Question by Patrick: What is the best camera for a filmmaker?
I want a high definition camera that takes MiniDV and has a good zoom. I will spend some money on getting a good camera since I am a editor and filmmaker at heart. My price range is anywhere from 500-2000. I want to get a decent camera so I can film movies and edit news stories for our community news website. Any model suggestions would be great!
Answer by Johnny Martyr
Patrick, the “best camera for a filmmaker” is FAR from a MiniDV camera! And you certainly cannot buy the “best camera” for a mere $ 2000.
What professionals do is rent equipment per project so they have the equipment best suited for that particular project since no single camera/lens/mic etc is what we need for everything.
Another thing professionals do is work for/with a company that purchases their own equipment for the professional to use to do their projects. If you are making videos for the community news website, there must be a budget for doing so or one should be created. Why should you be expected to spend your personal money on a camera that will be obsolete in a couple years (or that is already obsolete if you are using MiniDV!?
A final thing you can do is become a freelance videographer. This is the only case where it makes much sense to invest in your own camera. And then I’d suggest taking a loan out and purchasing two decent pro-sumer cameras such as a Panasonic HVX series, tripods, mics, and insurance. You can rent the cameras out and/or advertise your abilities in order to do paid work and pay off the cameras until you make a profit.
If your group cannot afford to buy proper equipment for you, the best camera will be what you can afford two of in case one is damaged, stolen or simply fails to work properly while you’re under a deadline, which are all things likely to happen to non-professional cameras. And the differences between cameras in these price ranges is minuscule and really up to personal preference.
One final thing, film and video are not the same thing. Not even close!
Good luck with your project and search for a camera!
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