Budget Camera Gear

Camera gear can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of cameras out there that are affordable and can look just as good as some more expensive cameras. Most of the time cheaper cameras are missing out on some bonus features that other cameras have but generally both cheap and expensive cameras can produce the same image.

A lot of professionals will tell you, “the best camera you have is the one in your pocket.” That’s true! Smart phone cameras have gotten very good and can be comparable with mirrorless cameras. If you are looking to start making videos I would recommend buying a camera later and instead focusing on audio and lighting. I used to think that buying a camera will up my quality of video but in reality it only helped a little. Once I focused on my audio and lighting my videos a lot better.

If I was starting from scratch I would look into getting a good audio recorder and a budget microphone. The Zoom h4n pro is a great audio recorder for the price, $249. As for the microphone I would get something around $100. My first microphone was the Vidpro XM-88 which sounds great for the price and was $96. You will also need a stand for your microphone which just about any microphone boom arm stand will work.

Next I would upgrade lighting. If you don’t have a budget for lighting, use natural light as best as you can. The best time of day is either in the morning, evening, or with overcast weather. If you can spend the money for some lighting gear, here is what I recommend. You should at least have two lights, one key light and one backlight to create depth. I would do some research on led panels for both the key and backlight. The Neewer 660 led panel is what I use because it is bi-color and affordable. If you wanted to buy a kit with two lights I would recommend the GVM 2 pack led lighting kit. I own a kit from GVM with 3 lights and they work great and is reasonably priced for what you get.

As for cameras I wouldn’t recommend buying a camera until after purchasing audio equipment and lighting. After you have bought that gear I would recommend doing some research on Canon and Sony cameras. These are the industry leaders when it comes to photo and video. Once you have don some research on both companies I would look for cameras under $1,000 that comes with a kit lens. lenses have become a lot more expensive so getting camera camera with a kit lens will really help. The two cameras I would recommend looking at is the Canon M50 mark ii and the Sony ZV-E10. Both cameras have options with a kit lens and both are under $1,000.

If I was starting from scratch and had little money to spend on gear I would use my phones camera and buy a recorder and microphone. After getting a couple gigs and saving some money I would buy the GVM 2 pack kit for lighting. After buying those things I would then look into buying a camera.


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