Looking for the Best Camera for Filmmaking in 2021? Your search ends right here.
The cinematic movie industry thrives on great cinematography and splendid visuals. As a filmmaker, you cannot afford to miss out the equipment that helps in bringing your imagination alive. In this regard, purchasing proper cameras for filmmaking is crucial if you want to arrive at the best result.
Whether you’re looking to take your first steps into filmmaking with the best professional DSLR cameras, or you’re more experienced and looking for something even higher quality than a DSLR, there’s the perfect camera here for you.
We’ve researched all the latest camera models for filmmaking on the market so that we can provide unbiased reviews of each one to help you find your next camera solution.
Best Cameras for Filmmaking, Wedding or Event Shooting in 2021
1. Panasonic LUMIX G85 – Overall Best for Every Type of Filmmaking
- 16MP photo sensor for detailed images
- Compact and lightweight but powerful
- Tiltable 3-inch LCD touchscreen
- UHD 4K Video Recording at 30/24 fps
- Live MOS Sensor
- Swivel Screen, Touchscreen Display
- DFD AF System
Panasonic has announced the Lumix G85, an update to 2014’s excellent Lumix G7. The big news is that Panasonic didn’t mess with what was arguably one of its best cameras in years—instead it focused on maximizing its performance and versatility while minimizing complexity. It’s like Panasonic has taken a page from Sony’s “if it ain’t broke” playbook.
Panasonic’s LUMIX G85 offers a modern hybrid photography experience with the advantages of photographic and video flexibility found only in interchangeable lens cameras. This 16-megapixel camera combines that performance with DSLR handling and ergonomics, making it an extremely versatile option for any photographer looking to take their imaging skills to the next level.
When you’re ready to unleash your creativity all the pieces come together: Olympus lenses mount securely; external controls give fast access to essential settings; and pro-grade weather resistance assures worry-free use under virtually every condition.
The LUMIX G85 also shoots stunning images and 4K (3840×2160) video at four times (4X) the resolution of Full HD – or as we like to call it, 4K Ultra HD. The 16×9 aspect ratio provides all the viewing space you need when composing images in the electronic viewfinder or on the LCD screen, until your eyes are ready to see more – then a simple touch transforms that image into 4K Ultra HD.
The LUMIX G85 is able to record stunning UHD video in both Cinema 4k (4096 x 2160) and QFHD 4k (3840 x 2160). Additionally, high resolution photo bursts up to 6 fps are available when recording video or shooting in single shot mode. You can also save full resolution photos while recording video so you will never miss an epic moment again.
Panasonic has created a camera that is perfect for anyone who wants to capture their memories, whether it’s on the go or in studio. The LUMIX G85 comes with features like 4K video recording and 5-axis image stabilization which can help you get high quality shots without any blurriness. Plus, this device also comes with Snapshot mode so you don’t have to stop what your doing just take photos. It’s time to upgrade your photography game!
2. Canon 5D Mark III – Best DSLR for Journalists and Event Shooters
- 22MP sensor with double the resolution of previous DSLR cameras
- ISO settings go up to 25600, making it easy to find a balance between noise and detail in low light
- Shoot at 6 frames per second and never miss a moment again
- 61 point AF system for accurate and fast focusing
- 6-point intersection data enables you to track any subject smoothly.
- 100% viewfinder coverage so you can shoot from any angle or perspective – no cropping required
The EOS 5D Mark III is the ideal DSLR for wedding photographers, photojournalists, event shooters and anyone looking for a professional-quality full frame DSLR. With its high ISO range of up to 25600, 61-point AF system with 41 cross-type points, built-in HDR capabilities and advanced movie mode with manual exposure control, it’s ready for any situation. The EOS 5D Mark III has an impressive 22.3 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor that can be expanded up to 50.
What this camera offers is the perfect mix of high-resolution still images and professional video at an affordable price. The 5D Mark III offers full HD video in either 60 or 30 fps in three different compression levels, along with manual audio control with 64 levels. The ISO range is 100 – 25600 when recording video (and the expanded options go up to 102,800) That’s more than enough for low light shooting when paired with Canon’s wide array of lenses that allow for maximum shutter speed.
Also Read: Best Canon Cameras for Landscape Photography.
The default storage option on the EOS 5D Mark III is CF cards; you can set it up to use two types of SD cards instead if you prefer, but they aren’t able to shoot quite as fast. It also makes the camera a little bit smaller if you don’t need the high-speed storage option. The 5D Mark III also features two channels of audio recording allowing for more control over your sound.
