5 Best Cameras for Filmmaking on a Budget in 2024

by Tom Shu
Published: Last Updated on

You definitely don’t need the most expensive camera to create a great film. What’s most important is the story. Just take a look at the 2023 movie The Creator which used the Sony FX3, to shoot 95% of the film. Although the Sony FX3 is way outside the budget of this article, the camera is essentially a high end consumer camera and much cheaper than the typical camera used in Hollywood.

What’s nice is that because of the constant innovations in the camera market, there is a huge selection of great budget cameras to choose from.

Here are the best cameras for filmmaking on a budget in 2024 with more detailed information below.

  • Panasonic G85: Great value price point that comes with every feature you would need.
  • Sony a6400: Easily one of the best performing low light cameras for under $1,000.
  • DJI Pocket 2: A filmmaking powerhouse that fits in your pocket. Low-light performance is so-so, but the small size is great.

Affiliate Links

For each of the cameras, I included affiliate links to either Amazon, Adorama, or eBay. By using these affiliate links, you support the ongoing maintence of this website.

To help make it easier for you, I try to keep these links as updated as possible, but make sure to shop around as there are so many great camera deals now.

Another great option is buying pre-owned as you save money while extending the life of a camera. I understand buying used isn’t for everyone, but I’ve only had postive experiences buying used from small businesses and individuals on eBay. As long as their seller rating is high, you should be good and many sellers also accept returns if you’re not satisfied.

1. Panasonic G85

photo of black camera on a black background

Typically you can find this camera at under $700. Considering the price point, the Panasonic G85 is the best value for all the features it comes with. Its autofocus system is very good significantly outperforming the older Panasonic GH4. It has a flip-articulating screen that gives you the ability to capture footage easily from weird angles, and it has above-average in-body image stabilization which makes it possible to capture smooth footage without a gimbal. On the build quality side, the camera has a solid magnesium body that is fully weather-sealed; a feature that is not usually found in cameras in this price range.

What’s also cool with micro four-thirds cameras like the G85 is that you get access to a variety of different micro four-third lenses from manufacturers like Panasonic, Olympus, Sigma, and Tamron. Because of the smaller lens size, and bigger selection, the lenses will be cheaper than an APS-C camera like the Sony a6400.

At the same time, the biggest downside of this is the micro four-third sensor size. Since it’s smaller, you’re not going to get the same low-light capabilities as a camera with an APS-C sensor. It also doesn’t have a headphone socket, but that’s not as big of a deal. 

If you can get over the so-so low-light performance, this camera truly is a powerhouse.

PROS:

  • Good autofocus, although not as fast as the Sony a6400.
  • Really good 5-axis image stabilization.
  • Fully weather-sealed which is hard to find in a camera at this price range.
  • Flip articulating LCD screen.
  • A wide variety of compatible micro four third lenses from Panasonic, Olympus, Sigma, Tamron, and more.

CONS:

  • The low-light performance is not the best.
  • The maximum slow motion frame rate is 60 FPS.
  • Autofocus is not as good as the Sony a6400.

Check Price/Buy: Amazon | Adorama | eBay

2. Sony a6400

sony-a6500-with-zeiss-16-70-f4

Notes From The Field: I used the Sony a6500 to film most of my award-winning short film Spirit of Matsu. Although the Sony a6400 is slightly different from the Sony a6500, the video frame rates and the sensor are the same, so you’ll get a good idea of what the quality of the video looks like.

The Sony a6400 is one of the more expensive cameras in this article coming in at just under $1,000. However, it’s a great camera if you’re planning to shoot in low light conditions or want the best autofocus. Like the other Sony cameras in this series, the Sony a6400 features an APS-C sensor that offers arguably the best low light capabilities in this price range. The autofocus technology also shines with its combination of 425 phase-detection and 425 contrast-detection points enhancing its real-time autofocus tracking when recording video.

The camera has an upgraded, weather-sealed body and it can record 4k up to 30 FPS and 1080p up to 120 FPS. Remember, the Panasonic G85 can only record up to 60 FPS. From personal experience creating my short film Spirit of Matsu, the 4k is crisp and slow motion frame rates up to 120 FPS are good enough.

The biggest downside with this camera is the lack of in-body image stabilization and its LCD screen. Yes, it is possible to capture smooth handheld footage when using the slow motion frame rates, but it’s difficult if you’re shooting handheld in 4k. The LCD screen is very limited especially when compared to the articulating screen of the Panasonic G85. The screen of the Sony a6400, can only flip up 180 degrees, but it doesn’t articulate to the side and tends to get washed out in sunlight.

