Learn Filmmaking

Here you will find information to help in your journey in making films.

Which Camera is right for me?

What would you like to shoot? Would you want to earn a living making videos but also work on sideline projects on the side? Do you want to focus on wedding video work solely or a particularly technical role in video like Drone work? Do you want to make your own short films when you have the free time, or do you want to run a youtube channel and interact with your audience.

Answering what type of videos you want to make will help you answer this question, Here are a few key issues that you might want to think about too:

The Different Types of Cameras

There are a range of different cameras for video, Here are some of the main ones:

  • Canon EF DSLR Cameras (Canon EF Mount)
  • Nikon DSLR Cameras (Nikon Mount)
  • Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Cameras (Micro Four Thirds Mount)
  • Sony E Mount Cameras (E Mount Cameras)
  • Black Magic Cameras (Micro Four Thirds Mount)

Each camera has their own different mount fitted to use different lenses. To choose which camera you should get, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Is weight an issue for me? Do I want a lightweight setup? Do I want to take photos also? Do I need to shoot in 4K? Do I want to have a range of low cost lenses and accessories?

Is weight an issue for me? Do I want a lightweight setup?

The Micro Four Thirds and Sony E Mount cameras use lenses that are very small and lightweight. If you buy a Canon or Nikon camera, they are usually a lot bulkier and heavier. For video work also, you would need a stabiliser/shoulder rig or a video tripod if you are using a Canon or Nikon for video work, whereas with the Panasonic and Sony cameras, you can usually hand hold it, if the lenses you use have image stabilisation.

The main issue with the Micro Four Thirds (Panasonic) cameras, is that they have an issue called Crop Factor. Where if you put a 14mm lens on the body, it will film like a 38mm lens or something similar to that. That is because the sensor size is smaller, and the focal length (mm) of the lens is calculated based on the larger cameras like the Canon 5D Mark 3 and 4.

So essentially, if you use a more lightweight camera, it will be harder for you to get wide angle shots. But the advantage is that it is a lot easier to get long telephoto shots with a wide aperture setting like a f1.7.

Lightweight cameras can use something which is called a speed-booster, which magnifies the sensor to make the lens wider. These speed-boosters can be quite tricky and expensive, they allow you to use Canon EF or Nikon Lenses, it really depends if you can afford to buy these. They can also allow the use of the lenses to use Auto Focus and to adjust the aperture.

Do I want to take photos also?

Surprisingly, cameras like the blackmagic cinema cameras, don't really allow the use of taking photos.

Do I need to shoot in 4K?

Most Canon cameras don't currently allow the use of filming in 4K, The lightweight cameras have really changed the industry in recent years, So going with a Panasonic and Sony cameras does have an advantage. Canon has been very slow in competing in the 4K industry.

Do I want to have a range of low cost lenses and accessories?

Future proofing your camera kit is also good practice, The Canon EF Mount has probably the largest amount of Lenses and Accessories.

Frame Rates

frame rates.png

Would you like to shoot in slow motion? Not every camera can do this, reading the technical specifications of the camera is very good practice, even if you can't fully understand all the terms. One of the cameras we use is the Panasonic Gh4. This camera allows to shoot in 96 frames per second in Full HD. So this is an added advantage to those cameras that only shoot in 24 or 25 frames per second.

What is important to you?

There will be some features the camera doesn't have, so sometimes you have to weigh up in what's important to you in the long run.

Low-light Filming

There are some great cameras out there for low-light filming, a few cameras that are getting praise are the sony A7S series of cameras, and now the recent GH5S camera. If you are going to be filming live bands/gigs you will definitely need a camera that can handle the lighting issues that surrounds the work. It does help though if you buy lenses that have a wide aperture, lenses like F1.4 and F1.8 let in a lot of light but they can also be more expensive. If you are starting out we recommend the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM Lens, if you are using an EF Mount Canon Camera. If you are using a Micro Four Thirds camera, the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 Pancake Lens is a really good option.

Image Stabilised Sensor

Not many cameras do this feature, but the Panasonic GH5 camera series uses this feature well. This feature alone will open a lot of doors for video work for you, but it also has its own downsides, for Moviemaking, it's not always a positive to use these features as you need complete control sometimes on how the camera moves and flows between the takes that you film.

My Recommendations:

If you want to start you video-making and future proof it, I would buy Canon EF Lenses and buy either an APS-C Camera that has an EF Mount, or buy a Micro Four Thirds Camera and get a Speed-booster to use EF Lenses. This path is not for everyone, but it does have a lot of benefits.

The Canon EF Mount has the most variety. I would suggest that you also buy native mount glass for your camera. So using panasonic lenses on a panasonic camera will have benefits for you, particularly with auto focus.

If you do want a lightweight setup and want to slowly build up your gear, The Panasonic or Sony line may be great for you, keep in mind that with the cheaper lenses, that you won't get the widest aperture for filming.

It is better to start off slow and slowly develop.