Beginner "Budget" Camera

piersonm Website User Posts: 5 Just Starting Out
edited November 2019 in Practical Filmmaking

Hello everyone,

I am looking for some recommendations for a beginner "budget" camera to take my film making to the next level.  I want to start doing some short, 30 second to 1 minute, b-roll clips that contain some slow motion video.

Currently I use Gopro Hero6.  I have been using this for some basic vacation videos and to help me get more familiar with using Hitfilm.

So far the 2 cameras I have been looking at are the Canon EOS M50 and the Sony a6000(i think its a6100 now). I am looking for any suggestions/recommendations on some cameras, preferably under $1000, that can shoot at least 1080P at 60fps. If there are any 120fps that would be great to.

Thanks in advance



  • HeySiri
    HeySiri Website User Posts: 382 Just Starting Out*

    @piersonm what type of phone do you have? Seriously, the latest iPhones have really good cameras, especially with apps like Filmic Pro (which is fairly cheap!). I don't know about Samsung or Android but check your phone's specs. You may be surprised.

    I use my iPhone 8 with Filmic Pro to film my shorts and it works great. There are some limitations, yes, but it allows me to spend my money on things like Hitfilm Pro haha.

  • piersonm
    piersonm Website User Posts: 5 Just Starting Out

    @HeySiri I appreciate the comment. But what I am really looking for is a DSLR/Mirroless camera. I want the the ability to manually change the aperture, focal length, shutter speed ect. 

    I know Smartphones can do some of that now but not to the extent of an actual camera. 

  • triforcefx
    triforcefx United StatesModerator, Website User Posts: 1,225 Moderator


    The Panasonic Lumix G7 is a camera that a lot of people have had a lot of success with- especially early on- and a lot of people that have moved on to better cameras still use a their G7s for B-roll or B angles. Definitely worth looking into, especially if you're only looking at sub $1000.

  • TxH003
    TxH003 Website User Posts: 37 Just Starting Out
    edited December 2019

    IMHO, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 is a great starting camera for video.  It has a fixed zoom lens, but the overall video features are impressive for a camera in its price range.

    As already mentioned, the Panasonic G7 is another good option, as well as the G85.

  • BadWolfKnight
    BadWolfKnight Website User Posts: 23 Just Starting Out

    I have a panasonic G7 and it keeps surprising me. Few days ago, I had a chance to record my friend cutting wood in a forest-ish area in evening golden hour with nice dried fall leaves in the background. With Panasonic G7 + 25mm F1.7 lens, I was able to shoot a video that was so beautiful that I didn't know my camera could do that.

    That being said, I already regret lack of stabilization in G7. Digital stabilization doesn't cut it and not all lenses have stabilization. So you should go with G85, which successor of G7 with same sensor/quality/performance and added benefit of IBIS (5 axis stabilization). It comes with  2 lens combo these days, just buy 25mm 1.7 lens on top and you will never regret it. All together this is still below $1000.

    Camera + 2 lenses $700: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 Mirrorless with 12-60mm OIS & 45-150mm Lenses.
    Only lens you will ever use once you have tried it $150: Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7

    As you still have some money left from $1000 budget,

    $20 Samsung SD card from amazon

    $75 Deity V-mic D3 (currently on sale, check this)

    OR $150 Deity V-mic pro (check same link as above)

    Total $700 + 150 + 20 + 75 = $945 (or $1020 if you get the pro mic).

  • GordonCato
    GordonCato Website User Posts: 69 Just Starting Out

    I have the Canon SL2 and I love it. It doesn't do 4K, but it's a great camera. The dual pixel auto focus is great when you need autofocus. And, it's a light camera that works very well on a gimbal. 

  • rutxer
    rutxer Website User Posts: 176

    The G7 is awesome, and the G85, well, even better.  Panasonics are great for video, unless you really need autofocus. Yeah yeah real filmmakers don't use autofocus... But neither cheap cameras. I digress.

    I like Sonys very much, but the "older" a6000 and a6300 did overheat a lot and fast. The newer a6400 doesn't overheat and does have pretty great picture profiles to color grades afterwards and the AF is outstanding, but it's about 1k for the body.

    About lenses, do you have a favourite focal length? Get a good prime right there. If not, get a cheap zoom, figure out your favourite focal length and see the previous point ?

    And well I know I'm pushing the budget here, but... If you're really getting into this... BMPCC 4K with  17mm (Oly or Laowa) and a 25mm and go make movies. Not the best advice, but someone had to ?

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