Filming is an integral part of Beyond the Point – and is something that really shows how far we have come. From our early days with an old chunky camera to today with a professional setup the difference is amazing. BTP Joe is currently a trainee camera operator and editor for ITV News London and here we get the top tips from the man himself. Whether your budget is £200 or £2000, you can’t put a price on creativity.
Which Should I Buy?
If you’re thinking of buying a camera you may be wondering which one is best for you, and with thousands of different models out there, with prices from the hundreds to the thousands, it can all get very confusing! Below is a short guide to some of the camera’s that we recommend.
- Mobile Phones are becoming increasingly better and are used more for the internet and other apps than actual phone calling! It’s well worth looking at the camera specs on mobile phones and making sure that they’re a good standard. This can even stop you from buying a video camera. The iPhone 6s can take 12MP photos and can film up to 4K footage. You can also buy lens kits to enhance the quality too. Whilst something like an iPhone isn’t cheap, you are getting a photo and video camera along with many other tools such as a compass and satnav, all of this in a smartphone which can fit into your pocket.
- GoPro makes some of the leading sports and action cameras on the market and for the price of a camera you get some excellent features. The GoPro is waterproof so can be used in any weather and also underwater in lakes and rives, with the option of a waterproof case which can allow it to go even deeper. The Hero 6 shoots up to 4K and can take 12MP photos (although we wouldn’t recommend this feature). The camera also has a timelapse mode. Quality and stabilisation is good but it does degrade in lower light. Whilst we’ve filmed many of our vlogs with this camera it is best used for what it is designed for – as an action cam capable of being mounted on yourself or a vehicle, and it is extremely rugged for use in the outdoors or underwater. This is where it shines, rather than for cinematic videography. Its superwide view further distinguishes it and is useful for POV shots. There’s also the DJI Osmo Action, a sports/action camera alternative by DJI, which also comes at a lower price.
DJI Osmo Pocket
- The DJI Osmo Pocket is made by the same company that makes our drone – both of highly impressive quality. DJI continue to break the market’s boundaries by redefining what can be achieved with both portability, inbuilt gimbal stablisation, and high quality. With an introductory-level pricepoint rivaling the GoPro, this tiny pocketable camera allows you to start shooting cinematic videos otherwise only achievable with bulkier DSLR cameras or pricey compacts, both upwards of £500. It is now what we use to shoot many of our vlogs and documentaries, and with its tiny gimbal it removed the need for a tripod. It’s only downside is perhaps that its too small. It is slightly too small to comfortably grip, and its screen is minuscule, so it is great that you can attach a smartphone to aid with your shots although this does make it slightly more awkward and less compact.
- The Panasonic GH5 is our goto cinematic camera for professional videography. For its price you get a good balance between portability and fully-adaptable high quality DSLR photos and videos. The GH5 can film in 4K and also slow motion up to 120fps – so these specifications allow for some creative shooting. The majority of our 2016 homepage video was shot on its predecessor, the GH4, and involves the use of slow-motion shots, as was our 2019 New Tavern Fort documentary. Get the camera linked up with some decent lenses and a microphone and you have a very good setup.
Sound is arguably more important that the video quality, particularly for vloggers. RODE are the main company specialising in consumer audio accessories with everything from microphones to wind gags. We are in no way affiliated with any company featured on this page and are they are solely our unbiased views.
- RODE VideoMic-Pro – If you’re looking for something simple that does the job then the VideoMic Pro is for you. This microphone attaches ontop of your camera and is plugged in through the camera microphone input and it’s battery powered meaning it won’t drain your cameras battery.
- RODE NTG 2 Microphone – The RODE NTG2 is our main microphone used with the AG-AC90. The phantom powered mic comes with a ten-year guarantee with RODE who are confident about their products. The microphone is relatively cheap for shotgun microphones and produces good sound quality although the foam windshield that comes with it won’t do anything to keep the wind noise out. This is where the blimp will come in.
- Blimp – The blimp is no cheap accessory although makes a massive difference. I first bought this when I started filming at Canvey Island Football Club and was amazed. The Blimp completely cuts out any wind noise. Even by pointing it at a fan, you will only hear the motor going. It can be bulky to carry around but will get the job done.
- RodeLink FilmMaker Kit – This is our latest bit of kit and does the job well. The two reciever packs are quite bulky to heavy although the audio that it produces is really good and makes a big difference from recording the sound without a microphone. By using the wind-cut accessories the microphone does well to keep the wind noise out.
- LED Light – An LED light can make a big difference, whether you are filming in a dark environment such as tunnels or down a street on a cloudy day, a light can be used for any scenario. The light that we link to isn’t the cheapest but is super bright, with the option of boosting it further! With a built in battery, this can be charged on the go or via a USB cable. You can also change the colour temperature between 3,200k and 5,600k without the use of filters.
- 3 Point Lighting – These are the set of studio lights that we use when we’re doing special features indoors, including using a greenscreen. All of the red head lights require a power supply and come with dimmers – something that is a big bonus. The lights can get quite hot which is typical of studio lights, although generally these are a good buy.
- SD Cards – You can never have too many of these – but never have just one! We use 32 and 64GB cards. The most important thing is to make sure that they are class 10. The higher the class, the better and faster recording quality. Buying a micro-SD card with an adapter will mean that you effectively have two cards for both smaller and bigger slots.
- Rain cover – The chances are that you won’t be standing outside in the rain although you don’t want your camera to get wet so it’s worth investing in some sort of rain cover.
- Gorilla Pod – This nifty little accessory is surprisingly good for the price. The Gorilla Pod is a special flexible tripod for lightweight cameras will allows you to mount them in a variety of locations from trees to radiators and can even be used on tables or chairs to get that all important family portrait.