This camera is perfect for amateur photographers who are looking to make the transition from point and shoot cameras to something with slightly more features, but it’s still easy enough to use that anyone can pick it up and learn quickly without too much effort. Users have reported having no problems shooting in low light situations, even when not using flash. The design of the camera has been compared to being similar to holding a piece of beef jerky – that is, by no means ergonomically designed. If you’re looking for something small and light weight this may not be right choice for you.
3. GoPro HERO9 Black – Best Filmmaking Camera for Beginners
- 23.6MP sensor
- 5K30 video & 20MP photos
- Live view front display/rear touchscreen
- Webcam mode and 1080p live streaming
- HyperSmooth 3.0 image stabilization technology
- View your shots instantly on a stunning display
- Improve video quality with software tools (Protune)
- Experience smoother, more stable footage (HyperSmooth 3.0)
GoPro HERO9 Black is GoPro’s newest action camera. The GoPro HERO9 Black can shoot in ultra high definition, with fantastic stabilization and simple controls.
The new flagship GoPro captures immersive 5K videos with stunning detail, low-light performance and high frame rates for incredible new perspectives about adventure, exploration and creativity.
The launch of HERO9 is accompanied by a host of features that make it more powerful than ever, including live streaming at 1080p60 with 2x more stability compared to its predecessor*, making it easier than ever to share amazing moments as they happen in real time via social media.
HERO9 also boasts new HyperSmooth stabilization technology so you can capture amazingly smooth video handheld or mounted to your gear — whether you’re on a bike weaving through city traffic or skimming over water on an aerial adventure. HERO9 also has SuperPhoto, intelligent scene recognition technology that knows when to optimize camera settings for the best possible photo.
The HERO9 Black is a high-end action camera with top of the line features. It has hyperlapse stabilization, GPS tracking, live streaming capabilities, voice control, an optional touchscreen on the back as well as a tap screen on the front LCD display.
The GoPro HERO9 is a camera that can go anywhere, and capture any moment. It’s perfect for the adventurer in all of us! Along with its rugged design and waterproof housing, it also has voice control so you never miss capturing your next adventure. Whether you’re looking to document your travels or just want an action cam to take on hikes with friends, this product will be sure to please.
4. Sony Alpha a7 III – A Mirrorless Camera for Professional Filmaking
- 24MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
- 693-Point Hybrid AF System
- 2.36m-Dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF
- 3″ 922k Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
- Be able to shoot low light scenes without worrying about grainy or blurry images
- Capture high quality video footage in UHD 4K 30p and HLG/S-Log3 gamma modes for cinematic grade production value at home
The world’s most advanced full-frame mirrorless camera (Sony a7 III) with the ultimate in AF and image processing and 4K movie recording.
Developed by Sony in response to overwhelming market demand for a powerful, versatile full-frame camera ready to capture movies and stills in any light. The new flagship of Sony’s acclaimed mirrorless line delivers superlative image quality, blazing fast autofocus and extreme speed — up to 10fps — simple connectivity and enormous dynamic range across a wide ISO range.
The a7 III, offers an impressive balance of performance, connectivity and affordability. The 24.2Mp CMOS sensor is capable of 693 phase detection AF points with 425 contrast AF points for excellent subject tracking across the frame. It has low noise ISO up to 51k which is ideal for landscapes or documentary work without any noise reduction in post processing.
The dynamic range allows you to shoot at higher exposure values or larger aperture settings so it captures all the intricate details in your images without any clipping on highlights or shadows while retaining vivid colors thanks to 14 bit uncompressed RAW support via built-in USB connector.
Assist your workflow using ACROS Film Simulation, which can be previewed on the LCD screen prior to shooting — all from within the familiar exposure parameters of our customisable menu system.
Also read: Best Cameras for Travel Vlogging in 2021
The most capable and adaptable mirrorless system camera to date, the a7 III is designed for photo and video shooting across all genres. Compatibility with existing E-mount lenses expands your creative options while new lens design innovations promise even greater richness of expression.
Sony has done it again with the a7 III. With an interchangeable lens system and new features, this camera is perfect for any enthusiast photographer who wants to take their photography skills to the next level without breaking the bank! The a7 III takes everything we loved about our favorite cameras from before and amplifies them-improving on what many photographers already know they love in addition to adding some brand new features that will help you be more creative than ever before.
It’s hard not to fall in love with this camera given its low price point and all of the amazing features it offers; don’t wait another second if you want one of these beauties as your own!
