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10 Best Video Cameras for All Budgets in 2024

Discover the best video cameras for all budgets in 2024. From affordable options to high-end picks, find the perfect camera.
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Last Updated:
March 5, 2024
15
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Don’t be fooled by the current commonly stated ‘wisdom’ that smartphones can produce video quality as good as video cameras. 

There’s no denying that the iPhone does a great job at capturing video. But while it makes laypeople feel like they’re filmmakers, content creators or professionals find it lacking. 

This is because video cameras like DSLRs have larger sensors and advanced lens arrays that output superior image quality, especially during zoom and focus. These cameras offer more control over aperture and shutter speed, which are essential for more advanced videography and photography. 

So if you want the best quality video, having a good video camera in your videography arsenal is a must. 

In this article, we list our top picks for the best budget, mid-range, and high-end cameras. Read on to learn more!

Why should you invest in a quality video camera?

Investing in a quality video camera is almost a no-brainer, especially if you’re a content creator. Here’s why:

Online viewers want TV-quality video

According to a consumer survey by Verizon Digital Media Services, more than 85% of people prefer TV-like quality for any video, no matter the screen they use. High-quality video also increased viewership performance by 25%. 

Better image quality and creative possibilities 

A good camera can beat a smartphone in multiple ways. It provides better image quality, more creative possibilities, lens choices, and camera settings that aren't possible on handheld devices.  

High-end cameras, such as DSLRs, outperform iPhones in image quality due to larger sensors, better dynamic range, and low-light performance. iPhones use the crutch of computational photography to enhance images, but they cannot match the quality of a dedicated camera. 

Future-Proofing Your Investment

High-quality video cameras tend to support higher resolutions and frame rates, such as 4K, 6K, and 8K, at 60 fps, 120 fps, and 240 fps. Most phones can’t record beyond 4K and 60 fps, and those that can are on the more expensive side of things.

Regardless, cameras tend to last longer, as you ׳on’t wear them out with tasks such as messages, calling, etc.  

As video standards evolve, having a high-end camera future-proofs your content.

Can handle more variations in the environment 

Good quality cameras come with a range of features and settings that allow you to fine-tune the image and adapt to different shooting conditions. 

Buying guide: What to consider when purchasing a video camera

Here’s a checklist of things to watch out for when purchasing a new camera.  

Purpose of use

Do you want a camera for vlogging? Or for filming an interview? Or maybe you’re itching to create a documentary on your favorite topic? 

Whatever the case, purchase a camera that aligns with your creative goals. 

If you’re aspiring to be a vlogger, get a camera with a flip screen, as it helps you frame the shot when shooting yourself. Ideally, the camera would also have good autofocus to keep you in focus while moving. 

If you’re a documentary filmmaker, having a camera that supports various lenses can give you creative flexibility while capturing a variety of scenes. 

Frame rate

24 fps frame rate is the standard for cinematic film. 30 fps is common for web content or television. 60 fps is great for sports broadcasts and wildlife shooting. 120 fps is ideal for footage to be played back in slow motion. 

Whatever the use case, you'll want a camera that can film the relevant frame rate and resolution.

Which brings us to…

Resolution

4K is a must for modern-day cameras. Unless you’re strapped for cash, avoid cameras that cap at 1080p filming; the resolution looks terrible on most present-day screens. 

Some social media sites, like Instagram, only let you upload in 1080p, but editing in 4K gives you more flexibility, even in these cases. 

Sensor size

The camera's sensor size can greatly affect the quality of the video. Larger sensors capture more light, which can lead to better image quality, especially in low-light conditions. However, these sensors also tend to be more expensive.

Battery life

Longer videos require a longer battery life. However, if you plan to only make short videos, then cameras with low battery life won’t be a hindrance. 

Budget

List down all the features you’re looking for in a camera. Then watch out for cameras that not only have these features but are also within your budget. 

Also, keep in mind that your budget will also include additional equipment like lighting, microphones, tripods, etc. 

Lens

Get a camera that can support a variety of lenses, as having interchangeable lenses gives you more creative flexibility in filmmaking. 

