Videography Starter Kit Part 1 – Cameras

People are constantly asking me what the right equipment is to first buy to get into videography/photography. Seriously, every week someone new seeks my council regarding DSLRs, lenses, lighting, tripods, editing software, audio, etc. After countless conversations, it hit me. I have an important, trusted voice in a growing, popular field right now. That’s where this blog post comes in. This post did not exist for me when I was first getting into freelance videography/editing, and I wish it did. So, I hope this helps as you begin to showcase your creative talents at 24fps. Lets get into it.

Camera

What camera should I buy? This is obviously the first question I hear when people are first starting out, as it is the most necessary piece of equipment to own. Most everyone these days is going with DSLRs because of their beautiful HD quality, ability to mimic the “film look” by shooting at 24fps, low cost, and capability of interchanging lenses. But there are so many types of DSLRs, which one is the best? There is no, one answer to this question. The most important thing to remember is the best camera is the one you can afford. Here are your best options: 

  • Canon 5D Mark III ($3,633 with 24-105mm lens) – This is a videographer’s dream camera. It has a full-frame sensor, it’s easy to use, and it’s results are absolutely gorgeous. If you have the money, get this camera.
  • Canon 6D ($2,434 with 24-105mm lens) – The 6D is an absolutely steal for a full-frame-sensor DSLR. At 1000 bucks less than the 5D, this is your next best option if you have a little more money to spend on a camera.
  • Canon Rebel T3i ($510 with 18-55mm lens) – For 90% of people first starting out, I believe this is the best option for your first DSLR. If you are looking for beautiful footage at a really affordable price, I highly recommend this camera. I shoot all of my professional work with the T3i, and I get incredible results. Most people are not willing to splurge on a full-frame sensor camera like a 5/6D right away, so I believe this is the best bang for your buck for a crop-sensor camera. Just like the 5D, it shoots in full HD, 1080p 24fps, and has a 720p 60fps option as well for slow-motion.
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The Rebel t3i. A lot of bang for your buck.

Many of you will notice that I left one of the most popular cameras for videographers off this list, the Canon 7D. No offense to the 7D, it’s a phenomenal camera, but I don’t recommend it to someone just starting out on a tight budget. Having used the camera extensively, I have never noticed a difference in quality between the 7D and the T3i. Plus, if you know you are getting a crop-sensor, why pay triple the cost for a 7D (comes in at $1,600 with a 28-135mm lens) when you can get equal quality with the T3i for around $500? That being said, here are the advantages of the 7D:

  • It has a much more solid, nicer, metal body compared to the small, plastic body of the T3i. The 7D just feels more like a professional camera, and definitely looks the part as well.
  • There is a convenient little screen on the top of the camera that shows the aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc. However, if you believe that is super important feature, you can get the Canon 60D (not to be confused with the 6D) for $500 less and not drop off in quality.
  • The 7D performs better in low-light than the T3i/60D.

Overall, the most important thing for me in my camera is image quality. Nobody on set will care what your camera looks like when they see the gorgeous results later. And if I can get equal HD quality for 1/3 of the price, I don’t see many reasons to invest in the 7D. I would much rather save $1,000 and invest in a nice lens, which is going to impact your image quality way more than the actual camera. It’s important to remember that when buying a camera. Lenses can be far more expensive because they will improve the quality so much more. But that’s for part 2 of this post.

If you are still not convinced by my recommendation to buy a $500 DSLR, watch this video, shot on the Canon Rebel T2i (and the close up shots are filmed with only a $110 50mm lens!)

Hope this post helps as you start out and buy your first DSLR camera. Comment on this post or email me any questions you might have. I’d love to help. Stay tuned for part 2 of this post which will cover lenses and initial accessories.

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Posted in film, filmmaking, HD, innovative, video | Leave a comment

Montana

This past summer I wrote a post about a trip me and some friends took to Montana. We spent four days fly fishing, sitting by the fireplace, shooting guns, playing yard games, resting, and enjoying the great American northwest. With the help of 2 DSLRs and 2 GoPro’s my buddy Tim and I were able to film a good portion of the trip for our memory. First semester of Seminary got in the way a little bit of the edit, but Tim finally put together an incredible video from the trip. He really nailed it on this one. I love the way our footage flows so well together even though our styles are quite different. Almost every time I film something, I know I am going to be editing it. This was something brand new for me; seeing someone else edit my footage. It’s cool to see the creativity of another person and how they take a completely different (but awesome) approach to the edit.  The footage is both mine and Tim’s, and all I did in post was the color grading on the footage. It was my first (of many) videos colored with VSCO film and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out.

Hope you enjoy the video. and it allows you to experience a bit of Montana and the amazing trip we took.