Again each camera has trade offs. Need the best low-light and autofocus, this is the camera. However, if image stabilization is important, then the Sony a6400 is of course not the best choice.

PROS:

  • One of the best low light cameras you can find in this price range.
  • Slow motion frame rates of 1080p at up to 120 FPS.
  • Quick and accurate autofocus with its 425 phase-detection and contrast-detection autofocus points

CONS:

  • No built-in image stabilization versus the 5-axis image stabilization in the Panasonic G85.
  • It’s hard to use the LCD screen under a bright sun and it only flips up 90 degrees.
  • The SD card slot is located on the bottom of the camera so it’s hard to access if you’re using a tripod or gimbal.

Check Price/Buy: Amazon | Adorama | eBay

3. Sony ZV-E10

The Sony ZV-E10 has been specifically designed for vlogging in mind. In essence, the camera has combined popular features from the Sony a6xxx series cameras and their Sony ZV-1 range of cameras to create a vlogger-friendly camera with an APS-C sensor.

The sensor is the same as the Sony a6400. So in terms of video quality, frame rates, and autofocus capability nothing has changed. The Sony ZV-E10 can record crisp 4k video up to 30 FPS; for slow motion frame rates, it can record up to 120 FPS in 1080p. The ZV-E10 also doesn’t have in-body image stabilization, but it does feature an electronic stabilization that Sony calls its SteadyShot Active mode. The SteadyShot Active mode is much better than nothing, but it doesn’t work in 1080p and at 100 FPS and 120 FPS frame rates.

In addition to a good mix of different frame rates in 4k and 1080p, the ZV-E10 also has a flip LCD screen similar to that of the Panasonic G85.

Similar to the Sony a6400, the biggest negative with this camera is the lack of in-body image stabilization. If you’re ok with using the SteadyShot Active mode or don’t need stabilization, this is another powerful filmmaking camera option because of the APS-C sensor it has.

PROS:

  • Great low-light capabilities. Same sensor as the Sony a6400.
  • Slow motion frame rates of 1080p at up to 120 FPS.
  • Quick and accurate autofocus with its 425 phase-detection and contrast-detection autofocus points.
  • Flip LCD screen.

CONS:

  • Lack of in-body image stabilization.
  • Is not weather-sealed.
  • No viewfinder.

Check Price/Buy: Amazon | Adorama | eBay

4. Canon EOS R50

The Canon EOS R50 is a compact, lightweight camera featuring sharp 4K image quality from its APS-C sensor, oversampled from 6K. At its price point, the camera offers excellent value for money under $1,000.

This camera can record uncropped 4K video up to 30 FPS, and it also supports Full HD slow-motion frame rates up to 120 fps. APS-C cameras are notoriously known for having some sort of crop factor, so the fact that the Canon EOS R50 doesn’t have a crop factor is a plus, in my opinion. The hybrid phase-detect autofocus system is also very good, as it’s a simplified version of the same autofocus system from Canon’s more expensive cameras.

There are two notable downsides to this camera. The first is the limited selection of native APS-C RF mount Canon lenses, and the second is the lack of in-body image stabilization. Yes, you can use full-frame RF mount Canon lenses, but they are usually more expensive, larger, and heavier, which might negate the purpose of buying this compact camera.

The absence of in-body image stabilization is unfortunate, but it is somewhat easier to compensate for. Most Canon RF lenses come with image stabilization, and the R50 does feature digital image stabilization, which is similar to the system found in the Sony ZV-E10.

PROS:

  • Great 4K image quality that is oversampled from 6K and full HD slow-motion frame rates up to 120 FPS.
  • Above average hybrid phase-detect autofocus system. 
  • APS-C sensor so performs well in low light.

CONS:

  • No in-body image stabilization.
  • A limited selection of native APS-C RF mount Canon lenses.
  • Not weather sealed.

Check Price/Buy: Amazon | Adorama | eBay

5. DJI Pocket 2

image of person holding up a pocket camera in front of plants

With the release of the DJI Pocket 3 in the fall of 2023, there has never been a better time to take a look at the DJI Pocket 2 if you’re on a budget. Although there have been many improvements made in the newest iteration of the camera, the DJI Pocket II is still an amazing tool for creating cinematic films. 

The biggest downside of the DJI Pocket II is its small 1/1.7-inch sensor, so it doesn’t perform the best in low light. However, if you plan to shoot in well-lit conditions or you don’t mind so-so performance in low light, this camera does pack a punch. 

The camera includes a flexible range of video resolutions and frame rates including 4K, 2K, and 1080p up to 240 FPS. Not to mention, the camera has 3-axis gimbal stabilization so you’re able to shoot incredibly smooth footage in 4K even if you’re running.

