We couldn’t, until recently, have “cheap” or “4k video recorder” words in a single sentence. Many 4k cameras, which are not only affordable but also offer excellent alternatives to professional filmmaking cameras, have been made possible by technological advances.
Recording at 4k provides significant advantages even if you deliver the final output at 1080p resolution. This allows you to zoom in or out digitally on the video after production to give more detail to your audience. A stabilization effect can also be used during editing without worrying about quality issues.
This article will discuss the best 4k camera for filmmaking and provide the necessary buying guides. Let’s get started!
Take a quick look at my Top Picked Products:
0.02 seconds fast AF with object tracking and real-time AF, up to 11Fps continuous shot, tiltable LCD screen, fast hybrid AF for smooth focusing, 4K (3840×2160) recording.
Continuous shooting speed 7 megapixels, optical sensor resolution 16 megapixels. 3x optical zoom. High visibility electronic viewfinder. Fast & precise AF. Built-in Wi-Fi. 4K ultra HD video at 30fps.
A 16-megapixel micro-four-thirds sensor produces a 10 percent increase in fine detail. It is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with a 3-inch screen.
26.1MPX trans-CMOS4 sensor, 4K 60fps movie record, features a 3.69 million-dot high-resolution EVF 0.75x magnification, high-speed continuous shooting, and fast phase detection (AF) across the frame.
18.91-megapixel MOS Sensor, 20x Zoom, Backside Illumination Sensor, HDR, Wireless Twin Camera, 3″ Screen, 5-axis hybrid optical Image Stabilization.
Excellent image quality with 32.5 Megapixel (APS-C sensor), continuous shooting at 10 fps and video recording at 4K UHD (30fps), fast and precise 45-point all-cross-type AF system.
25 fps and 2.7K 30 Fps video with 12MP photographs at up to 30 frames per second, wireless wrist 2.4G remote-controlled sports camera, long battery, Wi-Fi & HDMI built-in, 100 feet waterproof, made to withstand extreme conditions.
How to Choose the Best 4k Camera for Filmmaking?
With the help of social media platforms, many filmmakers are around us. Many content creators prefer 4k cameras that are affordable and good quality for filmmaking.
I compared a number of characteristics to ensure my readers got the best 4k camera for filmmaking. These included build quality, video quality, and stabilization. These attributes will be discussed in detail to help you choose the best camera for 4k filmmaking.
It is important to consider the size of your sensor. Mirrorless and DSLR cameras usually have larger sensors, which allow them to capture in low light conditions and achieve shallow focus effects. They also allow for smaller apertures that don’t blur the images.
Three camera sensor sizes are available: full-frame, MFT, and APS-C. Although full-frame sensors offer the best low light performance, they are heavier and bulkier. APS-C sensors work well in low-light conditions and have a shallower focus than MFT sensors. The MFT sensors are lightweight but aren’t as fast as the other two types.
Bitrate is the number of data that the video camera captures and writes to the disk each second. A higher bitrate will usually produce better quality videos and more information. A higher bitrate is also useful for color correction in post-production editing.
You should consider bitrate when searching for the best professional 4k camera. You will get a higher bitrate with high-end 4K cameras.
Another important aspect to consider when buying a budget 4k camera for beginners in filmmaking is image stabilization. This helps you get smoother footage, especially when shooting on uneven surfaces.
Ensure the camera allows you to adjust the aperture, white balance, exposure, and sound levels. These little things are crucial for your progress if you are serious about filmmaking.
It is a great way to make your job easier. You have some options for manual control customization when searching for the best 4K video camera. Although the manual control capabilities of cheap cameras are not as impressive, they should still be sufficient for beginners.
Make sure to test the microphone quality built into the camera. You can listen to the sound through headphones if there are one. If you wish to use professional microphones, your device must have three-pin inputs XLR.
The sound quality of low-priced 4K cameras might not be the best. You will need additional microphones in this case.
Easy To Use
Do not ignore the ease-of-use factor. You should find the controls easy to use and accessible. A touchscreen makes your job much easier. You can also listen to recordings immediately by using microphone inputs. If your camera has one, you can attach a light or microphone to the accessory shoe.
