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Canon VIXIA HF G30 Camera Review

Canon VIXIA HF G30

Not long ago, true HD camcorders were few and far between. Now, there are so many options it’s hard to pick. The Canon VIXIA HF G30 is a promising option that brought some innovations to the scene when it first arrived.

Canon VIXIA HF G30

If you’re sick of unreliable entry to mid-level camcorders but gasp at the prices of proper professional gear, you’ll be happy about the middle ground where the Canon VIXIA HF G30 resides. The step up from beginner equipment is a significant step on every videographer’s journey. You're ready, now you just need to decide if this camcorder is exactly right for you.

Canon VIXIA HF G30 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro/32GB Internal Flash...
  • Capture Full HD 1920 x 1080p Video, Canon 2.91 Megapixel HD CMOS Pro Sensor, 32GB Memory & Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC Slots,...
  • Dynamic SuperRange Optical Stabilization, Professional Shooting Assist Functions, Intelligent IS & Cinema-Look Filters,...
  • Package Includes Canon VIXIA HF G30 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro and 32GB Internal Flash Memory plus Essential...

Once the crown of Canon’s Vixia series, this HD camcorder still stands strong. The Canon VIXIA HF G30 has many quality-boosting features. For example, the Canon 20x HD lens and its 8-blade circular aperture provide excellent video quality with pleasing, natural background blur. It has WiFi-connectivity for fast video transfers and remote controlling.

Sensor:

1/2.84 CMOS

Video format:

AVCHD 2.0 and MPEG-4

Maximum resolution:

1080p, 3.09MP

Optical zoom:

20x

Digital zoom:

400x

Weight:

900g

Recording media:

2 SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

Outputs:

mini HDMI, USB, AV, 3.5 audio output

The viewfinder is effective, easy to use, and functions up to 45 degrees of tilt. You can adjust it with a joystick while recording with one hand. An HD Video lens with an effective hood and a minimum distance of 23.6 inches provides good footage. It uses aspherical lens technology for low chromatic aberration and high resolution despite the small size. It’s also coated to prevent flares and ghosting.

20x optical zoom is great for a camera of this quality. The Dynamic SuperRange optical image stabilizer keeps your footage free from blur as you zoom. You can also focus manually with the focus ring. The Canon VIXIA HF G30 has all the manual controls you can expect.

Add to this an excellent touchscreen. With a 1,230,000 dot resolution and accurate colors, it lets you know what you’re doing. It has indicators for battery level, recording time left, your framerate and bitrate, whether or not you’re in auto mode, and more.

Performance


While it’s somewhat bulky, it’s not hard to operate with one hand for a while. The hand strap provides the comfort needed. There’s a taper for comfortable gripping, and your index finger lands on the zoom rocker. You get a big record button on the back, alongside a function button and a control joystick. On top, there’s a switch for toggling between recording and playback. Next to it, there’s a toggle for manual, auto, and cinema mode. The last one applies special effect filters. You also find two accessory shoes next to them. One regular shoe and one Canon Advanced Mini Shoe.

The Canon VIXIA HF G30 can shoot full HD at 60fps. It can also record 35-MB/s MP4 files. Its combination of a DIGIC DV 4 image processor and 2.91-MP HD CMOS Pro sensor produces excellent image quality with significantly reduced noise.

What we really like about HD camcorders like the Canon VIXIA HF G30 is the Dual Recording function. It lets you record both AVCHD and MP4 at once. Or you can use Relay Recording, so the two memory cards act as one storage for continuous recording. Despite the lack of internal memory, you can store around four hours of high-quality footage if you fill the card slots.

Video Quality


The Canon VIXIA HF G30 won’t disappoint. You get lots of detail and texture with natural depth. Colors are very accurate, and it retains details in bright spots.

There’s a little bit of noise, but not something you notice under normal conditions. You may encounter some mosquito noise or chroma noise in high-contrast areas. It becomes more noticeable indoors, but the Canon VIXIA HF G30 handles well in the dark in general. There are noise and diminishing colors, but compared to a typical camcorder it’s great. You won’t get a lot of compression effects. Even as you go down to 17Mbit/s AVCHD format, the compression isn’t evident.

Users like the Canon VIXIA HF G30 for its convenient design, good footage, and responsive auto features. What they miss are infrared footage and a separate battery charger. Thus, they give it 4.5 stars on average.

Pricing


The Canon VIXIA HF G30 is a discontinued product, so most vendors don’t carry it. If you find new ones, they cost between $1,500 and $1,700. You can get used ones for half as much. Check it out here.

Similar Models You May Consider

The quality of a product is always relative, so let’s compare the Canon VIXIA HF G30 to a few competitors. We’ve chosen the Sony FDR-AX53, JVC GY-HM150U, and Panasonic HC-W850.

How we reviewed


The reviews presented in this article are the result of analyzing and comparing many user experiences and comments from the web. Our primary source is Amazon user reviews.

Sony FDRAX53/B 4K HD Video Recording Camcorder (Black)
  • 4K XAVC-S recording with 16.6MP, Exmor R sensor, B.O.SS stabilization
  • ZEISS lens(26.8mm) 20x optical zoom in 4K, 30x Clear Image Zoom in 4K
  • 3.0" LCD (Touch panel), EVF, Wi-Fi/NFC, manual ring, night shot, 4K Time-lapse capture.Diopter adjustment:Yes (-4.0 to...

Here’s one of Sony’s first 4K camcorders. If you have a 4K screen, or you’re planning to get one, you may want to consider this higher-resolution option. Many consider it overkill for consumers, but it’s a matter of taste. It’s smaller and lighter than the Canon VIXIA HF G30.

Sensor:

1/2.5” Exmor R CMOS Sensor

Video format:

XAVC S, AVCHD 2.0, MPEG-4

Max resolution:

4K, 8.29MP

Optical zoom:

20x

Digital zoom:

250x

Weight:

680g

Recording media

SD/SDHC/SDXC memory stick PRO/XC-HG

Outputs:

mini HDMI, USB, AV, 3.5 audio output

The ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens offers 26.8mm wide-angle footage. This is comparable to the Canon VIXIA HF G30. The Clear Image Zoom extends the 20x optical zoom to 40x in HD mode using digital assistance without pixelating the recording. It only goes to 30x in 4K mode though.

Its image stabilization is a bit more elaborate than that of the Canon VIXIA HF G30, with a 5-axis Intelligent Active mode for vibration reduction. This doesn’t work for 4K video though. It is capable of 4K time-lapse footage, while 120fps slow motion is only for HD. A 5.1-channel microphone is another advantage.

Performance

JVC’s GY-HM150UC compact triple-CCD camcorder captures 35MB/s long-GOP MPEG-2 video at 1080p in a variety of modes. Don’t be fooled by the tiny size; this is a powerful “prosumer” camcorder.

Sensor:

1/4" Progressive scan 3CCD

Video format:

MOV, MP4, AVI

Max resolution:

1080i

Optical zoom:

10x

Digital zoom:

-

Weight:

3.09 lbs

Recording media

two SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

Outputs:

HDMI, A/C, Component

A high-definition Fujinon 10x lens with three aspheric elements provides excellent fidelity with less space. It keeps distortion, flares, and ghosting to a minimum. The 3.7-37mm focal length grants a nice balance of zoom and wide-angle footage, and the optional wide-angle converter takes this further.

You can zoom with a rocker or directly on the lens. The macro mode works as close as two inches from the subject. You can set focus and iris to automatic or manual. You’ll see the current F stop on the viewfinder.

It provides all popular HD resolutions and 720p. The progressive CCD setup and five digital noise-reduction technologies ensure a responsive, high-quality result with minimal degradation.

