10+ Best Cameras for Filmmaking on a Budget (January 2023)

10+ Best Cameras for Filmmaking on a Budget (January 2023)

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Who doesn’t want to make movies like Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese?

Even if you don’t have a Hollywood budget, it’s easier than ever for budding filmmakers to get their start, even if shooting on a tight budget might mean giving up some of the bells and whistles of a professional camera.

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If you want to create films but don’t want to spend a fortune on a camera, then this article is for you. We’ll show you the best cameras for filmmaking on a budget that are still high quality.

10+ Best Cameras for Filmmaking on a Budget

  1. Panasonic Lumix S5 — The best camera for filmmaking on a budget in 2023 overall (Editor’s choice)
  2. GoPro HERO10 Black — The best affordable camera for filmmaking on a budget
  3. Canon EOS RP — The best value camera for filmmaking on a budget
  4. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 — The best entry-level camera for filmmaking on a budget
  5. Sony Alpha a6400 — The best mirrorless camera for filmmaking on a budget
  6. Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema 4K — The best filmmaking camera for recording ProRes and RAW video
  7. Panasonic LUMIX G85 — The best mirrorless camera for filmmaking on a budget
  8. Nikon D5600 — The best DSLR for filmmaking on a budget
  9. Sony ZV-1 — The best compact camera for filmmaking on a budget
  10. Canon VIXIA HF G50 The best camcorder for filmmaking on a budget
  11. Fujifilm X-T4 — The best long-lasting battery camera for filmmaking on a budget
  12. Sony α7 IV — The best high-resolution camera for filmmaking on a budget

What is the Best Camera for Filmmaking on a Budget?

Whether you want to be the next Scorcese or Speilberg, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend a ton of money to create incredible footage. If you are on a budget, like most of us are, you may want to check out our top choice – the Lumix S5 from Panasonic.

Interested in some of our other top picks? Check out our comparison table below.

Thumbnail
Best Overall
Panasonic LUMIX S5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera, 4K 60P Video Recording with Flip Screen & WiFi,...
Best Affordable
GoPro HERO10 Black- E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD & Touch Rear...
Best Value
Canon EOS RP Full Frame Mirrorless Vlogging Portable Digital Camera with 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS...
Best Mirrorless
Sony Alpha 6400 | APS-C Mirrorless Camera (Fast 0.02s Autofocus, 24.2 Megapixels, 4K Movie...
Best DSLR
D5600 DX-Format Digital SLR w/AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
Best Camcorder
Canon VIXIA HF G50 4K30P Camcorder, Black
Title
Panasonic LUMIX S5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera, 4K 60P Video Recording with Flip Screen & WiFi,...
GoPro HERO10 Black- E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD & Touch Rear...
Canon EOS RP Full Frame Mirrorless Vlogging Portable Digital Camera with 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS...
Sony Alpha 6400 | APS-C Mirrorless Camera (Fast 0.02s Autofocus, 24.2 Megapixels, 4K Movie...
D5600 DX-Format Digital SLR w/AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
Canon VIXIA HF G50 4K30P Camcorder, Black
Prime Status
-
-
Star Rating
Reviews
200 Reviews
239 Reviews
1,083 Reviews
1,144 Reviews
636 Reviews
406 Reviews
Type
Mirrorless
Action
Mirrorless
Mirrorless
DSLR
Camcorder
Megapixels
24.2MP
23MP
26.2MP
24.2MP
24.2MP
21.14MP
Max resolution
4K
5.3K
4K
4K
Full HD
4K
Max continuous shooting speeds
7 FPS
N/A
5 FPS
11 FPS
5 FPS
N/A
Price
Price not available
$381.49
$999.00
$915.67
$535.01
$1,001.60
Best Overall
Thumbnail
Panasonic LUMIX S5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera, 4K 60P Video Recording with Flip Screen & WiFi,...
Title
Panasonic LUMIX S5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera, 4K 60P Video Recording with Flip Screen & WiFi,...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
200 Reviews
Type
Mirrorless
Megapixels
24.2MP
Max resolution
4K
Max continuous shooting speeds
7 FPS
Price
Price not available
Buy Now
Best Affordable
Thumbnail
GoPro HERO10 Black- E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD & Touch Rear...
Title
GoPro HERO10 Black- E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD & Touch Rear...
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
Reviews
239 Reviews
Type
Action
Megapixels
23MP
Max resolution
5.3K
Max continuous shooting speeds
N/A
Price
$381.49
Buy Now
Best Value
Thumbnail
Canon EOS RP Full Frame Mirrorless Vlogging Portable Digital Camera with 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS...
Title
Canon EOS RP Full Frame Mirrorless Vlogging Portable Digital Camera with 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
1,083 Reviews
Type
Mirrorless
Megapixels
26.2MP
Max resolution
4K
Max continuous shooting speeds
5 FPS
Price
$999.00
Buy Now
Best Mirrorless
Thumbnail
Sony Alpha 6400 | APS-C Mirrorless Camera (Fast 0.02s Autofocus, 24.2 Megapixels, 4K Movie...
Title
Sony Alpha 6400 | APS-C Mirrorless Camera (Fast 0.02s Autofocus, 24.2 Megapixels, 4K Movie...
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
Reviews
1,144 Reviews
Type
Mirrorless
Megapixels
24.2MP
Max resolution
4K
Max continuous shooting speeds
11 FPS
Price
$915.67
Buy Now
Best DSLR
Thumbnail
D5600 DX-Format Digital SLR w/AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
Title
D5600 DX-Format Digital SLR w/AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
636 Reviews
Type
DSLR
Megapixels
24.2MP
Max resolution
Full HD
Max continuous shooting speeds
5 FPS
Price
$535.01
Buy Now
Best Camcorder
Thumbnail
Canon VIXIA HF G50 4K30P Camcorder, Black
Title
Canon VIXIA HF G50 4K30P Camcorder, Black
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
406 Reviews
Type
Camcorder
Megapixels
21.14MP
Max resolution
4K
Max continuous shooting speeds
N/A
Price
$1,001.60
Buy Now

