Camera Rental Near You

Camera Rental Near You: Why the Camera Matters

Selecting a camera for your video production is one of the more important decisions you can make. There is no single piece of equipment on set that will impact every frame you shoot as dramatically as shooting on the wrong camera (for obvious reasons). So how do you avoid messing up your shoot with the wrong equipment? One practical solution is considering a “Camera Rental Near You”, which offers a variety of options tailored to your specific needs and budget constraints. Should you just get the most expensive camera you can afford on the budget? It’s not always about the price, but more about the suitability for your project.




The simplest (and most ‘cop-out’) answer is: it depends. 

What are you shooting? Where will your final edit go live? What are the lighting conditions on set? Do you have control or are you just there to capture the moment?

Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right camera for your upcoming project.


Resolution: How many K’s is enough?


In 2024, 4K Ultra High Definition is seen as the ‘standard’ for camera capture. There are, of course, some cameras that will capture well beyond that; RED is a company that has several camera models that will capture 5, 6, and even 8K. Black Magic is a company that has a camera that can capture 12K. The “K” part is referring to how many thousands of pixels the camera sensor can capture on the horizontal axis. A 4K camera will display roughly 4,000 horizontal pixels across a tv screen or monitor. 

It is common for a crew to shoot in a higher resolution that is actually needed since the image can be zoomed in or cropped without losing detail. If your project only needs to be in 1080 HD, you can shoot in 4K and have extra room to stabilize shaky footage, reframe shots, or even pull into tighter close-ups. Shooting at the higher resolution will generate much larger files, so pay attention to the size of your memory cards and hard drives.


The number of K’s a camera will shoot is not the most important metric, otherwise there would be no difference between a $1,000 point and shoot DSLR and a $35,000 Alexa 35. The processor inside the camera that will compress the video into clips is where the real magic happens.

Most comsumer/pro-sumer level cameras will shoot high resolution video designed to capture the image as closely as possible to what you saw when you were there. The footage will be squeezed down into an space efficient codec, usually h.264 or the newer h.265. While h.264  files will generally be small and easily uploaded and stored, they can be difficult to work with or change after the fact. If your project will require editing, or you are looking to match shots with color correction, you may consider shooting on a camera with less compression.

Cameras that can shoot in Apple ProRes or DNxHD (or DNxHR) will give you much more flexibility while editing, color correcting, and creating visual effects. The file sizes are bigger, but that leaves you more information to work with until you have exactly what you want. Once everything is locked in, you can always output your video as h.264 for easy uploading and storage of your final product.


Camera sensors, no matter the brand, are not nearly as great at capturing information about a scene as our own eyeballs. We can see minute details in both the brightest of day, and the darkest of shadows. While oversaturated colors may cause eye fatigue, we can still process the image in a way that camera sensors just can’t. The sensors have certain ranges of brightness and color values they can operate within, otherwise they risk losing detail in the areas that are outside the range.

In order to get around this, higher end cameras will capture information using a logarithmic scale which will produce a gray, milky-looking, desaturated image. This will compress the highlights down, bump the shadows up, and control the saturation of colors to work within the limitations of the camera’s sensor and make sure no detail is lost. While on set, these cameras can give you a sample of what the processed images will look like using a Lookup Table (LUT) which are usually built into the camera itself, or loaded onto the monitor used to frame the shot. 

These LUTs can also be used in the editing software to show exactly what was captured on set, while still leaving room for an editor or colorist to adjust the exposure and saturation of the image during post-production. 


At the highest end of the camera spectrum, information from the sensor will be captured without being processed internally. This “RAW” footage grants the most flexibility in the edit. Certain variables such as color temperature and exposure can be adjusted after the shoot is done. This is how most movies in Hollywood and high-end commercial projects are captured. This takes a lot of processing power from the camera in order to generate a constant stream of sensor data at the frame rate of the project.

At Prism Video Productions, we have years of experience working with cameras at each level. We understand the benefits and limitations of each system both on set and during the post-production process. If you have any questions as to which camera you should be using for your production, we’d be happy to help get you headed in the right direction.




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