The best mirrorless cameras for video listed below have been selected by Demystifying Digital because of their manual focus accuracy, good focus when recording video, reliability, and simplicity of the device.
If you want to purchase a camera for filmmakers, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. With so many brands available, finding the best mirrorless camera for video in 2020 at the right price can be tricky.
This then leaves the consumer with a difficult choice.
As well as just being to shoot videos in 4K, many of these cameras also have features that help you shoot videos in a variety of conditions, or maybe you need a camera for beginners.
Not sure where to start? Read on to find out about our best mirrorless camera for video.
The Best Mirrorless Camera for Video
Everyone has different reasons for buying the best mirrorless camera for video, and this is where we come into play. Demystifying Digital has reviewed the top 2 best mirrorless cameras for video on the market today and has given you a buyer’s guide to help you out. Here they are:
1. Panasonic Lumix GH5S Best Mirrorless Camera for Video
Panasonic is one of the leading manufacturers of filmmaking and video technology. Everyone knows the GH line of cameras, including the iconic GH4, which was one of the first among hybrid cameras (if not the very first) to shoot 4K UHD video directly to the internal memory card.
But now we show you an even more video-oriented Lumix GH5s camera. If you are looking for the best mirrorless camera for professionals, then you will like it.
GH5s has a matrix with a resolution of 12 MP. Each pixel sensor has a larger physical size and therefore can receive more light. Therefore, the working ISO for this camera can be called 12800. This is an excellent indicator not only for the Micro 4/3 ”system but also for cameras with larger matrix sizes. Not all full-frame cameras can normally shoot video at this sensitivity.
Another feature of the new matrix is its multi-aspect.
On the GH5s, the matrix is slightly larger than that required by the micro 4/3 ”standard, is inscribed in the image circle created by the lens, so that the maximum possible matrix area is used for any aspect ratio. In practice, this means that the video will be slightly wider when using the same lens than on the GH5. The difference is small, but for someone, it can be very important. Let me remind you that for professionals there are no trifles.
Cinematic DCI 4K, that is, video with an aspect ratio of 17×9 on the GH5s can be recorded at any number of frames per second, that is, at 25, 30, 50 and 60. Otherwise, according to the recording formats, the possibilities are as follows: up to 400 Mb / s 4: 2: 2 10 bits in 4K to 30 fps, 4K 50-60 fps 8 bits 4: 2: 0 with a bit rate of 150 Mb / s – this is on the internal memory card. On an external recorder, any resolution with any frame rate can be recorded in 4: 2: 2 10 bit via full-size HDMI.
V-Log is installed in GH5s by default. Also added the ability to record HLG videos. Panasonic’s logarithmic mode is not bad, after conversion to Rec709 the colors are not distorted, the skin color is correct.
Hybrid log gamma is designed to record video for playback on TVs and monitors with HDR, that is, able to reproduce a high dynamic range.
We always talk about shooting in 4K, but for good reason, the GH5s is the best mirrorless camera for video, it also shoots video perfectly in FHD. Here 4K oversampling is used and the video quality is just excellent, both in detail and in color reproduction, in the absence of any distortion in the form of more.
Of course available for FHD 10 bit 4: 2: 2, F-Log and everything else. Super-slow motion shooting is possible with a frequency of up to 240 fps, up to 180 fps, the video quality is very high, further, a drop in detail is already noticeable.
Who should use the Panasonic Lumix GH5s? Well, firstly, for professionals who make documentaries, corporate films, advertising, high-budget weddings, when not only editing is done, but also normal post-processing of video. Even shooting movies, especially since this is the only camera on the market that can correctly work with anamorphic optics. Under MFT even full-fledged movie lenses are produced.
Secondly, for those who want to develop. Who wants to step forward and get videos of truly professional quality for their projects.
2. Sony Alpha a6500 Mirrorless Camera for Video
If you need the best mirrorless camera for video and photo, then you are in the right place. Let’s take a look at the Sony Alpha a6500.
The camera differs from its predecessor and most other full-frame mirrorless cameras in that it has a built-in five-axis image stabilization system based on the movement of the sensor.
It serves to compensate for vertical and horizontal shifts that occur during hand tremors, as well as camera rotations and deviations relative to the main optical axis. The efficiency claimed by the manufacturer is 5 stages of exposure, which is somewhat ahead of the promise of optical stabilization in the best modern lenses and makes it possible for the camera to compensate for shake when working with unstabilized optics, which was created not only for this camera but also for any other.
Previously, mirrorless systems used contrast autofocus, which so far does not see an alternative in the world of smartphones. Contrast detection is the only thing that can be realized without the need to place special sensors of a different kind on the sensor itself or even install a separate AF matrix. Our camera has a much more efficient combined system.
