Well, maybe that’s an oversimplification, but the point is that all the brilliant acting, directing and editing in the world can’t save you if your footage is an unusable mess. Whether you’re stuck with poor resolution or poor lighting, what’s on that camera is the best it’s ever going to be. Sure, you can adjust the color, add effects, and even photoshop a whole person in or out, but even that doesn’t work if the footage itself is unusable. There’s just no substitute for capturing the best footage you possibly can. Those shots are your raw material, and like ingredients in a recipe, your end product can only be as good as what you put into it.

Your camera needs may be greater than average if you shoot in 8K and tend to be a football field away from your shot, like nature documentaries and drone footage. Even in that, while the documentarian can carry a camera bag with choice of accessories, the drone has to be as light as possible. Does your camera need to be waterproof or merely water resistant—are you swimming or just hoping not to lose your footage to a light rain?

Priority one is a quality shot—that’s unwavering and not subject to debate. It’s important to list what that means to you—heavy zoom, light weight, large capacity, etc. Once you list what you need in a camera, you’ll have a better idea of what to buy. If you are in any way uncertain, give us a call. We can listen to your list and make a recommendation that will serve your needs.

I have seen someone walk into a store and insist on buying the highest priced item they sell. They were assured that what they were buying was far superior to anything else in the store, or anything else they could get from a competitor, and with a large smile, a large item was purchased for a large wad of cash. While that was the most feature-ridden item in the store, it wasn’t the best item for that person, and that person burned a couple thousand dollars on the top of the line when they only needed a third of that. If you’re not going to use them, those features are for bragging rights only. Me, I’ll take the money.

Don’t pay for features and accessories you won’t use, but don’t scrimp and save on the camera. If you start with a camera that’s less than you need, your footage will always be less than you need. Go minimalist with your costuming, set your movie in the field behind your house, and borrow props from family members, but buy a nice camera. No one will know that’s Nanna’s table, but they’ll know immediately if your footage is substandard.