How to Choose the Best Camera for Filmmaking on a Budget

best camera for film making

Camera Type

The type of camera you choose is going to be the most important consideration for your filmmaking needs. There are many different types of cameras, each with pros and cons.


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DSLR

DSLR cameras have been around for years, and it is the preferred choice of professionals because it delivers remarkably sharp and spectacular images and videos. They’re also large and heavy, which makes them less than ideal if you plan on traveling with your equipment. They also tend to have great audio features if sound quality is important to you.

Mirrorless

Mirrorless cameras are more compact DSLRs without an internal mirror that reflects light onto the sensor. It offers great long-term value and has similar specs to high-end DSLRs for an affordable price tag. They require a little more knowledge about photography in general before you can use one effectively for filmmaking purposes.

If photography is something you’ve been interested in learning more about but haven’t had time to get into yet, then this might be the best option since you will learn skills that could help with other aspects of filmmaking too!

Camcorder

Dedicated camcorders are another excellent choice as well because they provide a lot of manual control over all aspects of shooting video. They’re perfect if your goal is a creative expression rather than simply being able to capture unforgettable moments no matter where or when they occur.

However, they aren’t always as compact or portable as their counterparts, so keep this in mind when making decisions regarding what kind of gear might work best within budget limits set by production teams.

Action Camera

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If you’re looking for a camera that can handle any situation and is ready for anything, an action camera like the GoPro Hero may be right for you. It has waterproof and rugged capabilities, so this camera will allow you to capture fantastic footage in all types of situations.

Point and Shoot/Compact

While it’s possible to get away with using any kind of device when filming on low budgets, such as smartphones or webcams – sometimes even point-and-shoot models will suffice. It is a small, easy-to-use camera with a built-in lens that offers much better photo and video quality than a smartphone.

However, chances are those mediums won’t look very professional in final projects since they don’t offer any special effects capabilities beyond basic panning shots where everyone stays perfectly still, so nothing gets blurred out by movement blur!

Sound Quality

If the video quality is excellent, but the sound quality is poor, then it won’t matter how good your cinematography skills are or how awesome your screenplay was: no one will watch it. Most cameras offer the option to plug in external microphones for better sound quality.

Image Stabilization

Unless you plan to use a tripod with your camera, you will want a camera with good image and video stabilization, such as optical stabilization and sensor-based in-body image stabilization (IBIS). Otherwise, it will be difficult to shoot films without movement or blur.

Lens

Different lenses can be used depending on the different types of shots you are capturing. A zoom lens is usually better than a prime lens because it allows you to get closer to your subject without sacrificing quality or depth of field as compared to a prime lens. If you are unhappy with the lens that you have, you can always buy a new one.

In addition to these features, experts also look for characteristics mentioned below.

Manual Controls

This is indispensable for filmmakers because it allows you to adjust your exposure and white balance manually. The best cameras have a variety of manual controls and options—like ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and focus—that give you more creative control over your scenes. Some cameras also have built-in neutral density filters that allow you to shoot in bright sunlight without overexposing your footage.

Sensor Size

The camera’s sensor size is important because a larger sensor will let you capture more detail and shoot at higher ISOs (or lower ISOs) for better low-light performance without introducing too much noise.

Frame Rate

Another important consideration when choosing an affordable camera is how many pixels it captures per second when filming video; this is referred to as its frame rate or fps (frames per second).

While 24fps may seem like standard fare for film buffs, today’s modern televisions display at 60Hz, which means they require frames twice as quickly. Unless you’re thinking about putting up those films on YouTube instead of watching them on TV, then avoid anything less than 60fps!

Video Resolution

The higher this number, the better quality your videos will be. For example, 1080p stands for full HD (high definition). 2K is twice as good as 1080p, and 4K has four times more detail than 2K. If you are serious about videography and filmmaking, Full HD is the minimum resolution that you should look for.

10+ Best Cameras for Filmmaking on a Budget

1. Panasonic Lumix S5 (Editor’s Choice)

Panasonic Lumix S5
Panasonic Lumix S5. Image credits: Panasonic / Amazon.