Performance

Panasonic HC-W850 Twin Camera Full HD Camcorder Bundle with Carrying...
  • The Panasonic HC-W850 Twin Camera Full HD Camcorder features a secondary, "B-angle" sub camera built-in to the flip-out...
  • 6.03 Megapixel MOS Main Sensor| 3.8MP Sub Camera on Flip-Out LCD| 20x Optical Zoom Lens HC-W580K Full HD 1080p
  • 5-Axis Optical Image Stabilizer| Second Camera Rotates 270�| Advanced Level Shot Function

This one differs from the Canon VIXIA HF G30 in significant ways. They call it a twin camera because it can record from two sources.

Sensor:

1/2.3 MOS

Video format:

AVCHD, H.264, iFrame

Max resolution:

1080p, 6.03 MP

Optical zoom:

20x

Digital zoom:

1500x

Weight:

12.7

Recording media

2 SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

Outputs:

mini HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

There’s a secondary camera on the pop-out display panel. This innovation can spin in place so that you can record your face or something off to the side. It records a separate video stream and superimposes it as a smaller window onto the main footage in the corner of your choice. However, you can’t save it as a separate file, so it’s a limited feature. One nice way to use it is to keep a wide-angle view while zooming the main camera.

The HC-W850 uses one dial for most manual settings, which you set to whatever aspect you want to adjust. You can also use a smartphone app to view and control things via WiFi. You can also live stream to Ustream or upload to social media straight from the camcorder. It doubles as a baby monitor, and you can speak into your phone and have it come out of the camcorder.

It has infrared functionality, a noise shield, and a 50MB/s bitrate for MP4 files.

Performance

Comparison Table

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Canon VIXIA HF G30 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro/32GB Internal Flash...

Rating:

Sensor:

1/2.84 CMOS

Video format:

AVCHD 2.0 and MPEG-4

Max resolution:

1080p, 3.09MP

Optical zoom:

20x

Digital zoom:

400x

Weight:

900g

Recording media:

2 SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

Outputs:

mini HDMI, USB, AV, 3.5 audio output

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Sony FDRAX53/B 4K HD Video Recording Camcorder (Black)

Rating:

Sensor:

1/2.5” Exmor R CMOS Sensor

Video format:

XAVC S, AVCHD 2.0, MPEG-4

Max resolution:

4K, 8.29MP

Optical zoom:

20x

Digital zoom:

250x

Weight:

680g

Recording media:

SD/SDHC/SDXC memory stick PRO/XC-HG

Outputs:

mini HDMI, USB, AV, 3.5 audio output

PRODUCT

DETAILS

JVC GY-HM150

Rating:

Sensor:

1/4" Progressive scan 3CCD

Video format:

MOV, MP4, AVI

Max resolution:

1080i

Optical zoom:

10x

Digital zoom:

-

Weight:

3.09 lbs

Recording media:

two SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

Outputs:

HDMI, A/C, Component

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Panasonic HC-W850 Twin Camera Full HD Camcorder Bundle with Carrying...

Rating:

Sensor:

1/2.3 MOS

Video format:

AVCHD, H.264, iFrame

Max resolution:

1080p, 6.03 MP

Optical zoom:

20x

Digital zoom:

1500x

Weight:

12.7 lbs

Recording media:

2 SD/SDHC/SDXC slots

Outputs:

mini HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

Pros and Cons of the Canon VIXIA HF G30

With all that technical data covered, it’s time for a summary. Here are the best and worst aspects of the Canon VIXIA HF G30.

Pros

  • Dual shoes
  • Advanced dual SD functionality
  • Wi-Fi and remote control
  • Full HD video
  • Manual focus ring

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Somewhat bulky

With its many advanced features and solid HD quality, this is a viable option for all serious hobbyists and semi-professionals. If you’re not looking for the newest option, this tried-and-true classic will serve you well.

If you’re looking for a cheap or compact option, this isn’t it. In that case, you’ll prefer the Sony or JVC. Otherwise, the robust high-definition Canon VIXIA HF G30 is an excellent choice.


Our Verdict

The Canon VIXIA HF G30 was an impressive camcorder when it first arrived, and it still holds up well years later. While not a compact camcorder, it’s lightweight enough for one-handed use. Clear 1080p 60p video with responsive settings and a reliable viewfinder make it easy to shoot with. WiFi and clever use of dual memory cards keep it future-proof.

Overall, Canon VIXIA HF G30 is a formidable camcorder and deserves 4.5 stars. If you’ve decided on the VIXIA, you can find a good deal here.

Canon VIXIA HF R40 Review: Is It Still Relevant?

Canon VIXIA HF R40

Do you question whether entry-level HD camcorders like the Canon VIXIA HF R40 are still important in this day and age? The answer is that they indeed are. While some smartphones can capture decent HD video, it’s nowhere near what you can achieve with the right lens and settings. You also get different formats and frame rates, better handling, and a bunch of features that improve footage and storage of video.

The Canon VIXIA HF R40 is a great example since it has these features and design advantages in spades. And it’s a good reminder that you don’t have to waste your phone’s memory on shaky, phone-quality videos when you could get an affordable HD camcorder.

The Canon VIXIA HF R40 is one of Canon’s better entry-level camcorders. Compared to the stripped-down R400, the main advantages are internal memory and Wi-Fi. While it’s a budget-oriented camcorder, its design doesn’t give a cheap impression. It has a reliable build, and you can hold it comfortably for long periods of time.

Technical specs


Sensor:

1/4.85” CMOS

Max resolution:

1080p

Video format:

AVCHD, MPEG-4

Optical zoom:

32x

Digital zoom:

1060x

Internal memory:

8GB

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

Weight:

10.1 oz /285g

Unlike many entry-level camcorders, the Canon VIXIA HF HF R40 can record full HD video at 60fps. The DIGIC DV 4 image processor reduces noise and improves low-light footage, although dark scenes won’t look great on any budget camcorder. You have the option of MP4 encoding and different resolution choices so that you can fit a fair amount into its flash memory. The Canon VIXIA HF R40 has two SD card slots so you can record many hours of video.

Advanced Zoom extends the 32x optical zoom to 53x without noticeable quality loss. With the SuperRange optical stabilizer, it keeps footage smooth even while zooming.

Wi-Fi isn’t a gimmick with the Canon VIXIA HF R40. You can use a smartphone to control the camcorder and see its status or to live stream or upload video.

There’s a special Baby Mode that optimizes settings for baby footage. It saves all footage in a dedicated folder and lets you add captions, stamps, and animations to the video.

You control most things via the touchscreen, so there are few buttons. The touchscreen is capacitive and responsive, with good image clarity and easy menus. You can tap it to set your focus, just like on a smartphone.

Performance


The Canon VIXIA HF R40 has dependable auto features. It detects faces, adjusts backlight, and more. You can still set focus, white balance, and exposure manually if you like. There aren’t many settings to change though.

Unlike many camcorders in this price range, the Canon VIXIA HF R40 gives you frame rates from 24p to 60p. However, you can only use 24p with the MP4 format. But this is the more convenient format in most cases anyway. You can also record both formats simultaneously.

The video quality is excellent with vivid colors and smooth motion, as long as lighting conditions are ok. It’s suitable for recording sports and such. Shooting in the dark produces a lot of noise and inaccurate colors. This won’t be a problem with normal use, although you may still find some noise in dark spots if you zoom in. The sound quality isn’t bad either, and it won’t pick up camcorder noise or light wind under normal conditions.

Compared to older versions, the battery life is much better, and you can shoot while charging. And you have plenty of memory for longer events. The zoom and stabilization are good for this price point. And it can mount to a tripod for optimal performance

Since it can live stream, it also works as a surveillance camera. It can create seamless video across its memory storages. One way to make good use of this is to leave the internal memory as a safety buffer so that if your SD cards fill up, it’ll keep recording.

