best video camera under 1000

Here are our top choices for the best video cameras for an under 1,000 dollar budget

Finding the best video camera under $1,000 can be tough considering how many other factors should be taken into account prior to making your decision. In our case today, we focus on video cameras that fall within a particular price-point. However, now that we’ve gotten through half the battle, we’re met with some other questions, such as: What type of video camera? What features or specs are you looking for? For exactly how much money? Today we help you how to figure this out, as well as provide our picks for the best video cameras under $1,000 in the market today.

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Picking the Best video camera under $1,000

  • Your budget – Although we’ve been able to narrow down our search to under $1,000, that still leaves us with a bit of a range when it comes to exact price. Our best video camera buying guide definitely helped cover every price range in the world; however, you’re here for a reason. We covered all bases down below to give you options. Keep in mind any additional gear you’ll need to buy as well (tripods, cases, lenses if you grab an interchangeable camera, etc.) when totaling up your entire purchase. Even the best video cameras under $500 may be of interest to you — it’s all dependent on what you want. Note: DSLR and Mirrorless only offer 30 minutes of video recording at a time. You’ll just have to press ‘record’ again; however, it’s something to keep in mind in case the use you intend have with your video camera under $1,000 won’t allow you to be near the camera frequently.
  • Video camera type – There are quite a few different types of video cameras in the world today. We’ve eliminated them into a few types to make it easy. After your budge is chosen, let’s get down to what types of video cameras you may want:
    • DSLR camera: These are by far one of the most popular digital cameras as well as video cameras nowadays, with the main reasons being they offer interchangeable lenses and great quality for the price. We highly recommend a DSLR camera if you’re looking for something versatile (also if you’re in need of a digital camera — this is your best bet). They’re a bit more bulkier than others so if size is something you’re concerned about, you may need to steer away here. We have quite a few of these listed below for a reason.
    • Mirrorless camera: Becoming more popular as technology continues to grow, these are a bit of a different build than DSLR’s. They are interchangeable as well, so that’s a huge pro for many since grabbing separate lenses can help customize the picture of your videos. They’re also a lot better for autofocus (their AF systems are more advanced than DSLRs, albeit for a bit higher price).
    • Action camera: These are the point-of-view cameras many have come to love, especially when it comes to filming extreme sports or more action-based uses. We list our favorite below, otherwise if you want some more options be sure to read our guide we linked to.
    • Camcorders: Up until about a decade ago, these were the most popular types of video cameras for quite a while. They’re the image many associate with “video camera” in general and are a bit more convenient when it comes to use as well as travel (they typically have a strap for your hand and are less weight than DSLRs to carry).
    • Point-and-Shoot camera: Last but not least, although a bit more rare the others mentioned above, are amazing if you were looking for something compact in size. They’re great for travel and most can even fit in your pocket. Not many come with video capability, but we found a few that did to give you options.
  • Intended use – Will you be filming sports? Something by the water? Skits or vlogs for YouTube videos? Everyday home and family use? Music videos? Check out those posts we have in regards to specific uses, otherwise you’ll want to keep what you plan on filming in mind when you’re selecting the best video camera under $1,000. For example, those in darker-lit environments want to make sure they’re video has great low-light sensitivity, or those filming sports a decent autofocus system (mirrorless recommended).
  • Additive features – Do you want some high-quality, 4K video resolution? How about a waterproof camera (we don’t have any in here, so check that guide if it’s what you need)? The combination of type of camera and intended use will dictate what features will really stand out for you. Some other popular extra features include

The best video cameras for under $1,000

Sony Alpha a6000

To begin our list, we are looking at one of our favorite video cameras in the world right now — the Alpha a6000 by Sony, which is in our opinion one of the best video cameras for an under $1,000 budget. Aside from the dominance this camera has over many in the mirrorless camera category, you’re getting near semi-pro quality when it comes to the video quality. In regards to features, this camera offers four different dimensions of auto focus (4D Focus) to make sure that each image and movement is captured with high precision and focus. This includes a wide focus that accounts for height and width, a depth focus that zeros in on speed, and a tracking focus that predicts movements before they occur.

The larger sensor included in the video camera, coupled with a high quality processing system helps create sharper images and reduces any blurry images you may normally get with movement (which even for those of us with little skill in videography, gives us confidence in the shots we are taking). With a portable and decent size that makes it great for travel as well, the Sony Alpha a6000 video camera has great qualities for a reasonable price. We list it first for a reason.

