For a videographer trying to make a name for themselves, one of the best ways to start is by filming music videos. In this article, we’re going to cover what we believe are the best cameras for shooting music videos.
Music videos used to be the domain of big name bands backed by big record labels, but with the advent of YouTube and other mediums of sharing media over the internet, these barriers have started to blur.
For a band that is looking to make a name for themselves and get noticed, putting out a music video is a great way to get exposure. It’s also a great way for a filmmaker to show off his skills and build his or her own reputation.
In order to create a great music video, you need to find a band you are willing to work with and grow together on their way to stardom.
If you shoot a good video for them that gets attention, you are not just helping the band’s career but your own. The band could end up recommending you to other bands or someone could notice your abilities and hire you directly – either for another music video or for a different type of video production project.
Filming music videos has a wide variety of benefits to the filmmaker / videographer:
- The chance to hit it lucky and work with a band or artist that makes it huge.
- Exposure to the music industry and other bands / artists.
- A road into other income streams within the music industry.
- Gets your work out there and helps you secure other types of video production work.
Shooting Music Videos
One of the first steps to getting started with shooting music videos is to get the right equipment to shoot good footage of the band or artist.
It may sound counterintuitive but, for shooting a music video, the audio is actually not that important. The reason for this is simple: for a music video, the audio is usually only added during the editing process.
So recording sound during the shoot isn’t often of much importance. The band often mimes to the recorded version of the song playing live, and the audio is synched up in post-production.
So for the actual shoot itself, you don’t need to worry about microphones or any other type of audio recording equipment.
What you do need is to capture good visuals. And in order to do that, you need a good camera for shooting music videos.
One of the key features you need in a camera for shooting music videos is low light performance. You’re going to be shooting in a lot of low light environments, especially if you’re mostly shooting rock music and similar genres.
So we’ll focus on low light performance as one of the key attributes we’re judging these cameras by in the reviews that follow.
In this post, we’re going to share with you a list of some of the best cameras for shooting music videos. Take a look and decide which fits your budget and shooting needs.
Best Cameras For Shooting Music Videos
Here are our Top Cameras For Shooting Music Videos:
This camera has one of the best low-light conditions performance on the market, which makes it a good choice if you’re going to be shooting a lot of “atmospheric” shots in underlit conditions for a music video.
The DMX-LX5 has a 10.1 megapixel CCD and an 3.8xF2.0 24mm ultra-wide lens.
The F2.0 lens is two times brighter then F2.8 lenses and the 22m lens provides you with a larger viewing space then most cameras.
- 10.1-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints
- 3.8x F2.0 ultra-wide-angle 24mm Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens
- 3.0-inch Intelligent LCD; Record HD videos in AVCHD Lite; Creative Movie mode
- Venus Engine FHD image processor; hot shoe for easy accessorization
- Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
The Nikon D5200 has a 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and a 39-point dynamic area autofocus system that allows for 3D tracking.
This camera takes 1080p video at 30 frames per second. The 921,000-dot vari-angle display allows you to easily take shots from almost any position which can be very important if you are shooting a dynamic and creative music video.
Another feature of the Nikon D5200 that can come in handy during a music video shoot is its ability to take good shoots in both very bright and very dark areas with its build-in high-dynamic range.
High-dynamic range or HDR means the camera takes two shots at different exposures and then blends them into the best possible image. This can be a fantastic tool, especially if you’re shooting stills for the band / music artist.
- 24MP DX-format CMOS sensor
- 39-point (9 cross type) dynamic area AF system with 3D tracking
- Up to 5 frames per second continuous shooting
- 1080p 30FPS HD video (1080p, 60i) with full-time contrast-detect AF
- ISO 100-6400, expandable to 25,600 equivalent
The Sony Alpha a6000 can capture full HD 1920 x 1080 video in cinematic 24p. It is a mirrorless camera which is quite a good option to take when shooting music videos because of its small size, interchangeable lens capability, stability, and video image quality.
This camera has a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and works well in low-light (for up to 25600 ISO).
