7 Different Types of Video Cameras and Their Uses


What type of video cameras you should buy depends on what you’re going to use yours for. In discussing video cameras, one can quickly realize a vast range of cameras available. You can easily overspend or end up with a camera that doesn’t quite do what you need from it.

Here is a guide into the different types of video cameras:

Type #1: DSLR Video Cameras

DSLR video cameras are one of the most popular types of video cameras available. They’re used by YouTubers and social media personalities to film content and provide an enhanced image. A digital single-lens reflex camera, or DSLR, offers interchangeable lenses, which is an advantage.

An optical viewfinder will show you the image or video as you’re shooting. Many advanced technologies make this one of the more user-friendly digital cameras for professional-grade video. The only downside is that they can get expensive, so you may want to try using them with a video camera rental first.

Type #2: Mirrorless Video Cameras

A mirrorless video camera is lighter and thinner than a DSLR. If you are a beginner, a mirrorless camera is a great tool to start with. They are designed to be user-friendly, simple, and portable cameras. They capture extremely high-quality video and have an autofocus system, prioritizing the capture of fast-moving objects.

Like a DSLR, mirrorless video cameras have interchangeable lenses. The drawback to mirrorless cameras is that they are expensive. Although they can present challenges whenever lighting is difficult, those who shell out the cost are versatile.

Type #3: Point-And-Shoot Video Cameras

This is your very basic, compact video camera that does exactly what it says – you point and shoot. It’s among the smallest pro-grade video cameras you can have and is cheap compared to the DSLR and other video cameras. They have plenty of features, a la zoom, a rudimentary auto-focus feature, manual exposure changes, and a live preview.

They are not as advanced as more expensive cameras. The quality of a capture is slightly different, and there are limitations on what you can capture. That said, you can still film in 1080p and even 4K, and the smaller size makes this type of video camera a great starting point for people learning about filming.

Type #4: Professional-Grade Film Cameras

Professional-grade film cameras are a very broad category. In short, they’re used for making films and videography as a career. These can get very expensive and are bulky to operate for inexperienced filmmakers but what you get are image sensors, processors, lenses, ISO and aperture ranges, and all sorts of features that other cameras don’t carry.

For most people, the thousands and thousands of dollars they’d have to shell out for such a camera is not worth it. If someone has had a DSLR camera for a fair bit of time, though and is making money professionally shooting video, this is the category they’ll want to consider an upgrade to.

Type #5: Sports and Action Video Cameras

Sports video cameras, aka sports and action, are designed to capture fast movement and activity. They’re portable and meant to be handheld. Some are POV-style, a la GoPro. These cameras focus greatly on image stabilization features and maintaining clarity when the activity captured on-screen is uneven.

These types of video cameras can be combined with various harnesses, mounts, and attachments. You can shoot video creatively that aren’t always possible with other models. The downside to these is that their audio capture is frequently lacking.

Type #6: 360-Degree Video Cameras

In motion capture and stabilization, a 360-degree video camera is designed similarly to sports and action cameras. They are often water-resistant and can be mounted on several surfaces. A 360-degree video camera specializes in capturing footage from a 360-degree perspective using back-to-back lenses.

If you enjoy doing adventure photography or travel photography, capturing landscapes and wide-lens style images, this may be a type of specialty camera to consider. You get a realistic 360-degree view of what’s in front of you with it. The downside is that 360-degree video cameras don’t carry a lot of other features and aren’t appropriate for most situations outside of that mentioned.

Type #7: Digital Camcorders

Most of us grew up thinking a video camera was a digital camcorder. These are singularly designed to be inexpensive, versatile, and flexible, used predominantly for personal video-making rather than anything professional. These don’t even come close to a DSLR or professional video cameras.

Suppose you are looking for a camera for family and friends, a camcorder works. This is an outdated type of video camera. As convenient and affordable as it is, you aren’t going to get the professional quality video that someone wants if they’re shooting anything other than personal videos for themselves.

Dean is a self-professed tech geek with a fondness for computers, video games, and any novelty tech-savvy gadgets.