Ted's Top 5 Cameras for Aspiring Filmmakers

28/06/2019 10:33 AM

To make movie magic, you need a good script or setting. You also need a digital camera that can capture the scene in all its cinematic glory!

 

Here’s what to look for in a professional video camera:

 

  • High video quality - This means 1080p or 4K resolution.

  • Optical image stabilisation (OIS) - This will reduce camera shake and leave you with smooth, bump-free footage.

  • Tilting LCD screen -Just like a camcorder, this screen allows you to adjust the angle of the camera to suit the scene.

  • Large sensors - An inch or bigger is ideal.
  • Microphone input - Go for a camera that has a great built-in mic, plus a port to connect an external mic. 

  • Interchangeable lens - You want to be able to switch lenses.

  • WiFi connectivity - Most high-end cameras these days have this feature, which reduces the time it takes to transfer files to your phone, computer or tablet.

 

With that in mind, these are Ted’s top 5 cameras for beginner filmmakers:


1. Sony A6400

Camera type: Mirrorless

Sensor: APS-C

Megapixels: 24.2

Viewfinder: Electronic

Video resolution: 4K

Continuous filming: 11 frames per second

 

In a saturated market, the Sony A6400 stands out for a few reasons. It offers 4K resolution with full-pixel readout for stunning, detailed video. The video quality aside, its lightening-fast autofocus (AF) performance and 425 phase-detect points leave you with clear, blur-free footage.

 

That’s not all. The mirrorless camera also features a 180-degree flip screen, which is handy when you’re framing tricky angles. The screen is touch-sensitive, so you can quickly and effectively adjust the focus while you’re filming – without having to start over. Filming relies on both video and audio for success, and the Sony A6400 has a mic input for capturing better-quality audio.

The camera is dust- and moisture-resistant and has in-built WiFi and NFC connectivity, which means you can send your footage straight to your smartphone, computer or tablet for editing. Last but not least, the A6400 has a flashy new feature: no record limit! You can keep the camera rolling until you’re completely satisfied with your footage.


2. Panasonic Lumix S1

Camera type: Mirrorless

Sensor: CMOS 

Megapixels: 24

Viewfinder: Electronic

Video resolution: 4K

Continuous filming: Up to 180 frames per second (in 1080p mode)

 

One of the best cameras for filmmaking, the Panasonic Lumix S1 captures crisp, UHD 4K 60P footage with the help of full-pixel readout. It boasts a full-frame 24MP sensor, and features a double-hinged screen so you can play back your footage. The camera also has 5.5 stops of shake reduction thanks to its in-built stabilisation. In layman’s terms, this means it delivers smooth, blur-free footage.

 

Filmmaking involves a lot of trial and error, and the Lumix S1 makes the process a little easier. If you lower the resolution to 4K 30P, you can keep the camera rolling for an unlimited amount of time without the fear of it cutting out. It also allows for experimenting. The camera uses the L-mount, which is compatible with a range of high-end lenses, including some made by Leica.

 

Ted's Top 5 Cameras for Aspiring Filmmakers

The mirrorless camera has a few other video-friendly features, including a large 3.2-inch tilting LCD screen and mic input. The dual SD card slots offer more storage space to handle large video files too.


3. Sony A7S Mark II

Camera type: Mirrorless

Sensor: CMOS

Megapixels: 12

Viewfinder: Electronic

Video resolution: 4K

Continuous filming: Up to 120 frames per second

 

Designed for video, the Sony A7S Mark II is among the most adaptable models on the market. It doesn’t matter whether you’re filming in low-light or high-contrast situations – the new processor will leave you with razor-sharp video every time. This is thanks to its in-built stabilisation, top ISO of 102400, and full-frame sensor. Together, these features offer a beautiful, dynamic range.

 

Ted's Top 5 Cameras for Aspiring Filmmakers

The camera delivers 4K definition at 30fps with full-pixel readout for brilliant video quality. At full HD, it can record at 120fps, which is excellent news for filmmakers who like to work with slow motion. The A7S Mark II also features an HDMI output for clean 4K 4:2:2 – a major selling point for those who want to film broadcast-quality video.

 

What’s more, the mirrorless camera has blisteringly-fast autofocus. It can find a focal point before you have a chance to blink, even when it’s working in the dark. The tilting LCD screen will help you to compose scenes at tricky angles, while the mic and headphone input allows for better audio capture and monitoring.


4. GoPro Hero 7 Black

Camera type: Adventure

Sensor: CMOS

Megapixels: 12

Viewfinder: Electronic

Video resolution: 4K

Continuous filming: 60 frames per second

 

To take your viewers on an adventure, look into the GoPro Hero 7 Black. Rugged and waterproof up to 10 metres (without the need for a case), this small but mighty camera can go to more extreme places than any others on this list. That’s what it’s built for! So, if you’re filming in the surf or snow, this is the perfect partner for you.

 

Ted's Top 5 Cameras for Aspiring Filmmakers

The new flagship model for GoPro, the Hero 7 Black is fitted out with features every filmmaker will appreciate. It can capture 4K video at 60fps, and its hyper smooth video stabilisation ensures that even your fast-paced clips come out bump-free. If you’re using a GoPro, chances are you like to be involved in the action. Good news: the camera has 16 voice commands, which frees up your hands. Our favourite? The secret command you can use to tag an amazing video - “That was sick!”.

 

The Hero 7 Black is the first GoPro to offer Live Stream. You can help your viewers feel like they’re living the moment with you by streaming your footage on Facebook, YouTube or Vimeo as it happens. As for other cool features, the camera offers TimeLapse video, 8x slow-motion, and SuperPhoto – which automatically adjusts the settings to suit the scene.


5. Canon 5D Mark IV

Camera type: DSLR

Sensor: CMOS

Megapixels: 30.4

Viewfinder: Electronic

Video resolution: 4K

Continuous filming: 7 frames per second

 

Canon has always been ahead of the curve in the DSLR market, and this model is no exception. The Canon 5D Mark IV is a favourite among aspiring filmmakers for its stunning 4K video, excellent low-light performance, and speedy 7fps continuous filming.

 

Ted's Top 5 Cameras for Aspiring Filmmakers

With a tap of the touchscreen, you can activate the smooth and fast dual-pixel autofocus – and adjust the time it takes to switch between two focal points to your liking. The 61-point AF system will also help you to hone in on your subjects, while the mic input and headphone jack will support you in your mission to capture better audio.

 

The 5D Mark IV is compatible with the much-loved Canon EF lenses, and its weather-sealed design makes it a great choice for filmmakers who often brave the elements. Video aside, the camera’s crisp stills capability means it’s also a go-to for wedding photographers who need to capture both video and photo.


Play around with the best cameras for filmmaking

When you’re ready to get behind the camera, drop by your local Ted’s Cameras store. Our team is on hand to help you find a camera that suits your skill level and filming style.


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