Canon EOS Rebel T6i

While the Canon EOS Rebel T6i is on the higher end of the budget, it is an ideal video camera for those looking for high quality videos with little work involved. This video camera under $1k comes with a great amount of features, which may appear overwhelming, but are designed to be user friendly and provide multiple options for everyone. A 24.2 Megapixel sensor gives images that have a natural appearance due to the enhanced light detection included in the camera. Also, unflattering light situations and movements that are difficult to capture become clear with a scene analysis systems that adjusts to the subject of the image or video based on what they are doing. However, with everyone’s desire for instant results and constant communication, it is the feature of built-in Wi-Fi that really makes the selling point on this camera.

As long as you have a compatible device, you can automatically upload photos and videos directly from your camera. As someone who personally hates any extra clutter, saying goodbye to extra cords for the ease of wireless uploading makes the Canon EOS Rebel T6i one of the best video cameras under $1,000 available.

GoPro HERO

We’re all aware of those GoPro videos everywhere. Although their popularity is declining as competitors become more technologically equal, their newest GoPro is simply awesome. Waterproof? Voice activated? One button for use? The highly rated GoPro HERO is designed for those who want high-tech features that are simple to use. For the daredevils out there, the GoPro is a video camera that can be mounted and held by hand during different activities and has video stabilization that allows you to capture your exciting moments while they are happening. The video camera is small in size and has a two-inch touch screen that allows you to edit your photos directly on your video camera before sending them off to your device via the WiFi capability.

Also, as mentioned earlier, the camera can be used in up to 33 feet of water and has the ability to be voice activated, allowing you to find the perfect angle for your selfie without having to contort your arm to reach the button. With simple use and a portable design, the GoPro HERO is a high quality video camera under $1,000 for a reasonable price. You also have many, many models to choose from depending on your exact budget.

Panasonic HC-WXF991K

While the look of this video camera is that of an old-school video camcorder, the HC-WXF991K comes with all the upgraded features needed in a modern-day camera. With a 4K Ultra display and HD recording, this camera has a built in twin camera setting that allows you to record a shot from different angles, giving a more professional feel to all recordings. Cropping, stabilization, zoom, and slow/quick motion features are all included directly in the camera, which allows for automatic editing without having to work from another device.

It even comes with a function known as level-shot, that adjusts the image of the camera automatically so that there is not tilting or external shaking from the user while recording. Finally, the High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature adjusts the lighting and exposures to make sure that each image or shot is captured as a clear and visible image. While this camera is higher on the price point, the included features make the Panasonic HC-WXF991K a dynamic device and still one of the best video cameras under one thousand dollars.

Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD

For the amateur videographers who dreamed of being the next Steven Speilberg as a child, the VIXIA HF G20 will fulfill all of your pro-video making dreams (aside from having the look). While the body of the camera is small, the 35 mm lens of the camera offers a wider view of images that cannot be found with regular video cameras. The image sensor is also top-of-the-line quality, working well at farther ranges, close ups, and producing clear images in low-light settings — all features that justify the price on this bad boy. The touch panel allows you to review your images and modify them directly on the camera to edit features such as the exposure or clarity of your photos or recordings.

However, one of the features that makes this one of the best video cameras under a thousand bucks are the nine different cinema-filters that are included. The camera allows you to preview all of the filters before choosing one, and then adjusts the lighting and background exposure to match your chosen selection. While it comes in at the top of the budget of a thousand dollars or less, the Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD is a worthwhile investment to videographers looking for professional recordings.

Nikon D5500

One of best DSLR video cameras under $1,000 designed for the creative artist in mind, the D5500 is meant for those who want to capture the world in a unique way. With seven different Picture Controls to adjust lighting and background, and sixteen Scene Modes to add your own personal touch, this video camera allows for a personalized videography experience. The Scene Recognition system uses a sensor that automatically adjusts your camera settings (such as focus, brightness, and flash) to make sure that your photo or video is perfectly balanced and clear in its imagery.

Plus, with nine different cross-type sensors and shutter speeds that move between 4 to 30 seconds, you can get every movement you want to capture on film with high clarity. Included with WiFi compatibility for easy uploading to most devices, the Nikon D5500 is a portable and well-priced video camera ideal for any user.

Blackmagic Micro Cinema

While this video camera is smaller in size, the Blackmagic Micro Cinema is high in quality thanks largely in part to the 13 versions of dynamic range powered by the 16mm sensor. Although they’re above our price-point here, their entire line of Blackmagic Cinema Cameras are insane when it comes to quality. While the Micro Cinema is on the high-end of the budget and barely making our under $1,000 mark, this video camera is designed for the adventure seekers and can be mounted on all different types of equipment for achieving ultimate action shots. It even comes with remote control capability so that you can use your camera without being in the direct vicinity.

