The Best Cameras for Cinematography

cinematography camera

If you are in the market for a new camera to film your next movie for YouTube or the next big film festival, there are plenty of options on the market right now.

Some are better than others, and you need to know which camera fits your specific needs. We have listed four of the best cameras for cinematography on the market. Any of these are sure to make great videos for you.

Quick Summary

  • If you are looking for a resolution higher than 4K, this Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K is the camera for you. It can record in 6K resolution, giving you a nice large video to edit to your needs.
  • If you are looking for a fantastic camera for low light recording, the Sony a7 III is second to none. This camera has a nice large full-frame camera, making it great in low light situations.
  • If you would like to have a camera that can both take great photos and videos, the Panasonic GH5s is the optimal choice. It’s video capabilities are well renowned, and the images you can take with it are fantastic as well.
  • If you want a cinema camera that is capable of using your Canon EF lenses, the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K is the way to go. It has an EF mount, and that beautiful color science and dynamic range that Blackmagic is known for.

Who Should Get This?

If you are a professional cinematographer, these cameras would make great additions to your kit. They are all very capable of recording fantastic looking videos, each of which has plenty of resolution and sharpness to be used on your next gig.

These cameras are also great choices for online video creators. If you run a YouTube channel that you want to increase your video quality on, any of these cameras can take your content to the next level. Some are more expensive than others, so keep your budget in mind as you browse the selections!

Best Camera for Cinematography: What to Consider

Budget

As mentioned above, the budget you have for a new camera should be the first consideration. While none of the cameras on this list as super low budget, some are certainly more budget-friendly than others. You will need to take this into account when shopping through the cameras for your upgrade.

Resolution

4K is the new normal for recording videos, even on smaller platforms like YouTube. If you want to be taken seriously, you will want to make sure you are recording at least that high, if not higher.

Best Camera for Cinematography: Our Picks

1. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K


While the Pocket Cinema Camera may not look like a classic cinema camera, it definitely performs like one. This model records fantastic videos in 6K resolution! That is going to get you some fantastic, clear footage. Also, it is rather budget friendly when you compare its specs to the competition.

I could harp on for days about how good the dynamic range of this camera is. The same with the color science. But watching some videos shot on this camera will do more than my words ever could. Just simply look at this amazing video below, and let your mind be blown!

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2. Sony a7 III


Sony’s professional line of cameras are not only for taking images, but they have fantastic video capabilities as well. The a7 III is a full frame camera that is capable of shooting 4K video, even in the harshest lighting conditions. If your shoot is going to be dimly lit or on the darker side, this camera is a great fit.

Using the camera for video will get you plenty of options to fine tune your movies to your liking. You will still have full manual control in video mode, making it more of a video camera with the capability of taking photos than the other way around.

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3. Panasonic GH5s


Another great digital camera with fantastic video capabilities is the Panasonic GH5s. This camera is renowned across the internet for its fantastic video quality in a digital camera body. It can often be mistaken for a much more expensive cinema camera if the person using it has the right skills and the scene is lit properly.

This camera shoots 4K video, and takes some absolutely fantastic photos. If you want to have a camera to take your set photos and more, yet also be your main camera for a short film or video, there is none better on the market than the GH5s.

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4. Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K


If you love the way the video from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K above looks, but aren’t a fan of the camera’s form factor, the URSA Mini 4K may be a better option for you. This camera looks much more like a traditional cinema camera in size and weight, and thus can work well with any existing equipment you may have.

The thing many people will like about this camera is the inclusion of the Canon EF mount for lenses. This means if you have any Canon DSLR cameras, your lenses will work right on this camera body natively. This gives it a huge range of lenses to choose from, and you know Canons glass is some of the best in the world.

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Useful Tips and Resources

If you want to create nice cinematic shots, you will need a good slider. Adding this to your camera setup will allow you to have great looking dynamic movement to your shots, giving it a much more cinematic look. This is important if you want your movies to look as professional as possible.

Another great piece of gear that can help you on your next shoot is a shoulder rig. When not on a tripod or the slider above, a good shoulder rig can be the best way to record your scenes. This will give you a nice stable shot, while still looking dynamic with the slight bumps made by the camera operator.

One more thing: don’t forget to back up your work just in case, an external drive for photographers is one of the best options. You can also opt for online backup services.

Final Words

The world of filmmaking is exploding with new talented directors and indie filmmakers. Finding a camera that will allow them to release their creative visions is not an easy task, but the four we have listed here are great choices. If you are in the market to make a cinematic video or movie, these will do you well on your next project!

Are you a filmmaker? What made you want to start creating videos or movies? Let us know in the comments below!

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