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A Guide To Buying Fixed Lens Video Cameras

If you are shooting a wedding, there are going to be several moments that are so precious, you cannot afford to miss them as the official videographer. But if you sit down to change lenses on your camera, there is a good chance you may miss some important moments that should be captured. A fixed lens camera, therefore, should solve this problem and allow you to shoot with flexibility and ease. The following is a buying guide to some fixed lens cameras available in the market:

Canon XA20 Professional Camcorder

This offering from Canon is what professionals swear by. It is powerful, efficient and gives your videos a stunning, clear and stable quality. The camcorder records in the native 1920 x 1080 HD format, with frame rates going up to 59.94p. It also has a cinematic 24p mode. The optical zoom lens has an incredible 20X power (400X digital) which allows you to switch between manual and automatic based on your requirement. If you are shooting at low angles (which you are likely to do at a wedding), there is a 3.5-inch OLED touch panel view screen that can make your life much easier.

The following are some of the important features the camcorder offers:

Features

  • The camera records on 1080/60p in MP4 (35 Mbps) and AVCHD Progressive (28 Mbps), an incredible feature for recording moving subjects.
  • The camcorder supports a built-in Wi-Fi technology so you can transfer your images and videos wirelessly to a computer or a smartphone even.
  • There is a detachable handle which enhances the camcorder’s ability to capture audio. There are also two built-in XLR audio input terminals.
  • There is an infrared shooting mode for capturing videos even when there is low light.

What Makes It Ideal for Weddings?

The Canon XA20 is lightweight and easy to use, a great plus when you have to handhold a camera for a long time during an important wedding ceremony or during a toast. It’s a resilient camera that can withstand a lot of different weather conditions. The detachable handle is great to capture sound and the real feel of the wedding celebrations.

The camcorder is available on Amazon.co.uk for £1,399.99.

JVC GY-HM170 4KCAM Compact Professional Camcorder

This professional camcorder from JVC has a 12x optical zoom lens (24x dynamic). All your footage will be saved in the reliable SDHC/SDXC memory card slots. You can shoot your video in both 4K: 1080p (up to 60fps at 50Mbps) and 3840 x 2180 4K 24/30p at 150Mbps, both in Full HD. There is a built-in stereo microphone for the audio. Alternately, there’s a 3.5mm microphone jack. The following are the enduring features of this camcorder:

Features

  • A fully functional, 4K Ultra HD camcorder that delivers incredibly high performance.
  • It can shoot at 4:2:2 full HD, at 50Mbps.
  • It has an integrated 12x optical zoom lens and a 4K CMOS sensor which is capable of recording crystal clear pictures.
  • The device can record simultaneously on two different SD cards.
  • The output live 4K UHD camera is capable of signalling through the HDMI connector, which is built-in.

What Makes It Ideal for Weddings?

The biggest strength of this camera is that it is perfect for shooting at crowded, chaotic wedding venues. The camcorder is compact and small (yet powerful), allowing you to navigate through a crowd. Yet it is a fully functional, high power camera that shoots in spectacular quality.

The camcorder is available on Amazon.co.uk at £1,825.00.

Panasonic HC-X1000

The incredible Panasonic HC-X1000 comes with a 20x optical zoom lens, which translates to 40x in HD intelligent zoom and 2x, 5x and 10x in digital zoom. The lens is smart enough to provide independent control on zoom, focus and its iris — almost as intelligent as the human eye with 20/20 vision! The camera shoots at 4K resolution at all times, but you can scale the image to full HD when you need to with the aid of the dual processing engines scale. The following are some of the enduring features of this camera:

Features

  • It offers high resolution 4K recording, going up to 60p/50p motion, even while capturing a fast-moving subject.
  • The camcorder is small enough to be able to navigate through a crowded hall or venue, making it perfect for weddings.
  • It offers high-bit-rate recording for 4K and full HD, both great for recording those special moments as close to they were in reality.
  • For professionals, the experience of using this camera is even more enhanced owing to the LEICA Dicomar lens, triple manual rings and features like a backup recording.
  • It offers power OIS for 4K, which absorbs the effects of low-frequency vibration. For example, if you shake your hand even slightly while shooting, the movement is suppressed.
  • There is a four drive lens system which allows for both, a high picture quality while also striving for a compact size.

What Makes It Ideal for Weddings?

It is a great camera to use in a hand-held situation. This is helpful for wedding videography as there may be instances where you have to take dynamic shots while moving, such as when the couple are walking, guests coming in, etc.

The camera is available on Amazon.co.uk at £1,500.

Sony Handycam FDR-AX100

This easy-to-use camcorder has a 12x optical zoom lens (24x digital). The CMOS sensor it employs is easily eight times larger than the models it is competing with, in the market. It records in 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) at 24 fps or 30 fps. At the same time, it is also capable of recording full HD video in XAVC S, AVCHD and is optimized even for MP4 formats, in case the video has to be posted online (which is often the case nowadays). The camera is also great for shooting stills and portraits, in case the couple wants to do a pre or post-wedding photo shoot. The following are some of the enduring features of this camera:

Features

  • The camcorder offers 4K image quality, which is four times sharper and more detailed than full HD footage.
  • The body is light and compact, with the FDR-AX33 being 30% smaller and 20% lighter than previous models, making it a mobile 4K camcorder.
  • There is a balanced optical steady shot which helps in image stabilisation and provides blur-free images, even when the venue is crowded and chaotic.
  • There are manual controls, so you can practically customise all the settings to your needs. The intuitive, multi-purpose manual ring can help adjust zoom, focus, exposure, white balance, etc.
  • You can also record two movies simultaneously, one in the high-quality XAVC S/AVCHD format and another in an MP4 format.

What Makes It Ideal for Weddings?

The camera is small and compact to shoot in crowded places, yet powerful and intuitive enough to give you almost complete control over the footage you are shooting. The manual and auto controls make the camera easy to use. Its image stabilising feature makes it perfect for wedding videography.

The camcorder is available on Amazon.co.uk at £559.00.

Final Thoughts

Making a wedding video is not an easy job. There is a lot of aesthetic sense involved. Plus, there is the added pressure that you are recording somebody’s special day and the video you shoot will go down in posterity. The cameras mentioned above are great fixed lens options for you to shoot a wedding with. So make an informed choice based on your budget, requirement and experience level.

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