Best Cameras for Filmmaking and YouTube in 2019

Previously, in 2017, I had compiled and posted
a list of my top 8 camera recommendations for Independent Filmmakers and it got huge
response. Now, the time has come to update my list of
camera recommendations for Independent Filmmakers in 2018. In this video, I’ll give you my top recommendations
of cameras for filmmaking and for making YouTube Videos in 2018. This is going to be a long video as I would
discuss about a lot of cameras available today and would also try to cover as many points
in the least amount of time. So, sit back, relax and enjoy this video podcast. Ok. So I have classified the cameras into five
categories depending on the price of the camera and scope of the project. I will discuss in detail, why did I pick the
camera, what are my thoughts and where I think each of the cameras belong. The first category is for “BEGINNERS”. If you are just starting out in filmmaking
or YouTube, you just want to make vlogs, casual short films, music videos or even wedding
films, the following 2 cameras are the best options to look for. The cameras I am talking about are the Canon
EOS 1300D, which is also known as the Canon Rebel T6 and the Canon EOS 200D, also known
as the Canon SL2. I still use similar cameras in most of my
projects and get very good results. The most important thing in getting the cinematic
look is proper cinematography, which includes the use of lights, production design, costumes,
color palettes, compositions, camera placements and movements, color grading and many other
conscious and artistic decisions that you take during the filming process. So, as beginners, you can get your hands on
any of these cheaper DSLR cameras having full manual controls and start making movies instantly. I’ll recommend you to practice more and more
and get comfortable with all the settings of the camera. The basic working principles behind most of
the settings are similar even with professional cameras from the likes of REDs and ARRIs. So, using these cameras in manual mode will
build your foundation. Both of these cameras have built-in WiFi and
NFC, that will come very handy when using your Phone or Tablet as a bigger monitor with
the free Canon Camera Connect app, which in my opinion is a great option to have on set. If you are a YouTuber, then this option can
help you even more. The lack of a swivel screen in the 1300D can
be overcome with this method. You can also use the WiFi and NFC to transfer
files wirelessly to your mobile devices and instantly share them on social media. The Canon SL2 is far better and the best option
to get at this price point. It has Dual-Pixel Auto Focus system in video
mode as well, which is incredible. It has a newer DIGIC 7 Processor which is
not only faster but also better in low-light scenarios. It also has a flip-out super responsive touchscreen,
which is essential for vlogging. It not only has built-in WiFi and NFC but
low energy Bluetooth as well. It does have an External Microphone Input,
which is a must-have. The stand-out feature of this camera is its
weight. This is the lightest APS-C Sensor DSLR Camera
Canon made in recent times, which is a positive thing if you use cheap gimbal stabilizers
or shoulder rigs which do not support heavy cameras. You can mount this camera in gorilla pods
or lightweight tripods. This can also be very helpful in longer handheld
shoots. The SL2 camera shoots in 1080p at maximum
60 frames per second, which can get you 40% smooth slow-motion footage in your 24fps timeline. If you are an Independent Filmmaker and the
majority of your work will be uploaded to YouTube or other free online video portals,
then 1080p is still relevant. I have put the links to all the products that
I’ve mentioned in this video in the video description below. In the next segment, I have three cameras
sorted out for the “INTERMEDIATE” filmmakers out there. If you are planning on an upgrade, you can
check out these cameras. I am talking about the Panasonic G7, the Sony
A6300 and the Canon M50. These three are the cheapest options to get
cinematic 4K video recording capabilities. The G7 is a micro-four-thirds sensor camera. So you will need to buy micro-four-thirds
lenses separately. Being a smaller sensor means, it will be tough
to get wide shots and blurry background as well. Whereas the Sony A6300 has some overheating
issue while recording in 4K for a longer period of time, which Sony addressed in its successor,
the Sony A6500. So, keep these points in mind before purchasing
a camera and make the decision yourself on where you are willing to compromise a bit. The Canon M50 is a new launch and can be a
better option in this segment. The best thing about it is, it has Canon’s
unbeatable Dual Pixel Auto Focus System in video mode. If you’re satisfied with 1080p HD resolution,
then you can go with either the Canon 800D or the Canon 77D or the Canon 80D, depending
on your budget. All the three cameras have large APS-C Sized
Sensor and have great image quality and also serve as awesome photography cameras as well. The next segment is for the “FILM LOOK ENTHUSIASTS”. I have 4 camera recommendations in this category
that will be the best middle ground options to get cinematic videos without breaking your
bank. The cameras are the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema
Camera, Sony A6500, Canon EOS 6D Mark II and the Panasonic GH5. Each camera has their plus points and some
drawbacks. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has a
micro-four-thirds sensor in a very compact body but has the ability to capture huge 13-stops
of dynamic range and thus can produce super cinematic footage. Although it shoots only in 1080p Full HD resolution,
due to the higher bit rate it produces much cleaner and sharper footage than other Full
HD cameras. It also supports high quality lossless CinemaDNG
RAW recording, which is unlike any other camera in this price point. Or if you want to wait, then let me remind
you, Blackmagic has recently upgraded their Pocket Cinema Camera to the Pocket Cinema
Camera 4K which is definitely going to be a game changer when it releases later this
year. I will make a separate much more detailed
video on that. Speaking of high dynamic range, the Sony A6500
also supports Sony’s S-Log 3 Picture Profile, which makes the image flat and that is essential
for good color grading. You can get awesome 4K cinematic footage with
this camera. Above all, it has an APS-C sensor, which is
much larger than a micro-four-thirds sensor, which makes the low light performance of the
camera better. The camera has in-body image-stabilization
or IBIS, that means, if your lens doesn’t have any optical image stabilization, even
then you should be able to get smooth motions from your handheld shots. But, the IBIS of this camera has some issues. I’ll suggest you to gather more information
about that before you take the decision to buy this camera solely for this feature. I have included the Canon EOS 6D Mark II in
this segment, only because if you want the look of a full frame sensor, then this camera
is a better option at a similar price point. It can also work better for photography purposes. Finally, the Panasonic GH5 is the all-rounder
in this price point. Many people are switching to this camera even
from their Canon 5D Mark IIIs or Sonys. The 10 bit 4:2:2 color space, 4K up to 60fps,
the super functional IBIS system, dual SD card slots, anamorphic mode, great low light
capability and many other reasons are there to consider. This is a mirrorless camera and you will need
micro-four-thirds sensor lenses or have to buy an adapter or a SpeedBooster separately. This camera shoots in V-Log Picture Profile,
Panasonic’s own flat picture profile, which extends the dynamic range of the camera. It records in 10 bit 4:2:2 color space which
can be pushed hard in color grading without breaking the image or introducing artefacts. You can easily get the Hollywood Film Look
with this camera. This camera is widely recommended by the independent
filmmakers and cinematographers around the world. In my honest opinion, you cannot get any better
option at this price point and I highly recommend this camera. In the next segment, I have five camera recommendations
for you which can be considered as the “TOP DSLR OR MIRRORLESS CAMERAS FOR FILMMAKING”. These are the Sony A7III, Canon 5D Mark IV,
the Nikon D850, the Sony A7R III and the Canon 1DX Mark II. Let me remind you, the only deal breakers
for the Canon 5D Mark IV are the 1.7 times crop for 4K video recording and the huge Motion
JPEG files that it creates, which eats up a lot of space. I will recommend you to purchase the camera
with Canon’s CLog Picture Profile Upgrade to squeeze out the maximum quality out of
the camera in video mode. It’s a paid upgrade and you have to get it
done from Canon’s Authorized Service Centres. The Nikon D850 is a great full frame camera
from Nikon that I can recommend for filmmaking. It shoots 4K internally with its whole sensor
and offers a lot of features in the video mode. The Sony A7R III and even the Sony A7III are
great full frame photography cameras and shoots stunning 4K videos as well. These 2 are my favourites. In my honest opinion, Sony has got almost
everything right with their A7III camera. The Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is the top-of-the-line
DSLR Canon offers and the video quality, as well as its picture quality, are mind-blowing. This is the best DSLR you can get right now. A lot of travel filmmakers use this camera
and get awesome results. Another wild card entry is the Panasonic GH5S. The Panasonic GH5S is the new kid in town
and packs a lot of punch. It is built upon the body of the GH5 but has
a brand new 10 mega pixel micro-four-thirds sensor which is superior in low light conditions. The stand out feature of this camera is the
support for Dual Native ISOs, which is something ground-breaking in this price point. This also has a slight bigger variant of micro-four-thirds
sensor. But let me remind you, it does come with the
trade off of the awesome in-body image-stabilization of the older GH5 and relies on the lens’ stabilization. PLEASE NOTE: If you are an Independent Filmmaker,
then there is a high chance that you need to wear different shoes all at the same time. You shoot, edit, make motion graphics content,
all by yourself. It can be frustrating at times. Right? So, I would like to enlighten you about VideoBlocks,
a website that offers millions of Stock Footage, After Effects Templates and Motion Backgrounds
to spice up your project. And the best thing is, everything you download
from this website is 100% royalty free, that means you can modify and use those files in
