Top Best Cinema Cameras for Filmmakers (2021)
What are the best cinema cameras for filmmaking on a budget? For most filmmakers, choosing a top rated cinema camera for film making is a tough task. What cameras do professional filmmakers use? What to look for in a cinema camera for film making:
- capable of recording 4K RAW files
- have dual memory card slots
- within your budget ranges (from the cheapest to the most expensive high end)
What camera is best for documentary filming on a budget?
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 (recommended accessories & gears below) for film-making are the top notched brands that we featured in this review.
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.
How do I choose a filmmaking camera? 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 arm themselves with one of the best cinema cameras, 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.
A List of Top Best Cinema Cameras For Documentary Filmmaking (2021)
Nikon Z7 FX-Format Mirrorless Camera
This Nikon mirrorless camera will allow you to take more than a thousand high-quality photos without being faulty. Do you know that you can shoot up to 200 frames in a RAW format? It is every person’s dream to have a durable lens. You should never doubt its durability. This product will give you service for very many years.
Have you ever come across a lens model with a tilting touchscreen? You are in the right place. It boasts of 5-axis stabilization. Therefore it can give you at least five stops of image stabilization. This lens will make you a cinematic icon. Its video recording capabilities are on another level.
Do you know that this lens can capture videos at the interval of 16:9 aspect ratio? It utilizes the full resolution of the illuminated image sensor. You can transfer images using a USB cable. This can be imported directly via the lightroom.
What does more light mean in this lens? It has more detail and also speeds. Usually, this model combines the advantages of a lightweight design and a new full-frame lens. It has been designed with 45.7MP image sensor. Also, it is unique when it comes to utilizing the sensor and processor attributes.
You might be aware that it is more than a multimedia camera. You can record videos at UHD 4K. In that situation, you can either use the full-frame area or crop area. Other important additions include high-quality output.
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
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
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
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.
- 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
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)
- Not great in low-light
- Autofocus not as expected
Panasonic AU-EVA1 5.7K Super 35 Handheld Cinema Camera
If you’re searching for a flexible camera system for documentary, cinema, and live event production, I’d recommend that you take a deep look into this Panasonic AU-EVA1 camera. If you’re an independent filmmaker, then this cinema camera is the best choice for you.
- Super 35mm 5.7K Sensor
- EF Lens Mount
- Records 4K up to 60 fps
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
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
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
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. Overall, it’s one of the best travel cinema camera you can buy.
- 4K Wide-Angle 10x Zoom Lens with Image Stabilizer
- 12 Megapixel One-Inch 4K-Compatible CMOS Image Sensor
- DiG!C DV 5 Image Processor
A List of Top Best Accessories for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
The cinematographic industry was longing for a piece of equipment that symbolizes precision, perfection and awesome performance at affordable rates. They got all of this from Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera; both the pocket camera and cinema camera are made with dexterity and are great pieces of equipment to own.
Be it recording high quality 1080 content or capturing moments at the 2.5K cinematic quality, it has the capability to record the best material and that too with prowess. Got a Blackmagic Pocket cinema camera? Follow the list below to gather some insights into the best Blackmagic camera accessories and kits.
Frankly, when it comes to creating a list of the best accessories for cinema cameras like Blackmagic, it’s not easy as there are so many more gears to feature. However, what I listed above is the way to start. A list of 10 accessories for Blackmagic is not enough.
URSA mini shoulder Kit
It has shoulder pads, front rosettes and an inbuilt tripod added with rail pods. A perfect tool for recording on the go its quick disassembly and swift installing on the tripods make it a robust a necessary addition. The best accessory for filming documentary every film-maker should have.
- A top handle for low-mode shooting and for carrying the camera
SanDisk 64 GB Extreme Pro
This is the only memory card that can record Cinema DNG Raw on the camera. The maximum read speed is also higher than other cards at 95 MB per second.
- Cinema quality 4K video capture
- Designed to withstand extreme environments
- Up to 300MB/S reading and 260MB/S writing speed
The Best Lenses for Blackmagic Camera
There are many lenses that have full compatibility with the Blackmagic camera. These lenses range from the disruptive tilt-shift variants to fast f/1.2 primes, all of them can be used with this camera. If you are looking for an all-rounder lens on the camera go for f/2.8 in 16-35 mm, 24-70 mm and 70-200 mm. Within the other Canon lenses if you looking for a lightweight option f/4 70-200 mm is the lens to go for.
The high-resolution optical quality viewfinder can record at 1920 X 1080 color resolution. It can be adjusted as per your convenience, shoot from either of your eyes just plug it in power source.
- 1920 x 1080 color OLED display
- Built-in record light
Kingston 480 GB SSDNow
This memory is best suited for cinema Blackmagic camera. It is embedded with SATA III 6 GB per second interface and above all has AES 256 bit automatic encryption availability.
- Reliable and durable
- Maximum Random 4k Read/Write
The Shape WLB mount kit
A top-notch mounting kit for your camera Shape WLB is a versatile accessory and one of the best blackmagic camera kits. The quick handle system allows you to conveniently dismantle and adjust the camera as per the requirement in no time. It also has 15 mm rod mounts making it easier to attach extra matte boxes and adjust the focus units proficiently.
- Adjustable height support bracket
- Support for long lenses
Another robust and efficient support system the wooden camera was one of the first support systems to come in the market for the Blackmagic camera. It is lightweight, easy to install, easy to handle and can integrate the lightweight base plate with added top handling features.
- Height adjustable cage
- Worth the price
Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera Battery
The 90-minute backup is not enough with a blackmagic camera. Go for the Switronix add-on battery backup, a 70 WH battery can be attached at the bottom. It has two extra ports to provide further accessory connectivity. You’d need many of these batteries.
- 7,4V-800mAh for Cinema Camera Pocket and Nikon EN-EL20
Tilta Camera Rig
The wooden handles have a record button and the aluminum frame provides a robust and efficient rig to handle the camera with precision. Its quick release system does not you waste any time during recording.
- Precision Machined Anodized Aluminum
- Top Handle with 15mm Rod Adapter
High Resolution Monitor with Ultra HD Recorder
TV Logic Screen has a 1280 X 800 resolution and gives additional information like false color, waveform, peaking rates and vectorscope.
- 7″ high resolution monitor with Ultra HD recorder
- Low cost, high performance storage