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13 Best Camera for Filmmaking on a Budget in 2021 – REVIEWED
Whether you are a beginner photographer or a professional photographer, buying the new best camera for filmmaking on a budget isn’t an easy task, you can be easily distracted by the advertisements out there and a lot of options just roaming in your head. You need the best camera for filmmaking on a budget that stays by your side.
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As you know, a lot of people coming towards photography, video cameras, filmmaking vlogging, are becoming more easily to buy. The newer cell phones are able to shoot at outstanding quality, and some even sport pro features like slow motion.
There are thousands of options are there and choosing from them can be a difficult task to do.
There are a lot of camera producers that grabs your attention by their top video quality performance, now you will be confused about which one to choose? That’s why we have written a buying guide for you so that making a decision will be easier for you. make sure you read it out.
Nowadays, professional’s cameras might cost more than thousands of dollars but producing professional-looking films doesn’t require a sizeable bank account. All you need is an idea, and some right equipment’s to capture that idea.
Best Camera for Film Making
Here are our top picks for the best camera for filmmaking in 2021.
A beast for filmmaking, if you are a professional filmmaker but don’t want to spend too much on camera for filmmaking, then this is an excellent option to check out.
Blackmagic Pocket camera 4K produces perfect images and captures everything in 4K resolution. A lot of famous filmmakers you follow uses this camera to captures images in 4K.
The camera is small and nimble and doesn’t have any downsides. However, the battery life isn’t the best with this camera. Moreover, the storage fills up quickly if you are shooting a 4K video in braw.
This beast has micro ¾ sensors which can be adjusted by buying a speed booster. The camera can capture different footage options including Blackmagic Raw and ProRes 422. It shoots up to 120 FPS if you lower the resolution to 2K.
The camera records on SD cards and CFast 2.0 which brings a surprising variety of options. It has a USB Type-C port by which you connect an external drive.
You can control and adjust the setting from the menu and the interface from the touchscreen that acts as a control center. Another plus of this camera is that it receives access to DaVinci Resolve Studio for post-production.
Coming to those who have a lower budget but wishes for credible performance for its price range, the Sony a5100 is for them. Sony a5100 offers a higher ISO range which is super impressive for the value.
The 179 phase-detection autofocus points, enables the camera for excellent autofocus closer to the center of the frame. Sony a5100 and Sony 6400(next in review) both use the same sensor size.
Shooting at low-light conditions, well the camera is not best at it especially in comparison with the newer Sony a6400. This is because the APS-C sensor in the a5100 is an older model.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any quick function menu in this model which impacts the functionality of the camera. And we can mark it as a downside of quick access and ease of shooting.
The touchscreen LCD and touch-to-focus control the accuracy when recording for those who have smaller hands.
You might find the body offering less balance with larger lenses and usually, the touch screen is a little awkward for those who are blessed with large fingers.
If you have a good budget then the Sony a6400 is a definite option for you but if you don’t then the Sony a5100 is a good alternative you have.
This compact, solid feel Sony doesn’t 60/50p 4k capture but this doesn’t stop this camera to stand among the best camera for filming.
The camera utilizes full pixel readout capturing oversampled 6k data and then down to 3,840 x 2,160 pixels ultra HD resolution.
Moreover, this camera offers a clean HDMI output to external recorders while it also claims to offers the world’s fastest acquisition which is 0.2 seconds.
These features are what sets this camera apart from others and make it worth consideration for those who are into the shooting of 4K video on a budget.
There are several dials and buttons located at the top and back of the camera and the good thing is all of these are customizable buttons, including the D-pad that’s normally reserved for EV composition or f-stops adjustments.
Moreover, the mode dials also have some new features like an MR mode, which is something that most of the filmmakers if they want an easy and quick way to save and recall multiple profile settings.
In short, this camera is a budget filmmaking powerhouse that offers surprisingly great performance.
Following is one more video camera for filmmaking that is inexpensive and belongs from the lineup of Panasonic.
The G85 is one of the latest cameras from the Lumix series and by newer, we mean that Panasonic has improved some of the negatives of the GH14 (the previous model).
The very first thing you will see is that this camera is similar to GH14 in terms of both feels and looks. You are getting the same strong heavy-duty sealed body and the same burst ergonomics that makes the GH14 so famous among all.
