From time to time, we get asked about the choice of cameras for kids.
Firstly, unless your child is really serious and they have maturity with using expensive and complicated equipment, keep it simple. Cameras are not toys.
For the majority of kids, we suggest getting them started with phone or tablet cameras before really investing in expensive gear. If they continue to pursue film, you’ll know they are really serious and you can think about your next move.
Upgrading From The Phones & Tablets.
If you’re happy to upgrade from tablets or phones, consider a HD consumer video recorder as an entry level. GoPro cameras are also popular because they are easy but these have limitations so pros won’t use them much. Kids will learn more by using “normal” video cameras, especially if they have manual settings.
The kids above are using a Canon C300 & a Canon C100, which are pro cameras, so we wouldn’t recommend their usage unless your kids are very experienced and have access to adult cinematography mentoring.
We have a Canon 5D Mark III. It’s a beautiful camera with beautiful footage, for sure. It’s also an extremely difficult camera for kids to use because DSLR cameras have short depths of field, which means they easily go out of focus.
To handle a camera like a DSLR (and many adult cinematographers find them challenging), you need to be able to focus pull, in other words, be able to keep a camera focused while your subject is moving.
(Next time you go to the movies, look for the “focus puller” credit. You’ll see, there is a specialist on a film set whose whole job is just keeping cameras in focus.)
This is often beyond most kids, so heading down the DSLR route is not really something we would recommend in most circumstances.
Is your child the next Emmanuel Lubezki?
What does Harry Potter, the Lord of The Rings, The English Patient, Fast & Furious, Rain Man, Yogi Bear, Into The Woods and Mad Max have in common? These are all feature films that were shot by Australian cinematographers. So if your child is the next Oscar-winning cinematographer to emerge from Australia, make sure they join the Australian Cinematographers Society. If they are aged 15 years and under, the ACS has a Cinekids membership, which will be perfect!