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Best Cameras for Short Films on a Budget (2020): Reviews & Buyers Guide

In this article, I’ll be reviewing the 7 best cameras for short films on a budget in 2020 including DSLR, Mirrorless, Camcorder, Cinema and Action cameras.

I’ll also provide an actionable Buyers Guide including a FAQ section to help you make an informed buying decision for your short filming adventure!

See our Editor’s Picks if you’re in a hurry!

 

 

Indeed, film is an ever changing medium. It lets an artist express themselves through a story that is aided by video and audio.

This makes film, especially a short one, perfect to fully allow an artist to bear their soul to the world.

The wonderful thing about short film or indie film is that it’s not limited to only those with super expensive, professional equipment. Even I can go for it now!

Some creators are now pushing film further and using even phone cameras to make short films.

Technology is advancing so much now that you can be a filmmaker by using some professional grade cameras that are also budget friendly.

This review article will help you on your quest to find some of the carefully selected best cameras for short films while on a budget in 2020.

Let’s dive right in starting with the Editor’s Picks

Best Cameras for Short Films | Best Mirrorless Options

 

Panasonic Lumix G85   

View on Amazon

 

Fujifilm X-T30

View on Amazon


Mirrorless cameras are great for beginner filmmakers as they tend to have cheaper options. They are also smaller and easier to use than some cinema cameras.

These cameras also tend to be lighter in weight, which is good for the handheld nature of some short films.

In the mirrorless category, two of the best cameras for short films or indie films on a budget are the Panasonic G85 and Fujifilm X-T30. 

See the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best Cameras for Short Films | Best DSLR Options

 

Canon EOS T7i

View on Amazon

 

Nikon D3300

View on Amazon


DSLR cameras are great because they have a lot of options for settings and they also can switch out the types of lenses for more options.

These kinds of cameras tend to be more professional and a bit more expensive, but there are some great budget DSLR cameras in the market for beginner filmmakers.

In the DSLR category, two of the best cameras for short films or indie films on a budget are the Canon EOS 7Ti and the Nikon D3300.

See the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best Camera for Short Films | Best Cinema Camera

 

BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera 4K

View on Amazon


Cinema cameras are really good for making any films. These are professional cameras so they tend to be rather expensive. Therefore, it’s very hard to find cinema cameras that fit into a lower budget.

This is where the BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera comes in.

It is a bit more expensive than other cameras on this list, but it is still very budget friendly and certainly one of the best cameras for shorts films. 

See the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best Camera for Short Films | Best Camcorder Option

 

Andoer 4K Digital Video Camera Camcorder

View on Amazon


Camcorders are also more traditional filming cameras, but they tend to be very cheap. They’re typically associated with dads on beach vacations.

However, there are some very nice camcorders that are good to be used for more serious filmmakers.

One such camcorder is the Andoer 4K Digital Video Camera.

This camcorder can record in high quality 4K and in 1080 HD. It’s also very good for filmmakers with a low budget. 

See the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best Camera for Short Films | Best Action Camera

 

GoPro Hero 7 Black

View on Amazon


Action cameras are really good for making films that have a lot of travel scenes or fast-moving scenes.

One such action camera brand is the GoPro. These can be worn on the filmmaker with special headbands and bodysuits.

Being specific for making short films, the GoPro Hero 7 Black can record in 4K60 video and 1080p240 video.

This means you can create high quality short films that are also stable and versatile. 

See the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Making short films is a great way to express yourself and to practice your skills for making longer films. When you start out in film, it can be hard to commit to purchasing an expensive camera gear.

Well, don’t worry. There are plenty of great cameras for short films on a budget! They’ll help you make high quality films that you can be proud of!

When picking out a camera for making a short film or indie film, there are a lot of options. The type of best cameras for short films mostly depends on what type of short film(s) you may want to make.

There are DSLR cameras, mirrorless cameras, action cameras, camcorders, and cinema cameras for you to start you filming adventure.

If you are making a more specialized short film with action sequences or with locations in a wild region, an action camera would be perfect for you!

DSLR and mirrorless cameras are better for beginner filmmakers or if you want a more versatile and user-friendly camera.

Cinema cameras are more traditional for filmmakers. There are some that are cheaper for those filmmakers on a budget, but they do tend to be more expensive as they are more professional grade.

Camcorders are also more traditional cameras for filmmaking, but they are definitely on the lower end of the quality spectrum so you have to be careful of the camera model you chose.

