Shooting Partners’ quick guide to the most popular cameras for self-shooters

Self-shooters are typically one-man teams are that operate the camera, record audio and direct the shoot – all at the same time.  These masters of multi-tasking need their cameras to be compact, lightweight, quick to assemble and easy to operate.  Here’s some specific features that the cameras most popular amongst self-shooters have in common;

They’re affordable

If you’re shooting as a one-man crew you probably don’t have a big production budget, so you’ll want a camera that captures high quality images at a relatively low cost – whether you’re buying or renting.

They’ve got integrated audio

There’s no soundman to monitor separate tracks on a separate mixer on these shoots – it’s all done in-camera.  It’s important that these cameras have multiple audio inputs and good monitoring tools.

They’ve got good sensors

The sensor determines the quality of the images captured and larger sensors can dramatically help to achieve a shallow depth of field – which is necessary for self-shooters looking to achieve a cinematic look.

They’re easy to operate

Intuitive menus and easy access to common functions are important because self-shooters don’t have time to spare in between takes.  Manufacturers that keep their menu systems similar on updated versions are popular because they allow self-shooters to use upgraded cameras without having to learn their way around a new interface

They record onto affordable drives

Self-shooters often produce content with high shoot ratios, which means that they’re recording a lot of media.  They need to record onto drives that are affordable and have a high storage capacity – so that they don’t have to stop shooting to change drives too often and so that they don’t have to spend a lot of money on storage.

Everything can be monitored from the viewfinder

Once the camera starts rolling, the viewfinder display is all that this crew can see – so it’s important that the viewfinder displays monitors for things like colour temperature, iris control and audio levels.  Some camcorders even include a spirit level to help ensure that self-shooters maintain their posture when they’ve got the camera on their shoulder.

All the cameras featured in our Quick Guide to the most popular cameras for self-shooters have the features listed above – but they’ve got subtle differences which can make all the difference to a one-man team.  Download the guide now for an at-a-glance overview to help you decide which camera is best for your next production.


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