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The best camera for filmmaking on a budget in 2023 overall 

Type: Mirrorless | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Sensor: Full-frame | Max video resolution: 4K | Max continuous shooting speed: 7 FPS | Display: 3-inch TFT LCD touchscreen, approx. 1.84 million dots | Viewfinder: OLED, approx. 2.36 million dots, 100% coverage | Lens Mount: L-Mount

The Panasonic Lumix S5 is one of the best cameras for filmmaking on a budget. It features massive upgrades over its predecessor, the Lumix S1. It offers a better ergonomic design, improved autofocus, and a new tough. It has a weather-resistant body, and 6.5 stops of dual image stabilization that combines the control of Body I.S, Lens O.I.S., and AI, so every video is clear and smooth.

The Lumix S5 features touch screen functionality and an electronic viewfinder, so you can shoot using either method, depending on your preference. You don’t need to wait until everything is edited and uploaded before you know whether your footage looks good or not.

It has a full-frame 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor that captures 4K video in 60 frames per second, 4:2:0 10-bit internally with an APS-C crop, or 4K at 30p 4:2:2 using the entire sensor. The S5 can also record Full HD video in slow-mo at 180 FPS, which is great for creating cinematic shots with smooth motion blur effects.

If you are into photography, this model has a high-resolution shooting mode that combines 8 shots into a highly detailed 96 MP image; these are some of the highest quality pictures available on any mirrorless camera today! Overall, the Panasonic Lumix S5 has many features that make it an ideal choice for any filmmaker, whether they’re starting or they have years of experience under their belt.

Pros Cons
➕Capable of recording best-in-class video in 4K at up to 60 FPS and in Full HD at up to 180 FPS ➖Utilizes contrast AF rather than phase-detect AF
➕Decent range of controls ➖No full-sized HDMI port
➕Ergonomic and lightweight design
➕Dual SD card slots
➕Dual image stabilization
➕Reliable autofocus system
➕96MP multishot
➕Excellent battery life

Latest Price on Amazon:

Panasonic LUMIX S5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera, 4K 60P Video Recording with Flip Screen & WiFi,...
200 Reviews
Panasonic LUMIX S5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera, 4K 60P Video Recording with Flip Screen & WiFi,...
  • A LIGHTWEIGHT, POWERFUL HYBRID CAMERA FOR VIBRANT STILL PHOTOGRAPHY AND CINEMATIC VIDEO: Realize your creative vision with extraordinary 4K 60p, 10-bit video, FHD 180fps Slow Motion option as well as...
  • DETAILED PHOTO AND VIDEO THAT WILL DELIGHT ENTHUSIASTS AND EXPERTS ALIKE: Capture content in impressive high quality with 96MP High Resolution mode, Dual Native ISO to minimize noise in high...
  • IMPROVED, HIGH-PRECISION AUTOFOCUS AND POWERFUL IMAGE STABILIZATION: Improved autofocus includes detection of the head as well as eyes, face and body, to capture subjects with ease and precision....
  • EXPANDED FEATURES OFFER NEW LEVELS OF CREATIVITY: Use Live View Composite mode to instantly create a stunning image out of several live shots to capture fireworks or a starry sky

 

2. GoPro HERO10 Black

GoPro HERO10 Black.
GoPro HERO10 Black. Image credits: GoPro / Amazon.

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The best affordable camera for filmmaking on a budget

Type: Action | Megapixels: 23MP | Sensor: CMOS | Max video resolution: 5.3K | Display: 2.27-inch LCD touchscreen, 1.4-inch LCD live-view monitor (front)

If you plan to shoot films in the most extreme and fast-paced conditions, you’ll want to get your hands on the HERO10 Black. GoPro is an expert at producing tough, reliable, and supremely effective action cameras, and you get what you’re paying for.

The HERO10 has many features that make it great for shooting video, including 5.3K at 60fps, 4K at 120fps, and 2.7K slow-motion footage that looks spectacular—even in low light. Plus, you can capture 15.8MP still photos from a 5.3K video that looks amazing. It also comes with HyperSmooth stabilization, making raw footage look like it was shot on a gimbal.

The HERO10 is also quite versatile when it comes to shooting video. You can change the field of view in live view mode, shoot time-lapse videos, take photos and capture time-lapse photos without having to stop recording/taking stills manually.

With its new GP2 Engine, HERO10 is much faster than its predecessor and captures minute detail, more realistic textures, and better contrast than any previous models. In addition, the improved battery life, a wide selection of connectivity options, and easy-to-use editing tools make shooting films with the HERO10 even more simple and fun.

GoPro cameras have always been the go-to contender for extreme adventures, and the HERO10 Black is no exception. This sleek little camera packs a punch with its extreme durability and ability to film underwater to depths of 33ft. One feature that filmmakers will love is the option to add mods to a GoPro.

You can pair it with a wide-angle lens, directional mic, HDMI port, display, or external light to expand the HERO10 Black’s creative potential. If you want a camera that is as tough as nails but without compromising on portability and video quality, the GoPro HERO10 Black won’t disappoint.