The mechanical design for the audio is omni-directional, which allows for the cancellation of background noise and instead focuses in on the audio you need to make the most of your recordings. For ease in use, all buttons are located on the front of the camera, making it accessible in any position you may be in while trying to get that perfect shot. Overall, the Blackmagic Micro Cinema is another very high quality video camera for under a thousand bucks.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Looking at another option from Canon, the PowerShot G7 stands out from the others due to the innovation of the processor it possesses being the size of a compact point-and-shoot. The DIGIC 7 image processor works over time to focus in on everything essential in your videos. This includes concentrating on fast-paced subjects, face tracking recognition for the focus of your shot, reducing outside noise, and stabilizing the image from any external body movements that may occur while capturing your moments.

For the selfie lovers out there, the camera can tilt itself upward at 180 degrees and down at 45 degrees, meaning less arm contortion for the perfect picture angle. Finally, looking to take hours of footage and decrease to seconds? The time lapse function gives you that option, keeping up with your fast paced life without having you miss a beat, which is why we had to add the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II to our list of the best video beasts for under$1,000.

Nikon D7000

The highly rated Nikon D7000 continues to prove itself while Nikon is a trusted brand and leader in high-quality video cameras, more specifically DSLRs. This is definitely one of the best video cameras for under $1,000 if you wanted something in the lower-end of our category here. The 16.2 megapixels included in this video camera allows for light to process at a higher sensor, giving you richer quality in your images. The EXPEED 2 processing system allows the video camera to capture movements at higher speeds of up to 6 frames per second.

In addition, the 1080p HD enhances the quality of the video, with the added bonus of a built-in and external microphone that produces decent-resolution audio when playing back your videos (for pro quality, we still recommend an external shotgun mic). Similar to the other Nikon’s on this list, the 2,016 pixel sensor enhances the lighting, giving for optimal exposure of all images in both shadows and light. Finally, for those of us that tend to be a little hard on our equipment, the D7000 was put to the manufacturing test to ensure that the Nikon D7000 is durable in most rugged environments, giving peace of mind to the user in all recording situations.

5 Best Cameras for Filmmaking under $1000

Looking for a camera for filmmaking under $1000? Here are five cameras under $1000 for your next film.

In this article, we take a look at 5 best cameras for filmmaking under $1000. If you are on a tight budget the following cameras will get the job done at an affordable price.

Bear in mind this is only a fun comparison of the specs of the available cameras under $1000 price range. Please treat it as such. There are many variables that come into play.

Here are the cameras considered for this comparison:

  • Sony Alpha a6400 (Amazon, B&H)
  • Fujifilm X-T30 (Amazon, B&H)
  • Fujifilm X-S10 (Amazon, B&H)
  • Nikon Z5 (Amazon, B&H)
  • Canon EOS RP (Amazon, B&H)

Sony Alpha a6400

Sensor size

The Sony Alpha a6400 (Amazon, B&H) has an APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor, which is close enough to Super 35mm.

Resolution and frame rates

The Sony Alpha a6400 can shoot in 4K (3840 x 2160) UHD at 30p in 8 bit 4:2:0. It does not shoot RAW but you can shoot in S-Log2 and S-Log3.

4K is supposedly downsampled from 6K footage. The best codec available to record in is XAVC S 4K. Maximum fps in 4K is 30 fps. You get 120 fps in 1080p.

The data rates range from 60 Mbps to 100 Mbps.

ISO range for video

The Sony Alpha a6400 has an ISO range of 100 to 32,000 for video. Low light shoots should not be doable, but considering this camera has an APS-C sensor it will not be as great as a full frame sensor.

HDMI output

To record 4K (3840 x 2160) UHD at 30p with 8-bit 4:2:2 you will have to record externally using a recorder like the Atomos Ninja V and an HDMI Type D to Type A cable.

Lens mount

The Sony Alpha a6400 has an E-Mount. It is compatible with every E-mount lens out there. There’s one for every party!

Memory Card

Sony suggests a Class 10 or higher SDXC card for XAVC S 4K. UHS-II or higher is required for 100 Mbps recording.

Recording time limit

None! This is impressive for this price range. You can record in 4K until the battery dies or the card fills up.

Battery life

The Sony Alpha a6400 gives you 125 mins of continuous recording and 70 mins of intermittent recording.

Image stabilization

None! You will depend on the OSS in the lens or use other stabilizing gear, such as a gimbal or a tripod. This might be problematic for many beginners.

Audio

The Sony Alpha a6400 comes with an in-built 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack. You can buy an audio kit that is sold separately for the Sony Alpha a6400. The audio kit will help you record sound professionally.

