The most asked question in 7 years of my Youtube Filmmaking career: Which camera should I buy? In this short blog post, I'll tell you what I think are the best cameras to get in 2024 - no matter if you are a beginner or pro. I give you 5 picks for mirrorless full-frame and 5 of my favorite APS-C cameras!
Why Mirrorless Over DSLR?
Mirrorless cameras have taken the videography world by storm, but why? What makes them stand out from the traditional DSLR cameras? Here's a breakdown:
Size and Weight: Mirrorless cameras are generally lighter and more compact than their DSLR counterparts. This makes them perfect for on-the-go videographers. DSLR is basically dead to be honest.
Viewfinder: Unlike DSLRs, mirrorless cameras offer an electronic viewfinder (most times it's OLED and super crisp). This gives a real-time preview of the image, helping videographers make instant adjustments.
Speed: With no mirror mechanism, these cameras can shoot more photos in quick succession, ideal for capturing fast-paced events. Also for filmmaking the speed and possibilities of mirrorless cameras is unmatched.
Top 5 Mirrorless Cameras for Videography (APS-C)
My favorite: Canon R7
The EOS R7 showcases Canon's venture into the APS-C domain with their mirrorless R system, striking a perfect balance between power and portability. Equipped with a 32.5MP CMOS sensor and the advanced DIGIC X processor, this compact dynamo excels in rapid 30 fps shooting, making it ideal for capturing sports and wildlife. For those passionate about multimedia, the R7 offers 4K video recording at a smooth 60p, and when oversampled from 7K, it delivers 30p. If I would start from zero with a tighter budget I would definitely get this camera because I simply love the handling and feel of Canon cameras as well as their color science!
The Sony FX30 is a compact and lightweight camera, ideal for creators who are leaning more towards professional filmmaking instead of photography. It offers 4K HDR with up to 120fps recording, a flip-out touchscreen, and a range of creative features, making it a versatile choice for various shooting scenarios. Video options are what you would expect with 10-bit 4:2:2, 4:2:0, H.265, or H.264 AVC files available!
The Fujifilm X-H2S is a high-performance mirrorless camera that boasts a robust build and advanced imaging capabilities. It's designed for professionals and enthusiasts, offering impressive image quality, fast autofocus, and a range of video features.
The Sony a6600 is a mirrorless camera that offers a blend of high-resolution imaging and high-speed performance. It features a 24.2MP APS-C sensor, 4K video recording, and a robust autofocus system, making it suitable for both photography and videography. I used the older model, the a6500 for many years for creating content, working with clients and photography as well!
The Sony ZV-E10 is an interchangeable lens camera designed specifically for vloggers and content creators. It features a 24.2MP APS-C sensor, 4K video recording, and a vari-angle touchscreen. With its compact design and advanced video capabilities, it's a popular choice for those looking to capture high-quality content on the go.
Top 5 Mirrorless Cameras for Videography (Full-Frame)
Sony A7 IV
Known for its exceptional video quality and stabilization, the Sony A7 IV is a favorite among professionals. Its 4K video recording and high-speed autofocus make it a top choice for creators and videographers with a wide variety of lenses to chose from. And yes, the color science got so much better (it was terrible back in the days imo)
Get the Sony A7 IV on Amazon
My favorite: Canon EOS R5 / R5C
With up to 8K RAW video recording capability and a robust image sensor, the Canon EOS R5 is perfect for those looking for high-resolution videography. As of right now, this is the only camera I own. Paired with a 24-70 f2.8 and the super tiny 35mm f1.8 RF lens it's what I use for all my projects. From Youtube filmmaking, wedding photography or client videography. The handling, menu system, color science, feel and specs of this camera is the best I've experienced - That's why I stick to Canon since 2020. I shot a Music Video with it the day it came out, you can watch it here!
Get the Canon R5 on Amazon
Nikon Z6 II
A versatile camera with excellent low-light performance. Its 4K video and dual card slots make it reliable for extended shoots. Personally, I would never shoot Nikon just because its... Nikon but jokes aside: This is a great camera if you already have some old Nikon lenses which you want to adapt. If you're not into the Nikon ecosystem I would think twice about getting one. No really, it's a good camera!
Sony A7S III
The Sony Alpha a7S III is a powerhouse in the realm of mirrorless cameras. It boasts a 12.1MP Exmor R sensor, optimized for 4K, EXTREME low-light, and high-speed shooting. With its BIONZ XR image processing engine, it offers up to 8x more processing power compared to its predecessors. Videographers will appreciate its capability to record 4K at 120fps, ensuring ultra-smooth footage. The camera also features 16-bit RAW output to an external recorder via HDMI for maximum post-production flexibility.
Get the Sony A7SIII on Amazon
Panasonic Lumix S5
Known for its durability and 4K video capability. It's a solid choice for videographers who often shoot outdoors. Actually I took this camera on our road trip to Portugal as part of a collaboration with Panasonic. You can watch the video here!
Get the Lumix S5 on Amazon
Features to Look for
When choosing a camera, it's essential to know what features to prioritize:
Resolution: Higher resolution offers clearer and more detailed videos.
Autofocus: A fast and accurate autofocus ensures your subject remains sharp while moving the frame - In my opinion the continuous auto-focus of the latest Canon cameras (R6 MkII, R5, R3) are the best when it comes to cinematic focus-switching and keeping the subject in focus.
Stabilization: In-body stabilization helps in reducing camera shake, especially during handheld shots. Keep in mind that you can always stabilize your footage in post-production but the better the IBIS (Internal body image stabilization) of the camera the less you have to correct in Premiere Pro/Final Cut/DaVinci.
Benefits of Using Mirrorless Cameras
Flexibility: With a wide range of lenses available, mirrorless cameras offer versatility in shooting styles.
Silent Shooting: Perfect for situations where silence is crucial, like during wildlife videography. No annoying sound of the shutter nor loud lens focusing.
Lens Options and Compatibility
The ability to interchange lenses gives videographers the freedom to experiment with different focal lengths and styles. I started out back in 2016 only with a Sony a6300 paired with a 30mm f.14 Sigma lens. That was the setup I used to bring my Youtube channel from 0 to over 150,000 subscribers so don't focus too much on getting every focal length possible. Test some lenses, find your favorite and create something with it. Characteristics of the lens sometimes are way more important than having the fastest auto-focus or a super low aperture of f1.4!
Here's an example I shot on the Canon R5 with a 60$ vintage lens
Portability and Design
A compact and lightweight design is always a plus, especially for those who travel frequently. My travels with a super compact Sony a6500 and one lens gave me the most beautiful memories while road-tripping through California with a heavy Canon 5D mark IV and 4 lenses was just a pain in the a**
You simply can't enjoy a road trip if you constantly carrying around a heavy DSLR + 70-200mm f2.8 + some Sigma Art lenses and swapping lenses all the time in your backpack. The vacation turned into a job at some time in my career which made me sell most of my gear because I got so frustrated with all the stuff I took with me.
Choosing the right camera is like finding the perfect pair of shoes. It needs to fit your style, be comfortable, and serve its purpose. For videographers, the best mirrorless cameras of 2024 offer a blend of performance, versatility, and value. Almost any camera nowadays packs stunning features and specs. Try to focus more on your story instead of the most expensive gear and you'll learn to create beautiful cinematography with any gear that's available to you.
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