For the vast majority of us, there is an almost undeniable urge to buy equipment that catches our eye.

After all we see stunning examples of its use across the internet and suddenly our creative imaginations run wild.

First a disclaimer: If you have money to burn, go for it. Really there is no need for you to read this article. And honestly, gear is not a bad investment. You can often resell it in foreign countries for the same amount as the original purchase or slightly less, even years later. Although as globalization marches on, this is not likely to be the case in the next 10 years.

For the rest of us, as painful as it is at times, we will look over three different brands of the same items until our eyeballs are bleeding simply because parting with that hard earned, non-inherited money is incredibly painful. Sometimes it’s the scraps of tips we’ve scraped together over two years and what’s left after buying diapers and baby anti-rash butt-creme and those few dollars can either be spent making life a little more comfortable that year, or pursuing a dream which most others tell us is just plain foolish.

A lot of times, we live out in the middle of nowhere and going to some huge gear expo to get our hands on stuff just isn’t possible. So we read and read and read online reviews until our brains our numb and finally click purchase and cross our fingers.

The truth is that only on the very rarest of occasions we will be able to buy all the equipment we need to do what we are planning on shooting, so what we buy must be planned carefully and against the very real reality of the funds we have to invest.

Now, if you are just planning on doing a one-off commercial or music video or projects every once in a while. Seriously dudes and dudettes: Just rent it or borrow it. The cost of rental will be fully justified vs. buying $20,000 plus of gear for every once in a while use. 

However if you are planning on having a career as a videographer or DP or Director who is hands on and shooting for months or weeks at a time, then buying your gear needs to take a serious consideration in your planning.

In sequence of priority you need to think about:

– Camera

– Lenses

– Sound

– Editing

– Viewing and Monitoring

– Stabilization (tripods, etc…)

– Mounting and gear for movement

Lets take these up in sequence:

Camera – This is your bread and butter moneymaker. Anyone who is serious about creating moving pictures needs to have a primary camera for shooting the day in and day out material. If you are just starting out, you don’t need a RED, Arri Allexa or anything of that level to say nothing of film. An HD-DSLR will suit you just fine and will prove to yourself and everyone else if you should continue pursuing the foolish dream of being a film-maker or perhaps find another calling. It will show if you have “the right stuff” at the lowest dollar amount possible. 

BUT I WANT TO SHOOT RED!!!!

Amigos, if you can afford a RED (or similar) set-up AND the post gear needed to handle that level of footage, go for it.

But chances are you can’t. And the truth is that out of the hundreds of thousands of videos, webisodes and films being produced DAILY all over the world, only 5% or less use cameras at that level.

More importantly, if you are just starting out, people will be more impressed about what you can do with what you have and in all but a very few limited scenarios (such as slow-motion), Canon DSLRs and similar DSLRs will handle your daily creative needs beyond anything possible in the past. Even if you’ve got a handycam, with the vast amount of shallow depth of field camera junkies out there and with the eye of the new generation being trained into this “look”, you need shallow depth of field to even be allowed a place at the table.

As of today, nothing gives you the quality of that type of footage at the price-point that an HD-DSLR does.

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A VAST PORTFOLIO OF IMPRESSIVE FOOTAGE, WEBISODES, ETC… AND YOU PLAN ON MAKING SHOOTING A CAREER: BUY AN HD-DSLR AND KNOW THAT YOU’VE JUST MADE AN AMAZING INVESTMENT.

COMING UP NEXT: LENSES.

Have a great day,

Darius

dsw@8infinity.tv

dsw@zero2infinitymedia.com

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