Aspiring documentary filmmakers are aware of the importance of having a good camera. To choose the one that is best for you, though, might be challenging given the variety of possibilities available. Five of the top video cameras for making documentaries will be discussed in this article. We have something for everyone, regardless of your level of experience or need for an improvement.
The Best Camcorders For Documentary Filmmaking
If you’re an aspiring documentary filmmaker, then you know that one of the most important pieces of equipment you can have is a good video camera. And while there are many different cameras on the market, not all of them are ideal for documentary filmmaking. In this article, we will take a look at five of the best video cameras for documentary filmmaking.
Do you make documentaries? Do you stay up late at night browsing collections of vintage movies? Do you aim to write compelling stories and capture engaging personalities like Errol Morris or D.A. Pennebaker?
If so, you should read this article. A top-notch camera is one thing that any aspiring documentary filmmaker is unavoidably need to have. It can be advantageous to have one of the better instruments for the task, even though many documentarians will tell you that the camera does not make the story.
Last but not least, the Sony PXW-FS7 XDCAM, which is a genuine cinema camera made for quick-fire theatrical shooting and comparable in quality to the Canon C300, is available. The FS7, a real 4K workhorse that can record in DCI or UHD using XAVC-I/XAVC-L or MPEG-2, is another Super 35 camera system.
With adapters, you may change the $6,500 Sony E-mount camera to accommodate several 35mm lens types. The FS7 is an excellent camera for slow motion as well, offering 60 frames per second in 4K or as high as 180 frames per second in HD.
Canon VIXIA G40
The distinction between digital cameras and digital camcorders is frequently at the heart of the argument amongst documentary filmmakers regarding cinematic aesthetics. The Canon VIXIA HF G40 is a true run-and-gun videography beast for individuals who like camcorders.
Even though it doesn’t support 4K recording, it can capture Full HD (1920 x 1080) video at up to 60 frames per second in the MP4 format. A 20x HD video zoom lens with a hybrid manual focus/zoom ring is another feature of the device. It’s ideal for use in challenging contexts like wildlife documentaries. For $1,299.00, you can buy a Canon VIXIA G40.
Although some may contend that Panasonic’s more modern Lumix DC-GH5s is actually a better camera, the Lumix GH5 may be a better investment for documentarians in 2019. The GH5 is a second micro four thirds mirrorless camera that has recently become one of the most popular video cameras on the market.
The GH5 is still a very powerful camera with a 20.3MP sensor, its reliable Venus Engine CPU, and inbuilt 10-bit 4:2:2 4K recording at up to 60 frames per second. Its price has recently decreased as a result of the updated GH5s’ release.
The GH5 has proven to be a highly powerful documentary camera that is deceptively small and compact for sneaking into situations where you need to retain an inconspicuous profile.
Canon C300 Mark II
Moving up the price range, Canon’s C300 mk II is one of the brand’s most well-known professional video cameras and has swiftly established itself as a high-end industry standard. The C300 mk II sports a Super 35mm sensor and a slightly larger size than a typical mirrorless or DSLR camera. It records up to 4K (DCI) still images directly to CFast cards. Additionally, it makes use of Canon’s DIGIC DV 5 image processing and has a dynamic range of 14 stops using Canon’s Log 3 Gamma. This enables high-end image quality.
With a price tag of $8,999, this excellent cinema camera includes all the extras you’d want, including multiple 3G-SDI outputs, genlock input BNCs, and timecode I/O. Although it comes with a built-in handle, a rig or mount system is the ideal way to use it.
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