It’s hard to describe in writing just how good the gimbal stabilization is. For an example, just take a look at my DJI Pocket 2 Cinematic Test video below. I shot every clip for this test video handheld and in the opening scenes with my dog, Sushi at Cannon Beach, I was running while recording the footage.

PROS:

  • Great value, especially after the release of the newer DJI Pocket 3.
  • 3-axis gimbal stabilization that allows you to capture incredibly smooth handheld footage.
  • Good flexible selection of video resolution and frame rates including 4k, 2K, and 1080p up to 240 FPS.

CONS:

  • Small sensor size so it’s not very good in low light.
  • Below average battery life, although that should be expected.
  • Very difficult to get a shallow depth of field (bokeh0 with the lens.

Check Price/Buy: Amazon | Adorama | For the price, better to buy new

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41 comments

William October 14, 2020 - 12:31 pm

Hi, when was this written? I’m wondering if fujifilm x-t200 and nikon z50 are worth adding or if you think A6500 or Panasonic G85 are still superior based on quality/value?

I was looking into fujifilm x-t200, Canon EOS M50 and Sony A6100.

Thanks,
William

Reply
Tom Shu October 15, 2020 - 2:11 am

Hi William! Thanks for reading the article and for your questions. I actually just updated this article a few months ago to add the Sony ZV-1 when it was released. For some reason, the Fujifilm X-T200 Nikon Z50 was never on my radar so thanks for bringing them up.

After researching both cameras today, I definitely think the Fujifilm X-T200 is worth adding especially since it was just announced that the Sony a6500 is being discontinued. I plan to make the update and will add the Fujifilm X-T200 to this article in the next couple of days.

I like what the Nikon Z50 offers and that it has an APS-C sensor, however, the main concern I have is that the Nikon Z Mount is made primarily for full-frame lenses. So, although it has some great video frame rates, there isn’t as big of a selection of affordable lenses as Sony E Mount, Nikon F Mount, or Micro 4/3 cameras.

As for the Panasonic G85, I do still give it a slight edge over the Fujifilm X-T200. Even though I wish the Panasonic G85 had an APS-C sensor like the Fujifilm X-T200, I still like the camera more for its addition of picture profile options and above-average image stabilization; both of which the Fujifilm X-T200 doesn’t have.

For the 3 cameras you’re looking into (X-T200, EOS M50, and A6100), I don’t think you could go wrong with either the Fujifilm X-T200 or Sony a6100 as they’re both great cameras at a good value. The EOS-M50 is a nice camera too, but it’s lack of the dual-pixel autofocus when shooting in 4k is a big downside when compared to the Fujifilm X-T200 or Sony a6100.

I hope this helps and let me know if you have more questions! Thanks again for introducing me to these two cameras.

Tom

Reply
VK October 19, 2020 - 2:14 pm

Hi , it was wonderful article, I m a beginner and I am confused between Fujifilm xt200 and Panasonic G85!!!

Which do you say is better on the basis of
Picture output
Video features
Lenses available n cost of the lenses

Reply
Tom Shu October 19, 2020 - 2:57 pm

Hi VK, thanks for reading the article and I’m glad you found it helpful! Here’s what I think:

  • Picture Output: both are good, however, the Fujifilm X-T200 will be better in low light as it has a bigger sensor than the Panasonic G85.
  • Video Features:I think the Panasonic G85 has a slight advantage as it has very good image stabilization and the option to use flat picture profiles which will make it easier to color grade your footage in post. Both of these features are not found in the Fuji. With that said, both cameras have more than enough video features to shoot a film.
  • Lenses Available:The Panasonic wins in this category. Since the Panasonic is a Micro Four Thirds camera, it can use any Micro Four Thirds lens. This means you could use Micro Four Thirds lenses from any manufacturer which greatly increases the number of choices you have.
  • I hope this helps clarify and please let me know if you have any more questions!
    Tom

    Reply
    VK October 20, 2020 - 3:14 pm

    Thank you Tom for your prompt reply.
    Both of them come in a similar price range but xt200 is a latest model with few additional features like phase detection AF, Bluetooth , webcam func , headphone port
    I had seen reviews of xt200 stating that the audio quality is very bad with lot of noise n hissing sound.
    G85 is an old model but still holds edge over many latest counterparts

    What about slow Mo video in both of them?

    What is your final verdict between the 2 for a beginner with a balance of photography and videography?
    If possible Please tell me about which brand is better in long-run – less maintenance issues and better customer service support between Panasonic n Fujifilm?
    Bciz Fujifilm is Japan made and others are local made

    Are there any other cameras in this range with in body image stabilization like g85?
    What about Olympus cameras within similar price range, as they also have sensor based image stabilization?

