10 Best cameras for filmmaking on a budget: (2023 Guide & Reviews)

Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Sharon Advik

Filmmaking used to be a dream reserved only for the fortunate.

Thanks to modern technology, the Dream of filmmaking doesn’t seem as far-fetched anymore.

Even an average consumer can afford a professional camera.

However, not all cameras available on the market are suitable for shooting videos for movies.

You must look for specific features when buying yourself a camera for filmmaking.

The more features your camera has, the more options you’ll have.

It just offers more versatility.

It can be challenging to tell which camera you should get for your filmmaking endeavors.

That’s nothing to worry about!

We put a list we put together of the best cameras for filmmaking on a budget;

Which are the best cameras for filmmaking on a budget?

Here are my recommended top 10 best cameras for filmmaking on a budget:-

Panasonic GH5s: (best 4k camera for filmmaking on a budget)

I grew up watching movies.

The Dark Knight trilogy is the best in the world.

Early on, I decided to grow up to be a filmmaker.

The first step was finding a camera, but I didn’t have much money.

Then I learned about the Panasonic GH5s, The best filmmaking camera on a budget.

It completely changed my life.

Features:

4K Supported Sensor:

Shooting in 4k is a standard in filmmaking. No one ever settles for less at this point.

This Panasonic camera allows you to shoot in 4k in 59.94, 50, 29.97, and 25p.

It has a large 10.4-megapixel sensor.

The “10.4 megapixels” might throw you off. Still, since it’s a large sensor, it works better than a camera with a 24-megapixel average- Sensor camera.

Ideal Features for Filmmaking:

This Panasonic camera is designed for filmmaking excellence.

The primary purpose of this camera is videography and filmmaking.

That’s why it comes fully equipped with the perfect features for filmmaking.

It has a 14-bit RAW capture, which is lovely for post-production work.

It can record 4k in 60 fps, which is almost unprecedented for cameras at this price.

Sharp and Clean high ISO photography:

I’m a fan of the Dark Knight trilogy, so you can imagine my obsession with shooting videos at night.

This Panasonic camera shoots beautifully at a high ISO range.

I have shot Dark Knight-esque shots at ISO 6400 through 12800, and I feel like those shots can give Christopher Nolan a run for his money.

The sharpness of those shots is unparalleled.

Conclusion:

This camera has allowed me to explore my filmmaking aesthetic with fantastic features specially designed for filmmaking.

So, if you have big dreams, get yourself the Panasonic GH5s.

Trust me, and you won’t regret it.

Pros
  • Native 4K sensor and dual native ISO for excellent low-light video quality.
  • Same build quality as GH5.
  • Dual card slots.
  • Vari-angle touch LCD.
  • Big, sharp EVF.
  • 14-bit Raw imaging V-Log L and HLG included.
Cons
  • No in-body stabilization.
  • No built-in flash.

Fujifilm X-T4: (best camera for low-budget filmmaking)

I have many different hobbies, and making documentaries is one of them.

I was challenged to make a fashion documentary for a company recently.

It wasn’t about my filming skills. Instead, it was about the camera I was using.

It was high time to upgrade my camera, but I still had to stay under a budget.

I bought myself the best camera for low-budget filmmaking, the Fujifilm X-T4.

It has all the qualities a perfect filming camera should have.

Features:

Exemplary Battery Life:

When shooting a fashion documentary, you have to take the camera outside.

If you don’t always have access to a charger, this Fujifilm camera has incredible battery life.

It keeps going for hours on end.

I take this camera out for entire days without having to charge it.

I’m yet to see another camera perform this well in battery life.

Excellent Features for Videography and Photography:

This Fujifilm camera is one of the best cameras for beginners and professionals.

It’s a 26.1-megapixel camera with an X-Processor 4 Image Processor, giving it the best resolution of any camera. It has an ISO of 160-12800.

The high resolution allows it to work phenomenally, even at high ISO ranges.

I love taking this camera out at night for fashion videography, as I get incredible results even in low light.

This camera can shoot in 4k with up to 60 Frames Per second frame rate, which makes it an absolute delight to work with

Sharp Autofocus and Image stabilization:

This Fujifilm camera has the sharpest focus of any available camera.

The tracking system this camera comes equipped with is also incredibly speedy and sharp.

Face and eye detection are also on par with the most high-end cameras.

It locks focus on my model in a fraction of a second and captures the image in the blink of an eye.

