Help for aspiring 13 year old videographer/photographer

SniperPenguin

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Hey all,
I'm going to Germany in the next month or two and want to film it. I also want something to do as a hobby over the summer.
I will be building an 8 core PC with an RX 580 for editing the photos and videos.

I'm receiving 500$ for my birthday. Add that to the money I've already saved and the expenses are almost all payed for.

I have chosen the Canon EOS Rebel T7i, the EF-S 18-55mm lens, and the Manfrotto Befree live fluid head tripod.
Is this a good setup? I would like it to last me for the next 3-4 years, and only need to change the lens within that time if needed.

Thanks!
 

USAFRet

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Yes, that setup will work very well. Good choice.
The included kit lens is enough to get you started.

As the years go by, you will collect more and more lenses. That body is a very good camera.

Couple of words of advice....don't get so caught up in filming that you forget to look around and enjoy the trip.
And be sure to have someone else take a few pics, so that you are in there as well.
 

rhysiam

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"8 Core" PC is a little vague - do you mean a Ryzen 7? That's a great choice if that's what you're looking at. In terms of the RX 580, it depends on your editing software. Vegas Pro **I believe** prefers AMD hardware, so the RX 580 is great choice. Premiere Pro tends to leverage CUDA more, so you might be better swapping to a GTX 1060. You'd want to do your own research there, but it is much more software than hardware dependent... So you ask yourself
1) What program are you using?
2) What are the GPU recommendations for that program

RE Camera, yes, fantastic start. Couple of comments
1) If you're intending to shoot any sort of action scenes a faster focusing lens will give you much better results. Most STM lenses are specifically designed for video focusing. Read reviews on the individual lens when you come to purchase them. But that would be a major benefit for shots. If you're just getting static focused shots, or occasional switching between static subjects, that kit lens will be absolutely fine.
2) Are you going to be recording any audio? Just be aware that the internal camera is utter rubbish, and will pick up distracting noise from the lens focusing. If you want any sort of usable audio, even for a voiceover of you introducing the scene, or whatever, you'll really either want to record it later and add it in post. Or, get yourself an external mic with an extension cable to get it as close to the audio source as possible. Obviously if you're not using the audio it doesn't matter, but I can't emphasise just how terrible the inbuilt audio is. For comparison, it's far, far worse than the audio you'd get from a smartphone video recording.
You can get a Rode Videomic (the base model) easily for under $100 US. Pick up an extension cable off ebay to get it further away from the camera. The "Pro" model is a little better (and more expensive), but I've done a bunch of talking-head type recordings with the basic videomic and it's really quite good. You don't have to worry about batteries or turning it on either, just plug it in and away you go.

Have fun! Looks like you've got a great start there.
 

USAFRet

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At this level of work, Vegas and Premier Pro are absolutely not needed.
That is a LOT of money.

Start with a couple of the actually free applications, that are not bad.
No reason to spend triple digit money.
 

rhysiam

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Can I just add, as well, that if you do have a $120 (US), and you're looking to learn photography and videography, I can't recommend the EF 50mm f1.8 STM lens enough. It's the latest version of the super popular "nifty fifty" lens, with STM focusing (helps for your videos).

It's a prime lens, so you lose the ability to zoom, and it's very flimsy so is easily broken, but at f1.8 it's super fast getting usable shots in much lower light, and if you step down to around f4 you get picture quality that can only be matched by much, much more expensive lenses. Also, as a beginner, shooting with a prime lens is really good practice because it takes the lazy zoom option away, making you think more about your composition. If you can get that before you go away, I'd highly recommend it. The only danger is that it spoils kit-lenses for you for life. You might find yourself flicking through your holiday shots and immediately picking the lens each shot was taken on and being unhappy with the results of your kit lens.
 

rhysiam

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Agreed - the point I was trying to make is to match your GPU purchase to what's been optimised by your editing software. Those programs were examples that I'm (vaguely at least) familiar with the requirements of. In my experience most software doesn't get optimised for both AMD and Nvidia.

I should probably add that some programs don't really benefit from the GPU much at all, but do just about everything in software. In that case unless OP was intending to do some gaming on the side, you could probably drop to something cheaper. You can always add a GPU later if needs change.

The point is, check on the recommended hardware for whatever editing package OP is intending on using.
 

SniperPenguin

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Yes, Ryzen 7 1700x is what I will be getting.
A B350 board because:
1. It's cheaper
2. Multi-GPU is useless IMO
3. Overclocking is the same
4. Same performance, just no dual bios or anything fancy like that.

I'll be using Photoshop and some Adobe stuff. Vegas is waay too much money. People manage to get it free by pirating, but I don't feel like it's right.
And I might get AMD Vega if I have the money.

Rhysiam, that looks like a good lens but I feel like it would be better to start off with something a bit better so I won't need to upgrade too soon.

EDIT:
Nothing too fast moving. Timelapse, rustling of leaves, cars, trains. Stuff like that. That lens should be fine.

Also, since my ticket is expensive (even though I am flying alone), I will be able to buy the camera equipment but the PC will need to wait a month or two. I'll need to earn it. Right now I have a 4790k and GTX 760, and I figure it should be enough!
My hard drive is clogged with who-knows-what, so I'll wipe it and start fresh.



 

SniperPenguin

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Sorry for the double post, but I would like to say that I have an old Nikon D5100 with two lenses. I'm not sure how good it is, but my dad left it here. Am I better off buying a really nice camera and sticking to my PC right now to edit, or a nice PC and sticking with this D5100 for the time being?
 

rhysiam

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1700X is a great pick. The 1700 is basically the same CPU if you're prepared to overclock a little, which is very straightforward... but either is a solid pick.

