VSP #39 | 7 Features Entrepreneurs Should Look for When Buying a Camera for Video

Oct 26, 2020

In today's episode, we're going to be jumping into the common question that I often get, which, depending on who you ask, you oftentimes can get different answers.

However, I want to give you the most accurate answer for the most specific reasons when it comes to why I say you need these seven must-have features if you're an entrepreneur and you're deciding on a camera to buy to answer the question, "What camera should I buy for video?".

Buy Your Camera Based on Features First, Not Price

Too often, people choose a camera based on the price first, instead of the features and the things that they need versus the price.

So, I want to address the question of "What camera should I buy for video?", even if you're new, even if you already have had a camera and maybe you're upgrading these will be universal features that I believe moving forward for where we are right now.

Moving forward, these are the things your camera must-have for video if you're an entrepreneur.



The 7 Features Your Camera Should Have

As someone who has covered the Canon M50 in-depth on my YouTube channel, with the release of the Canon M50 coming out, it really did not hit home with a lot of people, myself included.

Especially when it comes to recommendations for a lot of reasons but I'm not going to rehash the point or beat a dead horse because I already talked about that in the recent video, and I'll link that in the description here.

If you want to check that out over on YouTube, which answers the question of should you upgrade to the candidate? M50 Mark II. And for most people, that honest answer is no for the reasons that I talked about in that video So I'll put a link in the description of this particular podcast.

However, if you're an entrepreneur, then honestly whether it's the M50 Mark I or Mark II. Most of the time it's a poor purchasing decision because it's a camera that has a lot of things that we think that we need initially. And then, it's not until you really get into creating content that you realize this camera really doesn't hit home, and it really doesn't have the things that I need.

And the more that you create content, the more you will wish that your camera had certain things.

So, I want to jump into the seven must-have features every entrepreneur needs in their camera.

7 Features Video Features Your Camera Should Have

  1. Unlimited Video Recording

  2. USB Internal Charging

  3. 4K Video (w/Autofocus)

  4. Stellar & Reliable Autofocus

  5. Clean HDMI Out

  6. Great Quality Lens Options

  7. Headphone Jack

This is a feature first list and then we can adjust the price to kind of make it work within your price budget.

Why all these features specifically?

If you are used to using your phone, you're kind of used to really already having these things. Your phone doesn't stop recording after a certain amount of time.

There are no limitations on that is just based on how much storage do you have or did a call or something come through and it kind of interrupts you. Phones are at the autofocus is great and all these features minus the headphone jack (natively built-in) are already commonplace on your phone.

You will want your camera to still have all these features as well because you're going to need them.

#1 Unlimited Recording

Are you a speaker, coacher, or trainer?

Planning on doing any talks (in-person or online) that will be over an hour plus a Q&A segment afterward?

You're going to need a camera that can keep up.

This is where unlimited recording becomes a must-have staple. I can't tell you how much content I left because you forgot to restart the recording or you're distracting constantly watching the time get closer and closer to being at its limit.

It's just not worth it. Get a camera that has unlimited recording options.

If you're creating courses, even more of a reason to be able to record all you want and then have your editor correct the mess-ups vs have 7-8 different video files vs one take equals one video file.

Your video editor will thank you.

#2 USB Internal Charging

It's the same reason our phones no longer have the pop-out battery, they're better built now and they last much longer.

So does camera batteries. I'm telling you from personal experience of traveling, going from location to location when recording videos or documenting your entrepreneurial experience, it's so much nicer to just top off your battery by charging it internally.

This is how I save myself money and headaches buying 5-6 batteries and literally only needing one replacement battery for any of my cameras.

It keeps your setup lean & mean and less gear to carry around by just being able to charge the battery internally.

#3 4K Video (with reliable autofocus)

It will make sense to make sure your camera can at least have similar features to your smartphone.

You may not be familiar with what 4k video really is so here's a simple breakdown without getting too scientific.

Compared to regular Full HD 1080p video, 4k video files are larger but they also provide additional clarity, sharpness, and detail to your videos. See the image below to see the quality difference.