It also has inbuilt image stabilization, which is an excellent feature if you’re into handheld videography.

Conclusion:

The Fujifilm X-t4 is the best camera available on the market.

I have recommended it to some of my fashion Vlogger friends.

Each of them has been satisfied with my recommendation.

Pros
  • Pro-grade, dust- and splash-protected body
  • Excellent EVF
  • Articulating LCD
  • 15fps mechanical shutter
  • Improved battery
  • Excellent in-camera film looks and Raw processing
  • Stabilized image sensor
  • 4K at 60fps
Cons
  • No standard headphone jack (though a dongle is included)

Sony Alpha A6600: (best budget mirrorless camera for filmmaking)

Directing videos is an underrated art that only those profoundly familiar with filmmaking and theater can appreciate.

I always wanted to be a director. I had a fascination with movies growing up.

I would pay attention to things most people wouldn’t, like the lighting used in shots, the angle, the exposure, etc.

Then, a while back, I was gifted the Sony Alpha 6600 during Christmas.

It is the best budget mirrorless camera for filmmaking.

My life hasn’t been the same since.

Features:

Phenomenal Autofocus and Tracking:

Film-making is all about expressing emotion through action.

It’s about building a story through movements.

It requires a fantastic camera to track movement.

This Sony camera is precisely that.

It locks focus on the subject accurately in about 0.2 seconds.

It is incredible to focus on the subject, even during sharp movements.

It has an accurate tracking system.

It also has an excellent eye and face detection system, making it an easy and fuss-free filmmaking experience.

Multi-functionality:

This camera is not only optimal for filmmaking but also great for capturing high-quality photos.

It has allowed me to expand my filmmaking and photography horizons truly.

The 24.2 Megapixel APS-C sensor provides quality, high-resolution images.

It also has a 5-step Shutter speed advantage, which offers versatility when playing with exposure.

Since I naturally gravitate towards action photography due to my filmmaking roots,

I love the 11 fps continuous shooting features.

In-body Stabilization:

I can’t emphasize how crucial In-body stabilization is for filmmaking and photography.

Some lenses on the market come with built-in image stabilization, but it is not wise to rely on them.

This Sony camera comes with in-body image stabilization on all 5 axis.

This feature gives stability and sharpness to images.

Conclusion:

The Sony Alpha A6600 helped me kick-start my movie director journey.

I have decided to stick with this camera for as long as possible.

It offers the most for my buck. It has all the features filmmakers need to produce exceptional films in a tiny and compact body.

I always suggest it to anyone looking for a high-quality multi-tasking camera.

Pros
  • Real-Time Tracking focus system.
  • Big battery.
  • Improved handgrip.
  • Integrated EVF.
  • Stabilized image sensor.
  • Dust and splash protection.
  • 4K recording.
Cons
  • Single, slower UHS-I card slot.
  • No focus joystick or front dial.

Fujifilm X-T3: (best video camera for filmmaking on a budget)

I have enjoyed long walks on the beach, staring at the night sky, and sitting by the fireplace.

I have always been very observant and love living in the moment.

Last summer, I realized I could put this wanderlust to good use and got myself the Fujifilm X-T3.

It is the best video camera for filmmaking on a budget.

Now, I get to capture the beach, the night sky, and the fireplace and string them together in a story for my viewers to watch.

Features:

Excellent Resolution:

It’s a 26 MegaPixels Cropped Sensor camera that can shoot videos in 4k resolution.

I have gotten the sharpest, hyper-realistic videos with this camera.

I have shot incredible videos of the beach at night in 4k with 30 frames per second.

You usually have to turn up the ISO when shooting at night.

This Fujifilm camera performs exceptionally well, even at high ISO ranges.

The sharpness and clarity of the video give life to the night-time beach scene.

Full Autofocus Coverage:

As a filmmaker, I love to work with the manual focus system in cameras, but it can sometimes get pretty tedious.

At some point, you have to switch to Autofocus.

I can’t, however, stand an inaccurate and slow Autofocus.

This FujiFilm camera locks focus on the subject in less than a second.

It also has an exemplary tracking system, making it one of the best filmmaking cameras.

The Autofocus points also cover 100% of the sensor, providing optimal image accuracy and sharpness.

Sturdy Build:

Sometimes, filmmakers put too much emphasis on the features of a camera.

They forget that the build, portability, and ease of use are just as important, if not more.