What are you intending to use for video editing?

By all means save up for a better lens if you like. But just bear in mind that if you want a zoom lens with equivalent image quality, be prepared to spend more than a thousand dollars. It will also be bulky and heavy and it won't be anywhere near as fast (=low light capable) as the 50mm f1.8. Plenty of professional photographers with 10K+ worth of glass in their camera bags still cart around a nifty fifty (or 3) because they're cheap, light and extremely capable. Serious pros step up to the f1.4 or f1.2 L lens, but neither offer significantly better picture quality (despite the L costing well over $1K new).

Try Googling "should I buy a nifty fifty"... have a read. I think you'll start to see why so many people recommend it, particularly for an aspiring photographer starting out.
 

USAFRet

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SniperPenguin...

Buy that camera, with that 18-55 lens.
Go on your vacation.
Take lots of great pics.
Don't get bogged down in the minutiae.
Enjoy the trip. You're only 13 once.

Later...you will have a MUCH better idea of which new lenses to get. Oh...and you might actually have some funds for it...:)
Then, for your next vacation, you can use your new nifty.

I just bought a f1.4 for my Fuji X-T1 mirrorless, and it is indeed better than the original kit lens.
However...retail price was $600.

Go.
Have fun.
 

SniperPenguin

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Thank you for the insight! I really want to enjoy this trip, but it's for an entire month and I assume I can spend an entire day or two just taking pictures. My aunt lives right near two large mountains, filled with lush forests and amazing trails. It's the best place I have laid my eyes on.
And capturing that would mean so, so much to me.

So, back to questions if you will.
Is the Nikon D5100 okay? Will it do for the trip? It's just laying around in my cabinet, but I could always buy the new camera.

Secondly, is my current PC fine for right now?
Going to Germany, buying a camera, and buying a PC is tons of money. One of them will have to wait.

Thank you so much for all of the help!
 

USAFRet

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The D5100, while 'not new'...will do just fine if you have a reasonable lens for it.
If I were you, I'd take that one, instead of buying a whole new Canon system.

Where in Germany are you going? I was there for 4 years.
 

SniperPenguin

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Konigswinter, Germany. Right off Frankfurt.
I'll be going to Munich, Cologne, and other places. But honestly, the place where she lives is better than all of those.
 

rhysiam

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A 4790K and GTX 760 is great. No need to update that at all, even if you do get into video editing. I would put that at the bottom of your list. That's enough to do some fantastic 1080P video editing and probably actually slightly faster than a 1700X for Photoshop (FYI, most Photoshop CPU load is surprisingly lightly threaded).

The camera will be fine if you're happy with it. I agree with @USAFRet that it's far more dependent on the lens than the camera body itself.
Given that your computer is absolutely fine, if you are looking to get yourself set up then you could certainly justify your own camera body and a lens or two. Part of learning photography is familiarising yourself with your gear. While the technical and artistic elements of photography are identical whatever your gear, and that experience you can transfer in future, there is a learning curve swapping between Nikon and Canon. The technical and artistic knowledge/skills are by far the most important, so there's absolutely no reason why you can't take the Nikon gear and have fun, get some great shots and learn a whole bunch. But if this is something you're committed to doing and can afford, I can see merit in getting your base camera gear before a trip like this. Because you'll have time and interesting things to shoot. It's a great opportunity to learn a whole bunch.

But yeah - I totally agree with @USAFRet, the D5100 is absolutely fine and far more than many 13 year olds would get to start out with.
Also wise advice to make sure you enjoy the trip and not just see it through the lens of an SLR!
 

USAFRet

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OK...nice.
Go.
Have fun. Don't stress.
 

SniperPenguin

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I'll ask questions here when I need to, if that's fine with you.
Am I better off with the 18-55mm lens, or the 50mm f1.8?
And the lens that comes with the kit is 18-55mm, but there's also the lens that doesn't come with the kit and is an extra 300$.
So camera + lens = 1,000$
Or camera with lens kit = 850$

And lastly, what is a good slider for smooth pan shots? I already found a good, affordable fluid head tripod but I don't think the rubber band trick will work too great with the pans. Maybe buying a slider will be a good investment?
 

rhysiam

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What is the $300 lens specifically? It totally depends on what your priorities are.

Lots of people start out with kit lenses and cheap telephotos, which are fine and give you loads of versatility. A 17-55 and 70-300 twin lens kit is pretty standard and convenient. But when you start getting into photography properly you realise how much better your shots look with decent glass and those early investments start to look dubious.

Do you actually save money by ditching the 18-55mm kit lens? If you do, you could consider that, but usually they're bundled and you're not gonna save much going body only. Plus, you probably do want a zoom lens. Getting a group shot can be awkward with a 50mm prime on a cropped body, that's not wide enough for lots of situations.

I'm happy to make a specific recommendation, but need to know what the $300 lens is.

**edit - can't help you with the smooth pan. Haven't done that sort of videography myself. I'd be interested to hear what you settle on and how it works though.
 

SniperPenguin

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https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1318772-REG/canon_1894c003_eos_rebel_t7i_dslr.html

Here it is with the 18-135mm : https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1318772-REG/canon_1894c003_eos_rebel_t7i_dslr.html
And here is this: https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/products/details/lenses/ef/standard-zoom/ef-s-18-135mm-f-3-5-5-6-is-usm

So quite a bit more. I reckon that the one bundled with the camera does not have the fancy motor?
 
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