I’m thinking about getting a new video camera.
I’ve been recording a lot of video over the past few years and posting it on my YouTube channel. For aerial video I’ve been using my DJI Mavic Air drone, and recently I acquired an inexpensive Akaso EK7000 for close-to-the-ground / novelty shots. However, my main video camera has been my Canon T1i, formerly my main still camera.
One glaring difference between the T1i and especially the drone is the difference in video quality. The drone has 4K video and the stills from the video are crisp and sharp. The stills from the T1i video are… well… not sharp.
The two issues with the T1i video are:
- The best resolution it can capture is “full HD” aka 1920×1080 – not 4K aka 3840×2160
- It captures 20 frames/second at full HD resolution – not 30 or 60 like most 4K cameras
I’m thinking it’s time to retire the T1i and move on. Goodness knows I have retired a few digital cameras so far…
What’s Under Consideration?
I asked my Instagram readers for video camera recommendations, and they gave me the five in the table below.
|Canon G60||Canon GX10||Sony FDR-AX100||Sony FDR-AX33||Sony FDR-AX53|
|35mm equiv. focal length||25-382||25-382||29-348||30-300||30-536|
|4K Video Speed||24-30 fps||24-60 fps||24/30 fps||24/30 fps||24/30 fps|
|Sound||2.0 channel||2.0 channel||Dolby 5.1||Dolby 5.1||Dolby 5.1|
|Buy on Amazon||Canon G60||Canon GX10||–||–||Sony FDR-AX53|
Amazon links are affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission if you buy something using that link, at no additional cost to you.
The first three in the table have a “full frame” sensor, meaning they should do better in low light. The price reflects that!
The Sony FDR-AX53 is an upgrade to the AX33 and adds better low light performance and double the optical zoom. I had several people recommend the AX53.
How About Your Phone?
One obvious question is – why not just use your phone?
I have an Apple iPhone 8 Plus, which has a very capable camera for recording stills and video. I use it frequently for taking photos and occasionally for video as well.
It shoots 4K video at 24, 30 or 60 frames per second!
So why not just use that?
- It only has a 2x optical zoom, which really limits me to wide angle video.
- My phone is often controlling my drone
- Limited storage space
The lack of optical zoom – because of the built in tiny lens – is the real kicker.
At this point, the Sony FDR-AX53 seems to be the right camera in my price point.
I’m open to more suggestions, though – leave a comment!