The Sony Alpha a6000 has one of the fastest autofocus functions out there, capturing 11 frames per second in continuous shooting mode.
It also has moving subject tracking which makes sure you get a great shot, even when dealing with the kind of fast action you might get during a music video shoot.
- Advanced 24.2MP back Illuminated 35 millimeter full frame image sensor
- ISO 100 25600 (expandable to 51200). Lens compatibility: Sony E mount lenses
- Hybrid AF with 179 point focal plane phase detection and 25 contrast detect points
- Up to 11 FPS continuous shooting. Battery Life (Still Images): Up to 360 shots. Metering...
- 3 inch tilting LCD with 921,000 dots. Viewfinder Type: 0.39 in type electronic viewfinder (color)
This DSLR camera from Canon has a full HD movie mode that will allow you to capture high quality HD footage to use in your music video.
The Canon EOS M also has an autofocus function called Movie Servo AF, which is specifically designed to allow continuous focus tracking of moving subjects. Quite handy when you’re trying to capture clear footage of multiple subjects on the move.
The Canon EOS M has an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor and is compatible with Canon EF or EF-S lenes, which can help you get even better image quality.
- This version is originally intended for sale outside the USA
- Camera Comes In Kit Box No Lens Included (Brand New Never Used)
- 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, DIGIC 5 Image Processor, ISO 100-12800; expandable to 25600 (H)
- Hybrid CMOS AF and Multi Shot Noise Reduction EOS Full HD Movie mode with Movie Servo AF for...
- Compatible with Canon EF and EF-S lenses (Optional EF Lens Adapter is required)
This mirrorless camera is the latest from Fujifilm’s X series of cameras. It is capable of shooting 4K, Full HD, and HD film.
When shooting in 4K, the shooting rate is about 24 to 30 frames per second, while it is 60 frames per second in Full HD and HD video.
Videos are recorded and saved in MOV format on SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards.
The Fujifilm X-T2 has a 24.3 megapixel sensor, a native ISO range of 200 to 12,800 and an autofocus system with up to 325 autofocus points. You can choose to manually focus this camera or use its continuous autofocus capabilities.
One of the most notable things about the Fujifilm X-T2 is how tough this little camera is. The X-T2 weighs only 16.1 ounces, which makes it easy to carry around. It is also dust and moisture resistant with about 63 points of weather sealing.
It is freeze resistant for up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. If your music video requires a lot of outdoor shots in cold weather environments, you can take the Fujifilm X-T2 outside and it will work in almost every weather condition.
- 24.3MP X Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor reduces moiré and false colors to improve image quality and X...
- Dust and moisture resistant body with approximately 63 points of weather sealing; Freeze resistance...
- High precision 0.48 inch, 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder featuring a magnification of 0.77x and...
- Full 4K 3840x2160 30P/25P/24P shooting (Using a card with the UHS Speed Class 3 or higher) ; Power...
- Tempered glass 1.04 million dot high-precision 3 Inches tilting LCD monitor with three-directional...
This 20.4 MP mirrorless camera captures video image in DCI 4k and UHD 4k. It has a 121-point autofocus system and an enhanced image stabilization system, which makes it a good choice for shooting multiple moving subjects. This really does come in handy when shooting an action-heavy music video.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is also a good choice of camera to use for outdoor shoots. It’s hermetically sealed shell is moisture and dust proof. It is also freezeproof to about 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
- New 20.4 megapixel live MOS sensor
- New TruePic VIII dual quad core image processor, auto focus points phase detection: 121 (121 cross...
- 60 frames per second S AF, 18 frames per second C AF (silent electronic shutter)
- 15 frames per second S AF, 10 frames per second C AF (mechanical shutter)
- 121 point dual fast AF with cross type on chip phase detection focusing
The Nikon D500 is a 20.9 megapixel DSLR camera that was released by the Nikon Corporation in 2016. It is the current flagship of Nikon’s DX format line, which means it uses their APS-C image sensor format.
