October 26, 2016 at 8:42AM, Edited October 26, 8:43AM


Experience/Advanced Cinematographers, what low budget Cinema Camera impresses you the most?

Dear, Cinematographers

I'm looking for a low budget Cinema Camera priced around $2,000-4,000. I'm wanting a device that would steer me to craft the look-feel I'm wishing to accomplish when I'm more experienced w/ better opportunity/gear.

I'm interested in cameras that have A. great color science-helping me bend and craft alluring skin tones B. A wide dynamic range C. sensor that can retain impressive highlight data D. Can support a range of lenses w/ or without add-ons E. Versatile in natural light

Of course if I had a genie I would acquire an Arri Alexa or a film camera with unlimited film/processing but unfortunately I don't. I'm looking for something that with hard work I can squeeze the most out of.

I'm very eager to hear your answers - free from camera manufacturer loyalty and instead based on pure science and your knowledge. Again I'm looking for something that I would need to put hours and handwork into in order to master what I would want in the future.

So cinematographers, what low budget cinema camera impresses you?

Extra: Examples of my desired look of course when I get more opportunity and skill. It's more towards the natural color palette.



Truly low-budget: nothing punches higher above its weight than the GH4. And the body is less than half of your low-end budget goal.

Truly impressive: RED RAVEN, which offers superior performance in all your criteria at a price 2x above what you want to pay ($5K for the brain and $10K for a shootable package).

The GH5 will surely be a powerful contender next year. But the RAVEN is the gateway to a truly cinematic camera experience.

October 26, 2016 at 12:04PM, Edited October 26, 12:04PM


More impressive than the GH4 is the GH3, by a long shot. You can use the money you save to buy what's really important, lighting gear.

October 27, 2016 at 4:16AM


Haven't look into that one yet thanks Stephen. Right now I'm looking at the c100, BMCC and the a7s. I'm liking what I see from the c100 (overall not just one aspect) have you any experience with it?

Jackson Flowers

October 27, 2016 at 9:41AM, Edited October 27, 9:40AM

C100 and BMPCC are my two favs. Invest the rest of the money into light and grip and you can shoot beautiful stuff.

November 1, 2016 at 10:11AM, Edited November 1, 10:11AM


1. BM Micro Cinema Camera $995 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D6PIyxw_SIE
2. OLYMPUS EM-5 Mkii $1100 https://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/intrigue-how-far-will-you-go/
3. FUJI XT2 $1600
4. BM Ursa Mini 4.6k $
5. (Yet to be released, but very intriguing: PANA GH5, OLYMPUS OMD EM-1 Mkii)

Totally 2nd investing in good glass and grip/lighting gear first (unless most of your shooting is natural light).


November 5, 2016 at 1:45PM

John Dimalanta
Freelance Photographer/Cinematographer

BMPCC, Sony A6300,

March 1, 2017 at 3:06PM, Edited March 1, 3:06PM

Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op

Having a light raw 4k 12 bit image from that sensor for 6,000 is kind of amazing. That image will compete with any of the big boys.
Otherwise I'd say GH5 seems like a pretty great option.

June 11, 2017 at 2:02PM, Edited June 11, 2:02PM

Ben Meredith

About he C200... if you are "pro" enough or have clients with high demands, you're not going to use the C200, you'll get Red or Arri.

If you are indie / low budget film maker, what are you going to do with all that raw data in terms of storage and handling in post?

The lack of a decent internal codec makes a weak camera imo. The EVA-1 will crush the C200...

Torben Greve

August 9, 2017 at 12:35AM

C100 & Atomos Ninja 2

I've found success with this combo for the past couple years and still currently use it for music videos, documentary, and short film work. The camera captures a downscaled 4K image and The Ninja 2 allows 8-bit 4:2:2 ProRes instead of the built-in AVCHD and I really enjoy the colors the camera captures. It's super quick and easy to grade. Built-in ND's are fantastic and the XLR's are great for capturing audio. Record to the Ninja 2 and also have a back up on the dual-SD slots when you're recording something you can't afford to lose.

On the downsides, the camera can only record up to 60i which gives decent looking slow motion. The EVF is completely useless but a Z-finder on the LCD screen works great and it's my personal setup for outdoor shooting.

You would want this if you need a versatile jack-of-all-trades camera. It has a lot of features that are great and is ergonomically easy to use. I've used it in the blazing summer heat with no overheating issues. The camera just works.

Things I would want that this camera doesn't offer: more framerate options for super-slow motion & true 4K for clients that want it.

June 11, 2017 at 2:14PM

Andrew Robinson

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