The Last Straw...

All right. I can't STAND it any more. Cracker Funk's thread is just WAY TOO MUCH fun.

The Funkmeister's gallant and heroic effort kicks ass and has me biting my nails and cheering him on.

I never thought I could actually MAKE movies. I'm a writer by inclination...

SO...

I'm headed out to Best Buy. They've got a deal on the T2i. And great financing: 36 months at no interest. That includes any extra lenses. What should I get besides the standard lens it comes with? They've got a cool 55-250mm f/4-5.6 Telephoto Zoom Lens for $300. Should I have them throw that in? Would I use it much? What other accessories should I pick up?

-Charles



I"m skeered. Am I doing the right thing? :D
 
true but ive heard stories abt cheap cards and u dont want anything to happen to ur footage so thats one area i wouldnt skip. sandisk extreme would be a safe investment.

unless ofcourse ur talking abt sandisk extreme, in which case lemme know where i can get one for 40 and im on it!
 
Ernie (er, I mean Mr. Worthing), thanks. I suppose I can do without the protection plan and without the extra memory card.

Uranium, thanks, bro. I sent a nasty email to Best Buy inquiring why the hell they jack up the price for Vegas Pro $100. Bastards.

What's nice is Best Buy has a finance plan of two years at no interest. Would be nice to take advantage of it for whatever accessories I really need.
 
hahhah, uve got a good memory!

ur welcome, man. but i would really think abt the lens, if thats the only lens ur going to get.

i would rather have 2 primes, say a 50 and a 35, to begin with than that zoom.

i would work around my limited options till i could get a wider range of lenses.
 
First of all, nice choice! We can DEFINITELY bring that total down to a much more reasonable figure.

*A rechargeable lithium-ion battery pak - $70 (extra - the kit comes with one)

I do strongly believe that you need multiple batteries. I've got 4. And you know what? There have been days when I've needed all 4. Generic batteries are dirt-cheap.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Two-LP-E8-Battery-Canon-EOS-550D-Rebel-T2i-Kiss-X4-/290458212359?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Batteries_Chargers&hash=item43a0a89807

I've heard a rumor that the generic batteries overheat faster than the expensive Canon batteries. I have no information that could confirm or deny this assertion. I've definitely had to wait, on numerous occasions, while my camera cooled down. Then again, I shot half of my movie outside, in 100 degree high-humidity Richmond summer. My inside shoots have never encountered any overheating.

*If I plan on HD video (I certainly AM, you dweeb): Two ScanDisk Extreme III 16GB Secure Digital High Capacity Memory Cards - $170 EACH - $340

Wow, that's expensive. Are those SDHC, or SDXC? You don't need SDXC. I've got friends who are using class 6 cards, and they say that's fast enough. My Transcent class 10 16GB card didn't cost me that much more. I've been using this one, and it's done it's job nicely:

http://cgi.ebay.com/TRANSCEND-SD-HC-SDHC-CLASS-10-16GB-16G-16-G-GB-MEMORY-/300395421193?cmd=ViewItem&pt=AU_Electronics_Memory_Cards&hash=item45f0f65e09

*A 55-250 mm f/4-5.6 Telephoto Zoom Lens - $300

I think I might recommend scratching that one off your list. For narrative work, a telephoto lens like that won't come into play very often. You are definitely going to need wide shots, and the 18-55mm kit lens will take care of that. I don't own one myself, but based on stuff I've heard, from people who's opinions I really trust, if you were going to buy ONE additional lens, a 50mm prime is the way to go, and you can get one for $100.

Why would you get a 50mm, when the kit goes as far as 55mm? Well, your prime lens will have a much lower f-stop, and you'll get some really crisp footage from it. Also, make sure you get an EF-S lens, not EF. That pimple-faced kid might not know the difference, because you can fit both on the T2i, but with an EF lens, you've got to do some math to figure out what the image is really going to look like.

*A DigiPower Lens and LCD Screen Cleaning Cloth - $6

These little things are cheaper, more usefull, and quite handy:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Lens-Cleaning-Pen-Clean-UV-Canon-Nikon-Pentax-Lens-/130416511332?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Digital_Camera_Accessories&hash=item1e5d6e0964

*A 3 foot HDMI cable (I have no idea what the fuck that is for) - $9

Yeah, it's only $9, but I don't think you need it. A lot of people are connecting their T2i to HD monitors, but if you wanna go that route, you'll probably end up spending $2000 just on your camera mount and accessories, not including any lenses. I see no occasion in which you'll want to connect your camera to your TV.

Sony Vegas Pro 9 - $700

I think I'd start out with a less expensive version of Vegas. You don't need all the fancy stuff you'll be getting with this more expensive version. A few years from now, you can consider stepping up to something like Premiere, but for the time being, straight cuts, with a small amount of color correction is all you'll be doing, and Vegas Platinum ($99) will more than do the trick.

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/moviestudiope

Edius Neo 2 is also an option, and worth considering. It's one of the very few (along with Sony) editing suites that can handle T2i footage in it's raw form. I think it retails for something like $130:

http://www.grassvalley.com/products/edius_neo_2

Gadget Bag kit for the Camera: $65

Mmm, I think those are for photographers. Just be gentle with your camera.