Size and weight

The dimensions are 120.0 mm (W) x 66.9 mm (H) x 59.7 mm (D) and the camera weighs around 403g. While it is pretty lightweight and compact, adding on accessories will change that.

Fujifilm X-T30

Sensor size

The Fujifilm X-T30 (Amazon, B&H) has an APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor. This is close enough to Super 35mm.

Resolution and frame rates

The Fujifilm X-T30 (Amazon, B&H) can shoot in DCI 4K (4096×2160) at 30p in 8-bit 4:2:0. It does not shoot RAW but you can shoot in F-Log.

The 4K is supposedly downsampled from 6K footage. Maximum fps in 4K is 30 fps. You get 120 fps in HD.

The data rates range from 50 Mbps to 200 Mbps.

HDMI output

The external output is 10-bit with 4:2:2 color space up to DCI 4K 29.97 fps.

ISO range for video

The Fujifilm X-T30 has an ISO range of 160 to 12,800 for video. Low light shoots should not be a problem, but it won’t be as good as the Sony a6400.

Lens mount

The Fujifilm X-T30 (Amazon, B&H) has an X-Mount. X-mount lenses have enough versatility to suit your needs.

Memory card

Fujifilm suggests an Class 10 or higher SDXC card for 4K movie recording. UHS-II or higher is required for 200 Mbps recording.

Recording time limit

With 4K DCI at 30 fps you will only be able to record up to 10 mins continuously. The maximum amount of recording you can get without an external recorder is 15 mins (in 1920 x 1080 at 30 fps). If you want to shoot at 120 fps, then you only get 6 mins of continuous recording.

This can prove to be a major problem if you choose to record internally. While doing a short film where you have some control over you recording lengths this shouldn’t be a major issue, but it’s definitely a major negative compared to the other cameras on this list.

Battery Life

The Fujifilm X-T30 gives you 45 mins of recording time. If you choose to use face detection, it will be worse.

Image stabilization

None! You will depend on the image stabilization in the lens or use other stabilizing means, such as a gimbal or a tripod. This can be problematic for many beginners.

Audio

The Fujifilm X-T30 comes with an in-built 2.5mm microphone jack. No one actually uses 2.5mm jacks for microphone recording. The majority of mics come with 3.5mm jacks. So you will need a converter for that as well.

Ergonomics

The dimensions are 118.4mm (W) x 82.8mm (H) x 46.8mm (D). The. camera weighs around 383g (including battery and memory cards). While it is pretty lightweight and compact, adding on accessories will change that.

Film simulation

As you might have noticed, there are lots of cons with the X-T30. So why bother?

One of the many reasons why Fujifilm has such a strong consumer base, despite its shortcomings, is the ability to recreate their old film looks. Fujifilm and Kodak were the two major companies making film (for both stills and cinema).

Fujifilm’s colors are renowned across the globe and many people choose Fujifilm just for their color science. The ETERNA look has been used notably in many films and loved by avid Fujifilm users all over the world.

This, and the great color science and data rate, is why the image quality on the X-T30 is to be taken seriously.

Fujifilm X-S10

Sensor size

The Fujifilm X-S10 (Amazon, B&H) has an APS-C type (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor, close enough to Super 35mm.

Resolution and Frame Rates

The Fujifilm X-S10 (Amazon, B&H) can shoot in DCI 4K (4096×2160) at 30p in 8-bit 4:2:0. It does not shoot RAW but you can shoot in F-Log.

Maximum fps in 4K is 30 fps. You can go up to 240 fps in HD. This is one area it has a leg up over the X-T30.

The data rates range from 50 Mbps to 200 Mbps.

ISO range for video

The Fujifilm X-S10 has an ISO range of 160 to 12,800 for video. Low light shoots should not be a problem, but it won’t be as good as the Sony a6400.

HDMI output

The external output is 10-bit 4:2:2 up to DCI 4K 29.97 fps.

Lens mount

The Fujifilm X-S10 (Amazon, B&H) has an X-Mount. It is compatible with every X-mount lens out there.

Memory card

Fujifilm suggests a Class 10 or higher SDXC card for 4K movie recording. UHS-II or higher is required for 200 Mbps recording.

Recording time limit

The Fujifilm X-S10 will only record up to 30 mins of footage continuously at 4K 30 fps. At 120 fps you only get 6 mins of continuous recording. At 240 fps, you only get 3 mins of continuous recording.

As with the X-T30, unless you can control your take lengths, this is a major con.

Battery life

The Fujifilm X-S10 gives you 40 mins of recording time. If you choose to use face detection, it will be worse.

