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Cinema and hybrid cameras can fall into two categories—those you buy for yourself and those you rent. We at No Film School are firm believers in being budget-friendly, so we found two amazing cameras on sale for under $4,000. Plus, we have two honorable mentions that, while not on sale, are hot off the production line.
Whether you're a wedding photographer who needs some video to bolster your toolkit, or you're trekking through a tropical rainforest making a documentary on the native flora and fauna, there is a camera on this list for you.
Panasonic Lumix BS1H
The only camera on this list that's Netflix-approved (if that even means anything to you), the Panasonic Lumix BS1H is a modular digital cinema camera with a small form factor that bellies its full-frame sensor. It features a 24.2MP sensor, a Leica L lens mount, and a wide 14+-stop dynamic range to accommodate extreme lighting changes when recording in V-Log.
It records video with resolutions up to 5.9K as well as C4K (4096 x 2160) and UHD4K, and it incorporates VariCam Look workflows. Its compact design is suitable for cine drones and remote setups, and is expandable to be a great asset for cine work and multi-camera broadcast work. The camera features dual-native ISO using its Venus Engine, anamorphic support, advanced AF (autofocus), numerous remote and power options and supports HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) color for vivid imagery to aid professional color grading.
You can even get ProRes RAW using an Atomos recorder such as the Ninja V or V+. We're pretty sure there's also BRAW support, but the press releases from both camps are a bit vague, so please do your own testing first.
Canon EOS C200B Cinema Camera
Canon's EOS C200B EF Cinema Camera features a Super35 CMOS sensor and Dual Pixel Autofocus. The EF lens mount offers compatibility with Canon's existing broad range of DSLR lenses and its line of EF-mount CN-E cinema prime and zoom lenses. The Super35 sensor is paired with Canon's Dual DIGIC DV 6 image processor, allowing it to capture and record up to DCI 4K resolution. The camera records in Canon's Cinema RAW Light internally via a CFast card and also incorporates two SD card slots for recording UHD 4K/HD MP4 video. It features a dynamic range of approximately 13 stops and an ISO range of 160 to 25,600, as well as support for Wide DR Gamma, Canon Log, and Canon Log 3.
The best thing of all is the internal NDs at 2 Stop (1/4), 4 Stop (1/16), and 6 Stop (1/64). While it doesn't have an EVF like the regular C200, this stripped-down version is more affordable and packs the same punch.
Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2
This new release from Blackmagic is an update to the BMPCC 6K and features the same body as the 6K Pro. It sadly does away with the internal NDs and doesn't have as bright of a screen as the Pro version. However, it's the same camera for a little less money.
Features inherited from the 6K Pro include a 5" tilting touchscreen LCD, Pro EVF and battery grip options, dual mini-XLR audio inputs, an NP-F570 L-series battery slot, and the updated Gen 5 color science. By eliminating the internal ND filters and reducing the 1500cd/m² LCD brightness of the 6K Pro, Blackmagic now enables users to choose between two near-identical 6K models that best suit their priorities.
It also comes with DaVinci Resolve Studio, which is like $300 on its own.
Fujifilm X-H2S Mirrorless Camera
This is also the latest release from Fuji. Balancing strong photo and video capabilities, the Fujifilm X-H2S is a multimedia mirrorless camera featuring a newly developed X-Trans stacked sensor, refined AF and subject detection, and impressive 6.2K video recording. This is the first X Series camera to feature a stacked sensor, which ups the readout speeds and improves low-light performance compared to previous generations.
First, it uses the unique color filter array that inherently minimizes moiré and contributes to more natural color rendering; next, the BSI design helps reduce noise and improve tonality and clarity; and, finally, the stacked design greatly reduces rolling shutter and other motion distortion to better suit high-speed video and photo applications.
The X-H2S has a well-rounded recording system that places this camera squarely in the "hybrid" category and performs equally well for video as it does for video. Internal 4:2:2 10-bit recording is possible in both DCI/UHD 4K at up to 120p and Full HD at up to 240p as well as an open-gate 3:2 6.2K setting that's suitable for anamorphic applications. A variety of codecs are supported as well, including H.265 and three tiers of ProRes—the high bitrate 422 HQ, the standard 422, and the more compressed 422 LT. Also, continuous recording times up to 90 minutes are possible at all frame rates and resolutions. There's also support for external BRAW and ProRes RAW.