The influx and availability of digital video cameras over the past 15 years has been a great boon for amateur videographers, but can also be confusing and overwhelming for someone in the market for a camera.

The type of camera best suited for you is dependent upon your organization’s individual needs. The top of the line, expensive camera might be appealing to your gadget geek side, but may not be suitable for the rough and tumble of summer camp. Here is a quick guide to a few camera types.

- Small cameras like the Flip or the Sportcam are very portable and produce a good picture. They are also inexpensive and fairly study. Some models are even waterproof. These are a great option if you have various members of your staff pass them around to get footage through the day. These are probably the ideal for most camp situations. Their shortcomings include the overall picture quality (OK for computer screens but nothing great on a widescreen TV), little freedom to play with aperture settings (the shutter, which allows a certain amount of light in) or focus. Since they are so small and there is not much of a support system for filming, the image can be very shaky in the wrong hands. Overall, a good camera for most camps and not bad on a tight budget.

- Consumer video cameras or handhelds normally go for a few hundred dollars up to almost a thousand. Picture-wise they produce a much superior image to the Flip cam style cameras, typically shooting up to full 1080P HD which is the Blu-Ray standard. A heavier body will allow more support and less image shaking. Like the smaller cameras, most will not let you control things manually (focus and light). A good option if you have a specific videographer on staff who will shoot content during the summer.

- At the top are so-called “prosumer” cameras, usually priced into the thousands of dollars. These cameras allow total control of focus and light. Most cameras of this type normally start at about $2500 and can go up to $5000. Examples include the Canon XL-2 or the Panasonic AF-100. These are cameras for true enthusiasts, providing an excellent picture and the freedom to create stylized shots. Most camps will not find much use for this type of camera, unless you have a person on staff with a very specific skillset.

Regardless of your camera choice, we encourage all camps to look into purchasing one and engaging in creating video content for your past campers. Nothing produces faster registrations than stirring up great memories from the previous summer!

Article courtesy of Summergy Media, the camp industry's leading production company specializing in promotional videos for summer camps.

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