The Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $5000: A Complete Guide


In this guide, we look at which mirrorless cameras are available under $5000, and why you should consider them.

The market has a wide variety of cameras within the price range of $1000 to $5,000, and many would suggest it may be too saturated. There’s a lot to choose from, and we wouldn’t blame you for finding yourself confused or lost—especially with variant models that may only have one or two additional features.

We’ve limited our search from the last three years—so from the beginning of 2019—but there will be some older discounted cameras appearing from before then.

Our lists are arranged from the latest to oldest and, in some cases, we may have omitted a model if the revised model serves a better purpose.


Canon EOS R5 C – $4,49900 (Launched March 2022)

Image of Canon EOS R5 C
Image via Canon.

Almost as a Jobs-ian “last word” moment, here comes the R5C. That’s a big C as it bridges the EOS Cinema range of cameras and lenses.

In a new sense, it could be called a “bridge” camera because it’s still for photographers and videographers and is a variant of the R5.

  • Two cameras in one body: photo + cinema
  • 45MP stills, full-frame 8K CMOS sensor
  • Photo/video switch changes Settings menu
  • JPEG/C-RAW, 12-bit Cinema RAW Light
  • Dual pixel CMOS AF with eye detection
  • CFexpress type-B and SD UHS-II slots
  • Dual-slot record, unlimited record time
  • Timecode DIN port, multi-function shoe
  • 4-Channel audio record with XLR adapter
  • 13 reassignable buttons

Fujifilm, with the X-T4, was so nearly there when separating the stills and video features, whereas the R5C takes it the extra mile and has dedicated switches for both to enter their worlds inside the camera.

It still has the R5’s sensor, but pimps up the performance to a full-frame 8K60 Cinema EOS camera that internally records 12-bit Cinema RAW Light footage. However, it has no stabilization this time. It also incorporates cooling at the back of the body.

My first impression was seeing what RED has for around the same money. RED cameras are now bulletproof, mature products. KOMODO 6K is $5,995 with RF mount.


Panasonic Lumix GH6 – $2,197.99 (Launched February 21, 2022)

Image of Panasonic Lumix GH6
Image via Panasonic.

There are plenty of people who think this camera is the last hurrah of the Micro Four-Thirds format. MFT was the format that was an antidote to large DSLRs hung around your neck. But, the full-frame mirrorless format has all but leveled-up that problem. Why would you need this MFT fully-featured model when a full-frame camera is always better?

Well, first off, there are lenses, and the MFT choice is enormous. You may already have plenty of them and don’t want to sell them, and they are plenty of unique third-party options available by reputable manufacturers—like the set from Voigtländer. Also, Panasonic has thrown their considerable feature list at this camera, and let’s not forget they were one of the pioneers of the format.

With the GH6, you get a brand new sensor with a claim of 13+ stops of dynamic range with dual-analog gain circuits with Dynamic Range Boost Mode. One circuit uses ISO 800 and the other ISO 2000. But, Panasonic has taken this technology further by applying both circuits as a composite. RED also did this a while ago with their cinema cameras.

With a much quicker Venus processor and a CF Express Type B card slot, you’ll get internally 5.7K Apple ProRes 422 HQ; 4K in the SD card slot.

Other highlights include 300fps, the ability to combine eight images into one with the new computational stabilization ability within Venus, and open gate record with the 4:3 sensor for 5.8K 30p 4:2:0 10-bit and 4.4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit video—something ARRI cameras do.

So, if this is Panasonic’s last MFT camera, then it’s an incredible video product and potentially a future classic.


OM SYSTEM OM-1 – $2,199 (Launched February 15, 2022)

Image of the OM SYSTEM OM-1 camera
Image via OM SYSTEM.

The OM System OM-1 is a camera whose appearance is full of contradictions. OM System is the investment company that bought Olympus’s name and assets last year but, apparently, the word Olympus is being phased out, so why put it on the first camera post-sale, front and center?

Anyway, the OM-1 used to be the name of a film camera back in the day Olympus made them, so there’s some consistency. OM System has produced another MFT camera to keep its lens customers happy.

