by Matt DeGroot.
One of the most important decisions that a director has to make when planning a film is deciding which camera to use. But with hundreds of different camera options on the market today, it can often appear difficult, if not impossible, to find the one that best fits your needs. While selecting a camera may seem like a daunting task, there are some useful tools online that can help you quickly find and compare video cameras.
One such tool is the FindTheBest video camera comparison. This comparison tool contains more than 520 listings and provides information on key data points that should be considered before deciding on a camera. Here are a couple of data points to think about when using this video camera comparison:
Price: The first thing you should do when looking for a new camera is set a budget. Some video cameras cost tens of thousands of dollars, so it is essential to set a price limit before beginning your search. Use the price slider on the left side of the screen to filter out camera options that aren’t within your price range.
Megapixels: It is a common misconception that more megapixels directly equates to better picture quality. In reality, this isn’t necessarily the case. Don’t be fooled in to buying a more expensive camera just because it offers a higher number of megapixels. The difference in picture quality between an 8MP camera and a 6MP camera is often insignificant.
Zoom: The level of zoom you should look for in a camera depends entirely upon what you will be filming. For instance, if you are shooting a nature documentary, you may not always be able to get as close to your subject as you would like. In a case like this you are going to want a high level of zoom (20x or more), so that you can effectively film your subject from a distance. However, more zoom is not always a good thing, as telephoto lenses are often difficult to use. Go with a standard zoom camera if you don’t have a need for an extreme zoom lens.
Minimum Illumination: Minimum Illumination, or light sensitivity, is a measure of a how a given camera will perform in low-light situations. If you will be shooting a lot of low-light scenes, it is imperative that you have a camera that performs well in dark conditions. Most cameras have a minimum illumination between 5 and 7 lux. However, some cameras have special low-light shooting modes that take advantage of infrared to capture pictures below this 5 lux threshold.
Once you have weighed all the relevant metrics and settled on a camera, it is a good idea to shop around a little bit, as different retailers may offer better deals than others. If you are in the market for additional camera accessories, it is a good idea to look for sites that offer discounts on camera equipment.
Finding the ideal camera for your next film doesn’t have to be a stressful process. If you use the online tools outlined above, you can make a fast and informed decision on your next camera purchase.
Sign up now for your own FREE monthly subscription to “The Director’s Chair” filmmaking ezine and get the first 30 pages of my 238 page Film Directing Multi-Media Online course, “The Art and Craft of the Director Audio Seminar.”