    Awaiting your response, Thank you in advance , keep up the good work, looking forward to many more such articles from you.

    Tom Shu October 20, 2020 - 11:01 pm

    Hi VK,

    You’re welcome and thanks for your follow up questions. I’ll try to answer these as thoroughly as possible, but as always, if you have more questions, just let me know!

    • Audio on Fujifilm X-T200: Yes, it seems like the Fujifilm’s preamps are not as good, but as a beginner, I wouldn’t worry too much about overall audio quality as the audio on the Fujifilm isn’t bad (this video gives a good example of audio quality straight from camera). If it comes down to it and if you need to, you could always get an external microphone like this one from Rode to up the sound quality.
    • Slow Motion: The Fujifilm X-T200 can record in 1080p up to 120 frames per second (FPS) which is better than the 60 FPS in 1080p found in the G85. Sorry as I just updated the article to reflect this as I thought the X-T200 was only capable of 60 FPS before conducting more research.
    • Verdict Between X-T200 vs G85 for Beginner: For a beginner who is looking for a balance between photography and videography, I would give the slight edge to the Fujifilm X-T200. I say this as the Fujifilm has the APS-C sensor which will be more flexible for photography in all situations, especially in low light and you get the popular film simulation modes. With the Fujifilm Film Simulation, you can achieve different colors/looks to your images and videos all in-camera without the need to edit them later. This is definitely a nice feature to have for beginners.
    • Better in Long Run: This is a toss-up. I’m sure both camera manufacturers have great customer service. Given the competition now a day, camera manufacturers need to have good customer service as most customers would expect it. Additionally, I think Panasonic cameras are manufactured in Asia as well, or at least some components of the camera. As for durability, I think both cameras will work great for many years to come. The one thing I want to point out is that in the long run, an APS-C sensor might be more advantageous as you might think about upgrading to a larger sensor if you start off with Micro Four Thirds.
    • Image Stabilization: I think the only mirrorless camera in this price range with image stabilization is the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III Mirrorless. It’s a great camera, but I would still give the edge to the Fujifilm X-T200 because of the following reasons: 1.) it has an APS-C sensor versus the Micro Four Thirds in the Olympus; 2.) it has a fully articulating screen which will make it easier to shoot from all angles. The Olympus only has a tilting screen; 3.) it has the film simulation mode; 4.) It can shoot in 1080p at up to 120 FPS versus the 720p in 120 FPS on the Olympus.
    • I hope this answers all your questions and let me know if there is anything I missed!
      Tom

    Matt October 20, 2020 - 1:30 pm

    This might sound “dumb” but why are these types better than what I would call a, “conventional” camera?

    The body type is more still image than video/film. I realize it doesn’t matter as the project is the main output, but just curious. It has been a long time since I was on a shoot (back in the mini DV times) and am looking to get some new kit.

    Reply
    Tom Shu October 20, 2020 - 9:20 pm

    Hi Matt, thanks for your question! By conventional, I’m going to assume that you’re asking about the difference between the mirrorless cameras in the article and a camera like a mini DV? If I’m wrong just let me know and I can answer your question again.

    I haven’t used a mini DV camera but I think the important thing is that camera technology has progressed towards a mirrorless format. Because of the competition from the different manufacturers, most cameras in this budget are made for both photography and videography; consumers also expect this. Since camera tech has improved so quickly, you will find incredible video specs even in small mirrorless cameras like this.

    There are also video cameras in a more traditional camcorder format like the Sony HXR-MC2500, but they’re a bit out of the budget of this article.

    I hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions!

    Reply
    Matt October 21, 2020 - 4:17 am

    Hello Tom

    Thanks. Yes I mean a typical camcorder type camera like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/HDC-HS300EGK-Panasonic-HDC-HS-300-EGK/dp/B001RCG2V6

    As I said, I have not shot anything for around 15 years so I am well behind the times. I was looking for new gear but didnt want to buy the camera types in the article if it was completely wrong.

    I guess as long as the project looks good, it makes no difference what I use. The different form factor caught me off guard, if that makes sense?

    Great help though.

    Reply
    Tom Shu October 21, 2020 - 11:47 pm

    Hi Matt! thanks for clarifying. Yes, I definitely understand where you are coming from especially when comparing the form factor of the camcorder vs mirrorless camera.

    I think any of the cameras in this article will be able to give you great video results and most importantly at a reasonable price point. If you have the extra budget, I’d also recommend looking into the Sony a6600. It has similar features to the Sony a6100, but also has built-in image stabilization.

    Feel free to let me know if any other questions come up too!
    Tom

    Reply
    anh October 22, 2020 - 7:07 am

    hello!

