If you want to do proper filmmaking you need cameras that can take excellent footage that you can color grade later to create that crispy cinematic look. However, film making cameras are quite expensive which is a problem for people who are just getting into film making. However, there are some good budget options that can be that starting point & they can be even used long-term as well. Now, by budget, I don’t mean super cheap. The options that we have here are definitely way less expensive than industry level film cameras but, they still cost a decent amount of money. Not like a lot of money but, a decent amount of it. So, these are the best budget film camera options that can help you to take great cinematic footage.
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (#1 Budget Cinema Camera)
This is the only proper Cinema Camera that is on the list. Blackmagic has done an excellent job to create a Camera that has all the important features of a professional cinema camera & it doesn’t break the bank either. It has a 4/3 sensor, supports up to 4K 60 FPS Video, HDR, Blackmagic RAW, Pro-res & much more. It even supports CFast 2.0 cards alongside UHS-II cards.
Sony A7 III
The next option comes from Sony. The A7 II is actually a Full Frame mirrorless camera with some great features for Video. It has 4K HDR video recording support of course and it also has 5-axis in body stabilization for super steady footage, super fast autofocus, S-log RAW & much more. Get this one only if you want a Full Frame sensor instead of a 4/3 like on the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Also, if you’re doing photoshoots for your movie with the same camera as well then, this is your best Full Frame option.
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If you don’t want to spend $2K on a Full Frame Camera though, you can save $500 & go for the Panasonic GH5 instead. It has a slightly lower-res sensor, no HDR but, it does RAW. Now, on the good side, It also has up to 4K 60 fps video, 5-axis in body stabilization, fast autofocus (but slower than the A7 III), 802,11 ac Wi-Fi (the A7 III has 802.11 n) and Dual SD Card slots as well. One thing you need to know though, the dynamic range isn’t as good as the A7 III so if you’ll shoot a lot of your footage outdoor, you’ll probably be better with the Sony. Otherwise, this one is fine.
If the Full Frames are too much for you, you can check out the Sony A6500 instead. It’s a 4/3 Mirrorless Camera but, it preserves a lot of features of the more expensive A7 III. It supports 4K, S-log RAW, 5-axis in body stabilization, super fast autofocus & much more if you’d like to skip the Cinema Camera 4K, this might be your only 4/3 camera option that delivers great footage while having comparatively simple controls.
Canon 6D Mark II
This one is only for those who must have a Full Frame sensor but, don’t need 4K. So, it actually does 1080P at 60 fps & of course it also does RAW video. The autofocus is super fast, the Dynamic range is good, the sensor resolution is comparatively larger than the rest & it’s great for video overall. however, at this price, we’ll actually recommend the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K instead. It gives a lot more on the video side compared to the 6D Mark II. However, if you must have Full Frame, then this might be the one to consider. It ain’t the best budget film camera or anything but, it’s still useful for the people who need it.
So those were our recommendations for the best budget film camera options that you can buy & start making cinematic content. Now, do remember that all the prices mentioned here are for the body only. If you already own compatible lenses, that’s fine, otherwise, you can get lens mounts to support other lenses. If you don’t have any lenses at all, you’ll need to purchase compatible lenses. If you have any further questions, please drop them in the comments section below.