Camera gear for film & cinematography

LuvsFixedBlades

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
32
Location
Colorado
Hi All,

I'm looking for some expert advice on camera gear for filming Western hunts (all archery, so some close shots) and also cinematography of mountain terrain/landscapes. I'm not new to photography or cameras, but don't have much experience with video specific gear. I'm looking for the type of quality I could edit and produce into a legitimate film. Light and rugged would be a bonus. My luck with tags this year was incredible, and I want to capture some of it for personal memento, and to start practicing to see if I have the eye to make something that's actually good.

I'd love to hear suggestions from those in the know which camera setups they would use and why.

I currently use a Nikon D7500 for photography and my favorite lens for it while hunting/backpacking is a 18-300mm for it's versatility. I also have a GoPro Black 9, which might be useful for some shots. Running a Slik carbon pro tripod and Sirui video pan head for my glass, and could use that for a motion camera as well.

I'm a neophyte when it comes to the video side, and I'm ready to get schooled.

Thanks ahead of time for anyone who has time to make recommendations.
 

mflo

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2020
Messages
92
Location
Los Angeles
Look into the lightweight Sony mirror less cameras… video quality is great, and they are compact and lightweight enough to take into the backcountry. If you have the budget for it, and don’t mind the weight penalty, you could also look into the Red Komodo. The DJI pocket 2 is also a really lightweight and small self filming gimbal rig that might be worth looking into as well.

Bottom line, there have never been as many cinema quality cameras as small and cheap as there are right now.
 

Jordan Budd

Super Moderator
Staff member
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Aug 8, 2012
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2,682
Location
NW Nebraska
I run the A7s3 from Sony.. for video you can't get much better. The 16-35mm, 24-70 and 70-200 are the lenses I run.

I also have a Canon G9xmark2 that has the ScopeCam adapter on it so I can film through my spotting scope. For backcountry purposes that's lot nicer to carry than my 70-200 for closer looks at distance.

Video sucks without audio, I have a set of Senheisers and a set of Rode-link wireless mics. Rode is a great bang for the buck.. Senheisers are the best of the best. At the very least for audio you need a shotgun mic. I run the Rode videomic pro that is rechargeable, it's awesome.

Like said above, depends how crazy you want to go but with the equipment available now it most falls back on the person using it and the person editing to make it cinema quality.
 

THLR

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 6, 2020
Messages
177
I use Sony A7C for my films, due size. For me the limitation seems to be money & the amount of gear I can possibly carry/organize. Two tripods and three cameras plus audio gets heavy...

I found this Sony promotion film inspiring, helped me galvanize my belief in size/quality.
 

Camera Land

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
1,314
There are some great suggestions here. Sony is the way to go and a gimbel would be a great help too. The model depends on your budget as well as the lenses u would need
 

THLR

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 6, 2020
Messages
177
Regardless of camerabyou end up with, for practical use, you might want to factor in battery capacity if you are buying new. Especially for cold weather. Somemodels accept batteries with roughly 1000 mAh, others 2000 mAh. I find the larger batteries to be far better, disproportional to the 1000/2000 numbers.

Get filters to protect your front lens, filming seems to be harder on the gear than lenses. I find that I need to work quickly to capture a sequence of film, possibly more bumps and abrasion.
 
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charliebravo77

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 23, 2015
Messages
125
Location
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Your D7500 does up to 4k video so you might want to give that a go before diving into a new camera system. The thing that is going to give you a cinematic look has more to do with the lenses and video settings than the camera itself. The recommendation to use filters to protect the lens is not really necessary as the front element of a lens is way stronger than any filter will be. That said, you SHOULD be using filters to manipulate light to allow for cinematic frame rates and wider apertures. Shooting in 24p with an appropriate shutter speed (1/50 or as close to 2x 24 you can get with your camera) usually will require a ND filter, particularly if you are shooting at a wider aperture to get shallow depth of field and less of that cell phone video look. If you don't already have a standard range zoom, something in the ~18-55mm range for a crop sensor and a fast aperture like f2.8 that's probably where I'd spend my money in addition to ND filters.
 

mflo

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2020
Messages
92
Location
Los Angeles
This is partially true… you are definitely going to want to use at a minimum ND (Neutral Density) filters to control your exposure… unlike stills, you’ll want to maintain the same shutter speed (in cinema or on a cinema camera it’s called shutter angle) and you’ll want to not mess with the aperture either (depending on the particular look you want). You also will want to try and keep your ISO at whatever your chosen camera’s native ISO is.

long story short, you’ll be controlling your exposure with ND filters as much as you can once you’ve made your other choices… if you constantly adjust aperture, or shutter speed, and to a certain extent your ISO (this just makes your image noisy, and in low light conditions you might not have a choice [which is what a lot of hunting footage will take place in] it won’t look cinematic.

Another thing to consider regarding camera body aside from the resolution is the color space and codec it’s able to record. You are definitely going to want a camera that shoots in Log color space.
 
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