Shopping for the best 4K camera you can buy? Our in-depth guide, based on countless hours of testing, will help you find it. From compact vlogging cameras to mirrorless models designed for movie-making, 4K cameras come in a catalogue of styles. Whether you’re shooting for YouTube or recording a 4K feature film, the list below covers options fit for every need and budget.
We’ve tested all of the top models and recommended our favorites in the list below. Right now, we think the Panasonic Lumix GH6 is the best 4K camera for most people. It offers a vast array of recording options, superb in-body image stabilization and impressive image quality in both its 4K/60p and 4K/120p slo-mo modes. We reckon its lower price tag means its edges out our former number one, the also-excellent Sony A7S III. Though the latter does give you better low-light video quality.
Working with a tighter production budget? A lot of the best 4K cameras come with high price tags, but we readily recommend the Panasonic Lumix G80 / G85 for directors with limited funds. It’s not the latest model, but it focuses fast, features a vari-angle touchscreen and records 4K at 30fps.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer a 4K video camera that can easily slot into your pocket, DJI’s Pocket 2 is well worth a look. Its stabilized gimbal head and tracking features make it a great choice for solo videographers.
Whatever kind of 4K camera you’re looking for, you’ll find a fantastic option here. Every recommendation has been comprehensively tested to ensure it deserves a spot in our list. And thanks to our price comparison tool, you’re only a click away from getting a great deal on your chosen 4K camera.
Best 4K cameras in 2022:
Looking for a lightweight 4K camera with huge videography potential? The Panasonic Lumix GH6 is a Micro Four Thirds flagship for filmmakers first and foremost. More manageable in the hand than a full-frame heavyweight, we think that the GH6 benefits from superb handling and a thoughtful control layout. It features recording buttons front and rear, tally lights and a multi-angle touchscreen, all of which made for easy framing and shooting in our experience.
Despite its relatively compact proportions, the GH6 is a video powerhouse. It offers a huge range of 10-bit ProRes and anamorphic video modes, plus built-in color profiles. It can shoot 5.7K footage at 60fps, supported by 7.5 stops of in-body image stabilization. In short, it’s a movie monster. Yet in testing, we ran into zero overheating issues. And while its smaller sensor could affect low-light performance, we captured good results at twilight.
We think its 25.2MP sensor and autofocus system are designed every bit with video in mind. If you need the fastest AF, other brands offer speedier systems, but the GH6’s contrast-based autofocus still proved reliable in testing. All this, in a package that weighs less than a kilogram and fits in a small camera bag.
- Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix GH6 review
The Sony A7S III is almost definitely the best hybrid camera you can currently buy. It keeps resolution low and caps the output at 4K (as opposed to the 6K/8K capabilities of some other models), with the ambition to be the best 4K camera you can buy.
As well as stunning output, up to 120fps shooting for super-smooth recording, there's a host of other highlights on offer here too. There's the ability to capture 16-bit raw over HDMI (plus a full-sized HDMI port), a stunningly high-resolution viewfinder, and a fully-articulating screen with an improved touch-interface.
Videographers will also enjoy other ports such as a headphone and microphone socket, compatibility with the XLR-K3M hot-shoe accessory from Sony, for up to four audio inputs.
This is a pricey camera, make no mistake, but if you want something that does the job extremely well - we don't think you can get better than this.
- Read our in-depth Sony A7S III review
An APS-C camera with the body of a premium compact, Sony’s ZV-E10 is an affordable, video-focused hybrid that’s a solid fit for 4K vloggers. Small and lightweight, it loses out on a viewfinder and flash, but does benefit from solid audio connectivity and a useful articulating touchscreen. Annoyingly, though, you can’t use the touch interface to navigate the menu system.
With a broad selection of formats at its disposal, the ZV-E10 screams video. It can certainly capture competitive 4K at 30fps, although we think the lack of a 60fps setting at 4K is a shame. Footage is shot with 6K oversampling, making the most of the pixel count to produce detailed results. SteadyShot electronic stabilization compensated well for hand-shake in our tests, while the object-tracking autofocus locked on consistently, even when walking around the frame.
Noise-handling can’t compete with full-frame rivals, but the real kicker is the rolling shutter experienced when panning. This renders it largely unusable for run-and-gun videographers. But if you’re happy to shoot handheld selfie vlogs or use a tripod, the ZV-E10 is a great option – supported by a catalogue of compact lenses.
- Read our in-depth Sony ZV-E10 review
Smaller and lighter than the Lumix GH5 (above), yet equipped with a full-frame mirrorless sensor, the Panasonic Lumix S5 is a lesson in hybrid versatility.
