i tried some DSLR but those have some video shoot limit like 20 minuets. please help me for select good tools like (camera, light, microphone) in low budget.

i want to shoot constantly 2hr interview.and my budget $1800 for all equipment.

  • 1
    Hello Harshad, and welcome to Video Production. Thanks for your question, but there's a lot of room for improvement. For the best answers, give us as much detail as possible: what budget do you have ($100? 1000?), are you indoors, outdoors, how long do you have to record continuously for? You can edit your question to add this vital information.
    – nchpmn
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 10:16
  • Additionally, is there a reason you need to have it record constantly. Often a single long video shot is very visually boring and it is best to edit the footage to break up the flow in to something more visually interesting so that viewers are not staring at the same shot for more than a few minutes at most. If you do this, then the 29 min 59 second limitation of a DSLR isn't a problem at all. Additionally, some DSLRs have third party extensions that will allow filming beyond the 30 minute limit.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 13:51
  • @nchpmn thanks for answer my budget $1800 for all equipment and i want to shoot constantly 2hr interview in indoors environment.
    – Harshad
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 11:32
  • @AJHenderson thanks for answer. actually i don't want to bother interviewee every time in interview. and second thing is i am the only person is host and camera handler so that's why i need camera which shoot constantly 2 hr
    – Harshad
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 11:53

3 Answers 3


Let me start by saying that $1800 is a very, very small budget for this kind of a setup. Bordering on impossible to get the kind of results you probably are hoping to get, if not over the line in to impossible.

Video is sadly a rather expensive field to get in to and a professional quality camera the likes of what most popular YouTube shows are produced with runs more than your entire budget for one camera alone (often upwards of $5 or $6k per camera when including lenses and support/stabilization gear) and that's considered a fairly "budget" option by the wider video production industry (where broadcast and movie cameras are in the $60,000 or even $100,000+ range).

Now, you don't need the same quality they are using and thankfully lower end gear has come a long way, but even minimal costs run close to or over your budget and it will show in the final product, just so you know what you are getting in to. It will still be much better than Uncle Bob's family home videos, but it won't look like a top YouTube production either.

So my approach to answering the question is basically to give you what I think the bear minimum is to have any chance of achieving the quality you are hoping for. It makes sacrifices in areas I'd personally rather avoid sacrificing in, but it's the only way to give you a chance of accomplishing your goal in your budget. If you could increase the budget to $3000, it becomes far simpler (or considering used gear could also do it, though that really depends if you have a reliable vendor of used gear in your area.)

Personally, I'd still look at DSLRs, particularly Canon DSLRs with Magic Lantern support. With a remote, it's not a larger distraction than having to stop for re-takes which you will also likely need to do for a top quality end product. The way you do it is that you have two or more different cameras running and you start them on an offset. As long as you check every few minutes, you can restart one at your leisure because the other is filming. It isn't hard or even something that noticeable to your interviewee.

That said, the best bet is to have both the quality of a larger sensor and better optics crossed with being able to record without interruption. Using a camcorder in your price range is going to have a noticeable negative impact on the footage, but using a Canon DSLR that Magic Lantern supports, it is possible to bypass the 30 minute limitation and have the camera automatically start recording a new file when it reaches 30 minutes. There might be a gap of a second or two, but it won't matter since the other camera will have a shot then and you just edit around the gap.

Magic Lantern is technically a bit of a hack, but it is a well established third party "firmware" (it isn't actually firmware technically) that offers a wide range of enhancements for Canon DSLRs and makes them far more powerful video platforms. Alternately, I believe there is also a similar hack for Panasonic's Lumix GH2.

Another decent option, though again limited, is to go with GoPro cameras. They will get you good quality sensors and video but they limit you to the built in fixed lens. As long as you don't mind positioning the cameras carefully though, they are cheap, light and high quality, and they don't have the 30 minute recording limit of DSLRs. They won't get quite the same quality, but it's probably the best quality you'll get in a non-DSLR for your price range (or anywhere close to it).

Don't forget that you need tripods either. At your budget, you won't be able to get tripods that are good for video, but since they are static shots, that shouldn't matter too much. (A halfway decent video tripod is around $300 alone.) For your purposes, go with the cheapest tripod that can hold your camera still, probably around $50 to $80 a piece.