Pros Cons
➕Can capture 5.3K video at up to 60fps ➖Inconsistent battery life
➕ Class-leading video stabilization
➕8x slow-mo at 2.7K
➕Extremely durable
➕Beginner friendly
➕Hydrophobic lens coating
➕Supports mods for added functionality

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
GoPro HERO10 Black- E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD & Touch Rear...
239 Reviews
GoPro HERO10 Black- E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD & Touch Rear...
  • REVOLUTIONARY PROCESSOR: Faster. Smoother. Better. The powerful new GP2 engine changes the game—snappy performance, responsive touch controls and double the frame rate for amazingly smooth footage....
  • HIGH-RES PHOTOS + VIDEOS, HIGH FRAM RATE: Step up to the sharpest-shooting GoPro ever. Upgraded to incredible 23MP photos and 5.3K video resolution at 60fps, HERO10 offers double the frame rate for...
  • UNBELIEVABLE IMAGE QUALITY: Capture jaw-dropping 5.3K video with 91% more resolution than 4K and an incredible 665% more than 1080p. HERO10 Black captures finer detail, more realistic textures and...
  • HYPERSMOOTH 4.0: HyperSmooth has never been smoother, and it’s easy to dial in the best stabilization at all times. Plus, get even better low-light performance and horizon leveling with a higher...
  • FAST, RELIABLE CONNECTIVITY: Super easy, super fast. Transferring photos and videos from your cloud-connected GoPro to your phone is simple and versatile, with your choice of effortless wireless...

 

3. Canon EOS RP

Canon EOS RP.
Canon EOS RP. Image credits: Canon / Amazon.

The best value camera for filmmaking on a budget


Type: Mirrorless | Megapixels: 26.2MP | Sensor: Full-frame CMOS | Max video resolution: 4K | Max continuous shooting speed: 5 FPS | Display: 3.15-inch touchscreen, 1040K dots | Viewfinder: 0.39-inch OLED colour EVF, 2.36 Million dots, 100% coverage, approx. 0.70x magnification | Lens Mount: RF

If you’re looking for a value DSLR, the Canon EOS RP is a great option. The camera has an updated look and feels from its predecessor, the Canon 5D Mark IV. It’s also one of the most affordable options on this list. You get a lot more bang for your buck than with another model that shoots at a lower resolution but costs more money.

The 26.2 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor combined with the DIGIC 8 Image processor delivers cinema-quality 4K and Full HD videos with phenomenal detail. The Creative Assist feature makes it easy even for a beginner to create films like a pro. Furthermore, it boasts other great perks, such as an electronic viewfinder, LCD touchscreen, quick control dial, WiFi, and Bluetooth connectivity.

However, the main highlight is the high-speed touch and drag autofocus system, which makes it simple to capture moving subjects without losing focus or missing shots regardless of the lighting condition. There are plenty of customizable options to fine-tune your experience depending on what kind of project you’re working on or what type of shot you’re trying to achieve.

For example: if the depth of field is important while filming something like documentary footage both indoors and outdoors, then adjusting the aperture might be necessary. This is to avoid losing too much detail through motion blur when panning toward fast-paced scenes such as skateboarding tricks or action scenes being performed by professionals.

If you still feel like the Canon EOS RP doesn’t offer enough value, it has an RF mount compatible with RF lenses and EF/EF-S lenses. So if you already own one, you won’t have to splurge on a brand new lens.

Pros Cons
➕Compact and lightweight body ➖1.6x crop in 4K
➕Fully articulating screen ➖4K video is limited to 24 FPS
➕Powerful autofocus system
➕Easy to use
➕Great value
➕Pleasing image and video quality
➕High resolution

Latest Price on Amazon:

Canon EOS RP Full Frame Mirrorless Vlogging Portable Digital Camera with 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS...
1,083 Reviews
Canon EOS RP Full Frame Mirrorless Vlogging Portable Digital Camera with 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS...
  • Lightest, smallest full-frame EOS camera
  • RF mount compatible with RF lenses and EF/EF-S lenses with optional mount adapter
  • High image quality with 26.2 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 8 Image processor
  • Dual pixel CMOS AF for fast and accurate auto focus
  • Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your Canon camera into a high-quality webcam, or do the same using a clean HDMI output.

 

4. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10. Image credits: Panasonic / Amazon.

The best entry-level camera for filmmaking on a budget

Type: Compact | Megapixels: 20.1MP | Sensor: MOS | Max video resolution: 4K | Max continuous shooting speed: 10 FPS | Display: 3.0-inch) TFT screen (1040k dots), tiltable monitor

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 is the most affordable camera for filmmaking. It has a long-zoom range offering equivalent of 24-72mm coverage, a 5-axis HYBRID O.I.S.+, a 49-area AF system, 4K video recording at up to 30fps, plus an f1.4 aperture for low light shooting. If you’re looking to step up from that point-and-shoot you’ve been using forever, this is the best option for you.

The LX10 has a 20.1MP sensor that’s paired with an impressive F1.4-2.8 24-72mm LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX lens. The image quality will impress both amateur photographers and filmmakers alike. Its autofocus system also works very well in low-light situations, bursting through the darkness with ease. This feature can make all the difference when capturing those fleeting moments on set or during production!

It even has a tilting display that you can use to record yourself and WiFi connectivity so you can seamlessly transfer files between devices. With this combination of features in a device at an affordable price point, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 is one of the best cameras for filmmaking at an entry-level price currently available today!

