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Buying a camera is probably the most important step in becoming a videographer. If your dream project is shooting a music video or diving into other forms of videography, you’ll need the right equipment.
One option is to shoot a music video on your smartphone. The iPhone 13, Google Pixel 6, and Samsung Galaxy S22 and other phones have incredible cameras that are exceptional enough for creating video content, but there’s nothing quite like investing in a point-and-shoot camera. -and-shoot.
Between the cost of cameras, microphones, lighting, and other equipment, and potential location fees, shooting a freelance music video can get expensive. For those on a tight budget, we’ve rounded up a handful of DSLR and mirrorless cameras ranging from $500 to $1,500. Below is a list of cameras from Nikon, Blackmagic, Cannon and more.
Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is the most affordable camera on our list. Designed for photography/video and a great option for beginners, this sleek little camera is equipped with a 24.1MP CMOS sensor and a wide ISO range of 100-6400 that helps you capture images from high quality, even in low light. It also records Full HD video and has built-in Wi-Fi with NFC technology and an optimal viewfinder. Another good thing about this camera: you can find it at Amazon, Walmart, and other major retailers besides Cannon.
To buy: $479 at Cannon.com.
Nikon D3500 camera
Nikon’s D3500 is another easy-to-use camera that’s ideal for newcomers. This 24.2 megapixel camera produces stunning photos and vibrant video footage in Full HD 1080p/60p. The DX-format camera captures up to 5 frames per second (fps) at full resolution and has a much larger image sensor than those typically used in smartphones. The Nikon D3500 also has zoom capabilities and Bluetooth (use the SnapBridge app to pair the device to your smartphone or tablet for seamless content transfer). The camera is available on Amazon, walmart, best buy and the Nikon website.
To buy: $553.21 on Amazon.com.
Panasonic Lumix G95 mirrorless camera
Also good for beginners: The Panasonic Lumix G95 gets great reviews for capturing great photos and great videos. The 20.3 MP Digital Live MOS sensor camera features advanced technologies for stills and video, which include unlimited recording time at 4K 30p and high-speed recording capabilities at 60, 90 and 120 fps . The camera also has a pre-installed V-Log L with log features and 12 stops of dynamic range (for maximum editing freedom). There’s also a microphone/headphone jack for capturing and monitoring external sound. If you are looking for a cheaper Panasonic model, this Lumix DC-ZS200 mirrorless camera (20.1 MP) is on sale at B&H Photo for $647.99.
To buy: $797.99 at Amazon.com.
A step above its predecessor, the Blackmagic Pocket 6K is a versatile portable digital cinema camera that captures and records in multiple resolutions up to 6K. It’s equipped with a Super 35-size sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range, exceptional low-light performance, and dual native ISO technology up to 25,600 to capture 50fps, 6144 x 3456 video. 5-inch LCD touchscreen makes it easy to frame, focus, and adjust camera settings. There’s also an EF lens mount, built-in microphones, XLR input, full-size HDMI, Bluetooth and more.
To buy: $1,995 on B&HPhoto.com.
Sony a6500 camera
Sony a6500 mirrorless digital camera with 4K video recording. The camera features a 24.2 MP Exmor CMOS sensor, in-camera 5-axis optical image stabilization and enhanced AF features, including intuitive and immediate touch AF operation plus professional video capabilities such as full pixel readout, no pixel binning, and 2.4x oversampling with S-Log3/S-Log2, S-Gamut, and gamma assist.
To buy: $1,384.65 at Amazon.com.