Users like the vivid image quality, the good touchscreen, and the plentiful memory. Their main complaint is its low-light performance. They give it a 3.6 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

How the Canon VIXIA HF R40 Compares to Competitors

With so many consumer camcorders on the market, you can only know their quality in comparison to each other. So we’ll compare it to the Sony HDR-CX240, Ansteker Ultra-HD, and the upgraded VIXIA HF R50.

How we reviewed


These reviews resulted from thorough research of online reviews and customer experiences. Amazon customer reviews are the primary source.

The HDR-CX240 HD Handycam provides full HD 60p video at an affordable price. It has a Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens and SteadyShot image stabilization. So it’s a formidable entry-level Handycam.

Sensor:

1/5.8" Exmor R CMOS

Max resolution:

1080p

Video format:

AVCHD, H.264

Optical zoom:

27x

Digital zoom:

320x

Internal memory:

No

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

Weight:

6.7oz / 247g

The first noticeable difference between the Sony HDR-CX240 and the Canon VIXIA HF R40 is that the Sony has a small non-touch display and several physical controls. You’ll be familiar with the joystick and buttons if you’ve used other Handycams.

The next significant difference is that it has no Wi-Fi, unlike the Canon VIXIA HF R40. Nor does it have internal memory.

The stabilizer’s Active Mode and three-way shake canceling provide extra compensation for shaky recording. Whether you use a wide angle or a deep zoom, you’ll get a steady result.

A face detection function helps set the focus right for portraits and crowd shots. It can detect up to eight individual faces at once. It even distinguishes between adults and children.

Performance

4K Camcorder,Ansteker 48MP 30FPS Ultra HD WiFi Video Camera IR Night...
  • ❤【Ansteker Ultra-HD 4K Video Camera】❤:13.0 Mega pixels COMS sensor, 48.0 MP Video resolution, 3.0'' TFT-LCD...
  • ❤【WiFi and IR Night Vision Functions Supported】❤:Please download " NovaCam" APP through your mobile phone to...
  • ❤【External Microphone & Wide Angle Lens】❤:Equipped with professional 0.39x super Wide Angel Lens and...

Big-name brands aren’t always the only relevant options. If all you need is a consumer camcorder with HD video, budget options like the Ansteker can be what you seek.

Sensor:

Sony CMOS

Max resolution:

4K

Video format:

AVCHD, MPEG-4

Optical zoom:

No

Digital zoom:

30x

Internal memory:

No

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

Weight:

10.4oz /295g

The most notable physical feature is the included boom mic. It mounts on a hot shoe so that you could use other accessories too. There’s also a secondary camera on the display panel. You get its footage superimposed on the main video in a little window. It can turn to record your face or something off to the side.

You get a wide angle lens, a macro lens, and two batteries. But the camera only fits in the case with nothing attached. The batteries don’t hold a charge for very long, and you can expect an hour or two if you bring both.

Performance

No products found.

Here’s the sequel to the Canon VIXIA HF R50. Not a whole lot is different on the outside, and it’s hard to tell them apart. However, there are some significant changes on the inside.

Sensor:

1/4.85” CMOS

Max resolution:

1080p

Video format:

AVCHD, MPEG-4

Optical zoom:

32x

Digital zoom:

1140x

Internal memory:

8GB

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

Weight:

8.29 oz /285g

Not much has changed. It’s lighter, but they’re the same in general. That’s understandable since the Canon VIXIA HF R40 was so well-received. However, the Advanced Zoom goes to 57x, and the auto logic has improved.

When it comes to software, the biggest differences are in the baby mode. They’ve refined it and added new functions. You can now track the growth of up to three children. Since your child’s firsts tend to come as a surprise and have you rushing to get the camera up and running, they’ve designed baby mode to choose the best settings fast. It also has the pre-rec activated by default, so that you get three additional seconds of footage before you hit rec. So in case you just missed the beginning of that first word, you’re still good. You can enter the child’s birth date into the system, and the system will track and label videos with their age in days.

Performance

Comparison Table

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Rating:

Sensor:

1/4.85” CMOS

Max resolution:

1080p

Video format:

AVCHD, MPEG-4

Optical zoom:

32x

Digital zoom:

1060x

Internal memory:

8GB

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

Weight:

10.1 oz /285g

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Sony HDRCX240/L Video Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD - Blue (Renewed)

Rating:

Sensor:

1/5.8" Exmor R CMOS

Max resolution:

1080p

Video format:

AVCHD, H.264

Optical zoom:

27x

Digital zoom:

320x

Internal memory:

No

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

Weight:

6.7oz / 247g

PRODUCT

DETAILS

4K Camcorder, Ansteker Ultra-HD 1080P 24MP 30FPS Digital WiFi Video...

Rating:

Sensor:

Sony CMOS

Max resolution:

4K

Video format:

AVCHD, MPEG-4

Optical zoom:

No

Digital zoom:

30x

Internal memory:

No

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

Weight:

10.4oz /295g

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Canon VIXIA HF R50

Rating:

Sensor:

1/4.85” CMOS

Max resolution:

1080p

Video format:

AVCHD, MPEG-4

Optical zoom:

32x

Digital zoom:

1140x

Internal memory:

8GB

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

Weight:

8.29 oz /285g

Pros

  • Quality HD video
  • Feature-packed
  • Great value
  • Internal memory

Cons

  • Poor low-light performance
  • Somewhat bulky

Overall, the Canon VIXIA HF R40 performs better than the Ansteker, and it has some features that the Sony doesn’t. For example, a microphone jack. It’s a viable option for all hobby videographers.

Few camcorders perform well in the dark, and those that do are expensive. So that’s no differentiator between the Canon Vixia HF R40 and the HDR-CX240 Handycam. The Ansteker seems worse in that regard. But both competitors have night-vision and the Handycam’s lighter.


Our Verdict

The Canon VIXIA HF R40 is an excellent camcorder for home video and vlogging purposes. There’s plenty of storage with both SD slots in use, and its battery life keeps up. So it’s great for sports games and music recitals. Throw in the Baby mode, and you’ve got an ideal family camera for precious memories and hobby projects. A Canon VIXIA HF R40 is undoubtedly one of the top candidates in this price range.

Everything You Need To Know About Becoming A Wedding Videographer

wedding videographer

Image: by erikamarcialm, via Pixabay

wedding rings

Image via Flaticon

Weddings are a magical time in a couple’s life. It is the pinnacle of their relationship in which they promise to forever love, cherish, and support their other half. Which is why couples across the globe want to have every second of their special day captured on film.

Hiring wedding videographers has become more and more common these days, as couples want to share with their friends, family, and future children just how special their wedding was.

This is an inspiring business that allows the creator to not only record a special event, but help tell a couple’s story. They get to be the driving force behind the scenes that not only records the magic but captures the love they share.

cupid holding the arrow

Image via Flaticon

Sounds like an incredible job, right? It’s almost like you get to play Cupid and help create a document where couples can rekindle their love for each other each and every time they watch it.

So how do you start? What do you need to do to become a professional wedding videographer?

We’re here to show you the ins and outs of the business, provide you with a few essential tips, and get your wedding skills on point. You’re only going to get one chance to capture all the shots you need, so you have to make sure you’re ready to go beforehand.

Before that big day approaches, come learn just what it takes to become the storyteller on a couple’s big day.

Video-What?

videographer filming

Image: by StockSnap, via Pixabay

So what exactly are we talking about here? What is videography?

As a broad term, videography is simply the artistic process of creating video films. The videographer takes control of the camera, shoots the moment, and then goes back to edit the footage altogether.

film-reel

Image from Flaticon

This differs from something like cinematography because here, the creator and designer is also operating the camera. Cinematographers generally do not sit behind the camera and only direct others how to shoot the shots they want.