Standard lenses (35 mm) are ideal for shooting interviews or YouTube videos. Wide-angle lenses, such as 16-35 mm lenses, are ideal for landscape photography. Telephoto Lens (70mm to 200mm) are ideal for capturing distant subjects. 

Good auto-focus and face detection

A fast and accurate autofocus, which has good face detection and eye-tracking features, will help keep the subject in focus even if they move slightly.

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10 Best Video Cameras for All Budgets

Here are the 10 best video cameras for all budgets. We’ve divided this list into Budget-friendly, Mid-range, and High-end. 

Best budget-friendly cameras for video

Sony Alpha ZV-E10
Sony Alpha ZV-E10

Sony Alpha ZV-E10 (Best for beginner YouTubers)

Price: $798 

Type: Mirrorless

Resolution: 4K video at 30 fps

Lens: Sony E-mount 

ISO: 100-32000

Skill level: Beginners

If you’re a beginner YouTuber who wants a good camera on a budget, then Sony Alpha ZV-E10 should be your pick. 

Unlike other compact cameras, the ZV-E10 lets you add new lenses. Given that in the early stages of making videos, it's hard to know whether you'll need to swap lenses, having a camera that gives you the option is a relief. It gives you the flexibility to choose lenses for different scenarios, whether it's using a wide-angle lens for vlogging or a telephoto lens for capturing distant subjects. 

Key features

  • 24.2-megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor that’s capable of 4K video at 30 fps. 
  • Sony's E-mount lens system allows for a wide range of lens options and greater flexibility in image quality and focal length.
  • An articulating selfie screen with touch capability that’s useful for vloggers who need to frame themselves in the shot.
  • Lightweight, weighing just 364 grams, making it easy to carry around for vlogging. Also features an ergonomic grip for a safe and stable hold. 
  • Has a 'bokeh switch'  which helps create a background blur.
  • Product showcase setting designed for shooting product reviews. When activated, this setting, makes the camera focus on objects close to it, making it ideal for showcasing physical products in videos.

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Good autofocus
  • Good battery life 
  • Great articulating screen 

Cons

  • No viewfinder
  • Lacks in-body image stabilization (IBIS)

Sony Alpha A6400 (Best for interviews)

Price: $748 (camera body only)

Type: Mirrorless

Resolution: 4K at 24, 25, and 30 fps. 1080p at 120 fps

Lens mount: Sony E-mount 

ISO: 100-32000 (expands to 102800)

Skill level: Intermediate to advanced users

Priced at under a thousand dollars, the Sony Alpha A6400 serves as an excellent camera for capturing interviews. And given its compact size, it’s perfect for on-the-go interviews too. It has excellent autofocus, great subject capture, and quick continuous shooting.  

Key features

  • It combines a 24MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor with a BIONZ X Image Processor to produce incredible image and video quality.
  • The autofocus system features 425 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection points covering 84% of the image area. This allows for accurate subject tracking. In addition, the Bionz X image processor gives a focus speed of 0.02 seconds. 
  • The camera can capture images at a fast 11 frames per second, allowing you to capture fast-moving subjects

Pros

  • Excellent autofocus
  • Sharply detailed 4K HDR video
  • Compact, lightweight body
  • Extensive ports and connectivity

Cons

  • Lacks built-in image stabilization
  • Plastic body feels cheap

GoPro Hero10 Black (Best for POV action shots and vlogging)

Price: $249

Type: Action camera

Resolution: 5.3K at 60 fps, 4K at 120 fps. 2.7K at 240 fps

Lens: 16 F2. 8 Prime lens

ISO: 100-6400 for video, 100-3200 for photo

Skill level: Suitable for all skill levels

Having the dual advantages of being both budget and portable, the GoPro Hero10 shoots videos at 5.3K video at 60 fps, and 4K video at 120 fps. This high resolution and frame rate results in sharp, clear, and smooth videos. 

The camera comes with a hydrophobic lens that sheds water quickly and a waterproof casing that’s good for 10 meters in water.  

