8 Best camera for beginner documentary: (2023 Guide & Reviews)

The cameras are making their way to impress novice and professional images, and video makers are top-rated these days.

These cameras feature highlighted state-of-the-art specifications and are easy to use for anyone who doesn’t grip the proper knowledge of image making and is demanding for making films, documentaries, and starting careers without having to be subjected to the learning process.

I have made a list of such cameras to help beginners to get their dream device, so let’s see through the exceptional.

Which is the Best camera for beginner documentary?

Here are my recommended top 6 Best camera for beginner documentary:-

Sony Alpha 7 III: (best camera for beginner documentary)

About a week ago, I was in Colorado filming a documentary about Mesa Verde for a History channel when I met my old friend there.

He was also coincidentally interested in making documentaries and was filming for his Instagram page with his phone.

He wasn’t getting the results he anticipated and was amazed when he saw a few of my clips.

I also showed him my Sony Alpha 7 III, and we shot some clips together.

The easiness of the camera was so incredible that he decided to buy it to kick start his documentary YouTube channel.


  • Sensor: back-illuminated CMOS
  • Processor: BIONZ X
  • Effective pixels: 24.2 MP
  • Video resolution: 4k/HD
  • ISO: 100-51200
  • Shutter speed: 30-1/8000s
  • Image stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 126.9* 95.6* 73.7 mm
  • Weight: 650g

ISO/Shutter speed

The sunlight was about to go as I was shooting in the early evening. Therefore, I had to keep the camera ISO at 400 to take a relatively bright Video.

I kept the shutter speed at 1/48 seemed enough to record a visually appealing Video.

Aperture/Depth of field

Mesa Verde is known for its unusually stunning architecture of Indian ruins in North America, and I wanted to include every bit of magnificent scenery. Hence, I kept the aperture at f/16 to get a proper depth of field.

However, my friend wanted to add some dramatic elements to the Video, so I decided to start the recording by defocused depth by keeping the aperture at f/2.

White balance/Frame rate

Keeping the white balance at auto was all I needed to element uninvited orange hues known for ruining picture quality.

The camera enabled me to shoot a fluid video in 4k at 30 fps, and the final clips came out very cinematic.

Why is this camera the best?

Whether the decisive moments or a still shooting, this camera provides it all with 4k at 30 fps ability and takes the perfection of filmmaking to its peak.

Moreover, videos and pictures come out noise-free when shooting at higher ISO, so past sunlight shooting is not difficult.


The camera comprises a newly developed back-illuminated CMOS sensor that ensures appropriate light collection, and the 24.2 MP camera resolution further adds to the image quality.

Alpha has become the best camera for beginner documentaries with its BIONZ X speed processor and 4k HDR video rending; easy to use, durable by build, and excellent by performance.

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  • 24MP full-frame BSI sensor.
  • 10fps with tracking.
  • 5-axis stabilization.
  • 4K HDR video.
  • Silent shooting is available.
  • Tilting touch LCD.
  • Dual SD slots.
  • Vastly improved battery.
  • Focus joystick.
  • Flat profiles are available.
  • Only one card slot is UHS-II.
  • No in-body flash.
  • No PC sync socket.

Nikon Z 50: (best camera for beginner documentary)

My brother was studying media studies at Yale University, and his thesis was on the casting couch, and the struggles young people face in Hollywood.

He was very excited about the documentary because his career depended on it.

He came to me and asked for my camera.

Still, I knew he would not be able to handle my professional camera, so I gave him something simple yet efficient enough to provide excellent results for his documentary.

After a bit of brainstorming, I purchased the Nikon Z 50, the camera I used while working on a wildlife documentary, and I must say it is the perfect one for aspirants and skilled creators.


  • Sensor: CMOS
  • Processor: Expeed 6
  • Effective pixels: 20.9 MP
  • Video resolution: 4k/Full HD
  • ISO: 100-51200
  • Shutter speed: 30-1/4000s
  • Image stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 126.5*93.5*60 mm
  • Weight: 395g

ISO/Shutter speed

While I was shooting my wildlife documentary, the camera allowed me to use a wide range of ISO from 100-25000 in both High and low light settings, and I also used a shutter speed of 1/48- 1/120 to include a variety of interesting visual effects such as time lapses of bride pray and slow motions of animal grassing.

