Video Tips

How to Choose a Video Camera for Your Business

Megan O'Neill

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If you’re just getting started making videos for your business, you’re probably wondering what gear you’ll need. In this article, we’ll share some tips for choosing a camera for shooting your business videos.

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Should you invest in an expensive video camera? Can you use a camera you already have? In her talk at Brand Camp 2019, pro photographer Vanessa Joy shared some tips for selecting a camera. Check out that portion of her talk below, then read on to learn more about the various options.

We’ll take a look at the pros of using a smartphone, a compact camera, or a DSLR camera. Plus, share some tips that’ll help you get the best results with each.

Start with your smartphone

A smartphone, like an iPhone or Android device, is used in place of a fancy, expensive camera more often than you think! In fact, many major brands use smartphones to create content for their social media channels quickly and on the go. Here’s an example of an Instagram Story shot on an iPhone.

Especially if you’re just getting started, we recommend creating your first videos with your phone. You can always invest in a more professional camera later on.

The Pros

There are a few great pros to using a smartphone for shooting videos for your business:

  • Lightweight and portable: You can carry it with you in your pocket.
  • Affordable: You likely already have one.
  • Shoots in HD: With the right lighting, you can get high quality results.
  • Shoots in multiple formats: Rotate your camera to shoot in landscape or vertical, or select the square option from your camera app.
  • Offers special effect options: Your camera likely offers time-lapse and slow motion features. There are also a variety of apps you can download to shoot eye-catching footage.

Setting your smartphone up for success

As Vanessa shared in the video, there are a couple things you’ll want to do to ensure your phone is set up to capture the best footage. The first thing you’ll want to do is go into your camera settings and make sure you’re got it set to record in 1080p HD.

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The other thing you’ll need to consider is lighting. Lighting is one of the most important elements when it comes to getting a shot on your phone that looks good. Vanessa shares some lighting tips in her full Brand Camp talk. To learn even more, check out our Video Creation Basics: Lighting guide.

Upgrading to a compact camera

Vanessa suggests that if you want to step things up a notch, go for a compact camera. A compact camera will give you a more professional look and feel, without having to invest in buying a more expensive DSLR camera.

The camera Vanessa showcased in the video is the Canon EOS M5 Mirrorless with an EF-M 15-45mm lens.

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The Pros

Upgrading from your phone to a compact camera? Here's what you can expect:

  • More affordable than a DSLR: You can find a good compact camera for under $1K.
  • Lightweight and portable, yet stable: While larger than a smartphone, a compact camera is still easy to transport. Plus the extra bit of weight offers more stability when you’re moving around.
  • Zoom: A compact offers higher quality zoom than your phone.
  • Shoots in vertical and horizontal: Some compact cameras have a square option as well.
  • Rotating or flip screen: See what you’re doing when shooting selfies or view your shot from low or high angles.

Investing in a DSLR camera

A DSLR camera is the largest investment of these three options. But it’ll also give you top shelf results.

We recommend a DSLR for those of you that are really serious about creating videos regularly, plus taking lots of photos for your business—whether it’s product shots, photos of events, or anything in between.

In the video, Vanessa is showing off the Canon 5D Mark IV body with a Canon EF 24-105mm lens.

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The Pros

A DSLR camera is top of the line when it comes to picture quality. It'll give you more control, along with a more cinematic look.

That said, DSLRs are designed for professional use and can have a high learning curve if you’re just getting started. To learn more, check out our series of blog posts on DSLR photography.

Setting your DSLR up for success

If you have a DSLR camera that you’d like to shoot video with, use Vanessa’s tips to ensure you’re getting the best quality footage.

Vanessa recommends heading to the menu to make sure you’re shooting video at 1920x1080 and 24fps, which refers to “frames per second.” She also recommends setting both the exposure and focus to manual so that you can adjust them while you shoot.

What type of camera do you use for shooting videos? What type of cameras are you looking at? Let us know in the comments below!