Pros Cons
➕Excellent image and video quality ➖No viewfinder
➕Great autofocus system ➖Average battery life
➕24-72mm equiv F1.4-2.8 lens offers a useful range ➖Slippery grip
➕USB charging
➕Tilting display
➕Customizable buttons and touchscreen

Latest Price on Amazon:

Panasonic LUMIX LX10 4K Digital Camera, 20.1 Megapixel 1-Inch Sensor, 3X LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX...
285 Reviews
Panasonic LUMIX LX10 4K Digital Camera, 20.1 Megapixel 1-Inch Sensor, 3X LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX...
  • POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA: Large, 1-inch 20.1-megapixel MOS sensor plus 3X zoom LEICA DC VARIO-SU millimeter ILUX lens (24-72 millimeter) and POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) delivers...
  • TILTING SELFIE DISPLAY: Rear touch-enabled 3-inch LCD display (1040K dots) tilts upward 180 degree for easy selfie photos
  • 4K VIDEO CAPTURE: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160), plus exclusive LUMIX 4K photo and 4K Post Focus with internal Focus Stacking allows you to record photos up to 30fps and set your...
  • LENS-MOUNTED CONTROL RING: Manual lens-mounted control ring brings DSLR-like exposure control to a compact point-and-shoot camera body
  • USB CHARGING AND WI-FI CONNECTIVITY: Enjoy travel ready technologies like USB charging and Wi-Fi connectivity to your mobile device; micro-HDMI type D (3) and USB 2.0 micro-B provide additional...

 

5. Sony Alpha a6400

Sony Alpha a6400.
Sony Alpha a6400. Image credits: Sony / Amazon.

The best mirrorless camera for filmmaking on a budget

Type: Mirrorless | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Sensor: APS-C type, Exmor CMOS | Max video resolution: 4K | Max continuous shooting speed: 11 FPS | Display: 3-inch TFT touchscreen, 921,600 dots | Viewfinder: 1.0 cm (0.39-type) electronic viewfinder, 2.36 Million dots, 100% coverage, approx. 0.70x magnification | Lens Mount: Sony E-mount

If you’re looking for a mirrorless camera that’s compact, reliable, and affordable, the Sony Alpha a6400 is the best choice. It is equipped with an APS-C sensor, producing high-quality footage without breaking the bank. This particular model features 24.2MP of resolution and comes equipped with Sony’s BIONZ X image processor to ensure that every frame is captured in crystal clear quality.

The key feature that sets this camera apart from others in its price range is its autofocus system. It not only works well at high speeds but also supports continuous autofocus during 4K video recording (a feature missing on most budget-friendly cameras).

If you’re shooting a fast-paced scene with lots of movement and quick action sequences, your footage will be crisp and clear no matter how many times the subject moves into or out of focus while filming. You’ll also get pro-level performance when using manual focus—just press down on the rear dial and twist it to adjust your composition. It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

With a 180° swivel display, in-built mic, and wireless connectivity options, you can also film yourself with brilliant clarity and sound quality. All in all, this compact device has everything you need to create beautiful films: 4K video recording at 30fps; 1080p super slow motion up to 120fps; plus still photography capabilities up to 10 fps with continuous autofocus and fast hybrid AF.

Pros Cons
➕Compact and portable ➖Limited external controls
➕Swivel display for vlogging ➖Lacks IBIS
➕Industry-leading autofocus
➕Good quality electronic viewfinder
➕Detailed 4K video and image quality

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sony Alpha 6400 | APS-C Mirrorless Camera (Fast 0.02s Autofocus, 24.2 Megapixels, 4K Movie...
1,144 Reviews
Sony Alpha 6400 | APS-C Mirrorless Camera (Fast 0.02s Autofocus, 24.2 Megapixels, 4K Movie...
  • FAST AND PRECISE AUTOFOCUS: rely on 0.02s AF, Real Time tracking and Eye AF (human/animal) to keep your subject sharp in any situation
  • PERFECT FOR VIDEO CREATORS: High resolution 4K HDR movie recording and Full HD slow motion feature (120p) with autofocus
  • NEVER MISS A MOMENT: Up to 11fps with Autofocus
  • CAPTURE CREATIVE ANGLES: easily frame up your subject when shooting from low or high angles with the tilting touch monitor
  • SHARE YOUR CREATION: Easily share on your mobile devices via the Imaging Edge app (Wi-Fi/Bluetooth).Video capture resolution: FHD 1080p

 

6. Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema 4K

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema 4K.
Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema 4K. Image credits: Blackmagic Design / Amazon.

The best filmmaking camera for recording ProRes and RAW video

Type: Action | Megapixels: 8.8MP | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Max video resolution: 4K | Display: 5-inch LCD touchscreen | Lens Mount: Active MFT

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K is a feature-rich cinematic camera that can deliver stunning shots no matter where you travel. It is a hugely popular camera among cinematographers, videographers, and filmmakers. The camera is known for its ProRes and Raw recording options and 4K at 60 FPS and 1080p at 120 FPS footage with no crop factor, making it a great choice.

The Pocket Cinema 4K records in both ProRes and RAW formats, so you can choose your workflow depending on what your needs are. It features a Micro Four Thirds sensor, so it is compatible with a wide range of new and second-hand lenses. There is also an HDMI port to connect directly to monitors or recorders without additional hardware.