Couple Quick Tips On Becoming A Videographer

woman taking pictures for a wedding

Image: by counselling, via Pixabay

Becoming a videographer sounds pretty cool, right? You get to take control of the whole shot, design what it should look like, and put it together. It’s like creating your own short film entirely on your own again and again.

If that sounds like something you could get behind, perhaps it's time to start up your own business.

camera

Image via Flaticon

Wedding videographers function in a bit of a niche market but can have unbelievable success after establishing their skills and place in the market.

It is important to understand what it takes to establish yourself as a wedding videographer before trying to do it yourself. That way you can dive in with goals in mind and a plan in hand. So let’s learn a bit more about what it really takes.

woman videographer filming the event

Image: by beegaia, via Pixabay

Having a degree is not required to become a wedding videographer, but it can be helpful. Studying and understanding how to not only properly capture things on film, but learning about lighting, editing, sound mixing, and camera angles can only improve the overall quality of your videography skills.

Plus, having fellow peers in the field, regardless of whether they are going into wedding videography or some other market, can help begin building your network early on.

group of people taking picture

Image: by 2429905, via Pixabay

No matter how good you may be at something, you should always take time to practice and gain experience. This is especially true in the field of wedding videography.

If you really want to go out and make this your business, you’re going to need to gain some experience filming weddings specifically. Whether you went to college or not, you will not be a professional wedding videographer right out the gate. Be patient and get some practice.

A great way to do this is to offer a discounted rate to those you know. Your buddy from high school is getting married? Tell him you’ll charge half the price of what he saw online. This deal will likely compel people to choose you, plus they feel like they can trust you because they already know you.

The experience you gain from working out the details at your friend’s and family’s weddings will not only teach you what to do in the future but also help you develop a portfolio you can then share with other potential clients.

scissor and dollar sign

Image via Flaticon

woman and man shaking hands

Image: by rawpixel, via Pixabay

This may sound obvious but do a good job. Even though it’s for someone you know, you need to produce the highest quality content possible. For both your and their sake.

They want to have a quality keepsake that they can cherish forever, and if they’re someone you truly cherish in your life, you’ll want the same for them.

If they like their video, they’ll tell their friends, co-workers, and other family members how great you were. They may even show your video to them and, if those people like what you’ve done, you may be able to acquire more clients for the future.

You Need More Than Just A Camera?

photography equipment

Image: by Free-Photos, via Pixabay

Uhm, yeah. You’re going to need a lot more than just a camera.

It’s actually best to have two different cameras, especially if you have someone else on board to work with you so you can capture multiple angles of the same moment. It’s also a great idea to have a backup camera in the event that something unfortunate happens to your camera unexpectedly.

camcorder

Image via Flaticon

The camera brand and style you use is up to you. There are a ton of valid choices from companies like Sony, Kodak, and Cannon. Choose the camera you are most comfortable with that will also be able to capture the best frame rate and image quality possible.

To keep things steady and easy to maneuver, you’re also going to want to invest in a reliable tripod. They are often fairly cheap and will prevent shaky shots on the wedding day.

Microphones are also going to be your best friend on the wedding day. Especially if the wedding is being held outside.

You’ll probably want a wired, close-range mic for interviews or close-up shots, and some wireless mics to place onto the groom and the officiant to hear what is happening at the altar. You can also have a few extra running over the speakers or surrounding area to capture even more sound.

microphone

Image via Flaticon

Mics should be of very high importance to you because the audio quality on your video will often determine what type of quality people will rate you. Poor audio quality is a quick way to stay stagnant in the wedding videography world.

Making A Business Out Of Your Passions: Wedding Videographer

So you’ve gotten some experience and all the right equipment, but how do you make your wedding videography business boom?

Hopefully, you’ve been able to peak some interest from potential clients outside of your family circle thanks to your high-quality content. Now, it’s time to conduct yourself like an actual business professional, rather than somebody’s cousin.

checklist for presenting oneself

Image via flaticon.com

Simply being able to present yourself well is a great way to make your business flourish. Show up on time for meetings, dress well, have your portfolio ready for viewing, make eye contact, and speak with confidence.

First impressions can often make or break a deal, so if you can present yourself well to these first potential clients, you’re more likely to book a job.

mobile application

Image via Flaticon

Being able to present yourself is great, but that won’t do you any good if know one knows you exist.

Marketing has never been easier thanks to the world of social media. Creating a Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, or anything in between can help make people aware of what you do and how well you do it.

Ask your former clients if you can post small snippets from their video. Post regularly so people can see what you’ve done, what you’re doing now, and what you are capable of doing. Start by sharing the page with family and friends, and it will begin to be noticed by more and more people in your area.

You can also try to display yourself at local events, bridal shops or shows, and wedding venues. Create some great-looking posters, potentially a demo reel you can pass out, and watch the potential clients begin to trickle in.

How Much Is Too Much?

Now it’s time to ask for a check. How much do you say? How much is your time worth? What’s too much to ask for?

The problem with pricing is that you always have to try and stay right in the sweet middle range without selling yourself short.

price tag

Image via Flaticon

If your prices are too low, people may think you’re not very good, or you might end up putting in more time than the payout is worth. If you charge people too much, they may turn away to find someone else.

So what do you do?

hands holding tablet and searching google

Image: by FirmBee, via Pixabay

20%
OFF

Start out by seeing what other wedding videographers in your area are charging. Prices will tend to differ regionally, so be sure to find people that are in your same geographical area. This will give you a rough idea of what you can expect to make.

It’s always a bit better to price yourself a little high and then offer some type of deal to your clients. By offering 20% off or a seasonal special, the clients will feel like they are getting a better deal and be more likely to commit, even if the special price is originally what you were looking to make.

Offering multiple packages is also a good idea. Weddings are expensive and some couples may only be able to afford the basics. By offering tiers of options, each with a higher level of quality, materials, and potential bonuses, your clients will feel more comfortable by knowing that they have a choice.

Understanding Their Love Story

couple hugging

Image: by Free-Photos, via Pixabay

As a wedding videographer, you’re not just recording a moment in time. You’re writing the couple’s love story through film.

Even though it may be easier to have a simple, generic template you fill in with video footage, it might not fully satisfy your clients. You want to make them feel like this video is 100% them.

To do that, you’re going to need to know a bit more than just the time and date of their wedding.

couple kissing in the beach at sunset

Image: by Adam Kontor, via Pexels

It’s almost like going out on a first date with this couple. You want to really get to know them and understand their story before the food is gone and you have to depart.

Learn about how they met, where they’re originally from, what they like to do together, how they got engaged, why they chose that theme for their wedding, what they do for work, and anything else that may seem relevant to their story.

Speak to them like a friend, and they will be open and honest with you. You really want to learn what makes this couple unique, and then use that to your advantage both on their wedding day and in your editing software.

Finding The Perfect Angle On The Big Day

The day has finally arrived and you’re on your way to your client's wedding. What sorts of shots should set up before the big moment arrives?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, obtaining good imagery and audio is crucial to creating a successful video so you want to make sure you get this part right. It’s very important to plan ahead and get there with plenty of time to spare.

Since you should know your couple at this point, there may be a few pre-wedding shots you want to snag before the ceremony begins. Things like the bride putting on her veil, the groom talking with his best man, or the mother of the bride greeting guests as they arrive. It’s always better to capture more than you might need than to realize too late that you don’t have all the footage later on.

Know this wedding inside and out. Speak with the venues to see if there are restricted areas or if you’ll have full access to the space. Invest in a zoom lense for instances where you may not be able to have full range.