This Fujifilm camera has a sturdy build and dust and splash-resistant body.

I’m not scared to take this camera for shooting in extreme conditions.

I know it can withstand some roughness.

It also has easy-to-navigate features, a great LCD screen, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

Conclusion:

Having a camera that offers versatility to express the full scale of your creativity is essential.

This FujiFilm X-T3 is exceptionally versatile and easy to use.

Pros
  • 26MP BSI APS-C image sensor.
  • 20fps full-resolution shooting.
  • 30fps at 16.6MP.
  • Full sensor autofocus coverage.
  • 4K video.
  • Dust and splash protection.
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Cons
  • No in-body stabilization.
  • No built-in flash.

Canon EOS 90D: (best Canon camera for filmmaking on a budget)

Music Videos are essential to music these days.

They’re a story combined with another story.

The amount of creativity you can explore in music videos is incomparable.

Using a subpar camera can limit creative flow, though.

This is why I got the Canon EOS 90D, the best Canon camera for filmmaking on a budget.

Adding visual personality to music has become more fun, easy, and engaging.

Features:

Highest Resolution with Affordability:

Leave it up to Canon to produce high-resolution cameras at affordable prices.

Here, the particular camera we’re talking about has a 32.5-megapixel cropped sensor and a DIGIC 8 Image Processor.

This combination provides ultra-high-quality images with the least amount of effort.

It also has a 220,000-pixel AE Metering Sensor Shooting.

It has Ultra high definition 4k in 30 frames per second video recording, which is lovely to work with when shooting my music videos.

Optimal Autofocus and Tracking:

This camera has a Movie Servo AF mode, which gives incredible accurate and natural focus when moving between different subjects.

It also has optimal subject tracking with the dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus and eye and face detection abilities.

It has a speedy Autofocus no matter what model you use.

Easy-to-use Controls:

I wouldn’t say I like to fuss around with controls when shooting music videos.

This Canon camera allows me to shoot professional videos and explore my creativity as a filmmaker without the hassle of complex controls.

It’s fantastic for capturing photos, with the 10-fps continuous Shooting mode.

It comes fully equipped with an optical viewfinder and a large LCD.

It also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Conclusion:

I used to be a freelance videographer.

The Canon EOS 90D has earned me a real job as a music video videographer with a successful musician.

This camera’s sharp Autofocus, realistic resolution, and incredible performance are impossible to beat!

Pros
  • 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.
Cons
  • No sync socket.
  • Single memory card slot.

Sony Alpha a6400: (best Sony camera for filmmaking on a budget)

Storytelling is one of the most profound arts ever.

It lies at the heart of creativity.

Modern technology has allowed us to explore storytelling in the most expressive and convincing ways.

Filmmaking is my favorite way to tell stories.

To tell compelling stories, you must have the best equipment.

I found my favorite camera for filmmaking back in January of last year.

It was a Sony Alpha a6400, the best Sony camera for filmmaking on a budget.

Features:

World’s Fastest Autofocus:

This camera claims to be the world’s fastest and lives up to its claims.

It has an Autofocus that’s so fast it locks focus on the subject in the blink of an eye.

I’ve never had another camera that works as quickly as it does.

It also has a precise and accurate tracking autofocus system, allowing me to shoot videos optimally.

Best of Both Worlds:

This camera is superb with its exceptional ISO range and 24.2 MP Exmor CMOS sensor.

Whether I’m shooting videos for my movie or doing casual street photography doesn’t matter.

It just works exceptionally well in both cases.

It has an 11fps continuous shooting mode, which is impressive for action photography.

It allows you to shoot videos in 4K movie2 w/ 2.4x oversampling4, full pixel readout, with no pixel binning.

TiltableTouchScreen:

We tried to make a movie similar to Blair’s Witch Project and needed a camera to film ourselves.

That was when I realized this camera had a tiltable LCD that could rotate up to facilitate self-filming. I was astounded by this fantastic feature. The screen is also touch-supported.

Conclusion:

I’m yet to find another camera on a budget that works as exceptionally as the Sony Alpha a6400.

I have made the best movies, captured the best pictures with this camera, and never complained.

