Figure 1: A Fujifilm S8600 “Bridge” camera.
Probably the cheapest way to create videos where convenience is at least a little appreciated is to purchase a so-called “bridge” camera.
A bridge camera is a camera designed to fill the niche between the least expensive camera type (compact / point ‘n shoot) camera and the much more expensive DSLR camera. In recent years some DSLR cameras have had their pricing reduced from the historically (pretty high) costs. Even with those recent reductions, for the budget minded (often novice level) user, the bridge camera still can find a good home and happy owner.
I’m not really trying to promote the camera I’ve been using for the past eighteen months – an S8600 Fujifilm bridge camera. It’s just the one that I happened to have, and that I’ve been using to make HD videos. If I had to purchase another bridge camera, I might pick the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, the Nikon D3400, or the Nikon P900. Of those, the Lumix has a one inch CMOS sensor, which is unusual for a bridge camera.
So, this post is not about cameras, it’s about doing video on the cheap. That means the cost is not just the camera, but the software to edit the video. I rarely shoot a video that I don’t have to edit. I think this is true of most (even) professional videographers. Note that I don’t place myself in that category. Rank amateur here.
I picked a camera that could use one of the two least common denominator video formats: mjpeg and raw. In the case of the S8600, the only thing it can do is mjpeg video in the 720p HD (1280×720) size. But, that’s fine for me, because my really, really, really
cheap inexpensive video editor is that way because it’s open source, and handles the free-and-open mjpeg format.
So, with the S8600, I really need the editor when I shoot indoor videos. It might be a tad insensitive indoors in low light. So, there are open source software packages that can save the day, and fix those low light videos.
On the next page, we’ll talk about using one of those open source packages to fix one of my low light dog videos …
The FujiFilm S8600 is a product of FujiFilm Corporation, and all respective trademarks belong to them. This author and site has not affiliation with them.