Aperture/Depth of field

For the wildlife documentary, I kept the aperture wide because a more focused depth of field was needed.

Still, for the thesis documentary, I suggested my brother use it according to the requirements; for instance, when shooting an interview, ask the individual if they want their background to be revealed.

If yes, keep the aperture at f/8; if not, blur the background by creating a bokeh at f/1.8-2.

White balance/Frame rate

The white camera balance works best when using the corresponding preset.

When I was filming a wildlife documentary, and the outdoors was involved, I would use Direct Sunlight mode.

Still, I suggested he use fluorescently preset for indoor shooting in studio light.

The camera has 4k video fps resolution, which is the filmmaker’s dream, and it allows to use of around 30 fps with 4k, but if a high frame rate is required, the resolution must be lower to HD.

Why is this camera the best?

This camera has opened a new and better option for novice photographers with damn easy navigation and controls.

The camera employs incredibly advanced Z-mount lenses, and the slight build makes it easy to carry when multiple shooting locations are involved.


Z 50 is the best camera for beginner documentaries. It features 4k and 1080p video resolutions at various frame rates, letting you capture slow motions and time lapses to make documentaries more engaging.

Moreover, the camera allows beginners to set a desired setting for Video making and stills and switch between them with a simple lever flick.

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  • Light and compact.
  • Big, crisp EVF.
  • Speedy response.
  • 11fps continuous drive.
  • Strong 4K video quality.
  • Built-in flash.
  • Compatible with Nikon SLR lenses via an adapter.
  • Touch features could be more robust.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema: (best camera for beginner documentary)

It was wild and vast, in the huge Rocky Mountains of western North America while I was working on the most important project of my life.

As there is significantly less known about the deeper parts of Rocky Mountain wildlife, I decided to make a documentary about it.

I had a team of five, and while we were at Mexican pinyons, my camera fell from the tripod due to the rugged surface, and I lost the continuity of my shooting.

I just had one day too.

I completed the project and was so disheartened, but fortunately, one of my assistants was carrying his Blackmagic Pocket Cinema.

At first, I thought a low-edge camera was only suitable for beginners, but after shooting some clips, it changed my viewpoint.


  • Sensor: CMOS
  • Processor: Expeed 6
  • Effective pixels: 20.9 MP
  • Video resolution: 4k/Full HD
  • ISO: 100-25600
  • Shutter speed: electronic rolling shutter
  • Image stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 177.8* 96.5* 86.4 mm
  • Weight: 680.38g

ISO/Shutter speed

This camera was good enough to let me play with the visuals.

I kept the ISO at 100 and the shutter at 1/50 for a smooth transition in the videos; however, for some slow motions of the waving grass and bushes in the wind, I kept the shutter at 1/120.

Aperture/Depth of field

I like the aperture range of the camera that let me go from f/2 while I created a fantastic bokeh in the backdrop of a bighorn sheep standing at the edge of the mountains and slowly increased the field view by narrowing the aperture to f/16.

It gave me a film shot for the documentary.

White balance/Frame rate

Although I was outdoors and, at times, I get cloudy or direct sunlight weather, I kept the white balance at Auto mode, which gave a pure white perception.

I shot the documentary in 4k at 30 fps; in some clips, it was full HD at 120 fps.

Why is this camera the best?

The best feature of this camera is it beats the video quality of ordinary filmmaking cameras due to its Higher dynamic range, Blackmagic RAW, and excellent high ISO performance.

There is also a large LCD to make the focusing more precise, and an MFT lens mount ensures exceptional image delivery.


Blackmagic Produce is the best camera for beginner documentaries with its cutting-edge technology and features that are impossible to get in stander digital cameras.

The 4096 x 2160 resolution sensor and dual native ISO ensure to capture is clean regardless of the lightning.

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  • Huge, sharp screen
  • Comprehensive connections
  • Excellent 4K video capture
  • No articulating screen

Canon C300 MK II: (best camera for beginner documentary)

I have often encountered this question on my social media page: Which is the best camera for a beginner documentary?

