looking to buy a camera for the freelance world.


So I am looking to buy a field camera (eng for any type of freelance work). Cameras are so expensive and I want to make sure I am buying the right one. I plan on shooting weddings, corporate events, and pick up any freelance gigs out there. I don't want to be limited on what I can and can't shoot do to format issues. I am also looking for a good price. I would like to eventually start my own production company. Does anyone have any advice? Cameras, freelance world, production companies... thanks


Well-known member
I feel worried that you are asking this. However you should first get the answers to some basic questions.
For a start what are other people in your market shooting on?
Who will be your main client?
What format suits them? Will your clients handle their own editing etc?
If not, how will you handle the workflow? How much can you afford to spend on Post?
What other bits of kit do you have?
How much money can you afford to lay out without seeing much return for the first 2 years?
Would you be better to rent the camera until you see what the market wants?
What it is your level of experience?


Well-known member
I agree that this is an odd question and perhaps is an indication that you should not buy anything especially a camera until you have a demand for it. Unfortunately the days of having ONE camera that will work for many clients no longer exists, the reality is that unless you have a specific need from a client or you are able to work in a turnkey situation one camera will not make everybody happy. I would be very careful about buying anything without a firm committed demand for it camerawise. The market is very volatile and this years shiny bauble could be next years doorstop, your goal should be the capability to pay whatever you buy off as quickly as possible before it is replaced by something else. With some cameras being relatively cheap tha'ts not as hard to do as it used to be but there is nothing more frustrating than buying something that you thought was popular and finding out it has been replaced by something else, it can happen quickly. Go with the demand from your clients not the hype you may see here and in the the trade press.
I'd suggest renting as well... Invest in a good editing system... Rent based off the project's needs... I'm starting a production business as well, and that's the model I'm using... Besides... Four years ago I bought an HDR-FX1. Four years ago, and now that camera is a dinosaur. Twenty years ago how long was BetaSP good for? A lot longer! Our local news market didn't upgrade until 1998. My point is that camera technologies are rapidly evolving. If you buy something right now without much potential for making an immediate return you'll be wasting your money. (I'm preaching to myself here!) Besides, tomorrow a "better" camera will come out, and then you'll just be frustrated.

The only solid advice I have on what camera to use is to go tapeless. Depending on your camera preferences and whatever look you're going for... Go with either P2 or EX technologies. I know a lot of people don't trust tapeless because it can get deleted, but create some redundancy systems and you should be good.

But the question isn't so much what camera you should get, but really the business questions of if your idea is profitable and if you have the prospects to make it happen.

Shooting video without a plan is one thing, but running a business without a plan is another! (Again, preaching to myself!)

zac love

Well-known member
There is no ONE camera, there are tons out there & you just need to figure out first what you want to do & then find the camera(s) that will help you do that best.

If you don't like that answer, well then...

Sony EX1

Great praise, good quality, cheap price. And if you think it is expensive then keep working for other people because if you want a good production company, you'll spend more on the accessories than the price of an EX1.


Well-known member
The advice about cameras becoming obsolete much faster these days is true to an extent. Even Beta SP had better cameras recording to that format over its lifetime. The biggest problem I see right now in the HD transition is the format soup. That's where things haven't really settled down yet. Once that happens, then cameras won't turn into door stops so quickly as long as they can shoot to the correct format.




Bought one, love it, it shoots beautiful images, and I've been seeing them on-line south of $4k.