I get lots of questions about what camera(s) I use for videos, so I thought it would be cool to walk through the history of every camera I’ve ever used as well as what I use now and plan to in the future.
My current cameras
My current cameras (as of the filming of this video) are the Blackmagic Production 4k Camera (which I’ve been using for a while now), and the Sony A7s ii (which is very new to me). I’m actually thinking of selling both of my Blackmagic Cameras (I’ve got two of them) for two Sony cameras.
The image quality on the Blackmagic Production 4k is very, very good. Better than the Sony, in my opinion. But the Sony offers things that the Blackmagic can’t do – it’s low light capability, slow motion, size and form factor all allow the A7s ii to do things the Blackmagic Camera cannot, and for me, the different in image quality is small enough that I think I’m willing to compromise.
iSight Camera – 2006 Macbook Pro
The first video I ever posted to YouTube was filmed with the iSight camera on my 2006 Macbook Pro. It looked pretty terrible (you can see the video here). I made a few more videos with the laptop camera, but soon moved on to a…
I’d been into photography for a while, so when Canon came out with a DSLR that could do video I was quick to pick one up. I shot a lot of videos with the T1i (see one here). It served me well, and that line of cameras by Canon (on the T6i by now) continues to be a solid option for people looking to shoot high quality video.
I remember reading about the brand new Panasonic GH1 while I was on vacation in Mexico right after it came out. It was touted as a revolutionary camera for video and filmmakers. By the time the GH2 had come out, I had saved enough money to pick one up (after selling my Canon gear). The GH2 served me well for a lot of videos, including this one.
Eventually I missed the Canon form factor, and the 70D was released. I actually bought a 7D and sold it within a week or so for the 70D. It remains one of the nicest cameras I’ve ever used, and I still have it for still photography and other projects. Here is a video shot on the 70D.
What would I recommend?
If you’re on a budget, I would recommend a couple different cameras. First, a used Canon T4i or T5i with a kit lens would be a good option. If you follow those Amazon links, you’ll find used options for around $400 and up. If you’d prefer the latest model, go for the T6i (again, buying used will save you a lot). Another great option would be a Panasonic G6 or G7 with a kit lens would be a great camera. If you can swing a Panasonic GH3 (or even GH4), that would be even better.
Obviously I think the Sony cameras are pretty great. If you have about $1200-1500 to spend, I’d go for a Sony a6300 (in fact, I might get one as my 2nd camera). Just consider the lens you’l be using – the kit lens is cheaper and will work well, but if you spring for a higher end (and more expensive lens), you’ll be able to do more and get better results.
I don’t claim to be an expert in these cameras, nor do I intend for this post and video to be a comprehensive review of any of these camera systems. I do hope that my experience and recommendations will be helpful for you if you’re looking to invest in a camera.