The best high-end video cameras

If you're looking for a big budget professional video camera, look no further - we've chosen some of the best.

The best high-end video cameras

by Kirk Schwarz |
Updated on

As they say in Hollywood, ‘Lights, action!’ Hang on, something is definitely missing here… That’s right, it’s cameras. The most in-demand tool for creative storytellers everywhere, a solid video camera is essential. While we’ve explored our best picks for budget video cameras, this list is a little more, how you say – premium. We’ve set a high price limit of, so rest assured, these are the types of video cameras that will get you high-end commercial results, whether you’re filming corporate videos, music promos or independent movies.

Related: The best vlogging cameras

Each camera is capable of 4K footage, as well as high frame rates in lower formats. Many of the cameras are Super 35mm, with one Micro Four Thirds wildcard thrown in for good measure, and are built to offer excellent quality with high bitrates, colour sampling depth and ISO ranges. They also represent the more portable end of the spectrum, relatively speaking, with each being perfect for one-man setups (or women, don’t get us wrong) either shoulder-mounted, or as part of a rig.

So, with us having explained our criteria, it’s time to reveal what we think represent the best cameras on the market for the price range.

Best high-end video cameras 2024

Billed by Canon as a game-changer for creative filmmaking, the C300 MkII boasts an 8.9MP Super 35mm CMOS sensor that can record 4K at 30fps with 4:2:2 10-bit internally. You can also shoot 2K at 4:4:4 12-bit up to 60fps, or 120fps when cropped. It takes either CFast or SD storage, though only CFast is capable of capturing the higher 4:4:4 colour sampling. You'll find 15-stops of dynamic range, an in-built ND filter setting, for 2,4 and 6-stops natively, with 8 and 10-stops expanded. As you'd expect, there's a 4in 1.230k-dot LCD screen, and a 1.170k-dit OLED viewfinder, as well as Canon's own Dual Pixel AF system. It also supports Canon Log Gamma 2 shooting for a flat picture profile, and maximum 410Mbs bit rate for ultra-high quality footage.

Panasonic are as synonymous with video as Sony, and have a storied history in the medium. One of the company's most exciting recent entries into the video market has to be the EVA1. It boasts a 5.7K Super 35mm sensor that can capture 14-stops of dynamic range and boasts Dual native ISOs of 800 and 2500 for excellent low-light captures. It can record 4:2:2: 10-bit internally at 4K to SD cards u2013 great news if you're looking for budget storage options. It also allows filming on the V-Log flat colour profile for exceptional colour grading opportunities. The 5.7K sensor downsamples to 4K at 60fps, and even allows for 240fps capture at 2K with a sensor crop. Finally, for those who like their bitrate topped out, the EVA1's maximum 400mbs makes from some stunning high-quality footage u2013 perfect to create that premium Hollywood look!

Sony is known for its video prowess, and the PXW-FS5 II camcorder carries on this long line of heritage. It boasts a super 35mm sensor that's capable of external DCI 4K at 120p, or 60fps RAW, and even an impressive 240fps eight-second burst at Full HD 1080p - perfect for ultra-slowmo. You'll get a 14-stop dynamic range, native ISO 2000 sensitivity with S-Log2/Log3 Gamma and in-built electronic variable ND filter ranging from 1/4ND to 1/28ND. These can also be set to auto, making it perfect for fast-paced shooting. As you'd expect for the money, the FS5 II is capable of recording Full HD 4:2:2 10-bit internally, or 4K RAW 12-bit externally. 4K internal, however, is set to 4:2:0 8-bit, though if you're investing in this kit, we expect you'll be using an external recording device anyway, such as an Atamos or similar.

Blackmagic is a name that's well known to those who make the transition to shooting serious video. The Ursa Mini Pro provides a brilliant compact design that will still allow you to keep a lightweight hand-held run and gun style, while providing broadcast quality footage. The Super 35mm 4.6K sensor boasts an impressive 15-stop dynamic range, and you can record 24 - 120p, or up to 300fps in 1080p. It's able to capture Apple ProRes or 12-bit Blackmagic RAW, and uses dual CFast and UHS-II SD cards to capture the shots. You'll find the 2, 4 and 6-stop ND filters are essential for keeping depth of field on bright days. Finally, the 4in LCD touchscreen makes browsing menus, changing settings and framing up a breeze - ideal for the advanced indie-cinematographers!

Blackmagic pocket - £1,630
Price: $1274.95
Alternative retailers
Adorama$871.00View offer
Walmart$1295.00View offer
B&H Photo Video$1295.00View offer

OK, hear us out with this wildcard. It may only boast a Micro Four Thirds sensor, but it can still bash out 4K at 60fps, plus it will really cut down on the price of chiropractors! The great thing about the Pocket Cinema, apart from the weight and price, is that it's still able to capture a wide 13-stops of dynamic range. You can film 4K 60fps, and 120fps at Full HD 1080p internally to either UHS-II SD or CFast 2.0 cards. That includes 4:2:2 10-bit, and even the 12-bit Blackmagic RAW format. The Dual native ISO allows you to shoot up to ISO 25,600 for brilliant low-light performance, while the 5in rear touchscreen is perfect for framing your shots and browsing your most-used settings. You can't help but be amazed at the impressive level of detail in this compact model, with Blackmagic even including a mini XLR lead and mains operation. If you're on a budget, can you really afford to ignore this option?

Kirk Schwarz is one of our resident tech experts. A tech-addicted photographer with more than a decade's experience, Kirk's used to putting new gear through extreme field-testing.

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