What device to make video? Camcorder? Hybrid? DSLR?

Nick Aric 15 Apr, 2020
What device to make video? Camcorder? Hybrid? DSLR?

The first question people often ask about broadcasting videos: What kind of video camera should I use

For the little anecdote, I made my first short films from 2003 to 2005 with a Sony DCR-PC8E. Mini DV camcorder that I kept because it's with it that I shot my first films. It still works and I use it today to digitize a lot of tapes.

  • What use and what budget?
  • Sony CX240 (Full HD)
  • Sony PJ410 (Full HD)
  • Panasonic HC VXF990 (4K)
  • Sony FDR AX33 (4K)
  • Sony FDR AX53 (4K)
  • Sony FDR AX100 (4K)
  • [New] Sony FDR AX700 (4K HDR)
  • DJI's innovation
  • Camcorders with interchangeable lenses
  • Sony Nex VG30
  • Fujifilm X-H1
  • Fujifilm X-T3
  • Sony A6400
  • Sony A6600
  • Jet, Silver Cross
  • Ohlala, Chicco
  • Pockit, GB
  • Flipper, Formula Baby at Aubert
  • Yoyo +, Babyzen
  • Nano, Mountain Buggy
  • Pliko Mini, Peg-Perego
  • Quid, Inglesina
  • Mark II, Maclaren
  • Teeny, Safety 1 st
  • BlackMagic Cinema Camera
    • 1. Sony RX10 IV
    • 2. Panasonic FZ2000
    • 3. Sony HX400V

Yes, it dates. Now we're in the era of HD and even "Ultra HD". My penultimate short film was shot with a NEX VG10 coupled with a wide aperture f1.7 lens and my last one was shot with a Sony Alpha 57 and a 35mm fixed focal length F1.8 lens. Now I own an A6300 which I use with many accessories and fixed focal length lenses.

Those who saw the first images of the montage asked me what I was shooting with. Why a Sony SLR? Because Sony is for me the specialist brand for video. Their SLRs make very beautiful photos but above all produce superb videos.

It all depends on the lens they use, of course. But even with an average lens, the result is there thanks to the quality of their sensor. Sensors that equip many of their competitors. The second brand I recommend for video is Panasonic. I made one of my short films with it and I wasn't disappointed. It's a reference brand among videographers, because it's often an initiator in terms of new features and technology.

What use and what budget?

  • The first question to ask yourself when you want to invest in a video equipment is pour what use is it for?
  • The second question is quel is my budget ?
  • The third, but who can go with the first: What resolution and what maximum frame rate?

It all depends on whether you want to film your next holiday, your family, a show, a sport. Or if you want to make a short film, a music video, or a documentary. If you want to give a particular "style" to the image or not, if you want to play with depth of field. If you want to play with colorimetry or not. Etc.
I'm only giving my opinion here, and I invite you to give yours in the comments. The camcorders.

For holidays or trips, so you don't get bored. To quickly draw your gun and film the moment on the spot without bothering yourself. Without having any particular settings to make, I recommend the camcorder. The first prices in Full HD start at around 190 Euro on the internet. I think it's a market that's being cannibalized by hybrids and is probably destined to disappear in a few years. It would be a shame because they have a lot of advantages.

The advantages and disadvantages of a consumer camcorder for me.

Advantages

  • The affordable price
  • High frame rate
  • The small size
  • Zoom at your fingertips
  • Responsiveness
  • Full HD or 4K
  • Integrated optical stabilizer

Disadvantages

  • Small sensor (except high-end)
  • Often poor photo quality
  • Almost impossible to play with depth of field

What about 4K (UHD)?

For someone who has a 4K (UHD) TV, yes it might be worthwhile to get a 4K camcorder. Indeed 4K (UHD) is slowly starting to take hold. Camcorders and hybrids offering this definition are becoming available. Homes are starting to equip themselves with UHD screens (falsely called 4K) while others are waiting for the 8K that arrives in stores. For example, computer monitors are often in Full HD in homes. Blu-ray 4K (often upscaled) is coming to the market.

Moreover, one should not forget the computer configuration that is needed to edit in 4K. Even worse if you want to add effects with After Effect for example (minimum Octo-Core processor, SSD or SSHD hard drive, 16Gb ram minimum, graphics card with a good chip and 4Gb memory minimum) it's VERY greedy in disk space as in resources!

For me the beauty of a video is essentially in the framing, camera movements, light, depth of field that gives a "cinematic" cachet. But also the colorimetry, the contrast and not mainly at the level of the definition of the image which will be "sharper". Unless, of course, you want to cropping (cropping within the image) and then integrate it into a Full HD editing. Or even "downscale" the 4K to Full HD in your editing, in which case you will obtain a finer and more detailed image than a native Full HD.