I want to shoot retro looking music videos, but i still want the quality to be HD, what camcorder should i invest in?


Mmm J

Define "music video". They can be anything from a live concert, single camera to a multi-camera short subject activity and about 50 things in-between. Define your budget. I would suggest getting a current technology camcorder (I use a Sony PWX-Z150, HDR-AX2000 and an HDR-HV30 action cam + my iPhone). And entry-level, consumer-grade camcorder will be in the $250-$450 range. I did not spend the extra money because I wanted to - if a small cam would do what I needed, I would have bought that and kept more money in the bank. Large lens diameter allows more light into the imaging chips. Large imaging chips allows more control (depth of field) and reduced pixeling in low-light conditions. Most decent video editors (I use Final Cut Pro) have filters/add-ins that can get the "retro look" you want without investing in old gear that may not last through a project. My video "kit": Video capture device(s) Tripods and other steadying devices (Steadicam with vest/arm, 8 foot camera crane, handheld gimbal for iPhone LANC systems for the bigger cameras when tripod or crane mounted External 7" field monitors for the larger cameras Mics (Audio Technica stereo mic; Shure SM58 handheld mics, Sennheiser wireless lavaliers and portable base stations) LightPanel lighting and stands Camera-mounted LED lighting High capacity, Sony NP-F970 series batteries (for big cameras, on-camera LED lights, camera-mounted Delve video monitors) Headphones to monitor captured audio Zoom H5 audio field recorder EarTec wireless communications headphones with mic (for when there are multiple camera operators and we need to communicate) Green screen cloth (12 ft x 12 ft) + stands About a dozen 64 gig Lexar 1000x SDXC 150 MB/s write speed cards 5 64 gig microSD cards for the action cam XLR cables; power cables; Pelican cases for the electronics; other cases for everything else The editing environment: 27 inch iMac with 16 gig RAM Final Cut Pro 4-bay external USB-C connected JBOD array - each bay has an 8TB 7200 rpm hard drive - 10k RPM would be nice; SSDs are too expensive. "Lip sync" environment: A pair of Alto TX212 speakers Speaker trees Behringer Eurolive B15500xp subwoofer Mackie ProFX8 mixer, cables, case (typically plug an iPod or other MP3 player for the audio play and the talent lipsyncs) I just added a "portable solar generator" for this - 200 amp-hour battery storage in a big rolling case + solar controller + 4000 watt power inverter + four 100 watt solar panels We tried using the small/more portable bluetooth speakers, but certain talent can't get into it unless the music is LOUD... A bunch more stuff, but this should get you started... The camcorder is only one port of a much larger system of stuff that needs to work together. You can go really inexpensive and learn the hard way by spending money to get quality, or you can spend the money once by learning from others who have already suffered the hard (and expensive) way. Don't be tempted by dSLR or mirrorless cameras designed for still image capture that happen to get video. They can capture great video but overheat and doo poorly under low light conditions. If you insist on this route, at least get cinema cams which are designed for video capture but can use SLR interchangeable lenses. Like the Canon XC10 or XC15. They have a fan on the back of the camcorder to keep the imaging chip from overheating and shutting down the camera. A dSLR will have no such fan - in which case get 2-3 of the same dSLR so one is in use while the others are cooling off... Good luck.




You make the retro look during the editing process, not in the filming. Filming is generally the easy part of videos, editing is what takes the time and skill.


The retro look is done in post processing software, not the camera.


The lighting, composition, costumes and locations will have the most “retro” effect, not the choice of camera. How are your skills with the issues I mentioned ?

Frank B

This probably won't answer your question thoroughly, but my band was talking about making a video. I said, "Look, we can use our smartphones and edit the video using imovie or something." The reply was: "I've got a video camera, but no VHS tapes."


Any HD camcorder should do the job. Pro or semi-pro ones will be more versatile and capable, along with probably holding up better over time.