The camera shoots 4K-video (3840 × 2160 pixels) with a bit rate of up to 100 Mbps.
It has all the necessary functions for working with video at a professional level: zebra, focus picking, S-log3, built-in stabilizer. To speed up or slow down the scene, the camera can shoot video at a speed of 1 to 100 fps in 4K mode.
Sony is one of the few manufacturers that produce special video lenses for its cameras, which have silent autofocus and a continuously variable aperture.
The USB power option allows you to shoot long scenes without connecting a battery pack or replacing the battery.
Many have wondered how long you can work with the A6500 in 4K video shooting mode. You will not have problems with overheating during normal operation. Moreover, in the a6500 you can turn off the shutdown function when overheating, but you should only use this when shooting with a tripod, as the camera can become very hot.
3. Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera for Video
Changes begin with a matrix binding, where both her and the processor were “overclocked”. This is primarily seen in the speed of serial shooting. If in ILCE-7RM2 it was up to 5 frames/s, then in Alpha 7R Mark III it is increased to 10 frames/s with autofocus.
The buffer and compatibility with memory cards have also been seriously upgraded. Now a continuous series of RAW + JPEG can be more than ten seconds at maximum shooting speed. To save frames, two memory card slots are used, one of which supports SD UHS-II.
The appearance of the camera at first glance has not changed … But this is only at first glance! Experienced Sony brand fans will immediately see a new control on the rear panel namely the joystick. It is responsible for direct selection of the focus point, which needless to say is not the only way to select the focus area.
The screen has now become touch-sensitive, albeit with limited functionality, where you can set the autofocus point, control viewing, but you cannot navigate the menu and change the shooting parameters. The viewfinder, which performed well in the ILCE-7RM2, has been further enhanced. Now its resolution is 3.7 million points.
But a much more important improvement is the use of a large NP-FZ100 battery, as in ILCE-9. And this did not entail a significant increase in the dimensions of the case. The life of a single charge has increased considerably from 530 and 650 shots (using CIPA measurement technology) in the case of shooting through the viewfinder or using the screen, respectively. The same battery grip fits the camera as the Nine – VG-C3EM.
In conclusion of this brief review, a mention should be made of this camera’s video capabilities. This best mirrorless camera for video still writes both Full HD and 4k video from the entire width of the matrix, allowing you to use S-Log gamma curve profiles, focus picking, zebra and other professional tools. Now let’s talk about each aspect in more detail in our “Week with an Expert” test.
4. Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Camera for Video
“What is the best camera for video recording?” – the answer to this question may be the Sony Alpha a7 III, and here are a few reasons why! Inside the camera is a full-frame 24-megapixel CMOS sensor. It would seem that everything is similar in the Sony ILCE-7 and ILCE-7M2 models.
Nothing prevented the developer from once again putting a well-proven sensor into the base camera of the series. But the three Latin letters BSI from the official description of the camera say more, and here a new matrix with backlight is used. We have every reason to assume that this is almost the same sensor that is used in the Sony A9, but without a layer of internal memory (logical for the basic model of the line).
However, problems should not arise with the speed. The matrix is used with the latest BIONZ X image processor and LSI (linear system integrator) preprocessor. Thus, the read speed is doubled, and data processing is 1.8 times compared to the ILCE-7M2. Work at high ISOs, of course was also inherited from a reporting fellow, and not from the previous generation of “sevens”. This becomes clear literally after the first frames, given the pictures are very noisy.
The youngest of the latest “sevens” can shoot up to 10 frames/s with both a mechanical and an electronic, completely silent shutter. Note that the manufacturer does not declare shooting without a rolling shutter (unlike the Sony A9). The reason is the “ordinary”, not multilayer matrix.
Best mirrorless camera for video can shoot Full HD and 4k video from the full width of the matrix. In full-frame mode, pixels are read completely and without combining (binning). This compresses about 2.4 times more data than you need to record 4k video (3840 × 2160), and reduces the effect of moire. The bitrate is up to 100 Mbps.
Full HD shooting is possible with a frequency increased to 100/120 frames/s. It also implements a special mode of fast and slow-motion S & Q, which allows you to shoot slow motion and interval movies. In addition to the already familiar S-Log2 and S-Log3, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is supported for shooting in HDR.
5. Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Camera for Video
In September 2018, Fujifilm introduced a new camera of the top X-T series – the X-T3 model. The previous flagship camera mirrorless FUJIFILM X-T2 has held the lead in the line since mid-summer 2016.
With minimal external changes to the X-T3 compared to the X-T2 with regards to their interior, it has very serious improvements, thanks to which the X-T3 has largely surpassed not only its predecessor, but also the X-H1 reporting model that appeared in February 2018.
