DSLR cameras are fabulous for low-budget, DIY filmmaking, but high quality cameras are quite expensive (4K cameras such as the Panasonic GH4 and the Black Magic Cinema camera run $1700 to $3000 respectively, Black Magic Pocket is $1000, and the Canon 5D Mark III sells used for $1400ish – and all of these are prices for the camera body only with no lenses). Many of the less expensive cameras still go for $800-$1000.
But the Magic Lantern hacks for Canon DSLRs offer some very cheap options for building a true DIY production package. By far the biggest bang for the buck is the Canon 50D, a 2008 camera released without video functionality but with the hack can shoot both compressed (with the H.264 format, the same format all the Canon video capable cameras record in) and raw HD video. (more…)