your personal or commercial projects and fully monetize your contents. Isn’t that awesome? You can even sign up for a FREE 7-Day Trial
and immediately start downloading before jumping onto their Annual Subscription Plan. Check out the first link in the video description
below and get discounts on your purchase. Next, I have a few camera recommendations
for “SERIOUS VIDEO CREATORS”. I won’t give you any buying links for this
category because I don’t want you to spend so much money on these cameras without testing
them for yourself. I would recommend you to rent any of these
cameras from your local camera rental store and see for yourself if the camera suits your
workflow before investing. The first two are from Canon. The Canon C100 Mark II and the Canon C200. The Canon C100 Mark II is a very good cinema
camera and packs a lot of punch, even today. It records super sharp 1080p footage with
its Super-35 2K sensor. It belongs to the Canon’s Cinema Line of cameras,
so you can expect high dynamic range and cinematic footage from this camera. This is a very good option for run-&-gun style
shooting or for Documentaries. It has professional quality Audio XLR Inputs
as well. The Canon C200 is the new offering from Canon
to bridge the gap between the C100 and the C300 Mark II. The C200 shoots in 4K internally in MP4 and
Cinema RAW Light format. One very important feature of both these cameras
is their in-built ND Filters, which can be life-savers. The third one is from Blackmagic and it is
the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K EF. This compact and lightweight digital film
camera shoots with high performance 4.6K Super-35 sensor with up to 15 stops of dynamic range,
EF lens mount, 5-inch fold out monitor, dual CFast recorders and more. You can also check out the URSA Mini Pro,
which has in-built ND Filters as well. I will share with you a few other filmmaking
cameras just for your knowledge, which you can consider to rent or buy for your next
shoot. You may or may not know about these cameras
yet. There are a few camera options for the advanced
and professional Independent Filmmakers out there, who do not necessarily have the budget
of a RED or an ARRI camera but still don’t want to compromise. If you are one of them, then you can consider
these following cameras. The first one is the Panasonic EVA1. It has a lot of features to look out for. It packs a Super 35mm 5.7K Sensor with Dual
Native ISO and an EF Lens Mount. It can record 4K up to 60 fps and 2K up to
240 fps. It supports 10-Bit, 4:2:2 processing and records
to SD Cards. You can also consider the elder brother to
this camera which is the Panasonic Varicam. If you want to stay with Sony, then you can
check out the Sony FS5 and the Sony FS7. Sony has also launched the second generation
version of both the cameras that you can check. You can also check their absolute high-end
Venice camera as well, which James Cameron is reportedly using to shoot his Avatar sequels. Or if you are a fan of Canon’s Color Science,
then look for the Canon C300 Mark II, the C500 or even the C700. And if you are really passionate, then go
for the ARRI Alexa Mini or a RED Raven or even a RED Scarlet, although I don’t think
these cameras are well suited for an average Independent Filmmaker, because using any of
these cameras can add up to the workflow and easily increase the total budget of your production. If you have that budget or you know how to
get the return on your investment, then definitely go for one of these. I hope, this video has been helpful to you
and can ignite a healthy conversation among all the Independent Filmmakers around the
world. I have tried my best to be as detailed as
possible in the least amount of time. I would like to know your thoughts and also
invite you to join the discussion. So, feel free to leave a comment and add your
input. Don’t forget to share the video, subscribe
to my channel and click the bell icon to turn on notifications from my channel, so you get
the update whenever I upload a new video.

18 Replies to “Best Cameras for Filmmaking and YouTube in 2019”

  1. U deserve way more views and Subscribers 😘😘😘 vey pro..
    Anyway bro I have very less budget n options among :
    Lumix g7 , Sony a6000 , old used 5d mark 2 , Canon 600d etc. ….which one would u recommend ? I wanna spend more on sound and lighting. Which one u recommend or any other on same budget ? PLEASE

  2. Are you planning to get into YouTube Video Production? Or Wedding Films? Or Travel Films? Or Short Films?

    Then download my FREE Video Production Cheat Sheet :

  3. very helpful video… i'm using canon 700D , started working as photographer, wedding shoot, now i need a camera to shoot video for wedding.
    and i am making some videos for youtube also planing to take some interviews
    which one you recommend for best video with normal light in low budget…. 200D or 800D or 80D

  4. Subhodip bhiya first of all lots of love from my heart please keep sharing such video for us . It was very much informative video podcast for me . I am a passionate film lover and I did my MA in Mass Communication . I am planning to be a professional independent film maker , please recommend me an all rounder camera for film making along with some useful lenses which may help me to live with my passion. [email protected]

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