Key features

  • Compatible with various mods (optional accessories):
  • Max Lens Mod turns the already wide camera lens into an ultra-wide lens. This mod also enhances image stabilization
  • Media Mod that adds an HDMI port, directional mic, USB C output, a 3.5mm mic jack, and cold-show mounts to attach various accessories.
  • Light Mod, whose extra lighting you can use for shooting indoors at night
  • Display Mod that introducers a large flip-up screen for better framing, especially during vlogging 
  • Snappy, responsive touch screen, similar to that of an iPhone
  • HyperSmooth 4.0 image stabilization for stabilizing video footage in the toughest of conditions.

Pros

  • Excellent resolution and frame rates
  • Snappy touch screen with intuitive menus
  • Best-in-class stabilization

Cons

  • The battery can drain quickly
  • Low-light footage is not the best with grain

Canon EOS R50 (Best for both video and photo shooting)

Price: $699
Type:
Mirrorless

Resolution: 4K uncropped movie at up to 30 fps, oversampled from 6K

Lens mount: Canon RF 

ISO: 100-32000 (expands to 51200)

Skill level: Suitable for all skill levels

The Canon EOS R50 is a top-notch mirrorless camera, especially for its price. Perfect for beginners, its user-friendly design lets you focus on capturing the moment without having to wrestle with settings.

Being a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ kind of camera, it can shoot good videos and photos in various environments and in different settings.

Key features

  • The camera supports 4K uncropped movie recording at up to 30 fps, oversampled from 6K. This makes the EOS R50 a great camera for YouTube recording and vlogging.
  • Features Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, which is a fast and reliable autofocus system. It is aided by the EOS iTR AF X subject detection and tracking system, whose algorithm was developed through deep learning. 
  • Supports 12 fps in electronic first curtain and 15 fps electronic shutter mode, which is beneficial for capturing fast-moving subjects, especially in the realm of sports, action, and wildlife shooting. 
  • Has a 3-inch, 1.62m dot fully articulated touchscreen. This means you can expect a high resolution screen that you can both tilt and swivel.
  • A 2.36m dot Electronic Viewfinder for framing pictures.

Pros 

  • Fantastic autofocus 
  • Simple controls
  • Sharp, vibrant video and stills

Cons

  • Lacks in-body image stabilization
  • Poor video battery life

Best mid-range cameras for video

Fujifilm X-S10

Fujifilm X-S10 (Most affordable mid-range camera)

Price: $999 (camera body only)

Type: Mirrorless

Resolution: 4K at 30 fps and 1080p at up to 240 fps

Lens: Fujifilm X mount. Compatible with a variety of lenses, such as the 18-55mm kit lens

ISO: 100-32000 (expands to 51200)

Skill level: Suitable for all skill levels

The Fujifilm X-S10 has a large, comfortable handgrip and a fully articulated screen to monitor yourself while recording. At this price range, it’s one of the few cameras with in-body image stabilization, which will help you record smoother footage. 

It handles a wide variety of frame rates – 4K recording at up to 30 fps and a slow motion recording mode that can capture 1080p at up to 240 fps. 

Key features

  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization that helps reduce camera shake and capture sharper images when shooting handheld.
  • 3-inch, 1.04M-dot fully articulating touchscreen that can be tilted and rotated for easy framing and shooting from various angles
  • Can shoot up to 8 fps with the mechanical shutter and up to 20 fps with the electronic shutter, both of which help for capturing fast-moving subjects or fleeting moments
  • Phase detection for its autofocus system, with a total of 425 points for quick and accurate focusing. The feature is particularly helpful when shooting moving subjects. 

Pros

  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Fast and reliable autofocus
  • Bright and fully-articulated screen

Cons

  • Poor battery performance
  • The menu system is basic 

Panasonic Lumix GH6 (Best mid-range camera for YouTubers)

Price: $1697 (camera body only)

Type: Mirrorless

Resolution: 5.7K video at 60 fps, 4K up to 120 fps, and 1080 up to 240 fps

Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds mount

ISO: 100-25600

Skill level: Professional

The Lumix GH6 is a robustly built and compact camera that has an array of video modes, offering excellent creative flexibility. 

The rear touchscreen can flip, tilt, and twist for easy framing. The camera comes with unlimited recording times and improved image stabilization, making it an ideal pick for videographers and YouTubers. 