Filmmakers will also appreciate other advanced features such as a 13-stop dynamic range, four built-in microphones, a large 5-inch LCD for easy focus, an SD card, and CFast media. It also includes external USB‑C media disk recording and EF or MFT lens mounts. A copy of DaVinci Resolve Studio is also available for professional editing, color correction, audio post, and VFX!

The Pocket Cinema 4K allows you to capture deeper colors, improved detail, and a wider dynamic range between the brightest highlights and deepest shadows, just like a high-end camera. Whether it is recording ProRes or RAW video, sound quality, or availability of lenses, this camera excels every time, making it a top choice if you want to create Hollywood-quality films.

Pros Cons
➕Stunning videos in 4K resolution and 120fps in 2.6K ➖Poor battery life
➕Can shoot ProRes and RAW video ➖No Continuous AF
➕Large touchscreen display
➕Includes DaVinci Resolve Software
➕Wide variety of ports
➕Micro Four Thirds lens mount

Latest Price on Amazon:

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
639 Reviews
Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
  • Full-Size 4/3 Sensor/ 4096X2160 Resolution
  • 4K Dki Video Recording At 60 Fps / 13 Stop Dynamic Range
  • Carbon Fiber Composite Build / Black Magic Operating System
  • 5" Touchscreen Lcd / 4 Built-In Microphones

 

7. Panasonic LUMIX G85

Panasonic LUMIX G85.
Panasonic LUMIX G85. Image credits: Panasonic / Amazon

The best mirrorless camera on a budget for filmmaking

Type: Mirrorless | Megapixels: 16.84MP | Sensor: Live MOS sensor | Max video resolution: 4K | Max continuous shooting speed: 9 FPS | Display: 3-inch LCD touchscreen, 1040K dots | Viewfinder: OLED Live View Finder, 2.36 Million dots, 100% coverage, approx. 0.74x magnification | Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds mount

The LUMIX G85 is an excellent mirrorless camera for filmmaking on a budget. Its video performance will satisfy most filmmakers. It has plenty of advanced features, including advanced controls to help you get creative with your shots.

It records 4K video at up to 30 fps and offers a maximum burst rate of nine frames per second with continuous autofocus, making it ideal for capturing action shots. The camera also boasts an impressive ISO range of 100-25600, allowing you to shoot in low light without sacrificing image quality. And since it has a Micro Four Thirds mount, you have the option of over 27 Lumix compact interchangeable lenses to choose from.

The LUMIX G85’s 5-axis gyro sensor compensation combines 5-axis body and 2-axis lens stabilization, ensuring your handheld footage looks smooth and professional even when you’re not using tripods or gimbals. It works in both wide and telephoto photography and recording 4K Video.

This feature makes it possible to shoot handheld footage in tight spaces where traditional stabilization systems may not work well—such as indoors or when holding the camera overhead. To add more value to this deal, it comes with a bunch of handy freebies, including a 64GB SDXC memory card, backpack, filter kit, tripod, and a lot more.

Because of its affordable price tag compared to high-end cameras, the Panasonic LUMIX G85 is perfect if you’re an aspiring filmmaker or photographer but are still looking for something high-quality without spending too much money on equipment right away!

Pros Cons
➕Excellent image and video quality ➖Cropped 4K video
➕Weather-sealed, durable build quality ➖Low battery life
➕5-axis Image Stabilization
➕Bundled with plenty of freebies
➕Offers plenty of control
➕Value for money

Latest Price on Amazon:

Panasonic LUMIX G85MK 4K Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera Kit, 12-60mm Lens, Sandisk 200MB/s...
82 Reviews
Panasonic LUMIX G85MK 4K Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera Kit, 12-60mm Lens, Sandisk 200MB/s...
  • Bundle Includes: Panasonic LUMIX G85 4K Mirrorless Camera Kit with G Vario 12-60mm Lens, 64GB SDXC Memory Card, Photo and Video Backpack, Two Batteries and Charger Set, Digital Slave Flash, 58mm...
  • 4K Photo Mode: With the exclusive LUMIX 4K Ultra HD video pause and export as a 4K Photo mode, you'll never again miss that one shot that perfectly captures a scene
  • 5-Axis Gyro Sensor Compensation: A new gyro sensor increases the image stability compensation power of the 5-axis body image stabilization to correct hand-shake for all lenses, including classic...
  • Dual IS Effective to 5-Stops: LUMIX G85 integrates 5-Axis Dual I.S.2 (Image Stabilizer), combining 5-axis body and 2-axis lens stabilization for more effective handshake correction and compensation...
  • Durable: It is weather sealed, splashproof and dustproof. These features make it durable in the long run

 

8. Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600.
Nikon D5600. Image credits: Nikon / Amazon.

The best DSLR for filmmaking on a budget

Type: DSLR | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Sensor: CMOS | Max video resolution: Full HD | Max continuous shooting speed: 5 FPS | Display: 3.2-inch TFT touchscreen, 1037K dots | Viewfinder: Eye-level pentamirror single-lens reflex viewfinder, 95% coverage, approx. 0.82x magnification | Lens Mount: Nikon F bayonet mount

DSLR cameras have always been a favorite among filmmakers and videographers because of their high quality, large sensor, and cinematic-like image capture. However, with the introduction of mirrorless camera technology, they have become cheaper and even more affordable to purchase, making them an ideal option if you have a tight budget.

