Question

filmmakeing

should i use a canon camera or a go pro for a documentary

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Answer
Re: camera

Try both and pick the one that gives the best results for your type of documentary.

The problem with your question: both makers have a lot of models. Surely the best canon is better than the worst gopro (without the space in the name!) and the best go pro probably is better than the worst canon. You can't compare makers, you have to compare models.

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to you

thing is i am on a small budget so wanted to know what would be more cost effect for best quality

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Then dismiss the GoPro for "quality"

It's barrel distortion seems acceptable for it's use but the distortion would not be something you want to see for documentaries. By default, other than GoPro.

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It depends also ...

on the subject. A documentary on the wildlife in the African savannah might need an other camera than a documentary about a Paris nightclub or a collection of jewelry.

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Answer
For docu work, neither.

Since you're posting in the camera forum, as opposed to the camcorder forum, I'm assuming you're referring to a hybrid photo/video camera from Canon. And as I've said a gazillion times before, the vast majority of people will be better off shooting video on a dedicated video camera. This is especially true for any type of run-and-gun/docu/event work because, at the very least, you will lose a ton of shots to focus issues and/or audio issues.

And keep in mind that I've been shooting video on hybrid photo/video cameras since the GH1 came out in 2009 (and currently shoot video with a Canon 70D and T4i). So if anything, you'd think I'd be biased toward theses types of cameras, but I'm advising you against them.

And the reason against a GoPro has already been pointed out.

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