Video Camera Options: Clear the Confusion and Start Rolling!


The BIGGEST question I get is, “James, what camera do you recommend?”  Unfortunately, there is not a One-Size-Fits-All Camera.  Depending on your budget, what you’ll be filming, and how often you’ll be filming, we’ll need to take a closer look at the RIGHT CAMERA for you.

I’ve put together a new video that introduces you to the different “families” of video cameras.  Some will work for you; some won’t.  Whether you decide to go with my recommendations or not, I want to remind you, that the PERFECT CAMERA for YOU can be determined by the following three criteria:

1. It’s within your budget
2. It’s HD quality
3. It has an external audio jack (for a microphone)

Don’t get caught up in the latest and greatest model or fancy feature.  Watch the video below for MY recommendations, and if you still have questions, ehad over to your local Best Buy and ask someone for a camera that fits the three criteria above.

Video:  Three Camera “Families” That James Recommends:

Video Camera Reviews

Ok – as promised, here are some links and specs for the video camera options that I talk about in the video above. And understand that if you find a video camera that’s different from the exact model below – that’s totally OK!

These things update and improve all of the time. As long your camera has the 3 basic criteria I mentioned above AND you’ll use it to make videos for your business AND you’ll actually upload those videos onto YouTube (rather than let them collect dust on your desktop)…I’ll be a happy camper…and so will you!

So, let’s get to it!

Go Pro HERO 3
  • Professional 1080p 30 fps, 960p 48 fps, and 720p 60 fps and WVGA 240 fps video capture
  • 11MP photo capture with 10 frames per second burst
  • Wi-Fi built-in, and compatible with Wi-Fi remote (sold separatly) and GoPro App (free)
  • 197-Feet / 60m Waterproof Housing
  • Basic mounts and hardware included for attaching to helmets, gear, and more

[button link=”″ color=”red” window=”true” size=”medium”]Click Here for more Details[/button]

Kodak Playsport Zx5
  • Full 1080p HD Video / 5MP Stills
  • Waterproof Up to 10 Feet
  • Shockproof, Dustproof
  • 3-step Sharing
  • 5MP CMOS Sensor

[button link=”″ color=”red” window=”true” size=”medium”]Click Here for more Details[/button]

Sony HDR-XR500V
    • 1920 x 1080 high-definition resolution
    • 12.1-megapixel still image capture
    • Built-in 120 GB hard disk drive can record and store up to 48 hours of high definition video footage (HD LP mode)
    • Bionz image processor; Face Detection
    • 3.2-inch widescreen, touch-panel Xtra Fine LCD display and color viewfinder.

[button link=”″ color=”red” window=”true” size=”medium”]Click Here for more Details[/button]

Nikon D5100
    • 16.2 MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
    • 3.0″ Vari-Angle 921K Resolution LCD
    • 1080p HD Movies w/Full Time Autofocus
    • Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens
    • 35mm Lens Equivalent: 27-82.5mm

[button link=”″ color=”red” window=”true” size=”medium”]Click Here for more Details[/button]

Canon EOS 7D SLR Digital Camera
    • 18.0 Megapixels
    • 3.0″ LCD
    • HD Video Recording
    • Selectable Video Exposure + Frame Rates
    • Dust & Weather Resistant

[button link=”″ color=”red” window=”true” size=”medium”]Click Here for more Details[/button]

In Conclusion:

Start with where you are.  If you are bootstrappin’ it, that’s fine, use your iPhone or a $200 camera.  If technology scares you, avoid the dSLR like the plague.  The real secret is to just get started with videos.  Spend more time on the content, engagement and the experience you provide then the quality or “depth of field.”  It’s EASY to upgrade cameras, it’s not so easy to UPGRADE performance.  Practice, Practice, Practice!!

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  1. says

    James how awesome is the GoPro 3! 2.7K cinema on a camera that size. I have shot loads of holiday and surfing videos using it but never thought to use it in my work so might give that a crack shortly. I also use a Canon 60D which has great pictures and a Sony NXCAM HXR5 but that’s pretty expensive. Good reviews bro! Keep them coming.

  2. says

    Hi James,

    Can you please tell me the name of the font that titles the video here? Is it a google font?
    I really want to use it for some upcoming projects.



  3. says

    Thanks for the tips! I just started shooting video, and right now I am using my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. When I press playback on my phone it looks great, however, when I upload to YT and FB the quality is blurry and not the same. Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to make them appear better after they are uploaded? Thanks!

  4. Kevin McGuire says

    I want to film an ongoing youtube program. I have some equipment that I happened to have already had…

    Marantz pmd661 digital audio recorder
    Sound Devices Mix-Pre 2 channel audio field mixer
    Shure wireless ulxp4
    Countryman lavaliere mics
    SEnnheiser mkh 416 shotgun mic

    As you can see, I have some serious professional equip on the audio. That is because I did a brief radio show last year

    I also have a Blue Yeti Pro usb microphone and I will be on an Apple environment.

    OK, so I do not know that much, I just have a bunch of stuff!! So I want to buy a couple of HD camcorders so I could have 2 views, and I was thinking of buying that Cowboy 3 light light kit so the lighting would be good. I will be shooting the program which will be about 15 minutes each episode, and it will be basically ME teaching sitting down. Very casual, kinda like your videos. Cool

    So, I was thinking on using one of the new 500-1000 camcorders like the new panasonic or canon, and then having a Go Pro Hero 3plus or two on other angles.

    I also would use your advice to HIRE the editing and mixing part by shooting the video at home in my controlled “office studio” environment, and then sending the audio and video to someone to get it done.

    Comments on which camera I should buy, and which mic i should use? This is going to be a “out of the box” kind of Bible study geared toward REAL people. Short subjects.




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