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INFOGRAPHIC: What Kind of Camera do I Need?

Posted by Alexa Fried on February 25, 2016

With the increasing rate of technology changes and the plethora of options when it comes to camera choice, we’ve broken down some of the most frequently asked questions our Production Managers receive about cameras – and organized it into this handy infographic to help figure out what kind of camera to book for your shoot. This infographic doesn’t include every possible camera out there, but just some of the most common options to choose from.

INFOGRAPHIC final

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Comments

  1. I would take issue with your graphic re: 4K shooting. Both the FS7 AND the F55 are 4K cameras. I also have a servo zoom on my F55, so that puts it in the smoothe zoom capable category as well. Secondly… I usually use zoom lenses with at least an F2.8 aperture, which gives pretty darn good shallow depth of field. So… it's not a case of only a prime will do… in fact many primes have the same aperture as these zooms… Yes, several have even better shallow depth of field…. but frequently it's the case of the DP knowing how to achieve the shallow depth of field with the tools they have to use. Granted… the better the tools… the greater the result can be!
    Anyhow… thought I'd put in my 2 cents.

    Incidentally, I'm shooting a project next week for you… in 4k with both my cameras.. the FS7 and the F55. Clients ARE starting to see the advantage of shooting in 4K and editing in HD. They have a huge advantage with framing when shooting in this manner.

  2. I disagree with your statement that only a large format broadcast camera can be used for a big-screen projection. A Sony PMW EX-3 is more than capable. Many smaller format size CCD cameras can work just as well. Please reconsider what you are saying and why, when giving advice on camera needs. I have over 20 cameras on hand of all different types from $1800 – $90,000 in value, and I find my $1800 Sony AX100 to be the most bag for the buck, and these days it is usable in 75% of my needs. Thank you for bringing up the discussion.

  3. I purchased a SONY PMWX70 a few months ago and its small, compact and full of professional features.
    It is perfect for Corporate run and gun shoots where we can take a few black bags with camera, audio and lighting gear.
    In NYC, this meets our goal of keeping costs down, meeting insurance requirements, while not having to cart in the freight elevator
    and meeting security requirements. New York City is challenging and our new SONY PMWX70 with carry in fits the bill.
    The results have been outstanding. Its small, but packs a punch.

  4. I shoot with a Sony FS7. I am impressed with the adaptability it offers. It allows the client to choose between 1080, UHD and 4K. With UHD and 4K you can re-frame your shots in the edit. Re-size a wide shot into a medium or tight shot without quality loss. Having 180fps slow mo at the touch of a button when shooting 1080 is very convient. The Sony Zeiss lens that I have for run and gun is all controlled thru the control arm-servo zoom and iris. For sitdown interviews I have a group of fast primes to give that great shallow depth of field look.

  5. When I purchased my Sony PMW-350 five years ago, the salesman told me that it had the same Sony Cine Alta chip set that the "Star Wars Episode 3" HD cameras had. While I did not fact check this, I can tell you that I have shot commercials with my PMW-350 that have screened at area movie theaters (the BIG screen) and they looked awesome!

  6. Oooh, I like the infographic. This is something I mentally go through several times a day as I help clients determine the best video production tools for their needs.

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