The major upgrade in this camera is that the AF system of this camera which is much better than the previous version. Moreover, it also has in-body image stabilization.
This autofocus system isn’t the best on the list, Sony offers a better autofocus system, but this camera does the job pretty smoothly.
The built-in image stabilization is excellent. We have seen some handheld footage that feels like a shot taken on gimbal. The major drawback of this camera is that there is no variable frame rate in this camera.
But that’s not a problem if you aren’t going to shoot slow-motion videos, but it’s always beneficial to have flexibility in the frame rates.
The Sony cameras continue to dominates the mirrorless cameras legacy by the release of their Alpha a7, so it’s worth considering Sony Alpha a6100. The a6000 series are sturdy, comes with a user-friendly interface and most importantly it is highly affordable price tag.
The Sony a6100 came out in mid-2019 and features one notable feature that isn’t found in the other camera with the same price tag and that is 4K.
Sony a 6100- the affordable cameras that offer 4K and its all-rounder camera due to an array of alternatives options of E-mount lenses.
It comes with in-built stabilization along with a 4K resolution up to 30 FPS, a 0.02-second AF acquisition speed, a 180-degree flip (that’s beneficial if you are into vlogging), the Sony Alpha a6100 is a good camera as an entry-level camera.
In terms of audio, Sony alpha a6100 comes with an external microphone, all thanks to its 3.5 mm audio port.
We admit that the Sony a6100 is not as much affordable as other beginner cameras are but the functions Sony offers and the camera’s wide array of features makes its stand on the list of best camera for filmmaking.
When we talk about a compact mirrorless camera that offers solid video performance regardless of the location and lighting, it’s not an easy thing to beat Fujifilm X-T30.
With Fujifilm X-T30 you can easily shoot at night and set up the lightning to invoke suspense without compromising on video quality and all thanks to the surprising backlit sensor. A real winner that is quicker to focus and easier to handle.
The camera can smoothly handle high ISOs noises better than all other almost. The camera shares a similar physical design to its successor. The consistent, lightweight, and small frame makes this camera a true joy to get hands-on with.
The major missing in this camera is the D-pad. Yeah you heard it right, the newest model doesn’t feature D-pad but instead of that, it includes a focus lever.
This change frees up more space on the back of the camera that enables the users to use the other controls with more precession than ever.
All things apart, the major and best change in this model is the autofocus. This model is a pro when it comes to recognition of faces, even the eyes of an animal or human subjects, and no matter how much the distance is from the subject.
You also have an advantage of the touchscreen by which you can choose different points when the camera does get it wrong this feature is extremely rare though.
One of the best camera for filmmaking on a budget. Unfortunately,this doesn’t capture in 4K but it captures the scene smoothly and stays below the price tag of $1000. At the same time, other similarly price-tagged cameras can capture in 4K.
For most professional filmmakers, a 35MM full-size frame sensor is a essential thing and it is because of the bigger sensor as the similar size of 35mm film, the camera captures excellent shots, even in a low-light environment.
When we talk about shooting, Sony Alpha A7 II captures at High Definition i.e. 1080p at up to 60 frames per second.
Moreover, the camera sports 5-axis image stabilization which is ideal for shooting the live-action scene with the camera moving while capturing a stable shot.
Another benefit of this camera is that with the Sony’s wide alternative option of E-mount lenses you can easily shoot the film with any of the lens you want, and you don’t need to worry about lens selection.
Sony Alpha A7 II is a full-frame camera that shoots at 1080p, with the fact it lacks 4K recording it’s still an all-around great camera.
Sony ZV-1 is one of the newest 1-inch sensor point-and-shoot cameras it provides. Moreover, the camera also improves on many of the downsides of the previous lineups of the Sony RX camera and also the older Sony APS-C camera like the Sony A5100 that we have reviewed above.
Coming to the technical specification side, the camera is nearly similar to Sony’s newest and a lot more expensive APS-C sensor camera, Sony a6600.
It comes with the same menu system, same burst video autofocus with real-time eye autofocus tracking along with object tracking abilities. ZV-1 also features Sony’s newest color science that provides your videos with a better look.
