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
Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR
64GB storage card
BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera
Panasonic Lumix GH5s
Panasonic LUMIX GH5
64 GB storage
Venus Engine processor
1080p video resolution
325 shots in LCD per charge
5-axis that provides image stabilization
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Canon EOS M50
15-45mm lens kit
Panasonic LUMIX G85MK
DIGIC 8 Processor
1. Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR - Best Overall
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.
2. FujiFilm X-T30 - Runner Up
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.
3. 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.
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.
5. 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.
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.
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.
8. 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.
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.
10. 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.
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.
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.
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.