Music Production and Promotion Tips

How to make a music video: What camera do I need?

Posted on | February 28, 2012 | No Comments

The technology in cameras and video cameras has changed an awful lot over the last 10 years, and it can be hard to know where this leaves you. So what camera do you need to make a music video? Does it have to be a video camera? Can I get a camera for under £100/$150 that will do the job? Here, I’ll (hopefully) answer some of your questions.

On a Budget

I’m a realist. Suffice to say not everybody who wants to make a music video can afford top of the line gear, and that’s the beauty of the 21st century, you don’t always need it. I understand that you may just be a hobbyist or a student who can barely afford bread let alone a fancy DSLR or video camera. I hear you brothers and sisters. So I’m going to go to the worst case scenario first of all, and it’s not that bad an option. The iPhone. For a start, the iPhones credentials in terms of visuals are getting better all the time, as demonstrated in this video. Your iPhone won’t be able to shoot a video good enough for MTV, but it will be more than adequate for a youtube video, can let you shoot video that you can import and edit on your mac or PC, and can also be “pimped” or just made more stable or versatile with some funky accessories like tripods.

The next option in my opinion, is a cheap and compact camcorder such as the Flip Mino. Cameras such as this have dropped hugely in price over the last few years, and can record FULL HD video. FULL HD! Flip Minos have inbuilt storage of up to 8gb, a battery that charges via your USB port and can fit in your pocket. Oh, and did I mention, they shoot FULL HD VIDEO.

SLR Cameras

So here’s my next golden nugget of advice. The SLR. The DSLR has come on in leaps and bounds in the last 5-10 years, with Canon leading the way (in my opinion). Their brilliant professional camera the Canon 5D Mark II has even made its way into hollywood movies such as Captain America. Of course, you don’t have to pay that kind of money for a DSLR that will shoot great video, and a simple look around a camera shop will show you that most cameras brought out in the last few years have brilliant video facilities as the art of still and moving images move ever closer. I personally use the Canon 550D for all my video needs, and it hasn’t failed me yet. A DSLR can make a professional video nowadays.

An Ideal World

I’m going to assume that most of you wont have huge budgets to spend when it comes to your cameras, especially if you’re just going to use them for your music videos, but some of you may be thinking about this as a career, and need something professional.

If it’s a pro camera you’re after. Sony is the way to go. Sure, it’s expensive, but Sony have led the way in this field for some time now, and nowadays even produce their video cameras with interchangeable lenses. However much money you may have in your bank account, I would not buy one of these beasts unless you’re really serious about making your music. If you have the money but are reluctant to spend it, do bare in mind that they hold their value relatively well, so you can always sell it on in the future (if you can bring yourself to). Check out the Sony HVR-Z 7 Camcorder for an idea of what the pros are using.


Not in agreement? Got something to add? Any more questions about making a music video? Get in touch with us or leave us a comment, we’ll get back to everyone.


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