In the past consumer and prosumer camcorders were the first choice for entry-level filmmakers. Before that eight millimeter film cameras were almost the only option available. However, in recent years, digital videography using smartphones, dslrs and mirrorless cameras has brought high quality video production to millions.
But before you choose your first camera, it’s worth looking more closely at the kind of video a camera will output, while camcorders are dedicated to shooting video. The cameras mentioned here are mostly dual purpose.
They’re, designed to shoot still photos as well as video clips. Indeed, as the majority of camera, users are looking to shoot more photos than videos. These Best budget cameras for filmmaking are often designed more with the photographer than vlogger in mind.
However, over recent years this has started to shift more towards a better balance between both stills and video. If you’re at the beginner stage of your filmmaking journey, i really recommend using your smartphone to start shooting right away.
Best budget cameras for filmmaking
In the last three to four years, smartphones have been used by oscar-winning directors to shoot feature films. So there can be no denying they are now a legitimate professional filmmaking device. They are small, flexible, easy to use, and presuming you already have a smartphone entirely free.
You will not need to buy lenses, as you would with a dslr or mirrorless camera. Your smartphone can even be used to edit your video so no need to spend more on an expensive, high-powered, laptop and editing software.
Editing. This way is not ideal, but you can get started right away without spending. Even one dollar becoming a better filmmaker involves learning to frame the image and capture shots which edit together well.
This process is virtually identical, whether you use a smartphone or 98 000$ worth of Arri Alexa. In addition, recent smartphones, such as the iPhone 11 pro Samsung s20 ultra and Huawei p40 pro, have larger cameras, sensors, and inbuilt telephoto lenses.
Some can even shoot at 8k and allow a certain level of shallow depth of field all in a device that fits into your jeans pocket. Of course, i would say this, as i run, one of the world’s, most popular festivals for film shots on smartphones.
2- SONY ZV-1
This great, affordable, new camera by sony is aimed directly at vloggers and YouTubers. The camera shoots fantastic. Looking 4k video at 24 and 30 frames per second, if you drop down to 1080p resolution, you can also shoot 60 and 120 frames per second, which is great for capturing smooth gliding slow-mo shots as vloggers and YouTubers are usually filming themselves as a handy flip-out screen For easier focus, exposure and framing there’s, also a number of features aimed at vloggers.
For example, there’s special autofocus called product showcase setting for when you want to move a product close to the camera and have the focus switch from your face to the product. The sony ZV-1 carries one inch Exmoor rs CMOS sensor with 20.1 megapixels and comes equipped with a 24 to 70 millimeter, f, 1.8 to 2.8, equivalent lens the camera even comes with its own inbuilt nd filter, which will enable you to work in overly bright conditions.
While there are plenty of features for vloggers to get excited about, some have complained that the lens is not quite wide enough. However, for an entry-level camera ( we mean Best budget cameras for filmmaking ), the quality produced at this price is hard to beat. If you want a camera that’s ready to go out of the box, then this is definitely worth looking at.
3- NIKON Z50
If you are seriously considering the sony zv1, you might also want to look at the recently released nikon z50. It’s, a small camera with great performance and impressive specs. The z50 is great for video and shoots 4k across the full sensor width rather than cropping it.
However, this screen flips down at the bottom, which some vloggers have found not ideal, but still a great new camera worth checking out.
4- FUJIFILM XT-3
The Fujifilm XT-3 is a great all-round camera, which can shoot 4k video at 10-bit color up to 60 frames per second. The camera can also capture the slightly wider 17 by 9 cinema 4k format at the same frame rates. While the XT-3 can capture 10-bit video internally. You can connect an external recorder to capture video at the higher 422 chroma subsampling quality. All this in a camera body which currently costs about the same as the high-end flagship smartphone, such as the Samsung s20 ultra.
While the camera was released in September 2018, constant firmware updates have steadily improved and refined the XT-3 performance. The XT-3 can record up to 400 megabits per second and bitrate plays an important role in video quality.
YouTube recommends 4k video be uploaded at 35 to 45 megabits per second, so the XT-3 gives you plenty of extra bit rate to play with. Should you need it with the XT-4 recently released, look out for some good prices on this earlier model.
5- PANASONIC LUMIX G7
Panasonic Lumix G7 can capture video up to 4k resolution. Shooting 4k can be useful, even if you intend to master your edit at 1080p because that extra color information can then be retained.
Lumix G7 is a great all-rounder. Being very lightweight with fantastic usability and wonderful color output. Assuming you will output at a lower resolution, shooting at 4k allows you to reframe your shots in post.
This is very handy if you didn’t quite get it right on the day. On the downside, the G7 has no inbuilt stabilization. If you choose a lens with inbuilt stabilization, then you’ve got no problem.
There’s, also the option to use a tripod or three-axis gimbal. The G7 also carries a flippy screen, which is great for monitoring, and the cine d color profile gives you plenty of grading options too.
Specs-wise, the camera comes with a four-thirds seventeen point three times: thirteen millimeter-sized CMOS sensor. Three-inch free angle, display flippy screen and shoots from iso 100 to 25 600 has ultra high speed, autofocus eight frames per second continuous shooting wi-fi connectivity, and an inbuilt OLED electronic viewfinder
6- PANASONIC LUMIX G85.
The Panasonic Lumix G85 is one of the best entry-level cameras for filmmaking like the G7. This camera can shoot at 4k, 4, 2, 0, 8-bit compression. However, the G85 also has excellent, inbuilt stabilization.
