Weddings are important events, and videographers must be fast and flexible to a wide range of conditions and locations. Newly married couples desire professional-looking documentation of their big day, including footage of the families, guests, and attendants, as well as the wedding and reception party. When shopping for video cameras for weddings, it helps to understand the basic features found in available models, as well as their impact on the results. This knowledge allows the videographer to present the client with the best-quality videos of their special day.
Balance budget with future needs
Choosing a camera for wedding photography starts with a determination of budget and future use. If the videographer is planning to record weddings regularly and professionally, it is a prudent investment to purchase the best affordable camera. More casual users may choose to purchase the simplest camera that provides good-quality video with automated features. Videographers with physical restrictions should consider lightweight cameras with multi-function lenses.
Resolution determines the number of pixels displayed in each image and is an indication of the camera's ability to produce crisp, clear images. It is one of the first factors considered in purchasing a video camera. A high-definition (HD) video camera provides the longest usable life over a standard definition (SD) option. High definition is available in a variety of formats, but should provide a minimum of 1920x1080 pixels per image. Some professional videographers prefer cameras with adjustable resolution to SD in order to produce special effects, such as slow motion, or to work seamlessly with stock footage.
Frame rate is the number of images that the video camera records per second (FPS). Videographers can also measure frame rate by whether it is a progressive rate (p) or an interlaced rate (i). Progressive rates show the entire frame whilst being played, and interlacing frames cycle through even and odd rows of each frame. Some consider cameras that provide 24p frame rate the best for wedding photography because of their cinematic feel and stop-action clarity when displaying still images on playback.
CCD or CMOS
Digital video cameras capture images through the use of chips and utilise either charge coupled device (CCD) sensors or complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors. CMOS sensors produce less noise when transferring an image to digital storage, but also use a rolling shutter, which does not capture each frame in its entirety at the same moment. CCD sensors can be subject to overload in bright lighting conditions, whilst CMOS sensors may be subject to poor performance in action shooting.
Lens adaptability is probably the most important decision involved in choosing a video camera. Video cameras with fixed lenses are lighter and cheaper than those with interchangeable lenses. Videographers can add wide angle and telephoto adapters, but in general, these cameras are less flexible. One benefit is that, during a busy shooting session with lots of activity, they are easy to carry and use so many videographers find fixed lens cameras a good choice for weddings.
Low light capability
Even at midday, churches and halls can seem dim and gloomy when captured on video. A video camera capable of handling low light situations is vital for a wedding videographer, and is particularly necessary for evening receptions. Video cameras with larger chip sizes provide better capture in low light conditions. Video camera sensors can range from 4.54mm x 3.42mm all the way up to full frame 36mm x 24mm. Although larger sensors are respectively higher in cost, they result in better performance overall, including low light capture and improved depth of field adjustment.
For a busy wedding videographer, storage is also a high priority. Some video cameras come with ample storage that replaces the need for flash drives. These can be limiting when recording in high definition, so choosing a camera that also has slots for additional camera memory cards is a good idea to avoid disappointing clients who wanted every single moment of their all-day event recorded.
How to Buy a Video Camera on eBay
Videographers can find a wide range of cameras, lenses, and accessories on eBay. Typing "video camera" into the search bar on every page results in a broad range of options. Buyers can further narrow their choices by manufacturer, lens type, or HDD size by adding these keywords to the search bar. Looking for bundled products that include a camera base and compatible lens, adapters, and flash cards can provide savings and allow photographers to expand the skill set that they can offer to their clients.