This has been requested so much I feel quite awful that I’ve left it until now to film it but it’s finally done so I hope it’s of use to some of you! My first blogging tips post went up the other day and the topic was monetising your blog so if you’re interested you can read that here. Luckily I happened to have every camera I’ve used during my time as a blogger (even the broken ones) so apart from my original laptop which I filmed on initially you will see them all in the video as well as my mini review of each. My main message throughout is not to spend a fortune on equipment until you know this is something you’re going to stick at and potentially until it’s earning you some money. Not everyone blogs for pay and I have no opinion on that one way or another but it’s far easier to justify paying £500 for a camera if your blog has earned you that money.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W210 – £44.99
This has been discontinued so the only link is to an eBay seller. You seem to be able to pick these up pretty cheap now as I bought it about 4 years ago. The recording is not HD but there’s nothing wrong with the quality and it took nice photos for a point and shoot camera. Below is a video I shot with it.
This I used for quite a while, I liked that I could see myself in the screen because of the forward facing camera but the quality on the camera at the back was actually much better. I’m not sure whether the front camera was even HD but for those wondering the quality on the iPhone 5 is much improved so if you have one of those providing you have good natural light you wont need anything better in the beginning and you can get a iMovie editing software as an app so you can film, edit and upload without the need for a computer.
Nikon Coolpix L110 – From £80 Second Hand
This is another discontinued model. This was the camera I bought when I really wanted a DSLR but couldn’t really afford one and daren’t spend all that money on one thing. Most of the cameras I bought I did so with video in mind because early on I was much more into YouTube than my blog so bear that in mind as we go. This was a lovely camera, the picture quality was much better that my regular point and shoot had been and the video was HD. The issues I had were that I didn’t know how to use it – it’s a bridge camera so had lots of manual settings and it took me a long time to figure out how to use it to get the best out of it – and it didn’t have a flip out screen. I was tied to an area where I could prop up a mirror behind it to see what it was actually filming. Another irritation was that it ran on AA batteries so if it ran out of juice in the middle of a video I had to change them or charge them.. I couldn’t just plug it in and keep going. It also picked up signal noise if my phone was ANYWHERE near by which I’ve never experienced with another camera.
Canon EOS 1100D – £279.00
My first DSLR – It was love at first sight when I opened the box and for photos this is still the camera I use now. I’ve had it for about 2 years and it’s excellent for photography but there are a handful of reasons it’s not idea for video. The main issue is focus, it’s all manual but because there’s no flip out screen I have to be at arms length away from the camera so I can focus with one hand while holding a mirror at an angle with another in an attempt to see the LCD screen well enough to see if I’m in focus – nightmare. I’ve filmed whole videos where I’m entirely fuzzy and there is just nothing more frustrating. The video below is a perfect example as I am out of focus throughout but the footage I’ve added in which I took separately (when I could better see what I was doing) is perfectly crisp. I’ve had other people stand in for me so I can focus on them and them try to focus for me while I’m in place but it;s so hit and miss so I rarely film with this camera these days. Lastly this camera has a battery pack which has to be removed and charged in a separate unit – not ideal if you run out of battery while filming as you have to wait an hour before you can resume.
JVC Everio GZ HM430 – £199
The linked camera is the newer model because I can’t find the one I have ANYWHERE online – seems most of what I’ve used is no longer available but that’s me all over.. I buy things when they’re just on their way out and dirt cheap if possible haha. This is my main filming camera. It’s good quality (though not as crisp as the DSLR when that’s doing what it’s supposed to) it auto focuses, it can be charging and in use at the same time and I’ve recently discovered that after much heartache over terrible colour settings last winter it actually has a manual setting so the white balance can be changed etc .. it just does everything I need it to – oh and of course it’s a camcorder so it has a fit for purpose flip out screen. I’m so bummed now that the memory card slot seems to have packed in, it wont hold the card in anymore so I have to wedge it in with my tripod and have a little hissy fit just about every time but for now it’s still working for me so I’m not looking to replace it.
Panasonic Lumix DMC FS-45 – £77.65
The last camera I’m going to talk about it the one I’d most recommend if you’re looking to upgrade from filming on your phone or your webcam. It’s a regular point and shoot camera that takes great photos, has plenty of setting and as a bonus records HD video. It’s a camera that will do it all from blogging to YouTube (at least in the beginning) and if you decide a year in that all that isn’t for you then you’re left with a very useable camera rather than a huge investment for a hobby that you got bored of. I use this camera for vlogging and occasionally for pictures but for the most part I use my phone if I don’t have my DSLR. This has a battery pack and can be charged via USB but cannot be used while charging.. the only downside. You can see an example video below..
So that’s it.. all of the camera’s I’ve used and if you want to see me chatting about them in a video you can watch this FINAL embedded video below and don’t forget to leave a comment with any topics you’d like me to cover during blogging month!