Sunday, 10 April 2011

Visua: Tips For Starters - What Camera Should I Buy?

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Hey Visua here,

Many young filmmakers out there who don't have that big of a budget always struggle with what camera they should buy to produce their next work of art as they aspire to their passion of film-making. You want a new camera but you don't know which one to get!

First ask yourself two questions, "How much am I willing to spend?" and "What type of camera do I want?"

The amount you are willing to spend is a very important thing to know before you go out an shop. Let's start with the lowest prices. You can always go with the $200-$300 digital camcorders who MIGHT have HD, but if you have more money to spend, might as well get the best you can. The next step up are the HD digital camcorders around $400-$900 bucks. The Canon Vixia (Legria in Europe) series has been promising to me, with moderate quality HD and easy-to-use interface. Shooting in 24 and 30 fps has always been fun.
The best camcorder to get that gives you the best quality for the best price is the Canon HV40. Now this is an HDV camcorder so you will be using mini-DV tapes (or firewire to connect to your computer), BUT this gives you incredibly good quality for a price of about $400-$600 bucks!

Next up is the dslr cameras that will take you at a higher price but a much better quality of HD digital video. The Canon T2i rebel is an affordable dslr camera with surprisingly good video which will bee around $600-$800 bucks for the body. The Canon 60D and 7D are the leading slr's that people buy for unbelievably crisp HD video, there have been multiple short films that made it to Sundance filmed on the 60D and 7D's. Now which one, the 60D or the 7D? Now there is a $600 price difference (60D body = $1000, 7D body = $1600), because the 7D has much better photograph features and is more durable, but the video is virtually exactly the same, so it all depends on what you want it for.

***NOTE: A lot of money will be spent on SLR's because it really the lenses that give you picture you want and they can get expensive, so budget properly!

So the main types of cameras that young filmmakers should look at are digital camcorders, HDV camcorders, and Dslr's. Find which price range is best for you and browse the models and see what features you want. The cameras I listed above will do the trick for you if you use them properly!

I have one big piece of advice that someone very skilled once told me: It's not about the camera you have, its about your storytelling. So aim for the right camera for you but don't hinge your talent on the visual quality of your videos, otherwise you'll lose touch why you are making them in the first place. Focus on story telling!

Happy Filming!
-Visua, AudioVisua Productions

Here are some videos filmed with the Canon Vixia HFS 10 (HD digital camcorder)!

Courtesy of DarthXboxian.


  1. I have a friend who makes youtube videos with the T2i and he really loves it.

  2. Very informative! I hope to get into some independent filmmaking soon so I'll be referring back to this when that gets started up.