On another important note is the support in the X-T3 codec H.265/HEVC, which allows you to record 10-bit video (4: 2: 0) on a memory card. This best mirrorless camera for video is equipped with a new generation APS-C matrix X-Trans CMOS 4, which has a higher resolution of 26.1 megapixels (in the X-T2 resolution of 24 megapixels) and most importantly is made using BSI CMOS technology.
We have not seen matrices with such characteristics before. Therefore, it is very interesting to know what it is capable of, because backlit matrices (BSI) collect more light, have a wider dynamic range, and less noise at high ISOs.
According to the manufacturer, the speed of reading data from the X-T3 matrix is 1.5 times higher than that of the X-T2. The new four-core X-Processor 4 processor accelerated data processing by 3 times compared with the X-T2. Unfortunately, the X-T3 does not implement, where as in X-H1 a stabilization system based on matrix shift is used.
But the X-T3 surpasses this reporting camera in burst speed, as well as an autofocus system and video capabilities. The X-T3 LCD screen, while retaining the dimensions, resolution and degrees of mobility of the X-T2 is touch-sensitive, which greatly simplifies camera control.
6. PANASONIC Lumix GH5 Mirrorless Camera for Video
Externally, the GH5 has not changed much compared to the GH4, which came out I recall three years ago (for “mirrorless” it is a very respectable period). Panasonic adheres to one formula in the ergonomics of its older cameras. But the novelty at first glance almost indistinguishable from its predecessor has become noticeably larger, and has added in all respects both in width, in height, and thickness.
In principle, nobody is chasing compact records in the segment of semi-professional and professional cameras (the GH5 is frozen at the junction here) and in our time, there is no reason to be surprised at the large mirrorless camera, which is comparable in size and weight to other mirror models.
The same Canon EOS 100D or 77D or Nikon D3500 will be appropriate to look nearby. But we must bear in mind that firstly we are talking about mirrorless cameras from different classes, and secondly, the overall dimensions of the system are much more important including optics and accessories.
The compact optics for the Micro Four Thirds bayonet mount immediately reduces the overall weight of the case. Even with two lenses taken for a walk, the backpack is only 1-1.2 kilograms heavier. Yes, this is not a soap box, and not Lumix GX800 or Olympus PEN E-PL8, but the difference compared to the average mirror system will still be noticeable.
An important point is due to the lack of restrictions on the dimensions of the camera, a large protrusion for grasping with the right hand, and on the back it is supplemented by an emphasis for the thumb. The Lumix GH5 is very comfortable to hold in your hand even without a battery grip.
In places of contact with the hands, the metal case is covered with rubberized material, but in the hands of course, the device does not slip. In general, in the work of the GH5 it feels like a classic but small DSLR, and this is definitely worth considering as one of its plus points.
The PANASONIC Lumix GH5 is an all-weather device designed to remain operable even at severe subzero temperatures. Workmanship does not raise questions even though this mirrorless camera is assembled in China, and not Japan. Despite minor changes in terms of shape and overall ergonomic logic, there are many differences in the organization of space on the chassis between the GH5 and GH4.
The video button is slightly shifted (it became more convenient), and the location of the interface ports are slightly changed, and most importantly, a joystick is implemented for operational control of the focal point.
7. Sony A6400 Mirrorless Camera for Video
The Sony α6400 is a mirrorless camera with an APS-C format sensor with a resolution of 24 megapixels. According to its main characteristics, the camera is not much different from the Sony α6500 and Sony α6300 models, but there are changes, and most important of them is an improved autofocus system.
The manufacturer focuses on the possibilities of tracking objects in real time, which is important when shooting dynamic such as children, animals, sports, dances and the likes. Real-time focusing on the eyes stand out, where this mirrorless camera determines the model’s eyes in the frame, and if necessary, the photographer can set the focus specifically on the right or left eye.
The system is hybrid, and included 425 phase focus points, and 165 contrast points. And this is not a technology transferred, as often happens from older models, but this system is what will debut on the Sony α6400, and only in the future can we expect its appearance on other Sony mirrorless cameras.
In addition, the novelty has a wider range of photosensitivity – ISO 100-102400. It is slightly lighter than other cameras, and holds a charge a little longer. The Sony company says that the new product uses image algorithms from the company’s full-frame cameras, which provide more realistic color reproduction in JPEG – in particular, high-quality work with skin color.
Considerable attention has been paid towards working with video, 4k video recording in high resolution, shooting in HDR (HLG), slow and fast shooting, shooting time lapse, and other chips are available.
