Looking for the perfect video camera

- Posted in photography

I had a lot of fun learning the basics of photography a few years ago. I was a real gearhead in the beginning, always looking at gear as a way to improve my photography. I would test new cameras (mirrorless was all the rage!) and I would do intricate light setups in my living room to practice product photography.

But, at some point I realized that to make the images I wanted to make, the hard work wouldn’t be in the technical but in the search for the right subject; and the subsequent work to make the image happen.

In terms of actual cameras I used I went from a Nikon D70 to a D7000 and eventually to a D800.

I decided to sell all my “professional” photography gear and got myself a small camera: the Sony RX100 III. If you are looking for a great point and shoot look no further: this is it.

Now, I was a bit bored with regular “random” photography (travel, daily life etc.) but I had this idea for a side project: I would make a small video on a conference in Tokyo and learn Premiere in the process. This side project threw me into the world of video, which was exciting, because suddenly there was a lot of new stuff to learn again.

The above video was shot with the RX100 and my iPhone. The RX100 is pretty great for video. It has a nice codec and the quality you can get out of it is so much better than your typical DSLR footage.

But, as you can probably notice, the audio is terrible. I did the audio with a combination of small mics but that ended up being a lot of work for not a lot of quality.

I decided I would need a camera that can have an external mic to improve the sound on future videos. I was thinking about what I wanted in a camera and landed on the idea that I need to switch to using digital SLRs again.

They have better autofocus, the battery life you need for video, a mic jack, a mount for a shotgun mic, they are versatile with lenses etc. So I’m at the point where I want that SLR quality again, but this time with a camera that’s suited to video.

I tested a EOS 760D (also known as 8000D, it’s the same thing) for a while and I thought: holy shit, this is awesome. Canon had won me over. This thing had a touch screen that was also a fully articulated screen, and the IQ was great. I forgot how good SLRs could be.

So I did some research and it turns out that the Canon 760D is pretty similar to the Canon 70D.

I’ve been watching a lot of Youtube lately and the 70D is super popular with vloggers. It’s cited everywhere as THE best camera for vlogging. There are hundreds of Youtubers that have copied famous video blogger Casey Neistat’s setup that includes a 70D on a Joby Gorillapod. Casey is using a 10-22 lens (a quite expensive one at €500). The 70D is an APS-C sensor (1.6x) so this 10-22 becomes an effective 16-35mm.

This range seems perfect to me for small documentary style videos, interviews, product videos etc. – the videos I am looking to make. Interestingly a few weeks ago Canon announced the 80D. It’s showing up in stores around this time with a €1299 price for the body only. I ordered mine a few days ago and hopefully I will have it next week. I’ll be trying it with that 10-22 lens.

This 10-22 lens has an EF mount which basically means I can reuse it if I ever buy a full-frame camera again. I hope that in the future Canon comes out with a lightweight full-frame camera. In the meantime I will be making videos with my new setup. Onwards!

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