Clash Tech: Getting Into The Frame

Clash Tech: Getting Into The Frame

Our hotlist of film cameras to capture your next viral performance video...

Your band clearly has the talent, the tunes – and the look. The next step is to grab a little footage of some performances so the world can pay homage. Whether this is a simple rehearsal, a local gig, or (eventually) a more polished music-vid, you need something to shoot with. So the first question is: what camera?   

When you're starting-out with video, it's tempting to plump for a versatile stills-camera or even a phone. And there are good reasons for doing so – not least, portability. However, if you need to shoot a gig from a few rows back, you'll appreciate a proper zoom, or at least the ability to swap-out the lens. 

To get you up-and-running, Clash offers this hotlist of video-friendly cameras of different styles and priced for every pocket. You just need to plug-in and get your groove on.   



Panasonic HC-V770


Bag yourself a cheap-as-chips camcorder that boasts a mighty 20x zoom and optical stabilisation. Yes, it only captures in Full HD (rather than 4K) but that's often good enough and the files are smaller. In half-decent light, the video quality is solid and you can hook-up a mic and headphones to monitor the audio-levels. After all, you do want the band to sound great too?    





Olympus OM-D E-M10 III (inc kit-lens)


This is great all-round camera, with the option of various interchangeable lenses. The Olympus brings 4K video-capture to the party for less than a monkey. Its lack of a mic-input means you'll most likely need to capture your audio separately. Also,  you won't want to rely on the modest auto-focus to keep footage of stage-dives sharp. Nevertheless, for the money, it rocks.     



Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5


Panasonic sells two versions of this: the standard GH5 and the 'video-optimised' GH5S for £500 extra. Both deliver lush 4K footage at 60 frames/sec, plus a heap of handy video features. Skin-tones are super impressive on either, yet the stabilisation and superior stills of the cheaper model give it the nod here, especially so if you plan to shoot in run-and-gun situations.   




Sony Alpha A7 III


Say hello to the best pound-for-pound camera you can buy today. The A7 III is a superbly versatile option with few flaws that excels as much with video as stills. In particular, the auto-focus is crazy-fast and it's available with a choice of lenses. If you need one camera capable of doing everything with aplomb that will then slip into a (large) pocket, you'll love this.   





Nikon Z7


This is Nikon's's first full-frame mirrorless camera with built-in stabilisation. The shiny new Z7 offers the handsomely laid-out controls of a proper SLR in a more compact body and delivers seriously pin-sharp results. OK, the focus doesn't track fast-moving subjects quite as smoothly as its Sony A7 III nemesis, but that's nit-picking. This is a genuinely compelling choice. 




Canon XF400


Want to record in 4K from the back of the mosh-pit? You'll relish the 15x zoom of this dedicated camcorder, which somehow weighs only 1.6kg. You get epic auto-focus, stable footage, and the ability to connect two proper XLR mics. The built-in lens can't be swapped, though, and the Canon doesn't adhere to some broadcast standards. Even so, it's a lot of kit for the money.   







When it's time to get serious, with inter-changeable lenses and all the bells and whistles, the Sony FS7 is the go-to choice of many pros. However, its little sibling, the FS5 II, delivers much of the joy without as much heft. So it can easily be held camcorder-style (or popped in a gimbal) at a gig or festival.  It's more affordable, too, and also widely available to rent.



All prices shown above are body-only unless otherwise stated. 

Words: Alex Pell


Join us on Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

Buy Clash Magazine



Follow Clash

Buy Clash Magazine