What type of camera is best for making a documentary?
by Sunaina Panthy
Question: In Nepal the commonly video makers are not used to the high quality cameras. We want give the quality. So what type of camera is good for the documentary?
Desktop Documentaries | Answer
Truly, the best camera for a documentary is the camera you have access to. If you don't have any money to buy a camera, the best camera is the one you can borrow from a friend.
If you have a bit of money to spend, then it really comes down to HOW MUCH money you have to spend. You can buy a tiny Flip camera
for $120 US. Or you can spend thousands of dollars on a fabulous camera with great lenses and all kind of gadgets and microphone inputs.
A popular camera with documentary filmmakers is the Panasonic AG-HVX200A P2HD Camcorder
. A bit less expensive, but still a great camera, is the Sony HXR-NX30 Camcorder
. Or in the DSLR category, try the Canon EOS 7D
Click here for a recommended Documentary Filmmaking Gear List
There are a lot of great cameras on the market, so go ahead and do some research, but when it all comes down to it, a great documentary is in the storytelling, not in the camera that you use. If at all possible, at the very minimum, you want a camera that you can attach a microphone to for good audio
. Other than that, make your best guess based on your budget (or what you can borrow) and start shooting!
Click here for more information on how to choose a camcorder.
Click here to read another Q&A: Advice Needed: Buying A Camcorder For Documentary Filmmaking
For super high-end documentary filmmaking ($10,000+ cameras), check out our interview with filmmaker and two time Emmy award winning cinematographer Jeffrey Farrell
Got a follow-up question or comment about this topic? Got a favorite camera you'd like to recommend to Sunaina?