10 Best Cinema Cameras to Buy (2020)
In the age where most people live with a pocket cinema camera, film production has now opened up for the masses. Capturing raw recording and making short films can be accomplished through everyday smartphones. With good video editing software and some expert audio editing, people can create an empire from their bedroom.
What once used to be a niche reserved explicitly for high-end equipment is now a standard skill. Almost all but basic entry-level cameras come in a dynamic range of specializations. With features like the camera sensor size, card slots, lens mount, display size, EVF, etc. all these are critical features that make a cinema camera complete.
You also find that most of the mainstream camera models now shoot in 4K at up to 60fps. You may also want to consider checking out camera options that support log profiles if you are planning to collect shooting cameras with post-processing features.
One crucial fact to note is that not all cameras are created equal. Thus, the difference in prices, video quality, dynamic range, and other features.
That said, here’s a detailed overview of the ten best cinema cameras on the market in 2020:
Of all the cinema cameras in the market, Canon EOS C300 MKII has the best dynamic range and AF. For that, it ranks top of our list of 4K cameras. You will really need to raise your game for this one.
It has a 24.6 x 13.8 mm sensor size and boasts a 4206 x 2340 (9.84 MP) sensor resolution, making it one of the most superior cameras to grace the market today. EOS C300 also has 2 CFast and 1 SDXC card slots. An EF or Pl lens mount and, of course, 4K maximum shooting resolution. What can this camera not do with a 4-inch display and an EVF?
- Slow-motion crop features
- Doesn’t have a high framerate 4K capture
This is probably the best camera for capturing slow-motion footage. The Sony FS5 MII is more identical to its predecessor than most camera enthusiasts realize. However, it comes preloaded with several other paid firmware upgrades that unlock advanced features as well.
It has a 24.6 x 13.8 mm sensor size and 4096 x 2160 (8.84 MP). Unlike Canon EOS C300, it has 2 XQD card slots. It also uses a Sony E Lens Mount and 4K maximum shooting resolution. You can, therefore, rest assured that you’ll get high-quality captures. It also has a smaller display size of 3.5-inch and is EVF enabled.
- Virtually identical to its predecessor, FS5
- Its AF is inferior to Canon
This is the must-have camera for film enthusiasts looking for the best cinema camera at an affordable price. Here’s a real cinema camera that comes at a shockingly reasonable price. What’s more, you can actually use the same sensor as of its big brother, the C300 model.
It comes with a 24.6 x 13.8 mm sensor size and 4206 x 2340 (9.84 MP) sensor resolution. Canon EOS also comes with two SDXC card slots and uses a Canon EF lens mount. It comes at 1080P maximum shooting resolution and 3.5-inch display size. One upside is that it’s EVF enabled.
- This cinema camera model doesn’t have 4K recording, which is disappointing. But it makes up for this in its many other unique features.
4. JVC GY-LS300
Meet the best video camera for YouTube live streaming and capturing stunning videos. The JVC LS300 camera is a much better model than it was during launch. Its hardware is also relatively inexpensive, given its specifications. It’s a serious contender for filmmakers looking to stream live.
It comes with a whopping 24.89 x 18.66 mm sensor size and 45 12 x 3000 (13.5 MP) sensor resolution. That’s more than most cinema cameras on this list. It also has 2 SDXC card slots, which is relatively standard. The JVC LS300 uses an MFT lens mount and has 4K maximum shooting resolution. It also comes with 3.5-inch display size and doesn’t have EVF.
- It has a plastic frame
- Mediocre screen
Blackmagic cinema cameras are renowned for their external recording features and excellent dynamic range. It’s currently the industry’s favorite and gets so much love from videographers. Despite this model costing a lot less than the Canon C300 MK II, it delivers similar image quality.
It has a 25.34 x 14.25 mm sensor size and 4608 x 2592 (12 MP) sensor resolution. The Blackmagic Mini Pro G2 model also comes with 2 CFast and 2 SDXC card slots. It uses the Canon EF lens mount and comes at a whopping 4.6K maximum shooting resolution. This Blackmagic model has a 4-inch display size, which is okay for the price. It comes with an EVF that’s available for filmmakers willing to pay extra for it.
- It can get really bulky when loaded up.
This is the Netflix-ready cinema camera that you videographers need to capture stunning shots. It’s also very lightweight, about 1.2Kg without the lens. This makes it the perfect run and gun camera option. It even fits on a gimbal if you are shooting with a pancake lens.
The Panasonic EVA1 has a 24.89 x 18.66 mm and boasts a 6340 x 3232 (20.5 MP) sensor resolution, which is fantastic for shooting Netflix-approved shots. It has 2 SDXC card slots and uses the EF lens mount. It also shoots at 4K maximum resolution with a 3.5-inch display size. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have EVF.
- It has a very reflective screen
- Its outdoor viewability isn’t all that great
This camera offers excellent footage with a vast dynamic range. It’s also very compact sized. This is the perfect cinema camera for filmmakers looking for mirrorless displays. It’s one of the best video-shooting cameras available at the best price.
Sony comes with a full-frame CMOS sensor size and 12 MP sensor resolution. The Alpha A7S uses a Sony E mount lens mount and comes with a 3.0-inch monitor display. It only captures $k UHD movies, not $k DCI with a 5fps maximum continuous shooting.
- 8-bit instead of the 10- or 12-bit video
- Shoots only in 4K UHD, not 4K DCI
Here’s another excellent option or an all-round mirrorless cinema camera model. The Panasonic Lumix G9 comes with Micro Four Thirds sensor size. It has a 20.3 MP sensor resolution and uses the Micro Four Thirds lens mount. It’s also a 3.0-inch monitor. It has EVF and shoots videos in 4K maximum shooting resolution.
- ISO range could be broader
- Reduced screen size compared to other models
This is the feature-laden 4K workhouse you’ve been looking for. It films in both DCI4K and UHD 4K continuous shooting resolution. It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor size and a 20.3 MP screen resolution. It’s also EVF enabled with a 3.2-inch display monitor. This Panasonic camera model shoots 4K movies at 60fps. With a 150Mbps bit rate. You can also capture Full HD in up to 180fps.
- Limited ISO range
- It’s very bulky for a mirrorless camera
10. FUJIFILM X-T4
Lastly, but still ranking among one of the best options is the Fujifilm X-T4. This is the camera to go for if you look for a model with solid image stabilization features. It’s another top-of-the-line mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor size. It has a whopping 26.1 MP sensor resolution, making it one of the best models for capturing amazing videos. It uses the Fuji X lens monitor and a 3.0-inch display monitor. Its most significant boost comes from its IBIS inclusion, which works really well. This makes it a little heavier and larger than the X-T3.
Fujifilm is also EVF enabled with a maximum continuous shooting speed of 15fps but can push to 60fps. It’s one of the best 4K cameras in the market today.
- It doesn’t have a headphone jack
- Its AF performance is limited by its lens