The question I am most often asked is “What camera should I buy?”, and it’s a great question to get a conversation started ‘cos there is never a simple answer. The good news is that in 2019 there are many fantastic cameras to choose from and we could easily make a top 20 list of cameras that would all shoot beautiful video. Making the choice of how to spend your hard-earned money shouldn’t be a painful one; we’ve never had it so good!
No camera is perfect, there are pros and cons to consider for each: sensor size, resolution, frame rates, codecs, bit rates, color sampling, rolling shutter… the list gets pretty long. Keep in mind that the camera in your hands is only a part of the equation. Lenses, microphones, lighting, stabilization, editing equipment and more are all part of the filmmaking process, at any level.
With that in mind, below is a list of some of my favorite mirrorless cameras for shooting video in 2019.
In the last few years, Sony have really raised the bar for mirrorless cameras, leading the market and causing all sorts of headaches for the old guard of Canon and Nikon. The A7III is a fantastic video shooting camera.
Lightweight but with a full frame sensor and some incredible specs and now there are now plenty of FE mount lenses to choose from. This camera should cost a lot more than it actually does!
Sony A7III Highlights
- Full format sensor using the Sony FE mount
- This camera is great in low-light situations
- Shoots 4k video
- Excellent for shooting stills
Panasonic GH5s (B&H, Amazon)
Panasonic really care about video and in the GH5 and particularly GH5s they have made video the priority, which is really nice.
The smaller Micro 4/3’s sensor helps keep the camera even lighter and the lenses even smaller, but it still produces a wonderfully detailed image. 4K video and high frame rates are awesome and these cameras have rightly become incredibly popular.
Panasonic GH5s Highlights
- 4k up to 60 frames/second
- 1080 HD video up to 240 frames/second
- Micro 4/3’s lenses are smaller, lighter and usually more affordable than their larger mount counterparts
The Fujifilm X-T3 – If you love cameras, the romance, the feel and the fun of them, then this one is for you. A beautifully designed and implemented camera that also shoots lovely stills and video. Particularly loved for its colour science, the cinematic look of the image, the Fuji cameras have a die-hard following.
Fujifilm X-T3 Highlights:
- Aggressively priced
- 4k up to 60 frames/second
- Retro style
- 14-bit Bit depth
- APS-C size sensor
This camera has been the source of a great deal of controversy! Canon’s first foray into the mirrorless market and they are certainly playing catch-up. This one is nice for vloggers with its flip screen and has great dual pixel auto-focus.
Sadly, it has a significant crop in 4k video mode that has angered many, and it will require either new lenses or an adapter. Some nice ideas in this one and promising for the future especially with Canon now committed to the EOS R line.
Canon EOS R Highlights:
- Excellent auto-focus
- Features a clever internal filter slot
- A flippy screen!
There is certainly a good argument for this to take a higher spot on the list especially with the Atomos CES announcement of ProRes RAW compatibility with their Ninja V monitor/recorder. That really turns this into a monster camera.
Nikon Z6 Highlights:
- Full frame sensor
- 14-bit Bit Depth
- 4k video
- Shoots ProRes RAW when combined with the Atomos recorder.
So how about three important cameras we left off the list?
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K – It’s just a bit different from everything above. It’s not a stills camera and it doesn’t have all the functionality of a video camera. A beautiful image at an amazing price, but with some headaches.
The Panasonic GH6 – Quite simply it’s not on the list because it hasn’t been released yet! Panasonic’s schedule and various rumours would suggest that it will be released later this year, possibly with higher frames rates for 4k and maybe even 6k internal recording!
The Sony A7SIII – If 6k recording made your palms a little sweaty then the rumors of the long-awaited Sony A7SIII with internal 8k recording will have you on the floor! Do we really need 8k right now? No. Do we want 8k? Of course we do!