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How expensive a camera do you need for good video?

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The gear doesn’t matter, right? It’s a bit of cliché but that’s for good reason. We can end up using lack of gear as an excuse either for not creating something or explaining away someone else’s success. For a long time I’ve thought that while true, there were limits to this idea but thanks to this video from Think Media, I’m starting to think I might have been wrong. Maybe you don’t need an expensive camera to make a good video.

In it Nolan uses a $100 4k camera from Amazon to make a video for their channel with 1.7 million subscribers. Did anyone notice? Well, watch and find out. (and then. I’ll share some takeaways below).

Don’t use gear as an excuse!

The obvious first takeaway is that even with the worse camera you can make a video acceptable to a large audience. If you have a smartphone then you probably have a camera that is better than the one Nolan used and can help you get a better results.

Think creatively!

In the video we saw Nolan struggle with some of the limits of the gear, especially the auto focus! Sometimes we have gear that won’t allow us to do certain things so we need to get creative and work out ways around those limits or even embracing them.

You might have noticed that his final cut timeline included a lot of additional footage and elements, that could be one way you could get around your limited gear. Another might be using a screencast, stock footage or some form of drawing.

Lighting and audio matter a lot

Nolan has a lot of lighting and audio gear that he uses to help create his videos. Those helped overcome some of the short falls in his camera. While you don’t need expensive gear to get great lighting and audio, make sure you address these aspects not just your video footage.

Gear can help

Even though this video shows you CAN create a top video with terrible gear, having better gear gives you more options. If he had better autofocus or a wider lens, he could have shot his video in a different location. He might have missed out on certain shots due to the limits of his gear.

While this shouldn’t be a reason not to create something, it is good to consider what we want to do and what we need in our gear to help achieve that.

Would you use a camera this cheap?

Do you think you could make as good a video as Nolan with that camera? (I don’t!). How expensive a camera for good video do you think you need?

Written by: jarvis

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