    Just want to say thanks and kudos to great article! bang on and really insightful! Camera researching is painful yet mesmerizing.

    for the article, i love your final verdict with great analysis for a beginner trying to step up videography game like me. Just a small note is that Lumix design is not in my like though which is subjective =))). And if we want to reach to GH85 level, a6600 is the best choice however it does not fall in to this budget category. Manufacturers really know to play their game :((

    Reply
    Tom Shu October 22, 2020 - 12:03 pm

    Hi Anh!

    You’re welcome and I’m glad you found the article helpful! Thanks also for your note! I agree that how much you like the design of a camera is pretty subjective. At the same time, I’m guessing that most people will become familiar with any camera the longer they use it.

    That’s also true you would have to jump up to the a6600 if you wanted a Sony camera with built-in IBIS. I will say though, the Sony a6100 is one great camera too and has its advantages over the G85 such as better autofocus, better performance in low light, and a bigger sensor. (I’m actually thinking about updating the article to include the Sony a6100 as a co-winner because of these advantages).

    Reply
    Anh October 23, 2020 - 8:27 am

    Although it doesn’t have IBis and water resistant? 🙂

    Reply
    Tom Shu October 23, 2020 - 9:41 am

    Hi Anh, yes I think the bigger sensor and much improved autofocus makes up for its lack of IBIS and weather proofing. Not everyone will need water resistance and using a lens with OSS can help with the lack of IBIS.

    Reply
    Antanu Zakaria October 22, 2020 - 9:02 am

    Im confused between Sony ZV-1 and Fujifilm XT200. I am a photographer looking to start videography and some vlogging. For this purpose I think sony has some excellent things to offer like built-in ND, background defocus, super fast autofocus. But again Fuji has the larger sensor which will clearly give me a better image quality. I’d like to read your take on this. Which one do u prefer?

    Reply
    Tom Shu October 22, 2020 - 12:43 pm

    Hi Antanu,
     
    Thanks for your question! You’re exactly right! Both are great cameras to have and it will really depend on a couple of differentiating factors and what you find most important. It might not be the answer you want to hear, but I can definitely see different situations in which either camera would excel.
     
    I would go with the ZV-1 if you’re planning to do more vlogging/videography work versus photography work in the future. On the other hand, if it’s an even split between photography and video, or if you’re going to continue to take more photos than videos then I think the Fujifilm X-T200 might be a better fit.
     
    The reason why I say this is because the ZV-1 really is a video powerhouse and most of its advantages come on the video side of things. As you brought up, it has the built-in ND filter, which from my own experience is very nice to have when shooting at wider apertures. Plus, the ZV-1 has IBIS, quick autofocus, and a variety of different slow-motion frame rates (including Sony’s High Frame Rate mode), which will give you a lot of flexibility in capturing slow-motion footage. The one thing to watch out for is if you plan to hold out the camera in one hand while vlogging as it might not be wide enough.
     
    On the photography side of things, although the ZV-1 is more than capable of making beautiful photos, I would still like a bigger sensor and the addition of Fujifilm’s film simulation mode if I was focusing on photography. Additionally, you can change lenses with the X-T200 and reach focal lengths past 70mm which I think benefits photography more. Yes, it’s unfortunate you don’t get all the video features in the X-T200, but I think the frame rate options it has with the addition of its fully articulating screen and no additional crop when shooting 4k will still allow you to create awesome vlogs/videos.
     
    I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any more questions!
    Tom

    Reply
    Angela October 23, 2020 - 7:46 am

    Hi Tom – what an awesome article. Obviously a lot of time and research went into this. Thank you for sharing!
    I currently have a camera that automatically stops recording when it hits 4 gb, which is crippling when the events in shooting typically go for an hour, maybe more. Do you have a recommendation for an affordable video camera that doesn’t have a recording limit?

    Reply
    Tom Shu October 23, 2020 - 12:10 pm

    Hi Angela,
     
    Thanks for your question and for reading the article! I think your best would be either the Sony a6100 or Sony a6400 as both have really good video quality and features with no video recording limits. The Sony a6400 is the more expensive of the two and has a better build quality than the Sony a6100 + a full selection of picture profiles to use. However, if you want to save some money, the a6100 uses the same sensor so video quality is the same. The big downside with both these cameras is that they don’t have built-in image stabilization. If you’re using a tripod it’s not a big issue, but if you want image stabilization in a Sony camera you would have to jump to the Sony a6600.
     
