7 Essential Video Tools


Virtually every new camera on the market these days can also shoot video. Whether the camera is built around a full-frame, APS-C or Micro 4/3 sensor, these imaging chips are larger than the 3/4- or 1/2-inch sensor commonly found in a video camera. These larger sensors, particularly a full-frame sensor, provide a shallower depth of field that is more comparable to a motion picture camera than a handy cam. 

Though a full-frame DSLR such as the Canon 5D Mark III has become the benchmark to which other cameras are often compared, models with smaller sensors are being used to produce professional quality results as well. And now with the advent of 4K capture, you can expect to see more consumer-level cameras offering ultra-resolution regardless of sensor size.

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 (left, www.panasonic.com) is the first consumer-level camera to do so at a fraction of the cost of other high-end models, including the Red series. The successor to the GH3, the GH4 follows the form factor of a traditional DSLR, but it now features a maximum video resolution of 5840 x 2160. This not only produces footage that will look great on new 4K television screens, but it also provides the ability to crop, while still maintaining high-resolution quality. Though the APS-C sensor used in this series may not deliver the shallow depth of field of a full-frame sensor, its color rendering combined with its user-friendly form factor has made the series popular among videographers.