I’d recommend the Sony a6400 to anyone looking for the perfect camera on a budget,

Pros
  • Compact build.
  • 24MP APS-C image sensor.
  • Quick, accurate autofocus.
  • 11fps continuous drive.
  • Large, sharp EVF.
  • Selfie LCD.
  • Built-in flash and hot shoe.
  • 4K video without recording limit.
Cons
  • No in-body image stabilization.
  • UHS-I card slot.

Nikon Z6: (best Nikon camera for filmmaking on a budget)

I’ve had many chances to have a career in many different professions.

Still, I never had a passion for any of those professions.

I always knew, though, that I loved movies.

They’d always leave me in awe.

Last summer, I was invited to shoot a movie, and I instantly knew what I wanted to do.

I asked the director what camera to get to start my career.

He recommended the Nikon z6, the best Nikon camera for filmmaking.

I dived headfirst into the filmmaking venture with my Nikon camera and never looked back.

Features:

Advanced White Balance Feature:

The White Balance feature allows you to be a wizard.

You can make an evening scene look like a bright daytime scene.

It helps to adjust the mood of your scene no matter what time of the day you film it.

It gives you massive creative control.

This Nikon has excellent white balance features.

Suppose you’re on the perfect set at the ideal time of the day.

In that case, this camera’s auto-white balance will accurately represent what you’re seeing.

If not, the white balance adjustments allow you to manipulate the lighting and temperature to your creative desire.

Sharp at high ISO Ranges:

This camera works exceptionally well even at high ISO ranges.

I have shot some night scenes at ISO 6400 and above.

I have gotten the sharpest and cleanest results.

Sometimes, I mess up the angle of the videos and have to magnify my videos.

The 24-megapixel Full Frame sensor provides such high-quality resolution that even magnification in high ISO range shots looks terrific.

Most affordable Mirrorless Camera:

It’s a Full-frame Mirrorless 24 Megapixel camera at the price of a regular DSLR.

It’s a Mirrorless camera.

It also has an Electronic Viewfinder and in-body stabilization on all 5 axes.

It also has high-speed autofocus, covering 90% of the full frame and 12 fps of continuous shooting in RAW format.

It can produce 4k-supported high-resolution videos and a Touch screen LCD.

What more can you ask for a camera at this price?

Conclusion:

My Filmmaking job just became the highlight of my day, thanks to the Nikon z6!

Can you get a mirrorless full-frame camera in this price range? It’s a steal!

I highly recommend this camera to all amateur and professional filmmakers alike.

It’s a delight to work with!

Pros
  • 24MP full-frame sensor.
  • 90 percent autofocus coverage.
  • 12fps Raw continuous shooting.
  • In-body image stabilization.
  • Tilting touch LCD.
  • Big, sharp EVF.
  • Compatible with Nikon SLR accessories.
  • 4K video.
  • Dust and splash-resistant.
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Cons
  • Single memory card slot.
  • No PC Sync socket.

Canon 80D: (best budget DSLR for filmmaking)

I used to keep asking my father to buy me a DSLR for my filmmaking ventures.

Even though he wanted to, he never did.

He wanted to see me make it on my own and fulfill my dreams by getting up on my feet.

That’s what I did. I hustled and got the Canon 80D camera, the best budget DSLR for filmmaking.

I’m proud to say that I’ve made much money with my Canon camera and have gotten up.

Features:

Portable Build:

This Canon camera is an average-sized camera that’s super lightweight.

Most of the weight comes from one of the finest viewfinders in a camera.

The quality of the Viewfinder alone makes this Canon camera worth buying.

The body of this camera is also water and weather-resistant.

Optimal Videography and Lens Compatibility:

I love shooting from all different distances and focal lengths.

So, I need a camera that can support many different lenses.

This Canon camera provides versatility as it can support many different Canon lenses.

It has its lens and the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens. It has a 24.2-megapixel sensor and a DIGIC 6 image processor.

This combination gives this camera one of the most satisfying resolutions available in any camera.

Quick AutoFocus:

This camera has a 45-point cross-type autofocus system.

It focuses on the subject and captures images in a matter of nanoseconds.

It also has an improved tracking system for focus, which is extremely important when shooting with a low-aperture lens.

It’s just an important feature to have overall.

Conclusion:

Looking for a career in filmmaking?

Get yourself the Canon 80D now, and kick-start your career immediately.

That’s what I did, and I have come pretty far!