Best Cheap 4K Camera For Filmmaking: My Honest Review
After much research, I have the following products that can be used in specific situations. It is your responsibility to find the best product for you.
1. Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless camera
- Mount: E-Mount
- Megapixels: 24. 2
- ISO range 100- 32,000 (exp. 102,400)
- Video formats4K at 30fps,24fps
- Connectivity: Bluetooth. Wi-Fi. NFC
- Additional features:3 include an inch 180-degree tilting touchscreen with a max burst at 11fps. EVF, fast and precise AF, flash built-in.
The Sony a6400 compact camera is small and lightweight, but it packs a lot of video features. The weather-sealed body frame protects against the elements. Sony’s latest technology is also included in the a6400.
No Pixel Binning
The a6400 records 4K in super 35mm format. It also has full pixel readout and no pixels binning at 2.4x. This is equivalent to 6K for 4K footage rich with detail and depth.
Real-time Tracking of AF
The Real-Time Tracking feature makes this the best camera for filmmaking with a limited budget. It processes color, the subject’s location, brightness, and spatial information. AI information includes face and eye locations to ensure that all subjects are captured accurately.
Smooth Focusing for Movies
The efficient use of the focal-plan phase-detection method makes movie shooting quick and stable. Fast hybrid AF technology maintains a smooth focus on your subject no matter how it moves around the screen.
The “real-time eyes AF” also uses AI to detect and track eye movements in real-time. You can also manually select the eye preferred by the subject as the focus point.
Tiltable Touchscreen LCD
The Sony a6400 has a tiltable LCD that can be tilted 180 degrees. This makes it a great choice for video bloggers and creators who upload content regularly online.
The APS-C camera can continuously shoot up to 11 fps with continuous autofocus or auto-exposure. You can choose between body-only or body-plus lens options.
The Sony a6400 boasts blazing fast autofocus and advanced real-time eye tracking. The device records 4K videos at 30fps and HD videos at 120fps. It also features Wi-Fi for file transfer and remote control.
The camera doesn’t come with any built-in image stabilization. The battery also drains quickly when shooting at 4k.
2. Panasonic LUMIX G7 4K Digital Camera
- Mount:Micro Fourths
- Megapixels: 16MP
- ISO rangeAuto, 160 – 25600
- Video formats4K at 30fps
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
- Additional features:3 inch LCD, Max burst 7fps; EVF, High-Speed AF with DFD Technology, silent shot, starlight AF.
The Panasonic LUMIX G7 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera features a micro-four-thirds sensor. It is a compact and lightweight camera that can record at 4K 30 frames per second, making it one of the most desired cameras for filmmaking.
LUMIX G7 features Depth From-Defocus AF technology. This adjusts focus by measuring the distance to the subject. Intelligent autofocus also tracks the subject’s color, size, and motion vector, allowing quick and precise focus lock.
The lightweight and compact semi-DSLR allows for easy access to the main functions. The front and rear dials will display the shutter settings and aperture control.
Photography in low light
LUMIX G7’s 4EV low-light autofocus lets you capture clear subjects using moonlight as a light source. Even at night, you can shoot silently with no shutter noise. Guess what? It produces impressively quieter images and videos.
To shoot movies, you’ll need additional accessories. You can expand the Panasonic model with optional accessories such as the DMWFL580L external flash or DMW-MS2 stereo/shotgun mic.
For your convenience, the 4K compatible camera has a micro USB, HDMI, and remote-control connections.
It is lightweight and compact for an interchangeable mirror lens camera. There are three 4K modes. It is easy to use, and AF is fast and precise. The touchscreen controls and high-visibility viewfinder are both affordable.
No in-body stabilization. There is no headphone jack, so you will need to rely only on the on-screen audio monitoring for the best output.
3. Panasonic LUMIX G85 4K Digital Camera
- Mount: Micro Fourths
- Megapixels: 16MP
- ISO range 100- 25600
- Video formats4K at 30fps
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi
- Additional features:3″ vari-angle touch screen with built-in flash and 2.36Mot OLED EVF.