I always say it depends on individual requirements.

Recently someone posted a question about Netflix-approved film cameras for aspirant filmmakers. I felt obligated to answer this question with certainty because I have been through this experience myself.

In 2018 when Tylor Swift’s reputation stadium tour was being shot, I used Canon C300 MK II while working as an internee on this project.

It was one of the biggest shots of my life, and this camera was a real help.


  • Sensor: Super35mm type CMOS
  • Processor: DIGIC dual DV5
  • Effective pixels per sensor: 8.85 MP
  • Video resolution: 4k/Full HD
  • ISO: 100-102400
  • Shutter speed: 1/1-1/2000
  • Image stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 149*183*183 mm
  • Weight: 1770g

ISO/Shutter speed

As the whole tour shooting was in very dim and intricate lighting, the ISO of my camera was consistently above 500 to keep the essence of the theme while making the videos sufficiently bright.

As for the shutter, I kept the speed at 1/120 because there was much moving around.

Aperture/Depth of field

I recorded the magnificent scene where Tylor began her tour with her “Ready for it” song at f/16 and included the background.

I slowly widen the aperture to create an artistic breakdown of the background crowd by switching the aperture to f/2.

White balance/Frame rate

There was a lot of intricate lightning, dark ambiance, and flickers, so I had to keep the white wat auto because I couldn’t find any preset usable, but others work fine when used in applicable settings.

I shot my project in 4k at 60 fps for a more lifelike presentation.

Why is this camera the best?

The camera has a smashing video quality with 4k/full HD, but it is more elevated with Canon Log2 and 15-stop dynamic range.

Additionally, the dual DIGIC DV5 adds to the agility and prowess of the camera with uninterrupted processing speed.


Mark II is the best camera for beginner documentaries, and the show’s highlight is its Super 35mm type CMOS sensor.

However, one of the other outstanding features of the camera is its sensor readout speed, which improves shitter rolling distortion and makes it possible to maintain the frame, which is more reason to use it for action filmmaking.

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  • Incredible image quality
  • Dual Pixel Autofocus
  • Versatility
  • Ergonomics
  • Heavy

Panasonic GH5: (best camera for beginner documentary)

My friend started his YouTube channel, and the theme was crime documentaries.

He was more interested in good content than a good presentation, so he kept using his mobile phone for some of the documentaries; they didn’t receive the appreciation he wanted, so I called him to give some sensible advice.

Finally, I convinced him to retry his work with a filmmaking camera and told him to buy Panasonic GH5.

This camera has professional features with very controllable usability.

After starting his work with this camera, his documentary channel gained remarkable popularity.


  • Sensor: Live MOS
  • Processor: Venus engine
  • Effective pixels: 20.3 MP
  • Video resolution: 4k
  • ISO: 100-25600
  • Shutter speed: 1-1/16000
  • Image stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 138.5* 98.1*87.4 mm
  • Weight: 725 g

ISO/Shutter speed

The camera has ISO and shutter range of 100-25600 and 1-1/16000, respectively; I told my friend to go for ISO at 600 because most of his shoots would be on crime scenes and these sites often lack enough light however, I told him to keep the ISO at 100 when it feels bright enough.

The shutter speed for these kinds of documentaries is 1/48-1/50 for more realistic results.

Aperture/Depth of field

The camera has an interchangeable lens, so I told my friend to choose the most suitable one.

I told him to use a wide aperture f/2- f/8 to focus on the targeted subject when needed.

It is the most suitable aperture range for crime films, including interviews and fact findings.

However, when adding graphical elements such as a view of a building, traffic, or broad city view, use an aperture from f/9-f/16.

White balance/Frame rate

The camera has various white balance modes to use as required, but I suggest using Incandescent Mode for most filming.

The filming of documentaries looks more realistic in 4k at 24 fps, and I strictly told my friend not to go beyond this.

Why is this camera the best?

The camera has 5-axis dual image stabilization that helps budding video makers use the hand-held camera with no shakes.

Moreover, documentaries requiring more audio integration must be shot by this camera with a dedicated microphone for clear sounds.


