The best video camera 2024: finest choices for filmmakers and videographers

Whether you’re shooting for YouTube or directing a feature film, using the best video camera will give an instant boost your production values. But which one is right for you will depend on what, how and where you’re trying to shoot. To help you find the answer, we've extensively tested the top video cameras in 2024 and ranked our favorites in the guide below.

Based on our reviews, we think the best video camera for most people is currently the Panasonic S5 II. An update to one of our previous favorites, it produced excellent 6K footage in our tests. Together with phase detection AF and a compact form factor, we think it offers excellent value for videographers. That said, we know it won’t be the perfect choice for everyone.

From compact vlogging cameras to flagship filmmaking tools, you’ll find a full range of recommendations here for every need and budget. Our experienced team has reviewed each in depth, testing everything from handling and connectivity, to frame rates, stabilization and overall image quality. Together with our buying tips at the bottom, we’ve summarized the results below.

Written by
Tim Coleman
Written by
Timothy Coleman

Tim is TechRadar's Cameras editor, with over 15 years in the photo video industry. Through his work in tech journalism and freelance videography, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge of recording equipment, with practical experience of what makes a good video camera. Tim notes, "there's no one-size-fits-all video camera. In putting together this list, we've tried to cover a range of shooting styles and requirements. That includes premium 8K cameras for high-res cinematography, compact options for run-and-gun videography, and pocket-friendly cameras for quality vlogging."

The quick list

Want a shortcut to the best video camera for your shooting needs? The summary below gives you a quick overview of our favorite video cameras for every kind of buyer. You can read more about each model using the links underneath.

The best video cameras in 2024

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Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best video camera picks in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best value video camera overall

The best value video camera for most people

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full-frame
Resolution: 24MP
Lens: Leica L mount
Viewfinder: 3.69m-dot OLED EVF
Monitor: 3.0-inch, 1.84m-dot vari-angle touchscreen
Movies: 6K at 30p
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile uncropped video
+
Effective stabilization and phase detection AF

Reasons to avoid

-
1.5x crop on 4K slow-mo
-
No tally light

Panasonic Lumix S5 II sample video

Buy it if:

✅ You shoot for social: The S5 II can open gate video, so no unnecessary loss of detail when shooting in narrower aspect ratios than 16:9.

✅ You work handheld a lot: Superb image stabilization, phase-detection autofocus, a lightweight a durable body, the S5 II suits run-and-gun filming.

Don't buy it if:

You like slow-motion effects: The S5 II's 4K /60p incurs a 1.5x crop, which can be limiting for shooting wide angle.

❌ You care what your camera looks like: We'd describe the S5 II as functional over fashionable.

A timely update to one of our favorite video cameras, the Panasonic Lumix S5 II cements its status with a fleet of improvements. Despite compact proportions, we found it reassuringly solid yet comfortable to use during our review, with plenty of dedicated dials and buttons. Video is where the S5 II excels: in testing, we found the quality of its 6K/30p footage excellent, with rich colors and wide dynamic range. Usefully, 10-bit recording is available across almost all resolutions and frame rates. The S5 II can also record uncropped footage using the sensor’s full 3:2 aspect ratio, which offers welcome versatility when cropping content for social.

The S5 II is Panasonic’s first mirrorless model with phase detection AF for video, and it works dreamily. Paired with image stabilization that’s superbly effective for handheld work, it’s a great choice for run-and-gun videographers, even if the 1.5x crop on 4K/60p video can be limiting. Serious filmmakers will find the Lumix S5 IIX even more compelling, but features like unlimited recording times mean the S5 II is a fantastic tool for high-quality video.

Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix S5 II review

The best budget video camera

The best budget-friendly video camera

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor Size: Micro Four Thirds
Resolution: 20.3MP
Lens: Micro Four-Thirds
Viewfinder: 3.68m dots
Monitor: 1.84m-dot articulated screen
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 12fps
Movies: 4K at 60fps
User level: Beginner/intermediate

Reasons to buy

+
Strong all-round video quality
+
Compact, lightweight and sturdy
+
Built-in wireless live streaming

Reasons to avoid

-
Small sensor size
-
DFD AF isn’t the most reliable

Panasonic GH5 Mark II sample video

Buy it if:

✅ You want bang for buck: The GH5-series offers excellent value for money if video is your focus.

✅ You want the bells and whistles: An excellent choice of 4K video codecs and features, plus live streaming capabilities.

Don't buy it if:

You need the best autofocus: The GH5 II predates Panasonic rolling out its more effective phase detect autofocus, as found in the S5 II.

❌ You own a GH5 already: For most people there isn't enough reason to update from the GH5 to the GH5 II.

The original Panasonic GH5 was arguably the first mirrorless camera to do both 4K video and stills photography well, but its successor faces much stiffer competition. While it doesn’t represent a huge upgrade, the Mark II stands out by virtue of its built-in wireless live streaming capabilities. At the time of writing, you won’t find these on any other mirrorless camera. While its sensor may be relatively small (which does limit its low-light capabilities), our tests also revealed it to be a mighty video camera.