But, there are new sides to the camera, including a newly designed 20.4MP sensor. The TruePic X processor has a three-times faster performance contributing to better specs for frames per second, topping out at 120 and broader ISO details.

Video performance is DCI/UHD 4K video recording supported at up to 60p and 10-bit 4:2:0 sampling. Full HD recording is possible at high-speed rates up to 240fps for slow-motion playback. OM System pushes the highest outputs with a 12-bit RAW route via a micro-HDMI port to an outboard recorder.

OM-1 may be more of a photographer’s tool than video, but nothing is forever. And, with the new regime in charge and some interesting computational features and high-end outputs, who knows. Maybe the aftermarket support industry will decide. If they get behind it, things might change.


Sony a7 IV Mirrorless Camera – $2,498.00 (Launched December 21, 2021)

Image of Sony's a7 IV mirrorless camera
Image via Sony.

The latest Sony Alpha camera could be called a basic model with pretensions of grandeur as it steals from Sony’s mighty A1 model, which costs $4,000 more. It also appeals to hybrid shooters or digital artists (let’s call them) who shoot stills and video.

You get a newly developed 33MP Exmor R full-frame sensor and the latest Bionz XR processor. The sensor is pretty good and uses downsampling or oversampling to get the best results. Sony claims a 15 stops dynamic range from the pair.

From a 7K read-out, you’re getting a UHD 30p XAVC HS 10-bit recording possible using the entire width of the sensor. From a Super-35 4.6K read-out, you’re getting a UHD oversampling output in 10-bit and 60fps.

Sony has included their S-Cinetone, which you’ll find in their pro video cameras FX6 and FX9, and their A1 and A7S III. You’ll also get an HDR output with HLG and S-Log 3.

The improved autofocus for video is also worth mentioning. Real-Time Eye AF is fully-supported, depending on what you’re shooting—that means human, animal, and bird eyes. Wildlife shooters will love their Sony Alpha cameras even more with these improvements.

Drilling down further in the AF performance, you get seven-step AF transition speeds and five-step AF subject shift sensitivity controls. They let you refine how quickly focus shifts from point-to-point and how smoothly focusing shifts occur.

This, in practice, looks like the Apple iPhone 13 demo that shows how it can rack focus by just moving the camera to a new subject. Looks great, though.


FUJIFILM X-T30 II Mirrorless Camera – $899.95 (Launched November 25, 2021)

Image of the FUJIFILM X-T30 II mirrorless camera
Image via FUJIFILM.

For instance, I often wondered why Fujinon didn’t make a no-apologies cinema camera, like a RED. They had all the color science and sensor roadmap, but decided to carry on with a range of mirrorless cameras that have done well but are not supported by the pro community, yet.

The second iteration of the X-T30 is a hardy street photography product. The high line details are a 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 Sensor—shared with the more pro X-T3—supported by the X-Processor 4 with Quad CPU. Accessible physical controls on the top allow quick reaction to a scene, and look super-cool with their retro style.

There’s also a 425-point phase-detection autofocus system for AF performance and subject tracking with face and eye detection autofocus, with a new Face Selection option. The AF works for video, too, and its low-light performance has been improved, down to -7EV (see what I mean about street photography).

Video performance-wise, we’re not talking about anything special. Internally, you can record UHD 4K at only 30p at up to 200 Mb/s. There’s also a 120fps HD option with the standard outputs, including HEVC/H.265.

If you buy this Mark II version, you can start learning how to shoot in Log format as it carries F-Log with some extra noise reduction processing thrown in. I think this is something that most owners will gloss over in the menu and get back to their street world.


Sony ZV-E10 Mirrorless Camera (Black) – $698 (Launched August 31, 2021)

Image of the Sony ZV-E10 mirrorless camera (black)
Image via Sony.

Back to a camera that’s sure of why it exists—vlogging. Sony has designed the ZV-E10 as the answer when the question is, “What if I don’t want to use the expensive iPhone anymore for shooting?” The original ZV -1 started it, and now the new E10 is evolving.