The remarkable performance of the camera is enabled by the Digital Live MOS sensor with a resolution of 20.3 MP, making it the best camera for beginner documentaries.

However, it doesn’t end here.

The Venus Engine, combined with the omission of a low pass filter, gives high sharpness to the videos and stills.

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  • Superlative video.
  • Strong image quality.
  • In-body stabilization.
  • 10.3fps Raw capture.
  • 4K and 6K photo modes.
  • Sturdy all-weather build.
  • Dual UHS-II card slots.
  • Vari-angle touch LCD.
  • EVF.
  • Wi-Fi.
  • Focus tracking slows shooting rate.
  • No built-in flash.

Fujifilm X-T4: (best camera for beginner documentary)

Hunted places have been a place of interest to me since childhood, so when I started my career in documentary series, I was all about hunting the paranormal around the world.

Fujifilm, X-T4 was the camera that I started my career with because I was a bit reluctant to use exclusive digital devices; I chose the one that felt most convenient.

Now whenever novice image makers ask me about cameras that can cope with fundamental videography and are not very complex in control, I always tell them to go for X-T4.

Let me describe some fantastic shots this camera permitted me to record.


  • Sensor: X-trans CMOS
  • Processor: X-processor
  • Effective pixels: 26. 1 MP
  • Video resolution: full HD
  • ISO: 160-12800
  • Shutter speed: 4-1/32000s
  • Image stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 134.6*92.8* 63.8 mm
  • Weight: 607g

ISO/Shutter speed

I used to keep the ISO settings Depending on the time and environment of shooting.

For example, in the first half introduction of the place, I used to keep the ISO at 300 because I was shooting either in the studio or right outside the hunted place.

Still, during visits to the places at night, I always preferred 20000 ISO because there used to be no light.

As for the shutter, I shot most of the documentaries with this camera at 1/50 shutter speed.

Aperture/Depth of field

The camera allowed me to focus and defocus the depth of field pretty quickly.

I always used the aperture at f/11 when a broader range of area was under consideration.

However, when targeting a single subject place, the camera allowed me to choose the aperture at f/1.8-f/2.

White balance/Frame rate

In one incident when I was making a documentary about Amitival horror, I struggled with preset White Balance settings, so I kept using color temperature mode, and it worked the best.

The camera’s frame rates must remain at 24 or 30 fps for an informative documentary for realism.

Why is this camera the best?

Either the color production of Fujifilm or the capability to generate high-quality video, and still, the camera excels at everything.

Autofocus is the fastest, and its cutting-edge color production has made it a choice for every photographer, regardless of expertise.


The camera is built around the fourth generation X-trans CMOS sensor and X-processor 4, exclusive technology to the X series that ensure a detailed and smooth full HD Video even in low light with authentic high ISO performance that makes it the best camera for beginner documentary.

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  • Pro-grade, dust- and splash-protected body
  • Excellent EVF
  • Articulating LCD
  • 15fps mechanical shutter
  • Improved battery
  • The excellent in-camera film looks and Raw processing
  • Stabilized image sensor
  • 4K at 60fps
  • No standard headphone jack (though a dongle is included)
  • Smallest tracking focus area not that small

Panasonic Lumix S1H: (best camera for beginner documentary)

My sister was interested in tourism and hospitality and had participated in many such events at her school to polish her skills and information.

It was her final year at school, and when she applied to Oxford University, they gave her the project to make a documentary about the world’s Wonders.

The university offered an excellent scholarship to the winner, so my sisters asked me to help make her film. We visited all the wonders and successfully filmed an incredible documentary.

My sister is a hobbyist regarding the camera, so she was afraid to use Panasonic Lumix S1H; it was so handy that she got all the one-time instructions correct while filming.


  • Sensor: CMOS
  • Processor: Venus engine
  • Effective pixels: 24. 2 MP
  • Video resolution: 6k/4k
  • ISO: 100-51200
  • Shutter speed: 60-1/8000s
  • Image stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 151* 114.2* 110.4 mm
  • Weight: 1164g

ISO/Shutter speed

The Pyramids stood tall before us when we started my sister’s recording from Egypt.