As for lighting and mics, $1800 budget is really not a whole lot to go on, even for cameras alone if you want solid quality. You are pretty much looking at getting either a stand alone recorder like a Zoom h4n or, if you can have a PC present, a USB audio interface that accepts XLR inputs (would be a bit cheaper than the h4n) and a couple of basic Lavilear mics (the kind that clip on to your shirt) or perhaps shotgun mics with stands depending on how quiet the room will be. The Lav's are honestly probably the best bet since you don't have anyone to monitor the audio.

Lighting, you'll just need to use what little you have left to pick up some basic lights to fill out the kit. We're probably talking home depot (hardware store) clip on light cheap with some home made diffusers and reflectors at that point because you will only have $100 to $150 left in your budget probably. You might be able to squeeze in a really cheap quality lighting kit, but I don't have any direct experience using those to know if they would be substantially better than the home depot solution.

If you do have a reliable used gear vendor and don't mind going used, get used DSLRs (perhaps T2i cameras) and then use what that saves you to get a decent lighting kit and/or slightly higher end LAVs.


Given a camera budget of $500, there are several handheld camcorders without recording time limits. Before you choose one, here are some considerations:
You'll want to be able to disable autofocus, since focus hunting is very distracting.
Manual iris + exposure are a major plus for the same reason-- in an interview, you want a consistent image. Camcorders are designed to be handheld, and as such, they have hyperactive auto settings.
You will probably want two cameras, a master medium shot and a close up. This allows you to edit for length and clarity by cutting between the two angles.

You can record sound either in the camera or on an external recorder of some kind. Look into shotgun mics and lavalier mics. I prefer shotguns, as lavs can be a hassle.

For lighting, you can get really far by visiting a hardware store. Clip-on lights are cheap and preferable to halogen work lights for the quality of the shadows that they produce.
Light can be softened by bouncing it off of opaque white surfaces like walls, ceilings, or foamcore.

  • Edited for clarity. $500 refers to the camera budget. As no actual budget was stated, I substituted the cost of a cheap DSLR body. As we have discussed previously, when conducting an interview on your own, set-and-forget is the name of the game. Whether on camera or off, you are part of the performance, and you simply cannot have good conversational flow when you're constantly hitting the record button on multiple cameras. I would argue that the quality of the interview itself is more important than stylistic decisions like shallow DoF. Commented May 7, 2014 at 18:18
  • 30 minutes is hardly constantly, especially if you can use a remote to start it. I do agree that you wouldn't want it to distract from giving the performance though. I've just never been that impressed with the visual quality of a camcorder in the $500 range, but my experience in that range is also quite limited.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 18:42

Rather than enumerate how unrealistic the budget is for what you're trying to do.. Here's some thoughts towards making it, with the information you gave.

In the $500 range we're talking about a camcorder (DSLR like a used t3i might be in this category, but he specifically asked for a camera without the "shooting limit").

Perhaps one of these would foot the bill.

Canon Vixia R52 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1023205-REG/canon_vixia_hf_r52_full.html

or the Sony HDR XR160 http://www.amazon.com/Sony-HDR-XR160-High-Definition-Handycam-Camcorder/dp/B004H8FN8K/

These are below the budget, have relatively "long" running batteries, mic inputs, etc..

This is not an expensive or likely sturdy lighting package.. but it will work and with very little outlay you can experiment and find what you really use.


For sound: add a mic to one of those cameras or get a cheap external recorder like the zoom H2 which you can mount on the camera with a hot-shoe or on a tripod near the subject with/or without a lav mic.


This whole package at the moment will run you less than $700 + tripod, extra batteries, etc.

If you need more "professional" look maybe a Black Magic Pocket Cinema ($500 + lens) http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/964117-REG/blackmagic_design_blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera.html

Will give you the run-time and with the proper lens and setup, better footage to work with.

  • It is worth noting that you did not include a tripod in this setup. It's a pretty solid effort at a gear recommendation so far, but a tripod is really critical. The main weakness with this setup so far will be audio. A single microphone or recorder is going to get a lot of room noise and not be all that great in terms of audio quality unless you are shooting in a really good environment.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 20:19

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