Most videographers would agree that skill is of the utmost importance when producing professional work. Right up there next to skill is equipment. I feel as if they really do go hand-in-hand. Without skill, the work produced will be of poor quality. At the same time, immense skill will produce poor work of poor quality if the equipment used is substantially substandard.
So, what kind of video camera should an aspiring professional videographer obtain? One could simply go with the “more expensive = better buy” mindset, but than wouldn’t everyone charge insane amounts just to get business? It’s best to do extensive research (like with most important decisions) to figure out what video camera fits your aspirations and production level.
Through a bit of research, I have compiled my opinion of the top 4 Canon and Sony video cameras. Here’s what they are and why.
4) Canon XF 300/305 – $5,000
It’s lightweight, professional, without being bulky. The main reason I would put this on the list is because this is a camera that has nearly everything. It has 2 output connectors, a wide lens (29.3), and separate rings for iris, zoom, and focus. This camera, also, picks up great quality of audio just through a shot-gun mic. It has the ability to connect with a lav mic. I think this camera is great for both professionals and semi-professionals who use cameras for shooting lower produced productions.
3) Canon XA20 – $2,000 (Amazon.com)
This is an ultra-compact camera and is very great for a videographer that already has a lot of equipment on them or just doesn’t have the space for lots of equipment. It has an effective pixel count of 2.91 megapixels, which is great for producing good looking footage even in low lighting. It has a video lens with 20x zoom; this allows you to zoom in on your subject up to 20 times while maintaining good quality. The XA10 is very similar to this (with a little downgrade in camera quality) at a lower price.
I think this camera is great, because it is so versatile. It is easily handheld. It’s a relatively small camera, which is great for “run-and-gun” productions in the field (like news!). It has simple controls and can shoot in both 4K and HD. My favorite ability of this camera would probably be its ability to connect (with wifi) to any device (iPod, phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc.) This enables you to control the camera through your device. Very hi-tech!
1) Sony PMW-300 One XDCAM – $8,015 (Amazon.com)
This camera is number one on the list, because it delivers professional quality footage in low-lighting conditions (one of the hardest things to get as a videographer). It has a built-in noise reducer to produce even clearer images. There is continuous video recording (so that you have only one clip no matter how many times you pushed “stop”/”record”). It, also, has cache recording with up to 15 seconds before you push the “record” button.
All of these video cameras are great! There are lots of other brands to choose from. Nikon is a superior make and at the top of the list in quality, as well. It’s up to you to decide what you need for the job that you want done.