There’s no pretense here. The microphone has a performance-tuned front projection with a 3-capsule design, and there’s a shooting mode called Background Defocus (it switches to the maximum aperture setting of the attached lens).

High line specs are a 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor, enabling UHD video recording up to 30p, HD recording at 120p, and stills shooting up to 11fps. There’s also a 425-point Fast Hybrid AF system.

The rear 3 inch 921.6K-dot LCD touchscreen flips out, which is ideal for filming yourself or taking selfies. There’s even a tally light to remind you you’re recording and a red border frame on the screen acting as an additional recording indicator.

More good news: You have access to the E-mount Sony lens world, and the video quality is good because of some nifty downsampling, which is always the best way to present video. It’s a full pixel read-out with 6K oversampling, reducing moiré and aliasing, and looks good for the price.


Nikon Z fc Mirrorless Camera – $956 (Launched June 30, 2021)

Image of the Nikon Z fc mirrorless camera
Image via Nikon.

The Nikon Z fc and the Sony ZV-E10 (above) were launched roughly last year, and approximately did the same job for the vlogging audience, although the Sony is cheaper.

The Sony also edges the video performance with its downsampling from 6K; the Nikon offers UHD at up to 30fps from the DX-format 20.9MP CMOS sensor; not sure there’s any downsampling happening there.

But they’re both achingly cool—and retro (in Nikon’s case)—and offer physical control of all parameters from the top. You’ll get an excellent stills camera with some video and a fashion accessory (don’t forget to put an SD card in). That might be enough for some people at this price point.

The 209-point hybrid autofocus system uses both phase-detection and contrast-detection for stills and video applications. As a vlogging tool, it supports Eye Detection AF, which uses facial recognition to help lock focus onto a subject’s eyes.

The body has a magnesium alloy chassis that’s both dust- and weather-resistant—no IP rating spotted, though. Z fc can also stream and work as a webcam. Bit pricey, though, compared to the more interesting Sony ZV-E10.


Panasonic Lumix GH5 II – $1,497.99 (Launched June 30, 2021)

Image of the Panasonic Lumix GH5 II
Image via Panasonic.

The Panasonic GH5 is and was a workhorse for the pro video crowd. It’s just so well made. As is the new GH5 II, and also don’t forget the GH4, which is still going strong and is still available (lookout for discounts). But, what does the new GH5 offer?

You have a 20.3MP live MOS sensor with AR coating (an anti-reflection add-on), which reads the full sensor for DCI or real 4K, and UHD (broadcast 4K). Output is 10-bit 4:2:0 internally up to 60p, or 4:2:2 at 30p, which is good news.

The five-axis sensor stabilization has been updated on this model and now claims a stop compensation of 6.5 over a previous 5 stops when used with Lumix OIS lenses.

There’s no question that the GH5 II is a solid video product. There are options to use XLRs for your audio. There are multiple picture styles with two types of Cinelike gamma and V-Log, which take you into high-end TV and film production use.

This camera was also the one that took Panasonic into the streaming world direct from the camera via the Lumix App.

This is all nice, but the big question remains: Wouldn’t you rather have the new GH6, which is only around $500 more?


Sony a7R IIIA & IVA – $2,798 and $3,498 (Both Updated on April 7, 2021)

Image of the Sony a7R IIIA
Image via Sony.

In the Sony nomenclature world of Alpha cameras, they designate their “specialized” models. The R-series are the ones that have higher resolution, and the S-series specialize in low-light performance and video. Everything else cherry-picks both areas and fills the gaps between the R and S releases.

So, we have the new A versions of two cameras, which can be seen as stop-gap releases of existing cameras with minimal improvements. Interestingly, the original cameras weren’t available anymore after this launch.

The A7R IIIA gets an improved rear LCD resolution, jumping from 1,440,000 to 2,359,296 dots. Also upgraded is the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C Port to a faster USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C Port.

The A7R IVA also gets the improved rear LCD resolution, which jumps from 1,440,000 dots to 2,359,296 dots.