Be quick on your feet and be ready to move about the space. A stationary tripod camera is great for recording the wedding from the front, but if you want to really follow the bride as she walks down that aisle, you’ll need to be ready to move when she does.

camera operator

Image via Flaticon

The same is true for the reception. Time moves a lot faster than you might think, and dances will be done in a flash. Only carry the essential items with you so you can be light on your feet.

bride and groom dancing

Image: by StockSnap, via Pixabay

We’ve already talked about how important audio is, but having good lighting is also important. Consider setting up a standing light on the dance floor to give you a better shot of their first dance.

Speaking of that first dance, don’t forget to capture all those storybook moments on the big day. No matter how unique the couple may be, and how personal you are trying to make their big day, everyone loves to look at the “fairytale” wedding moments.

While you’re at it, be sure to keep that camera steady. Those incredible shots will do you no good if your camera is shaking. If you can’t use your tripod, because you’re moving around too much, concentrate on holding your camera still and keeping things even.

Wow! That’s A Lot

We have just thrown a lot of information at you, some of which may feel a bit overwhelming. Let’s stop and take a second to recap what we’ve learned so far.

This video highlights a lot of the main points we’ve gone over and will help give you a few real-life examples of how to set up your shots, what equipment to have, and how to get to know your client.

Let’s Get Personal

choose a seat not a side we are all family once the knot is tied sign at the venue entrance

Image: by Michael Morse, via Pexels

Now that you’ve got all that footage underway, it’s time to start thinking about those special components that make the video unique. Utilize all the information you’ve gathered about the couple and pair it with the footage you shot to create the ultimate masterpiece.

But how do you make things personal after the wedding is done? What about the video itself will scream out to the client that this is their story and theirs alone?

A lot of it comes down to how you put it all together. Finding exactly the right clips, accompanied by the right music and backgrounds will make all the difference to the couple in the long run.

music note icon

Image via Flaticon

Mash It All Together!

Actually, don’t do that. No video should ever feel “mashed,” let alone a personalized wedding video. The word you’re looking for is “edit.”

Editing can ultimately make or break your final product. No matter how good your footage may be, if it’s not well organized or accompanied with smooth transitions, it will all be for not.

Depending on which software you have on your computer, you will have a different set of learning curves to overcome. Looking up YouTube tutorials about your specific software can be very helpful to ensure you understand the full capacity of the technology at your fingertips.

Beyond comprehending your software and using it to its full potential, there are a few essential editing tips all wedding videographers should know.

Get rid of those bad parts. Anything that doesn’t seem pleasant to watch, things like awkward silences, stuttering interviews, or shaky camera movements, should just be deleted. If you don’t like looking at that footage, why would your client? Cut it out sooner rather than later.

You should also try to reel in some of those special effects. While it's great to show off your editing chops, you may not need to fill the video with firework graphics every other minute. Use your effects sparingly and they will provide more of a wow factor for your clients.

The general rule of thumb for editing is that less is more. However, for wedding videos, it’s best to forget that rule ever existed.

This moment will only ever happen once in the couple’s life. Give them every ounce of memory you can by including more footage, rather than less. They are sure to appreciate it later on.

Things like capturing guests faces and dance moves, filming part of their photo session, and getting a closeup on the cake all will have great meaning to the couple. Don’t toss it out right away. See how much you can pack in to truly make them see how special this day was.

Rihanna, Taylor Swift, or Florida Georgia Line?

When you’re not showing off a clip of someone talking, chances are you’re going to want some music to back up your visuals. Silence in a video can be uncomfortable, which is not something you want in your wedding videos.

But what sorts of music should you play? How do you know what will make for a good background soundtrack?

bride and groom

Image: by artisticfilms, via Pixabay

If you know your couple, you should know what type of people they are and what type of wedding they were shooting for. Country music might be a great choice for those looking for a southern-style wedding, but classical music may be more fitting for a highly traditional couple.

The important thing to remember here is that the wedding is the most important part of the video. Your music should not be so loud or obnoxious that it distracts the viewer from the wedding itself.

Keep the music subtle and minimal in volume, especially if you keep it playing under audio from guests (which we recommend you do.) Instrumental music is often a great choice as it will not distract others with its words.

Keep the tone professional while also adding a personal touch with music that fits both the wedding and the couple’s style.

Putting In Those Final Touches

Time to wrap it all up and send it out! Export your video, burn copies of the discs, and create a nice case for the disc to live in. Make every last detail count before you hand it off to your client.

An important tip here is to make sure you double check your work. There is nothing worse than overlooking a small detail that ruins the entire piece.

Be sure to watch the whole video through. Twice. Take a good look at all the components of the video, like the spelling of names, the audio levels, the transitions, and the video clarity.

Be sure to watch the whole video through. Twice. Take a good look at all the components of the video, like the spelling of names, the audio levels, the transitions, and the video clarity.

Produce the best work you can each time you create a project to ensure, not only that your clients are satisfied, but that your business continues to get clients in the door.

video editing

Image from Flaticon

Top Tips To Take You Further

You’ve done it! You’ve successfully completed your task and have given the client everything they wanted.

Well, sort of. It would be nearly impossible for you to have not learned a tip, a skill, or realized you missed a shot while working through all your footage. Nobody’s perfect, and if you really want to make this business flourish, you’re going to need to continue to learn and grow your skills.

To help you along your way, we’ve created a small list of tips to remember that will hopefully get your foot in the wedding videographer door and keep your foot inside for years to come.

Important Tips for Upcoming Wedding Videographers

  • Take your time
  • Get to know your client
  • Plan ahead and give yourself time
  • Be sure to meet your deadlines
  • Capture more footage than you need
  • Make sure your camera is stable
  • Get clear and crisp audio
  • Network when and where you can
  • Create a demo reel to show off to people
  • Continue to learn and grow as you work
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Have a portfolio of your work ready to go
  • Be persistent

Feeling Good About A Job Well Done

As a wedding videographer, you are helping create lifelong memories for your clients. These videos will forever be cherished and be shown again and again to both rekindle love and remind others of their love.

You should be proud! This is an incredible business with more than just money as a reward. You’re capturing an essential moment in people’s lives and giving them the satisfaction of having it all documented.

box and dollar sign illustrating bonus

Image via Flaticon

You have done well, and should feel good about your work after it’s all done. Enjoy the moments you have created, and enjoy what you do. There’s nothing more special than using your talent to give others a lifelong gift.

Panasonic HDC-TM90: A Comprehensive Product Reviews

panasonic hdc-tm90

If you are looking for a video camera, then you might have come across the Panasonic HDC-TM90. This camcorder came out in 2011, and it replaced the company's HCD 700 series camera. The Panasonic HDC-TM90 offers both high definition and three-dimensional recording.

The HDC-TM90 is an old camcorder, and you might be wondering if it is still an excellent option to consider today. The short answer is yes. You should consider buying the Panasonic HDC-TM90, that is if you can find it.

Panasonic HDC-TM90

Measuring 2.0 by 4.7 by 2.5 inches and weighing 8.64 ounces, the Panasonic HDC-TM90 is a light and compact camera that has a 28-millimeter wide-angle lens with smart 40x zoom. It also uses Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization technology and can capture both two- and three-dimensional videos. What can you expect from this camcorder?

Specifications and features


The Panasonic HDC-TM90 High Definition Camcorder allows you to record 3D videos as well as get 2D high definition videos with up to 1080 pixels of resolution. With traditional high definition videos, this video camera uses progressive recording, which means that you get to see the entire picture in every frame. The 1080p videos that the Panasonic HDC-TM90 produces have vibrant colors and a high level of detail, giving them a life-like quality that makes it seem as if you are there.

Still camera and a 3D video recorder


The HDC-TM90 doubles as a still camera that allows you to get photos with resolutions of up to five megapixels. You can also use an optional VW-CLT1 3D conversion lens if you want to shoot 3D videos. You can watch these recordings on any 3D television.