Key features

  • A wide range of video resolution options, including 5.7K video at 60 fps, 4K at up to 120 fps, and 1080p at up to 240 fps, with unlimited recording time. 
  • 25.2-megapixel Live MOS sensor without a low-pass filter, allowing for more pixels and higher resolution, providing ultra-realistic detail.
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization for camera stabilization in five different directions
  • Rugged magnesium alloy frame for toughness that’s dust, splash, and freeze-proof.
  • Subject detection for animals and humans.

Pros

  • Wide range of video options
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Magnesium build that’s dust and splashproof
  • Records 5.7K at 60 fps and 4K at 120 fps

Cons

  • Autofocus has quirks from time to time
  • Not-so-great battery life

Sony FX30 (Best mid-range camera for filmmakers)

Price: $1798 (camera body only)

Type: Mirrorless

Resolution: 4K up to 60 fps and 120 fps with a crop of 1.56x, 1080p up to 240 fps

Lens mount: Sony E-mount 

ISO: 100-32000

Skill level: Entry-level filmmakers

Part of Sony’s Cinema Line camera, the FX30 is the company’s most affordable option in the lineup. It’s ideal for filmmakers, especially those looking to transition to more professional, cinematic productions. 

The camera boasts Sony's advanced stabilization and autofocus technologies, unlimited recording times, and 4K capture up to 120p. Thanks to its lightweight design, it is highly portable and easy to handle. 

Key features

  • Excellent autofocus in even less-than-ideal scenarios. The Eye AF tracking worked even when overexposed or underexposed.
  • Five accessory mounting points on the camera body. This way, you don’t need a cage to rig the camera up.
  • Sensor with a sensitivity range from ISO 125 to 32000, which allows the camera to capture in a variety of lighting conditions, from very bright to very dark. This flexibility helps photographers who work in changing or unpredictable lighting.
  • Comes with several log and picture profiles, including S-Cinetone, S-Log3, and HLG. 14+ stops of dynamic range when shooting in S-Log3.

Pros 

  • Features similar to a cinema camera
  • Premium build quality
  • Fantastic autofocus
  • Multiple mounting pointing

Cons

  • Lacks a viewfinder
  • Image stabilization could be better 

Best high-end cameras for video

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

Fujifilm X-T5 (Best high-end camera for both videography and photography)

Price: $2499 (camera body only) 

Type: Mirrorless

Resolution: 6.2K at 30 fps, oversampled 4K at 30 fps, and sub-sampled 4K at 60 fps

Lens mount: Fujifilm X lens mount

ISO: 125-12800

Skill level: Professional

The Fujifilm X-T5 comes with specs and features rarely seen on an APS-C camera. The resolution is a staggering 40.2 MP, and has one of the most robust stabilization systems. 

The autofocus system can track subjects, faces, and eyes at impressive distances and can single-point-focus almost instantly with the right lenses. 

Key features

  • High-resolution 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor capable of delivering astonishing image quality. 
  • Five-axis in-body image stabilization system that provides up to 7.0 stops of compensation.
  • Intelligent Hybrid Auto-Focus system with 425 focus points. Also features subject-detection AF built using Deep-Learning AI Technology, which can automatically detect and track a broad range of subjects. This includes humans, animals, birds, motorcycles, cars, bicycles, trains, and airplanes.
  • Features 56 weather-sealed points for high levels of dust and moisture resistance. Also operates in temperatures as low as -10°C (14°F)

Pros 

  • Large and crisp electronic viewfinder for clear and detailed view of the subject 
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Great autofocus system

Cons

  • Not waterproof

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro (Best for filmmakers)

Price: $2535

Type: Digital Film Camera

Resolution: 6K up to 50 fps, 4K up to 60 fps, 1080p up to 120 fps

Lens mount: EF mount

ISO: Dual native ISO up to 25600

Skill level: Professional

The camera puts out footage that’s an absolute visual delight. It uses a Super 35-mm sensor that’s popular among filmmakers and can shoot up to 6K footage. While the camera offers professional-grade performance, it’s not ideal for beginners due to its complex features and lack of certain automatic functions. 

