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Wildlife Filmmaking Camera Questions

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Patrick Negwer
Wildlife Filmmaking Camera Questions
on Apr 18, 2019 at 10:38:02 pm

Hello everyone! First time poster!

I've been a photographer and videographer for over 10 years now.

My hobby is to travel around the world to nature reserves and watching animals. To do so I camp, walk, sleep wherever, eat whatever and carry the minimun I can to avoid overweight and getting tired, I spend a lot of time under rain and strange weather conditions.

I am looking for a camera for general filmmaking and found myself terrified of spending $2500+ for a camera body and another $1500+ for a wide aperture lens. I was using a 6d mark II with a 70-300mm canon 4-5.6 and a 24-105 4-5.6f, which sums up to about $5k+. But I hate carrying around lenses and body's and stuff that can get wet and dirt and sand in it. Sooooooo... I was looking for options and found about a Sony RX10 IV, with a 24-600mm 2.2-4 aperture fixed lens. It's a bridge camera and it's the firt time im considering this type of camera my first choice. It is cheap, sturdy, weatherproof, long range lens, good aperture, 4k for downscaling, high FPS for action moments, low weight. I am afraid of being fooled and thinking this is the ultimate camera for everything I need videowise. Keep in mind wildlife is my hobby and I have a conservation program on youtube that helps me fulfill my dreams of helping the environment.

Video quality and image quality wise, is this camera enough for semi-professional videos? I mean I will never spend $20k for a camera, not even $4k+, so keeping this in mind, will this be a good camera for documentary style videos about nature?

Is the stabilization of this camera good?

Thanks in advance, any recommendations are welcome!

Keep in mind, it's impossible for me to buy used equipment, I have to order it from USA and have someone bring it to south america, so I would like the suggestions to keep that in mind.


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Blaise Douros
Re: Wildlife Filmmaking Camera Questions
on Apr 19, 2019 at 12:13:00 am

The Sony RX series are great--I use the RX10 II for a B camera, and it is good enough for any amateur. I haven't used the IV, but I'm sure it's nothing but an improvement on a great little camera!

However, if you want a REALLY killer long zoom camera for reasonable money, you should check out the Canon SX70. I have sent the previous version, the SX60, into the field on backcountry documentaries many times, and it works really well for a little camera. It's lightweight and is the perfect size to fit in a backpack. The main benefit is that it has a 1365mm lens. 13-frikkin' hundred and sixty-five! Do you know how long that is? IT'S SO LONG. It's not as advanced as the RX10 in terms of color science and codec, but that lens. You can count the hairs on an animal's nose at 50 meters! You'll get shots you never thought were possible.

If you need a few more advanced video features, the RX10 IV is a great choice, and is probably better for general use, but I couldn't let this thread go by without mentioning the SX70.

With either of these cameras, it DOES NOT MATTER how good the stabilization is. You need a good tripod, especially when you're shooting video; the slightest breeze, let alone your wobbly human hands, will cause vibration enough to make the viewer sick when it's zoomed all the way in. So for someone just doing hobby work, I say: get the SX70, and have money left over for audio accessories (because you need those, too!) and a good tripod.

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