This is a guide covering the best cameras for filmmaking.
In this all-new guide you’ll learn about:
- Best overall camera for filmmaking.
- Best budget cameras for filmmaking.
- Pros and cons
- Important features
- And more
Let’s dive in.
10 Best Cameras for Filmmaking
Click/tap on each camera name to jump to that section. At the end of each section, there is also a link to jump back to this table to make it easy for you!
In a hurry? Check out our top pick!
The availability of consumer-friendly cameras made it possible for almost anyone to shoot films and other types of video content.
For this list, we’ll cover the popular cameras among vloggers, wedding videographers, film students, and more.
If you’re after the best camera for filmmaking, the first thing that you need to consider is its ability to shoot high-quality videos.
Does 1080p still fit most people’s needs these days? Unfortunately, professional filmmakers consider 4K as the standard resolution for filmmaking.
But on some occasions, full HD can still be a good choice.
Good thing is that there are a lot of 4K camera options nowadays. There are mirrorless and DSLR cameras to choose from.
How Does a Camera for Filmmaking Differ From a Camera for Photography?
How does a filmmaking camera differ from a photography camera? For starters, photographers are only concerned with the camera’s ability to produce stunning photos.
It means that cameras for photography should have great resolution and produce vibrant photos.
Plus perhaps an in-body stabilization feature comes in handy for those who don’t have a tripod.
On the other hand, cameras for filmmaking require so much more. It should have good video and audio capability.
Next, it should have the ability to record ideally not just for a few minutes.
|1. Canon DSLR Camera [EOS 90D] |
|– 4K resolution|
– Picks up audio well
– Flippable touchscreen
|2. Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera |
BEST BUDGET CAMERA
|– Tiltable LCD|
– Shoots 4k videos in 24/30fps
– Lightweight perfect for traveling
With mic port
|3. Panasonic LUMIX G100 ||– Captures sounds in multiple directions|
With tiltable screen
– Ratio perfect for shooting videos for YouTube and Instagram
|4. Nikon D7500 20.9MP DX-Format 4K Ultra HD DSLR Digital Camera ||– Great for both photos and videos|
– Easy to use even in a low-light scenario
– Ergonomic design
– With microphone jack and headphone jack
|5. Nikon Z50 Compact Mirrorless Digital Camera ||– Can transfer files wirelessly|
– Compact design
– With LCD that can flip for selfies
– 4K videos
– 1080p for slow-mo
|6. Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera ||– Great image quality|
– Can shoot in 4K and 1080p for slow-mo
– Compact design
|7. Panasonic LUMIX GX85 4K Digital Camera ||– Ergonomic design|
– Shoots in 4K with no recording limit
|8. Sony A7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera ||– Lightweight and compact design|
– With 5-axis stabilization
– Tilting LCD
– Shoots in 4K
|9. Panasonic X2000 4K Professional Camcorder ||– Great for live streaming|
– With in-body stabilization
– Double SD card slots
|10. Canon XA40 Professional Video Camcorder ||– Eyepiece tilts |
– With in-body 5 axis stabilization feature
What is the Overall Best Camera for Filmmaking?
1. Canon DSLR Camera [EOS 90D]
The Canon DSLR EOS 90D is a favorite among videographers.
A lot of professional photographers transitioning towards videography love this camera because of its 4K resolution.
But if you’ll look closer, there are a lot of things to love about the EOS 90D.
It’s a highly versatile pick for YouTube content makers, wedding videographers, and photographers.
Though it’s not on top of the list for the best camera for filmmaking on a budget, it offers a variety of features that will make professional videographers happy.
For one, it has a 4K UHD 30P resolution. It is also capable of shooting in full HD 120p. However, it isn’t as steady when shooting handheld videos.
To get the best results, you should use a gimbal whenever you are using the EOS90D.
For the majority of video content creators, its ability to shoot 4K with no crop makes it the perfect camera for shooting films.
Plus, it comes with a touchscreen that flips making it easy to navigate the camera’s settings.
It also picks up audio well. It comes with a microphone and a headphone socket giving you the option to add accessories when shooting videos.
Unfortunately, if you’re a hardcore videographer, you might find the 4K video output a bit too soft. Plus, it comes with no AF for 1080/120P.
2. Sony Alpha A6400 Mirrorless Camera
If you’re not after the best DSLR for filmmaking, then perhaps, you’d want to consider the Sony Alpha A6400 Mirrorless Camera.
This camera is a 20.1MP camera and is known to provide great results in photography. But other than that, it is also a great choice for shooting videos whether it’s a student film, a vlog, or other YouTube content.
It can shoot 4K videos at 24/30fps and the video doesn’t disappoint.
Plus, it has a tiltable LCD screen making it easier to compose the frame if you’re the only one and you need to shoot a video of yourself.
It is also a perfect camera for travel given its small size.
Unfortunately, it lacks a headphone jack.
On the other hand, you get a mic port. Shooting videos is easy with the A6400 but checking the audio status of the video seems to be problematic.
Another issue that you might not like about this unit is that it only supports UHS-1 speeds. It means that you won’t get to maximize your newer SD card.
3. Panasonic LUMIX G100
The Panasonic Lumix G100 camera is a micro four-thirds camera that can take 4K videos. It’s a lightweight choice for a lot of people who don’t want to be carrying bulky gear with them.
When shooting 4K videos, it can take up to 30p while it can give you slow and quick options if you opt to use the full HD mode.
This camera comes with features that you’ll typically see on high-end video cameras. This alone makes it a top choice for the best camera for filmmaking.
For instance, you get an 8-bit variant of the V-Log L gamma curve plus and on-screen VU audio meters that can help users adjust the volume levels.
Some consider it the best camera for filming YouTube videos.
