Thanks for the replies all!
I've been slowly gathering evidence, reading, watching videos, and man is there a lot to know! I'll be a bit regimented in this post for those that will graciously read/comment in order to make it more accessible.
- Record footage and conduct interviews (in public as well as controlled environments)
- Create mini-documentaries on a range of topics that will force me to travel (once again, in public as well as controlled environments)
-Very near to pulling the trigger on a Refurb. Canon 5D Mark III (Currently have a 60D which I am looking to sell hopefully get 500-600)
*Nifty 50 1.8
-SD 16GB extreme class 10 card (2)
-Standard photo tripod
-MacBook Pro (2011)
-FCX and Premiere 5.5
Equipment I think I need:
-ND Filter recommendations (Variable vs. Fixed? How many stops? Brand? etc.)
-Lenses (Canon vs. Tamron/Rokinon ... prime vs. zoom ... regular vs. cine ... vintage/nikon/etc)
-Slider (not familiar with these..i've seen some mounted on tripod and others that are on the floor?)
-Creating a "Rig":
- A way to affix h4n and ntg2 (extra shoe mounts etc?)
- do i need a follow/pull focus? or can it be done by hand
-Inexpenseive ViewFinder (zacuto seems expensive)
-Do I need a monopod? Shoulder rig?
-Can I get buy with h4n & ntg2? Do I need wireless mics? Beachtek? (i'm not that familiar with audio)
Keeping in mind that I am a school teacher who is doing this as a highly interested hobbyist and not doing this for commercial work, what would you recommend? I am not looking to spend thousands upon thousands (maybe over years) but i'm also not trying to by garbage, highly sub-par equipment either (I am springing for a 5D MK III).
Video is going to be the overwhelming majority use, with secondary pictures (more important for lens recommendations)
What advice would you give?
1. Equipment recommendations
2. Rig set-up (light/portable/effective)
3. Workflow (editing/recording/etc)
4. Anything else I'm forgetting
Thank you SO much in advance!!!
Ok I'll try and answer these:
-ND Filter recommendations (Variable vs. Fixed? How many stops? Brand? etc.):I'd go variable, if you have different lenses with different filter sizes it will be really expensive trying to buy individual ND's. Genus makes a decent Fader ND, there is a bit of color cast when you really crank it up but it's fixable in post.
-Lenses (Canon vs. Tamron/Rokinon ... prime vs. zoom ... regular vs. cine ... vintage/nikon/etc)That all depends. Primes are more expensive, but have advantages. Zeiss lenses are amazing but also very expensive. If you want cheap, quality primes check out the Bower/Rokinon/Samyang, 14mm f/2.8, 24mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4 and they have cine versions that aren't much more expensive. If you're trying to do pictures as a secondary I'd just get one pretty good zoom with AF so you have something for that.
-Slider (not familiar with these..i've seen some mounted on tripod and others that are on the floor?)Yes, sliders can really add professionalism to your videos, there is something about a camera gliding on a completely level plane that just looks beautiful. Some have legs that allow you to place them on the ground (or whatever surface) and most can be attached to a tripod. The Cinevate Atlas 10 is a cheaper one that comes to mind. There are lots of cheap sliders out there nowadays, on the higher end side there is the Kessler Cineslider and their Pocket Dolly is pretty nice too.
-Creating a "Rig":Rigs are nice to have but I would worry about a nice tripod w/fluid head first. There are tons of options out there, everything from the round Manfrotto Fig Rig to a high end Redrock Micro or Zacuto Rig. I like Redrock's stuff and have a customized Cinema Deluxe Bundle but it was probably $3000 after everything was said and done. Check out eBay and Jag35, again there are lots of options out there. I'd also check ebay for used RedRock Micro stuff, I checked prices not too long ago to see what I could get for mine and remember being shocked at how much they had depreciated, so definitely check there. They are rock solid and reasonably light for their size.
- A way to affix h4n and ntg2 (extra shoe mounts etc?)Yeah beachtek makes a thing that gives you a bunch of extra mounts, i use that in these types of situations, but again there are alot of options out there.
- do i need a follow/pull focus? or can it be done by handYou can try and do it by hand if you want, but yes I'd highly recommend one. It just depends on the setup, on a tripod you could probably get away with not using one, but on a rig it would be more difficult. There are some cheaper options out there I'm sure, haven't had to look in a while
-Inexpenseive ViewFinder (zacuto seems expensive)Go on Amazon and search "LCDVF"
-Do I need a monopod? Shoulder rig?Monopods can be great for small spaces, but if you do go ahead and one made specifically for video. Manfrotto has one that has an actual tripod head on it, it's about $300.
-Can I get buy with h4n & ntg2? Do I need wireless mics? Beachtek? (i'm not that familiar with audio)Yes, the H4n and NTG2 will work fine for what you are doing, you may want to consider renting some Sennheiser lav mics if you ever have to do more high quality interviews.