Trying to find a good camera

Hey awesome people, I’m trying to find a good camera for filming with. Obviously, I use Hitfilm 4 express to edit with. So, here’s what I need answers to:

A. What is the best format of video file to use in hitfilm?

B. What is the type of camera you guys like using?

I like shooting moving shots, I’m looking for a camera under $500 that shoot real 1080p and with manual control, preferably a DSLR.

Thanks for all your help!


  • Behind_The_Lens
    Behind_The_Lens Posts: 161 Just Starting Out*

    I use a canon T5i (got the video creator kit) and the rode mic is okay only due to the t5i's horrible, more or less unusable preamps. The camera itself is great, I've had it for a year or so and made over 50 videos with it.

    (For the same money I got the t5i for last year you could get a t6i or an ebayed t7i. the only difference is autofocus, which, you know, depends on how you use it)

    However, I hadn't really heard about the whole mirrorless thing back then, but I would def. take a look at the g7 by panasonic.

    Anything shot by a "cheap" video camera (compared to like a c300 or red) is going to export low bitrate so you should always convert to proress or equivalent for PCs, because..... computer science.

    Hope that helped

  • Well, i use Canon M10 because its so great. The quality of the image and also the great colour that blend together so well, makes me want to record everything in my way. Btw, if you want to see videos with a great colour grading, please visit here Mocca

  • AramM
    AramM Posts: 155 Enthusiast

    Best format seems to be Cineform. At least it works best for me (in fact, I would not use Hitfilm for editing without converting to cinerform first).


    I had a look for cheap cameras and you can get a panasonic GX850 (AKA GX800 depending on the market) for less than 500 dollars.

    Here is a review


    Here is a pretty good review: 




  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 924 Enthusiast

    As an acquisition format, you really want to stick ProRes/DNxHD or Cineform or raw. H.264/h.265 are bad for post (that's why they're called delivery codecs and not mezzanine codecs). 

    Remember, HEVC = h.265. Great delivery codec, very bad for editing.

    XAVC or h.264 All-Intra can work, though it's not nearly as editor friendly as ProRes/DNx* you transcode it to Cineform or Grass Valley's HQX and get very nice results with it.

    I'd recommend looking for a used Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera or similar. It records HD, and gives you a couple of options of post-friendly codecs, one of them raw, though if your lighting is good, you don't necessarily need raw to get good keys for compositing.

  • Hey,

    At your budget, I would suggest the Sony Alpha a6000. It costs around $550.  Some of its features include a 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, focus sensitivity range from EV 0 – EV 20, a hybrid AF (179-points focal plane phase detection as well as 11fps continuous shooting. It records clear videos at Full HD 1080/24/60P.

    You can check out this pretty decent vlogging camera review for more options. I hope this helps X

  • JBaymore
    JBaymore Posts: 372 Enthusiast

    I have had a Sony Alpha 6000 for a number of years for still photo work (mainly artwork product photography).  VERY nice camera overall.  Haven't used it for video shooting though.  As a 'camera', I would recommend it strongly.  I got the rec for buying that camera from a serious pro photographer friend as to 'bang for the buck'.... you've likely seen his work of people like Obama and other government people in the media.

    My new video camera is a Sony HXR-MC-2500. Liking that one so far after a 6 day project shoot and some rough cut editing in Pro of a couple of scenes.  Outside the original person's budget though by over double and shoulder held, not DSLR.

    I was a Canon guy for 40 years.  Now I guess I'm liking Sony products.



  • cruiser73
    cruiser73 Posts: 2

    Hey Ninja,

    I use a Panasonic GH5. It is an awesome camera.

    If you can wait till the end of the year, the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K would be the one to get. 

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 924 Enthusiast

    If you're limited to $500, you're most likely going to get the best value by hunting for a used Black Magic Pocket Cinema camera (original model). The Gh5 is a great camera, and I'm pretty sure that the new Pocket Cinema camera will be also, but both cost quite a bit more.

    If you're able and willing to stretch your budget a little, it would be worth going after a BMPCC 4K. It's going to give you color similar to what the 4.6K cameras do, but not as much sensitivity or dynamic range -- still a lot of dynamic range, though. Plus it includes a mini-XLR port with phantom power, which is nothing to sneeze at, even if it's mono.


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,582 Ambassador

    @WhiteCranePhoto I'm also starting to see used Blackmagic Production 4k and Cinema 4k cameras showing up under a grand. Even a couple of Ursas and Ursa minis around $1500. Out of the OP's price range, but good prices. 

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 924 Enthusiast

    @Triem23 Yes, those are good prices... and they'll all blow away any hybrid wannabe cinema camera short of a GH5 or A7s, though the A7s is really at its best when combined with an external recorder.