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What are the best cameras for wildlife filmmaking

What are the best cameras for wildlife filmmaking - this is an age-old question that if you ask 100 filmmakers, you will likely be pointed towards 100 different cameras. The answer is of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question

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What are the best cameras for wildlife filmmaking – this is an age-old question that if you ask 100 filmmakers, you will most likely receive 100 different cameras. The answer is of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best cameras for wildlife filmmaking will depend on your specific needs and budget. However, there are a few factors to consider when choosing a camera for wildlife filmmaking, including:

best cameras for wildlife filmmaking - the eye of the beholder
  1. Sensor size: Full-frame sensors are generally considered to be best for low-light photography, while smaller sensors can offer better depth of field. Although to achieve that ‘shallow depth of field ‘pop’, larger sensors again excel. 
  2. Lens reach: The longer the lens, the more you’ll be able to zoom in on your subject. This is only important if your camera has a fixed lens. Most top-end system cameras used in wildlife film can be fitted with different lenses of different speeds and focal lengths. 
  3. Frame rate: The ability to shoot in slow motion can be useful for capturing fast-moving animals. considering your subject, you may want to utilise a camera that shoots at lower resolution (HD), but at far higher frame rates. 
  4. Resolution: todays minimum for most broadcasters is 4K resolution, whilst HD is still often acceptable. The question arises if you need to invest in a camera capable of 6K and 8K footage  (is the increased price worth it?)
  5.  Form factor: Where are you filming in the world – form factor (size, shape) or camera may start playing a crucial role, especially in developing countries where wildlife is abundant, but security must be considered (fly under th radar so to speak).
  6. Cost: The single most important factor is cost, and the perfect camera is always going to be one that you can afford and get yourself filming right now! Within your budget, you will always be faced with tradeoffs, particularly when considering many of the above points (resolution, compression, frame rate, form factor, and sensor size). Determining your likely subject and filming environment is essential to weigh up the pros and cons of each camera you consider.
best cameras for wildlife filmmaking - the eye of the beholder

Within the hundreds of cameras on the market, here are four great options to consider depending on your available budget. Although probably not ‘ the best cameras for wildlife filmmaking’? they will definitely do the job in the hands of the right operator and when trained on great wildlife.

  • Low budget: Canon XA40
    • Pros:
      • Affordable
      • Compact and lightweight
      • Good image quality
      • Supports 4K recording
    • Cons:
      • Small sensor
      • Limited lens options
best cameras for wildlife filmmaking - the low budget Canon Xa40
  • Mid budget: Sony FX3
    • Pros:
      • Compact and lightweight
      • Excellent image quality
      • Supports 4K recording
      • Versatile lens mount
    • Cons:
      • No built-in ND filters
      • Limited battery life
best cameras for wildlife filmmaking - the mid budget Sony FX3
  • High budget: Canon C300 mkIII
    • Pros:
      • High-quality full-frame sensor
      • Excellent low-light performance
      • Versatile lens mount
      • Supports 4K recording
    • Cons:
      • Expensive
      • Large and heavy
best cameras for wildlife filmmaking - the high budget Canon c300 mkiii
  • Also consider: Sony FS7
    • Pros:
      • High-quality full-frame sensor
      • Excellent low-light performance
      • Versatile lens mount
      • Supports 4K recording
    • Cons:
      • Expensive
      • Large and heavy
best cameras for wildlife filmmaking - the sony fs7

We hope this helps you choose your best cameras for wildlife filmmaking! But before we move on. Also, consider if you need to own a high-end camera to be successful in wildlife filmmaking? 

Gloworm offers a unique platform for peer-to-peer equipment rentals. This is a great platform to source locally-owned production kits when travelling overseas and wanting to film wildlife. It also offers a platform where you can rent out your personal equipment to your peers, thereby ensuring your kit is always working and generating revenue. Visit the Gloworm gear room to learn more about our peer-to-peer rentals.  

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