5. Canon EOS R – Best Camera for Filming 4K Videos
- 30MP full-frame sensor
- Dual Pixel autofocus for a more reliable and accurate performance
- Fully articulated rear LCD screen so you never have to worry about the viewfinder being blocked again
- Autofocus rated down to -6EV with F1.2 lens, bringing its capabilities closer to mirrorless cameras
- Up to 8 fps shooting (5 fps with continuous AF, 3 fps ‘Tracking Priority mode’)
The Canon EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera was announced in 2018. The newly developed RF mount has 30 million lens contacts for compatibility with over 100 EF lenses and future RF lenses. It can shoot 4K videos at 24p – 60p with an ALL-I codec, or 4K videos at 24p – 30 p with IPB compression.
The Canon EOS R is a 30.3-megapixel full frame mirrorless camera with 4K at 30P and an optional electronic viewfinder. It has Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 5,655 manually selectable AF points and a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 second. The Canon EOS R includes built in wi-fi and bluetooth as well as USB 3.1 transfer speeds, but has no global PSAF (no on sensor Phase Detection AutoFocus). Instead, it uses what it calls ‘Dual Pixel CMOS’ auto focus, which is the first linear phase detection auto focus system for any DSLR or Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras using conventional sensors since Minolta used it on their Maxxum 7000 SLR camera.
Sony made a full frame mirrorless back in 2006, but the A900 was so large and heavy it had gained no traction among either hobbyists or professionals. The first Canon mirrorless was the EOS M released 18 months ago, and while we liked it we felt that we wanted more from our 1Ds and 5D cameras and wondered if Canon could manage to make one that would be as versatile as those other professional cameras? Though they failed to deliver one this time around with the Canon EOS R, what they did make is still very interesting for those who want smaller camera bodies.
Love Canon Cameras? See our pickcs from Canon Camera for Professional Photography.
The EOS R body has all metal construction along with weather sealing around the buttons and dials. They placed the shutter button where we like it and Canon has done well with what used to be a very cheap looking tilting screen, now made much better by adding touch capability as well as flipping around for selfies or vlogging (video blogging). There is also a nice grip on the front. To make it easy to hold, there is an added rubberized hand grip on the front and back of the camera (The rubberized material looks like its borrowed from their video cameras) The lens mount has been completely redesigned from past models and is all electronic so no ‘pins’ are required for AF.
Overall, the Canon EOS R could be the camera that takes the company back into contention with Sony and Nikon, who hold many of the high-end mirrorless market shares. The EOS R is not without its flaws but it does offer an interesting option to those looking for a full frame system at a more affordable price than the 1D X Mark II.
6. Fujifilm X-T30 – Best for filmmaking in low light
- Compact, lightweight camera with a large sensor for professional quality
- New X-Processors enables 4K video at 30 fps
- Built in WiFi and Bluetooth to easily transfer files wirelessly or upload content to social media for instant feedback
- Provides both an electronic viewfinder and touchscreen LCD screen for versatile shooting positions
The new Fuji X-T30 is the fourth generation in the line of X series compact interchangeable lens system digital cameras, coming less than a year after its predecessor, the much-loved Fuji X-T20. It replaces the last remaining APS-C camera in FUJIFILM’s lineup before moving up to full frame with the upcoming Fujifilm X-H1. Most importantly though, this model offers an even more affordable entry point into
The main modification in this camera is that it has dropped to 24MP sensor without losing any dynamic range or low light performance. You can now shoot up to ISO40,000 before noise reduction. This new low light performance has greatly improved the camera’s capability to be used for indoor events or at night with out the need of a flash.
The 24.3MP sensor is APS-C sized made by Sony with its back illuminated design (BSI) and X-Processor 4 quad core CPU, so it’s an upgrade for sure. The new processor gives faster shutter speeds, continuous shooting up to 8fps, video recording capabilities in 4K UHD, AE Bracketing shots up to 9 frames each +/- 3 EV stops. It can also shoot 1080P videos @60p instead of just 30p from previous models and slow motion footage at 120fps or 240fps in Full HD quality.
You also get the ACROS film simulation that you don’t find in any other Fujifilm camera, which is one of my favorite. This new processor also allows the X-T30 to shoot 30 RAW images when in burst mode instead of 10 like previous cameras.
The XT-T30 has a variety of control dials atop the camera instead of just being equipped with an electronic viewfinder or LCD screen on the top giving it a very traditional feel for seasoned shooters. It still sports its 3″ tilting touchscreen so you can compose your shots from different angles up to 90° upwards and 40° downwards just by twisting the rear monitor to where ever you are shooting from.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is the perfect camera for any photographer who wants a simple, high quality photo. It’s not too bulky and has plenty of great features that you will want to use as soon as your purchase it! If you’re in the market for a new camera, don’t miss out on this opportunity.
