?

I recorded a year long series of remote learning lessons of my wife (special needs instructor) which was streamed from Youtube. The necessary camera equipment was quite minimal and would be easily accomplished with something like the Pocket Cimena 4k. I would not attempt to film for an academy as I lack experience but there are those here who are well adapted to such a challenge.

I'm hoping my responding will solicit more responses from more veteran users here on the forum. Obviously if they have more questions they can ask them. I perceive video for education (not the youtube hack stars) to be a valuable endeavor. Best of luck with your project.
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Leon Benzakein

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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostSat Dec 31, 2022 3:40 pm

I hate to be Debbie Downer on this BMD forum but maybe you should be looking at camcorders that come with built in lenses rather than cinema style cameras.

or

If you wish to stay with BLackmagic Design, look at the Studio range of cameras.
https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products

Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2
Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K
Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro

Are you thinking of shooting multi camera?
Plug them into an ATEM switcher and start the journey to fun and games.

I too wish you good luck and envy your adventure.
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David Chai

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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostMon Jan 02, 2023 2:53 pm

You also have to look at lighting and sound.
You will need to rig a few lights to make the teachers look good. Do you have to rig trusses to keep things neat and tidy?
You will need some wireless mics to plug into have good sound quality.
The cost and quality vary tremendously from Lectronics to simple plug and play systems like Pico mic.

Do you have camera operators?
Is this a live switch environment? Or record and edit later?
Workfllow is a huge part of Multicam / studio environments.
The ATEM ISO can record all camera streams in sync and import into Davinci for further editing. This will save you an enormous amount of time. You also need to consider storage and this will determine shooting format. Can you afford a big raid setup? Or just individual hard drives? Or you can mix a Blackmagic cloud storage solution with some big hard drives for backing up.
You'll need monitors to watch everything and make sure you don't have problems.
Best to setup a control room somewhere, not in the same room so you can monitor sound with speakers and have talkback to the camera operators and / or instructors.

If you don't have camera operators, you can use solutions like the DJI RS3 Pro gimbal that have active person track and can add autofocus to a manual focus lens camera system like the Blackmagic pocket cameras.

Here's a great podcast setup with 6K Pro cameras and ATEM ISO recorder:
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wemrick1

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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostMon Jan 02, 2023 6:47 pm

This is to provide a "zero" budget production of the typical "class" my wife and I created.

These were special education children in their junior/senior year of high school. Our intent was to provide real world instructional needs. One topic we frequented was cooking. Simple meals step by step. Lighting was first. I owned a few low cost led video lights which I was able to diffuse with umbrellas that I had. This provided a low contrast overall lighting. Nothing here that I would call cinematic. Cameras were placed on tripods, one providing a wide shot of my wife talking about process, one tight shot covering prep area and stove, and sometimes one covering the sink. On occasion a segment of a video would have to be shot after changing camera angles e.g a close up of setting the microwave. At the time I was using 4k Panasonic camcorders which while not rich in color pallet did provide good clean shots of the activity. I would use iris settings that provided good focus of the areas covered. Everything was shot at 24P 180°. Audio was captured via a Tascam Lav microphone. The cameras were also used to capture audio for synchronizing in post. The resulting videos were hosted by YouTube as unlisted and links were provided to the students for their viewing. The resulting videos were very effective as learning devices for the students. They had no difficulty hearing or seeing what was being presented. It provided a viable approach to education during the Covid lock down days.
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jamedia

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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostMon Jan 02, 2023 9:14 pm

Leon Benzakein wrote:I hate to be Debbie Downer on this BMD forum but maybe you should be looking at camcorders that come with built in lenses rather than cinema style cameras..


100% agree. This is talking heads not cinema.

A decent Camcorder eg. https://www.panasonic.com/uk/consumer/cameras-camcorders/camcorders/hd-camcorders/hc-x2.html that has two XLR audio inputs would probably work very well. Cannon, Sony etc all have very good cameras of this type that will cost you a fraction of the BMD Cinema cameras.

Note these Camcorders are great for corporate, news and documentary work but will struggle at cinematography where you would use the BMD cameras.
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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostMon Jan 02, 2023 10:30 pm

jamedia wrote:
Leon Benzakein wrote:I hate to be Debbie Downer on this BMD forum but maybe you should be looking at camcorders that come with built in lenses rather than cinema style cameras..


100% agree. This is talking heads not cinema.

A decent Camcorder eg. https://www.panasonic.com/uk/consumer/cameras-camcorders/camcorders/hd-camcorders/hc-x2.html that has two XLR audio inputs would probably work very well. Cannon, Sony etc all have very good cameras of this type that will cost you a fraction of the BMD Cinema cameras.

Note these Camcorders are great for corporate, news and documentary work but will struggle at cinematography where you would use the BMD cameras.