Indeed, choosing the right camera could be a bit overwhelming and depends on many things especially your budget. So, just follow me in this article!

 

Here, I’ll be reviewing the 7 best cameras for short films or indie films including DSLR, Mirrorless, Camcorder, Cinema and Action cameras, which are budget friendly as well.

I’ll also provide an actionable Buyers Guide including a FAQ section to help you make an informed buying decision for your filming adventure!

Let’s start with a short overview of the selected cameras and a helpful table comparing their specifications.

 

 

 

Important to Know:

 

FHD (Full HD): This refers to a resolution of 1920x1080P. 

 

Gimbal: This is a pivoted support that allows the rotation of the camera about a single axis, which helps with smoother video. 

 

UHD (Ultra HD): This refers to a resolution of 3840x2160P. This means there are more pixels per inch than in FHD. 

 

NFC Capability: The acronym stands for Near Field Communication. This capability is a method of wireless data transfer that detects and enables technology in close proximity to connect. 

 

Video Resolution: It refers to the number of distinct pixels that can be displayed in a given dimension.

What are the Best Cameras for Short Films or Indie films in 2020?

Quick Answer:

Best Budget DSLR Cameras for Short Films

Best Budget Mirrorless Cameras for Short Films

Best Budget Camcorder for Short Films

Best Budget Cinema Camera for Short Films

Best Budget Action Camera for Short Films

Comparison Table for the Best Cameras for Short Films

Camera Model View on Amazon Camera Type Video Quality Recording Length Ports
Nikon D3300 q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00T8LQ8VW&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=mahsa365 20&language=en USir?t=mahsa365 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B00T8LQ8VW DSLR Full 1080 HD 60 fps 20 minutes External stereo mini-pin jack (3.5mm), USB 2.0, and Mini HDMI
Canon EOS T7i q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B06XTFK4KZ&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=mahsa365 20&language=en USir?t=mahsa365 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B06XTFK4KZ DSLR Full HD 1080p 60 fps 29 minutes and 59 seconds Video output (PAL/ NTSC) (integrated with USB), HDMI micro out, 3.5mm Stereo mini jack, USB 2.0
Panasonic Lumix G85 q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B077S23ZGB&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=mahsa365 20&language=en USir?t=mahsa365 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B077S23ZGB Mirrorless UHD 4K 30p (MP4) or 24p, Full HD 1080p/60 (MP4), and Full HD in AVCHD Record in 4K to a single file until the limit of the SD card, then will go to another file. 3.5mm microphone jack, USB 2.0, and Micro-HDMI
Fujifilm X-T30 q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07NQ5V7MS&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=mahsa365 20&language=en USir?t=mahsa365 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B07NQ5V7MS Mirrorless UHD 4K 30, DCI 4K 30, and Full HD 1080p 120 10 minutes for 4K or 15 minutes in Full HD Micro HDMI Type-D, 2.5 mm stereo microphone/remote release jack, and USB-C
Andoer 4K Digital Video Camera Camcorder q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0798TDJ8G&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=mahsa365 20&language=en USir?t=mahsa365 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B0798TDJ8G Camcorder 4K 24fps Ultra HD video and Full HD 1080 Battery lasts ~13 hours 3.5 mm headphone jack, and 3.5 mm microphone jack
BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07C5MFN1Z&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=mahsa365 20&language=en USir?t=mahsa365 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B07C5MFN1Z Cinema DCI 4K, Ultra HD 4K, 2.6K, and HD 2 hours raw files in 4K USB Type-C, mini-XLR input, 3.5mm stereo microphone jack, Full-size HDMI, and 3.5 mm headphone jack
GoPro Hero 7 Black q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07P6Y2Y5G&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=mahsa365 20&language=en USir?t=mahsa365 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B07P6Y2Y5G Action 4K 60 and 1080p 240 45-50 minutes HDMI out and USB-C port

Best Cameras for Short Films on a Budget in 2020

When it comes to filmmaking, there are so many types of cameras that can be used to make those perfect short films.


The type of camera that you should purchase, though, should reflect the kinds of short films that you want to make and your budget of course.

Here, I’ll provide unbiased reviews of the 7 best cameras for short films including DSLR, Mirrorless, Camcorder, Cinema and Action cameras on a budget in 2020.

Best Budget DSLR Cameras for Short Films

DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex camera. This kind of camera is very powerful. It is indeed very good for both photography and videography.

A really cool feature of DSLRs is that you can change their lenses upon different situations. Interchangeable lens cameras they are called!