Outstanding videos and images


The complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor sensor works with the company’s Crystal Engine PRO processor to give you detailed photos fast. The CMOS sensor provides images with resolutions of 1920 by 1080 pixels and videos that have 60 (frames per second). The camera also uses a 28-millimeter wide-angle lens that helps you get a fuller shot, making this camera perfect for group pictures.

The video camera also comes with Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization technology that gives you steady shots, and a 40x intelligent zoom that brings far away objects closer. The camera also has many shooting controls that allow you to get the perfect settings that you want to achieve for your videos and images. Plus, it can detect faces, allowing the camera to focus on a person’s face automatically. You will also like the scene modes and the Intelligent Auto features. All of these features enable beginners to shoot the perfect video or get the best photos even if they have no idea how to set the settings correctly.

The camera also has redesigned noise reduction technology that gets rid of low-frequency noise that shows up when you shoot in low lighting conditions.

Touchscreen liquid crystal display


The HDC-TM90 has a touchscreen LCD that measures three inches diagonally. This touch display allows you to frame your shots, see what the camera sees, and review your recorded videos. It also allows you to change the settings and scroll through the different menus easily. It has 230,400 dots, allowing you to see your shots better.

Sharing your videos is faster with the HDC-TM90


The video camera makes it faster for you to share your images and videos. You can use the HD Writer AE 3.0, which is free with your purchase. This software allows you to edit and archive your videos, as well as making it easier to share your capture videos on social networking sites. You can also view your videos or images on an HDTV by running an HDMI cable from the camera or using the image viewer found on Panasonic VIERA televisions.

The HDC-TM90 also makes it easy to create highlights of your images and videos. It takes several clips that you have shot and then compiles them into a highlight video complete with great music.

Other features


The Panasonic HDC-TM90 also has intelligent resolution technology that detects the edges of the different objects in an image, then enhances these for better clarity. It also gives your videos the best sounds using the zoom microphone and the wind noise canceller. You can turn the soft skin mode on so that the camera will soften the focus on skin tones. This mode can help make people in your videos look younger and more beautiful, as wrinkles are less noticeable.

Panasonic HDC-TM90_1

Aside from these, the HDC-TM90 also has tele-macro, which enables you to shoot tight close-ups from around 20 inches away. You no longer have to get too close to your subject to achieve a macro shot, which is very useful if you want to avoid casting a shadow on the object or if you want to shoot a scene with soft focus backgrounds. Then you have the touch shutter features. When you are recording a video, you can touch the subject on the LCD screen, and the camera will train the focus on wherever you touch and then switch to still image shooting.

The camera has some more features that are fun to have and convenient as well. These fun features include face detection, smile shot, and quick power-on.

Ratings and Reviews


The Panasonic HDC-TM90 has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Customers praised this video camera for its progressive recording, a full array of controls and its ability to record in HD. It also garners positive reviews for the features it offered, small size and low weight, as well as its fantastic video and image quality and the fact that you can use it as a still camera. The outstanding image stabilization feature is also one of its strengths.

However, some users complained about the images and videos from this video camera being inferior, especially when you look at its contrast. This flaw becomes apparent when you transfer videos and pictures to your computer. There are also complaints about Panasonic's poor customer service, horrible warranty policies, and the durability of some of the camcorder's parts such as the battery.

The HDC-TM90 has a higher rating on B&H Photo and Video, where it is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars. Customers liked that this camera allowed them to shoot in HD without emptying their bank accounts, as well as its impressive selection of features, and automatic settings. Critical reviews, however, talked about the menu icons, which were hard to figure out. Plus there are complaints that this is not compatible with Macs.

Pricing for the Panasonic HDC-TM90


Panasonic is no longer manufacturing the HDC-TM90. However, you can find used units on Amazon. Prices for this video camera range from $140 to $530.

How We Reviewed


To write this review, we looked at the support page for the Panasonic HDC-TM90, as well as the sales pages on online retailer sites such as B&H Photo & Video and Amazon. We also looked at its list of specifications, and the owner's manual. We followed the same process for the featured competitors we have listed here.

How It Compares to Competitors


There are a lot of video cameras that allows you to record videos in high definition. How does the Panasonic HDC-TM90 compare to the Canon VIXIA HF G40 Full HD Camcorder, the JVC GZ-V500BUS1080p HD Everio Digital Video Camera, and the Sony HD Video Recording HDRCX405 Handycam Camcorder?

Canon VIXIA HF G40 Full HD Camcorder
  • 20x High Definition Optical Zoom Lens
  • Advanced HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor with Improved Low-light Performance
  • 1080/60p Recording in MP4

The Canon VIXIA HF G40 uses an advanced high definition CMOS sensor that has better low-light performance. Like the Panasonic HDC-TM90, it gives you 1080p videos at 60 frames per minute. The VIXIA HF G40 stores your videos in MP4 format, and it delivers 20x optical zoom lens, an OLED touchscreen that measures 3.5 inches. It also has dual memory card slots and Canon's Intelligent Optical Image Stabilization technology.

The Canon VIXIA HF G40 has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Customers love this camera's stellar video quality and the fact that it is better than consumer level cameras. It also delivered better photos and videos in low light conditions. However, this is not a perfect device. There are complaints on how difficult it was to work with the touch display and the remote. Negative reviews talk about how the video quality is not what you might expect considering that this video camera is somewhat expensive.

Further, it gets a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on B&H Photo and Video. Prices for the Canon VIXIA HF G40 range from $1,050 to $1,300. You can buy this camera from Amazon, eBay, B&H Photo and Video, and other online retailers. Or you can buy it directly from Canon.

JVC GZ-V500BUS1080p HD Everio Digital Video Camera with 3-Inch LCD...
  • Advanced Image Stabilizer, 10x optical /18x Dynamic Zoom for High Definition, 3.0" "Frameless" Touch Panel LCD (230-K...
  • Auto REC, Built-in LED Light, Time-Lapse REC, Intelligent AUTO, Super LoLux, Face Detection, Smile Meter / Smile Shot,...
  • Records up to 10M Digital Stills, HDMI output (mini), Semi Auto Lens Cover, AV Output, Easy Archiving & Sharing, Everio...

The JVC GZ-V500BUS1080p HD Everio Digital Video Camera is a compact and light camcorder that records in full 1080p resolutions. It has a wide angle lens and a backlit CMOS sensor that helps deliver great photos and videos even in low light. Pricing for this camera ranges from $600 to $650.

It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon, where customers praise the JVC camcorder for how light, affordable, and small it is. However, some people think that the video quality is middle of the road. This camera does not have a poor video quality, but it is not something that you will describe as impressive.

Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
  • Capture 4K/24P/30P video that far exceeds HD resolution
  • Zeiss lens w/ balanced optical Steady Shot image stabilization
  • Direct Pixel read out for smooth edges and color gradation.Iris Diaphragm:6 blades

Even if you are looking for an HD camcorder, you should still check out 4K video cameras just in case you get a better deal. These 4K video cameras can also shoot in high definition if you want to. One of the more affordable 4K camcorders you can find now is the Sony FDR-AX33.

The Sony FDR-AX33 4K HDR Camcorder is a small and lightweight camera that features the balanced optical SteadyShot image stabilization technology, a Zeiss Vario Sonnar T lens with 10x optical zoom and 20x Clear Image zoom, and an Exmor R CMOS sensor. You also get the Bionz X image processing technology. These technologies equip the FDR-AX33 to deliver Ultra HD videos that have resolutions of 3840 by 2160 pixels. It comes with an LCD touchscreen that allows you to see your shots.

