You can shoot great video these days with a small inexpensive video camera or smart phone.  Most will shoot in 16:9 HD, yielding very good results for videos that will end up being distributed over the Internet.

Of course, you pay for what you get, and there’s no substitue for a high quality professional camera.  With an inexpensive camera you’re giving up a great lens, image controls, image quality, pro-audio connectors and the ergonomics that come with a pro-camera.  But when operated properly and placed in the right circumstances, you can get amazing results with an inexpensive camera.

Here’s a short video that gives a few tips on the effective use of inexpensive video cameras:


  1. Use tripod when possible.
  2. When handheld, keep the lens zoomed all the way out at the widest zoom setting.
  3. Avoid zooming, move the camera physically in and out.
  4. Use an external microphone.
  5. Shoot in a non-reverberant environment.
  6. Be sure you have enough light.
  7. Don’t shoot with the charger plugged in.
  8. Organize your shoot with our free production forms.

This article originally appeared in The MarketVid Post and has been re-posted with the permission of the author.

Comments welcome.

Read more: A Guide to Video Camera Controls