New and exciting equipment constantly pushes the limit of technology. Not long ago a three megapixel camera cost $500. Now a 16 megapixel camera with full high definition video costs under $150, and in amazingly small packages. You no longer need a large, heavy camera to get professional video; cameras smaller than a deck of cards can deliver stunning video for big screen televisions.
My personal favorite new items include the Nikon D3200 DSLR, the GoPro HD Hero and the Manfrotto Maxima LED light.
The Nikon D3200 DSLR is Nikon’s entry level Digital Single Lens Reflex camera. Its 24 megapixels and full 1080p HD video can record your events in stunning clarity and quality. It has great low-light ability too, with an ISO high rating of 12,800 with boost technology. This means that when the ambient light level gets low or dark, the camera still lets you photograph and video.
The camera is designed for beginners with several automatic and scene settings but also has manual mode so as you learn more about taking different types of photos, the camera will grow with you. It uses most Nikon lenses and accessories so you have 50 years of Nikon products to choose from. This one piece of equipment will handle your entire photo and video needs. You will be making movies that look professional in no time. The price for this camera, plus a lens, is US$700 and it even comes in red if you don’t want the standard black.
If video is more important than photographs and you want a camera that can go everywhere with you, look no further than the GoPro HD Hero 2. This tough, small package contains a full 1080p video camera that is just a few inches wide and records to standard SD cards.
What’s nice is that it comes in its own under water housing for snorkeling and diving and several mounts are available so that you can wear it on your head, your wrist, mount it to a car or even a skateboard.
The GoPro has taken the world by storm since it’s been introduced and as evidenced by the millions of films on YouTube made with the camera. If you put two of them in a special housing, it even produces 3D video, and comes with the software and glasses to have 3D video on your TV or computer. The single camera and housing sells for only US$300.
The last item is the new Manfrotto Maxima LED Light. As more and more people are using their still cameras for both video and photography, a new light needed to be invented. This amazing light not only uses dimmable LED lights for video but it has a flash mode that syncs with your camera when you take a still photo. You get a video light and a flash for the price of one. With prices ranging from $250 to $400, this LED light is hard to pass up.
High end still and video cameras used to be very expensive which typically kept them in the hands of professionals only. Now, with this kind of quality available to everyone at affordable prices, everyone can start shooting short films and taking incredible photographs.
Tony Mark is an Emmy award winning filmmaker and photographer who has been taking photographs for 25 years. He is one of the many talented photographers at Cathy Church’s Photo Centre and specialises in weddings and events.