Before we go any further there is something important I should point out – the best camera for a beginner is the camera that particular person can afford.
I find it so amusing when I come across newcomers to the business discussing what equipment they are going to buy first.
Most of them have already thumbed there way through the most recent issue of a mag and frantically written down the specs and opinions of the ‘so-called’ experts. This allows them to sound like the ‘big cheese’ when it comes to conversations with fellow newbies.
Do they actually need all these flashy features when first starting out? Will they be able to use all these flashy features when first starting out?
Before you remortgage the house and purchase something you’ll never get your head around check out this article first. The best camera for a beginner is not necessarily the one with all the ‘bells & whistles’ included…
The Best Entry Level Camera
We are not going to throw expensive models at you because that would defy the point of this article. The truth of the matter is that great films can be created through something as simple as an iPhone 4 camera ( as we’ve already mentioned! ).
If you can afford the more expensive cameras then great – they will ultimately make your life easier!
But I learned my trade on a camcorder that cost me a little over $300 and I still have that same camera now as back up. It’s all about developing your skills as you go along – creativity will always be a lot more powerful than price!
At one time the Panasonic HC-X920 was he most expensive consumer camcorder on Panasonic’s books. This was mainly down to the fact that it was the model that offered the most features.
What I like about this model is the fact there is a manual focus ring around the lens. This always gives the feel of a more professional camera as you won’t find this function on lower-end models.
Panasonic offers a Image App for iOS or Android and this camcorder works perfectly in tandem with it. When I tested it out I ended up using a tablet for wireless control over the camcorder. I was also able to view the recorded footage I had captured through my Android tablet.
Panasonic’s top-end camcorders use something known as known as 3MOS. This consists of 3 sensors that are each set up to catch one particular light ( blue, red and green ).
These sensors allow the camera to catch large amounts of detail and very accurate color representation. Single sensor cameras tend to make quite a lot of noise due to solitary sensor being overworked. This noise is cut down in the Panasonic HC-X920 due to the three separate sensors taking the workload.
A brilliant choice of starter camera for indie filmmakers ( especially if they are looking to shoot in the Found Footage style! ).
For more information on the Panasonic HC-X920 simply click the link that corresponds to your location below:
If you’re looking for something without all the ‘bells & whistles’ that does not compromise on quality then the Sony HDR-CX220 is definitely worth thinking about.
It has one of the best optical zooms on any basic camcorder – at 27x ( it was very simple to initialize when recording! ).
It has a 60fps frame rate which delivers outstanding quality videos without needing any real technical knowledge.
I recently came across one of these models in red on sale for $200 which is one hell of a steal. The links below will take you through to Amazon and there you can read through a few consumer reviews – see for yourself ( some of the deals there are also excellent! ).
The Sony HDR-CX220 is by far the best camera for a beginner filmmaker that is struggling with a budget – well worth a look!
Canon Legria HF R56 High Definition Camcorder
I mentioned earlier in the article that I started out using a simple camcorder that I still own today. Well that trusty old friend happened to be an earlier version of Canon Legria HF R56 High Definition Camcorder.
Again you really can’t go wrong with this model camcorder as it boasts:
- A versatile 57x Zoom that lets you capture great detail in far away objects
- It uses a 3.28 megapixel Full HD CMOS sensor that provides crystal clear quality with fantastic color reproduction
- A DIGIC DV4 imaging processor that removes any image distortion and boosts image clarity in low light
- Wi-Fi connection for remote control through tablet or smartphone
- Intelligent IS is in place to eliminate the problems associated with camera shake.
This isn’t the only Canon camcorder deal that Amazon are offering at the moment but in our book it’s certainly one of the best: