Best Cameras for Shooting Documentary
by Eguaogie Eghosa Aug 21, 2021 Views (385)
A high-quality camera is something that every aspiring documentary filmmaker must-have. Although many documentary filmmakers will tell you that the camera does not make the story, having one of the better tools for the task might be beneficial.

So, let's take a look at five of the greatest video camera alternatives for documentary filming.

1. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (BMPCC4K) is one of the newer cameras on this list, and it has been a game-changer for cinema and video professionals all around the world. While many mirrorless cameras are designed with both photography and video in mind, Blackmagic Design focuses primarily on filmmakers.

The BMPCC4K satisfies all of the criteria for what a compact, cheap handheld camera might and should provide in 2019. It shoots DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at up to 60 frames per second (fps) with its 4/3” sensor and incorporates Blackmagic RAW and ProRes 422 codecs. It excels in low-light documentary situations, with a dynamic range of 13 stops. It likewise has a maximum capacity of 120 fps in full HD.

2. Canon C300 Mark II
The Canon C300 mk II has swiftly established itself as a high-end industry standard and one of the company's most popular professional video cameras. The C300 mk II sports a Super 35mm sensor that records up to 4K (DCI) still directly to CFast cards and is housed in a little larger housing than a conventional mirrorless or DSLR camera. It also has a Canon DIGIC DV 5 image processor and can use Canon's Log 3 Gamma for a dynamic range of 14 stops. This ensures that the image quality is of the highest possible standard.

This is a fantastic cinema camera with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a camera with a price tag of $8,999, such as multiple 3G-SDI outputs, genlock input BNCs, and timecode I/O. It has a built-in handle, however, it's ideal if you use it with a rig or mount system.

3. Canon VIXIA G40
The gap between digital cameras and digital camcorders is typically at the heart of the discussion between documentary filmmakers over cinematic stylings. The Canon VIXIA HF G40 is a real run-and-gun videography beast for individuals who prefer camcorders (which are frequently designed with extra functionality for documentary filmmakers in mind).

While it lacks 4K video recording capabilities, it can shoot Full HD (1920 x 1080p) footage at 60 frames per second in MP4 format. A 20x HD video zoom lens with a hybrid manual focus/zoom ring is also included. It's ideal for wildlife documentaries and other challenging environments.

4. Panasonic GH5
Whereas some claim that Lumix DC-GH5s was launched lately by Panasonic is the real best camera, the Lumix Gh5 might be the best investment in 2019 for documentary film producers. The GH5 is another micro four-thirds mirrorless camera that has been one of the best-selling video cameras in recent years.

With a 20.3MP sensor, a robust Venus Engine CPU, and inbuilt 10-bit 4:2:2 4K recording at up to 60fps, the GH5 is still a powerful camera.

The GH5 has proven to be a strong documentary camera that is deceptively small and compact, making it ideal for sneaking into settings where a low profile is required.

5. Sony FS7
Another true cinema camera built for run-and-gun theatrical filmmaking is the Sony PXW-FS7 XDCAM. The FS7 is another Super 35 camera and a real 4K workhorse that can record DCI or UHD in XAVC-I/XAVC-L or MPEG-2.

The camera, which is designed for a Sony E-mount, can be adjusted with adapters to accommodate a variety of 35mm lens types. With 60 frames per second in 4K and up to 180 frames per second in HD, the FS7 is also an excellent slow-motion camera.

Documentaries can be a great way to launch oneself into a filmmaking career. That's beside the fact that they are a very important kind of filmmaking capable of impacting and transforming social society. To achieve that, there is no doubt that as a filmmaker; you are going to need the help of a good camera.

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