What Video Camera Should I Buy? My New Course on Lynda.com

September 27, 20162 Comments

One question I get asked a lot is. Hey Erik. What video camera should I buy? Well, that’s a tough one to answer because we all shoot diffrent stuff and have diffrent needs but, in my new course on Lynda.com I will help you find the right camera and much more.


Video cameras have come a long way. They’re smaller, lighter, and shoot in higher resolutions—4K and beyond. Now more than ever, we have to make the right choice on what camera to buy or rent for the type of productions we shoot. The lighting, the locations, the size of your team, and even the computer you use for video editing can all impact the decision.

Evaluating your production workflow and the camera options out there can save you time, money, and maybe even your sanity. Camera enthusiast Erik Naso is here to help. He’ll teach you how to ask the right questions and pick the right camera—balancing “the camera I should buy” with “the camera I want to buy,” so you end up happy with your purchase over the long run. Learn how to figure out your budget and needs; understand the different file formats, sensors, and lenses available; and choose the right accessories for any shooting situation.

Topics include:

  • Understanding the camera components: sensor, lens, etc.
  • Evaluating audio inputs
  • Taking your type of production into account
  • Deciding on a budget
  • Choosing accessories such as tripods and gimbals
  • Camera codecs and media cost

Lots of great info in a course that only takes 50 minutes to complete!

Now I wish this course was free, however it’s relatively inexpensive. For only $19.99 you can watch “What Video Camera Should I Buy” for up to 30 days, and if you like the course and want to explore more of what Lynda.com has to offer then signup for full subscription plan. I think they are a fantastic education resource.

I’ve been a Lynda.com member for many years. I took courses on how to edit on Final Cut Pro 7! Yeah that’s a long time and since have taken several dozen courses in so many diverse categories. Lynda.com has a huge library of courses ranging from business and Marketing to 3D Animation and Filmmaking courses. Check out the library and see what you find!

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Signup today and take my course on “What Video Camera Should I Buy?”

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About the Author ()

I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

Comments (2)

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  1. VanWeddings says:

    should be very helpful for new shooters. good stuff!

  2. Rick says:

    Hi Erik, I want to first off thank you for all the information and resources you provide via your blog and social media channels. I also read and see your content on news shooter.com as well. I viewed your lynda.com course too, but still have a question related to “Which camera should I buy?”
    First, a little background info to out things in context – the majority of my work falls into three categories:
    1) Paid corporate and educational projects, some of which include lots of green screen for compositing backgrounds and graphics with on-camera presenters – very similar in fact, to some of the content on lynda.com.
    2) Some event/run n’ gun stuff (some paid, some not) – school performances, occasional sporting events, outdoor and family-style events.
    3) Personal projects (unpaid) – Travel/family pieces and FX type projects (green screen integrated with 3D/motion graphics). For both #2 and #3, I shoot a lot of slow-motion.
    I have lots of 1×1 (and other sizes) of LEDs, Scrim Jims, fluoro lights, stands, a slider, small jib, a teleprompter, two Senhheiser wireless kits, shotgun mice, backdrops, etc., and two different Manfrotto tripods, each capable of supporting something as large as an FS7/C300 size camera. In short, I have all the supporting gear in place already, and have been using a GH4 since it was released and a GH3 as my occasional”B”. I’m a solo shooter, and only utilize an assistant on the larger corporate gigs.
    My business is not solely focused on video, and up to this point I’ve only been shooting 5-10 paying gigs a year, but now business in this service area has been picking up more, and I’ve had some clients look a little “less than impressed” when I’ve walked in with little mirrorless cameras when they are accustomed to other vendors with much larger/more expensive cameras. Additionally, I absolutely love shooting my own projects, and shoot stuff all the time. I love my GH cameras, but I’m at a point now where both personally and professionally I’m definitely ready to step up to a Super 35 sensor cinema camera, and I really want something with built-in XLRs and ND filters, and a larger sensor (both for the look, and for better low light). I intend to keep my GH4 for travel stuff because of the compactness of the system. One important note here is that I have NO Canon or Sony lenses at all, the only lenses I have right now are all m43.
    I’ve rented a Sony FS5 before and used it on a few different things, and really liked the size, weight, and Super 35 look, but the 4K codec is weak, and I shoot everything in 4K these days for a multiple reasons and I also do a lot of green screen. So I’ve thought about adding the Raw upgrade and Ninja Inferno, but this makes the camera less compact. However, one aspect of the FS5 I love is that I like the lenses available for the E-mount system, which some are affordable enough to purchase (like the Veydra mini-primes), or rent on occasion (the Fujinon Mk cinema zooms), plus the ability to adapt lenses form other systems via adapters/Speedboosters, etc., and the way that Sony has a top-to-nottom lineup (A6500 all the way up to the FS7II). Canon lacks a small solid B cam choice.
    Basically, to make a long story short, I was more or less ready to pull the trigger on a Sony FS5 once NAB concluded this year (I was just waiting to see if Sony might have an FS5 II to unveil) since Canon didn’t offer a 4K cinema camera option for under $10,000 yet, and although I would love to have something like a Blackmagic Ursa mini Pro, I don’t do enough paid shooting of that type to make it worth it and I need the versatility to accommodate lower light situations sometimes.
    Then all of sudden, Canon drops the C200 and Panasonic announces the EVA1, both compelling alternatives to the FS5. I can’t lie, both cams are very appealing in different ways, but the lack of a mid-range codec on the C200 and all of the unknowns on the Panasonic (plus, I’m sure it won’t have any sort of sweet autofocus system) just leaves me with a wait-and-see approach to either of them. Plus, the Canon is clearly more expensive when I factor in some lenses, and the Panasonic price is unknown yet. But then Sony just started offering a $1000 rebate on the FS5. As I said, I’m not invested at all in either Sony or Canon lenses, so I’ll definitely need to purchase a few lenses to get started with. So, now my question is, do I jump on the Sony FS5 (the $1000 rebate expires July 31, and the free Speedbooster expires June 30), and get in on the Super 35 action at a lower entry cost, or would you recommend I just sit it out and wait for the Canon to ship in order to try it first, or wait even longer to see the EVA1 and possibly what the Sony FS5 II might offer? My only concern with waiting is that the C200 is a lot more, the Panasonic will likely be more, and an FS5 II will almost certainly cost more as well. Help! What camera should I buy (or wait for)???

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