Finding the best video camera for filmmaking on a budget can be a difficult decision to make. The camera needs to be able to perform the tasks you're wanting to produce while also fitting into your budget. Sure, you can find plenty of cameras that will have everything you want in it, but then you see the price tag, and there's no humanly possible way to fit it into your budget. That said, everything we will mention in this article will be with budget in mind.
What To Look For In A Video Camera
When looking through the cameras below, there are a few aspects that you might want to pay close attention to.
- Resolution: Now that it is 2019, to have pro quality, you will need to be sure that the camera you purchase has the highest resolution possible.
- Options: You will find cameras at the local store that have a lot of "auto" features. In filmmaking, you want to be able to have more control. The more options, the better.
- Weight: The camera is not always going to be on a tripod. A lightweight camera is good to have.
- Durability: As you will most likely be taking this camera all over the place, you want to try to avoid one that will break easily. Accidents do happen!
- Output: You will need to be getting the data off of the camera, and onto your computer of course. Make sure the output will work for your setup.
Now that we have discussed the basic aspects to look out for when getting the best video camera for filmmaking on a budget, let's take a look at some of the best cameras on the market to choose from. (The following products contain affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I get paid if you click through and make a purchase)
Top Reviewed Best Video Cameras For Filmmaking On A Budget
The Panasonic G85 camera features a 4K video recording feature (3840 x 2160) and a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor for extra detail. Includes a 5-axis dual image stabilization for handheld shots. The LCD screen flips out which can make for more versatility. It has a built in microphone, but does not have a headphone jack. The screen size is 3 inches, and the cameras weighs 1.11 lbs. This is a great camera!
The Canon EOS Rebel T6i has a FHD 1080p and 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor. It has an awesome selection of lenses. A cool feature of this camera is that it has Wi-Fi too giving another option for transferring files. This camera weighs 1.22 lbs.
While on the topic of Canon cameras, the Canon EOS 70D is a FHD 1080p video camera and 20.2 megapixels. It has a 3 inch LCD touchscreen. It features a dual piszel CMOS AF which is great for fast focus in video. The camera weighs 1.66 lbs. It does not have image stabilization.
This Panasonic camera has a 4K video recording, which is great for the price of this camera. Lots of controls. The 3 inch swivel LCD display makes it easy for different angles. The camera weighs 0.9 lbs for an easy hold and has image stabilization. This is my personal top choice for the best video camera for filmmaking on a budget.
Built-In Microphone, Needed Or Not?
On many cameras, you will see it advertised with a built-in microphone. You might wonder if this is something you would need to be looking for as it makes sense to have one on the camera. However, the answer is actually no. In most cases with filmmaking, you will record the audio separate then overdub the new audio to match it with the video. In doing this, you will have a much better sound.
In almost every camera, the microphone that is built-in is not going to be a high quality. Obviously, this is an add on feature and not the "main reason" you are purchasing the camera. In other words, do not expect a built-in microphone to be anything you would really want to use. You will be using boom mics and lav mics.
720, 1080, 4K. What Does All This Mean?
When you're searching for the best video camera for filmmaking on a budget, you will want to make sure that you have the best quality possible. So how does the term megapixel play into this? A megapixel is a unit (million) of graphic resolution. To make this simple, let's just say that the higher the megapixels on the camera, the better the picture is going to be.
We mention megapixels and then resolution, but what is the difference between these two? As discussed in the previous paragraph, a megapixel is a unit (million) of graphic resolution, but the numbers 720, 1080, 4k, etc, refer to the horizontal resolution. For example, 720 actually means the image will be 1280 x 720, which is 921,600 pixels. This means that a camera that is 720 resolution will not be a megapixel camera.
Advice For Purchasing The Best Video Camera For Filmmaking
At this point, you may find yourself checking your bank account to see if the camera you have picked fits into your budget. The most important piece of advice I can give to anyone starting out in production is to always keep budget in mind. You can spend your entire savings on a camera, but then not be able to afford an editing program, lights, a tripod, etc. Make sure to be realistic about what you can afford. I have fallen victim of this a handful of times in my production career.
Lights, Camera, ACTION
If you have any remaining questions at all about finding the best video camera for filmmaking on a budget, we are always here to help! We can be found through out contact us page found here. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with all the recent Blackskye activity!