They also tend to have a lot of useful features and versatile settings.

If you are a short filmmaker on a budget, these cameras can be a bit pricey, but there are some good options out there that are under $1000.

Two good budget DSLR cameras for short filmmakers will be reviewed here.

1. Nikon D3300 | Best Budget Nikon DSLR

This camera has 24.2 MP with a DX format (APC-S) sensor. For video, this DSLR can record video in 1080/60p HD. It also has Wi-Fi capabilities.

When it comes to recording video, full time servo-AF is available and so is face detection and subject tracking.

This can really help to keep the camera focused on the subjects of your film. Overall, this DSLR has very nice, detailed recording quality.

It does have some issues with low light filming, but not anything too bad. The camera cannot change the aperture after shooting. So, you just have to set the aperture before you start filming.

For you, audio is probably just as important as the video quality. Well, this DSLR camera has a built-in monaural microphone with 20 levels of manually adjustable sensitivity settings.

It also has a 3.5 stereo mm port for an external microphone, if you want to use one.

Overall, this DSLR is decent for beginner short or indie filmmakers looking for a budget friendly camera. It has a market price that is currently around $580 together with a lens.

Pros

  • Face detection
  • Subject tracking
  • Microphone sensitivity settings
  • Full time servo-AF

Cons

  • No 4K video recording
  • Issues with low light video recording
  • Aperture can’t change during video recording

2. Canon EOS T7i | Best Budget Canon DSLR

This camera is well known in the photography and videography communities. Since it is a DSLR camera, it has both photography and videography capabilities.

It has a 24 MP sensor with built-in Dual Pixel AF system for improved autofocus. The Dual Pixel AF helps with autofocus in both photos and videos.

It has Wi-Fi, Near Field Communications (NFC), and Bluetooth capabilities. 

When it comes to video, it can record 1080p video at up to 60 fps with electronic IS.

This DSLR doesn’t have that bad of a rolling shutter effect, but it will appear if whipping the camera around very fast. However, this probably won’t be done much when making a film.

For color, this camera has good contrast and color, but there does run into an issue when trying to color grade any footage. Due to this, it is best to get the color that you want when shooting the film as opposed to relying on color editing.

In total, this camera is a nice option if you are a beginner filmmaker without it costing a lot.

The current market price is around $599, which makes it a very good contender for one of the best cameras for short films on a budget.  

Pros

  • 1080p video
  • Dual pixel AF
  • NFC capability
  • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth capabilities

Cons

  • No 4K video recording
  • Slight rolling shutter effect
  • Color grading issues

Best Budget Mirrorless Cameras for Short Films

A mirrorless camera is similar in construction and usability as a DSLR camera. However, they are not as bulky so they tend to be a lot lighter and easier to carry, which is great for filmmaking.

They also have the really cool feature of interchangeable lenses.

These cameras can also get a bit expensive, but don’t fret, filmmakers. There are options out there for mirrorless cameras that are relatively cheap.

Remember though that cheap does not equal poor quality. The mirrorless cameras I’ll be reviewing here are still very good to help you make high quality and professional looking short films or indie films.

3. Panasonic Lumix G85 | Best Budget Mirrorless from Panasonic

This Panasonic mirrorless camera has a 16 MP MOS sensor with video recording capabilities of UHD 4K.

It also has 4K photo shooting modes. This makes the camera very good for both photography and videography. Amazing indeed!

Another interesting feature of this camera is that the body is weather-sealed. This makes it virtually dust and splash proof.

When it comes to video, it can record in 4K with 30p or 24p frames rates at 100 Mbps.

It can also record video in Full HD 1080p/60 at 28 Mbps in the MP4 format and HD recording and Full HD in AVCHD format.

For sound, this camera does have a built-in stereo microphone. It also has a feature of an integrated wind-cut filter.

If you want to use your own microphone, that is also possible as this mirrorless gear has a 3.5 mm jack for an external microphone.

Overall, this is a wonderful choice if you are a filmmaker on a budget. It has wonderful video quality and it is very adaptable for sound.

The wind-cut filter on the internal microphone is superb.

At a current market price of around $697 (with a zoom lens), this mirrorless camera is definitely one of the best cameras for making short films on a budget.  

Pros

  • UHD 4K video recording
  • Wind-cut filter for microphone
  • Virtually dust and splash proof
  • Built-in EVF for good magnification

Cons

  • Below average battery life
  • No optical low-pass filter
  • No external headphone jack
  • Weak built-in flash

4. Fujifilm X-T30 | Best Budget Mirrorless from Fujifilm

The mirrorless Fujifilm X-T30 is a really good camera for making short films on a budget. It has a 26 MP with an APS-C X-Trans BSI-CMOS 4 sensor. It can record video in DCI and UHD 4K/30p.

For video, this mirrorless camera is very powerful. The 4K video feature is very appealing for filmmakers.

It uses the full width of its sensor when filming 4K video. However, the maximum recording time is only 10 minutes.


This is not very good when filming, but if you are making a short film it shouldn’t be too terrible of an issue.

This camera also has a cool feature for recording high-speed clips. The high-speed movie mode is captured at Full HD.

Video is captured at 100p or 120p and then played-back at 59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 25p, 24p or 23.98p. However, there is roughly a 1.3X crop when using this high-speed mode.

Another cool feature of this camera is that it has separate level controls for the internal and external microphones. It has a 2.5 mm jack for an external microphone.

The artsy aesthetic is very important to some filmmakers. This artsy vibe can be achieved by using editing programs, but the Fujifilm X-T30 mirrorless camera has built-in film simulation modes.

These color modes help to create those cinematic vibes that many filmmakers absolutely love in their films.

Overall, this mirrorless option is a very good contender for the best cameras for short films on a budget.

It has the nice artsy vibes many filmmakers enjoy and it has a high quality recording abilities. This camera also has a lot of cool features that add nice touches to it.

For a current market price of $799 (camera body only), it is really good for those short filmmakers on a budget.



See also: Best Compatible Lenses for Fujifilm X-T30



See also our recent articles on the new Fujifilm Mirrorless Camera Lenses, which you might possibly want to consider:

1. Fujifilm X-T200 Compatible Lenses

2. Fujifilm X-T4 Compatible Lenses

Pros

  • DCI and UHD 4K/30p video recording
  • High-speed recording
  • Film Simulation Color Modes
  • Wi-Fi capabilities

Cons

  • 1.3X crop when using high-speed mode
  • Low recording time
  • No in-body stabilization
  • Body not weather sealed

Best Budget Camcorder for Short Films

A lot of people don’t consider camcorders for making their short films as camcorders tend to be used to film memories for families.


However, there are some camcorders out there that are very powerful and can record in high quality.

Camcorders are primarily only film videos. This is their main purpose. Some can capture pictures as well, but that is not the main use for them.

5. Andoer 4K Digital Video Camera | Best Budget Camcorder

This camera defies all expectations. It has a 48 MP sensor for photography and can record video in beautiful 4K/24fps HD video.

It has a 16X digital zoom for getting those far away subjects in frame.

It also has a face detection feature, an anti-shake DSP, motion detection, loop recording, date stamp, and other neat functions.

A really cool video feature of this camera is that it has infrared (IR) night vision. It has a built-in IR light, which will aid in dark shooting conditions and with black and white photography.

The option to be able to shoot at night is very useful for a lot of filmmakers especially beginners.

Another cool feature of this camcorder is that you can add lenses to the camera. This way you can have more options when shooting your short film.

The camera has a 37 mm lens mount and can equip a 37 mm wide angle lens. This will extend the camera’s viewing angle.

Overall, this camera has a lot of really cool features to make filming easier and to help unleash your creativity. It has really good video recording quality at 4K for beautiful looking short films.

At a current market price of about $150, this camera is perfect for making short films on a budget. 

Pros

  • 4K/24fps HD video
  • 16X digital zoom
  • Anti-shake DSP
  • Infrared night vision

Cons

  • Pixelated with far zoom
  • Not fully 4K resolution

Best Budget Cinema Camera for Short Films

These types of cameras are more traditionally used for making films.

Cinema cameras are video cameras with large image sensors capable of capturing footage that looks like it was shot on 35 mm film. However, cinema cameras usually tend to be very expensive.

There are some cinema cameras on the market, though, that are under $1500. This is on the higher side of price, but it can work for filmmakers on a budget as these are good investment cameras.

6. BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K | Best Budget Cinema Camera

When it comes to filmmaking, a cinema camera is undoubtedly the best, but due to their expensive nature, they can be hard to obtain for beginner filmmakers or those on a budget.

The BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is definitely good for those on a budget. It has also amazing quality.

It has a 4/3 image sensor with 4096 x 2160 resolution and a MFT lens mount. The MFT mount allows you to add lenses to the camera for more versatility.

This camera is also very portable unlike other cinema cameras.