This is known as in-body image, stabilization or ibis. The advantages of ibis become apparent, with the increase in filmmaking on the move, for example, vloggers and YouTubers, who want to film themselves walking and talking.
However, ibis also has many advantages for budding filmmakers, such as nice, smooth, pan or tilt shots without the need of a tripod note. The Lumix G85 stabilization works best when combined with dual is compatible Panasonic lenses.
However, it will work fine with other lenses too, while the G85 is relatively affordable and easy to use it’s great for beginners and for more advanced filmmakers. So this is a camera you can get mileage out of.
While you develop your skills, the Lumix G85 also includes the cine-like d color profile and excellent autofocus. This is another micro, four-thirds sensor camera so essentially equal to the G7 in that department.
7- CANON EOS M50
So the extra dollars for the G85 are pretty much for the smooth stabilization. The canon m50 is rather small and lightweight. The camera can shoot 4k video. There’s also 1080p at 60 frames per second there’s, dual pixel autofocus and the camera even goes up to 120 frames per second at 720p The low weight and flippy screen combo make the m50 A great choice for YouTubers and vloggers. The fact the m50 outputs mp4 files directly means it’s, pretty easy to drop these files right into your editing software and start cutting on the downside.
The 4k video isn’t the best quality, especially as the system crops, the image further than with 1080p plus the inbuilt stabilization and autofocus perform less well at 4k. Well, stabilizing 4k. Video is always a challenge for any entry-level camera.
This is because the extra processing power is needed and it’s harder for a camera to shift a 4k image around the sensor than a lower resolution one anyway. The price of the camera is very attractive to entry-level filmmakers.
The canon color science is very popular and added to that, the 1080p video works very well with inbuilt stabilization and autofocus 2. There’s, also a 3.5-millimeter jack audio input for attaching your external microphone.
8- PANASONIC FZ2500
The Fz 2500 camera comes with numerous advanced video features borrowed from Panasonic Gh4 and offers 4k video recording at 30 frames per second. As with the previous Panasonic’s. The Fz 2500 comes with the cinelike D and cinelike V color profiles.
In addition, this model comes with inbuilt nd filters which you can switch on and off. This is useful for outdoor filming, where bright light can cause problems. Achieving a slow, shutter speed that you need for a more filmic look.
The Panasonic Fz 2500 has a 24 to 480 millimeter, equivalent lens 8.8 to 176-millimeter actual focal length, giving you 20 times. Optical zoom, there’s, also a good old flippy screen for versatile monitoring.
The camera has some fun features such as time-lapse, video, and dolly zoom created by internal software. Meanwhile, the FZ 2500 autofocus is fast and accurate. Specs include a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack 30 frames per second 4k UHD video recording a DCI, 4k recording option, and even 10 bit 422 video output via the HDMI. In addition, the camera has very good inbuilt stabilization.
9- SONY A6400 ( one of the Best Budget cameras for filmmaking )
The Sony a6 range of cameras is ideal for YouTubers vloggers and independent content creators. The most recent addition to the model is the a600, but for entry-level, video shooters, the older and cheaper a6400 is a better bet.
The a6400 can capture 4k video 4208 bit at 30 frames per second in the xavcs format, at bitrates. Up to 100 megabits per second full HD, video can be shot at up to 120 frames per second, at the same bit rate as with the FZ 2500.
There’s an HDMI output to external recorders via HDMI port. The Sony a6400 is a favorite, partly for its excellent autofocus, which is improved further in the a600. The a6400 uses eye-tracking to keep the subject constantly in focus while they move around the frame there’s.
Also, sony’s, s-log 2, and s-log 3 gamma modes with the s-log 3 mode said to offer up to 14 EV latitude, in other words, dynamic range. The 16×9 flippy screen is also a great ratio for video shooting, not so much for stills.
One downside is the upward flipping flippy screen which can get obscured by a top-mounted microphone. However, there is a workaround for the issue and also the lack of ibis in build. Stabilization cannot be overcome using stabilized lenses or using a 3x gimbal or other methods.
10- BLACKMAGIC Bmpcc4K
All in all, for an entry-level camera this is great value for money and shoots. Beautiful video Blackmagic has become the favorite camera maker of student and low budget filmmakers. While their higher spec cameras can set you back six thousand dollars or more.
The pocket Cinema 4k is a fraction of that. So this truly is an entry-level Blackmagic camera. The camera is built around the micro four-thirds system and uses a similar sensor to the Panasonic Lumix GH5.
There’s. Also, a more expensive 6k version can record 10-bit apple prores and even the highly versatile, 12-bit Blackmagic raw. So you’re, getting a much more professional-grade file compared to the 420 chroma subsampled compressed formats.
Other entry-level video cameras use to deal with the resulting larger file sizes. You have the option to record directly to an external solid-state drive over usb3. This camera is definitely aimed at filmmakers and does not provide the convenience you might desire as a vlogger or YouTuber.
For example, not great autofocus, no tracking, autofocus no in-camera stabilization and a battery that only lasts 30 minutes. Bear in mind that most high-performing cinema cameras generally start at around 15 000$.
So this is certainly a camera more aimed at those filming with at least a small crew. Than solo shooters plus most users add considerable amounts of extra kit to get things working. The way they want.
Are they the Best budget cameras for filmmaking?
If you’re, considering shooting high-level projects, then this could be the entry-level camera for you. Don’t forget to take a listen of our music for your project!