Money to spend, but on what?

Froi Website User Posts: 966
edited December 2013 in General
Hey everyone,
So i have around £800 i am willing to spend, i currently have a Canon 600D and i wanted to know whether or not i should invest in a newer, better, film camera like a 70D or a 5D or maybe go down a different route and invest in different film equipment.
At the moment i am starting to create promotional media for local businesses and etc, so my big concern is making sure i have good equipment which will help me produce good quality products.
Thanks all :)


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,256 Ambassador
    Lenses for the camera you already have. Expands your current equipment, comes with you when you buy a new body.
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,729 Ambassador
    Triem23's correct. If you just got the Canon camera body you wouldn't need new lenses. Do some comparative
    shopping online to find the best price, compare it to local stores and go with the online place if it's cheaper.
    So you wait for shipping time- no big deal.
    I always use eBay and Amazon as barometers and compare to local stores. 75% of the time I end up going
    with eBay for large purchases.
    How's your computer and graphics card and graphics programs? All up to date?
    Just thinking off the top of my head here, but think ahead to what you will definately need and anticipate what you might need and expand on that. You might consider an external hard drive to store/backup things on  (terabyte drives are getting cheaper) or professional sound effects.......etc.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    When staying with DSLRs if you are not talking about going to a full frame camera then you are just talking about switching from Fuji apples to red delicious apples.  Get  yourself some great lenses but do not overspend to get the 1 canon L lens you can afford.  I have a preference for the Rokinon/Samyang series of lenses and their best lenses are the 16/35/85mm lenses.  These are prime lenses, so no zoom and manual focus..
    After you have the lenses... you can always build up your rig or improve your audio system.
    After that I'd recommend upgrading your computer rig.  When upgrading your rig you can do 1 of 3 things.  1)start taking your current configuration to its max 2)build the max system your can afford 3) start building a high end computer that will take spending money later to bring it into its own.  When I built my computer I opted for #2 because I was not interested in the following year in dumping more money into the system.  For a #3 level workstation the cpus, mobo and graphic card alone could run you 2 grand.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,256 Ambassador
    edited January 2014
    I would agree with MichaelJames that the Rokinon/Samyang lens are good quality at a good price--don't get me wrong, a Canon L - series lens is a beautiful thing, but you can get two orthree Rokinon/Samyang (and Bower. Rokinon and Bower lenses are all made by Samyang) lenses for one Canon L - series.
    Another reason I say lenses is you say you're doing promo and ad work for local companies. This suggests a lot of indoor shooting.
    Let's use a local restaurant as an example. For this, you might want three lenses: something pretty wide (under 20mm) for your estabishing shots sweeping the entire dining area, something near 50mm with a wide aperture for beauty shots of happy customers eating (with background blur), and maybe a macro lens for closeups of that yummy food. For this kind of shoot you probably don't need anything greater than 100mm unless you're doing the popular "start zoomed on a table setting and crash-zoom out to show the room.
    Since you're doing promo work other things that come to mind are lighting and sound. Do you have lav mics for the owner of the business to say" Com to my store?" Maybe you want some light stands and LED light panels (and gels) in case you're shooting in a dark location?
    You could consider buying motion graphic stock footage like some of the digital juice lines like Light Leaks and Bokeh as beds for text (the rate for local ads is usually low enough that you won't want to spend hours animating and rendering abstract backgrounds for logo/address text). When freelancing at per-job rates anything that saves time means more profit.
    And, of course, as pointed out above, you could upgrade your edit computer.
    I would agree with MichaelJames that unlesa you're moving to a full-frame body, your 600D is a perfectly good camera.
  • Froi
    Froi Website User Posts: 966
    Lenses! yes, good shout, i am looking at getting one or two but i just don't know which, i shall have to look at them all and find out which each does so i can judge which one will be the best for me?
    At the moment i have an iMac, it's running pretty smoothly and can handle my editing so far. I also have a couple of Fresnal lights, they look like Arris but are much much cheaper! They've been on a couple sets and haven't blown up yet so i can say i some what trust them for now.
    Sound is definatley a department i struggle in, I have a Rode Videomic Pro at the moment but i dont think i am using it to the best of its abilities, so i i'm going to try do some more test to see if i can get it running smoothly and get more aquanted with it. If that doesnt go to plan i may borrow one of my friends because he has a bunch of sound equipment and know alot more about it than i do!
    I guess the lenses also help improve the picture quality too, so i maybe able to get away with using my 600D with a good new lens when i am making videos for other people. My biggest worry is that the footage may not be high enough quality for them!