One of the best parts of this camera is that it includes a popular high frame rate (HFR) mode that is found in the Sony RX lineup.
This allows you to record videos at extremely high slow motion frame rates like 240 FPS, 480 FPS, and even 960 FPS at 1080p.
We can say that this is the cheapest camera for filmmaking that offers unique features and improvements.
Fujifilm X-T200 is an awesome budget filmmaking camera. It’s pretty surprising to find out that Fujifilm was able to pack this amount of features and functionalities into this masterpiece.
Fujifilm X-T200 comes with a lower price tag and that the fact that it is mirrorless makes it one of the best camera for filmmaking.
The Fujifilm X-t200 features an APS-C sensor which is a pretty good part of this camera. On the filmmaking side, this camera gives you an advanced set of features videography options to produce a beautiful artistic piece of content.
Talking about video frame rates, the Fujifilm x-T200 captures in Ultra High Definition 4K at 30 Frame Per Seconds. Another major highlight of this camera is there is no additional 4k crop.
Along with that, Fujifilm x-T200 gives you functionality to use popular film simulation modes. It’s an excellent cinematic detail that gives you the access to use 11 different classic film looks such as Velvia, Provia, and Classic Chrome.
10.Canon EOS M5
Cannon has an excellent collection of a mirrorless camera for filmmaking and the M5 is just one of them. Canon EOS M5 is full HD i.e. 1080p with a frame rate of 60 frames per second.
When you are shooting audio, it also offers 5-axis image stabilization, even if you are shooting the shot handheld you can be sure that the footage will be razor-sharp.
The AF system is very fast almost instant and performs well under low lighting. This camera comes with a touchscreen which can be used to access the settings and it’s possible to shoot by using the viewfinder and this is bright but gives a lag when panning.
Most of the buttons in this camera are customizable to control a different setting so you can set them to the features you used often. Canon EOS M5 has an APS-C CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 100 – 25600 (100- 6400 for video)
Nikon might not be the brand that you consider for the best affordable filmmaking but Nikon cameras are worth appreciating. Thanks to its excellent price point and a wide array of fantastic features.
This camera sports a 24.2 MP with an APS-C sensor, which is rare at this price range.
It’s a DSLR, which means that you can choose from a different range of lenses that will best suit your purposes, there is a great selection so you don’t have to worry about the budget you’ll find something that suits your budgets. With that said it’s a DSLR, it’s surprisingly compact.
The max. quality is 1080P is at 60 fps which might be a drawback of this camera. Another spoiler that might disappoint you is that this camera doesn’t have an Internal mic so only the Internal mic can be used for audio purposes when shooting videos.
Unfortunately, the screen doesn’t flip or swivel at all so this might be a problem for you if you’ll be shooting at awkward angles.
Here is another best filmmaking camera on a budget from Sony mirrorless Lineup. Sony Alpha a6500 features a 24.2 Megapixels Exmore Sensor with copper wiring that helps in taking more light in.
The camera has an ISO range of up to 51200 which is excellent for shooting even in a low-lighting setup.
The a6500 claims to have the fastest autofocus system of any camera and also have the most focus points. It can lock the focus in just 0.05 seconds and have a massive 425 focus points that cover 84% of the image.
The good thing is the camera is touchscreen so it can easily be used to set and adjust the focus even when you are shooting videos.
The camera has outstanding performance that equivalent to 6K. If you want to shoot at 120 Frames Per Second, then you’ll have to drop the quality to full HD i.e. 1080p. you can also shoot in slow motion at 4x or 5x slower.
Another convenience you have is no matter what lens you use you can rely on 5-axis, in-body stabilization system that’ll keep your videos and photos sharp.
Numbers don’t matter in our list and what proves it is the fact that this masterpiece was released in mid-2019 and still rocks in the eyes of photographers and filmmaker’s professionals.
It’s the first Rebel camera that is capable of shooting in 4k. Canon’s Rebel series is an ideal lineup for budget-conscious people like college students, vloggers, filmmakers, or content creators.
Talking about the internals, the rebel SL3 sports a Digic 8 Image processor which is instrumental in providing sharp images, quick autofocusing, and smooth videos.
