The $1000 Camera Challenge

– Hey, guys, this is Austin Today we have a challenge

So I gave Ken and Wes a $1000 budget to get absolutely everything we need to make a video We're talking camera, lenses, lighting, absolutely everything so let's see what kind of disaster you guys have cooked up for us today Alright, so I see some promising things The main rule here is that we need to shoot a 4K video and it's on a normal product This is the Asus that I've been spending about a week on

So this is a main channel video, it's not like we're just doing this for fun We're actually doing a real video and the goal is for no one to be able to tell this is not shot on our very very expensive gear and not, well What are we shooting it on? – [Ken] We decided to think outside the box a little bit

– [Wes] Just a little bit – [Ken] Yeah, because we wanted something with interchangeable lenses – These are very old Pentax lenses – Yeah – They're very good Pentax lenses for the money

– [Austin] Okay, okay – [Ken] We wanted something that was fairly high quality, something that would give us a lot of dynamic range – I'm trying to figure out what you're about to bring out right now – We decided to explore our past a little bit and we got a Canon 5D Mark 2, which as you would find out- – [Austin] It doesn't shoot 4K – Yes, it does not shoot 4K, but what it does do is Magic Lantern RAW – Oh! Okay, alright – [Ken] The idea is that when we shoot raw, we'll get a very clean image, Wes can go into that a little more, but with the hope of upscaling it

– Very clean – These are old manual lenses, ranging from 60's and 70's They're fantastic I think we got all of these for around 100 bucks – [Austin] $100 combined? Wow

– [Wes] Yeah, we got a 28, a 35 and a 55, all full frame for around 100 bucks – [Austin] Okay, so they should be nice and sharp – [Wes] They're very sharp The minor downside is that some of them are a little bit radioactive, but it's nothing to worry about So we've got a few other things here, like macro rings, which will help us get some close product shots

– So I see Oh, a Zoom H1 – Yes, we got one used for $50

– I was about to say I notice- – Also does not have a battery door – [Austin] So I will say I used to use a Zoom H1 way back in the day This was the YouTube setup of 2011, 2012 Why is that such a long cable? Oh, you got a lav- – Yeah, yeah So you can choose to put it in your pocket with the Zoom H1

It's like a lav pack that doesn't need to be wireless, so you can clip it like that or if you want to keep it on the camera, this cable is long enough so you can run it around – Oh! – Especially while getting that nice shot from across the room So the Zoom H1 used was $58 – So this is pretty much a full audio setup for less than $100 – Yeah, and it came with an SD card and it came with this thing too

– Oh! – You can just (pop effect) – So this is pretty much it I also see you guys have a What kind of filter is this? – It is an ND filter – Oh, okay It is a little bit bright in here Oh, it's variable too – [Ken] Yeah, it's variable

It becomes darker, it becomes lighter It's literally perfect for our usage – Do you guys wanna describe what ND filters do? – It's basically sunglasses for a camera lens – This is the top reviewed Amazon special for less than 80 bucks This is actually 75

– [Austin] Hang on, let me do the test – [Ken] Yeah, wait, wait, wait Don't break it – [Austin] How many locks does this have? – [Ken] It has a lock for everything that moves – Okay

– Ken, what's the brand? – It is Orion Tritech Two – That's the Tritech Two? – No! – Wow, I was such a fan of the Tritech One

– [Austin] This is actually pretty solid You can get a little cranky, cranky, dude – Easy, easy, there's that other lock on ya – Okay, there we go – So if you have a two man team, you can actually get some really nice- – Look at that jib

– Get some jibbing motions there – These, I think, are some of the best cheats ever, as far as budget lighting goes These are just work lights, work reflector lights The key, though, is if you buy these on Home Depot's website, you can get 300 watt- – Oh! – 300 watt capable fixtures We got six of them

Each of them were like eight, nine bucks and if you order, I think it's more than 35 bucks, it's free shipping We have a giant bed sheet to pump them through to get some nice diffusion This is maybe one of the cheapest ones we got at Target If you search around a little bit, you can get these bags of clamps for eight or nine bucks – [Austin] So that's the thing, with something like this, the entire cost of all of these lights, the fixtures, everything is probably what a somewhat decent LED panel by itself would give you