Key features

  • 6K resolution with up to 50 fps. It offers 13 stops of dynamic range, allowing for stunning low-noise images in various lighting conditions.
  • Comes with a Canon EF lens mount, allowing you to take advantage of a wide array of EF/EF-S mount lenses. 
  • Supports shooting in both Blackmagic RAW and Apple's ProRes RAW formats. These formats capture video in high quality while simultaneously keeping file sizes manageable. This lets you shoot in as much detail as possible while shooting and allows for color grade adjustments later.
  • Latest Generation 5 Color Science, featuring stunning, accurate skin tones and faithful color reproduction.

Pros

  • 6K RAW footage
  • Built-in ND filters
  • Excellent value for spec

Cons

  • No IBIS or AF
  • Large and heavy body

Panasonic Lumix S5IIX (Best all-round high-end camera) 

Price: $2197 (camera body only)

Type: Mirrorless

Resolution: 6K at 30 fps, 4K video at 60 fps, 1080p at up to 180 fps

Lens mount: L-mount

ISO: 100-51200

Skill level: Suitable for all skill levels

The Lumix S5IIX meets all the industry standards for professional filmmaking, which is astonishing, given its affordable pricing. It can take 6K footage, has data-rich codecs, and a full-frame sensor, features that are generally more taxing on finances. 

Key features

  • Phase Hybrid AF system utilizes 779 AF points. Combines the strengths of both phase-detection and contrast-detection autofocus methods, resulting in faster and more accurate focusing performance.
  • Uses the L-Mount, which is compatible with a wide range of full-frame lenses from Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma.
  • Uses dual UHS-II SD card slots, which are memory cards that can be used simultaneously in backup mode, sequentially, or for recording different file types to each card.

Pros

  • Cinematic video performance
  • Phase Hybrid AF 
  • Unlimited 6K video recording
  • Wireless/wire live streaming

Cons

  • Lacks 4K at 120 fps
  • Not-so-great battery life

Best practices for recording with a video camera

  • Familiarize yourself with your camera. Take time to understand your camera’s features and settings. 
  • For stable shots, use a tripod or monopod. This way, you’re more likely to get sharper image quality and less blurring. 
  • Always keep your subject in focus. This increases image clarity and sharpness. 
  • Frame your shots. Use the rule of thirds, which involves dividing your frame into a 3x3 grid and positioning your subject along those lines. This can help create a more balanced and visually interesting shot.
  • Pay attention to lighting. Natural light is often the best choice, but if you're shooting indoors or in low light, you may need additional lighting. Avoid harsh shadows and try to keep the lighting consistent throughout your scene.
  • Avoid "headroom." This is the unnecessary space above a subject's head.
  • Before you start recording, plan out your shots. Decide on your camera angles, movements, and the sequence of your shots. A shot list or storyboard can be helpful for planning your video.

FAQs on Best Cameras for Video

Which video camera YouTubers use?

Some popular cameras that YouTubers use include Sony ZV-E10 for 4K shooting, GoPro Hero10 Black for vlogging, Canon EOS R50 as a beginner starter camera, and Fujifilm X-S10 for a mid-range option. 

Do people still buy video cameras?

Yes, people still buy video cameras. However, video camera sales have significantly decreased over the years due to smartphones with increasingly sophisticated camera capabilities. From 2010 to 2019, digital camera sales have dropped by 87%

What's the difference between a video camera and a camcorder?

While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are some differences between video cameras (DSLR/mirrorless) and camcorders:

  • Camcorders have better zoom than video cameras. 
  • Camcorders are designed to shoot both video and record sound. Their internal microphones are better than those of video cameras. 
  • Camcorders are easier to carry.
  • Video cameras produce higher-quality images, especially in low-light conditions. They also offer a more cinematic look due to their larger sensors and interchangeable lenses. 
  • DSLR or mirrorless cameras can be used for both video recording and photography, whereas camcorders are mainly used for taking video. 
  • Camcorders often struggle to produce the cinematic quality of DSLR/mirrorless cameras. If you want to make more creative, film-like videos, a DSLR/mirrorless camera might be a better choice
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