1. Best for Filmmakers: Canon 5D Mark IV
- DCI 4K video at 30 fps.
- Dual-pixel CMOS autofocusing with Movie-Servo AF.
- 61-point High Density reticular autofocusing system.
- Native ISO goes up to 32000.
- 3.2-inch touchscreen with touch to focus functionality.
- Internal 4K footages at 4:2:2 sampling rate with 8-bit color.
Brand new 5D Mark III cameras are no longer available, and that is why I recommend the 5D Mark IV instead. The 5D Mark IV still has all the great features, plus some improvements.
The biggest advantage of the camera is its sheer number of lens options. The OEM line and third-party brands both offer a great range of lenses compatible with the EF mount. Most of the OEM ones are also image stabilized, but many third-party lenses aren’t.
The negative feature of this camera is that it lacks built-in image stabilization. Therefore, you should always use a stabilization rig for handheld shots, such as a Flycam or a gimbal stabilizer.
2. Best Filmmaking Camera Under $1000: Sony A6600
- Sensor and processor combine to produce Sony’s 4D Focus.
- 425-point phase-detection autofocusing.
- 5-axis SteadyShot Image stabilization system.
- Magnesium alloy construction (weather-resistant).
- S-Log2 Gamma Curve.
- Enhanced Zebra function.
Having ever looked for a mini video powerhouse, you can stop looking right here because a6600 delivers.
It’s great that Sony has provided such great digital cameras. You get a lot for your money and they are easy to use.
Sony launched its new a6600 compact all-around camera a few months ago. If you don’t need the extra features, then the a6400 is just what you should get and use the extra money on lenses. Otherwise, I’d recommend a new a6500 if you are looking to save about US$300.
The a6600 is different from the a6400 for a few important reasons. One of them being the 5 axis image stabilization. This is a valuable feature for hand-held photography.
S-Log2, and S-Log3 Gamma Curves borrowed from advanced Sony cine cameras will be loved by those who wish to experience the advanced features of Sony’s cameras. In addition, the a6600 also supports Hybrid Log-Gamma. Its effective dynamic range on a6600 is 14-stops.
With the Zebra functionality on the a6600, for natural highlights, it gives you a great deal of control. Zebra functions existed on the a6400 too, but now it’s much improved.
3. Lightest Budget Camera for 4K Video Creation: Canon EOS M50
- UHD/4K video recording at 24p.
- Full HD video recording at 60p.
- Dual Pixel CMOS autofocusing
- Movie-Servo Autofocusing
- Eye Detect and Face Detection autofocusing
- 5-axis image stabilization
Its price is a bit higher than the Sony a6600, but it’s a lighter camera in terms of weight. the weighs just under 600 grams, sans lens, with the battery and memory card, and fits in a small pocket.
It is in fact a simpler camera to work with. It does not have a Zebra highlights warning, either. The M50 Mark II provides a great value for money for the money.
It has built-in 5-axis stabilization, so you’ll be able to take long-exposure images hand-held with this camera.
4K/UHD can provide a frame rate of up to 24p, which means that you may not be able to produce B-rolls in slow motion.
It has Canon’s dual-pixel CMOS autofocus. It’s pretty much the same as the cameras used by popular vloggers. Autofocus performance is good. Eye-tracking is wonderful, and it will help you stay in focus as you talk to the camera.
4. Best Budget Camera for Filmmakers: Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
- 4/3-inch sensor
- Uses a micro four-thirds lens mount.
- DCI/4K resolution
- Dual native ISO up to 25600 is supported.
- 13-stops of Dynamic Range with HDR
- 5-inch rear LCD screen
Using the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinemas’ 4,096 x 2,048 image sensor and 1.33x Anamorphic cinema lenses, it can capture 4K content in a pocket-sized size.
A 4/3-inch image sensor can capture DCI4K (4096 x 2160) footage. The camera can achieve up to 75 frames per second while shooting in 2.4:1 format. Since the camera has an APS-C sensor, it’s hard to beat its features.
With a Blackmagic 2.8K raw mode, the camera can shoot 4:3 anamorphic at 20 frames per second.
Blackmagic Design cameras support a number of codecs, including Blackmagic RAW. Portable batteries are also compatible, as is an additional language.
Micro four-thirds is the mount used by the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema. A wide range of lenses are supported.
The Blackmagic Design camera is not a still shooter. Therefore, if you’re looking for a hybrid camera that shoots stills and videos, this is not a camera you should be looking at. Blackmagic Design cameras are created for cinema companies and only cinema companies.