If you have made up your mind about buying a DSLR for filmmaking, we recommend the Nikon D5600. It is a DSLR camera that has been designed to appeal to both amateur and professional filmmakers as it lets you take great photos and videos without a steep learning curve.

The camera features a 24.2 MP CMOS sensor and an EXPEED 4 image processor, making it possible to capture high-quality stills and 1080p video at 60 FPS. Its 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen LCD is great for reviewing your footage on the go. Its 5-axis in-body image stabilization helps you get those smooth shots without using a tripod—or even having someone hold your camera for you!

The D5600 offers 39 AF points, letting you shoot in different lighting conditions without worrying about missing out on the perfect shot because of poor focus. This camera has an ISO range of 100–25600, so the video quality isn’t compromised when shooting indoors or in low light conditions at night.

If you are a beginner at filmmaking and don’t want to spend too much money, then Nikon D5600 is your best friend. It does everything you need to do and delivers professional-quality video that compares with higher-end cameras.

Pros Cons
➕Great video quality even if it isn’t 4K ➖Only 1080p video
➕Easy to use
➕Decent autofocus system
➕Comfortable grip
➕Decent low-light performance

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
D5600 DX-Format Digital SLR w/AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
636 Reviews
D5600 DX-Format Digital SLR w/AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
  • AF P DX 18 55mm f/3.5 5.6G VR Lens
  • SnapBridge Bluetooth and Wi Fi with NFC
  • ISO 100 25600 and 5 fps Shooting
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
  • 3.2 inches 1.037m Dot Vari Angle Touchscreen

 

9. Sony ZV-1

Sony ZV-1.
Sony ZV-1. Image credits: Sony / Amazon.

The best compact camera for filmmaking on a budget

Type: Mirrorless | Megapixels: 20.1MP | Sensor: Exmor RS CMOS | Max video resolution: 4K | Max continuous shooting speed: 24 FPS | Display: 3-inch TFT LCD touchscreen, 921,600 dots

If you’re looking for something more affordable, and you don’t mind sacrificing some features, Sony’s ZV-1 is a great option. This camera has a lot going for it and has everything you need to start filmmaking: 4K video recording, interchangeable lenses, and plenty of connectivity options.

Another thing we like about this model is the 20.1MP CMOS sensor’s 4K HDR recording capabilities and its ability to record up to 120fps at 1080p resolution. It maintains excellent image quality thanks to its BIONZ X image processor. The camera also has an integrated microphone and headphone jack to monitor the audio levels directly from your camera.

It also offers lots of creative options—like slow-motion and time-lapse—that will allow you to create professional-looking films with your camera. If you have a passion for vlogging or live streaming, you will love this camera. It offers plenty of features designed for content creators such as a flip screen, in-built microphone, fast hybrid AF, and the ability to live stream and share files through WiFi.

Pros Cons
➕Pocket-sized ➖No viewfinder
➕Fast and accurate AF system ➖Limited touchscreen controls
➕Flip out LCD touchscreen ➖Micro USB rather than USB-C
➕Lots of features for vloggers and live streamers ➖Inconsistent image stabilization performance
➕Stunning 4K HDR video
➕Built-in microphone and headphone jack

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sony ZV-1 Digital Camera for Content Creators, Vlogging and YouTube with Flip Screen, Built-in...
1,717 Reviews
Sony ZV-1 Digital Camera for Content Creators, Vlogging and YouTube with Flip Screen, Built-in...
  • 20.1MP stacked back illuminated 1” Exmor RS CMOS sensor w/ DRAM. Large aperture 24-70mm1 F1.8-2.8 ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens
  • Fast Hybrid Autofocus and Real Time Eye Autofocus and Real-time Autofocus tracking.
  • Side flip-out 3.0” LCD screen that also tilts up and down for easier to compose selfie shots
  • Quickly switch between two modes of defocused background bokeh
  • Product Showcase Setting transitions focus from face to object

 

10. Canon VIXIA HF G50

Canon VIXIA HF G50.
Canon VIXIA HF G50. Image credits: Canon / Amazon.

The best camcorder for filmmaking on a budget

Type: Camcorder | Megapixels: 21.14MP | Sensor: CMOS | Max video resolution: 4K | Display: 3.-inch LCD touchscreen, approx. 0.46 million dots | Viewfinder: 0.24-inch, TFT Widescreen colour LCD (equivalent to approx. 1.56 million dots, 100% field of view)

You’re looking for a good budget camcorder, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality. The Canon VIXIA HF G50 offers many features compared to other camcorders in this price range and is easy to use. It’s light enough to carry around all day and has an excellent battery life of up to five hours on a single charge.

It has a 29.3mm wide angle of view and comes with 20x optical zoom useful when shooting handheld footage of moving subjects like wildlife or airplanes overhead.  Some cheaper models may struggle with this task due to their lower quality lenses, but this one shouldn’t have any issues whatsoever!

The camera’s 4K UHD resolution captures incredible videos that are rich in detail and color accuracy. You’ll be able to capture even the smallest details in your footage without sacrificing quality. The G50 also has useful features like slow-motion recording and face detection focus, making it easy for everyone in your film crew to get the shots they want.

