5 Best Cameras for Filmmaking on a Budget

If you look at the major film releases, the movies are getting more and more expensive. However, the once expensive affair of filmmaking is now available on a budget. Undoubtedly, creating good videos will require the right equipment, but that is not entirely true.

Fujica AX-3 Film Camera
Fujica AX-3 Film Camera

A good camera and a lot of creative energy can take you a long way as well. After all, restrictions and limitations are tools of creativity. With this in mind, in this article, we will discuss the 5 best cameras for filmmaking on a budget.

The cameras in this review are suited for a variety of purposes, and they are all great cameras. Whether you are making films about your travels or your favorite restaurants, or even your pets, you will need to create some attention-grabbing footage.

You will need a camera that can help you capture high-quality video content. Read through the article as we discuss the pros and cons of each camera, along with the specifications and why they matter.

Budget Cameras for Filmmaking

  1. Sony Alpha A6600

The first camera on the list is the 24 Megapixel Sony Alpha A6600 that sports an APS-C Exmor sensor.

This camera is a good buy for those looking for a budget option because you get professional-level options such as jacks for a microphone and headphones.

This allows working with sound with greater control. The camera also has hybrid autofocus that is fast, accurate and has powerful tracking capabilities. With this camera, you can create beautiful 4K shots.

The focal plane phase-detection autofocus makes the camera perform with stability, the contrast-detection features also improve the autofocus accuracy.

AF ensures your subject is always in focus. The camera also features a 5-axis picture stabilization. You can be sure that your footage will be on focus and stable. 

The camera’s compact design makes it possible to carry it about without much hassle. Sony has managed to feature some impressive hardware into this compact camera.

The sensor size is 23.5 x 15.6 mm, and the lens is 135 mm. The compactness makes it easier to keep the camera steady while you’re shooting.

However, a trade-off with the compactness is that you will find the controls to be really close to each other. However, this is something you can get used to as you keep shooting with the camera. 

  1. Fujifilm XT30

The second camera on this list is the sturdy Fujifilm X-T30. The design of the camera feels really strong. While it looks pretty standard, it feels premium on your hands. The camera also features an impressive 26.1 MP BSI APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and a new four-core X-Processor.

The sensor size is 23.5 x 15.6 mm, and the lens is 45 mm. These features make it possible for you to achieve high accuracy autofocus. It also allows for face detection when you capture 4K video.

Thanks to its -3EV limit for phase detection autofocus, the camera can perform well in under-lit conditions as well. With Fujifilm X-T30 you can record 4K at 30fps and 120fps when you’re shooting at 1080p. This feature allows you to create mesmerizing slow-motion footage.

Just like with Sony alpha A6600, this camera also features an electronic viewfinder. EVFs provide extra amounts of data that the old mirror setup cannot. If you know how to interpret this data and use it to your advantage you will get better at filmmaking.

However, being a budget option, the camera must make some cuts. Fujifilm has decided to cut off stabilization features from the camera. While this will not be an issue if you use tripods or if you are good with your hands when shooting handheld, it is a feature that you will miss at some point.

  1. Panasonic LUMIX G95

The Lumix range from Panasonic is a range of rugged cameras. You can swear by their exterior strength. The resolution on the camera is 20 MP and it features a 17.3 x 13.0 mm sensor and 60 mm lens. Like the Sony and Fujifilm on the list, this too features an Electronic Viewfinder. 

The camera allows you to capture 4K videos and comes with a 4K 24/30P video capture feature and a 12-stop dynamic range. The camera has great stabilization features and a quiet shutter release, we love these features.

The camera comes with V-LOG L VIDEO – 4K 24/30p video capture plus pre-installed. V-Log L offers exceptional flexibility in post-production, featuring log characteristics with 12 stops of dynamic range.

The camera can be connected to an external monitor while shooting with its 4:2:2 8-bit HDMI output. The camera also features a 3.5mm microphone jack so you can connect an external mic, but strangely, it does not have a speaker.

If you are considering a Panasonic camera, we also recommend that you take a look at a more budget-friendly Lumix G7. We have mentioned this camera because it features 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160) on a budget and is also mirrorless.

  1. Canon EOS M50

Canon is a great brand for cameras, and as you might have expected, it makes a feature on this list as well. We have included the Canon EOS M50 on the list.

This 24.1 Megapixel (APS-C) CMOS Sensor wielding camera can shoot a 4K UHD 24p video. Snap vibrant, This camera also has a built-in Electronic Viewfinder and a Vari-angle Touchscreen LCD. The camera is easy to use and its touchscreen is great. 

This compact camera is perfect for creating vlogs. It has all the connectivity features that you would expect from a camera, Wi-fi, NFC and Bluetooth.

However, the camera feels a little plasticky, and the battery life is also not so great. You will have to be sure you have some spare battery with you when you shoot.

It’s worth noting that 4K shooting in this camera comes with a heavy 1.7x crop, and Dual Pixel AF is not available in 4K. But, with the entry-level price points, these shortcomings are expected. 

If you can afford to spend more money, then you can take a look at the Canon EOS R series camera. These are more expensive, but they feature a 30.3 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 8 Image Processor delivers stellar low-light performance, even in dark situations.

  1. Nikon Z5

The Nikon Z5 is a full-frame mirrorless camera at a budget price point. The Z5 is a very capable camera that has most of the functionality of its higher-end sibling, the Nikon Z6.

The camera has a 24 MP CMOS sensor, EXPEED 6 image processor, 273-point autofocus system. It has dual UHS-II SD memory card slots, so you can shoot a lot in one go. 

The camera comes with a 3.2 inch TFT touch-sensitive LCD that can tilt to let you see your low-shots with ease. The camera comes with 5-axis stabilization, and we also like the weather seal on the camera.

The camera is perfect if you travel a lot to take videos and photos. And of course, it can shoot 4K UHD videos at 30p, but the videos will be cropped by 1.7x. However, by now you already know that cameras that are priced at a budget will have this shortcoming. 

So, there we have it, the five best cameras for filmmaking on a budget. We hope this article will help you decide which camera is best suited to turn your vision into videos.

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