Another feature you will love about the Sony FDR-AX33 is the direct pixel readout technology. This technology gives your videos smoother edges and better colors, compared to other video cameras. It also uses Dolby Digital 5.1 channel recording, ensuring that your videos sound great too. Beginners will fall in love with the automatic settings they get from this camera. These settings will allow newbies to get the best images and videos almost without thinking about it. On the other hand, more advanced users and professionals will relish the manual controls it offers.

Pricing, ratings, and reviews for the Sony FDR-AX33 4K HDR Camcorder

The Sony AX33 gets a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. Verified buyers on Amazon praise this for how easy it is to handle and how portable it is, as well as its excellent video and image quality and the image stabilization technology it has. On Sony's online store, the Sony FDR-AX33 garners a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, while on ABT.com, it gets a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. You can buy the Sony FDR-AX33 for anywhere from $650 to $750.

Pros and Cons of the Panasonic HDC-TM90


You will love how this camera helps you get excellent videos and photos. For instance, you usually get shaky footage when you are zooming in. However, the hybrid image stabilization technology will help you get steady videos. And if you are using the zoom and you are not moving the camera around, you can use the OIS lock feature to get more image stabilization into your shots. This feature comes in quite handy for bird watching and other similar shooting situations.

The HDC-TM90 does not use interlaced recording, which means that each frame will show you the full picture. The progressive recording results in better image quality and smoother videos. Also, you will probably want to spend a lot of time learning about the features that this camera has.

The Panasonic HDC-TM90 packs a lot of convenient features and functionalities that help you do more with the camera without lifting a finger. For instance, it can take snapshots as soon as it detects a face, or when somebody smiles. It can also select the best scene mode for a particular shot. Other features you can enjoy with the Panasonic HDC-TM90 include AF/AE tracking, intelligent scene selector, smile detection, pre-rec function, auto power save, backlight compensation, built-in speaker, and others.

Pros

  • Excellent videos and photos
  • Hybrid image stabilization technology
  • OIS lock feature

Cons

  • Does not use interlaced recording
  • spend a lot of time learning about the features that this camera has.

What you should know before buying


This video camera advertises its ability to record 3D videos. However, you might need to buy a separate lens to do this. The package does not include the 3D conversion lens. Moreover, this camera does not have a viewfinder, so you mostly rely on the three-inch LCD touchscreen to frame your shots.

Further, it would help if you read the warranty for this video camera.  The company covers your camcorder's parts for one year, with free labor only for 90 days. However, you would need to ship your video camera to Panasonic, and you would need to pay for the shipping and the insurance.

Getting the Panasonic HDC-TM90 Is a Good Idea


It may have come out in 2011, but the Panasonic HDC-TM90 has a lot of things that you will like. This model is a competent video camera that can give you high definition videos and images. It also has a wide assortment of features and an impressive line-up of technologies.

The thing is, the older Panasonic HDC-TM90 has comparable technologies with the Sony FDR-AX33 4K HDR Camcorder. This fact should say a lot about its capabilities. If you can find the Panasonic HDC-TM90 and you do not need 4K recording, then you should buy it.

Gopro Hero4: Is It the Action Camera is Best for your Needs

gopro hero4

GoPro was the first manufacturer to bring to the market an action camera back in 2004. Now the action camera market has grown by leaps and bounds and has a number of feature-rich cameras from different manufacturers. One of the cameras that revolutionized the action camera market is the GoPro HERO4.

In this article, we’ll explore how the HERO4 compare with its competitors.

Product FAQ for the GoPro HERO4

1. What Is the GoPro HERO4?

2. Does GoPro HERO4 Have Wi-Fi Connectivity?

3. How Detailed Are the Photos Taken by the GoPro HERO4 Camera?

4. Where Can You Buy It?

5. Is the GoPro HERO4 Camera Waterproof?

How We Reviewed

The following products were reviewed based on features that are important to most action camera users. We considered the portability of the cameras and their abilities in cold and wet environments.

Although virtually all action camera manufacturers claim that their cameras can produce 4K videos, the quality of those videos differs because some cameras can only record in 4K at low frame rates. So we strived to find out the frame rates of each camera when recording in 4K.

An action camera is lost without a good battery. We, therefore, emphasize the battery life of each camera when making our comparison. We considered the connectivity options and camera control options available. Finally, we factored in the price to make an all-round review.

Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

A typical 4K action camera costs around $55-$600. Models from Sony typically cost much more, and it is not rare to find Sony action camera that costs as much as $500.

What We Reviewed

  • Yi 4K+ Action Camera
  • Olfi One.Five
  • iSaw Edge
  • Olympus Tough TG-Tracker
  • Garmin VIRB XE
  • TomTom Bandit
  • Yi Lite Action Camera
  • Sony FDR-X3000R
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • SJCAM SJ7 Star

YI 4K+ Action Camera, Sports Cam with 4k/60fps Resolution, EIS,Voice...
  • Impressive Video Quality - The world’s first action camera to record 4K/60fps video; Built-in Sony IMX377 image sensor...
  • Superb Image Stablization - Built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) delivers spectacularly smooth and steady...
  • Intuitive UI Design - Ultra responsive 2.2” Gorilla Glass retina touchscreen shows everything crystal clearly and...

Features

The Yi 4K+ is an action camera with surprisingly powerful features. It can record in detailed 4K at up to 60 fps and in 1080p at up to 120fps and in 720p at up to 240fps. Its still image sensor resolution is identical to that of the HERO4 and can take shots of 12MP.

The camera has a battery life of up to two hours. Overall, it a very powerful camera for the price and edges out the HERO regarding 4K video quality. The camera is not waterproof you can buy a waterproof case for it.

  • Price
  • Warranty

The Yi 4K+ can be found on Amazon for around $200.

Pros

  • High-quality 4K/60fps video
  • Good phone app

Cons

  • Not waterproof unless you buy the case

Olfi OneFive 4K Action Sports Camera
  • 4K Ultra High Definition (24fps)
  • Gyro Stabilisation
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) Video

Features

The Olfi One.Five a small but effective action camera. The camera has a Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor and has motion detection, loop recording, and time-lapse features. Although the camera can record in 4K, this feature comes at a maximum of 24fps and it is interpolated from a 2.8K sensor.

The smartphone app of this camera also leaves a lot to be desired. The battery life of this camera is not any better, and it lasts just 30-45 minutes.

This camera is not waterproof, but you can buy a waterproof plastic case that maintains its abilities at 30m. This camera would be ideal for cyclists and can also be used as a dashboard camera.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This Olfi One.Five can be found on Amazon for around $170.

Pros

  • Low cost
  • A good-quality 16MP image sensor
  • Powerful image stabilization features

Cons

  • Its 4K is limited to 24fps
  • Short battery life
  • Not waterproof without a case
  • Smartphone app not very useful

ISAW Edge 4K Ultra HD / 1080P Full HD Action Camera with LCD...
  • 170° Degree 7 x Elements Glass lens. Shoots video - Ultra HD 4K @ 10fps / Full HD 1080p @ 60fps
  • Sony Exmor 16MP Exmor image sensor / Time Lapse and Burst photos / Built-in Microphone to record crystal clear audio
  • Built in 1.5 inch LCD viewfinder / Built-in WiFi to stream your videos to ISAW Viewer II smartphone App

Features

The iSaw Edge camera was one of the first action cameras to have 4K recording capabilities. However, 4K recording on this camera is limited to 10fps, and most cameras on our list can record better quality videos.

Apart from this limitation, this camera has a number of great feature including a small touchscreen display on the back side. You can also tune a video for sharpness, exposure, and white balance.

This camera also has a number of attachments and comes with a waterproof housing that is effective up to a depth of 40m.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This product can be found on Amazon for around $390.

