Photography, including video photography, is changing all the time. A few decades ago, the only way to take photos was straight onto film. Now, the vast majority of people have crossed over to digital cameras. While purists don’t think that digital can touch the quality of film photography, there’s no denying that digital has opened up photography to a wider user base than ever before. The average phone can take a better digital photo than most film cameras of years gone by, comparable quality costing $1000s in equipment, film, and printing costs. What remains of a gap between film and digital is constantly shrinking, with camera companies coming out with new technology all the time that further increases image quality. Now that digital cameras have full frame sensors, the image quality is finally comparable with a 35mm film negative.
This amazing photography technology has also led to a video revolution. Where it used to take tens of thousands of dollars to get cinematic video footage, very professional high def footage can now be achieved by indie film makers on a much smaller budget. Less than ten thousand dollars can be spent to get footage that would cost upwards of $100,000 dollars 20 or 30 years ago. The advancements in the video market make it easier than ever for the average cinema or video enthusiast to create quality work.
There are some video cameras out there that stand out above the rest. High def quality is an absolute must for those who are looking to get that crisp video footage to use, and while there are photography cameras that double as video production cameras, they can’t hold a candle to the semi-pro cinema cameras that grace the video world with their presence. Supplementing those are the standard camcorder-style video cameras that still amaze us with their amazing video quality.
5 GoPrp Hero 3+ - $199.99 - $399.99
The Go Pro Hero 3+ is a great camera that has really taken the market by storm. The 1080p crisp footage is comparable to higher-end cameras that cost nearly 10 times as much as the Go Pro Hero 3+. Not only does this camera have some of the cleanest and nicest footage on the market, but it is extremely easy to use. With a small body design, this camera is able to fit easily into one’s pocket.
For those who are looking to document extreme adventures, this is the camera for you. With the simple addition of a protective case, individuals are able to take crisp videos of back country skiing, kayaking, skydiving, snowmobiling, and pretty much anything else you could think of. Innovative shots have been captured with the Go Pro camera and protective case, with athletes attaching the camera to parts of their bikes, scooters, cars, and skis. The future of what we are going to see with cameras like the GoPro is limited only to its users’ imaginations. Recently, GoPro remote control helicopters have also recently been released, allowing the user to get amazing aerial photography and video at a fraction of the cost it would have taken in the past.
4 Sony A7r - $2,299.99
The Sony A7r is the member of the Sony Alpha family that has captivated the video world. It is a very new camera that has really switched up the game when it comes to video. This is the first mirrorless camera to have a full frame sensor, allowing it to compensate for any loss of light, or other issues that could affect the quality of the user’s video footage. With the addition of the beautiful Sony lenses, which fit onto the E mount that is on the A7r, users are able to get amazing video.
Another great quality of the A7r is its compact size. No longer do videographers have to carry around huge cameras to get the footage that they want. The A7r, along with some compact lenses, can give you amazing video footage, while still being very portable. This camera is not only an amazing video camera, but it has very superior photography features as well. If you are looking to snap some photos, the 36 megapixel image sensor will give you some of the top-notch photos that you could look for in a camera.
3 Sony A99 - $2,799.99
The Sony A99 is a beautiful camera that offers amazing video to those opt for this DSLR. This camera falls into the category of the amazing Alpha series of Sony cameras that has delighted so many users for years. It comes in an amazing style that not only gives durability and strength, but has an amazing look that many photographers look for. The signature red ring around the lens attachment lets photographers brand themselves as users of the Alpha series of Sony Cameras.
The Sony A99 is part of an exclusive family of full-framed sensor cameras that only a handful of cameras fall into. Shooting on a full frame puts your video footage on a level comparable to that of 35mm film. The sensor actually is 35mm, so you are going to get that depth of field and cinematic look that you are searching for if you shoot with this camera. The Sony A99 is a great piece of equipment that is able to give amazing video footage that would cost tens of thousands of dollars to get just 2o or 30 years ago.
2 Canon 5D Mark III - $3,399.00
The Canon 5D Mark III is considered by many to be the premier consumer-level video camera under $10,000. This Canon 5D Mark III is based off of the existing 5D Mark II, which was already an amazing full frame DSLR that gave users amazing footage. With the 5D Mark III, users have the ability to shoot amazing depth of field on a full frame sensor, giving the user the ability to create a cinema look that will awe their users.
This camera is very durable as well, making it a great camera to take on field shoots. The 5D Mark III shoots amazing, clean HD footage, and with the addition of some high quality Canon, Sigma, or Rokinon Cine lenses; users will be able to get a picture close to the quality you would see on the silver screen. There are some better cameras out there, but you are going to be paying upwards of $20,000 dollar to get these cameras. The Canon 5D Mark III is easily one of the nicest cameras that you are going to be able to film on for under $10,000.
1 Panasonic HVX200 - $4,000+
Panasonic has been making top of the line camcorders for the last 20 years. They are well known for their cameras’ durability and strength, and when it comes to an all-around electronics company, it’s tough to beat the Panasonic name. Partnering with Lecia has led to Panasonic products offering some of the industry’s premier footage, their video cameras increasing in quality and popularity in recent years.
The HVX 200 is one of the best cameras for anyone looking to get into action sports videography. The HVX 200 is as stable as it gets, with a durable body and a handle cam body that has started to disappear from the video world. If you are looking to get into the world of skateboard, BMX, scooter, ski, or snowboard filming, the HVX 200 is a great camera for you. Not only is it a top device, the price point is very reasonable for someone looking to get into higher-end action sports cameras. With a 5mm to 45mm lens, this camera is versatile, suitable for many different situations. It comes with 2 XLR microphone inputs, making it a great camera for any corporate setting, interview, or documentary film making project. The HVX 200 shoots onto P2 cards, which frees the shooter from the mini-DV tapes of the dark ages of filming.
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