Getting the camera right is so important to the success of your project that we suggest that you choose the camera first then get the rest of the kit to support it. The camera you hire is entirely dependant on the type of shoot, the quality needed, the way it is going to be operated, the access available, the budget, personal opinion and frankly a dozen other factors. Using a camera that you are familiar with is often a good place to start. But why not try to push the boundaries a little by trying something new? Our pre made packages are divided into types of shoot that will give you a great idea were to start and what other professionals are using.
There are loads of different cameras and we love them all but we have had a go at splitting them up to help you choose.
Most video used to be filmed on small sensors and films and high end drama was filmed in the super 35mm format and that was fine. But once digital cameras brought large format super 35mm to cameras that didn't cost more than a house that all changed. Now the use of big sensor cameras is the standard for most production and this brings a touch of cinematic sparkle and small depth of field to your production without breaking the bank. Canon started the fun with the Canon 5d and then followed that up with the Canon C300 and now the 4K C300 MKIII. Sony fought back strongly with the Sony PXW FS7 and FS7 MKII and the smaller Sony PXW FS5. All these cameras offer great images with an easy to use form factor that we think makes them the perfect choice.
There is some confusion about full frame cameras as the industry has been calling super 35mm cameras '35mm' for years. But super 35mm is not actually true 35mm but full frame cameras like the Sony PXW FX9 are. This should make the quality higher, give you better wide angle options, and makes the depth of field even smaller. Cameras like the DSLR Canon 5D have been recording video in full frame for over a decade.
Although everyone seems to be committed to 35mm and full frame sensor cameras we feel that there is still a place in the filming world for the video and handycam. These easy to use cameras have a built in lens and are the very easiest cameras to use. They have a small sensor so they don't have the cinematic look but has the benefit of being easier to keep in focus. The camera can be lifted out of a bag and be filming in minute even if you don't have much experience. The Canon XA30, the Sony PXW X70, the Sony PXW X200 are still some of our favourite cameras and remember that not all projects need blurred backgrounds and often it's nice to see the whole scene.
DSLR / Mirrorless
DSLR cameras can take amazing photos and can film incredible HD and 4K images. One of our favourite cameras is the Canon 1DX MKII as the photos look as good as a medium format stills camera and the video looks like it's filmed on a camera that cost many times more. The biggest difference between DSLR and mirrorless is no surprise really as the clue is in the name. Mirrorless cameras have no mirror so they are smaller and lighter and because the lens can be mounted closer to the sensor the lens itself can be smaller in diameter. Our favourite mirrorless camera is the Sony A7S MKII but remember it uses E-Mount lenses. That means that the lens attaches by Sony's E-Mount system but you can use other lenses like canon EF mount by using an adaptor. The Metabones IV would be a great choice for this.
Action Cameras & 360 Cameras
YouTube, Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook and all the others are huge publishers of video and of that content some of the most exciting and unique video will have been filmed with action cameras. The GoPro Hero range is the most used and we love them but the Sony DSC-RX0 is fabulous as well, and if you want to really stand out then the GoPro Fusion 360 gives impressive 360 degrees of video that will really make the viewer feel part of the action.
Stabilised cameras like the DJI X3 and DJI X5 are great fun to use and are very easy to film with. The camera and lens are already attached so you don't need to spend time balancing your camera on a gimbal. Super smooth images with very little fuss.
You can also use a gimbal such as the DJI Ronin-S or Zhiyun Crane to mount