Pros

  • Availability of exposure and white balance controls
  • Solid waterproof housing
  • Comes with a number of attachments
  • Quality 16MP still images

Cons

  • Short battery life of just 80 minutes
  • 4K limited to 10fps

Olympus TG-Tracker with 1.5-Inch LCD (Green)
  • 4K 30P Video capture
  • Dimensions 35.0 x 56.5 x 93.2 millimeter ,1.37 x 2.22 x 3.67 inches.204 Degree Extreme Angle f2.0 High Speed Lens
  • Waterproof to 100 feet / 30 meters without housing

Features

As its name suggests, the Olympus Tough TG-Tracker was built to handle recording it tough environments. This camera is water is waterproof up to 30m without a case. The camera has decent 4K recording abilities and can record at 30fps.

The Tough TG-Tracker is weather resistant and can function at temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius. To cement it heavy-duty work abilities, this camera is drop-proof up to 2m and crushproof up to 100kg! 

The camera also enables the user to see what is being filmed with a 3.8-inch flip-out screen, and it has an LED headlight that enables night-time recording.  This camera is also equipped with a GPS, accelerometer, compass, thermometer, and barometer.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This camera can be found on Amazon for around $220.

Pros

  • Waterproof abilities without a case
  • Quality 4K recording
  • Weather-proof and drop-proof features
  • Night recording abilities
  • Action sensors

Cons

  • Very basic phone app
  • Low 8MP still image resolution 

Garmin Virb XE (Renewed)
  • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes...
  • G-METRIX-Built-in GPS and external sensors with connectivity to Garmin devices to capture performance data like speed,...
  • ADVANCED VIDEO - Capture thrilling footage with high definition 1080p resolution at 60 frames-per-second, or capture up...

Features

The Garmin VIRB is considered the camera of choice for serious divers. This camera is waterproof up to 50m without a case and it can also continue function in low temperatures of up to -10 degrees Celsius.

Like the Tough TG-Tracker, the VIRB XE has a selection of sensors that include a GPS, compass, thermometer, and speedometer. You can also connect ANT+ devices like smartwatches on this camera. The camera also has Bluetooth connectivity which enables linking with a Bluetooth mic.

  • Price
  • Warranty

GARMIN has replaced this camera with the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera. A second-hand VIRB XE can be found on Amazon for around $180.

Pros

  • The best native waterproofing abilities of any camera on our list
  • Ability to attach a Bluetooth mic
  • Great battery life of up to two hours
  • Freeze-proof abilities

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can’t record in 4K

TomTom Bandit 4k Action Video Camera
  • 4k HD video camera provides the highest resolution action footage
  • Long battery life allows for 3h of nonstop filming with cable free batt stick
  • Sport Action camera contains built in sensors to monitor speed, g force, altitude, and rotation and appears on playback...

Features

FeaturesThe TomTom bandit is a decent camera with a GPS, gyroscope, pressure sensor, and accelerometer. The camera is not waterproof but you can attach a splash-proof lens and a waterproof lens cover that is effective to a depth of 40 meters. This camera has 4K recording, but this is limited to 15 fps.

Its still image sensor is good and can produce 16MP photos. One of the areas in which this camera excels is its smartphone app. The app can automatically pick out videos and photos from your videos and create a “story.” This camera also has a powerful battery that can keep it running for up to three hours.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This product can be found on Amazon for around $340.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Awesome auto-editing features
  • Built-in sensors

Cons

  • Lack of native waterproof abilities
  • Low quality 4K limited to 15fps

YI Lite Action Camera, Sony Sensor 16MP Real 4K Sports Camera, 2 Inch...
  • Please Note: The item sold by the seller "North to West" is fake. Professional quality 4K/20fps, 1080p/30fps,...
  • Integrated 2.0" LCD touch screen makes control of this tiny but powerful camera super easy.
  • 130 minutes of battery life at 1080p/60fps help you focus on shooting instead of counting battery life.

Features

The Yi Lite is a low-cost action camera that has a number of good features. The camera has 4K recording abilities, but the frame rate is low (a maximum of 20 fps).

However, this camera has solid 1080p recording abilities and can record up to 60fps. This camera is very easy to use and has a touchscreen interface and a good smartphone app.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This camera can be found on Amazon for around $55.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Easy to use
  • Decent smartphone app
  • Quality 16MP still image sensor
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Low-quality 4K video
  • Lack of native waterproof abilities
  • Lack of voice control

Sony FDRX3000R/W 4K HD Recording, Action Cam, Live View Underwater...
  • Ultimate image stabilization from Balanced Optical SteadyShot Professional 4K with ZEISS lens and Exmor R CMOS...
  • Splash-proof body or use incl. waterproof housing down to 197ft.Selectable viewing angle: Wide, Medium or Narrow and 3x...
  • Interval record at 8.3MP for stills and 4K time-lapse videoHigh Quality stereo sound with wind noise reductionBuilt-in...

Features

The Sony FDR0X3000R takes convenience to a whole new level. This camera comes with an independent live view display that can be monitored remotely. This camera has Sony’s Balanced Optical SteadyShot (B.O.SS) image stabilization which is effective even under water.

The camera has a wearable and mountable live view remote and this camera can be operated remotely. This Sony camera has decent 4K recording abilities and can record up to 30 fps.

  • Price
  • Warranty

The Sony FDR-X3000R comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros

  • The best image stabilization of any camera on our list
  • Decent 4K recording ability
  • Remote operation and monitoring abilities
  • Comes with a waterproof case that is effective at 60m

Cons

  • The most expensive camera on our list
  • Low quality still image sensor

SJCAM SJ7 Star 4K WiFi Camera Action Camera 16MP Gyro Image...
  • NATIVE 4K CAMERA- SJ7 Star is equipped with Ambarella A12S75 Chipest & IMX117 Sensor, 2.0" sensitive touchscreen offers...
  • 170 DEGREE SUPER WIDE ANGLE- 3 FOV settings allow to catch up 170 degree wide viewing, different from the common...
  • ADVANCED GYRO STABILIZATION- The 4k digital camera can automatically counteract unwanted rotary movements during...

Features

The SJ7 Star is yet another action camera that can produce quality 4K videos at 30 fps. The SJ7 Star can shoot quality 12MP still images and can interpolate images to 16MP.

This camera has a waterproof case that is functional up to 30m and it has a two-inch touchscreen display. You can also buy the wearable SJ Remote to control this camera from afar.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This product can be found on Amazon for around $180.

Pros

  • Quality 4K and impressive 120fps full HD video recording
  • Presence of rear touchscreen display
  • Waterproof case
  • Good battery life up to 2 hours

Cons

  • Lack of image stabilization in 4K
  • Poor phone app
  • Lack of GPS
  • Lack of voice commands

Comparison

The Verdict

The GoPro HERO4 is a high-quality action camera which shot to the top of its class when it was released in 2015. Its 30fps 4K recording abilities and 12MP still image abilities have endeared it to GoPro’s fans. The camera comes with a number of useful accessories including a waterproof case that is effective up to a depth of 40m.

However, the HERO4 has subsequently eclipsed by newer models, including its eventual successor from GoPro, the HERO5. In addition to the features of the HERO4, the HERO5 comes with native waterproof abilities without a case and voice control.

These features coupled with the excellent video stabilization, a GPS, and a backside LCD display make the HERO5 a better camera than the HERO4. We believe that for its price, the HERO5 is the best action camera on our list overall.

Buyers who are on a very strict budget can opt for the Yi Lite Action Camera. Although the 4K videos recorded by this camera are not the best, its Full HD recording abilities are impressive. Plus, you can buy accessories to improve its functionality along the way.

Divers who need a great camera under the water should buy the Garmin VIRB XE while rock climbers, skiers and other users who work in extremely tough conditions can count on the drop-proof, freeze-proof, water-proof, and crush-proof features of the Olympus Tough TG-Tracker.