What camera should you buy?

Devin Graham

11 January 2015

The most common question I get asked is, "How do I film with the Glidecam? " Today I will address the second most common question I get asked, "What camera should I buy?" I am going to answer this question for everyone! PLEASE keep in mind that this is only MY OPINION. It isn't fact, but it is based on everything I learned from film school. From actually filming with LOTS of cameras and doing everything I can to be educated on all the options out there. Camera technology is ALWAYS evolving, so what is hot this year, might be outdated by next year. Most cameras in our generation have a functional duration of around 3 years. The first and most important thing to keep in mind when filming (even more important than the camera itself) is the story that you are trying to share. Content is KING! Just because you have a really expensive camera, doesn't mean you will be successful. Some of the most watched films on the internet are from people filming on $100 cameras, with no training or experience. It goes to show that the story you tell with the camera is far more important than the camera itself. Once you can learn how to tell stories that connect people, then you can use a camera to capture the story the best way that you can.
So now that we have all that out of the way, let's get started :)
Look at cameras like different tools. You use different tools for different jobs. The same thing happens with cameras. Team Supertramp doesn't use the same camera all the time. Sometimes we will use a GoPro over the 5D because we can't tell the story any other way. When people ask what camera they should buy, it's always difficult to address that question because I don't know what story they are trying to tell, and I may suggest different cameras and lenses for different stories. For example, an action movie will be totally different from a drama. So my recommendation is for the most all-encompassing basic setup. Every camera/lens we have ever bought, has been purchased on You can buy everything we own there, EXCEPT for the high end cameras (Canon 1D-C, and Red cameras (those you'll need to buy off their websites)). I will discuss my recommendations for the "basic" cameras below. You can click on the camera link and it will take you straight to the camera that I would suggest buying. It comes directly from amazon, it is the cheapest place to buy them that I personally trust. Clicking on these links, rather than directing your browser straight to Amazon will help support Team Supertramp. If you follow the link Amazon will throw a few bucks our way off the sale! You don't get charged ANYTHING extra for that, it's just a way to help us out. I just wanted to make sure I was transparent on that. :)

Price Range:
$0 Budget:
Borrow a camera from a friend, just be careful :) I'm sure someone you know owns a smart phone. Now days, phones have amazing capabilities. They work great as a beginner's camera to start/learn from. I personally would suggest using the latest iPhone.$500 Budget:

GoPro 4
- They can film in 4K.
- Film in slow motion.
-You can't put lenses on them.
-Most don't have a screen on them to view, but you can use a smart phone to view the image.

$500 - $1000 Budget:
Canon 60D or Canon T5i
I haven't actually used the Canon 60D personally, but from what I've read, it seems like an awesome camera for this budget. When we started out, we were using the Canon T2i as our secondary camera. It is now the Canon T5i, so it's much nicer than the one we used.

$1000 - $2000 Budget:
Canon 7D Mark II
We used the Canon 7D Mark I in our early days on Youtube. It worked awesome! It's great for photography as well. However, it doesn't have a "full-frame".

Panasonic GH4
This camera is not Canon, so we haven't used it very much. It is 4K capable, and can produce amazing images. Keep in mind however, it is not amazing in low light. My friends filmed a video with it. Here is a reference of what it can do. This video was shot mostly in slow motion (another capability of this camera) and in 1080P.

$3000 - $4000 Budget:
Canon 5D Mark III
Love this camera! Our entire careers have been built utilizing this camera, and it's older brother, the Canon 5D Mark II. It is a full frame camera. Amazing in low light!

$30,000 - $70,000 Budget:
Red Dragon
I would definitely not suggest starting out with this one! :) It's something to work towards. This is currently our main camera. It has become a Hollywood standard for many of the movies you see on the big screen. The camera is much bigger, the small batteries only last 30 minutes. It ideally takes two people to run it. Examples of Hollywood movies that were mostly shot on this camera are:
The Hobbit
Jurassic World
Transformers 4
The Amazing Spiderman

The list goes on...

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