This process also performs well in low-light conditions along with maintaining low noise levels, even with higher ISO settings. The camera features a 9-point AF system that tracks subjects and keeps everything in focus, which is an AF system to shoot action shots.
The main highlight of this camera is that it can shoot in 4K video it can do at up to 24 fps and 120 Mbps. The built-in image stabilization and time-lapse features are a bonus.
Canon is a well-known name when it comes to DSLR’s, canon also features tons of lenses and third-party accessories. Cannon’s professional DSLR ranges above $1000 but rebel SL3 is way less than $1000, nearly half of it.
No doubt, Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is the compact, Cheapest 4K camera for filmmaking, capable of shooting in low-light and sustaining stables shots.
The best camera for Filmmaker in our recommendation is Panasonic G85. Panasonic G85 has all the essentials filmmaking-specific features that make it a winner if you going to mainly focus your videography.
It has one of the body built-in stabilization (IBIS) system. It also offers a flexible variety of different picture profiles that you can customize. In short, it’s the best camera for filming.
Here are essential tips that you should remember buying the best camera for filmmaking.
- Quality of video
First of all, you’ll have to remember that the camera must features an outstanding video quality, as it is the most important factor. Nowadays, it refers to have a video quality of 4K resolution or at least Full HD which also refers as 1080p. These days, a lot of filmmaking cameras can shoot in 4K resolution, so this won’t be a hassle for you to worry for.
- Low-light performance
Low-light performance is another important aspect when it comes to videography and if you are a filmmaker you might find yourself at one point or another.
So, when looking for the best camera for filming, make sure you pick up a camera that performs well under poorer lighting conditions. In short, you should look for a higher maximum ISO and larger sensor size in-camera.
- Ease of use
While capturing the scene, it’s important to have an easy controlling over the most common setting.
This refers that you don’t need to go through several settings and menus and for adjusting the commonly used settings and customization. With that said, if you are new to filmmaking then it’s best to pick a camera which is easy to operate.
- Compatible lenses
Talking about filmmaking, you will be changing the lens of the camera for different shots. So it’s an essential step to check out the range of alternative lens options that can work with your camera model.
After choosing the camera model, look for the lens that suits well to your style and genre of your content and also set a range. Some of the lenses are more expensive than the camera body. So, if you don’t want to spent too much be sure to factor this into your overall budget.
- Battery life
Another crucial thing to look in the camera when searching for the best camera for filming on a budget is the battery life. If you are going to shoot all day, then it’s important to pick up a camera that comes with a longer battery to ensure that your camera doesn’t run out of battery in the middle of a shoot.
Usually, shooting video drains a lot of battery so picking up a backup is always beneficial and helpful.
- Type of sensor
The size and type of sensor strongly affect camera performance. A smaller sensor produces a crop factor thus changing the focal length of the lens you are pairing it with.
On the other side, a full-frame camera gives you more light to hit the sensor with the enhancement of low-light performance.
- Auto Focus System
Setting the focus can be time-consuming and difficult, so it’s always helpful to have a great autofocus system.
- Screen type and resolution
It’s always helpful to have a tilting screen when you are recording a video as it lets you see what is shooting when working at different angles. A higher resolution is always appreciated and beneficial.
- Frame Rate
If you will be recording slow-motion shots, then a higher frame rate is essential for you. However, some of the cameras reduce the video quality at high frame rates, so it’s something that you should look out for.
Q. Is a Video Camera Better than a DSLR?
Nowadays, many vloggers, filmmakers, and videographers prefer to use a mirrorless camera over a DSLR camera. And that’s is why because the mirrorless camera is a lot smaller and lighter than DSLR offering the same features. So yes, video cameras are better than a DSLR.
Q. Do I need a 4K camera?
Yes, if you are a professional filmmaker, vlogger then 4k quality is necessary for you. and if you are shooting videos for fun then it won’t be much necessary.
Q. Is an External Microphone Necessary in filmmaking?
Yes, an External microphone greatly enhances the audio quality. So make sure you pick a camera that has an external microphone.
I hope you will enjoy our review of the best cameras for filmmaking on a budget. After reading this article, you’ll have a better idea of what you might be looking for.
To share your knowledge, make sure you read the buying guide, it’ll help you with all the basic knowledge that you need to know when buying the best cameras for filmmaking on a budget.