One of the best features of this camera is the rear LCD screen, which boasts a 5-inch display. With that size, you can observe what you’re recording without having to connect an external monitor.
Things to Consider When Buying a Camera for Filmmaking
If you are planning to buy a camera for filmaking, wedding or event photography, then there are some aspects that would guide you in the best possible manner to find the right kind of cameras. These days there are a wide range of night camera for filmmaking available that have different features. In order to arrive at the most appropriate one, it is important to consider certain factors as well as do enough research before purchasing them.
This article provides both – information and knowledge about what all must be considered before buying cameras for filmmaking. Read on to take a note of it.
It is a very important aspect that many people tend to miss out while purchasing cameras for filmmakers. In order to ensure better results, you need to have a camera that can stay stable even if you are moving the device from one place to another.
It is not just the features that matter but the technical aspect also plays a major role in choosing cameras for filmmaking. Some of the points that you must consider are compatibility with other equipment, media usage and many more. A good camera must be able to deliver high resolution results which help in capturing videos of great clarity.
There are multiple features that you must consider before purchasing cameras for filmmaking. The resolution, auto focus, digital zoom and other aspects play an important role in the overall performance of the camera. If you are looking out for better quality videos then it is crucial to find a device which has great results when it comes to night photography.
Another important consideration that you must make while buying cameras for filmmaking is the battery timing. It is generally seen that people tend to miss out this point and end up getting stuck in an emergency situation where they are not able to find batteries at the right time. So, it would be better if you can keep it in mind whenever you are out to shop for these devices.
Size of the camera also matters a lot. If you want to buy cameras for filmmaking then always choose one that is compact in size so that it becomes easy to carry them around effortlessly.
These are some of the factors that must be considered before buying cameras for filmmakers. Even if you have a good budget to spend, it is important that you don’t end up compromising on quality. In order to enjoy the best results from your camera, opt for lenses and other equipment which enhance the abilities of the device.
4K/UHD To Have or Not to Have?
The reality is that UHD/4K is still not a standard yet. YouTube has many videos available to stream in 4K, however, the majority of users do not have 4K television at their homes, nor do they use 4K-compliant smartphones. So why bother?
- It is imperative that you make your videos future-proof, as you do not want any viewer to lose their interest after a few years when 4K becomes standard or if more people are using 4K.
- A second reason is that 4K captures a larger picture and therefore gives you the opportunity to edit your footage during editing. You can trim things out during editing that bother you and still have enough resolution for full-HD.
Why does your camera need a Log Profile?
It’s nice to find out about Log profiles if you’re unaware. Log profiles are essentially preserving the most detail in the footage possible. It will be pushed to the bottom of your footage, while the brightest parts will be pushed to the top.
That means you can preserve a great deal of information when you edit the footage in the post-processing phase. You can use your preference to adjust contrast or color or tone and control the final footage pretty much to your liking.
RAW shooting and its benefits
You get clean images by shooting in RAW and they don’t have any compression or editing. Despite the camera’s built-in image processor, all the video and the images shot by the camera are intact.
Is that a good thing? Yes, of course!
Having raw footage on hand lets you color grade it anyway you desire. You can color grade a RAW image faster too, since you have all the information you need to work with. Changing the White Balance and ISO of your footage is the same as changing the ISO of still photographs.
An increased frame rate allows more frames to be saved that you can later on slow down and then use to create smooth slow-motions. A lot of high-resolution frames demand a high-end image processor, so only high-end professional cameras are equipped with high-end image processors.
At 4K/UHD resolution, you will get the highest frame rate of 24 frames and no higher than 30 frames. Budget cameras only offer full HD at higher frame rates.
Note: being able to shoot at 4K is not always a necessity, as explained above.
A camera with responsive autofocus is ideal when it comes to capturing fast, clear images. For vloggers, the most important thing is to have decent face-tracking and eye-tracking.
Many cameras allow the user to focus with a touch to the screen, but this is not always practical since vloggers probably won’t be able to lock focus on themselves.
Stabilization is only needed when shooting hand-held. A tripod is usually used by vloggers, so they do not need built-in image stabilization. An outdoor camera stabilizer is great when shooting outdoors. Without in-body image stabilization, you won’t be able to capture hand-held shots.
If you want to produce a high-quality film without spending too much money, it is important that you invest in the right equipment. We have compiled for your viewing pleasure a list of some of the best budget filmmaking cameras out there so that you can make an informed decision about what might work best for you and your project. Whether this is a documentary or short feature length movie, we hope these recommendations help guide you on which camera will be perfect for your needs! Happy filmmaking!