Makeover releases but makes a note of them as when you buy one of these secondhand—you’ll know to pick the 2021 uprated version to get a better deal.


FUJIFILM X-E4 Mirrorless Camera – $849 (Launched February 25, 2021)

Image of the FUJIFILM X-E4 mirrorless camera
Image via FUJIFILM.

If you go to the top of this list, you’ll see the Fujifilm X-T30 II at just $50 more than this X-E4 camera. Both have the 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor and X-Processor 4, which you’ll find in the X-T3 camera.

The X-E4 model seems to be more for the menu-based automatic shooting fraternity, but performance is similar in both. One thing this camera does which might raise it above the X-T30 II is a 240fps slow-motion feature at HD resolution. That’s when slow-mo gets exciting and useful, and worth buying just to raise the standard of your content.

You also get a 3.5mm microphone jack and 2.5mm remote port with included headphone adapter for more advanced audio solutions.


Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II – $1,996.95 and $2,996.95 (Both Launched November 5, 2020)

Image of the Nikon Z6 II
Image via Nikon.
Image of the Nikon Z7 II
Image via Nikon.

November 5, 2020, was an important day for Nikon as they launched updates to both of the main mirrorless cameras in their range, the Z6II and Z7II. Nikon never broke through to the pro side of video—as Sony, Panasonic, and Canon did—but there are thousands of content creators who lust after the Nikon aesthetic you get from these models.

The Z6 II has a 24.5MP BSI CMOS sensor and dual EXPEED 6 image processors, but still feels mostly like a photographer’s tool as the video performance at launch was iPhone-like with UHD only at 30p or 120fps for high definition. It was token at best, although, with a clean HDMI, you could output 10-bit out along with N-Log and HLG (which is a flavor of HDR).

However, a firmware update enabled UHD 4K at 60p, and 50p frame rates and RAW video output to Blackmagic Design Video Assist external recorders.

There was also an improvement in eye detection when using Auto-Area AF and Wide-Area AF modes.

Another upgrade path was for ProRes RAW via compatible Atomos external recorders. This provides greater color grading flexibility with the ProRes codec and the ability to output uncompressed 12-bit RAW footage over HDMI.

The video performance of the Z7 II is around the same after upgrades. You’d probably expect more with an extra $1000 you have to pay. You’re getting a 45.7MP FX-format BSI CMOS sensor and dual EXPEED 6 image processors. UHD 4K 60p video was supported from the launch with the option to record in 10-bit using N-Log or HLG (HDR) modes through HDMI.


FUJIFILM X-S10 Mirrorless Camera – $999 (Launched October 15, 2020)

Image of the FUJIFILM X-S10 mirrorless camera
Image via FUJIFILM.

Yet another Fujifilm hybrid camera with the APS-C-sized 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, but this one is probably the one to go for video. Again, the key is this 240fps at HD; you also get real 4K at 24, 30p, and UHD, and can output 10-bit 4.2.2 via your HDMI—that’s broadcast quality. There’s also a 4-axis digital image stabilization for video with the right Fujifilm lenses.

Add the Film Simulation Modes, and you have a video camera that would push much more expensive ones and one you can put on a drone or other support devices, as it’s small and light. There are some excellent kit lenses, too, but we’ve heard that battery life isn’t optimal—you can’t have it all.

This X-S10 feels like a smart buy for video content creators, and you’ve got a decent stills platform. There was someone at Fujifilm R&D looking out for you guys with this model.


Sony a7C – $1,798 (Launched September 15, 2020)

Image of the Sony a7C
Image via Sony.

The Sony a7C is the small but smooth cousin to the standard a7 cameras that Sony is so well-known for. It’s tiny and light, around 425g or 15oz, but is full-frame.

So, who is it for? Hard to say, but still performance is excellent with fast AF and stabilization from the 24.2MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor. The AF perhaps is the key here. It’s a Hybrid AF with 693 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection areas.

It works beautifully with video. It uses the same seven-step AF transition speeds and five-step AF subject shift sensitivity controls that the more expensive A7 IV uses. It also uses AI-derived tracking and real-time Eye AF.

