Aj’s Top 3 Lockdown Cameras

Now these three aren’t the best, this isn’t a specs war, this is just the 3 cameras that in all the time and gear we’ve used, that I’ve fallen for and couldn’t be without during this lockdown.

1. The Panasonic Lumix S1H

In total contradiction to everything I’ve just said, the first camera is probably the best camera on paper you can currently get. It’s hands down the best technically I’ve ever used, especially in a handheld form factor

We all know the specs by now, 6k full frame mirrorless – Netflix approved – more dynamic range than an orchestra. And those specs are mad, but whats even more impressive is that the performance exceeds those specs and your expectations. And that isn’t always the case with flagship cameras. If you were only going to invest in one camera system right now for the next, 5 years then this would be my choice, and thats hard for me to say considering how much EF glass I own!!

2. Canon XC10

Next up is one of the cameras I use the most, a camera that I believe is possibly the most underrated of all time, especially in the YouTube space. It is the Canon XC10.

Sitting somewhere in between the 1dx & Canon C100 – this miniature cine cam is really a powerful little workhorse. We’ve owned two for the longest time, they go on every shoot with us. It shoots 4k on CF 2.0 express of 1080 onto UHS1 SD card slots. 

There’s something magical about this 5 year old camera. It’s a hybrid stills – video camera, like all the modern mirrorless & DSLR’s BUT with a huge difference for us video shooters. IT’s a video FIRST camera not an adapted photo camera. That sounds like semantics, but it’s important. Everything about this camera is built for the video shooter – internal ND, IBIS a 24-240 zoom, variable aperture, great AF, external cooling, a solid (albeit slightly awkward) video codec, awesome profiles. It takes all the best features of our main camera the Canon C100 and shrinks it down into this hybrid form.

I don’t understand why more YouTubers and bloggers didn’t climb onboard with this, maybe it’s a fashion thing – it’s not in the Peter McKinnon school of cool that’s for sure. But it’s practical, solid and performs better than all the equivalent DSLRs you could throw at it. 

3. The Original BMPCC

Third and final on this list is a camera that has no business even being mentioned in 2020. It’s 6 years old, only shoots in 1080, uses a M4/3 mount and a battery life smaller than a wind up car. 

It is the original Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera… you know back when they actually could fit in your pocket. 

I know, it makes no sense, there’s absolutely no logic to this being in this list. But when I packed up the studio for this lockdown, it was one of the first  things I packed up. It’s just a magical part of video making history, and I’d argue it’s still got a place today.

Now I’m willing to prove that in the coming days or weeks or whenever I get around to it, by making a feature on this camera, on its own. But in short that gorgeous Super 16 sensor makes something that looks truly film like. Whenever you see any of those youtube videos talking about ‘cinematic’, this is actually what they mean. 

I’ve never honestly given this camera the time or spotlight it deserves. It’s probably because it’s a royal pain in the ass to use. No stabilisation, ridiculous crop factor, no AF, No ND filtering, pro-res files that are huge for 1080. But, whenever I get the footage out of this thing it honestly fills me with joy.

It is like the S1H in many ways, it is a camera that inspires you to film, because the results are exciting and interning. It has a look and a feel and does something to me on a irrational level.

So yeah, it’s 6 year old, is only 1080, and is annoying to use…. but I think it’s my favourite camera of all time!!

🛒 Panasonic Lumix S1H: https://geni.us/X0sTjR
🛒 Canon XC10: https://geni.us/A3ATLM
🛒 BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera: https://geni.us/Lz0mV
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