If you've purchased a video camera before, you know that before you make the investment, you need to look at the specs. If you've never bought a camera before, you may have been told once or twice to look at video camera specs. The point is, before you purchase a camera, look at the specs. That said, which specs really matter?
A camera that functions as a video camera as well should have specs that list video resolution. Most video recorders these days shoot in 4K or full HD, which are ideal. However, you may want to shoot in low-res every once in a while, especially if you want to upload and send footage quickly. Check out what low resolution options a camera offers before purchasing if that is important to you.
Zoom is an essential function for videos just as it is for still images. In fact, it may be more important for creating videos, as videography relies on a filmmakers' abilities to use different shots and angles to create meaning and tell a story. Find a camera with a 3X to 4X zoom lens, which means the lens can zoom in three to four times the minimum lens setting. If you need more zoom than your ideal camera can offer, look into creating a zoom effect in Premier Pro.
If you plan on recording at night or in dark spaces, you need a strong built-in flash. The specs should list the distance over which a flash unit can illuminate. They will list both a minimum and maximum distance. Though you may not be able to anticipate all your flash needs, it helps to know your traditional filming style so you can make an informed decision.
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