best camera for music videos
Production & Filmmaking
November 25, 2021

Best Cameras and Essential Gear for Shooting Music Videos

By John Richter 8 min read


  • Your equipment doesn't have to be expensive; the most important thing is you can handle it professionally
  • The importance of lighting is not to be underestimated
  • Try out some new equipment to know which one will work best for you and your desired production

Shooting a music video is not just a creative process. Like in every industry, you need to have well-equipped soft skills and some good hard skills, like, for example, knowing your music video equipment. So what is the best camera for a music video? What are the best music video lights? Do I need to have the most expensive camera even though my artist has a smaller budget? Read on to find out!

The best camera for your music video

As always in life, you have to start somewhere, which usually is the beginning. Further along, we will talk about the best cameras for a music video in the different experience levels: beginner, intermediate and pro. To know which category is fitting for you, you will have to be honest with yourself. Do you have a lot of experience with music videography and music video equipment? The worst thing you could do is work with a music video setup that you don't feel comfortable with. 

So without further ado, let's start with the best beginner cameras for your music video.


panasonic gh5 is the best camera for music videos for beginners

For a beginner, I would highly recommend starting shooting with a Panasonic GH5 and a Sony A7III since both are in a lower price range, not surpassing 2,000 $. In addition, Both are very beginner-friendly, with autofocus, image stabilization and capable of shooting in 4K. As a big plus, both of them can shoot up to 120 fps in HD.  


sony a7siii

When you know your beginner music video equipment, you can feel free to move along to your intermediate music video camera equipment. For that, I would recommend the Sony a7sIII and the Canon C70. Both are easy to use, but as the price indicates, the footage quality is improved and on a higher level. They can shoot 4K up to 120 fps, and they also have a much better dynamic range, which means you will have more possibilities in your color grading. 


blackmagic 6k

Now let's move along to your professional music video cameras. In this final category, I am honored to present to you the Blackmagic 6K Pro and the RED Komodo. Both are advanced and widely known as cinema cameras because they do not have autofocus and IBIS. 

This may sound like a negative aspect, but let me tell you, it is a huge positive aspect. It forces you to learn to manually focus and stabilize your camera by yourself, giving your footage a natural and more professional look. 

The biggest advantages of the professional music video cameras are that they can shoot in 6K and RAW (BRAW for the Blackmagic), which gives you more flexibility and space for creativity in your post-production, like faster editing and precise color correction

The best music video lenses

canon zoom lens

Similar to the music video cameras, you also have a huge variety of music video lenses to choose from. If you want to shoot a run-and-gun music video, you should choose a 24-70mm F2.8 zoom lens, i.e., Sigma, Tamron or Canon, so you can be more versatile, faster and don't have to change your lens. 

If you want to conjure up clear, crisp music video footage and have a more shallow depth of field, I would strongly recommend prime lenses, for example, Zeiss Cine Primes, Leica R Primes or Sigma-FF High Speed. If you're planning on a tight budget, you can, of course, use any cheaper alternatives to the prime lenses I mentioned before. 

If you want to go for a professional cinematic look for your music video production, you should go ahead and put your trust in anamorphic lenses. My favorites are the Atlas Orion. However, if you are on a smaller budget, I would highly recommend the Vazen lenses.

Now let's proceed to my favorite lens: the Sigma Art 18-35 F1.8. This lens is always on my camera, as it is very versatile, sharp, and has gorgeous bokeh. 

Best music video lighting

Regarding music video lights, I stand by my all-time favorite Aputure lights. You can find different variations and price ranges in Aputure lights, and you can use them for most of your music video productions. You can pair them with a softbox, lantern or spotlight to create your desired look. Nanlite is another quality brand that offers great lighting gear.

If you're shooting your music video on the run and planning some dynamic footage, you could find a light tube helpful. Personally, I use a Yongnuo YN360 II for the simple reason that it is powered by batteries. Now, if you want to spice up your lighting and add some flavor to your music video, I would recommend the Falcon Eyes F7. Play around with strobe, police lights, flickering lights and a variety of different colors. The Falcon Eyes are handy, easy to transport and magnetic, so it is very useful for special music video lighting.

More music video camera equipment recommendations

I have to be honest with you and admit that I am a big fan of shooting my music videos handheld. But if I want to have smoother shots and create a calmer and steadier look, I automatically grab the Ronin-S gimbal. It's very useful if you want to create aesthetic shots to take your time to focus on the details.

gimbal is a great piece of equipment for music videos

If you don't want to incorporate movement into your music video shot but rather want to focus on a still shot and work on your planned details, may it be your design or the artist, I would highly recommend the Manfrotto tripods. As with the Aputure lights, the decision on the best tripod for you depends on your needs. In this case, you need to know how heavy your camera rig is.

Music video accessories

After we worked ourselves through the most important topics of your music video equipment, let's proceed to some more useful music video accessories.


For example, if you don't want to spend money on renting a haze machine or working on a budget, I recommend buying a cheap party haze machine off of Amazon. Just use it as instructed and waft it away to create the haze you want.

Black curtain

curtains are great equipment for music videos

Another music video accessory that should be in your possession is a stage curtain - a huge heavy dark blanket to cover up light sources or dim the light. You can also get creative and use it to create an interesting scene.


Going back to the lighting department, don't underestimate the importance of a reflector. Bounce the light off of it with either side and create the illusion of sunlight or even a ray of sunshine. Before heading into the shooting day, take your time to figure out how to properly use your reflector.


Play around with filters as well. To create the gloomy Hollywood atmosphere, invest in a Black Pro-Mist filter.

Don't forget gaffer tape!

But the most important and most essential tip I have to give you is to always have gaffer tape on you. There are countless situations where you will need it, so just give me the benefit of the doubt and trust me on this one. 

Wrap up

In the end, remember that the equipment is not the most important thing - it's what you do with it. Just find the music video equipment you feel comfortable with and go get creative with it.


About John

John Richter is a directing DP and editor based in Berlin. His main work focuses on music videos and commercials. He has worked with many well-known artists and brands all over the world. Whenever he travels, he brings along his camera to film stock footage for Artgrid.

Feel free to check out his website: or his Instagram.

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