When it comes to video, the camera has stunning 4K quality.

Here are the resolutions that the camera can record in: 2.4:1 4096 x 1712 (4K), 4096 x 2160 (DCI 4K), 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD 4K), 1920 x 1080 (HD), and Super16 2688 x 1512 (2.6K).

This is an impressive range of resolutions. It can also record the files in two formats: Blackmagic Raw as well as ProRes 422.

For audio, it has a built-in stereo microphone. It also has ports for connecting external microphones to the camera if that is what you prefer.

The ports are a Mini XLR Mic/Line Level (+48 V Phantom Power) Input, (3.5 mm) Stereo Mic/Line Level (+48 V Phantom Power) Input, and a (3.5 mm) Stereo Headphone Output.

While being powerful and high quality, this cinema camera has some major issues to watch out for.

One weird quality is that the battery door does not always function. Some filmmakers have had issues with the battery door opening on them.

The camera also doesn’t have a very long battery life. The average shooting time on a single charge is about 40 minutes.

Overall, this camera is a really good option if you are a serious filmmaker (short or long) on a budget. It has a lot of really good, professional features while still being generally affordable.

It is a bit pricier than the other cameras in this review at a market price of about $1200, but it still isn’t an unreasonable price for a cinema camera. This is definitely one of the best cameras for short films.

Pros

  • 4K Video quality
  • Lots of external ports
  • Touch focus on monitor
  • BlackMagic Raw recording format

Cons

  • Battery door issues
  • Short battery life
  • Annoying port covers
  • Missing continuous autofocus

Best Budget Action Camera for Short Films

If you want to make fast-paced, high energy films, an action camera is essential.

These cameras are typically waterproof/shockproof and have great stabilization features. They also tend to be small and portable.

A giant in the action camera industry is GoPro. Their cameras are very high quality and generally affordable to most individuals.

One of their latest cameras is perfect for action filmmakers in this day and age. It is the GoPro Hero 7 Black camera to be review here:

7. GoPro Hero 7 Black | Best Budget Action Camera

Here the term “black” is not representative of the camera’s color, but the model of the camera.

This camera model has 4K60 video + 12MP Photos. It is lightweight and waterproof. It also has hypersmooth video stabilization.

Beyond good video recording quality at 4K, it also has some super cool video features.

It has a time warp feature. It allows you to capture stabilized time lapse videos while moving. The speed can be increased up to 30X in this setting.

The camera also has a slow motion filming option. Using 1080p 240 video quality, you can record video in slow motion up to 8X.

The GoPro Hero 7 Black is very user friendly as well. It has an option for being voice controlled, which allows for a hands-free filming experience.


You can also livestream from your camera, so it could be great for Vlogging as an example.

The camera can be connected to your Facebook account and use this platform to livestream to your audience. These livestreams will then be saved to your SD card as high quality video files. This would be very useful for marketing your short film.

Overall, this camera is perfect if you are a filmmaker on a budget who wants to work on an action short film.

This is a rugged camera with high quality video and it is very easy to use.

It also does have an adapter that can be purchased separately for an external microphone. This extra purchase would not be an issue for filmmakers on a budget as this camera has a current market price below $250. 

Pros

  • 4K60 video
  • Waterproof
  • Hypersmooth video stabilization
  • Voice controlled

Cons

  • Issues with voice commands
  • Heats up when recording in 4K
  • Low light sensitivity
  • Water sensitive touchscreen

Best Cameras for Short Films — Buyers Guide

If you want to make short films, then you need to first ask yourself what kind of short film you want to make. If you can answer this question, then you can pick the style of camera that you need.

 

DSLR and Mirrorless cameras are very similar camera types in that they are good for both photography and videography. They also tend to be very powerful cameras with good prices.

They both allow for switching out lenses as the filmmaker sees fit. There are, of course, differences with these, but they are not super dramatic.

 

Camcorders are more generally seen as video recording only, but they tend to be quite cheap and poor quality. This can make it hard to find a decent camcorder for a serious filmmaker.

Due to this, a camcorder is probably a better choice if you are very new to filmmaking or if your budget is very tight.

 

Cinema cameras are another option for recording video predominantly. These cameras are really good for serious filmmakers as they tend to be a lot more professional.

However, these cameras tend to be a bit more expensive. They are then really good options for those who really want to get into filmmaking in the long run as a career or as a passion.