The video is also downsampled from the full 6K sensor read-out to 4K—again, the best way to do it.

There’s an uncompressed HDMI out to a recorder for 4K with 4:2:2. A high-speed, 120fps recording mode enables 4x and 5x slow-motion movie recording with the frame rate set to either 30p or 24p. What a shame this HDMI out and internal recording is only 8-bit.

But, I’ll tell you who this camera is for. It’s an excellent recces or location camera for cinematographers, even if they’re not using the Sony Venice cinema camera. You shoot some location shots in S-Log 2 or 3 and then bring them back to your colorist to give you some idea of the look you’re after.

This is a smart starting point and a cheaper way to get into the A7 look and feature set.


Panasonic Lumix S5 – $1,697.99 (September 2, 2020)

Image of the Panasonic Lumix S5 camera
Image via Panasonic.

The Panasonic Lumix S5 came in smaller and lighter than the S1 and variants—they got negative market feedback about their girth. A full-frame 24.2MP CMOS sensor gives you UHD 30p internal recorded with 4:2:2 10bit color.

If you crop to the APS-C sensor size, you’ll get UHD at 60p but with 4:2:0 10-bit color. Being a Lumix product, you know you’re in good hands as far as video goes, and so it is.

The S5 borrows Panasonic’s dual native ISO analog design from their broadcast cameras, which automatically switches to either circuit, depending on light levels. It’s automatic, so let the electronics help you when filming in low-light levels. It also depends on what shooting mode you’re in.

For example, shoot Cinelike D2/V2, and your ISO will be double that of regular shooting for the low ISO circuit. Cinelike D2/V2 shooting will be 1250 ISO for the low noise circuit, whereas shooting V-Log will be 4000 ISO.

You have a couple of gamma settings, and Cinelike D2/V2 in V-Log and Hybrid Log-Gamma, used for an HDR project.

The S5 also uses the Dual IS 2 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization technology. With the lens-based 2-axis image stabilization, this gives you a claimed 6.5 stops of compensation.

A firmware update added RAW video data output to Blackmagic Video Assist over HDMI.


Sony a7S III Mirrorless Camera – $3,498 (Launched September 2020)

Image of the Sony a7S III mirrorless camera
Image via Sony.

Sony’s parallel development streams for their Alpha cameras were always prone to possible confusion in the market. Which camera is for me, and why can’t I have a camera that does it all? But, hybrid cameras operate with a compromise—the usual one is video.

Most of the cameras listed here concentrate on stills but carry a level of video sophistication that may be a box-ticking exercise. The Sony A7Rs and A7Ss go beyond that concession and unveil products without any trade-offs.

The new A7S III has a 12.1MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and updated BIONZ XR image processor, so already quite different from the new A7R IV with its 61MP. But, there’s a reason for this, and it’s all about low-light shooting and dynamic range from big photosites.

The key is to balance image sharpness hand-in-hand with dynamic range, while providing a low noise floor. It’s one reason the fifteen-year Nikon D3 is still sought after with its 12.87 MP sensor.

The new A7S III can see more than the human eye in low-light. Wildlife cinematographers love these cameras because it gives them a massive advantage in capturing animal behavior: they can film at night without frightening their subjects.

It’s hard to pick out some of the video highlights, but I see it as a good broadcast camera with its internally recorded UHD 4:2:2 10-bit 120fps high line specs. The best next step is to stop reading about it and get a demo—it’ll be worth it.


Canon EOS R6 – $2,499.00 (Launched July 9, 2020)

Image of the Canon EOS R6
Image via Canon.

All of Canon’s initial R series cameras were launched simultaneously, so Canon’s marketing was heavy with the spoon-feeding of their ideal customers for each. The R6 is maybe the bridesmaid, whereas the R5 is the bride with its headline-grabbing 8K performance (also with the unwanted overheating headlines). But, with a fully-featured stills/video story, maybe it’s the one for you—don’t forget, it’s $1500 cheaper.

