Sometimes having your big professional gear setup can be intimidating for people who aren’t use to being in front of the camera and you end up not getting the video coverage you were hoping. In some cases, a “professional looking camera” can even keep you out of events where ‘media passes’ are required.
Let’s face it, if you have a relatively newer smart phone you already have a small camera that can produce great video. I’m still a fan of having a dedicated camera and I wanted to share some cameras that I call my “cute cameras”. Hopefully, this can get you thinking about how using cameras like this in your production can help you get what you’re looking for with event videos!
These cameras have been around for years and they are available on Ebay and Amazon at really low prices. Here’s a list of some of the cameras featured in this video along with some honorable mentions of cameras I’m thinking about investing in as well as others that didn’t make it into this episode.
GoPro Hero2 – This is obviously an older model but I’m still happy with the quality and these are available on ebay really cheap! Eventually I’ll upgrade, but until then, I’m going to keep making the most of the equipment I’ve invested in.
With the latest editing software (Premiere/FCPX) and even with the GoPro App, wide view lens distortion can be corrected. I love the GoPro style camera for events! People (especially kids) love these little cameras and where they might shy away from a larger format camera, people usually don’t mind being in front of the lens on the little action camera.
Liquid Image Ego cam w/ wifi – This water resistant action camera has been around for a few years now and it’s still not commonly known in the ‘action camera’ world. This little camera features wifi phone app connectivity as well as a built in 1/4-20 tripod mount on the bottom.
As with the GoPro, the wide FOV can be corrected in post which offers a lot of creative flexibility with the look you’re going for.
The Ego Action Camera is just one of the many action cameras out in the wild. I’ve tried to keep up and watching online for new cameras and low cost alternatives. Currently, The RunCam 2 offers a great camera with wifi/app connectivity for a great price, though the mic on the RunCam 2 isn’t great, the features this camera offers are worth the investment.
While I’m thinking of other cameras not featured in this episode, the Yi 4K Action Camera is on my radar as a really good camera for the price and will likely be the next camera I purchase. You can learn more about the Yi 4K Camera in my friend Nitsan’s video HERE.
Check out this link for a wide selection of small action cameras currently available: Other Action Cameras!
Canon Powershot ELPH 300HD – This might be my all time favorite little camera. The Elph 300 is about is a pretty old model but the two features that make it great for my videos is the 24mm wide angle lens and the 1080 24fps video recording.
The Canon Elph cameras have been upgraded every year since the release of the 300HS, but for some reason, the 24mm wide lens and the 1080 /24fps video isn’t available in many of the newer models? Something else that the 300HS model features that other Elph camera don’t is the ability to lock focus in video mode. The camera is completely auto when shooting video, making it easy to use but frustrating at times. The ability to lock focus helps for those people who want more control over the camera.
The video quality of an iPhone 5, or newer, is way better compared to the Elph 300HS. But, shooting video outside on a bright day and my little red Powershot can still some nice video, especially with that wide 24mm lens. (I shot exclusively in the widest view available on the Elph) As I mentioned before, I still like having a separate camera, other than my phone, if for no other reason than to be able to listen to music or to make a phone call while I’m out shooting B-roll or timelapse.
The ‘Big Camera’ setup in this video is a Canon T2i (running magic lantern firmware) with some other components:
Silicon Follow Focus
Lens hood/Matte box
DSLR Pistol grip
DIY camera mic windscreen
This is one way to make a cheap Canon T2i look a little more legit and makes it a lot more functional in outdoor run/gun shooting environments. All of the cameras featured in this episode are more than a few years old, including my original DSLR camera, this Canon T2i. I’m still getting use out of them and all of the the cameras mentioned in this article are available online at crazy low prices, if you’re looking to DSLR filmmaking.
Be sure to check out my latest Run & Gun Camera Setup Video for a quick overview of some of my newest video gear!
CLICK HERE to watch and learn a little more about the Panasonic G85.
I’m not sure why I posted this photo, I already regret it.
Thanks for stopping by!