    I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any other questions!
    Tom

    Reply
    Ruby Jensen November 26, 2020 - 3:43 pm

    Hi Tom, Thank you so much for this amazing article, super helpful!! I have been dabbling in photography and video making for a while and want to update from my iPhone to camera. I have mostly been considering the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Canon EOS M50… I want one that is easy to use but that I can also grow into.. Do both cameras have several additional lenses that can be additionally purchased and compatible? Additionally, do the film timing limits really mean/is that important if I do not necessarily need to film log clips at a time? I see that a lot of people in the questions above mention the Fujifilm which makes me think that’s a better option? All the best, Ruby

    Reply
    Tom Shu November 26, 2020 - 9:50 pm

    Hi Ruby!
     
    Happy Thanksgiving from the US! Thanks for reading the article and I’m glad you found it helpful! Thanks also for your questions and that’s very exciting to hear that you’re thinking about upgrading from your iPhone.
     
    I think both cameras are easy to use and would give you room to grow as a photographer/videographer. With that being said, I would have to agree with the others and pick the Fujifilm X-T200 out of the two choices. The primary reason why I personally like the Fujifilm more is because it doesn’t have a crop when shooting 4k video and its autofocus still works great in 4k video. On the video side, the Canon EOS M50 has a great 1080p mode with its dual pixel autofocus, but in 4k it has a major additional crop and the dual pixel autofocus doesn’t work. Another plus for the Fujifilm is that it has the film simulation mode which works great for both photography and video work.
     
    Also to answer your other questions:

    1. Lenses: Yes, both cameras have a great selection of different lenses that are compatible with its system. You’ll easily be able to find prime lenses and zoom lenses at fair price points.
    2. Filming Time Limits: Yes, you’re right. Filming time limits aren’t that important if you don’t film long clips at a time. If you’re only recording clips that are a few minutes long or even up to the recording limit it won’t be an issue. Filming time limits are usually only important for those who record long clips at a time such as interviews etc.

     
    I hope this helps and if you have any more questions just let me know!
    Tom

    Reply
    Tony December 25, 2020 - 11:33 am

    This post was great!!! You helped me a lot, thanks. Only one question

    In your “Verdict Between X-T200 vs G85 for Beginner” earlier with VK you said the XT200 for a beginner who is looking for a balance between photography and videography.

    If I’m only going for videography (maybe vlogging in the future, but without sacrificing videography), still a beginner, will you still recommending the XT200?

    In other words, I’m looking for your pick as the “Best Budget Camera for Beginners Filmmakers”

    I just want to learn as much has I can from my first camera, thanks in advance

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Havana, Cuba

    Reply
    Tom Shu December 26, 2020 - 12:31 pm

    Hi Tony!
     
    Thanks for reaching out from Havana and I’m glad the article helped you out. I’ve always wanted to visit Cuba so hopefully one of these days I’ll get the chance
     
    That’s a great question and I’m glad you found that conversation between me and VK. If you’re getting a camera primarily for videography I would pick the G85 over the X-T200.
     
    The main reasons why I think the G85 are better as a videography specific camera is for the following. Yes, the larger sensor of the X-T200 would be helpful, but I think these features found in the G85 make up for it:

    • In-body Image Stabilization: The G85 has great built-in image stabilization versus no image stabilization in the X-T200. The G85 is one of the only mirrorless cameras in this price range with 5-axis stabilization.
    • Picture Profiles: The G85 has videography-specific picture profiles which will make it easier for you to color grade your footage if you want to. The Fujifilm has a film simulation mode, which is also very good, but it doesn’t have customizable flat picture profiles.
    • Recording Limit: The G85 US version has no 4k recording limit and a 30-minute 4k recording limit for the European version. This is better than the 15-minute 4k recording limit of the X-T200.

    I hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions!
     
    Merry Christmas to you too and Happy New Year!
    Tom

    Reply
    Megzuki March 26, 2021 - 8:50 am

    Thank you for this informative article! My goal is to buy a camera sometime this year, but I have never owned one before or used one outside of old family camcorders! I wrote a screenplay about 12 years ago and helped create a full-feature indie film. I did set work and helped produce the film as well, but didn’t work behind the camera or do any of the actual filming. Film is my passion, and I would like to try and mess around and create some short films, but feel very overwhelmed with the plethora of information out there! Your article is definitely helpful, but I had a few additional questions and would appreciate your guidance if you don’t mind and have the time.

    I have a laptop that is very basic and about 3-6 years old at this point. What is your advice about film editing software/programs and what kind of technology to use it on? Laptop vs tablet/ipad, etc. I have 2 tablets but also very basic. And/or do some cameras have the ability to edit without additional software?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    Tom Shu March 27, 2021 - 12:25 am

    Hi Megzuki!
     
    Thanks for reaching out with your question! Can you let me know which laptop and tablets you have and the specs?
     