Pros
  • 45-point autofocus system.
  • 7fps capture with focus tracking.
  • Vari-angle touch-screen display.
  • Pentaprism viewfinder.
  • Smooth video autofocus.
  • 1/8,000-sec shutter and 1/250-sec flash sync.
  • Wi-Fi with NFC.
Cons
  • Single SD card slot.
  • There is no PC sync connection.

Panasonic GH5: (best camera for filmmaking and photography on a budget)

Some people are tech-savvy, some are business-savvy, and I like to call myself history-savvy.

Finding the perfect solution, I had to incorporate this passion into my career.

I channeled my passion for history into making historical documentaries and visiting historical sites to capture images of artifacts.

I needed the perfect camera, and then I found the Panasonic GH5.

It is the best camera for filmmaking and photography on a budget.

I have increased my passion for history.

Features:

Astoundingly excellent Image Quality:

12 Frames per Second continuous capture mode and built-in image stabilization make for incredible-quality action photos.

The image quality is off the charts with this camera.

It also works wonderfully for portrait shots when I use the right lens.

It has a beautiful autofocus feature, which supports face and eye detection.

Incredible Video Quality for Filmmaking:

This Panasonic camera can capture videos in 4k at 60 fps max and 6k at 30 fps max modes.

I’m yet to see another camera that can shoot 6k in 30 fps, giving incredible resolution to my videos!

It also has in-body stabilization, a feature that all filmmakers find essential to quality filmmaking.

Incredible ISO Range:

This camera has an ISO range of 200 to 25600 but can be extended further to ISO 100.

High resolution allows it to perform incredibly well, even in low light.

I have captured the Auroras in Alaska for a documentary on the most beautiful places in the world with this camera.

I did that with my camera set to ISO 6400 and still got the most amazingly clean and sharp results.

Conclusion:

For historical documentaries, product photography, or vlogging, the Panasonic GH5 is an all-rounder that does a fantastic job no matter what you’re capturing.

Pros
  • 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.
Cons
  • Focus tracking slows shooting rate.
  • No built-in flash.

Canon EOS M50: (best budget cameras for film students)

I have many film student friends who have large collections of cameras.

It’s almost as if they’re obsessed with hoarding cameras.

The idea of hoarding or having too many things to manage gives me anxiety.

So, I was looking for a camera to fulfill all my filmmaking needs so I wouldn’t have to buy 10 different ones.

I was lucky to find the Canon EOS M50, the best budget camera for film students.

I never felt like buying another one.

Features:

A Videographer’s Dream:

This Canon camera is a 24 MegaPixel APS-C mirrorless camera, which gives it an excellent resolution for such a light and compact camera.

It allows you to shoot in 4K, which any filmmaker would appreciate.

Its LCD is also large and touchscreen-supported, providing a crisp and clear display.

Compact Build and Easy Controls:

My Canon camera can do everything heavy and bulky I can do.

It has easy-to-use controls in perfect spots to aid me in my filmmaking ventures.

The right side of the camera has all the top controls.

I don’t have to think twice to find them.

It has a built-in flash, a 3-inch LCD, and is Wi-Fi supported.

Quick Autofocus:

The Autofocus is one of the main features that make this Canon camera worth it.

It tracks the subject/object, locks focus, and quickly shifts focus when moving the camera from subject to subject.

It works exceptionally well even in low lighting, which is helpful for a filmmaker like me.

Conclusion:

The Canon EOS M50 offers the best resolution of any camera.

Since I bought it, I haven’t thought of getting another camera, and it’s that impressive!

This is saying a lot since filmmakers are usually obsessed with collecting cameras.

Pros
  • Compact.
  • 24MP APS-C image sensor.
  • 10fps burst.
  • 7.4fps with tracking.
  • Wide focus coverage area.
  • Vari-angle touch LCD.
  • Mic input.
  • EVF.
  • Wi-Fi.
Cons
  • Native lens options still limited.
  • Limited shots when shooting Raw bursts.

CONCLUSION:

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 filmmaking on a budget?

Is there a camera that I didn’t mention in this article that you love to use?

Would you please leave your thoughts and comments below?

Related post:

Best cameras for cinematography:

1 thought on “10 Best cameras for filmmaking on a budget: (2023 Guide & Reviews)”

  1. I’ve been looking for a camera that can deliver high-quality footage without breaking the bank. This post has been incredibly helpful in narrowing down my options. I’m particularly interested in the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, it seems like a great balance between price and performance. Can’t wait to read more reviews and do some research before making my final decision.

    Reply

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