Pros Cons
➕Professional quality 4K video ➖Disappointing in-built mic
➕Dual SD card slots
➕5-axis image stabilization
➕20x optical zoom
➕Simple operation

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Canon VIXIA HF G50 4K30P Camcorder, Black
406 Reviews
Canon VIXIA HF G50 4K30P Camcorder, Black
  • 4K UHD 30p Recording
  • Genuine Canon 4K-compatible 20x Optical Zoom Lens and Wide 29.3mm Angle of View
  • Advanced Full HD
  • Intelligent 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • Turn your VIXIA camcorder into a high-quality webcam using its clean HDMI output

 

11. Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4
Fujifilm X-T4. Image credits: Fujifilm/ Amazon

The best long-lasting battery camera for filmmaking on a budget

Type: Compact | Megapixels: 26.1MP | Sensor: APS-C | Max video resolution: 4K | Display: 3-inch LCD touchscreen

The Fujifilm X-T4 is a hybrid mirrorless camera that is a perfect tool for beginning filmmakers. The Fujifilm X-T4 has excellent in-body image stabilization and 10-bit 4K capabilities that make it a fantastic tool for filmmakers who are in need of a still camera.

If you are looking for a camera that can shoot 4K at 60fps with full HD at 240fps for slow-motion footage, Fujifilm X-T4 is the best option for you. It also features autofocus that can track faces while recording and can record for about 30 minutes at a time, making it a great tool for filming.

Furthermore, Fujifilm cameras work very well with an abundance of cheap adapters, and the X-T4 features a newly developed mechanical shutter that is the fastest and most robust in the history of the X Series. It also introduces ETERNA Bleach Bypass which creates beautiful de-saturated, high-contrast footage.

Pros 

Cons

In-body image stabilization Headphone socket requires a dongle
Improved autofocus performance. Expensive
Longer battery life

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Fujifilm X-T4 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF18-55mm Lens Kit - Black
  • Putting Stability in Your Hands: A huge part of creating great photos or videos is making sure you are in the right place at the right time – and that often means making handheld images to get to...
  • Performance You Can Rely On: For any serious image maker, having a tool that can be relied upon to perform flawlessly whenever it is required is extremely important. For this reason, X-T4 features a...
  • Find the Best Angle for Your Story: When chasing the perfect image, versatility is key, so the last thing you want is to be hampered by awkward angles. The 1.62 million pixel vari-angle touchscreen...
  • When Your Story Needs Movement: The modern image maker is blurring the lines between photography and videography, and X-T4 has been designed to celebrate this new generation of hybrid creativity. With...
  • Powerful Image Manipulation Made Easy: For over 85 years, Fujifilm has produced photographic films that have been used by some of the world’s best-known moviemakers to create some of the world’s...

 

12. Sony α7 IV

Sony Alpha 7 IV
Sony Alpha 7 IV. Image credits: Sony/Amazon

The best high-resolution camera for filmmaking on a budget.

Type: Mirrorless  | Megapixels: 33 MP | Sensor: CMOS | Max video resolution: 4K | Display: 3-inch TFT touchscreen

If you are looking for a camera for filming that has the most advanced features and significantly increased video capture options, the Sony α7 IV is the best choice. It supports a wide range of recording formats and video codecs and with 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording capability, so you can make the best footage.

Sony α7 IV offers excellent battery life, captures more information, and records higher-quality videos. If you want to incorporate slow-mo footage, it can record 4k at 60 fps and Full HD / 1080p at up to 120 fps.

It features mic input, a headphone jack, and a full-sized HDMI port, making this camera a perfect tool for filmmakers offering everything they need to start shooting high-quality videos. Furthermore, like all other Sony cameras, Sony α7 IV also has the same excellent autofocus system.

Pros 

Cons

10-bit 4:2:2 recording Battery life in the video is short
In-body image stabilization
Improved menu system

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sony Alpha 7 IV Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera,Body Only , Black
  • 33MP full-frame Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • 8x more powerful, next generation BIONZ XR image processing engine
  • Up to 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 w/ full pixel readout in all recording formats
  • 7K oversampling full-frame 4K 30p 10-bit 4:2:2 w/ no pixel binning
  • Beautiful color expression made simple with S-Cinetone color profile

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a film camera?

A filmmaking camera is a camera that rapidly takes a sequence of photographs, either on an image sensor or onto film stock, to produce a moving image to project onto a movie screen.

Which are the best cameras for filmmaking on a budget?

If you are looking for filmmaking cameras that are budget-friendly, you can try these cameras: Panasonic Lumix S5, Canon EOS RP, and Sony Alpha a6400.

What are the 3 types of film cameras?

There are generally three types of film cameras. They are SLRs, compacts, and rangefinders.

 

10+ Best Cameras for Filmmaking on a Budget

If you are a filmmaker, you can find endless budget options on the market but it is important to choose a camera that suits your needs best. The choices in this article cover a range of different cameras for every type of filmmaker. They will help you create award-winning films while being affordable on any budget. You can also read our blog on best 4K cameras for video.

It all boils down to your personal preference and needs. We hope that this article has helped you narrow down your choices! Happy shooting!


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