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?
So 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, it can all get very confusing! Below is a short guide to some 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.
- GoPro makes some of the leading sports and action cameras on the market. For the price of a camera you get excellent features. The GoPro comes with a waterproof housing case which is suitable for your camera to go underwater to depths of 40m. The Hero 4 Black shoots up to 4K and can take 12MP photos. The camera also has a timelapse and low light settings.
- The Panasonic GH4 is a camera that we are using more and more. For its price you get a small portable camera that produces high quality photos and videos. The GH4 can film in 4K and also slow motion at 96fps – so these specifications allow for some creative shooting. The majority of our new homepage video was shot on it and involves the use of slow-motion shots. Get the camera linked up with some decent lenses and lavaliere microphones and you have a very good setup.
- The AG-AC90 is the first ‘professional’ camera that I bought. I’ve had it for about 3 years now and still love the camera. The camera has two XLR inputs at the front and a built in mic for recording 5.1 surround sound. Recording up to full HD, the camera has two SD card slots at the rear, for expanded memory or simultaneous recording to back up your clips. The lens has a 35mm equivalent of 29.8 to 357.6mm allowing you to zoom in to items which are far away.
All of our recommended sound accessories are from RODE. They sell affordable yet high quality products that suit our needs and costs. We are in no way affiliated with any company featured on this page and are they are solely our unbiased views.
- 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 is one I use at work. It runs on batteries meaning that you can use it wherever and don’t have to worry about power supplies. 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.
And to finish I leave you with some photos from work…