    I think this information will help be provide a much better response! Other than that, I think one of the best options now a days for an all in one filmmaking package (film and edit in a single device) is a new smartphone.
     
    The reason why I say that is all “newer” smartphones (for example from iPhone X to more recent) have really good cameras, video frame rates, and free apps you can use to edit video.
     
    Another option would be the DJI Pocket 2. This camera has a built in video editor in the app it uses that is pretty decent.
     
    Best,
    Tom

    Reply
    Megzuki March 30, 2021 - 7:01 pm

    My laptop is an asus notebook x540s fyi!

    Reply
    Tom Shu April 2, 2021 - 10:07 pm

    Hi Megzuki!
     
    Thanks for letting me know! After taking a look at your computer, I think your best bet might be to try out some of the free video editing software that is out there first. These editing software are usually free and lightweight so it will hopefully allow you to edit on a older laptop. One promising video editing that I think would be worth checking out is Wondershare Filmora. To edit and store your footage, you might also need an external hard drive. If you find that editing with Wondershare is still slow, you could try using an SSD drive which is faster to edit from than a standard HDD external hard drive.
     
    As for cameras, I think you should mainly shoot in 1080p resolution vs 4k as that will be much easier for your computer to handle. A few beginner friendly and budget friendly cameras you could look at include the DJI Pocket 2, Panasonic Lumix FZ80, and Sony a5100.
     
    I hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions!
     
    Tom

    Reply
    Megzuki May 1, 2021 - 7:35 am

    Tom,

    Thank you SO MUCH for this information! I still haven’t bought a camera, but I think my plan is to buy the Sony a5100, try it out with my current laptop and maybe buy an external hard drive if I need it, and then ask for money toward a better computer for my birthday and Christmas and save up and buy one later this year ! I’m thinking maybe a Mac mini and purchasing a monitor would be a good plan for me, after poking around online. What are your thoughts on this ? And that way, I can have a good, lasting product and can always upgrade my camera and/or computer later once I get more used to it all, since I am completely new to this.

    Would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks again!

    -Megzuki

    Megzuki May 1, 2021 - 11:02 am

    Of course I replied to this and after googling realized the Sony a5100 has been discontinued. I was reading about the Sony a6000…any thoughts of this one? Do you think it’s still worth buying the older model used? Buying used for something this expensive makes me nervous…

    Tom Shu May 4, 2021 - 10:07 pm

    Hi Megzuki!
     
    It’s good to hear from you again and I think that’s a great idea. The Mac Mini is a good value computer and with the new M1 chip it’s very fast for photo or video editing.
     
    As for the camera, you can’t go wrong with the Sony a6000. Even though the Sony a5100 is slightly cheaper, I think it’s worth spending that extra money on the a6000 for it’s electronic viewfinder. The electronic viewfinder will make it much easier to use the camera in bright daylight because the screen can get washed out pretty easily.
     
    As for image quality, both cameras use the same sensor so image quality will be just as good.
     
    I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.
     
    Best,
    Tom

    Jem Westgate June 19, 2021 - 3:00 pm

    hello, I’ve been thinking about purchasing the gx8 but have yet to see it on many articles and I’m wondering why this may be? is it lacking in a area of which I’m unaware of or is it just lesser known, because to my knowledge it’s better than the g85.

    Reply
    Tom Shu June 24, 2021 - 11:26 am

    Hi Jem! Thanks for your question and sorry for the late reply! I picked the g85 mainly because the gx8 in body stabilization doesn’t work when shooting 4k. Since they’re around the same price, this was the big differentiator.

    Reply
    Laxmikant July 1, 2021 - 4:43 am

    Hii Tom,
    Thanks for the article, it helps alot, I’m looking for best budget camera for filmmaking and considered g85 or a6100, what would you recommend and please let me know if any other camera in this range for film, one thing I also want to ask what would you thought about blackmagic pocket cinema 4k I know it’s expensive than this range, does it make sense to spend accessories budget on camera or good to upgrade later.

    Reply
    Tom Shu July 6, 2021 - 9:06 pm

    Hi Laxmikant!
     
    Thanks for your question and for reading the article! I’m glad it helped out a little! Sorry for the delay as I just got back from a camping trip and didn’t have service!
     
    Both are really nice cameras and will be able to capture cinematic footage for you. With that said, what camera is “better” will depend on what you value more.
     
    If you’re looking for the best autofocus, low light performance, want the flexibility of a larger sensor, and 120 FPS frame rate then the Sony a6100 would be the better bet.
     
    On the other hand, if you want really good in-body image stabilization, the Panasonic G85 is one of the best camera choices in its price range.
     
