Filming is an fundamental part of Beyond the Point and is something that we’ve done since our very first explore back in 2011, although the idea of drones and 4K video cameras that can fit in your pocket were merely a futuristic thought. BTP Joe is a news cameraman by trade, filming everything from protests to red carpet premieres and in this article he gives his top tips for filming and what kit to get.
Which camera is best?
Mobile phones are having increasingly better cameras – the new iPhone 12 Pro can film in 4K, has ‘night mode’ for low light photography and the 3 lenses can even produce an ultra-wide view. If you want to travel light on an explore, or don’t want to buy lots of extra equipment, then using your phone might be the way to go. You can also buy cheap rigs for your phone where you have the option of attaching microphones and lights. Although extra equipment will be relatively cheap, the cost of the new iPhone 12 Pro starts at £1,000.
Something which is cheaper and has really good stabalisation is an action camera. GoPro are the most common name however DJI also have an alternative called the DJI Osmo Action, which we have. These cameras were once aimed purely at snowboarders and divers however now they film in 4K, can take high-resolution photos, often have HDR modes and have improved audio recording making them a good option for vloggers. It’s worth noting that if you film in 4K the files will be much larger so you’ll need more storage and a more powerful device to edit with. Whilst we’ve filmed many of our vlogs with this camera it is best used for what it is designed for – as an action cam capable of being mounted on yourself or a vehicle, and it is extremely rugged for use in the outdoors or underwater. This is where it shines, rather than for cinematic videography. The Osmo Action starts at £329 with the GoPro Hero 9 starting at £429.
Next up is our favourite – the DJI Osmo Pocket. We started with the Pocket 1 and have recently upgraded to the Pocket 2, which has improved audio recording and stabilisation. With a 1/2.3-inch sensor, this camera can record in 4K plus also offers slow-motion recording and can take 64MP photos. One of the unique things about this camera is the intellegent modes such as ActiveTrack, Motionlapse, and Panoramas. With optional extras this camera really stands out from the others and has a competitive price tag starting at £340.
Finally we have the Panasonic GH5, another camera that we upgraded to from its predecessor, the GH4. This professional camera is one that we use for filming BTP Promos or documentaries that we want to look extra special. With a 5 axis, dual stabiliser the GH5 has similar specs to the Pocket 2, which came out 3 years afterwards, however the GH5 allows for interchangable lenses. With this in mind, the camera is around £1,400 with the kit lens however more lenses will be required for greater flexibility. On our list of cameras, only this and the GoPro have removable batteries however alternatives can be found for phones and the Pocket 2, such as portable charging cases.
BTP’s Top Accessories
Now you’ve got the camera it’s time to add some more toys into the mix, which can really enhance your footage.
- Memory Cards – it’s always best to have at least a couple of memory cards in case one breaks or becomes corrupt. SD cards are the most prone to becoming lost or damaged due to their size and material but luckily they’re fairly cheap. Just check that you get one capable of filming 4K, if that’s your plan.
- Lights – For when you’re filming inside that pillbox or even after the sun has set a little LED light will brighten up your filming.