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Posted in adventure, antics, creative, film, Friends, summer, Travel | Leave a comment

2013 Year in Review

I want to continue to carry on this tradition each year as I have done in 2011 and 2012. 2013 was my first full year out of college, and it has been absolutely amazing. As my sister Rebecca has always told me, life gets better after college. It started with a Gatsby style New Years party, a sibling (plus Jillian) ski trip, and a surprise shake up at my church job. Life segued into the greatest summer of my life full of biking, hiking, traveling, a new house, park days, and porch BBQs. Then Denver Seminary took over my life and began my three year journey towards my MDiv.  My heart continues to be filled with gratitude for the memories I am able to make, the cool things I am able to do, but most of all for the people along the way. The people in my life are a gift and my heart is overwhelmed when I think of the ways my friends and family have loved me well. Life is best spent investing in those around you and always remembering that people come first.

The moments from 2013 that I will remember the most are:

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Gatsby NYE in Chicago with the siblings (see video below)

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Driving out west with the siblings, cozy cottage in the mountains, skiing, sweet Jillian time (see video below)

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photo dates when this beauty is in town
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snow days in April with the Frostel guys. Football, Nitro Milk Stout, craziness.
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first full season coaching lax for the Huskies
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pops coming out for some spring skiing
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Timmy moving out to Denver, out of the Frostel and into the Lincoln Villa in Wash Park
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pops and I conquering the continental divide on Ride the Rockies
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finishing the ride! All 560 miles (see video below)

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backpacking and taking my big sis up her first fourteener
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climbing a couple fourteeners (numbers 5 & 6 for me) with this goon and borrowing a girl’s dog at the summit for a picture.
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4th of July Bachelor party in Rockford, IL with a great group of guys
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The Vesta’s. 2 roommate weddings down, 3 to go. (see video below)

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4 day fly fishing trip at a cabin in the woods of Montana. The perfect ending the the most amazing summer of my life. (see Tim’s awesome video below)

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Starting a new, 3 year journey at Denver Seminary
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This, ON THE REG.
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spontaneous backpacking with brand new friends.
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Chancho the bunny. Tim’s and my pet for 3 days.
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filming a wedding in Breck with my new assistant.
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Lumineers and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at a stormy Red Rocks.
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Crazy Denver nights
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Beautiful Texas wedding. Time with her is the best time spent.
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Going 2-0 in Baylor Alumni lax games.
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homecoming shotgun.
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celebrating the life of the most amazing man I was privileged to know, my Papa John Mitchell Gervase. It hurt a lot to watch him go, but he can finally walk again with the Lord. His memory lives on through the incredible legacy he built through his family.
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friendsgiving lives on.
being a part of a fellowship group with these wonderful people
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German Christmas market. Prost Gluvine!
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the new ski season.
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time in Denver with this guy two years in a row.
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asking the most amazing, beautiful, pure, sweet, fun, spontaneous, joyful woman in the world to be my wife up at Camp Timberline where we met.
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and our families coming out to surprise us!
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the last Christmas spent together as the three sibsteins. Next year there will be another Goldstein, which just multiplies the joy.

2013 was marked by God’s faithfulness. He carried me through a year filled with a lot of change and big, decisions for my future. He set me on the path towards marrying the most amazing treasure in Jillian, which is the greatest gift I have ever received. Each day He has drawn my heart towards Him, even through my own shortcomings and failures. God never ceases to provide grace and comfort for me because He is a good Father. My prayer for 2014 is I might know Him more for who He is, be marked by my identity as a child of God, and glorify Him through the new stories the great Author is writing with my life.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!
~ 1 John 3:1 ~

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Posted in Colorado, denver, Friends, growth, nastalgia, new | 8 Comments

Updating Archimedes: Indiegogo Campaign Video

I was recently hired by some awesome dudes who started a company called Current Pumps. They invented a pump that is solely powered by the current of a river and are planning on installing them in Niger, Africa. The success of their campaign could make a huge difference for subsistence farmers all across Africa. Check out the video and consider purchasing one of the perks on their Indiegogo campaign.

While you are watching, check out this recent news report that was done on Current Pumps. It features some of my video, which was pretty cool for me.

Also, I have to give a big thanks to Jordan Bellamy for lending me his incredible Africa footage. It really added a lot of depth to the video and gave a good visual of the issue at hand.

Video specs:
filmed with Canon T3i and GoPro HD Hero 3 Black Edition
Lenses: Canon 35mm f/1.4L and 50mm f/1.4
Edited in FCP7
Colored in LR5 with VSCO Film pack 01 and 04

Music: Once There Was a Hushpuppy | Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin (from the Beasts of the Southern Wild soundtrack)

If you’d like more information about how I color my videos with VSCO, shoot me an email. VSCO and Lightroom have been an incredible help for me in terms of getting the looks I love and saving a lot of time in the process. (225)

Posted in denver, film, innovative, support | 4 Comments