You are here

Choosing the right camera for music videos and short film!

FutureStar's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: 11/16/2011 - 8:11pm

Hello fellow video enthusiasts!

I am going to start filming music videos and short films soon. I am very creative and have had experience with a director. I do not know where to begin as far as research for buying a new video camera!

I am a fast learner and I am very creative, and am looking for a very nice (high end) high quality camera! I can spend over a thousand.

Thank you so much for jump starting my video making!


Steve Fenstermacher's picture
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/06/2010 - 3:03am
Plus Member

Some of the more experienced and professional videographers will certainly reply, but I can add my two cents.

At least double the anount for the camera, add another thousand for accessory items, $600-$1500 for an editor and Plugins, and that should get you started right.


tylerknight's picture
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: 10/07/2010 - 12:35am

at that price range i would recommend a dslr of some sort, because you aren't needing xlr inputs or the bulkiness of a full size camcorder.


FutureStar's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: 11/16/2011 - 8:11pm

cfxcorp: Thank you for the advice. I am definitely saving that!

tylerknight: The fact that I do not know what a dslr is or an xlr input is shows my lack of knowledge about camcorders. I will look those terms up.

This forum is literally my first move on researching cameras. I am so excited to get it and get started. And make mistakes that I will learn from on the road to success..


tylerknight's picture
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: 10/07/2010 - 12:35am

A dslr is a digital single lens reflex camera (such as the canon 5d or nikon d90) basically a photo camera with detachable lenses. They are becoming the new standard for cheap video work because of their ability to adapt to any shooting condition. XLR is the standard for microphone and line inputs and is a must if you are doing any live video shoots or need quality audio!


composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 5 days ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Hey all,

Up front I'll say I don't believe there's a 'Right Camera', but I know for certain there are plenty of 'Wrong' ones.

That meaning, though you say your intent is to make short films and music videos, know that the two are not mutually exclusive. A camera that's great for shooting films might not fit your needs when shooting Music Videos. What does 'not right' mean? Case in point, HDSLR's are all the rage right now. But to take advantage of their potential as cinematic rigs, you'll need some serious accessories (Prime lenses, rails, mattebox, Focus wheels, mountable monitor, sync audio recorder, etc., etc., etc.) All that stuff takes money and know-how to use. If you're not up for all that cash wise or experience wise, then that's a 'wrong'.

Dedicated video cameras come with similar issues as they all do the same thing, but in different ways. You can use an ENG style camera to shoot music videos with, but for that 'professional cinema look' again you'll need similar hardware used with the HDSLR cam's mentioned earlier. The thing you have to understand is that there is no one camera that can 'do it all' straight out of the box. If there was, I'd already have 3 of them!

Best thing to do is get a rig that covers the basics (good image, good image controls and good sound controls) and you can build upon it with accessories as needed. Your initial goal is to learn your cam inside and out. When you know your rig's strengths and limitations, you can learn how to get around them best as possible or even take advantage of them.

If you're new to video, I say stay clear of HDSLR's. It's a learning curve and accessory curve that's not fun for the amateur. Better to get a dedicated video camera and concentrate on video alone. Now, I shoot with both but only because I started out with still cameras and then learned video with dedicated cameras. I also shot jobs with a video cam in one hand and a still rig in the other. Switching back and forth with an HDSLR is no big deal for me. I wouldn't wish trying to learn that on someone starting out.

So what's 'the right?' Like I said, there really isn't one. What you can get is the 'best' one for what you're doing at the time. That's not the 'blow sunshine up your butt' answer. However, it's the one I've found that's kept me and other long time shooters out of trouble.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


Kenkyusha's picture
Last seen: 10 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/22/2011 - 6:46pm

Composite1's DSLR-related advice is excellent.  I regularly shoot with a couple of them and love what can be done, but it took months of experimenting and a fair bit of additional kit to get decent results (and even at that, we still use dedicated video cameras for some things that the HDSLRs just can't).

For now, shoot with your phone, buy a Flip or Kodak, just shoot and edit.  As you are getting your composition chops in place, learn lighting, sound acquisition and read camera specs.  If the process speaks to you and others enjoy your work, you can always rent equipment to do gigs, if necessary.  If not, you won't have an expensive paperweight taking up valuable desk or shelf space. 


Jackson Wong's picture
Last seen: 13 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2011 - 5:16pm
Administrator Plus Member

Good advice is coming to you. I'm sure I speak for the majority that short films were their first attempts. FutureStarhopefully you've checked out the December issue camcorder guide:

http://www.videomaker.com/article/14973/

and this video

http://www.videomaker.com/video/watch/tutorials/695/directing-music-video-shoots/

also, our recent DVD series, Making Music Videos is really cool, and I've just spoken with our team, and so the DVD should be made available on the website soon. Look at you, getting Videomaker into gear!