What Makes A Good Video Camera? (Helpful Guide)

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What Makes A Good Video Camera?
What Makes A Good Video Camera?

It seems everyone is making videos these days. If you are ready to jump in and shoot some videos for yourself, there are several questions to get the answers to.

First off, what makes a good video camera? This article explains what to look for in purchasing a new video camera to allow you to shoot and produce quality videos.


How much money you can afford to spend on video camera equipment sets the parameters for what’s available to you.

If you have a low budget and already own a camera phone, this may be the option best suited for you. Camera phones have made huge advancements in their camera technology and are able to take and capture terrific pictures and video. So maybe start from there and purchase a video editing app or software to assist in enhancing your videos and providing a polished end product.


Nothing drives viewers away faster than when someone just shoots some video and uploads it without taking the time to do at least some limited editing.  We’ve all seen these unedited, poor-quality videos that make you think they don’t really respect their viewers by putting out a minimum amount of effort.  It is absolutely worth it to spend ample time editing your videos so that viewers will be engaged and perhaps watch the whole video.

Camera Phone, DSLR or Mirrorless

As stated earlier many newer camera phones can produce quality videos under the right conditions. A bonus with these is the on-app editing ability and their compact discreet size.  Many times it is just easier and preferred to shoot using a camera phone because it will be less disruptive or annoying for those around you.
DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras are both packed full of features and accessories which make them a great choice for all-around video shooting and still photography.  A wide range of lenses allows you to capture just about anything you might think of shooting. They have big sensors which pull in and capture excellent detail. See my previous article: Are DSLR cameras good for vlogging?

A potential downside is their onboard microphones are probably not the best a capturing quality audio. But, as mentioned about all the accessories available, you can select from various remote microphones that will suit your needs, and provide some of the best audio you can capture. Another plus of DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras is image stabilization and their electronic viewfinders which enable video shooting to be that much easier.
I should probably mention the small action cameras available today. These should be reserved for your fast action shots and not relied upon for everyday video shooting.

What To Look For In A Video Camera

You obviously want to select a video camera that will be easy and comfortable for you to use. If you don’t like it, you won’t use it. If possible, try out several cameras, feel their weight, and explore their controls. In other words, get familiar with the video camera learn where the buttons are, how to adjust the functions and menus, etc.
From there, examine the viewfinder and adjust it, what accessories are available you may want and need?  After finding a camera and getting familiar with it, think about how you will shoot video with it. You may decide to start with all the settings on ‘Auto’ and shoot some video. As you progress though, look into and learn the manual controls which will give you more creative control in how you make videos.


As mentioned above, a selection of different lenses will allow you to shoot a range of different ways. Look into a wide-angle lens for some of your closer shots. You may only need and use one lens for your videos if you shoot the same type all the time. But having the option to expand your lens choice opens up your creativity and ability for getting interesting videos.

Sensor Size

DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras will have large sensors. A larger sensor captures more information and performs better in low-light situations. You will also have less noise in the images and videos.
Conversely, camera phones contain small sensors due to their compact size which is why they do not perform as well in low light situations.
Don’t confuse this with the number of pixels or megapixels the camera has. It’s the sensor size that is the determining factor and the one that makes a real difference.

Storage Capacity

What format you shoot will affect the size of your videos and hence how much can be stored on memory cards. Make sure to purchase a quality memory card that is fast enough for shooting videos and also purchase an extra card if you can afford it.


You may not need additional lighting for your specific video shooting, but it’s worth considering for any indoor or low-light environments you may find yourself in.  LED light panels are available today that will greatly enhance these types of conditions. If you plan on studio shooting or creating videos of yourself for your YouTube channel you would probably benefit from improved lighting.

Other Useful Accessories

We’ve talked about external microphones, but a pair of headphones will be needed when editing your videos to help you hear the audio and make adjustments where needed.  As far as editing software, that will greatly depend on you. Do you have a laptop or computer to edit or are you going to use a phone editing app?  There are perhaps too many editing software packages available from free to very expensive. Do your research and select the one best fitted to your situation.
And lastly, accessories such as a tripod, and carry bags for your equipment might come in handy, so think about these as well.

In Summary

You could just grab any video camera or camera phone and start shooting videos, but if you take the time to select a quality camera you will get started on the right track.  Look into different selections of cameras, their options as well as how you will perform the video editing.

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