A delight to hold and control, its fully articulating touchscreen makes the S5 a fantastic videography tool. So, too, does the 24.2MP full-frame sensor, which is capable of capturing cropped 4K footage at 60p or uncropped 4K at 30p. It can also record 10-bit 4K internally (though with a maximum clip length of 30 minutes).
As you’d expect from Panasonic, video quality is excellent: there’s plenty of detail, while in-body image stabilization keeps everything smooth. Contrast-based autofocus isn’t cutting edge, but it’s perfectly capable of following subjects around the frame.
Add V-Log, time-lapses, dual native ISO and anamorphic 4K into the mix and the S5 shapes up as an impressive option for 4K film-makers. A second battery is advisable for day-long shooting sessions, but the only real compromise is the use of Micro HDMI over the full-size equivalent. Which, given the in-built Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, isn’t much of a compromise at all.
- Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix S5 review
A substantial upgrade over the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, the 6K Pro is a fantastic, relatively affordable tool for the professional videographer. With improved battery life, a brighter screen that’s now tilt-adjustable, plus the option of adding an OLED electronic viewfinder, the 6K Pro is a compact yet adaptable maestro.
Its 6K sensor is the same as before, which means you still get exceptional 6K footage at up to 50fps. The Super 35 format is smaller than full frame, but large enough to handle low-light situations with ease, while built-in ND filters mean you can happily film in bright sunlight with wide open apertures. Plus the sheer breadth of formats, profiles and resolutions available make the 6K Pro a properly flexible camera for editors.
That said, it’s clearly not a camera for casual users: its controls might be simple, but there’s no image stabilization, no tracking autofocus and stills performance remains rudimentary. But as a first professional video camera, the 6K Pro is a fantastic package for the price, with superb image quality and relative accessibility making it one of the most rounded enthusiast options.
- Read our in-depth Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro review
At launch, the first-generation Panasonic GH5 was one of the top 4K cameras you could buy. Its successor takes the established formula and introduces a few key tweaks to make the Mark II Panasonic’s go-to camera for content creators. The headline addition is built-in wireless live-streaming: with support for the RTMP/RTMPS protocol, the GH5 II can fling footage in real-time to YouTube. Resolution adjusts to suit your connection strength, topping out at a respectable 1080/60fps.
When you’re not streaming, the GH5 can shoot stunning 4K footage. The Micro Four Thirds sensor is the same as before, but videographers get a few new frame rates and resolutions, including anamorphic 6K and 4:2:0 10-bit C4K. There’s also a Variable Frame Rate mode for fast- and slow-motion output (up to 180fps). Low-light performance is slightly limited by sensor size, but five-axis in-body image stabilization means you can shoot handheld without too much wobble. Add a fully articulating touchscreen to the mix and the GH5 Mark II shapes up as a stellar option for capturing all kinds of 4K content.
- Read our in-depth Panasonic GH5 Mark II review
If you want an affordable to camera to shoot 4K videos, then this is as good as it gets right now. Blackmagic's Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is designed for filmmakers through and through – just don't get one if you're looking to shoot stills as well.
Based around a Micro Four Thirds sensor and lens mount, it features a huge 5.0-inch touchscreen, it head and shoulders above other MFT shooters from a video-centric operational point of view. The range of connections on-board is also class-leading, and the fact there’s a dual card slot trumps much pricier cameras like the EOS R.
That's not forgetting decent on-board audio recording capabilities and of course, the sweetener to the tune of $299 worth of software - a license for DaVinci Resolve Studio, it really is a gift that keeps on giving.
Finally, and most importantly, the fundamental quality of its 4K video takes on much pricier cameras and, when you know how to work it, handles noise better than some full frame sensors too, thanks to its the dual native ISOs.
- Read our in-depth Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K review
Panasonic’s Lumix S1H is the smallest, cheapest camera to make the list of cameras approved by Netflix for use in original productions – which is a measure of just how fantastic its motion picture skills are.
Video quality is practically perfect in all conditions, with excellent noise performance thanks to Dual Native ISO. There’s a staggering range of resolutions and frame rates to play with – from 6K/24p to 4K/60p – and every resolution is available with 10-bit color, which offers plenty of editing flexibility.
There’s also the option to use anamorphic lenses, while recording modes include Cinelike Gamma, V-Log/V-Gamut and HDR in HLG, with color profiles adjustable in-camera. Despite the variety available – as well as the range of monitoring and display options – the S1H is remarkably accessible thanks to a redesigned interface, aided by a flip-out rear display.
It is big and heavy for a full-frame mirrorless camera, but that’s partly to account for the silent fan and cooling vent, which eliminate recording time limitations: you can film flawless footage until the battery or storage runs out.
- Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix S1H review
One of our favorite full-frame mirrorless cameras, the original Nikon Z6 had a strong set of video specs. The Z6 II takes that capable base and boosts its capabilities even further. There are few surprises when it comes to build quality and handling: magnesium alloy parts and weather-sealing mean it’s durable, with an ergonomic grip that’s comfy to use. Its 24.5MP full-frame sensor is unchanged, but a second EXPEED 6 image processor improves autofocus performance and enhances its video skill set.
A firmware update has unlocked 4K capture at 60fps (albeit with a 1.5x crop), complemented by a 10-bit HLG HDR output option and 120fps Full HD slow-mo. A fully articulating display would be better for framing than the tilting touchscreen, but the Z6 II is otherwise a very capable package, especially if you want a versatile, lightweight camera that can shoot excellent stills when you’re not recording 4K content.
- Read our in-depth Nikon Z6 II review
Fujifilm's X-T3 drastically improved its video performance compared to its predecessors, and the X-T4 makes a similar leap to make it one of the best 4K cameras you can buy.
The biggest boost comes from the inclusion of in-body image stabilization (IBIS). This makes it a little larger and heavier than the X-T3, but still significantly lighter than an enthusiast-level DSLR. It doesn't completely replace the need for a gimbal, but does mean it's a superb option for the run-and-gun filmmaker.
Combine this with the same 26.1MP back-illuminated APS-C sensor as its predecessor, and you have a fantastic performer for both stills and video. The latter is a particular standout thanks to inclusion of a very modern movie shooting spec that includes Cinema 4K movies up to 60fps, 10-bit internal recording, and up to 400Mbps bit-rate and with F-Log and HLG profiles included as standard.
You can also shoot slow motion Full HD movies up to 240fps, while that IBIS system provides up to 6.5EV (or exposure value) of stabilization when used with one of Fujifilm's stabilized lenses (18 out of its 29 X Series lenses fit this description). Overall, the Fujifilm X-T4 is the best APS-C mirrorless camera you can buy – and a major reason for that is its video performance.
- Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-T4 review
On paper, the Canon EOS R5 is arguably the best hybrid camera available today. Adopting a tried-and-tested form factor that’s easy to handle, the R5 serves up blistering performance: a 45MP full-frame sensor is supported by the speedy Digic X chip, paired with Canon’s fastest ever autofocus motor.
Video specs are similarly outstanding. The EOS R5 can capture 4K footage at a silky smooth 120fps, with the option of shooting raw, while resolution maxes out at a headline-grabbing 8K/30p. Results are gorgeously sharp, while the combination of IBIS with stabilized RF-mount lenses delivers decently smooth handheld shots – plus log files provide incredibly flexible when it comes to color grading.
There is a caveat: the EOS R5 features recording limits to combat overheating, with a published maximum of 35 minutes for 4K/60p video. That’s a significant limitation for professional filmmakers, but there’s a good chance those who shoot a selection of shorter clips won’t ever encounter that barrier (we didn’t).
Provided that’s the case for you – and you’re happy to shell out on CFExpress cards to unlock peak performance – the R5 is a fantastic 4K hybrid.
- Read our in-depth Canon EOS R5 review
DJI’s dedicated steady-cam puts a stabilized gimbal in your pocket. It’s light, comfortable to hold and features a small 1-inch touchscreen for previewing shots. The 1/1.7-inch sensor won’t trouble mirrorless models, but its 64MP resolution represents a big jump up from the original Pocket. It also offers a much wider 93-degree field of view for more reliable framing when you’re walking and talking. Its compact form factor is broadly the same as before, but pick up the Creator Combo for useful add-ons, including an external wireless mic and ultra-wide-angle lens.
The sensor struggles in low light and high-contrast scenes, but the 3-axis gimbal ensures footage is steady and automatic object tracking is incredibly useful if you’re recording yourself. 4K footage at 60fps isn’t the crispest, but the picture is still respectable and the D-Cinelike color profile makes it easily editable. Full HD slow-mo at 120fps adds welcome flexibility too. Paired with decent sound, it’s an appealing portable package for vloggers.
- Read our in-depth DJI Pocket 2 review
This isn't Panasonic's most video-centric camera – see the Panasonic GH5S and GH5 above – but the Lumix G9 is a fantastic all-rounder for stills and video, particularly thanks to recent firmware updates.
This added pro-friendly treats like 10-bit 4:2:2 video capture to some already tasty video credentials, which included the ability to shoot Cinema 4K video at a smooth 60fps frame rate. The G9 also boasts superb in-body image stabilization that equates to 6.5 extra stops of exposure, as well as two UHS-II SD card slots.
