Professional Cameras

Best Camera for Documentary and FilmMaking Reviewed

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There are many people who are in the profession of making films and documentaries. Surprisingly, the last few years have brought advanced technology with the high quality of cameras. There are both expensive and low-cost cameras available in the market that a person can easily buy.  People also use DSLR cameras for drama shooting, but they do not know that the traditional cameras are also available with advanced features. The new hybrid cameras also have the same benefits that a person would admire. Hence we have produced an in-depth guide on the best camera for documentary and filmmaking alike.

We know that everyone wants to use the best product, but they are not aware of the cameras that are good and can be used for their personal and professional projects. It is the reason; we have prepared this guide so people can analyze the features of different cameras and see which suits them most.

However, first, there is a need to see what kind of features a camera should have in common so you can look up the particular feature in them.

best camera for documentary and filmmaking

Best Camera for Documentary & Filmmaking – Top 5 Reviews

Let’s have a look at a number of cameras that you can consider while going for shopping:

Best Cheap Camera for Documentary & FilmMaking

1 . Sony PXW-FS5 4K XDCA

The first camera in our list of by Sony company that is famous for providing a high quality of products for its customers. It has a number of features that the users admire.


The 4k resolution of the camera helps in capturing the images in a clear way. It takes gorgeous shoots because of its high frame rates that are more than 240 fps at full HD providing slow motion videos. The camera also has a wonderful 18-105 zoom kit used for swapping the camera with Sony-E Mount lens. It is not heavy in weight and only has 4.9 pounds of weight with its lens that shows that the camera can be used anywhere any time even in the mountains for capturing nature. The professional features of the camera make it distinctive among others as I can simultaneously do the recording of 4k videos. It also can record lower quality of proxy files with SD cards. The camera also offers different inputs and outputs such as SDI out, USB, and HDMI. It follows plethora formats for recording the scenes with flavors of XAVC which is a very high quality of standard Sony format and good AVCHD.


It has the handle on the top and side grip that is used for carrying the camera for low angle shots. It is also economical and easy to manage. The camera gives beautiful DSLR kind of images of larger super 35 sized CMOS sensor. It is small in size, 240p, HD, ultra light 4k 60 p product that is available at a good price.


The LCD is too exposed and needs care while handling.

Best Camcorders for Shooting Documentary & Filmmaking

2. Panasonic HC-X1000 Professional Camcorder 4K

The next camera that can be the extremely good choice for a professional movie maker is by Panasonic because of its excellent features.


The camera can record 4k videos at a half price of the camera that we have mentioned earlier. It is more a kind of traditional camera that is suitable for all who have low budget. The camera gives 2 professional XLR audio inputs that are located on the different parts of the left section in a unique arrangement. It also gives full-sized HDMI output and external media recorder for recording the scenes. The camera records the videos in MP4, SDXC and MOV memory cards. It also records in AVCHD and SDHC memory cards. The camera gives amazing experience of capturing the videos in 24p and 60p cinema and video quality. It works with high bit rate quality which is 4k-150k Mbps. The XLR professional in-built audio terminal of the camera gives excellent results. It also works with 20X Lecia lens and mounted control lens that brings quality in images. The 0 Lux of the camera confidently records the videos of night scenes without any low quality of performance. The camera is made with 4k 8-MO ½.3-inch BSI sensor and 2-MP sensors that gives professional quality of UHD and FHD results. The multi-format camcorder of the camera is highly agile and idea for making documentaries.


It supports 30p, 60p, and 24p of Full HD rates. The camera works with twice 30p information rate for creating smoother motion and capturing videos. There are 2-channel inputs for external mic and excellent line recording, and it also has A+ 48 V phantom supply of power and high-performance microphones.


Its dynamic range is limited.


3. Canon VIXIA HF G40 Full HD Camcorder

It is not true that the great documentary cameras are cheap as the camcorder we have on our list is by Canon and cost over $1.000. The camera will not break your bank account because the camera will give you the professional quality of result that you will like because of its features.


The camera produces excellent images with its low light performance and setting of manual exposure. You can set the setting of exposure through touch screen menu system that is no similar to the traditional camera that uses a wheel for such setting.

Use adaptor or you can also use wireless lavaliere microphones for completing your work. The camera uses wide color gamut and records more than 60 frames per seconds in 1080p. It also has a kit and gear kind of tripod that makes it easy to place the parts of the camera. It also comes with an extra memory card, so if one memory card fills, you can replace it with the second. The superb optics of the camera captures HD videos with improved sensors and excellent manual controls. It also records the videos with simultaneous AVCHD and other feature such as MP4 recording ability. The camera can shoot the videos remotely using your smart device and Wi-Fi so you can enjoy a number of enhanced connections easily.


