The Best Cameras for Filmmaking on a Budget

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The Best Cameras for Filmmaking on a Budget

Our top pick of cameras for filmmaking on a budget.

Filmmaking on a budget can be a drag. Especially for independent and beginner filmmakers, where your entire budget often won’t cover the cost of a single camera. This doesn’t have to mean your project is going to suck. In fact, having a fancy camera really doesn’t guarantee much except a giant, gaping hole in your bank account.

No matter what your price range is, the choices can be overwhelming. We’ve decided to do the research for you and put together a list of cameras that will keep you focused on what’s important.

Canon EOS Rebel T6i

If you’re looking for a DSLR camera that can both capture great film and pictures, look no further than the Canon Rebel EOS T6i. Recently upgraded from the T5i, it remains one of the most competitive entry level DSLR camera’s on the market. Retailing for well under $1000, it includes a DIGI 6 processor, 1080p video recording and built in wifi.

Retails for about $600 at Canon.

Canon EOS 80D

For a step up, consider the 80D, another recent upgrade from it’s predecessor the 70D. You can shoot in 60fps at 1080p using an MP4 file format, making it a better choice for high-movement film such as sport or dance. It also has environmental sealing, face detection and built in wifi. Like all DSLR cameras, lenses will cost you extra.

Retails for $999 at Canon.

DGI Osmo

If a Steadicam or Ronin are out of your price range, the DGI Osmo is a great way to get quality action shots without breaking the bank. While it lacks a display screen, it is remarkably versatile and lightweight. You’re DP will thank you.

Retails for $539 at DJI.

Nikon D7100

Another great one for versatility, thanks to its ability to take high quality stills and video. It has a generous 3.2″ screen, 6 fps continuous shooting, a weather sealed body and much more. You can also upgrade to the more modern D7200 or D7500 (which includes a tilting screen) but if economy is your main motivator, the D7100 is a great option.

Retails for $799.95 at Nikon USA.

Pentax K-3

While this camera may not have wifi, it does have enough pro’s to make it well worth your while. A display screen of 3.2″, compatibility with up to 144 different Pentax lenses, a weather sealed body and a 1920 x 1080 max video resolution, and a long battery life (up to 560 shots), this one’s a keeper.

Retailing for $967.89 at Amazon.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

You may be familiar with the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera, an indie industry standard. If you’re looking for an upgrade, check out the soon to be released 4K version. This handheld camera’s ability to record HDR in low light performances makes it a top choice for efficiency. It includes a built in microphone, 3D LUT support, Bluetooth and much more.

For preorder only at B&H for $1295.

Your iPhone

Unless you’ve been living under a slab of ancient marble, you’ll know the power of the iPhone. With movies, music videos, commercials and much more now being shot on a personal device, the future of filmmaking has never been more exciting and accessible. Try an app like FILMIC pro to get the most bang for your lack of buck.