What are the best cinema cameras this year? For most filmmakers, choosing a top rated cinema camera for film making is a tough task. With many key features, it’s time consuming to find the ideal cinema camera for filming. Commercial studios and professional filmmakers use high end cinema cameras to produce video content, films, and documentaries. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, and Blackmagic digital cameras for film-making are the top notched brands to feature in this review. A top rated cinema camera for filmmakers should be:
- capable of recording 4K RAW files
- have dual memory card slots
- within your budget ranges (from the cheapest to the most expensive high end)
A List of Top Best Cinema Cameras For Documentary Filmmaking in 2019
1. Canon EOS C100 Mark II Cinema Camera
This advanced Canon EOS C100 Mark II version is the most popular cinema camera for indie film and documentary. This camera can work well with any EF-mount lenses of Canon, making it a good option for professional videographers. What’s more? With a bigger EVF, it comes with a built-in dual pixel for fast auto-focus. Overall, it’s one of the best entry level cinema camera for film-making.
- Built-in dual pixel CMOS AF hardware
- Super 35mm 8.3MP CMOS sensor + EF mount
- 3.2″ 1.62m-Dot touchscreen LCD monitor
- Compatible with Canon EOS lenses
- Best values for the price
- Fast delivery
- Not compatible with DJI Ronin M
2. Canon EOS C200 EF Cinema Camera
Along with the Canon EOS C200B, the C200 model is the latest version of EOS cinema camera with many advanced features. It allows a cinematographers to shoot high quality footage and movie clips. To provide more flexibility, Canon EOS C200 EF Cinema Camera can be attached easily to drones, gimbals, and other stabilizer systems.
- 35-mm CMOS sensor
- 2 XLR audio connectors
- RAW light feature
- 4K 60p raw (c lite) capability
- Great Canon build quality
- Fast delivery
- Unable to output the data to an external SSD
- Limited memory card slot (not ideal for long interview shooting)
- Lack of 10 BIT 4:22
3. Canon EOS C300 Mark II
The Canon EOS C300 Mark II is a much better improvement over its popular predecessor. With advanced technologies such as a perfect 35-mm sensor and great image processor, the EOS C300 is another top choice from Canon for filmmakers. The solid and great build, the camera body is ideal for bigger lenses. The C300 Mark II cinema camera offers a bigger and faster AF phase detection as well as higher recording bit-rate.
- 2 XLR audio connectors
- Fast/slow motion recording
- Dual CMOS technology
- 2k/60fps is gorgeous
- Great image quality
- Excellent in low light
- Not easy to set this up in a proper shoulder rig
- Not ideal for documentary video project
- Too soft picture quality
4. Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 4.6K Camera with EF Mount
For those who switched from Sony and Canon DSLRs, the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini offers you the cinematic quality. What differentiates the Blackmagic from the rest is its super 35mm 4.6K sensor block. Its ability to capture cinematic images is unbeatable. Please read this for a list of the best Blackmagic camera accessories.
- Super-35mm CMOS Sensor
- 4608 x 2592 Video up to 60p
- Compressed Raw Recording
- Best value for the money
- Capable of using SSD recorder
- Great dynamic range
- Better spend third party CFast cards or investing in a CFast to SSD adapter
- Bundle: many items most people don’t need
6. Panasonic Lumix GH5
Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K offers over 28 Lumix and Leica compact lens options. Its “mirrorless” design makes it a lighter, more compact camera body. The stabilization has changed the way you can film weddings. It’s a thing of beauty to use a 70-200mm lens on a monopod for wedding toasts. The dual card slots is great to have. As one memory card runs out of storage, it switches to the next. The GH4 does everything you want from a DSLR camera.
- 20.3MP Micro Four Thirds sensor
- Variable video frame rates
- Great battery life
- Good lens selection (Lumix, Olympus, and Adapted Lens)
- High frame rate capabilites and the uncompressed video
- Not great in low-light
- Autofocus not as expected
7. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera
This is Canon’s improved version of the 5D series. Creative videographers have been excited about the high-resolution 4K video of this EOS 5D Mark IV. By featuring an ISO range of 100–32000 (expandable to 50–102400), the EOS 5D Mark IV camera is best for low-light movie shooting.
- 30.4 MP full-frame CMOS sensor
- 61-point AF system
- DCI 4K Video at 30 fps; 8.8MP Still Grab
- Comes with essential extra battery, remote, SD cards: great accessory deal
- Some bundled accessories some people don’t want
8. Nikon D850 Filmmaker’s Kit
Nikon D850 is the best DSLR camera this year. It’s also the top favorite among most photographers. That’s the ultimate reason why Nikon has this complete D850 Filmmaker’s Kit. It’s a total game changer to shoot film using a high-end DSLR camera with all the accessories and lenses.
- 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps
- Multi-CAM 20K 153-Point AF System
- Native ISO: 64-25600, Extended: 32-102400
- Outstanding image quality and sharpness
- Fast auto focus
- No in-body image stabilization
9. Panasonic AU-EVA1 5.7K Super 35 Handheld Cinema Camera
- Super 35mm 5.7K Sensor
- EF Lens Mount
- Records 4K up to 60 fps
10. Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
An updated version of the top rated Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount, the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K adds pixel remapping, better battery life, and more anticipating features. Filmmakers are happy with the improved audio update capability.
- Full-size 4/3 sensor
- 4096×2160 resolution
- 4K DKI video recording at 60 fps
- 5″ touchscreen LCD
- 4 built-in microhpones
11. Canon XC10 4K Professional Camcorder
Canon is a name that everyone associates with photography, and this camcorder is truly worthy of the name. This is a professional model that is still compact, giving you a double whammy with this option. You can use both SDHC and SDXC memory cards and has a great bundle, which includes two extra lenses and several different lens filters. It is well worth the price you will pay.
Good to Know
So whether you’re on a shoestring budget film-maker or willing to invest for high quality equipment, this list of recommendations (which include a variety of choices: cinematic cameras and DSLR cameras). Digital cinematography is on the the rise. And it will continue to dominate the film industry for years. Although Canon is leading the DSLR market, it doesn’t stop there. The best cinemas are ideal for shooting high definition video, cinema, and film quality. With the 4K cinema cameras, professional filmmakers can produce world class quality of cinematic images and videos. They use the cameras to create television commercials, music videos, and feature films.
To choose the best digital cinema camera, you must identify your primary use. With a top rated cinematography camera, filmmakers can use it well to tell the fascinating stories. Therefore, as a cinematographer you should always make something good out of what is available to you.
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