To find an easy-to-use professional-level camera isn’t too difficult in today’s market. There might be lots to pick from but at least you have options. But if you’re on the beginner/enthusiast side, even getting closer to professional-level, and on a budget, it’s not always easy. Finding that sweet spot between inexpensive and well, good enough, can be daunting. Below are our picks for the best cheap 4k camera for filmmaking that will give you excellent stills and video. 

Best cheap 4k camera

Panasonic Lumix G9 

See the G9 in action  •  Best Cheap 4K Camera

For a professional/enthusiast-level camera, the G9 is a much more affordable option whose features are narrowing that of its more pricey counterpart, the Lumix GH5. While it’s best as a still camera, it’s latest upgrades include improvements in its video capabilities, nearly matching the GH5’s. These upgrades include a 10-bit internal video capture and an improved autofocus. It also boasts the above the line 6.5-stop dual stabilization system. 

Of the Lumix brand, the G9 is the highest-end, stills-dominant camera for precision performance and high-res photos as of yet. 

The Lumix combines a super speedy autofocus, a 12fps continuous drive rate and a 20.3MP image sensor. At its lowest ISO at 200, this camera captures highly detailed images.  

With its lack of an optical low-pass filter, the camera can cause some aliasing artifacts, but at the same time, that can also allow for extremely fine and detailed stills. 

For those who wear glasses, the G9’s eyepiece creates a more comfortable fit and more light shield around your eye to reduce eye strain and easier viewing through the LVF. 

  • Effective image stabilization
  • Top panel status LCD
  • USB Charging Capability
  • Can be intimidating for novices
  • Smaller sensor
  • Could have broader ISO

Best cheap 4k camera

Conclusion

Ultimately, this is a solid camera right for enthusiasts, heading into the professional-level space. The body is priced just below $1,000, which is a still for all it can do.

Affordable 4k camera

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

In-depth iPhone 11 Pro camera phone review  •  Affordable 4k camera

You may not feel like a professional photographer when using a phone to take your pictures, but damn if this isn’t one of the best and cheapest quality video cameras around. The cons are obvious as it's a cell phone, but let’s use this time to see what you can do on the latest release, the 11 Pro. 

The iPhone 11 Pro boasts an ultra wide lens, a built-in optical zoom that gives smooth zooming when transitioning between lenses, with no loss of image quality, a new night mode, and an extended dynamic range in video. It’s new A13 bionic chip processor is the fastest we’ve seen yet, making this the best camera phone to date.

Not to mention, the iPhone also comes with a million different movie making apps to bring your videos to the next level. Filmic Pro is but one. 

  • Lightweight and easily accessible
  • Includes fastest bionic chip A13
  • Super wide angles
  • Less features than full-bodied
  • Small screen size
  • Still only 64GB storage

Affordable 4k camera

Conclusion

If you can’t afford a high quality camera right now, don’t overlook the one that’s already in your hand. Or if you’re in a position to get an upgrade, it could save you a lot of money.

Canon PowerShot review  •  Cheap 4k camera

Okay, so point-and-shoot cameras aren’t the first thing you think of for filmmaking. And it wouldn’t be my first choice in the grand scheme of things. But if you’re limited to less than a grand, similar to camera phones, these babies have come a long way and can get the job done for their price point. 

By design, they don’t have interchangeable lenses, which of course won’t give you the most dynamic product. But, at $399, the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is pretty, pretty, impressive. 

A 4K time-lapse movie mode and a 4K frame cropping for grabbing still images from video clips makes this a travel vlogger's dream, (again, the travel vlogger that’s on a budget). The 40x optical zoom is an impressive feat for such a small camera and you can get incredible nature shots from far away. 

  • Effective image stabilization
  • Compact and affordable
  • 40x Optical Zoom
  • 4K less impressive
  • No EVF, no mic jack
  • No raw shooting
  • Small sensor size
  • Poor performance in low light

Best cheap 4k camera

Conclusion

That being said, you do get what you pay for. It’s a small, compact camera that has a pretty small sensor. Because of this, it doesn’t bode well in low light situations. It doesn’t automatically shoot in 4k.You’ll have to switch to the “movie mode” in order to shoot in 4k. 

Budget 4k camera

Sony Alpha a6100

Let’s dive into the Sony a6100  •  Сheapest 4k camera for filmmaking

Sony is the leading manufacturer in the mirrorless space. Their Alpha a7 series bodies are some of the best to date, but I’d be remiss to not mention their more affordable, and incredibly well-engineered Alpha a6000 series. 

The a6100 came out in 2019 and is a fantastic option for a “first purchase.” It has 4K resolution up to 30fps, a .02 autofocus speed, and 180-degree flip screen for high and low angle shots, making it easy for vlogging. The image quality for a camera coming in at about $600 is sharp and detailed. With an added bonus of 120 fps slow motion. 

  • 4K up to 30fps
  • .02 second AF acquisition speed
  • Compatible external microphone
  • No touch screen
  • Battery life
  • Pricier than competition

Cheapest 4k video camera

Conclusion

While there may be cameras that are technically “better” in this series, the a6100 is the cheapest 4k camera for filmmaking in the a6000 series in regards to budget and usability. 

cheapest 4k camera for filmmaking

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D

SL3 review and footage  •  Best Budget 4k camera

This article wasn’t necessarily in any ranked order but I would have to say this is my favorite on the list. For a price point of just $549, what you get with the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is perfect for beginners and enthusiasts.

The Live View shooting with the easy-to-use LCD screen, makes it intuitive and enjoyable to use right out of the gate. This is one of the few DSLRs we’d recommend you compose shots with the screen. The APS-C sensor with 24.1 MP of res gives top-notch quality images with great autofocus.

It is one of the smallest Canon EOS DSLRs to date, and is a great option for someone grappling with the decision of choosing a cheapest 4k camera for filmmaking on the market.  

With 4K recording up to 24fps, a 9-point autofocus system, and image stabilization for your videos, this price point is insane. 

  • Effective video stabilization
  • Great Live View w/ Intuitive LCD screen
  • Time-lapse movie mode
  • Smallest Canon DSLR
  • 4K up to 24 fps and up to 120mps bitrate
  • CMOS APS-C sensor
  • Plastic outside looks inexpensive
  • Crop in 4k recording
  • Color fidelity could be improved

Best cheap 4k camera

Conclusion

A great way to conclude our list of the best cheap 4K cameras. This model from Canon finds that sweet spot between professionals and amateurs. It's compact but packs a punch.

UP NEXT

The Best Livestream Cameras

Most of these cameras worked well for vloggers. But if you’re a livestreamer, what are you using? The next post gets into the best livestream cameras, their prices, features, and compatibility. 

Up Next: Best streaming cameras →
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