Most aspring filmmakers (myself included) often assume their camera investment equals the best price at pricegrabber plus shipping. I experienced it first hand in 2001 when I got my Sony VX2000 (successor to the first DV cam, VX1000, and precursor to Sony FX1 and the rest).
The industry’s rule of thumb however is usually “double whatever you pay for the camera.” Double? It might seem excessive but it’s actually a very accurate estimate. Here’s a breakdown of accessories specifically for the new Panasonic HVX200.
Tripod: Based on HVX200 specs and the HVX200 test footage, one should definitely consider an excellent tripod. A good tripod is important for ANY camera setup but it’s A LOT more important in the case of HVX200. Why? Because HVX200 supports multiple frame rates. The last thing you want when shooting at low FPS is a cheap tripod with a cheap head. The movement of the camera should be as fluid as possible.
My recommendation is to shop around for a Manfrotto head/tripod or possibly a Vinten tripod with a Manfrotto head. The following Manfrotto combo is priced at $2,300 at B&H:
- 542ART Carbon Fiber 2-Stage Tripod Legs (75mm and 100mm Bowl)
- 519 Pro Video Fluid Head
Monitor: Even the best camera LCD (swivel or not) can’t hold up a candle to a professional monitor. Camera LCDs are usually about 200K pixels when true 1080i is 1920 x 1080, i.e. almost ten times that. Good HD monitors start at $999, professional ones could be times more.
We continue with more on matte boxes, filters, lens adapters, and storage in the next Panasonic HVX200 accessories.