The spec headlines are a 20MP CMOS sensor, DIGIC X processor, dual-pixel autofocus, 5-axis sensor-shift stabilization, etc. For video, you have UHD video recording up to 60fps and HD at 120fps for three times slow-motion playback. Okay, so far, but add to that internal recording at 4:2:2 10-bit with Canon Log—that’s sweet. You can also get 4K out of the clean HDMI. This is an extremely mature video product.

So, let’s help Canon out with who this camera is for. It’s a feature list primarily set against a type of shooter. They love both video and stills, but with only Dual SD UHS-II memory card slots, they aren’t for pros but maybe for low-level content creators. Did they need the hubris of the R5? No, not for them. This camera will do for quite a while.


FUJIFILM X-T4 – $1,699.00 (April 28, 2020)

Image of the FUJIFILM X-T4
Image via FUJIFILM.

Fujifilm is in an envious position as far as cannibalizing a dedicated video camera market—they haven’t got one, so they don’t have to. That enables their R&D department to stretch their legs a bit as far as video features are concerned, but not far enough to produce a pure video product.

First off, with the X-T4, Fujifilm tries to present some kind of differentiation between shooting stills and video, to the point of separating the menus. This respects the videographer and is an exceptional idea—more companies should do this. You can also use the physical controls on the top in the same way.

But, Fujifilm could have gone further. How about placing the mirrorless camera monocular viewfinder to the edge of the body, like the X-Pro3 stills model (see below), so you’re not flattening your nose against the casing. And, how about a bolt-on cooler, since there have been reports of the camera overheating.

Image of Fujifilm's X-Pro3 camera
Fujifilm’s X-Pro3 stills camera (it also has a 4K video ability), launched a few months earlier than the X-T4, has a great feature to flip between an optical viewfinder and an optical viewfinder electronic one. And, it’s in the right place for video, on edge. It would’ve been a perfect placement for the X-T4, as well. Image via FUJIFILM.

The X-T4, however, does have some neat video features that don’t follow the crowd at the same price point. Using the proven APS-C-format 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, you can shoot at full 4K up to 60p and 240fps at HD, and that’s with excellent autofocus. Its pixel array also allows for the omission of an optical low-pass filter which sharpens images up and arguably makes them better looking.

But 10-bit video is only applied when you’re outputting via the HDMI port—you can’t record this internally.

Ultimately, the X-T4 has a strong case for being a video-first mirrorless camera or at least at the same level as its stills abilities. It adds a refresh rate adjustment to the screen to make panning moves easier to check; a fully-articulated screen; an F-Log gamma setting; a 3.5mm microphone port; and, of course, those brilliant film simulation modes to use and a tribute to their celluloid past.


Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III – $1,199.00 (November 15, 2019)

Image of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
Image via OM System.

We’ve slipped into 2019, which seems decades ago and probably is as far as camera development. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk5 has a long name, which is maybe something the new owners, OM System, can look to change. But the camera, when it came out, was a solid stills performer with its Micro Four-Thirds 20.4MP MOS sensor and a TruePic VIII image processor.

There are some high-resolution composite modes that use the sensor-shifting stabilization to produce huge files. There’s even an In-Camera Focus Stacking mode that deepens your depth of field, or you can build your depth of field in post-production with Focus Bracketing Mode. This computational photography is just getting started, but nothing replaces capturing an image at the moment.

As far as video is concerned, the E-M5 Mk5 has a 24p mode at true 4K (4096 x 2160) with a 237 Mb/s bit rate, but only at 8-bit digital word length. But, the 5-Axis sensor-shift image stabilization (up to 5.5 stops with any lens and 6.5 stops with particular lenses) and autofocus are for video, as well. So, well worth a try if you’re shooting an indie film music promo or web content with movement. It could look fantastic.


Panasonic Lumix S1H – Discounted $500 to $3,497.99 (Launched September 2019)

Image of the Panasonic Lumix S1H
Image via Panasonic.

The S1H was the video camera that Panasonic should have released when they announced their full-frame range earlier in 2019. However, there was a distinction between the photo-centric S1R (a borrow from Sony’s nomenclature) and the original S1, which you could say was more video-centric.

