- Is it designed for crop sensor or full frame cameras? Is it compatible with your camera type?
- What type of video do you intend to shoot? Shorter focal lengths - like 35mm - are better-suited for travel videos while longer focal lengths - like 135mm - are best for wildlife videos.
- What is the widest aperture of the lens? If you intend to shoot in low-light situations, getting a lens with a large aperture is best.
- How much does the lens weigh? What is its form factor? Big, bulky lenses aren't ideal for things like travel videos.
So, you're ready to make the leap from photography to videography...
The question is, what gear do you need to get started?
Thankfully, many DSLR and mirrorless cameras have excellent video capabilities, so a new camera might not be on your list of things to purchase.
But what about other important items for video work?
Here's a few suggestions for building a functional videography kit.
Editor's Tip: Need a new camera bag for all your video gear? Shop for great deals on top brands.
Don't Neglect Your Video Editor
Before I dive into things like cameras and lenses for video, I wanted to address the video editor you use to make your creations.
You obviously want something powerful that offers you a lot of features for making professional-looking videos.
But you likely don't want to spend an arm and a leg that some video editors cost either.
I know plenty of photographers that rely on free software for their videos, but let's be honest - free software generally lacks the tools you need to make truly epic videos.
You don't have to spend a ton of money for a professional video editor though.
I started using Kizoa a few months ago, and I'm never turning back.
It's the ideal combination of power, performance, functionality, and ease of use.
Kizoa is loaded with tons of pre-made templates (including for holidays!), so you can get a head start on making your videos straight away.
What's more, you can add music, transitions, texts, and other effects to give your videos a polished look.
From an ease of use standpoint, Kizoa has a free iOS app, so I can create and edit videos right then and there after I record the footage.
On top of that, Kizoa has made it easy to share the videos I create - I can email them, burn them to a DVD, or upload them to social media in a matter of moments.
Kizoa truly is the best of both worlds - it's powerful and affordable, with premium plans starting at just $30.00 per month.
If you're ready to take your videography to the next level, give Kizoa a try!
What Camera is Best for Video?
Maybe you already have a camera that shoots video.
But if you don't, or if you want to upgrade, what camera is best for video?
The answer, of course, depends on who you ask.
Personally, I'm a huge fan of Sony cameras for video work - like the Sony a7 III, which has 4K shooting capabilities at both 24fps and 30fps.
This camera is small, lightweight, easy to maneuver, and has improved battery life over previous Sony models.
What's more, there's a wide range of lenses you can use with this camera to get different types of shots and effects for your videos.
The key here isn't brand - I like Sony, but if you like Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, or some other brand, that's okay! Just be sure you have a camera with interchangeable lenses, and preferably, 4K video capabilities.
Top Video Lenses
Again, the question of what lens is best for video depends on a lot of different factors.
If you're already invested in the Canon ecosystem, then buying a Canon-fit lens is obviously advisable.
What's more, if you already have a 24mm lens, there's no sense in buying a 28mm lens, as the difference in focal length isn't worth the added expense.
When it comes to zooms or primes, both have their merits for video.
A good video kit would include both, actually, perhaps a 24-70mm zoom and a 50mm prime.
What's important to keep in mind is that lenses are the most important gear investment for videography (and for photography, for that matter).
Unlike your camera, which you'll eventually have to replace, you might have your lenses for decades. So, while good lenses (like the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8) can be spendy, they will more than pay for themselves over the long-haul.
Things to Consider When Buying a Video Lens
Editor's Tip: Not sure what lens to get to make awesome videos? Consult the experts and get the right lens for you.
Video Work Requires a Legit Memory Card
Image Credit: djedzura via iStock
Given the amount of storage required to save all that 4K video footage you'll be taking, you can't pull any punches with your memory cards.
Like with lenses, it's important to invest in quality here. Resist the urge to save a few bucks on off-brand cards and go for the well-established brands like Lexar or SanDisk.
Additionally, it's important to take factors like storage space, read/write speed, and the class of the memory card into account.
If you're not sure what any of that means, give this detailed discussion of memory cards a quick read before dropping money on a card. Doing your due diligence will help save you heartache down the road by avoiding sub-par memory cards.
Buying new gear is a very personal experience. That is, what you need for your video work might not be what I need for mine.
Having said that, there's common items every videographer needs - an interchangeable lens camera, a good set of lenses, and high-quality memory cards among them.
For more insights into the best gear for videographers, have a look at the video above by Matti Haapoja.
He's an experienced videographer that gives some great general tips on filling out your videography kit.