The user can take control of the intuitive touch screen of the camera and its switchable zoom and focus ring. It works with customizable functions and various clear buttons and dials for setting the functions of the camera. It also uses creative and manual modes for capturing the videos with selectable focus speed. The camera has the ability to record both types of slow and fast motion audio and video recordings.


There is no pro XLR input in the camera that means you have to buy another DSLR audio.


4. Besteker 1080P HD Camcorder

The next camcorder in our list is also available in cheap rates but gives a high quality of results for all who want to capture beautiful moments with following features.


It has the ability of recording in 1080 HD all at the 30 frames per second and uses external microphones. The user can attach the microphones available with the camera to the top side for getting a higher quality of clear sound. The user can optionally use the detachable wide angle lens of the camera wherever required. The professional shotgun microphone of the camera has the ability to pick up the sound in a clear manner and also shoot beautiful images. With the WiFi, you can easily download whatever you have captured on the camera with a remote control range of 9.8 feet. It is also multifunctional camcorder because of its Sony sensor which is 8.0 MP, 24.0 MP and also a very standard and high-class of material. The camera uses high quality of technology for capturing the videos with LED light and face capture. It is anti-shake with its auto power-off HDMI and good TV output.


The night vision mode of the camera enables the user to record at night time, and the WiFi mode gives wireless access to the videos. The camera has two in one HD 72mm professional 0.39x super wide angle lens with the additional macro lens.


The battery of the camera has two and a half hours of life that means you need to recharge it once it is done. There is also a need for SD memory card because the kit does not have it.

Best DSLR for Documentary & Filmmaking

5. Canon EOS Rebel T6i DSLR

The newest version of DSLR shooters, but the price of the camera is low than the other cameras by Canon company. It has the features that attract the customers to a large extent as it is cheap and have quality.


The camera comes with a beautiful kit including an 18-55 zoom lens and other two lenses that capture the images beautifully. It also has tripod and memory cards that you can use whenever needed. The carrying case with a number of goodies makes it easy for the user to carry the camera wherever he/she wants. The Kit of the camera includes Digital SLR, and STM camera lens EF-S 18-55 mm. The professional telephoto 58mm 2X lens of the camera work with a wide angle. The camera also has digital DSLR Auto Power Slave Flash. The camera is water resistant and comes with SLR case that you can use for producing quality work. It also has 2x San Disk Ultra 16GB Class 10 SDHC memory card that you can use for recording the video.


The camera gives the same performance of a DSLR camera that shoots in shallow depth for getting a cinematic look. It has a Photo4less top value of a professional camera, and the lenses have certified warranty.


The camera does not have a microphone that is used for filmmaking that means you have to buy it from the market.

Documentary and FilmMaking Cameras – Buying Guide

Things to Consider

The first thing you should consider is that the only element a camera collect is the light. Therefore, all the cameras no matter they are built on your smartphone or have independent system must have excellent lightening conditions for taking the light. There should be various settings for accomplishing the task. If you want high-quality of work, then you must take the camera that is dedicated to bringing the best results with each click.


There are a number of factors that you need to consider at the time of picking a camera. The first in this list is ISO that shows the sensitivity of the camera to the light. It is easy to raise the ISO of the camera for producing good and brighter lighter for using it in a low-light setting. However, it also can lead to unattractive distortion and other problems such as discoloration in the camera that are not good in quality. These inferior cameras will ruin your efforts and give you nothing other than a bad experience. Aperture

The next feature you should look in the camera is an aperture that shows the wide opening of the camera’s lens and controlling the allowed light. It is also seen as f-scale denoted with lower numbers for indicating the high aperture and more light. You can ask the company and see the product’s feature whether the camera has this quality or not.

Other Features

There are other features that a camera should have such as monitored zoom and XLR audio input. It should be economically friendly and should be convenient to carry here and there for shooting videos. The handles and hand grips should buy firm but soft as well that makes your hand comfortable for carrying the camera. The weight of camera should not be too much that your hand would feel burdened by holding it. You have to make sure that the lenses are of high quality and the battery life of the camera is good that makes it productive for long hours.


Now when you have come to know about the different features that a camera should have, now there is a need to see which of the above-mentioned camera is suitable for you. You can first list down your requirements and then match them with the camera’s features. You can also compare the features of cameras to see which one falls in your budget and give you quality service because of the advance elements. Choose the product that rings ease in your professional life and also gives you quality results, so your customer also admires your work.

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