I like this recommendation. I used a couple of predecessors the UX90 and UX180 and they performed very well for what you coin "talking head". With the built in zoom, lcd, and viewfinder it's like all in one camera in a box. I even rigged up an offset shoulder mount that works wonderfully as a run and gun. Had a grab and go scene collecting a bee swarm where it was worth it's weight in gold. Wasn't as pretty as the interviews with the BM cameras but blended in just as good as any of today's reality shows on TV. No mistaking all those little bees crawling into their new hive.
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jamedia

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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostMon Jan 02, 2023 10:54 pm

wemrick1 wrote:I like this recommendation. I used a couple of predecessors the UX90 and UX180 and they performed very well for what you coin "talking head". With the built in zoom, lcd, and viewfinder it's like all in one camera in a box. I even rigged up an offset shoulder mount that works wonderfully as a run and gun. Had a grab and go scene collecting a bee swarm where it was worth it's weight in gold. Wasn't as pretty as the interviews with the BM cameras but blended in just as good as any of today's reality shows on TV. No mistaking all those little bees crawling into their new hive.


The UX90 and UX180 are the "professional" versions of the HC-X1 Identical electronics and lenses. The HC-X1 has no SDI or time code.otherwise the same apart from the lack of 3 year pro support. I also use an offset shoulder mount for run and gun news work. The HC-X2 is the new version of the X1.

There are other similar camcorders from all the usual suspects.
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Leon Benzakein

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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostTue Jan 03, 2023 6:27 pm

Alan,

An important question that you need to answer for yourself is that of depth of field.

You need to decide whether keeping focus as people move is of importance to your quest for the right camera.

If you do not have an answer to this question then I would suggest that you may not know what you are getting yourself into and therefore need to do some deeper research.

As others on this post may have mentioned, the size of the sensor, the need for lighting equipment and lenses is at the root of depth of field.

Depth of field should govern your search for the optimum camera setup for your need. Otherwise you are entering into a whole world of pain.
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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostTue Jan 03, 2023 7:12 pm

Leon Benzakein wrote:I hate to be Debbie Downer on this BMD forum but maybe you should be looking at camcorders that come with built in lenses rather than cinema style cameras.

Leon Benzakein wrote:Alan,
An important question that you need to answer for yourself is that of depth of field.

You need to decide whether keeping focus as people move is of importance to your quest for the right camera.

If you do not have an answer to this question then I would suggest that you may not know what you are getting yourself into and therefore need to do some deeper research.

As others on this post may have mentioned, the size of the sensor, the need for lighting equipment and lenses is at the root of depth of field.

Depth of field should govern your search for the optimum camera setup for your need. Otherwise you are entering into a whole world of pain.


Presumably this also means a camera with decent tracking autofocus. You could even use a shallow depth of field if the AF keeps track of movement opening up a further area of research - back to the camcorder or even a hybrid mirrorless? When I was thinking of getting a BMD pocket camera back in the summer it was the lack of AF that led me to stickin' with Nikon (and a BMD VA).
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Leon Benzakein

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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostWed Jan 04, 2023 12:33 am

mickspixels wrote:Presumably this also means a camera with decent tracking autofocus.


I am not a fan of auto focus.

My experience with a fancy autofocus, tracking, face recognition device with a C in the name was that the AI got bored during the interview and started looking for something more interesting to fixate on.

Everyone is a critic. I do not need my hardware to act out because it does not enjoy the subject matter.

Could have been operator error but I do not appreciate being given the finger by something when I pay it's power bill.

There was nothing in the background to freak out it's tiny, little AI mind.
It just choose to behave like a two year old.

Needless to say we have not dated since.
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mickspixels

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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostWed Jan 04, 2023 1:28 am

Hahaha. :lol: No doubt you’re right and I will keep that in mind should I ever do interviews or the like.

I’m a photographer dabbling in video and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the tracking AF works on the Nikon Z family but yeah it can lose the plot. I find it very useful for close-up plant videos but I’m shooting short clips and do several takes of each shot, so nothing critical if the AF goes astray occasionally. For landscapes I usually switch to manual focus and smallish apertures with hyperfocal focusing for max depth of field. If light is fading, manual focus becomes critical as the AF does get confused
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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostWed Jan 04, 2023 3:59 am

alansunmeta wrote:Hello
... but thought if the cam had mic n light and can plug in to other stuff.


If you are looking for a camera with inbuilt mic and light you probably need to look in a different park. These are all good cameras which will give good results, but not if used by people who don't know how to set a white balance etc. If this is part of your skill set, then welcome to the team. If not, be prepared for a steep learning curve. I have set video recording systems up for churches where the operators are volunteers and have used high end camcorders with auto-focus, auto-exposure etc. We don't know enough about your situation, competencies, personnel etc. to make any valid comment except to ask you to consider these points. It's quite possible that you could have a better result with slightly lower quality equipment. One option you might consider is to hire some cameras and studio kit as part of your evaluation process.
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Leon Benzakein

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Re: best camera for setting up a studio

PostWed Jan 04, 2023 4:43 pm

Alan,

I am sure that this is not what you are looking for but I thought that this video was genius.
We live in exciting times.

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