Panasonic Lumix G85 mirrorless camera is an SLR-style mirrorless camera with 4K video recording and 5-axis stabilization. This camera has a 16-megapixel micro four-thirds sensor that captures fine details without low pass filters.
The G85’s durable body is dust and splash-proof. The magnesium alloy plate is weather-sealed to allow you to use the camera in harsh weather conditions. An electromagnetic shutter is also included to prevent shutter shock.
Lumix G85, like all Panasonic cameras, comes with many video tools, such as highlight warnings, focus peaking, microphone adjustments, and microphone adjustments. Cinelike Gamma D and Cinelike V are available for color correction in post.
Dual image stabilization is the best 4K camera available for filmmaking. It also features a 5-axis gyro sensor to improve handshake correction and compensation for shots with up to 5 frames per second.
Live viewfinders with a 0.74x magnification allow you to capture and frame everything. High visibility is also possible with the 2360K dot high resolution. Rear touch-enabled LCD 3-inch adjusts to optimize viewing angles for maximum viewing.
You can set the focus points you want during editing. Dual IS produces handheld clear shots even in low-light conditions. Durable and all-weather frame. Highly detailed images.
The controls are not intuitive and continuous autofocus is only possible at 6 fps.
4. Fujifilm XT3 Mirrorless Digital Camera
- Megapixels26.1 MP
- ISO range160-12800 (exp. 80-51,200)
- Video formats4K to 60fps
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- Additional features:3.0-inch dual axis tilting touchscreen (1.040K dots), maximum burst 30fps (1.25x crops), EVF.
Fujifilm XT3 4K camera is the most affordable 4K camera. It features a 26.1MP Xtrans CMOS4 sensor. It features improved autofocus and record performance, making it one of the most popular still and video recording devices.
High-Speed Continuous Shooting
With the new processor’s high speed and ability to quickly read from the sensor, continuous shooting at up to 30 frames per second is possible. This can be achieved in 1.25x crop mode with the electronic shutter. Comparable to previous generations, rolling shutter distortions have been corrected.
The mechanical shutter can achieve continuous shooting at up to 11fps.
X-T3 has a high-resolution EVF with 3.69-million dots and a magnification ratio of 0.75x. With boost mode, a refresh rate of approximately 100 fps is possible, and there is no display lag. This allows you to identify each subject’s movement and adjust the focus accordingly.
Enhanced AF Processing
The X-Processor-4’s fast processing speed and enhanced phase recognition algorithm allow the camera to refocus or meter 1.5 times faster than other models. This allows for better autofocus, even in fast or erratic movements.
Moreover, the face detection AF was improved. The eye-detection AF operates in AF-C mode and maintains accurate focus tracking with portraits.
Fujifilm X-T3 supports internal SD Card recording. The Fujifilm X-T3’s 10bit color depth allows for greater freedom in gradations. For greater mobility in videography, the body can be connected with a microphone and HDMI device. High-speed burst mode and AF coverage in full-frame
No in-body image stabilization.
5. Panasonic 4K Ultra HD Video Camera
- Weight 428gm
- Maximum aperture f/1.8-f/4
- Aspect Ratio: 16/9
- Video formats 4K at 30fps and 24fps
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi
- Additional features: 3″ touchscreen LCD, 5-axis hybrid O.I.S, HDR, and built-in mic/speaker, as well as a headphone jack.
The Panasonic 4K Ultra HD Camcorder HC–VX981K offers 4K recording at its best. The camcorder has a 20x optical zoom LEICA Decar lens and a 5-axis mixed optical image stabilization function.
Solutions for In-Camera Editing
This is the best video camera for moviemaking. It’s designed for those who don’t like editing after shooting a film. It offers editing options such as panning, zooming, and cropping. This allows anyone to capture and create content without needing complicated software.