 

Finally, Action cameras are sort of a self-explanatory camera category as they are mostly used for short films that will include fast moving scenes or high intensity sports/stunts

Price is also definitely something you need to establish within your filming budget for the camera.

Technology can get expensive, but if you are on a budget, there are options out there for decently priced cameras. However, these budget cameras still have quite the range in price.

 

These kinds of questions can lead you to a narrower search when looking for the best cameras for short films.

Once you have answered these questions, you can feel more confident in picking out the best camera for making your short films or indie films.

Now, let’s complete this guide with some the most frequently asked questions you might have as well:

Is 4K all that necessary for making short films?

Now, 4K is becoming more and more of a staple with making short films and even just recording YouTube videos.

However, it isn’t inherently necessary to have present in the best cameras for short films. The recording quality of 1080p is also a fine level to have in your camera.

I wouldn’t advise going lower than 1080p though if you are making a quality short film as that can have issues with showing your films on bigger screens and impressing your viewers.

Will getting a budget video camera be a good idea for short filmmaking?

A cheaper camera does not mean a lower quality recording always. The cameras on my list are all very affordable. Most of them are under $1000, with some even being under $200.

When purchasing one of the cheaper best cameras for short films, just make sure to read reviews to make sure it works properly for your purposes, but the price alone should not be a problem.

A cheaper camera can a lot of times allow for more of your short film budget to be put towards cooler costumes and more actors!

Is it possible to get a nice camera for filmmaking that is easy-to-carry too?

Absolutely! Just because all the cameras suggested in this article are the best cameras for short films, doesn’t mean that they aren’t easy to move around. They are actually very portable.

The DSLRs tend to be bulkier cameras, but they are still light, very portable and usable when moving out and about for filming.

The GoPro Hero 7 Black camera on this list is probably the most portable camera as it was actually made with movement in mind.

It is small and compact and GoPro has a lot of connectors for it to attach to your body in discreet ways!

Best Cameras for Short Films — Conclusions

There are many types of filmmaking cameras available on the market right now.


When it comes to picking the best cameras for short films or indie films, you have to take into account the type of short films that you want to make.

The major categories of such cameras are the DSLR, mirrorless, cinema, camcorder, and action cameras.

Some of the best cameras for short films in these categories have been reviewed in this article and they are all very good for filmmakers on a budget indeed. Most of the cameras suggested are under $1000.

Here is a summary of my camera suggestions with brief explanations for each to help you make an easier buying decision:

 

 

Best Mirrorless Cameras for Short Films on a Budget:

Panasonic Lumix G85   &   Fujifilm X-T30


The Panasonic G85 has a 16 MP MOS sensor with video recording capabilities of UHD 4K. It also has 4K photo shooting modes.

The Fujifilm X-T30 is a mirrorless photo and video camera that records video in UHD 4K30. It also has DCI 4K30 and Full HD 1080p120 recording.


This camera also has film simulation modes to help achieve that token cinematic film look.

 

 

Best DSLR Cameras for Short Films on a Budget:

Canon EOS T7i    &   Nikon D3300


The Nikon D3300 camera has 24.2 MP with a DX format (APC-S) sensor. For video, this DSLR can record video in 1080/60p HD. This camera also has Wi-Fi capabilities.

The Canon EOS 7Ti camera has a 24 MP sensor with built-in Dual Pixel AF system for improved autofocus.


It has Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth capabilities. For video, it records 1080p video at up to 60 fps with electronic IS.

 

 

Best Cinema Camera for Short Films on a Budget:

BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera 4K

 

The BlackMagic 4K Cinema Camera possesses a 4/3 image sensor with 4096 x 2160 resolution as well as an MFT lens mount.


It is really good for serious filmmakers on a small budget. It is under $1300.

 

 

Best Camcorder for Short Films on a Budget:

Andoer 4K Digital Video Camera Camcorder


The Andoer 4K Digital Video Camera can record in high quality 4K and in 1080 HD.


This camera is also very good for filmmakers with a low budget.  

 

 

Best Action Camera for Short Films on a Budget:

GoPro Hero 7 Black

The GoPro Hero 7 Black can record in 4K60 video and 1080p240 video.


This means that it can allow a filmmaker to create high quality films that are also very stable and versatile.


It is also a waterproof camera, which adds to its toughness.  

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Mike has a PhD in Engineering and is currently a Scientist in an international research institute. He is 39 and loves researching about interaction of light with solid materials. Application of his research includes but not limited to solid state lighting, white-light emitting diodes (LED)photodetectors and optoelectronic devices

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