I got a new camera today. The one I had before was a Canon T6i, which is considered “prosumer.” It’s for consumers, but it’s on the “pro” side of the spectrum. It’s a great camera and does pretty much everything I need it to do, but it’s not quite there.

There are two problems with it:

  1. It shoots video in 30 frames per second max.
  2. It has a crop sensor.

Most of the people on my team have been filming much longer than I have, so they’ve taken the time to upgrade their equipment to shoot crispy, professional quality footage. The differences in the output of a “prosumer” camera and a professional camera are minor, but people who are deep in the field will easily tell the difference.

Shooting with multiple types and levels of cameras makes it harder to edit the footage into a consistent final video. Most good editing software can compensate for lower quality sensors and frame rates, but it takes a lot of work and extends the labor hours on projects.

Producing professional quality videos for customers paying thousands of dollars requires the option to shoot in 60fps (frames per second). My old camera could only shoot 30fps. 60 frames per second means that while the camera is recording video, it is taking 60 consecutive still shots each second and putting them together to form what looks like a video. Anything lower than 24fps can start to look choppy. When you have 60fps, you have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to using slow motion, but not so much with 30fps.

The sensor is the thing behind the lens in a camera that captures light and turns it into a digital format. Here’s a picture of the sensor on my new camera.

The above is a full frame sensor. Without going into a ton of detail (because I’m just barely starting to understand it), a crop sensor is smaller than a full frame sensor. Full frame sensors take in more light, so pictures and videos taken with them include greater detail. Again, this helps the editing process as well as making the product look slightly more crispy.

This is a Sony A7s. It’s built for videos, shoots up to 60fps and has a full frame sensor.

I love getting new electronics. I usually spend hours going through all the settings and customizing them to work exactly the way I want them to. I press every button, google every unknown setting, and binge until the toy becomes familiar and comfortable. That’s why I’m writing this post so late.

It’s an investment. If I say the right things to the right people, then use the camera in a certain way, the couple thousand dollar cost can be leveraged to produce more than 100x that in income over time.

With all this said, we have two shoots this week, so I’m excited put my new toy to use.