It’s also weatherproof, great to handle and boasts a wealth of stills-focussed features, including a burst mode that shoots at 20fps with autofocus and an astonishing 60fps without. Overall, we think it’s Panasonic’s best all-round mirrorless camera – especially given its recent price drop.
- Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix G9 review
Picking up where its predecessor left off, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III is an outstanding all-round package – and that’s as much the case for shooting video as it is for stills.
On paper, the Mark III’s video specification is solid enough to cater for both casual recorders and more serious videographers: it can shoot Cine 4K video at 24fps (237Mbps) and Full HD at up to 120fps, with an OM-Log 400 colour profile that’s little short of lovely.
And it all comes good in action. Powerful image stabilization keeps footage smooth and sharp, while capable continuous autofocus with face- and eye-detection proves impressively effective. Headphone and external mic ports are a welcome presence for those looking to upgrade their setup, too.
If there’s one thing we’d like to see, it’s the availability of the Live ND mode – which simulates the effect of a real neutral-density filter – while shooting video. But such is the depth of what the E-M1 Mark III can do when you dig into the options, it’s hard to pick any real faults.
- Read our in-depth Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III review
Before we look at our round-up of the best 4K cameras, we wanted to highlight a slightly more affordable alternative. It might have since been succeeded by the Panasonic Lumix G90 / G95, but the Lumix G80 (known as the Lumix G85 in the US) is still a very capable and cost-effective option for those looking for a budget 4K camera. There's 4K video capture up to 30p (with a bit rate up to 100Mbps) and a dedicated microphone socket. Focusing is fast, while the vari-angle touchscreen should make framing footage nice and easy. The G80/G85 is also weather-sealed to protect it from the elements. It successor brings features like unlimited 4K recording, but if you don't mind being restricted to 30 minutes per clip then this model offers great value.
- Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix G80 / G85 review
What to look for when buying a 4K camera
The best 4K cameras will allow you to record bright, sharp footage in a range of scenarios. Resolution is a key benchmark when selecting a video camera – and every model in the buying guide above can capture footage in 4K, with some going up to 6K and even 8K.
Though the biggest numbers generally translate into the sharpest footage, they may be overkill for you. 8K requires high-performance memory cards and editing tools that can handle the resulting file sizes. Most enthusiast videographers will find factors other than resolution more significant.
Frame rates, for example, are really important to keep in mind. The best 4K cameras can record footage at 60fps for slick real-time shots, as well as buttery-smooth 120fps for slow-motion b-roll – although many cameras can only capture slow-mo at lower resolutions.
You should also keep color profiles and output formats in mind. The top 4K cameras give you the flexibility to record in a way which fits with your workflow. Depending on your setup, that might mean a specific log profile, such as V-Log. Most of the top 4K cameras support log profiles, giving videographers the opportunity to tweak color grading in post-production. The very best models can also record 10-bit video internally for greater depth of color (but larger file sizes).
Other factors to consider will come down to your skill level and how you like to shoot videos. Image stabilization is a must if you want to capture video handheld, but it’s less of an issue if you use a gimbal. Equally, tracking autofocus is handy if you’re upgrading from a smartphone, but it’s not a dealbreaker if you’re already familiar with manual tracking.
A large sensor is great for those who like to record in low-light conditions. Physical design is also worth thinking about: if you tend to shoot solo, aspects like an articulating touchscreen and ergonomic handgrip are useful, as are accessible controls.
And don’t forget about accessories: most of the best 4K cameras include ports for connecting external microphones and headphones, which allow you to transform your 4K footage with professional audio. If your shooting style requires certain peripherals, such as a battery grip or hot-shoe attachment, check that they’re compatible before buying a new 4K camera.
Do you need a 4K camera for streaming?
Many streamers use a 4K camera to capture and share live content in real-time. The main benefit of using a 4K camera for streaming is that it generally offers a sharper, more detailed image than one with 2K resolution. You can also downsample footage to 1080p from the full 4K video feed, which gives you greater flexibility (especially if you’d like to crop in on part of the frame).
However, you don’t necessarily need a 4K camera for streaming. Due to bandwidth constraints, many people only watch videos at 1080p, so 4K may be overkill for your audience – especially if they stream your content on their smartphone’s smaller screen (and using a cellular data connection).
In addition, your own internet connection will need to be fast enough to maintain a steady stream of 4K footage, which is significantly more data-hungry than Full HD. It’s also important to note that, while several cameras support live-streaming, many 4K cameras will actually only allow you to stream at 1080p.
Other factors are usually more important for streamers than resolution alone. This might include in-camera support for direct live-streaming. Panasonic’s GH5 Mark II, for example, can stream 1080p footage straight to platforms like YouTube via Wi-Fi. Equally, aspects such as support for external microphones will be more useful for streamers and vloggers who talk to their audience while on camera.