Whether you find yourself in one of the expansive convention centers in Long Beach, Los Angeles, or Anaheim, or in one of the gargantuan convention spaces in Las Vegas, the right gear is crucial to getting the best end product. You’ll most likely find yourself focusing on a few staples of convention/trade shows, depending on the client. So what are the three best cameras we would recommend for filming conventions?
If you’re shooting with an exhibitor/vendor who has a booth and reps there, you’ll most likely be filming their booth, showing off how amazing and unique it is, spotlighting any new products and cool demonstrations they have, filming any special guests, and helping to create online marketing content. You’ll no doubt be interviewing sales associates, managers, and various other company employees; you’ll also be trying to get man-on-the-street style interviews and soundbites with attendees. With this kind of shoot, you’re more likely to be able to have a “base of operations”, so you don’t have to be so run-and-gun with your gear. Here, I’d recommend the Canon C300 Mark II, you have the ability to shoot all the way up to true-4K, for a really beautiful, functional image. While carrying multiple lenses can be cumbersome, the quality of glass, functionality, and variety will really expand your creativity and range. This is an exceptional camera that provides versatility, functionality, and world-class imagery.
Let’s say you find yourself shooting for a client that may be exhibiting, or maybe they’re from a trade publication of sorts, and your mission is to get general coverage of the show, and to interview and showcase other companies that may be friends and associates. The name of the game at that point is: RUN AND GUN! You need to be mobile, light weight, and all encompassing. If you’ve ever been to Times Square, Disneyland in the summer, or any Starbucks when I’m running late to work, you’ll have an idea of what it’s like at shows such as CES, SEMA, and NAB. Despite science, you have less space to exist in than the area your mass occupies. So, add a camera and hopefully tripod to that, and… well… godspeed. Here, I’d recommend the trusty Sony PMW300. As long as you don’t need to shoot 4K, you’ll get a great 1920×1080 image that’ll look great online, and is easy to work with in post. The camera isn’t heavy, it’s menu is easy to navigate, and the best part, you have a zoom lens and servo. This camera does have a small plate that extends to give you a bit of a shoulder mount, but it’s recommended to have a compact tripod or proper hand held rig.
Lastly: maybe you’re a lone-wolf. Let’s say you have a blog about something great, and Trade-Show X comes into town, and you just have to go check it out, and get some great video coverage. You don’t want to lug around a big camera, you don’t want to spend all your beer money on gear, and you really only need some highlights. Here, I have three, low-cost, light weight, compact options that’ll do the trick. The Canon 5D Mark II or Sony a7S with a good zoom lens would do great for video and photos! You can also opt for the DJI Osmo which will give you a great, HD image, smooth moves, and won’t get you chased out by grumpy exhibitors, because you’ll look like every other attendee.
There you have it, the best of the best. If you have an upcoming shoot, reach out to the fellas over at f11 Rentals, and they’ll get you set up with the perfect gear for your upcoming shoot. Or, if you’d prefer to have us take care of your Las Vegas video production or Long Beach video production, we’re glad to help too!