Each in their own way
The camera is a tool. The best camera in the world isn’t going to make your story better. Arguably it will, however, increase engagement and retention while decreasing stress among your audience. “The Best” is a hard thing to define, too. Here are 5 completely different cameras with a quick tidbit on where each of them shine. In certain situations these could be considered a perfect camera / tool for the job.
GoPro – small, waterproof, inexpensive, impressive recording codec. For the size, the quality is amazing & you can take these things anywhere- water, snow, cars, rope- there’s no limit. They’re not expensive so you can buy multiple and do some impressive bullet time effects, or use them as crash cameras.
BMPCC – Small and cinematic. Shoots impressive professional codecs with plenty of information for post-production color grading, in addition to RAW. Blackmagic claims this camera has 12 stops of latitude, which is very impressive considering these aren’t much bigger than a deck of cards. With a lens adapter you can use pretty much any lens, and the Metabones Speedbooster not only makes your lenses faster, but wider. Since this camera has a very small sensor the crop factor can be limiting, which the Speedbooster helps a lot.
C100 – The Canon C100 shoots to SDXC cards, which are getting faster and larger capacities. We recently shot a live event for TEDx and only used a couple of cards for an entire day of recording. The C100 isn’t as portable as the BMPCC but is pretty small, which is great for docs. It’s easy to move, has audio straight into camera and, of course being a Canon product, great lenses available. In run’n’gun situations this camera is hard to beat.
Sony F5/F55 – If you’re shooting a doc with a bigger budget and more resources the F5/F55 is a great option. The 4k sensor is really impressive and Sony quality is always present. It’s also a great option for commercial work since the camera is modular, meaning it can be built up (or down) for different jobs.
RED Dragon – RED’s Dragon sensor is looking to be pretty impressive on all fronts. It’s a big set up from the Epic, which is no slouch itself (it’s good enough for a lot of Hollywood blockbusters). The resolution is unprecedented at 6K, has a proven workflow and supported by all major nonlinear editing programs. RED is a disruptive company and always looking to improve. After the Dragon was released, RED improved upon the OLPF (optical low pass filter) and ND Filter.