If you want to see this play out in a video, you can go to YouTube and watch a video that's available in 4K and change the resolution in the bottom right corner. Go to 480p, then 1080p, then change it finally to 4k video. You'll notice a considerable difference.

One of the great benefits of 4k Video is the ability to have a high-quality and high-resolution video that looks sharper and the ability to punch in on your videos without losing any quality or the video starting to look fuzzy.

#4 Stellar & Reliable Autofocus

This is precisely why I do not recommend Panasonic or Fuji cameras, they do not have completely reliable autofocus. They are amazing cameras and features out the wahzoo...but what does any of that matter if the video is going in and out of focus.

When it comes to video autofocus, companies like Panasonic are trying to make their signature DFD, Depth from Defocus technology, designed for photos work in video, and unfortunately, even after many updates, it's still not fully reliable.

I've owned and loved many Panasonic cameras but I can tell you from experience, having a video that's distracting your viewers because it does not have reliable autofocus, distracts, and detracts from your video greatly.

This is why this is such a key feature entrepreneur's must-have in their cameras. It prevents you from essentially having to get rid of a video and re-record it because it was mostly out of focus and blurry all the time.

How much time do you have to dedicate to re-recording content because your camera is out of focus?

#5 Clean HDMI Out

The ability for your camera to be able to live stream became an immediate must-have feature once the 2020 pandemic became a global disruption to how we operated in our daily life prior.

Clean HDMI out means that you don't have to worry about having camera icons on the screen that shows all the camera data showing up during your live stream.

Here is an example of "dirty HDMI" - notice all the camera icons showing up while recording the live stream?

This is an example of having clean HDMI where there are no camera icons on the live stream.


"But what about live streaming via USB or using software like Ecamm Live if the camera doesn't have clean HDMI out? Is that okay to use?"

Here is why I say still invest in a camera that has clean HDMI out even with software like Ecamm Live making it super easy to live stream via USB and using their software.

If you ever host your own small event and/or you enter into creating more advanced setups using switchers like the ATEM Mini, your camera has now become irrelevant and pretty much unusable.

Tools like the ATEM Mini act not only as a camera switcher but it also acts as an HDMI capture card, so it's a bit of an all in one live streaming system if you have a more advanced setup.

But if you own a camera like the Canon M50, you can't use it via USB into the ATEM Mini for that.

You can connect it still to Ecamm Live via USB but you're not able to run and control the camera as you normally can a camera with clean HDMI out.

#6 Great Quality Lens Options

This is one area most camera brands actually do a great job at and have a fairly long history of lens options.

"So, why list this if that's true?"

Because not all lenses are created equal. Most lenses from brands like Nikon or Fuji were made for their photography cameras and actually introduce additional challenges when trying to focus for video.

Now, what must be looked at is not how many lenses they have created since the 1960s but how many of those lenses are actually compatible (video autofocus wise) with their new mirrorless cameras.

Sony is the only brand that has a full lens line-up that is made for mirrorless cameras.

However, other brands like Canon and Nikon are creating some very nice lenses for their new mirrorless cameras, it will just take some time to build it up.

That being said, it kind of only matters if the lenses you will need for video aren't available or is an older model that may not focus well.

Thankfully, for most brands, that's not the case.

The only brand I'm actively waiting to update their lens lineup is Fuji. Sony, Canon, and Nikon could do better with tier APS-C lens line-up but that's another topic for another day.

"So, what should I look for in lens options?"

That you can find quality lenses at a decent price for the focal lengths you need.

There will be another blog post and podcast covering that but I did go into how I choose lenses in a video you can check out here.

#7 Internal Headphone Jack

Similar to why we still wish our phones had headphone jacks, it's just so much easier vs finding a workaround.

However, when it comes to video it only takes one time for your audio to pick up some kind of buzzing interference noise and you don't notice it and you record your video, get ready to edit it and...buzzzzzzzzz.

It's super frustrating.

Having a headphone jack is a must-have just because it offers peace of mind when it comes to knowing nothing is wrong with your audio or it isn't messed up.

There are ways around it of course using an audio adapter you can place on top of your camera. However, it is still nice to have one built into the camera.

"So, what camera should I buy?"

I would highly recommend the Sony a6600 mirrorless camera.