Quality film and video gear doesn’t have to destroy your budget! Here are six of the very best filmmaking cameras under $1,000.
Top image via Shutterstock.
Whether you’re looking for the central camera for your next project or choosing a B camera for additional footage, there are many options out there for next to nothing. Here are six of our favorites.
1. Canon EOS T6i
A solid step up from cheaper prosumer cameras, the Canon T6i is an excellent introduction to the world of DSLRs. The T6i features an EF lens mount, which is perfect for a variety of lenses.
Excellent for both photography and video, the T6i also houses an APS-C sensor with RAW capabilities for still images, as well as a lightning fast autofocus. Never count the Rebel out of the fight. They have consistently released affordable, high-quality cameras and will likely continue to do so.
Price: $749.00 at B&H
Pros: Wi-Fi connectivity to your phone. Pivoting touch screen.
Cons: Short battery life. Bulkier body.
2. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
Without wrecking your budget, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera packages movie-quality video in a practical size — and at a practical cost.
With reports of these appearing on set in recent films, this camera can accommodate professional productions or up-and-coming projects.
Price: $995.00 at B&H
Pros: Super lightweight (12.5 oz). Live HDMI feed with audio.
Cons: No in-camera stabilization. Weak battery life.
3. DJI Osmo +
The Osmo isn’t your typical camera. Sparing your operator any back strain, the Osmo+ is an excellent replacement for a Ronin or a Steadicam at a reasonable price.
It can also replace your old second-unit or action-shot DSLR. With a Sony EXMOR R 1/2.3 CMOS sensor, the future has arrived in this nimble, inexpensive, easy-to-use camera.
PRICE: $569.00 from B&H
Pros: Stabilization. Stabilization. Stabilization. Built-in Wi-Fi for monitoring footage. Shoots in 4k.
Cons: No built-in viewfinder. Focusing while moving is difficult.
4. Canon EOS 70D
Old faithful is here to save the day yet again. For both photography and video, the 70D remains one of the most reliable DSLRs Canon has ever released. The successor to the 60D, this durable camera will outlive its competition.
PRICE: $899.00 from B&H
Pros: Record in MOV and H.264. Durability. Fast autofocus.
Cons: Not the latest model. Does not support RAW.
5. Lumix GH4
With the impending release of the GH5, fans of the GH4 can now snag this fantastic, reliable, mirrorless camera for under $1,000. Working in poor weather conditions is no problem with the GH4, and it features a micro four thirds mount.
This simple, user-friendly camera is about to get a major price reduction once the GH5 hits the shelves, so my advice is to wait before you buy.
Price: $984.99 from Walmart
Pros: Dust repellent system. MOS sensor. Extensive battery life.
Cons: Not a full-frame sensor. Low-light performance could be better.
6. Sony A6300
This tiny camera packs quite a punch. Featuring an E-mount, the Sony A6300 mirrorless camera works wonders in low-light situations — and with a solid battery life, this camera is worth every penny.
If you’ve ever considered purchasing an Alpha series Sony Camera, this is an excellent model to start with. You can’t beat the price for the images you’ll capture.
PRICE: $898.00 at B&H
Pros: Fantastic autofocus. Tilting monitor. S-Log3 Gamma and Display Assist Function.
Cons: Small body with big lens can create stability problems. Known to overheat.
Consider Buying Used
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This may seem obvious, but buying used is always an option. More often than not, consumers buy cameras with huge aspirations, never touch them, then sell them back. Websites like B&H or Amazon are good about describing the exact condition of their merchandise, including any nicks or dings to the finish.
I recently bought a Fujifilm XT100 for $300 dollars less than a brand-new camera, simply because “the logo was scratched.” Here are a few DSLR and mirrorless options normally priced over $1,000:
What are some of your favorite low-priced cameras currently on the market? Share in the comments!