You get a 1:1 and a 9:16 ratio making sure that you can shoot content for YouTube plus you can also post via Instagram since the subject will be in the best region when cropped by the platform.
You also get three microphones allowing the camera to capture sounds in multiple directions.
However, the most frustrating part of using the Lumix G100 is the fact that it doesn’t have a headphone input.
This means that you’d have to upload everything before you can check the audio quality of your video.
4. Nikon D7500 20.9MP DX-Format 4K Ultra HD DSLR Digital Camera
The Nikon D7500 could fit the description of the best DSLR for filmmaking given its specs.
Aside from the fact that it’s a great 4K camera for filmmaking, this is also a top choice for photography. It comes with a 20.9 MP resolution giving users crisp and cool photos.
This comes with easy-to-use features. It is equipped with a 3.2″ touchscreen LCD that you can also tilt making it easier to frame your shots whether you are shooting photos or videos.
It comes with an ISO range of 100 to 51,200 which is enough for most users. However, it can still be expanded up to 1,640,00 similar to the D500.
When shooting videos, you can also use an external microphone to get clearer audio. And when it is time to review the video that you were able to take, you can use your headphones too.
If you are looking for two-in-one, photo and video equipment, then this is a good choice. As far as video is concerned, it is potentially the best camera for filmmaking.
One thing that you might not like is the single card slot. Plus, touchscreen functionality might not be as smooth compared to Canon’s DSLRs.
5. Nikon Z50 Compact Mirrorless Digital Camera
The Nikon Z50 is a favorite among vloggers. It is a compact camera that comes with a selfie LCD.
Here, you’ll have an easier time doing selfies and shooting on your own. It comes with a 20.9MP sensor that can produce stunning photos.
Plus, it also comes with 4K UHD video features. You can shoot regular videos or even do a time-lapse in 4K.
Aside from shooting in 4K, you can also shoot in slow-mo in full HD.
This makes use of Nikkor Z lenses and is also compatible with F mount if you have an FTZ mount adapter. Plus, users can transfer their files via Bluetooth or WiFi.
Even if it comes with great features and a great compact design, it comes with a few problems such as having a battery that drains fast and just a single SD card slot.
6. Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera
The Canon EOS M50 is a compact choice for those who prefer to use Canon cameras in their filmmaking endeavors.
Is it the best camera for filmmaking? In some instances, probably yes.
It is a favorite among photographers considering its powerful 24.1MP CMOS sensor. But for filmmakers, the 4K UHD and its ability to shoot full HD in slow motion are things that make it a serious contender.
It comes with wireless capabilities, with a decent display. However, you have to also anticipate the cropped results when using its 4K feature.
But overall, it’s great for shooting short stills. Then, you also have to deal with the limited lens options on the market for the M50.
7. Panasonic LUMIX GX85 4K Digital Camera
Panasonic Lumix GX85 is a top choice for a lot of users who are used to having a micro four-thirds camera with them.
This comes with a 16MP resolution and a dual image stabilization feature that works wonders for both taking photos and videos.
Even if it gives an average performance in taking photos, it comes with 4K video capability. You can even shoot even in low-light scenarios.
Ergonomics-wise, this camera outshines a lot of the other mirrorless cameras. It has the front and rear control dials, a dedicated button for changing the ISO, and AF mode buttons.
But what makes it a top choice for the best camera for filmmaking is the fact that you don’t have to worry about the recording limit when shooting in 4K.
The only thing that users might struggle with is the fact that it couldn’t track subjects well at 30 fps.
But overall, it is a good choice not only for hobbyists but even for serious content creators.
8. Sony A7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
The Sony A7 III might be a bit pricey for a camera, but it is something that serious filmmakers can consider as a good choice for their craft.
It produces one of the best video outputs compared to other mirrorless cameras on the market. This camera comes with 5-axis stabilization that helps with shaky hands.
Compared with DSLRs, the A7 III has a more compact look. Also, it comes with a tilting LCD making it easier when shooting videos.
But what makes it stand out is the fact that it comes with dual SD slots. It means no need to worry that you will need to switch cards in the middle of your session.
The biggest flaw will be the buffering time needed for you to start the video.
9. Panasonic X2000 4K Professional Camcorder
Not everyone prefers micro four-thirds and DSLR cameras whenever they are shooting their video content.
There are instances when individuals prefer a camcorder when creating video content. This is capable of so much more than just taking videos.
It comes in handy for live streaming. Plus, it also has a built-in LED for additional lighting and doubles SD card slots for long video sessions.
This camcorder is lightweight and comes with a heat dispersing design. It can also record 4K videos at 60P.
It has a wide-angle 25mm lens with 24x optical zoom and a 5-axis hybrid optical stabilization feature.
The only thing that you might not like about the X2000 camcorder is the small chip sensor that doesn’t do well in low-light situations.
You might find the results a bit grainy or with weird discoloration.
10. Canon XA40 Professional Video Camcorder
The Canon XA40 is a video camcorder capable of capturing 4K videos (30p).
This comes with a 20x optical zoom lens giving you the chance to capture the subject even from afar.
The XA40 has a 3-inch LCD that is by far handy when navigating the settings in the camera.
However, viewing the video via the LCD is not the most pleasant thing.
The colors are not accurate, making it a bit frustrating.
On the other hand, this comes with an image stabilization feature that prevents shaky results. The audio is also decent with its built-in stereo.
The eyepiece also tilts at 45 degrees making it easy to use. However, if you’re wearing glasses, then the eyepiece is just useless.
Hope you enjoyed this buyer’s guide on the best cameras for filmmaking.
Some of these cameras can be a great choice not only for novice users but even for pros. Be sure to compare at least three cameras we’ve mentioned.
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Nate Joaquin Torres is an entrepreneur, growth marketer, and photographer. Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively.