Top 10 Best Camera For Filmmaking On A Budget In 2021

It is a common misconception that filmmaking requires bulky and expensive cameras. Technology has not only brought forth innovation at every step but have also rethought of ways existing processes can improve on. Therefore, the cheaper, but best camera for filmmaking on a budget exists to bridge the gap to accessibility and affordability. 

Budget cameras are responsible for some amazing shots as you will see by most YouTube videos and documentaries. However, how should one determine which is the best camera for filmmaking on a budget? This article highlights exactly what you should look for and guides you through some of our top picks.

Top 10 Best Camera For Filmmaking On A Budget In 2021

Image

Product

Features

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Canon EOS Revel T4i DSLR

Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR

1080p resolution

Built-in stereo

2TB HDD

Fujifilm X-T30

APS-C seck

64GB storage card

30fps

BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera

BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera

16MP camera

 5-inch display

4k resolution

Panasonic Lumix GH5s

60fps

4k resolution

Panasonic LUMIX GH5

Panasonic LUMIX GH5

64 GB storage

20.3MP

Venus Engine processor

Fujifilm X-T4

IBIS

26.1MP

2160p videos

Fujifilm X-T3

APS-C sensor

1080p video resolution

Fujifilm X-S10

Fujifilm X-S10

325 shots in LCD per charge

5-axis that provides image stabilization

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Canon EOS M50

15-45mm lens kit

128GB storage

Panasonic Lumix G85MK

Panasonic LUMIX G85MK

16MP camera

DIGIC 8 Processor

1. Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR - Best Overall

Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR

If you are looking for the best camera for filmmaking on a budget with phenomenal image quality, high performance, and fast, intuitive operation, the Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR is for you. For the people who try to create impressive videos, the Rebel T4i will be of great use as it can record videos at 1080p.

Fast action looks like a breeze, thanks to the powerful DIGIC 5 Image Processor. A built-in stereo microphone and manual audio level adjustment help ensure that your audio will match the stunning quality of your video. You wouldn't be needing another sound recorder when you have this. 

PROS:

  • It has an 18MP APS-C "Hybrid CMOS" sensor.
  • ISO which is expandable to 25600.
  • 1080p HD recording gives the video output.

CONS:

  • It is not suited to withstand rainy seasons.

2. FujiFilm X-T30 - Runner Up

FujiFilm X-T30

The FUJIFILM X-T30 is an advanced mirrorless camera with high-speed performance, superior imaging quality, and multimedia flexibility. With an expansive 425-point phase-detection autofocus system, it can detect your subject quickly and precisely.

This camera features the X-Processor 4, which uses four CPUs for faster image processing as well as continuous shooting up to 8fps. At 30 fps it shoots at a 1.25x crop using the electronic shutter.

PROS:

  • A set of lens filter is included in the value pack.
  • It is sleek in design with advanced imaging properties.
  • A 64GB card is included in the deluxe accessory pack.

CONS:

  • The mechanical shutter may feel clunky.

3. BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera

The BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera features a 4/3" sensor that can capture up to 4096 x 2160 DCI 4K images at rates up to 60 fps. The file format option has to be one of its best features giving the user a whole lot more options to choose from.

With the 5-inch touchscreen display, you can quickly view what you have shot and make any necessary corrections in the next shot. If you are picking up beginner’s movie-making, this is perfect for you. In fact, if you are looking for a perfect gift to give your ambitious friend, look no further.

PROS:

  • Slow-motion shooting modes can produce interesting shots.
  • It comes with a dust cap that ensures minimal damage to the lens.
  • Screen cleaning wipes are included that remove deterrents effectively.

CONS:

  • The battery life of the camera is disappointing, to say the least.

4. Panasonic LUMIX GH5s

Built just like a tank to endure heavy use, the Panasonic Lumix GH5s features a Digital Live MOS sensor. This delivers an ultra-wide range that could be useful in shooting bigger pictures. The combination of the sensor and the Venus Engine produces stunning and vivid colors.

This is a great addition to your arsenal of cameras for filmmaking on a budget. Panasonic LUMIX GH5s could be used to recreate an indie cinematic experience. It’s simple yet packed with pixels that take the 4k experience to the next level.

PROS:

  • It is resistant to water and dust.
  • It can shoot 4k images at 60fps.
  • It has a dedicated hard case for protection.
  • Advanced wireless connectivity allows remote shutter access.

CONS:

  • The LCD touchscreen needs to be handled with caution.

5. Panasonic LUMIX GH5

Panasonic LUMIX GH5

The Panasonic LUMIX GH5 is a junior-level counterpart to the GH5s. It has pretty much the exact same features with a few absences that should not matter if you are trying out the camera for the first time. The GH5 is jam-packed with features as well, but they are just enough for semi-professionals.

Again, the Digital Live MOS sensor is what makes this unit such a good camera. The perfect recreation of digital images with just the right enhancements makes for amazing color palettes and commendable video quality. It is not too decorated, neither it is lackluster in details.

PROS:

  • The magnesium alloy body keeps it safe from corrosion.
  • The image stabilization is excellent, creating smooth footage.
  • It has pre-installed film creation abilities that are genuine.
  • Color qualities are anything but ordinary and look even better on video.

CONS:

  • The included batteries in the pack may not work.

6. Fujifilm X-T4

The Fujifilm X-T4, a classic, features a state-of-the-art image stabilization feature that keeps your images sharp and steady. This is especially beneficial if you are just practicing your hand at photography or filmmaking. This will help you learn how to better control the camera in your hands.

The improved mechanical shutter attributes to rapid shots at 15fps. Of course, Fujifilm color science is something we are all too familiar with. To have that in a merry combination with digital advancements, imaging will take a whole new level of class. 

PROS:

  • The image stabilization properties recreate smooth footage.
  • The new mechanical shutter works better than all the previous models.
  • The LCD screen can be folded away and in view with ease.
  • It accounts for compelling image manipulation processes.

CONS:

  • The autofocus capabilities are not as sharp as would have been expected.

7. Fujifilm X-T3

The Fujifilm X-T3 is not too different, in terms of design. However, this was noted as the best model from the X-T series until the X-T4 came along. The X-T3 is not in stark contrast to its successor. However, professional photographers agreed that some photographs and videos appeared far more detailed in the X-T4.

Do not get baffled! Honestly, it does not matter if the picture quality score is a tad higher in the X-T4. This is still a fantastic value alternative. Since the price has dropped after the release of the X-T4, you could invest on the X-T3 and experiment with different tricks. 

PROS:

  • It features more improved dynamic range compared to its predecessors.
  • The shutter makes no sound when clicking pictures at 60 fps.
  • The DR mode better manipulates the properties of the range.

CONS:

  • The batteries for the vertical grip are sold separately.

8. Fujifilm X-S10

Fujifilm X-S10

The X-S10 from Fujifilm is a powerful blend of X-T4 and X-T30. A number of features are same as the X-T4 like processor, sensors, and performance. One of the added features is the EVF resolution that makes it stand out.

 The joystick of X-S10 is more flexible and is adjustable to a limited extent. Comparing it with its other competitors within similar price range, the X-S10 offers best value for money.

PROS:

  • It has dedicated dials for exposure control, shutter speed, and drive.
  • IBIS is quite effective.
  • The textured mid-panel ensure increased grip when holding it.
  • It can detect eyes and faces at an instant, focusing better on them.

CONS:

  • Not enough battery life.
  • Shutter speed could be better.

9. Canon EOS M50

The Canon EOS M50 is the entry-level, best camera for filmmaking on a budget to experiment with. Although the single control dial limits the freedom to manipulate the images and videos you are capturing, this is a great beginner’s camera to learn the basics and also figure out how to have better control.

The mighty DIGIC 8 processor packs a punch committing to fast operation and reduced lag. The WiFi and NFC connectivity opens up the opportunity to connect to your smartphone or laptop so that you can check your progress on a bigger screen. 

PROS:

  • Diverse connectivity options lets you access media from multiple devices.
  • It has 7.4 fps burst in AF-C while 10 fps burst in AF-S.
  • At 60 fps, Dual Pixel AF can be used to shoot 1080p videos.
  • Files can be compressed from within the gadget itself.

CONS:

  • It does not support USB charging.

10. Panasonic Lumix G85MK

Panasonic Lumix G85MK

While DSLR cameras have a far-reaching popularity now, SLRs are still considered to be unique forms of analog/film photography. If you want to bring back this forgotten gem, the Panasonic Lumix G85MK is a great pick.

The 4k video capabilities along with the 16MP Four Thirds sensor with no optical low pass filter reproduces images and videos that have the vintage feel to it with a hint of modernization. The improved shutter design solves the issue that previously posed to be a headache in the G7.

PROS:

  • The five-axis image stabilization properties are quite decent.
  • The chassis is completely resistant to dust and water.
  • Four Thirds sensor has no optical low pass filter.
  • The body is made from a magnesium alloy that prevents corrosion.

CONS:

  • It does not support USB charging.

Buying Guide

1. SLR vs DSLR

SLRs use film to snap photos, meaning film will be wasted if the photographers make mistakes. DSLRs are completely digital allowing you to take as many retakes as you want. However, SLRs have slightly better color payoff than DSLRs. Think about what you are comfortable with and find a good balance between color quality and flexibility of use.

2. Lens Options

Wide-angle lens allows you to zoom in and out while maintaining steadiness. You should look for a wide-angle setting that allows you to get as close to the object as possible. Look for something similar to 35mm - anything less than 30mm is alright while anything below 25mm is even better.

3. Resolution

While 4k resolution is exciting, you will likely find the most use out of 1080p resolution. However, 4k allows you the freedom to crop into a video shot without getting too pixelated. If you aim for professional creative art projects, you will be better off with a 4k resolution one. Otherwise, you could save and splurge on additional gears for your 1080p camera line bigger lens.

Conclusion

Camera features can seem too daunting, especially if you do not know anything about them. A good rule of thumb is to consider why you want to buy one, list down traits based on your preferences, and eventually find the best camera for filmmaking on a budget.

The FujiFilm X-T4 is a unique camera that combines its years of skills in concocting the perfect blend of colors and superior mechanism in one unit. These make it an overall all-rounder and would recommend taking this out to shoot sunsets. 

You may also want to look at our list of Cellular Trail Cameras

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