At first glance, This best mirrorless camera for video seems appealing to bloggers and travelers, and in particular when traveling, I was able to test it completely with E 10-18mm F4 OSS, and E 20mm F2.8 lenses. Later, the FE 85 mm F1.8 lens was added to the test.
If you were wondering, “What camera is best for making YouTube videos?”, Then the Sony A6400 is great for you!
8. Nikon Z6 Mirrorless Camera for Video
The Nikon Z6 is equipped with a completely modern 24-megapixel sensor with backlight, and the layer of conductors in the chip is not above the photodiodes, but under them. Due to this, the light receiving cells accumulate more light, the dynamic range increases and the “noise level” of the matrix decreases with an increase in the equivalent photosensitivity.
The Nikon Z6 can record 4k video at a speed of 30 frames per second, and recording is from the entire field of the frame without crop, and this is important. The battery lasts about 80 minutes of video recording. The maximum duration of one clip is limited and is 29 minutes 59 seconds. During the recording process, we did not notice strong heating of the case.
The Nikon Z6 has 273 phase-detection AF areas that are located directly on the sensor. The working range of the AF system for illumination is from 2 to +19 EV under normal conditions (the lower limit is one step lower than that of the Nikon Z7), and in low light it is from −4 to +19 EV.
This mirrorless camera has an incredibly wide dynamic range. If the picture was not taken at high ISO, then any details can be drawn from the shadows. In addition to the matrix stabilizer, there is an electronic stabilizer that can be turned on if desired. But during this a small crop occurs.
When recording Full HD, the best mirrorless camera for video is capable of writing up to 120 frames per second, and there are two modes – slow and normal. A slightly noticeable appearance of noise in the darkest areas occurs when the exposure is increased by approximately 4.5 steps. Agree, this is a very large number!
9. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Mirrorless Camera for Video
On February 5, 2015, Olympus announced its new mirrorless camera, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. It is hard to imagine, but exactly three years have passed since the time when its predecessor – the OM-D E-M5 was released.
The Japanese are stubborn and hardworking people, so instead of resting on their laurels, Olympus engineers worked tirelessly to improve the already good camera, hence added new technological solutions into the original design.
The camera was given the opportunity to take 40-megapixel pictures, provided that it uses a 16-megapixel LiveMOS sensor! In the highly detailed shooting mode, the automation makes eight frames, sequentially shifting the matrix a small distance, but not exceeding one pixel.
The result of this work is a combined picture with a resolution of 40 megapixels. Unfortunately, for the correct operation of this technology, you still need to use a tripod, and the plot you shoot must be more or less static.
In addition to the stabilizer, this best mirrorless camera for video also boasts a TruePic VII processor, which is responsible for image processing in the flagship OM-D E-M1 model. Also, one of the key features of the new items is fast and accurate autofocus.
The focus area here is 81 pieces, and if desired, the focus area can be set literally with one touch of the touch screen. In the new model, it is not inclined as before, but rotary. This important feature gives additional freedom for creativity both when shooting with outstretched arms (for example, in a crowd), and when taking pictures from a tripod, from the most uncomfortable positions.
As for the shooting modes, there is a wide selection of 1080p formats with different frame rates – 60, 50, 30, 25 and 24 frames/s. Those who demand uncompromising quality from the camera will not be disappointed. Especially for them, the manufacturer endowed the camera with an All-intra compression mode, which allows you to receive an output video stream with the highest bitrate of 77 Mb/s.
10. Sony Alpha a7SII Mirrorless Camera for Video
Here, contrary to modern trends, a matrix with a modest resolution of 12 megapixels is used. At the same time, it has outstanding characteristics in the field of image quality: the highest working ISO and a wide dynamic range.
The second talent of both the first and second generation is video. In fact, I even find it difficult to say what this device is more suitable for whether photography or for shooting video. In many ways, the Sony Alpha a7SII is superior to modern professional camcorders.
Here you can shoot 4k video on a memory card (the first version allowed you to record 4k video from the HDMI output to an external recorder), slow motion and just high-quality Full HD shooting in high bitrate. The camera supports various gamma curve profiles (including S-Log 3).
From the Alpha ILCE-7S – the first-generation model, the novelty also has the ability to take pictures in an uncompressed format. Sony is becoming increasingly serious about image quality as it enters the professional market. After all, The Sony Alpha a7SII is geared towards professionals.
However, if you want to pass the time social networks, and share a couple of nice shots with your friends, then it’s not very “professional” on your part, but it’s a useful possibility to connect the camera with a smartphone via Wi-Fi. You can transfer pictures wirelessly or remotely control the camera at your discretion.
I hope we helped you choose the best mirrorless camera for video.
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