I told my sister to keep the ISO at 100 and shutter at 1/120 when she was recording a clip where she was coming out of sandy air to introduce her documentary, and the Pyramid was visible behind her.

Aperture/Depth of field

For most of the recording we did, I told my sister to keep the aperture narrow at 1/15 to keep the whole field visible.

Still, I also told her to add some graphically pleasing elements by creating a bokeh of the scene at f/2 and gradually increasing the focus to highlight wonders.

White balance/Frame rate

Every location had a temperature difference, and there were a lot of orange hues in Egypt and Italy while some blue in China with the preset white balance modes, so I told her to transit to color temperature modes.

The frame rate I told her to use differed for 24 and 30-fps clips.

Why is this camera the best?

This camera is a perfect device with groundbreaking.

Video quality range from 10: bit 6k to 4k.

The possibilities are enormous, with a full-frame mirrorless sensor and a full installation on an excellent light assembly.


The camera employs DFD autofocus, 5-axis sensors shit, image stabilization, a Venus engine, and a 24.2 MP CMOS sensor. Every technical specification comes together to make the S1H the best camera for beginner documentaries.

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  • 6K 10-bit full-frame capture
  • Brilliant low-light performance
  • Dual IS 2 with 6.5 stops of stability
  • Anamorphic support
  • Large and heavy

Canon EOS 90D: (best camera for beginner documentary)

Astronomy has some unusual influence on the life of many, and its shaped today’s world.

I was also very much interested in the subject, so I chose to visit NASA for my first documentary when I started filming for a show at a local news channel.

It was my first documentary, and I wasn’t as familiar with the cameras as I am now, so choosing a better, less complicated, and less expensive camera was difficult.

Luckily, one of my seniors at the TV station was generous enough to hand me over his Canon EOS 90D, and I cloud to make a documentary that everyone appraised.

Now I’m the senior, and this is the camera I urge my assistants and internees to buy.

Let’s look at my first work with a terrific camera.


  • Sensor: CMOS
  • Processor: DIGIC 8
  • Effective pixels: 32.5 MP
  • Video resolution: 4k
  • ISO: 100-25600
  • Shutter speed: 30-1/8000s
  • Image stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 140.7* 104.8*76.8mm
  • Weight: 701g

ISO/Shutter speed

For the documentary, I interviewed many NAS employees and recorded the most crucial memory in human life, Rocky Park.

I was in front of the Saturn V.

While telling the history of the Apollo Mission, I kept the shutter at 1/48 and ISO at 1000 because I was recording in the dark.

Aperture/Depth of field

While exploring various locations, such as Neutral Buoyancy Lab, independence plaza, and the space capsule, I kept the aperture at f/11.

I included the complete view of every site by keeping enough depth of field.

White balance/Frame rate

During the whole shoot, I kept the white Balance at auto because it was outstanding in eliminating the overlaying colors that the camera was perceiving.

As for frame rates, I shot the whole documentary at 24 fps except for the scenes where astronauts were training in the Buoyancy lab; in that shoot, the frame rate was 60 fps.

Why is this camera the best?

Whether the most fleeting moments or the moments still through time, this camera gives everything with high-quality 4k video and excellent picture resolution.

Moreover, the performance of high ISO gives unmatched brightness even in the dark.


The entire frame, 32.5 MP MOS, and 16x telephoto reach to make it an even better device for framing moments that would be impossible to suspend otherwise.

90D is the best camera for beginner documentaries, with convenient usage and unmatched outcomes.

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  • New 32.5MP image sensor.
  • 10fps capture with iTR tracking.
  • Vari-angle LCD.
  • Some dust and splash protection.
  • Optical viewfinder.
  • Mirrorless-quality autofocus for 4K video.
  • Cramped rear dial.
  • No sync socket.
  • Single memory card slot.


Alright, guys, that concludes all the cameras we will discuss today in this article.

Do you guys have any experience with these cameras? What are your thoughts on them?

Which are your Best Cameras for a Documentary?

Is there a camera I didn’t mention in this article that you love using for macro photography?

Would you please leave your thoughts and comments below?

Related post:

Best cameras for filmmaking on a budget:

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