    Thanks alot, I shall be branching off into more directions now testing out my equpiment more and searching lenses to see what could best suit me at the moment.
  • IncredibleFootage
    IncredibleFootage Website User Posts: 3
    You have a good camera. I also own a T3i (600D). 
    Here are some suggestions:
    Get the Magic Lantern firmware. It is free, and it will give your camera controls normally unavailable in cameras under $5000. Once installed, ML is available by pressing the Trashcan button on the back.
    The very first lens I would invest in if I could take back all the mistakes I made, would be a super wide lens, something like a 10mm gives you twice as much width as your kit lens (18mm). Sigma and Tokina make some good ones.
    When on eBay, get a manual (no electronic contacts) M-42 - EOS adapter. It will allow you to mount any M42 (Pentax screw mount) lenses on your camera. For instance, a F1.8 Asahi Super Takumar 55mm, a Pentacon 29mm F2.8 (my favorite lens - easy to focus, low profile, great close-ups, sharp images), a Zeiss Pancolar 50mm F1.8, or a 15 blade preset 135mm Pentacon F2.8... these lenses provide superb film quality. They are all manual, they are all unstabilized, but get used to it, that's true of many high end professional lenses which cost a lot more.
    Or if you want both new and impressive-looking lenses, spend a bit more and get a nice set of Rokinon cine lenses. Their quality is superb, and they handle, feel and look great.
    An external battery pack, an AC adapter (looks like a Canon battery and plugs into a wall) with a car AC adapter if working a lot outdoors will give you significant downtime reduction.
    Last, you would want rock solid stabilization, so you might want to look at a Benro S2 (a portable monopod with fluid tilt in the head and fluid pan at the bottom of the leg base). When retracted, a monopod is a good counterweight, allowing you to use it just as you would a steadycam.
    Good luck!
  • Froi
    Froi Website User Posts: 966
    edited January 2014
    Magic Lantern! Got that, need to explore it more but I do like it a lot!
    If there was a lens I need to get most I think it maybe a 10mm in fact, It would probably be more useful than others at this time. Good suggestion thanks :) !
    I was talking to a cinematographer friend I've done a bit of work with and he said it would be wise to invest in a good tripod, especially for the work I intend to do, as well as general film making. It is a Manfrotto 504HD worth £450 (exc VAT), rather a lot for a tripod but I know it works wonders so I may be looking into getting one of those, and maybe a slider too for it. Any one think this is a good idea or not? Don't want to spend lots and realise there may have been a better option available.
    Look at some of these things!||26+support//////////video/
    Thanks a lot!
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,256 Ambassador
    edited January 2014
    A Manfrotto 504 is an excellent head with enough heft to grow with you if you expand and start adding camera lights, LCD monitors, matte boxes, rails, etc. You'll want legs capable of taking a 12kg/25lb pound load... Especially if you're thinking of a slider dolly.
    *I say 25 lbs based on a 600d being 1.1 pounds, my biggest lens, a Canon EF-L 28-70mm f2.8 (2 pounds). Ok, that's 3 pounds. Lets add a 7" monitor (2 pounds) maybe a camera mic or light (1 pound) and a 48" slider dolly... 11 pounds wiith mounting hardware and ball head.... 17 pounds. But what if I rent a 400mm telephoto? That's 5 pounds heavier than my 28-70! 22 pounds!
    So. Beefy legs required.
    Ah, but slider dollys are wonderful things, especially if you're doing local ad/promo work. Generally they come 40" or 64" (@100-150cm). The shorter length works on a tripod, the longer, normally it would be recommended is mounted on dual C-stands. With the 48" slider on a tripod, you can even lock the camera at oneu end of the slide and use it as a mini-jib!
    Be aware the slider dolly is usually just the dolly track and plate. You often have to buy the ballhead, tripod (head) mount, etc separately.
    Oh, btw, I have an 8mm rokinon lens I love.
  • Froi
    Froi Website User Posts: 966
    Brilliant! I am definately going to purchase that then, i hope haha! Very glad i will be able to use it for the next few years without worrying I will need to replace it for a more heavey duty one. :)
    I think i shall leave sliders for now and use DIY versions, like a tripod on a peice of cloth on a smooth floor. ;)
    So like i said earlier I am going to start a business making promotion videos for local businesses, I have done research and I beleive I have come up with how much I will charge per video (on the basis of how long it takes to make). I would like to know how much you guys would charge for a promotional video that takes 2 weeks to film and edit to see if i am at all on the right track. :)
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