Let me just tell you up front, I’m not going to give you a list of the best cameras to buy when starting a video business. What I am going to do, is show you why the camera you use isn’t nearly as important as you might think, and how there is no “one best camera” for starting a video business. Before we get into it, let me clear up some common misconceptions about video cameras and equipment.

1) If I have a nice camera, I’ll make high-quality videos. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. You can spend $20,000 on a camera, and if you don’t have proper lighting and sound equipment, it’s still going to look like crap… the good news… you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get high-quality footage. With only about $1000 – $2000 dollars, you can get enough equipment to buy a camera, some reflectors and a mic. Don’t feel like you need all the best stuff before you get started… get what you need and upgrade later.

2) There’s such thing as the “best” camera. All cameras are different, and they’re different for a reason. I remember getting started, I saw a $4000 camera that didn’t shoot in progressive… I thought that was crazy,… but I learned later that the people using that camera shoot things like reality TV shows, which are typically shot in interlaced. The camera you buy should be based on your budget and needs.

Start by deciding how much money you have to spend on your camera. Keep some money saved for lighting and audio (even if it’s just a reflector and a $50 mic), and some for business start-up costs. And don’t put all your money into your video business… remember, you still need food money. Then, decide who your ideal client is, think of their needs, and identify the features a camera must have to fit those needs (you might need to do some research here, but the information is out there, you just have to look for it) Prioritize which features are the most important, and then start looking at cameras. And always look at multiple companies’ prices. It’s not uncommon to find one company charging twice what another is, for the exact same camera (just make sure to avoid companies without a good reputation). Find one that’s in your budget and has as many of those key features as you need.

The important thing is to not stress too much over your video equipment. Most clients won’t pick up on subtle differences, and as long as you know how to make quality videos, you’re going to be just fine.