But, the S1H was a no-apology video camera with no fewer than forty-two ways to record video, topping out in 6K/30p (that’s seven pages of menus). The recent price cut also brings it down to near the S1R’s price, so it might mean there’s a new full-framer coming out soon.

The full-frame 24.2MP CMOS sensor has an updated Venus Engine processor, which allows the highlight video option of 10-bit 6K (5952 x 3968) video at 24p in 3:2 format and 5.9K (5888 x 3312) video at 29.97p in 16:9.

With true 4K and UHD, up to 29.97p, you’ll get internal 4:2:2 10-bit sampling. If you crop to a Super 35mm sensor area, frame rates up to 59.94p are available. Add Dual Native ISO, true V-Log, HDMI out in Raw, a Varicam likeability to deal with frame rates, and a 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization, and you have a mighty video machine, and it’s been discounted.

  • 24.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 6K24p video, 4:2:2 10-bit DCI 4K/UHD 4K
  • V-log, dual native ISO, HFR with sound
  • 5.76m-dot 0.78x-magnification OLED LVF
  • 3.2″ 2.33m-dot tilt/free-angle touch-LCD
  • 1.8″ top LCD, Tally Lamps, dual SD slots
  • ISO 100-51200, up to 9 fps shooting
  • Contrast-Detect 225-area DFD AF system
  • 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Weather-sealed construction

Panasonic Lumix S1 – $2,497.99 and Lumix S1R $3,697.99 (Both Launched March 2019)

When Panasonic launched these cameras, it was a big deal as they were going full-frame mirrorless. This is a big deal in the rarified world of photography gear, and Panasonic is a big player. The S1, however, was a staging post for videographers who had to wait a few months for the S1H to appear—the S1 had to satisfy more than just the video folk at the time.

So, we have a camera that shoots 9fps and records UHD 4K30p with full-pixel read-out, 4:2:2 10-bit color, and 4K60p for up to 29:59. A firmware update would add 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording along with V-log. Add sensor shifting stabilization and advanced contrast-detection autofocus, and you get excellent video.

Panasonic came out with the S1R camera at the same time for mostly still photographers. It had a full-frame 47.3MP MOS sensor without a low-pass filter for sharper shots and an anti-reflective coating for better color. But, like anything with an image sensor, you have to try it first to move past the technical marketing speak.

Extra goodies include a CFexpress Type B slot and a USB Type-C port. Back in 2019, these were pretty cutting edge. But, you may need these new technologies to deal with Panasonic’s image composite features that produce a 187MP single image of 16736 x 11168-pixel resolution. This is all done with the sensor-shifting technology, but don’t forget your tripod.


Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Camera – $999.00 (Launched February 27, 2019)

Image of the Canon EOS RP mirrorless camera
Image via Canon.

The Canon RP is a small full framer with their new RF lens mount with total reach back to EF and EF-S lenses. Lens mounts change often, and Canon’s move was part of their progress in mirrorless cameras. A wider diameter and a 20mm flange-back distance was needed to develop smaller and faster lenses for smaller bodies than Canon’s old DSLRs.

A 26.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor has a winning feature: Canon’s brilliant dual-pixels autofocus is found on their dedicated cinema cameras and works well—well enough to hunt out a Canon camera that offers it. Try it out, and you’ll be amazed at how well it works with stills and video.

Talking about video, the RP gives you UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution recording at up to 23.98 fps at 120 Mb/s data rate. For HD, you can record at 60p without any serious slow-motion beyond that.

A 5-axis Dual Sensing IS feature for stabilization works with video. Unfortunately, the in-camera video spec is only 4:2:0 sampling and 8-bit color depth, so that banding issues will arise. A 4:2:2 8-bit output is possible, though.

If you can find a deal on this camera, it could be worth buying just for the dual-pixel autofocus alone and small body. HD at 60p would be enough for web content with a creamy old EF lens with an adapter.


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Cover image via Sony, Panasonic, FUJIFILM, and Canon.





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