Here’s a list of things I now look at in my next potential camera purchase and are roughly in this order of priority;
- What am I going to be predominately shooting with the camera? For example is it real estate videos, sports and events or freelancing for television? I shoot a lot for a production company out of Auckland here in New Zealand and offered to use the new Sony A7Smkii for some pick up shots for an Architecture style TV show. They however didn’t want me to use the Sony A7Sii camera, their minimum requirement for their production was the Sony FS7! I now tend to hire cameras in for specific jobs depending upon their requirements but still shoot almost all of my Real Estate Videos for clients on my trusty old Canon 80D and its still doing a great job ( I have however got my eyes on the Sony A7Smkii).
- Ease of real world use – is it easy to operate out in the real world? Does it have a flip out LCD monitor or an optical viewfinder? Does it have good battery life? Does it have focusing and exposure aids such as peaking and zebras?
- Price – Will I gain significant advantages for the price jump to a new system? Will my clients notice any difference or can I give them added value that can potentially give me revenue increases when shooting commercially?
- Lens system – Can I use my existing lenses? (I have a bit of Canon glass) and what is the price of a new wide angle lens for shooting real estate interiors? Do I have to buy a whole new lens system or a lens adapter such as the Metabones?
- Does it record High frame rates (ie up to 100fps) I don’t use high frame rate recording much in real estate videos but love the option of super slo-mo in other styles of video shooting.
- Size & weight – I prefer the smaller size and weight of the mirrorless cameras as I want to be able to use them on my current slider and tripod setup and use them with handheld gimbals such as the Zhiyun crane which I’m trying to incorporate more into my real estate offerings. As a side note I’ve tried using my Canon 80d with the Tokina 11-16 wide lens on the Zhiyun crane but it was just too heavy so didn’t work for me.
- 4K video recording – not a deal breaker but eventually a client will ask for a 4K job even thou I’m still predominately delivering in 1080p and buying a 4k camera is a future proofing consideration.
If you held a gun to my head and made me choose?My current recommendations at time of writing this would be if you were on a tight budget I would go the Canon 80D with Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens. If you want to get what I would say was currently the best I would go the Sony A7Smkii with the Sony 16-35 f4 lens. Thats my 10 cents worth, leave a comment on what factors would influence your next camera choice? I hope thats some help and happy shooting.
Thanks for that post! I agree completely with those sentiments. I think there’s too much emphasis on 4k at the moment- yes the picture quality is better but most paying clients don’t know what 4k is let alone have tv’s or monitors capable of delivery cinema 4k. I do however see a marked difference with 4k downressed to 1080p in terms of more dynamic rage and for that reason alone I might yet be tempted… What I didn’t factor in before buying the GH4 is computer hardware! My old 2009 Imac stuttered when rendering the huge files- not to mention hardrive space.
I sold the GH4 and decided to stick with my 70d for now… not an easy decision but definitely the right one for me as I am still fairly new to videography and don’t want to bite offer more than I can chew or invest in a new lenses or a new Imac just yet….
Thanks to your courses Grant I now have a business creating Real Estate video and promotional business videos 🙂
In search of the Holy Grail of equipment, we tend to forget that 80+ percent of the videos are watched on mobile and 4k is really irrelevant. The emotional engagement of the story is a lot more important.
Seems like most real estate photographers use (or over use photoshop)so these subtle differences don’t matter. What I find in Grant’s shots is his framing and exposure. You can take a picture of a chair a dozen ways for example. People looking for a house don’t look at the house and furnishings like artwork in a museum. Many top realtors use really lousy photographers or even do it themselves in 10 minutes.
Many are too cheap to hire someone. They don’t even want to buy a decent sign.