Optical Image Stabilization
Three O.I.S. are included with the HC-VX981K systems. The 5-axis hybrid O.I.S. Works for five-axis correction to reduce blurring in wide-angle and zoom shots. The adaptive O.I.S. The adaptive O.I.S. automatically adjusts mechanical controls. The third is the ball O.I.S. This reduces wear and corrects small handshakes.
This 4K camera is the best for filmmaking. It has an HDR mode, which allows you to produce high-quality video even in low light conditions. Multi-camera connectivity allows you to connect your device with another smartphone via the same Wi-Fi to enjoy picture-in-picture (pip) recording.
Panasonic HC-VX981K offers in-camera editing tools and remote control functionality. It also includes a long zoom. Combining the 20x zoom with the intelligence zoom, you can turn your 4K footage into 25x. The PIP feature can be used on multiple devices.
The battery life isn’t the greatest you’ll find on the list. You can’t broadcast in HDMI and control remote transmissions via HDMI because there is no HDMI output.
6. Canon DSLR Camera [EOS 90D]
- Mount: Canon EF-S
- Weight: 751gm with battery and card
- Megapixels32.5 MP
- Video formats 4K at 30fps and 25fps
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- Additional features: Dual-pixel autofocus, fully articulated 3″ touchscreen LCD with the optical viewfinder, and 45-point cross-type AF.
Canon EOS 90D is the best 4K DSLR camera you can buy for filmmaking. It features impressive face detection autofocus for excellent tracking and focus. It comes with an 8-way multi-controller that gives you enhanced control for all types of videography.
Dual Pixel AF
EOS 90D can shoot at 4K 30fps and Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOOS AF system. It has no disadvantage when you switch to live view mode as it does not have an autofocus disadvantage compared to a mirrorless model.
EOS 90D has many control buttons. However, they don’t feel cluttered due to the large body structure. Multi-controller buttons make controlling camera functions easy while looking through the viewfinder.
The touchscreen LCD has a fully articulated touchscreen and a side pivot, which allows you to capture angled shots better. The touch responsiveness has been praised as being impressive.
Uncropped 4K video
Cameras with 4K resolution are the best and don’t use crop factors. At 4K recording, it uses the entire width of the sensor.
This 4K video camera is also compatible with wireless connections, allowing for a seamless workflow. For long periods, the battery grip is a dedicated and comfortable grip that allows you to hold the device comfortably.
Canon EOS 90D features a powerful zoom and a decent optical viewfinder. You can record cinematic shots with the articulating LCD. A big plus is the uncropped 4K video feature. It can also be used as an internet cam.
Canon’s raw format file format is not compatible with many applications. You will need to convert them frequently. The face recognition AF can quickly change its focus if the subject isn’t looking directly at the camera, resulting in blurred shots.
7. AKASO EK7000
- Weight 635gm
- Megapixels12 MP
- Video formats 4K at 25fps
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi
- Additional features: Remote control with 2.4G, 2x 1050mAh rechargeable batteries, 100 feet waterproof.
AKASO EK7000 4K video camera is under $500 and shoots at 25fps. This waterproof camera allows you to capture wild scenes and save them for your channel or live-streaming.
EK7000 has different shooting modes, including loop recording, burst shot, and time-lapse. This action camera can be mounted wherever you need it.
You can connect the 4K camera to your smartphone using software via Wi-Fi. This software lets you preview your content and makes it easy to share on social media.
The waterproof case allows you to dive to a maximum depth of 30 meters without fear.
The AKASO EK7000 action camera is quite affordable and still works well. You can use it for both time-lapse and burst photo functions.
There is no in-camera stabilization. Without the case, the camera body won’t be waterproof.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Do you need 4K for filmmaking?
4K is now mainstream. A 4K device is a must-have for anyone who produces films. Most digital platforms support 4K.
Are DSLRs good for filmmaking?
Professionals prefer DSLRs to film because they are simple, offer good color and battery life, and have many lens options.
This concludes my review of the best 4K camera for filmmaking. I have tried to find the best 4K video cameras for filmmaking that meet the highest standards and are very affordable.
I hope this list will help you find the best camera to film with a budget. Let me know in the comments section if you have other questions about the 4K cameras.