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Editors Choice: If you’re looking for a great deal under $2000, you can’t pass up the Lumix DC-GH5 with Rode Pro On-Camera Microphone and battery.
Lumix cameras are great for beginners and advanced filmmakers, if you’re vlogging filming an independent movie.
You get a durable, weatherproof camera, great body design, and easy-to-use interface.
The GH5 has a 20.3 megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor. You can capture 4K videos at a maximum rate of 60 frames per second without a time limit and no pixel binning.
You can never go wrong with a full-size HDMI terminal, which sets you up the pair this Lumix with all types of standard filmmaking equipment.
When on the hunt for an affordable professional cinema camera, you need to find the right balance between price and picture quality.
One camera might have excellent image quality, but is the price of a small car. Another camera might be less expensive but is shooting the worst video I’ve seen in decades.
So what are you going to do?
To get the best quality, you have to be willing to put a little money down, but if you could avoid breaking the bank, you can save a few dollars to build out your cinematic arsenal.
Look out for models from previous years, camera bodies without expensive lenses, or features you can live or live without like the camera’s image sensor size, resolution, dynamic range, and color sampling.
Here’s a list of cameras that will give you the most bang for your buck.
Check out the best cinema cameras under $2000 for the filmmaker on a budget with a little room to spend.
1. Canon VIXIA GX10 4K UHD Camcorder With 1” CMOS Sensor & Dual-Pixel CMOS AF, 15x Optical Zoom
If you’re looking for a fairly-priced, professional-grade camcorder, check out the Canon VIXIA GX10. The VIXIA GX10 is a camcorder able to capture UHD 4K video at 60fps and record MP4 to dual SD memory slots.
What sets this compact camcorder apart from competitors is the professional-style features like the Dual-Pixel Autofocus (DPAF) with phase-difference autofocus.
On top of the accurate, natural-looking autofocus, the GX10 1” 8.29 MP CMOS sensor and dual DIGIC DV 6 image processors support Wide DR Gamma with high sensitivity and low noise.
Record slow and fast-motion up to 120fps with exclusive looks for highlighting sports, adventure, travel.
|Great low-light performance|
Awesome optical stabilization
Few shooting formats
Where to buy: We found this great deal available for the Canon GX10 that comes with an accessory bundle included on Adorama for a great, affordable price.
2. Nikon Z6 FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body
Despite it not being the latest of the Nikon Z-Series, the Nikon Z6 FX-Format Mirrorless Camera still holds a candle to its successors when it comes to capturing video.
You get robust 4K UHD video with accurate, fast on-sensor Phase Detection Autofocus and in-camera vibration reduction. The hybrid autofocus can smoothly switch between phase-detect and contrast-detect.
Record uncompressed footage with 64 times more color data directly to an external device with a necessary 10-bit HDMI output.
Preserve great detail, dynamic range, and more creative control with the exclusive Nikon N-Log.
|Great image quality|
Touchscreen user interface
|Limited autofocus features|
High price tag
Single memory slot
Where to buy: We found this great deal on Adorama with an accessory bundle. You get a Nikon mount adapter, 32 GB XQD memory card, EN-EL15 battery pack, cleaning kit, smart charging base and plate, camera and memory card carrying case, and painting software for beginners.
3. Sony Alpha a6600 Mirrorless Camera With 18 – 135mm Lens
If you’re looking for a camera with speed and versatility, the APS-C-format mirrorless Sony Alpha a6600 is the right choice for you.
This sleek camera sports a reimagined 24.2MP CMOS sensor with the ability to produce high-quality UHD 4K video with no recording time limit, processing efficiency, and speedy focus.
The 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization limits a shaky camera and complements video with flexible, mounted lens support when working with slow shutter speeds.
Excellent battery life
Low light performance
In-body and image stabilization
|Classic body design|
Bad rolling shutter
4. Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Body With Rode Pro On-Camera Microphone/Battery
The Lumix DC-GH5 is one of the most durable cameras on the market and a personal favorite. The magnesium alloy body is ready for any terrain, whether freezeproof, dust, and splash resistant.
You can capture the sharpest images with a 20.3MP Micro Four-Thirds sensor and no low pass filter.
