17 Apr Top 5 Best Video Cameras for Marketing Agencies
When considering a video camera for your advertising agency or digital marketing company, ask yourself a few questions:
- What is my budget for a camera body? Not lenses or accessories.
- What am I shooting? Commercials? Interviews? Property?
- What do my clients expect in terms of quality? 4K? 1080p?
A camera is just one piece of the puzzle for producing great video. We will cover that in a future blog post. But for the purposes of this article, the above questions should get you in the ballpark as to what type of video body you’ll need: either a DSLR or dedicated video camera.
DSLRs are mobile and highly adaptable. Where they fall short (focusing, sound, overall form factor, need for accessories), they more than make up for in picture quality. Generally speaking, if you’re looking for quick run-and-gun work at a barebones price, you’ll probably need to consider DSLRs. DSLRs often command more editing time for things like image stabilization and, if applicable, color-correction if you’re using multiple cameras.
Here are our top 5 picks for video cameras to consider for your digital marketing agency.
5. Canon 5D Mark III DSLR Camera
This is a staple in most professional photographers’ camera bag. And though the 5DIII is starting to show its age (shooting only up to 1080p), it’s still a serviceable camera especially when equipped with Magic Lantern software. When Canon accidentally stumbled onto the DSLR video revolution, the 5D and its offspring became the posterchildren for top-of-the-line quality without breaking the bank. This full-frame camera is still a contender, if not for its slew of professional accessories and support communities.
4. Sony A7S Mirrorless DSLR Camera
Sony’s mirrorless, 4K-capable, full-frame A7S is a low-light specialist and, on paper, should be the best choice for cameras under $5k. The A7S comes up a bit short with rolling shutter issues and lack of true “run-and-gun” features. However, log shooting and impeccable low-light performance make this a camera suited for anyone’s handbag, especially if shooting events such as weddings or indoor gatherings. The A7S runs, when not on sale, runs around $2,400. An external recorder is needed for 4K shooting.
3. Panasonic GH4 Mirrorless DSLR Camera
The Lumix GH4 is an absolute beast when it comes to overall video camera performance and, for the price ($1,500 or so), many agencies may be well-suited to buy two bodies for the price of a C100 Mark I. The GH4 is more “run-and-gun” than the Sony A7S, coming up short only in low-light performance. The price vs. performance ratio here is nearly unmatched and while the A7S may provide a better picture in certain shooting situations (specifically those that are planned out with lighting and set scenes), the cost of getting that better picture is probably not worth the investment. The GH4, coupled with a metabones Speedbooster for improved light performance, is a powerhouse.
2. Canon C100 MKI Video Camera
The Canon C100, the last to enter Canon’s Cinema family (C300, C500), recently got an update with the C100 Mark II. That means improved framerate and a few new features for the original asking price … and a major price drop for the original C100. The C100 isn’t in the same “jawdropper” class as the GH4 in terms of price vs. performance, but the C100 is also a dedicated video camera where the GH4 is still a still camera with video features. Keep the C100 in mind, mainly because it’s got a great picture (1080p max resolution) for a solid price of around $3k. You’ll be grateful for the dedicated video features.
1. Sony FS7 Video Camera
Now before you start gasping at the prospect of spending $12,000+ on a camera ($8k body, plus memory, tripod, extra battery, plates, lens, etc.), think about this. The Sony FS7 records 4K internally and produces arguably the most film-like pictures for any camera under $20k. Love letters for the FS7 can be found far and wide, especially since its competitors (Red, mainly, and the C300 Mark II) seem to be content in releasing incremental updates rather than true evolutionary steps. The FS7 offers a great codec, great form-factor, good viewfinder, and good low-light performance. Yes, it’s a little on the expensive side, but ask anyone: you get what you pay for (and more) with this camera.