5 Best Budget Cameras for Filmmaking

Filmmaking. It’s such a big word for non-professionals. Maybe the word “film” reminds us of big Hollywood directors who sit on piles of money. It feels like filmmaking is not possible for mediocre people like us. However, Disney never taught us that. We can be what we want to be. So, I say you can be a filmmaker if you want. If you hit a certain level of filmmaking and want to power through but don’t have millions of dollars to afford whatever Hollywood is using, this list is just right for you. I will be delighted to be your fairy godparent to tell you a list of budget cameras to make your filmmaking dream come true.  

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Source: Blackmagic Pocket 4k VS Hollywood Movie Camera | Red Dragon by Spenser Sakurai

First up, is Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Well, what do you know? Our first product has the word magic in its name. This camera with a breathtaking name is recommended only if you are willing to use it for videography. It is specifically designed to do the task of shooting moving figures. As you can guess from the “Pocket”, its body is very nifty, easily mistaken to be a toy for kids. However, it has been a good partner for some professional videographers in the past, and I assure you, it will not let you down. Black Magic offers a Four Thirds sensor, dual native ISO, and a massive 5-inch LCD. Despite its flaws of having short battery life and fixed screen, it delivers low noise 4K videos compared to other cameras, making it to the top of your consideration list.

Panasonic GH5

Source: The Panasonic GH5 is NOW a Perfect Camera! by The Everyday Dad

Panasonic Lumix series is sold day and night based solely on trust. That’s how good these series are. Among them, GH5 does not fail to impress you in every aspect. I can strongly say that this camera is one of the filmmaker’s favorites. It has fantastic in-body stabilisation, long battery life, and an impressive video specification. GH5 offers 4096×2160 pixels Cinema 4K footage and Full HD. It also has a full sized HDMI Type A terminal output, and a dual SD card slot with UHS-II support. The only downside of this product is that its autofocus is not the best out on the market, and it is relatively an older model. But who cares if it is not the newest model if that is the only flaw to the product.

Panasonic GH5s

Source: The Panasonic GH5S is Fantastic! My Full Hands-On Review (late 2020!)by Geeky Nerdy Techy

This one is the latest model, it is a bit pricier than GH5. But since it is designed specifically for filmmaking, you will not be disappointed with what it can do. That said, it might not be your best choice if you are a videographer as well as a photographer. With the Four Thirds sensor, dual native ISO just like the magic camera above, allowing it to deliver 4K footage with less noise at higher sensitivities. It is also capable of featuring a much better low light performance thanks to 10 megapixels. On top of that, it does not rudely cut off your recording at 30 minutes. It does not have limits in duration while shooting, so you can go on with your artwork as long as you like(before the battery dies). The flaws for this model would be a lack of image stabilization and a wee lack of autofocus.

Fujifilm X-T4

Source: Fujifilm XT4 for Filmmakers? by Indy Mogul

Fujifilm X-T4 is a product you don’t want to miss out on when you are considering buying filmmaking gear.  It is like an ultimate camera that comes with everything you need to have when you are shooting a film. It comes with a great low light capability, a 5-axis in-body stabilization, a strong battery life, excellent autofocus, 10x slow motion in HD, and a fully moving screen. The list of other notable features of this beautiful product would not end, but if I may, it also includes 15fps continuous shooting, an external microphone, and a super-fast shutter speed of 1/8000s. AND unlike the ones at the front, this camera is excellent for both filmmaking and photography.

Canon SL3(EOS 250D)

Source: Canon SL3 Tutorial – Beginners Guide by Tech Through The Lens

Our last candidate is Canon SL3, also known as EOS 250D. This is the cheapest product in this list, being only $700. It is an entry-level DSLR, great for beginners, with a very light and compact body. This product lets you shoot 4K videos with Canon’s latest Digic 8 processor. It is also equipped with a variable angle touch screen LCD, allowing you to see the screen no matter how your camera is positioned. Also, it features a 24 megapixel APS-C sensor, 449g light frame, and a reliable battery life capable of shooting 1070 shots. Its Live View autofocus is also something to look up for, since it offers a smoother response compared to other AF set to the same mode. Although a little big compared to Mirrorless, I think this candidate is a difficult one to delete from your shopping cart.

Tools are not an issue if you are passionate enough about what you wish to create. Buying the newest and most expensive cameras out in the market can’t take you to the next level. These budget cameras are just as capable of creating something amazing. Start slowly with tools you can afford, build skills, and experience first. Don’t get your hopes up, adopt the cameras listed above, do everything you can do with it, and then before you know it, you will be shooting like a pro. 

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