Image Stabilization

The Fujifilm X-S10 (Amazon, B&H) has a 5-axis in built image stabilization system. Fujifilm claims that this provides 6-stops of image stabilization.

This is a useful addition for videographers who want to do run and gun shoots. This is one area where the X-S10 outshines the X-T30.

Audio

The Fujifilm X-S10 comes with an in-built 3.5mm microphone jack. While this can help you can record better audio than a scratch mic, you will still be missing the professional level of audio recording. Still, better than the X-T30.

Ergonomics

The dimensions are (W) 126.0mm × (H) 85.1mm × (D) 65.4mm. The camera weighs around 465g (including battery and memory cards). While it is pretty lightweight and compact, adding on accessories will change that.

Film simulation

You get all the Fuji colors as with the X-T30. Here are some examples:

  • Provia
  • Velvia
  • Astia
  • Eterna
  • Eterna Bleach Bypass
  • Acros (B&W)
  • and more.

A Grain Effect mode is also available to replicate the look of old film photos with an organic textured appearance.

Nikon Z5

Sensor size

The Nikon Z5 (Amazon, B&H) has a full frame sensor (35.9 mm x 23.9 mm). This is one of the few cameras in this budget to have a full frame sensor.

Resolution and Frame Rates

The Nikon Z5 (Amazon, B&H) can shoot in 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) at 30p in 8-bit 4:2:0. The 4K recording does come with a heavy crop of 1.7x. That crop factor is bigger than an APS-C crop factor!

Maximum fps in 4K is 30fps. You only get 60 fps in 1080p.

The data rates range from 50 Mbps to 144 Mbps.

ISO range for video

The Nikon Z5 has an ISO range of 100 to 25,600 for video. Low light shoots should not be a problem with the full frame sensor.

HDMI output

The Nikon Z5 lacks the ability to output 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 in N-Log.

Lens mount

The Nikon Z5 has a Z-Mount. It is compatible with every Z-mount lens out there.

To read more about Z-mount and its lenses, we suggest you read the following article.https://wolfcrow.com/best-lenses-for-the-nikon-z6-for-video/embed/#?secret=GJjZRrjww9

Memory card

The Nikon Z5 has dual memory card slots. Nikon recommends a UHS-II compliant SDHC for 4K recording.

Recording time limit

You can only record up to 30 mins of footage continuously.

Battery life

The Nikon Z5 gives you 115 mins of recording time. The recording time increases if you use the monitor instead of the viewfinder (by 5 mins).

Image stabilization

The Nikon Z5 (Amazon, B&H) has a 5-axis in built image stabilization system.

This is a useful addition for videographers who want to do run and gun shoots. This can help you be independent of a gimbal or a tripod.

Audio

The Nikon Z5 comes with an in-built mic to record your audio, but that is about it.

Ergonomics

The dimensions are (W) 134 mm × (H) 100.5 mm × (D) 69.5 mm. The camera weighs around 675g (including battery and memory cards). The Nikon Z5 is the heaviest camera on this list.

Canon EOS RP

Sensor size

The Canon EOS RP (Amazon, B&H) has a full frame sensor (35.9 x 24.0 mm). It is one of the few cameras in this price range that has a full frame sensor.

Resolution and frame Rates

The Canon EOS RP (Amazon, B&H) can shoot in 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at 24p in 8-bit 4:2:0.

Maximum fps in 4K is 24fps. You only get 60 fps in 1080p.

The data rates range from 26 Mbps to 120 Mbps.

HDMI output

The external output is 8-bit 4:2:2 up to 4K UHD 23.97 fps.

ISO range for video

The Canon EOS RP has an ISO range of  100 to 12,800 for video. Low light shoots should not be a problem. A full frame sensor helps out a lot here.

Lens mount

The Canon EOS RP (Amazon, B&H) has an RF-Mount. It is compatible with every RF-mount lens out there.

To learn and find your RF lens, we suggest you read the following article:https://wolfcrow.com/the-best-lenses-for-the-canon-eos-r5-for-video/embed/#?secret=xp8Z1vkx8f

Memory card

Canon suggests a UHS-I or UHS-II for 4K movie recording.

Recording time limit

At 4K UHD 24 fps you will be able to only record up to 30 mins of footage continuously.

Battery life

The Canon EOS RP has not mentioned the battery life for video in their official website, but it’s nothing to write home about.

Image stabilization

None! You will depend on the image stabilization in the lens or use other stabilizing means, such as a gimbal or a tripod. This can be problematic for many beginners.

Audio Specs

The Canon EOS RP (Amazon, B&H) comes with an in-built 3.5mm microphone jack. While this can help you can record better audio than a scratch mic, you will still be missing the professional level of audio recording.

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