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Better Cinematography for Your Church

Updated on March 26, 2016
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Start With the Right Camera

Doing better cinematography always starts with the right camera.What separates the camcorder you can get from the local store from the professional grade cameras? There are two keys, the first is prices control over your shooting settings and the second is higher sensor for capturing better images. If your church is ready to take the plunge into better cinematography or more practically for your churches purposes videography this article will help you decide on a great camera for your buck. Truth be told you need $5000 for just the camera alone. But I'm going to try to find a you some camera options for $3000 or less. The place to purchase from is going to be B&H photo video website.

What can you get for that amount of money or less (that is not a 2-4K cinema camera)? We can look at getting a cinema camera another day.

Check out the link below to see the specific camera I have in mind for this budget range. This camera has some great specs that include 1080p HD recording, dual XLR mic inputs, manual zoom, focus, and iris rings, 3 ND filters and a wide angle 20X zoom lens. These were the stand out features for me. Why are these good features? Shooting full 1080p HD is standard in this day in age. Shooting 4K will some day be standard but not now. 1080p is still quality enough for your purposes. XLR mic inputs are huge because without them you can not record professional audio via boom mic or lav mic. Your at the mercy of the internal mic then. The ND filters are going to be a life saver on a bright sunny day otherwise everything may be blown out on your picture. The manual rings are the real pleasure here. They will let you fine tune your image and get a nice balanced shot.

Next if you want a good shoulder mount camera then I'd look at the Panasonic. Find a camera with the highlighted specs. It should include, full 1080p HD, shoot at speeds of 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps. The normal recording speed for film cameras is at 24 frames per second that means that this camera can also be upped to 30 and 60 frames per second. It should have a wide angle 12X lens or higher. The weaknesses with a shoulder mount camera in this price range is the amount of manual control. By that I mean a multipurpose ring for iris, focus, and zoom. This will really limit your options and speed at which you can change shooting preferences.

DSLR Your New Friend

If your shooting for broadcast or in service viewing you need one of the cameras above but if you want to shoot film style meaning your going to change lenses and do retakes and edit the final product then you need a DSLR. May I suggest Cannon as your brand. The general rule is that Cannon is better for shooting video because of the higher quality h.264 codec. Most people will tell you that Nikon is the photographers camera. What it really comes down to here is sensor size. For the sake of argument lets just say that the larger the sensor the the better the picture. A large sensor will give you a shallower depth of field, greater dynamic range and better low light sensitivity. Lower light sensitivity is what really matters in my opinion. That along with the right settings will allow for your images to not be grainy. Grainy means that it looks like the image was made of sand. Might I suggest that you will want to use a Cannon camera 60D and up. In laymen terms anything with a "D" in its name is usefully a good purchase.

The DSLR

A Great Video on DSLR Shooting

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More to Come

In Hubs to come I will be talking about lens choices, pro audio choices, tripods and other rigging. Lens choices can be two articles or more by itself so each of these topics can be quite extensive. I hope you'll stay tuned for more cinematography content.

Understanding Church Media

Hey readers if you enjoyed this Hub did you know I have several more informative articles at my site:http://understandingchurchmedia.com

Read about filming, photography, websites, graphic design, video content and more!

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