These are not cheap to run – No (Ken laughs) – And they're toasty If you don't have air conditioning in your room or unless you're living in a cold area, it's gonna get very hot very quickly – [Ken] So ten year old YouTubers in Alaska

– [Wes] Yes, only film during winter – Great, great advice A five year old 5D with hacked software, a bunch of very very fire hazardy looking lights, they're definitely- – Oh yeah, blow the dust out of them when you get them from Home Depot, otherwise you're gonna be smelling that – [Austin] So how do you want to shoot this as far as in what order? Essentially, it's broken up into a quick intro, we've got the hardware section, performance and conclusion It's basically two small sections and then two fairly beefy chunks

It's funny, when you look at this, it doesn't look all that impressive, right? You see a bed sheet and a couple of shop lamps, but there's a lot of little tweaks that make a huge difference when you're shooting a video like this (snaps fingers) – Nada – So the Zoom H1 works, but we're just not getting levels from the lav Okay, great, do we have a back up plan? – Um, yeah – Talk, talk, test, test – That's it – Is that really what it is? – Yeah – So we have to use the adapter to go in- because basically this one has the microphone input

– Right, that's probably what it is – Talk, talk, test, test, okay Oh wait wait wait What if we used the extender to go run headphones? Ay, right? – That's not a terrible idea, actually (laughs) – Basically, we'll just run this long ass cable on the floor over to where you are so you can still hear

I'll just tuck this behind me – Oh, that works super well – This is the Asus VivoBook E203MA At first glance, it looks every bit its $200 price tag, but at this kind of price, you can't really expect much beyond plastic – [Ken] The reason why we're in 720 is because we needed to get that consistent record time

– We can get more resolution, we're just gonna give up- – Give up record time – Are we are we dealing with anything like moire or anything like that by going down to such a low res? – No, no

– Well we are trying to offload the raw footage from the 5D We have one file that's showing up correctly The rest of them are a different file extension The internet seems to think that they're the same kind of file, just named weird – So Wes is trying to crunch the raw data

I think all the footage is there, but we don't know for sure What we are trying to do is see if the camera will be able to load it up, which it looks like Ay, that's a video

Right now, this is one of the most important parts of any video It's when Ken gets to get all the pretty b-roll to make the product actually look cool Is it actually going to look cool, though, or no? – Yeah, it'll look fine So this is still a cheap tripod even though, you know, it does have a fluid head and it does work super well, every now and then do you find the snags along any pans or tilts That forces me to stop because I don't want to fight it

'Cause if you fight it, things start to look super jerky Wes pointed out that there was some screen tearing, which might've been a result of slight overheating – [Austin] (groans) Noooooo – It's good now – Why? – It's been a long day, but this is actually kind of fun

I guess it's kind of fun for me We've got a little bit of a different style, a little bit of a different shoot I don't know how much Well the 5D hasn't broken on us yet – Yeah – Why'd you say that? – [Austin] Come on, we're basically there It's fine We're getting extra stuff now

Alright (claps) (exhales deeply) Alright, so thoughts on this whole experiment so far? – It's interesting – Yeah, a challenge, right? – [Ken] Um, yeah, it's a challenge in the sense of it's definitely old, antiquated technology – I mean a ten year old camera, right? – A ten year old camera that wasn't initially made to shoot video – What would you do differently if you were going to do this entire challenge again tomorrow? Different camera, I'm guessing, right? – [Ken] There are probably cameras that are four to $500 with interchangeable lenses

If we looked hard enough, I feel you could probably find something better, but this was a genuinely interesting challenge just to see how far we could push it – I will say, I think just from the tests that we've done, I think I'll at least be able to grade it to the point where, as far as the colors and dynamic range goes, we'll be able to monkey it a little bit The biggest thing I'm suspicious of is the sharpness – Well we're shooting at 720p – Yeah, I'm gonna try some fancy tricks to upscale it

We will- – We'll see about that – We will see It's a hell of an upscale – If you haven't seen it yet, definitely be sure to go check out the final video on the $200 laptop, which should already be live by the time you watch this I'm really curious, can you tell the difference? I'm sure after watching all this you most definitely can, but it goes to show what you can do with a pretty low budget

I mean $1000 is still a lot of money, but considering that a lot of cameras cost two, three times that, and that's just the camera by itself, it's pretty cool – Yeah, it was definitely different

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