One thing you're missing -- a good tripod. I'm going to dispense giving too much advice on tripods, as my most recent purchase turned out to be a pile of crap. Total waste of $100. You definitely want something sturdy, and a fluid head would be nice. I've heard you can purchase a good fluid head in the ballpark of $30 on ebay, and put it on a modestly-priced $100-$150 sturdy tripod.

Oh, and lastly, you can chop $300 off your total, if you don't mind using the Japanese version of the camera. You can get the Kiss X4 on ebay for $100 less than the T2i. Since you'll be buying on ebay, you'd have to let go of the extended 4-year warranty you were planning on getting, so I guess that's your big decision. How secure do you feel about taking good care of your toys? Just be gentle with it, keep it away from kids, moisture, etc. The Kiss X4 is the EXACT same camera. Except, have you been boning up on your Japanese? Cuz that's the language the manual is in. Or, you can download the English manual in PDF.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Canon-EOS-Rebel-T2i-550D-Kiss-X4-EF-S-18-55-KIT-NEW-/120602388835?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Digital_Cameras&hash=item1c14766963
 
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What's nice is Best Buy has a finance plan of two years at no interest. Would be nice to take advantage of it for whatever accessories I really need.

Yeah, that's pretty nice, actually. Maybe that alone is enough reason to forgoe my recommendation of the Kiss X4, and then you can still get the extended warranty you wanted.

As far as accessories are concerned, however, I'd stay clear of Best Buy. A local camera shop is the best place for a tripod. Everything else will be better purchased on ebay.
 
Funkmeister, thanks!

Yeah, I'm going with just the camera on Best Buy to take advantage of the finance offer.

I'll do the rest on eBay and camera shops.

BTW, I know I should be able to do the math, but I have half a bottle of Jose Cuervo under my belt and don't trust myself making spare change: How much film time will I get for each 16GB memory card?

-Charles
 
As for the protection plan, yeah, I'm definitely going with it. I got the plan for my last laptop and after three years of use and abuse, with only one month left on the warranty, it took a crap. Best Buy replaced it with a shiny new computer. Kaching!

-Charles
 
Funkmeister, thanks!

Yeah, I'm going with just the camera on Best Buy to take advantage of the finance offer.

I'll do the rest on eBay and camera shops.

BTW, I know I should be able to do the math, but I have half a bottle of Jose Cuervo under my belt and don't trust myself making spare change: How much film time will I get for each 16GB memory card?

-Charles

For full HD (which you want), 16GB will get you just under 40 minutes. That's quite a busy day of shooting. I've filled mine up on about 50% of my days. Unless you plan to shoot weddings, one 16GB and another backup (maybe 8GB) should be more than enough.
 
That's probably just enough PC power. I guess you'll find out, soon enough.

Oh, and, oops, we forgot about this little thing called audio. Eventually, your going to want something that's a little better quality. When you reach that point, you'll be spending a bare minimum of $600 to set up your audio.

In the beginning, however, I think it's perfectly fine to just run a cheap mic to your camera. Of course, the results won't be as good as they could be, but it will definitely be an improvement over the in-cam mic. I would recommend this duo:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Audio-Technica-ATR55-Condenser-Microphone-Mic-ATR-55-/360280267519?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53e2609aff
http://cgi.ebay.com/10-ft-3-5mm-Male-Female-Stereo-Audio-Extension-Cable-/190416123667?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c55af7713

You can totally jerry-rig a DIY boom pole, using duct-tape and a broomstick. I used this exact setup (including the mic) on all of my shorts, up until now. The audio I got certainly wasn't good, but it wasn't so bad as to be distracting. All three of my shorts that are on youtube were shot using this audio setup. I'm posting a link to the one that is shortest in length:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtn8-nbQL5g

If you're feeling up to it, you can even make a DIY shock-mount on just a few bucks.
 
Thanks to everyone for your help and support.

Decision made: I'm ordering the T2i Monday (with 4 year protection plan), with a fluid-head tripod, a couple 16 Gig memory cards, an extra battery pak. I'll be buying some audio equipment separate, as well as Vegas. The only way I can get the two-year financing at 0% interest is if I order online, which means I have to wait for delivery.

I've been looking at some other little doo-dads that look pretty cool. Has anyone tried this follow focus kit for the T2i made by Jag35? It's only $139 (not including the support rods):

http://jag35.com/new/products/dfocus/

I've seen a couple videos on how to make your own follow focus for practically nothing, but in my usual state of total inebriation when working with dangerous power tools, I've decided against that route...

-C
 
Yes! Come to Chicago, and bring all of your gear, and lots of cash, and some duct tape and… you have any chloroform? Oh also, how would you rate your kidneys and liver on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most valuable on the black market? Dready and I will meet you on Lower Wacker Drive, say 3am?

Which tripod did you pick up?

-Thanks-
 
Chicago -- the perfect meeting-place for an Indietalk collaborative weekend? You know, I've got some terrific acting friends there, and I've always wanted to go to Chi-town.

Congrats on the purchase decision, Charles!

Oh, and whatever it was that I found online that says you get 40 minutes of full HD on 16GB is full of shit. I think it's more like 30.
 
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