Throughout the years I’ve been making videos, I’ve gone through a fair share of camera equipment. Back in 2015, I started with a small power shot Canon camera my mom used to photograph family pictures with. Obviously, I was like 13 at the time, so I didn’t know anything about cameras, but I knew there were other YouTubers with a blur in the background of their videos and I really wanted my videos to look like that as well.
So for my birthday, I asked for a Canon t5 in hopes it would make my videos look more professional. Most of my older videos were just dumb little challenges or skits so clearly they were the exact opposite of professional. Regardless, I always just assumed, the better the camera was, the better the video would turn out to be. So every year, I would save up all my money thinking the more expensive the camera or lens is, the better my videos would turn out.
A year after I got the Canon Rebel t5, I sold it for the t6i; then the next year, I purchased the 24-105mm lens, only to realize I had no idea how to work it because it was too professional. For a while, I used my kit lens (18-55mm) thinking I was missing out on the good quality my videos could have rather than just appreciating what I already had. So again, another year later, I used my saved up money to purchase the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 lens in hopes my videos would finally be at the quality I wanted. Although I did know a bit more about cameras that time around, I still wasn’t satisfied with my camera setup. The t6i with the sigma 24-70mm lens was extremely big and wasn’t at all convenient for the types of videos I was trying to film. However, I figured that was the sacrifice I would have to make if my videos were going to have “high-quality cinematics.” For a while, I accepted that I would never find the right camera and lens; there would always be a problem with whatever setup I was using. Until recently, I found the Sony alpha 6600 with the 16-55mm f2.8 lens; I knew this would be the perfect setup for me and the way I film my videos.
It was pretty expensive, but I knew it would be worth it, so I purchased it a few months ago. It was almost too good to be true; everything about this camera and this lens was exactly what I had been looking for all of these years. However, now that I'm finally content with the camera set up I have; I’m realizing it was never about the camera in the first place. I’ve created so many videos over the years that I'm so proud of and even though I was obsessed with getting professional cinematics, my videos were about more than that.
I guess I fell into the trap of thinking my videos would be better if I had a better camera. What I've learned is that cameras don’t work themselves, it’s entirely up to the creator on how they want to work the camera. Sure, fancy camera equipment can create the illusion of a well-shot professional film but if there isn’t a story behind the visually appealing shots, the viewer will have nothing to associate the visuals with.
I’m not saying fancy camera equipment is a complete waste of money, especially if you’re working on a project where professionalism is necessary. I’m saying that the limitations to a filmmaker’s camera equipment shouldn’t and don’t always reflect their work.