    That’s a good question about the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema. I think what accessories you need will depend on how you plan to shoot with your camera. What will make the biggest difference in picture quality is having a good lens and variable ND filter. But if you’re going to be creating a film for a client, you may need additional memory cards, batteries, hard drives, etc.
     
    I hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions!
     
    Tom

    Reply
    Nigel June 30, 2021 - 11:34 pm

    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for a great article and for taking the time to reply to the various comments in such detail.
    I have been doing mostly video work and taking stills just for fun, but now I’d like to get more into pro stills work while continuing my videography. I started out using a Sony EX video camera which I loved and then moved to a Panasonic GH3 which was okay. I’m now in the market for a budget camera which will be used for both stills and video.
    I think my main needs are: in camera stabilisation, 4k, mic input, good lens options. I’m thinking one of the Sony’s or the GH4 given that I’m familiar with both. What do you suggest?

    Reply
    Tom Shu July 6, 2021 - 8:48 pm

    Hi Nigel,
     
    Thanks for your question and for reading the article! Sorry for taking so long to get back as I was on a camping trip and didn’t have service.
     
    Based on your needs, the Sony or Panasonic camera that would fit your requirements would be either the Sony a6600 or Panasonic GH5. The other Sony APS-C cameras (such as Sony a6400 and Sony a6100) do not have in body image stabilization and same with the Panasonic GH4.
     
    When it comes down to Sony a6600 or Panasonic GH5, it’s a tough choice that comes down to a few things depending on what you want from a camera.
     
    If you’re looking for the best autofocus and low light performance the Sony is the camera to go with. However, if you’re looking for camera with 4k 60 FPS and more flexible frame rate options such as recording video to an external recorder in 4:2:2 10 bit vs the 8 bit of the Sony, then the Panasonic might be the better fit.
     
    I hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions!
     
    Tom

    Reply
    Luca G. July 3, 2021 - 8:53 am

    Hey thanks for this article it helped a lot although I do have a question. You had a lot of Sony cameras on the list and I was wondering what would be the best for someone who is just starting out (like me) I would like to do some vlogs and I’m also starting to do some client videos. The camera I have right now is a over a decade old dslr and I need an upgrade. I prefer Sony cameras. Any suggestions? Thank you so much!

    Reply
    Tom Shu July 6, 2021 - 10:48 pm

    Hi Luca! Thanks for reading the article and for your questions! Both the Sony a6400 and Sony a6100 from the article are great beginner friendly Sony cameras to start off with. There really is not much difference between these two other than what I included in the article. Both cameras use the larger APSC sensor so work very well in low light. Additionally, the Sony cameras have one of the best autofocus systems which will make it easy to focus on your subject. The big downside with these two cameras is that they don’t have in-body image stabilization. This isn’t 100% a deal breaker because you can get a lens with optical steadyshot. However, if you think you could benefit from in-body image stabilization too, the flagship Sony a6600 has stabilization.
     
    I hope this helps and let me know if you have any more specific questions related to the Sony camera!
     
    Tom

    Reply
    Meher July 13, 2021 - 3:39 am

    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for an amazing and a detailed article. I’m planning to make a short film this year and I’m planning to buy a camera in budget. I initially planned to get the black magic pocket 4k but it’s out of my range. Which camera would you suggest for a novice filmmaker like me? And what kind kind of attachments and other stuff I need to get to make the film a cinematic experience for viewers? Waiting for your reply
    P.S: My main focus is on filmmaking, photography has never been an interest.

    Reply
    Tom Shu July 13, 2021 - 5:00 pm

    Hi Meher,
     
    Thanks for reading the article and for your question! Out of the cameras in this article, I would either go with one of the Sony APSC cameras (Sony a6400 and Sony a6100) or the Panasonic G85. If you’re looking for the best autofocus system and low light performance, either of the Sony cameras would be great to start off with. On the other hand if you think you would benefit from in body image stabilization and that is more important than low light performance and autofocus performance, the Panasonic G85 is a great budget beast.
     
    The  Fujifilm XS10 is out of the budget of this article, but it’s another camera that’s worth pointing out. This camera is slightly more expensive than the Sonys or Panasonic G85 when including its kit lens but comes with a better selection of frame rates (such as 1080p over 200 FPS), built-in image stabilization, and uses a larger APS-C sensor like the Sony cameras.
     
    I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions!
    Tom

    Reply
    mario July 15, 2021 - 7:53 am

    please, don’t curse me guys, but I think that I’ll risk a sony action camera.

    Reply
    Tom Shu July 16, 2021 - 5:46 pm

    Sony action cam can be good too!

    Reply

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