The Nikon D500 can shoot video in 4K, Full HD and HD. It can shoot at 24 to 30 frames per second in 4K, and 60 frames per second in Full HD and HD.
The camera has a high native ISO range, 100 to 51,200, this makes the D500 capable of capturing sharp and clear images in low light situations.
The D500’s continuous autofocus system has 153 autofocus points which makes it great at tracking moving subjects.
The D500 weighs about 26.9 ounces and has a sturdy magnesium alloy shell. It also comes with moisture and dust projection, which is helpful for the outdoor stuff, as we mentioned before.
- 20.9MP DX format CMOS sensor. Viewfinder: Eye level pentaprism single lens reflex viewfinder
- Expeed 5 image processor; Monitor size: 3.2 inches diagonal
- 3.2 inches 2,539k dot tilting touchscreen LCD
- 4k UHD video recording at 30 fps
- Multi cam 20k 153 point AF system
This 20.3 megapixel mirrorless camera can shoot in 4K and Full HD. In 4K, you can shoot footage at 60 frames per second, while in Full HD it is 180 frames per second.
Panasonic has equipped this camera with their new Venus Engine which promises 1.66x faster processing power for more natural images and better noise control. The Lumix GH2 has a native ISO range of 100 to 25,600.
For the videographer on the move, which you have to be when shooting music videos, the Lumix GH5’s Axis Dual IS II anti-shake system will definitely come in handy. This image stabilization system delivers up to 5 stops of correction.
- 16.05-megapixel multi-aspect Live MOS Sensor; Micro Four Thirds format camera
- Body only, lenses sold separately; high-quality photos in 3D with optional lens
- Full HD video capability; Fast Light Speed AF for quick, clear photo capture; Advanced iA...
- 3-inch Free-Angle Touch Screen LCD for intuitive touch-control shooting
- Compact, lightweight design for ease of use and portability
The ever reliable 5D Mark IV. A real workhorse of a camera!
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is the latest model of Canon’s 5D line, so it’s still rather pricey. If you can afford it though, it’s a great tool to have for shooting video.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has Canon’s new 30.4 megapixel full-frame sensor, which allows it to capture clear and detailed video footage.
The camera has 4K video recording that can capture 24 to 30 frames per second or up to 60 frames per second when shooting Full HD or HD video. You can save these videos as either MOV or MP4 files on either a CF card or SD card – the Mark IV has slots for both. And, let me tell you, that’s super handy.
The camera also has a 61-point autofocus system and uses dual pixel CMOS AF. You can either manually focus your shots or use the autofocus to smoothly track multiple subjects on the move.
This camera also has a high native ISO range of 100 to 32,000 which makes it a great camera to use under low light conditions.
The Canon EOS 5D has a magnesium alloy shell, making it quite sturdy but still light-weight, weighing only 31.39 ounces.
- 30.4 MP full-frame CMOS sensor for versatile shooting. Aspect ratio 3:2
- Up to 7.0 frames per second continuous shooting speed
- 61-point AF system with 41 cross-points for expanded vertical coverage
- Providing approximately 12 stops of dynamic range, even in low light
- 4K video recording at 30p or 24p and in-Camera still frame grab of 8.8MP images. Weight: Approx....
Best Cameras For Shooting Music Videos – Conclusion
As with any camera purchase you make, looking carefully at a few things will help when choosing which camera to buy for shooting music videos.
Here are a few things to consider:
- The type of projects you’ll be working on.
- Your particular budget (something that’s very specific to you).
- Any pre-existing lenses that you have.
The last question is quite important, because you might want to integrate your new camera with your your pre-existing lenses. This is always a cheaper option. However, with the large amount of lens mounts for all types of camera, lens and situation, it’s never been easier to combine a non-proprietary lens with a camera. Case in point: just look at all the people using Canon EF lenses on Sony cameras these days.
We hope this article on the best cameras for shooting music videos has helped you choose the right camera for you and your project. Whatever you shoot with your camera, be it music videos or something else, we wish you all the best!
Did we miss out your favorite camera for using on music video projects? Let us know what you use in the comments below.