Documenting our experiences is a major part of our life today. Smartphones have significantly reduced the number of cameras sold annually, but they have not made video cameras obsolete. This is because, for heavy-duty work, you would be better off using professional video cameras.
Tasks such as shooting movies, recording news for broadcasting, and recording sports, require different cameras. One of the many factors you need to consider before buying a camera is the task you wish to accomplish. All cameras are different, and some do well in specific environments.Once you have identified your area of interest, you can buy a camera. The primary factors to consider while looking for the best video camera for you include:
The Digital Single Lens Reflex camera (DSLR) is famous for its flexibility to accommodate different cameras on the same camera housing. On the other hand, mirrorless cameras are great for beginners, lighter, and more compact.
When it comes to video shooting, DSLRs are slightly better because they have a dedicated sensor for light. In mirrorless cameras, both imaging and autofocus are handled by a single sensor. Because of their phase-detection sensor, mirrorless cameras compensate with greater video focus.
Both types of cameras offer a range of cameras to pick from when making a purchase. If you are a beginner, mirrorless cameras are the best for practice. These cameras are also easy to use and come in smaller sizes. DSLRs are more budget-friendly cameras, on the other hand.
2. Recording Formats and Resolution
Most video recorders also take part in video editing. It is advisable to pick cameras that record in video formats your computer can handle. There are several 4k video cameras on the market right now. Some can even shoot in higher resolutions, for example, Sony A1 that can shoot in 8k.
However, you do not need to worry too much about the resolution. 1080 HD resolution is good enough for most tasks. Recording your videos in 4k has its advantages and gives you a broader field of options for your video editing.
You should note that higher resolution formats demand more storage and more computing power during editing. Quite a number of available cameras record videos in MPEG-4, MPEG-2, and AVCHD formats. When recording video, note the format you use and its compression ratio.
3. Zoom Support
When considering the zoom capacity that a camera offers, always look for optical zoom. Digital zoom does very little for video recording. It degrades the quality of the video recorded. You should be wary of zoom capabilities greater than 25X.
The long telephoto lenses used to achieve great zoom are difficult to use. They require a lot of image stabilization, and even with that, the result is still poor.
When you have a camera that meets your shooting needs, you have to consider the equipment it may need. You should consider your audio needs. Your camera needs a dedicated microphone port. This is to help you attach external microphones to capture better and more detailed sound. This will also help reduce capturing unintended audio from the operator.
A headphones socket is also important. It comes in handy for monitoring volume levels and filtering background noise. Consider the availability of accessories for the camera and the camera's compatibility with these accessories. You will probably work with tripods, remote shutter releases, memory cards, and on-camera monitors.
5. Image Stabilization
One of the major concerns when shooting video is the stability of the video frames. For most scenes, a tripod stand is enough to eliminate the shake. However, if you cannot shoot from a single angle, you need image stabilization. Gimbals are the preferred tool in this type of situation.
Cameras also offer some form of image stabilization through optical stabilization. Optical stabilization works by slightly moving the lens to ensure a stable image. This creates stability and eliminates the shakes in the videography. There has also been a development towards in-body image stabilization (IBIS). IBIS has the same effect as optical stabilization.
Unlike when taking photographs, which are a single frame, videos require a sustainable focusing mode because of the constant movement. You need to consider the time the camera takes to autofocus on subjects in the frame. A good camera will ensure consistency and quick focus while recording.
A good camera should also help you track subjects easily and let you decide when to let subjects out of focus easily. This is very useful when tracking moving subjects and letting them off the screen with a blur smoothly. This feature is also dependent on the lens in use, so it is wise to do your research and try tests before deciding on the product you want
7. Camera to Video Settings
You need to be aware of settings carry over, if you pick a camera that works both for video and photography purposes. This is not information that you will come across on the marketing of the product but it may be important. This simply determines whether you can quickly switch between video and camera and keep your ideal settings.
This may be of concern since most times, ideal shooting settings for video and still photos vary. White balance, exposure, and focus details need to be kept separate. However, you will still have to perform quick tweaks to adjust to the scene.
This is still faster than changing entire settings each time you are swapping modes. You can get this information from people in your community or social circle. Product reviews can also be helpful at times.
There are many cameras available in the market and it is impossible to brand one as the best. No single camera fits all purposes, and as such, you should get one that does your work well. It is acceptable to trade in and swap cameras until you find the best one for you.
It is also important to note that all-weather cameras are not waterproof. These cameras have a high tolerance to weather conditions, but a dip in the pool will destroy them. When you invest in buying a good quality camera, make sure you take good care of it.