Looking to find out what might be the best camera for your filmmaking needs this year? We’ve rounded up some of the best cameras on the market for filmmakers to consider when making their decision. We know there’s a handful more we could add to the list but we wanted to focus on some popular choices that have been getting used by indie filmmakers a lot more this year.
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - £1,049
After years of asking and praying for a successor to the original Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, Blackmagic have finally given the fans what they’ve been asking for. Does the camera live up to the legacy of the original? Yes, this has been an instant hit!
The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K looks a lot different to the original (it’s definitely bigger in size) and although it might not fit inside your pocket it is still a compact size. The guys over at Blackmagic have clearly been listening to what their customers have been wanting as this camera is packed full of some impressive features.
The BMPCC4K shoots at 60fps in 4K and at 120fps in 1080p and has a dynamic range of 13 stops. The camera has kept the MFT (Micro Four Thirds) mount system which means you can still use all of your previously purchased lenses. Slow motion can be recorded in both 12-bit CineDNG Raw and 10-bit Apple ProRes 422 HQ. Blackmagic have really made a point of focusing on the low light capabilities of this camera with ISO range of 400 - 25,600. Users can load LUTs on to the camera and even plug in a USB-C hard drive to record directly on to.
For the price at which you’re getting all these amazing features, you’d be silly not to buy it. For more tech specs head over to the BMPCC4K page. If that doesn’t do it for you then you can take a look at the Pocket 6K version of the camera which boasts an EF lens mount and a bigger sensor.
Sony FS5 mkII - £4,750
For those of us who loved the original FS5, this new iteration is definitely something we can appreciate but is it worth the upgrade? Aesthetically, the FS5 II looks identical to the original FS5 except for a different coloured ND dial. The new FS5 II allows users to internally record 100/120fps (continuous recording) - other than that all other options are the same as the original FS5 if you’ve already purchased the paid firmware upgrades.
Sony claims to be focusing on their colour science which has been inspired by their learnings from their Sony Venice camera. What does this mean for the look of your film? It means richer mid-range colours, flattering facial tones and a softer touch to the overall tones of the image. We’ve not done a side by side image comparison between the FS5 and the FS5 II but would be very interested in seeing the differences a test like that would show. Fans of the FS5 have expressed their disappointment on social media as it wasn’t the big leap in upgrade they were hoping for.
Kinefinity Mavo - £7999
The Kine camera range splashed on to the international market less than 5 years ago and has already been disrupting the filmmaking scene with their high-end low priced cameras. They recently revealed their latest two cameras to the public: the Mavo and the Mavo LF.
Both the Mavo and Mavo LF are super 35mm 6K cameras aiming to be competitors to the top-tier cameras such as the Sony Venice and Red Monstro. Both cameras write to SSD media and can shoot up to 100fps in 4K and upto 192fps in 2K. This camera has some great prospects and for £7999 it definitely gives you some great features but it isn’t for everyone. Check out the camera specs in full details on the Mavo page.
Canon C700 FF - £31,249
Canon has been serving the photo and video industry for a long time now but hasn’t been able to provide a top-tier offering to match the likes of Sony Venice or Arri Alexa - until now. The Canon C700 FF is their latest offering with brand new sensor technology built in. The C700FF sensor isn’t quite identical to the Canon 5D camera (36mm x 24mm), it isn’t as tall but it is wider (38mm x 20mm).
The camera shoots in 5.9K at 60 frames per second (only 48 lines shy of a full 6K) and offers 15 stops of dynamic range. The C700FF also packs a dual pixel autofocus function and internal ProRes recording options. As with some of the other Canon cine cameras, the C700FF also comes with a built in 10-stop ND filter. The trend with a lot of new cameras that allow internal 4K recording is that they use CF 2.0 cards for storage and that is true for this camera too. To find out more about this camera you can check out the C700FF page.