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The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is Currently Half Price

There are a lot of very exciting cameras available right now, many of which offer tremendous value.  Blackmagic’s “Cinema” cameras have always been a terrific bargain, offering incredible image quality at previously unheard-of prices.  The Pocket Cinema Camera in particular is remarkable for offering full HD (1920×1080) RAW internal recording for under $1000, making it one of the least expensive options for getting true cinema-quality … Read more!

What's the best Canon camera for video?

What’s the Best Canon Camera for Video?

It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a video creator.  In the last few years, DSLRs have completely changed the entry-point for cinematic production levels, with affordable cameras from Nikon and Canon that can produce stunning results.  Mirrorless digital cameras from Sony, Panasonic, and Fujifilm have followed suite, packing more and more power into increasingly small form factors.  Blackmagic Design has singlehandedly brought affordable RAW … Read more!

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Review – Aputure VS-1 Field Monitor

While not necessarily an essential tool, an external monitor can be a valuable addition to your arsenal as a filmmaker.  They allow you to pull focus and check shots more accurately, monitor your video in situations where you can’t use the camera’s built-in screen, and they allow multiple people to easily view what the camera is capturing simultaneously.  Having a larger screen to watch can … Read more!

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A Few of My Favorite Things – The Best Budget DSLR Video Gear

The holiday season is a great time for video.  The events, decorations, lights, and general festivity make a great subject – and lots of people are either buying new gear at a holiday discount, or receiving equipment as a gift.  With just a few weeks left in the year, I thought I’d share a few of my very favorite pieces – gear that provides amazing … Read more!

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DSLR Video Lens Guide

In the worlds of professional video and photography, “kit” lenses – the lenses that are included in package deals with camera bodies – are generally avoided.  While the skill with which you use your equipment (whatever equipment that might be) is the single most important thing, any serious photographer will tell you that the quality of your lenses is probably more important than the quality … Read more!

Creating professional video on a budget

Film Smarter – Pro Video on a Budget

The past several months have been a period of major transition for me.  As a freelance video professional moving from the midwest to central California, I’ve had to establish a new client base – and, in the process, learn new techniques, hone my existing skill set, and equip myself with new gear.  Essentially, I went from having a well-stocked studio at my disposal with experienced, … Read more!

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The Canon 70D and 60D

The Canon 60D has been a popular choice among budget-conscious DSLR videographers since it was released in 2010.  The 60D sits squarely between Canon’s full-frame, professional grade cameras, like the 6D and 5D Mark III, and the more consumer-friendly Rebel line, like the T3i and T4i.  It uses the same cropped sensor as the higher-end Rebel cameras, but in a higher quality body with a … Read more!

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DSLR Video Gear Guide

What is the best DSLR for video?  What gear will give the most value and provide the most versatile production setup?  I’ve spent a lot of time researching and reviewing video equipment to find the best options – and the best deals.  This is my list of equipment choices for getting geared up on a tight budget – especially if you’re getting into DSLR video … Read more!

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Getting Started In DSLR Video

In my last post, I talked about the three different options video professionals have for getting a versatile camera setup on a budget: renting high-end equipment, like a RED One; purchasing a mid-range professional camcorder, like the Canon XA10; or outfitting a DSLR – in my case, a Canon T3i – for pro video work.  After examining the costs and benefits of … Read more!

rent or buy

Rent, Buy, or Upgrade?

Video professionals today need to handle a wide variety of tasks.  Especially for small operations – like myself – having a diverse skill set is vitally important.  I market myself primarily as an animator and editor, but different projects may require me to script, shoot, composite, color correct, or tackle visual effects.  When I do work for a larger production company, they often already have … Read more!