You can UHD 4K video at up to 60 fps, record 4:2:2 10-bit files with digital camera initiatives, and UHD 4k at 24/30 fps resolutions.
The high bit-rate recording power provides detailed image quality without unnecessary distortion and fuzz.
Connect your external monitors and recorders with ease for high-quality output with a full-size HDMI port. Another plus is the additional storage space with two SD card slots compatible with UHS-II and U3.
|Rode Pro On-Camera Mic + Battery|
Durability and design
Great battery life
V-log recording4K/60p video with no time limit
|Autofocus lag in video mode|
Where to buy: We found this great deal on Adorama that includes the RØDE Pro On-Camera microphone, a light, an 64 GB Lexar SD card, a Joby Gorilla tripod, a bag, a clearing set, and a rechargeable battery pack close to a price the camera body normally costs alone.
5. Sony Alpha A7 III 24 MP UHD 4K Mirrorless Camera (Body) With Premium Accessory Bundle
The Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera is a well-rounded camera suitable for capturing great cinematic video at an affordable price.
An updated sensor design, the refined full-frame 24.2MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor, and the BIONZ X image processor combined give you ten fps continuous shooting rate and advanced autofocus performance.
The full-frame sensor’s video recording capabilities are extended for enhanced quality when recording UHD 4K, getting rid of those frustrating moiré patterns, and aliasing.
Like the a6600 mentioned earlier, the 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization can minimize the camera shake up to 5 stops.
While recording, the S-Log format allows up to 14 stops of dynamic range.
Excellent dynamic range
Powerful full-frame sensor
Incredible low-light performance
|No built-in flash|
Overly sensitive EVF proximity sensor
External monitor necessary for full capabilities
Where to buy: We found this great deal on Adorama with an accessory bundle, including a 32GB UHS-I U3 V30 SDHC memory card, Corel Photo Video Art Suite software kit, Green Extreme rechargeable battery, and a multi-card reader.
6. Fujifilm X-T4 Mirrorless Digital Camera Silver Body with FP Zoom Flash Kit
The Fujifilm X-T4 is a mirrorless camera with a grasp on providing accessibility for all-levels of filmmakers with its assistive functionalities and enhanced workflow.
The X-T4’s APS-C-format 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor cranks out high-resolution video recording with support for DCI/UHD 4K video at 60 fps.
The sensor’s BSI design reduces noise, paired with the fast performance and response of the X-Processor 4. The processor benefits the overall video performance, and more incredible read speeds with reduced rolling shutter distortion on moving subjects.
I’m a big fan of Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes, including a flat color, low saturation look, or a higher key and contrast maintaining an overall desaturated look.
|Great battery life|
|Very similar to previous X-T3 model|
Size and weight
Where to buy: We found this great deal on Adorama with a Flashpoint Zoom Li-on X R2 TTL On-Camera Round Flash Speedlight flash kit.
7. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (BMPCC6K)
It’s all about the compact size and Super 35 sensor in the 6K version of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC6K). The BMPCC6K is a less intrusive camera great for smaller, smaller setups and productions.
This carbon fiber camera can record 6K video up to 50 fps 6144 x 3456 video with a decent Canon EF mount when tacking on a good quality EF/EF-S mount lens. Also, you can shoot RAW video, which is awesome for color grading.
It has all the familiar controls and interface of its 4K predecessor, including the professional audio supported mini XLR input with phantom +48V power and four built-in microphones.
You get great features like 13 stops of dynamic range, 1920 x 1080 monitor output, and ISO support up to 25,600.
|Awesome 6K video|
Great-quality raw footage up to 50fps
Tripod threads on
|Limited battery life|
Basic autofocus support
Where to buy: I found this great deal on Adorama with an LCD glass screen protector to keep your camera new and fresh.
There you go. Did you like what you see? These aren’t the only cameras on the market, but it’s definitely a great place to start your search for the most affordable cinema camera.
Do you feel there are better choices out there? Let us know in the comments below.
Myke Thompson is a freelance writer, screenwriter, and humorist based out of Los Angeles. When he’s not working on his own projects, he supports other artists as a creative manager in music, art, film, and television.