Everyone wants to know what THE best video camera is on the market. Friends will sometimes ask me this question before making a purchase, “What video camera would you recommend?”
I’m flattered that they respect my opinion, but the answer is a little more complex than it used to be. Today there are an incredible amount of cameras out there – each with their own capabilities. I’m hesitant to say that one camera is BETTER than another camera, because I’m not quite sure that’s the case.
Every camera is DIFFERENT. Each brings to the table something that makes it unique. Think of these different cameras simply as tools in a toolbox. Each one performs a specific function and each one is suited for a particular job. I feel the same way about cameras. They are simply tools that help you to tell a visual story. You should select a camera based on the type of story you want to tell and the style/look you want to achieve. For example:
- If you want your video to look a little raw and feel low-budget and home-made, select a camera, shooting format, and shooting style based on those parameters.
- If you will be shooting at a location with very low light levels, choose a camera that performs especially well in low light.
- If you want to achieve a rich, cinematic look with shallow depth-of-field, select a large-sensor camera with a fast lens (one that can open up to f2.5 or f1.8.
You get the idea.
Editing systems are now fully capable of importing video footage from different cameras (with differing frame rates, formats, and frame sizes) into the same project. So now, producers can mix and match their source footage into one video if need be.
The goal has always been to tell the best story. All you need is the right tool for the job.