How to Buy a Camera that Shoots Video

If you already take photos when you travel, creating short video clips of the things you see and do is an easy way to earn more money from the same trip without a lot of extra work.

You need a camera that has a video feature... and you need a tripod (a microphone is recommended, too).  But if you don’t have these things, Tom Reissman (who you heard from yesterday) recommends shooting with your Smartphone or iPad for now.  When you’re ready to invest in something bigger, buy something with HD recording capabilities – an SLR camera or a standard video camera that shoots in HD.

Bonnie Caton, our resident stock photographer and creator of the Breakfast Stock Club says she likes using her SLR camera for video because unlike standard-issue video cameras, her camera lens lets her blur the background in her video clips... much like she does when she shoots still photos.

I like using my SLR camera for video because I feel silly balancing my iPhone on a tripod and I don’t want to carry a video camera around in my bag in addition to my camera.

If you’re starting from scratch and you know you want to shoot video in addition to still photographs on your vacation, and you don’t have a lot of money to invest in an expensive SLR camera with good lens, I recommend looking into the new micro four thirds cameras.

Without boring you with all the technical specifics, these cameras use an electronic viewfinder instead of the bulky mirror and prism in larger SLR cameras, allowing them to be one half to two thirds the size of a standard SLR. While the image sensor is smaller than those in SLR cameras (making the image quality slightly lower), it’s larger than those in most point-and-shoot cameras, providing for great image quality in a smaller package.

(They shoot great videos, too, and can auto-focus much faster than an SLR in video mode.)

I carry the Olympus E-M5 body with two lenses: The Lumix 14-140 f5.6 when I’m traveling and the Leica 25mm f/1.4 when I’m at home taking pictures indoors or outdoors with the kids.

If you’re starting from scratch and you want a good camera anyway, these new micro four thirds cameras are a great place to start. And while this Olympus body and these two lenses are fairly steep in price, there are other, cheaper models if you shop around.  Right now Olympus and Panasonic both make micro four thirds cameras.

Tomorrow I’ll send you one of the videos Bonnie created with her camera instead of a video camera.  Stay tuned…

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[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]