In our review, we found its overall video skills remain strong: 10-bit 4:2:2 footage can be recorded internally or externally, there’s a wide variety of frame rate options and various anamorphic video resolutions, plus Panasonic’s flat V-Log profile gives you 12 stops of dynamic range to play with in post-production. We think the fact that the GH5 Mark II includes all this in a compact, lightweight and weatherproof body with effective IBIS makes it all the more impressive. Consider it if you don't have the budget (or perhaps the need) for the GH6.

Read our in-depth Panasonic GH5 Mark II review

The best premium video camera

The best premium video camera

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor Size: Full Frame
Resolution: 12.1MP
Lens: Sony E
Viewfinder: 9.44MP EVF
Monitor: 1.44m-dot articulating screen
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps
Movies: 4K at 120fps
User level: Intermediate / expert

Reasons to buy

+
Superb low-light performance
+
Fully articulated touchscreen
+
No overheating problems

Reasons to avoid

-
No 6K or 8K
-
Low resolution for stills

Sony A7S III sample video

Buy it if:

✅ You shoot in low light: The 12MP sensor offers some of the cleanest looking video in any light.

✅ You record lengthy clips: You can now get 6K cameras for similar money, but the 4K resolution puts less strain on the hardware during longer shoots.

Don't buy it if:

You also shoot photos: Video makers sometimes need to shoot photos too, and the A7S III's 12MP resolution could be limiting.

❌ You're on a budget: Despite its age, the A7S III remains a pricey option for filmmakers, and its legendary sensor is also in the newer ZV-E1 for less.

The video star of Sony's A-series line, the A7S III uses a back-illuminated full-frame sensor to deliver best-in-class 4K video in a range of lighting situations. With 15 stops of dynamic range and an expandable ISO of 40 to 409,600, not to mention an effective in-body image stabilization system, we discovered in our review that it’s able to capture beautiful videos in conditions that would thwart most of its competitors. The sensor’s relatively low resolution of 12.1MP does rule out 6K and 8K recording, but the powerful Bionz XR processor allows 4K footage to be recorded at up to 120fps for smooth slow-motion playback. 

We were also impressed by the strength of its feature set: a full-size HDMI output, class-leading autofocus, support for several picture profiles (including the popular S-Log) and the ability to record clips longer than 30 minutes with no overheating issues were all signs of a serious video camera. In terms of usability, we think that the A7S III boasts many improvements over its predecessors. The touchscreen is now fully articulating and able to flip, while boosted battery lets you capture over 75 minutes of 4K footage on a single charge. The simplified UI is much more intuitive, too.

Read our in-depth Sony A7S III review

The best hybrid video camera

The best hybrid camera for video and stills

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor Size: APS-C
Resolution: 26MP
Lens: X-mount
Viewfinder: 5.76m-dot EVF
Monitor: 3.0-inch, 1.62m-dot articulating screen
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 40fps (electronic), 15fps (mechanical)
Movies: 6.2K at 30fps
User level: Intermediate / expert

Reasons to buy

+
Video powerhouse
+
Seriously fast stacked sensor

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier than many full-frame cameras
-
Not many video-centric lenses
Buy it if:

✅ You shoot photos and video: 26MP stills up to 40fps, 6K video and 4K up to 120fps, the X-H2S is a true all rounder.

✅ You want incredible speed: To date, the X-H2S is the only APS-C camera with a stacked sensor that delivers incredible speed and rolling shutter suppression. 

Don't buy it if:

You want the best autofocus: Fujifilm has improved its autofocus chops, but there are more capable alternatives.

❌ You want good value: It's hard to get away from how much the X-H2S costs for a camera with an APS-C sensor.

The Fujifilm X-H2S is one of the most powerful hybrid cameras you can buy. It’s expensive for an APS-C camera and lacks the retro charm of recent Fuji models. But it also delivers pro-quality video performance without the full-frame bulk. Pairing a stacked CMOS sensor with Fuji’s X-Processor 5 gives it a huge spec sheet boost: you can record 6.2K/30p video internally with 4:2:2 10-bit color depth. Grapple with the endless menus and you’ll find countless profiles for color grading in post, while using a CFexpress card also unlocks three Apple ProRes codecs. 

With no recording limits, we were able to shoot in 4K for more than two hours before the battery gave out. While we were disappointed by the 1.29x crop on 4K/120p footage, video quality otherwise proved clean and crisp. And though autofocus isn’t class-leading, subject-tracking is nevertheless impressive. Other familiar features only sweeten the deal, including in-body image stabilization and an articulating touchscreen. For filmmakers, the Fujifilm X-H2S is fantastically capable but objectively overkill. But if you want an outstanding video camera that also has superlative stills abilities, no other APS-C camera can match its skill set.

Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-H2S review

The best video camera for vlogging

The best video camera for vlogging

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 12.1MP
Lens: Sony E mount
Viewfinder: None
Monitor: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,036K dots
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps
Movies: 4K/120p (limited to 4K/60p until firmware update)
User level: Intermediate

Reasons to buy

+
Same sensor as the Sony A7S III
+
Makes high-quality vlogging easy

Reasons to avoid

-
Single SD card slot
-
Overkill for beginners

Sony ZV-E1 sample video

Sony ZV-E1 sample footage - YouTube Sony ZV-E1 sample footage - YouTube
Watch On
Buy it if:

✅ You work alone: Equipped with the latest AI-tech, the ZV-E1 is the ultimate camera for content creators who operate solo alone yet want a high-quality output.

✅ You want the best 4K video in any light: The ZV-E1 inherits the Sony A7S III sensor tech which remains one of the best 4K camera around, yet it costs much less.

Don't buy it if:

You shoot long videos: Cameras like the FX3 or A7S III feature cooling vents, unlimited record times and dual card slots. The ZV-E1 does not.

❌ You need a robust camera: The ZV-E1 is made out of recycled plastics, whereas pricier models are made out of tougher materials that will stand up better to heavier use.

Combining compact proportions with class-leading video, the ZV-E1 is a fantastic pick if vlogging is your genre. It's the lightest Sony camera with in-body image stabilization, which means it’s comfortable to work with when vlogging alone. On the other hand, we were a little disappointed by the vari-angle display in testing, finding it difficult to see outdoors. It’s also a shame that the ZV-E1 has only one card slot and no cooling vents.

Still, the ZV-E1 is undeniably a winner for video. In our tests, its excellent 12.1MP sensor produced clean 4K/60p footage in all lighting scenarios. We also found that its S-Cinetone color profile looks fantastic straight out of the camera, without any post-production. Its image stabilization proved excellent as well, smoothing out handheld footage. AI smarts help to keep shots reliably in focus, while a neat Auto Framing trick tracks subjects so effectively that you might believe that a manual operator was responsible – a big help for vloggers shooting solo.

Read our in-depth Sony ZV-E1 review

The best 8K video camera

The best camera for 8K video

Specifications

Sensor size: CMOS
Resolution: 45.7MP
Viewfinder: 3,690K dots
Monitor: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040K dots
Autofocus: 493-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 20fps (RAW), 30fps (JPEG)
Movies: 8K at 60p
User level: Expert

Reasons to buy

+
Class-leading video skills
+
Rock solid build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Some features need firmware update
-
Bulkier and heavier than rivals
Buy it if:

✅ You need a dependable camera for most situations: Built like a tank and good for lengthy record times, the Z9 offers the kind of reliability demanded by video pros.

✅ You want excellent 8K: Following a firmware update, the Z9 boasts 8K/60p with internal RAW – that's a first for a mirrorless camera.

Don't buy it if:

You want a lightweight tool: Compared to almost every other camera in this guide, the Nikon Z9 is both heavy and bulky. 

❌ You only shoot video: The Nikon Z9 could be overkill if you only shoot video and don't need the high-end build quality and performance. 

Nikon’s full-frame flagship is a landmark model: it’s the first pro camera to ship with no mechanical shutter. And while its bulky, rugged DSLR styling felt comfortably familiar, our testing confirmed that the Z9 is a truly modern machine. One of a select few cameras that can record 8K/30p footage, the Z9 also offers filmmakers a candy store of capabilities. Besides 4K slow-mo at 120fps, it serves up sharp oversampled 4K video, together with lengthy 125-minute recording times and reliable Eye AF tracking. We found that image quality from the 45.7MP stacked CMOS sensor was superlative, with huge cropping potential, aided by superb image stabilization. 

And it’s only going to get better: a firmware upgrade is set to unlock a host of recording skills later this year, including the option to shoot raw 8K/60p video internally – a first for any mirrorless camera. Its abilities might be overkill for many, but with rapid performance, a two-way tilting touchscreen and video enhancements already inbound, we think the Z9 is a seriously impressive, competitively priced tool for professional videographers. That said, if you don't need the long video record times and battery life of the Z9, the Nikon Z8 offers the same video quality in a smaller body that costs a lot less. 

Read our in-depth Nikon Z9 review

The best video camera for filmmaking

The best dedicated video tool for filmmaking

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 24.4MP
Lens: Leica L mount
Viewfinder: None
Monitor: 5in tilting touchscreen
Movies: 6K/36p
User level: Expert

Reasons to buy

+
Superb 6K quality
+
Relatively small and affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
No tracking AF
-
No in-body image stabilization
Buy it if:

✅ You want superb cinema footage from a handheld: Blackmagic’s excellent 12-bit codec and workflow are perfect for serious filmmakers who demand impeccable raw video quality. 

✅ You’re operating on a tight budget: For the video spec you get, and the cheap L-Mount lenses available, you're getting excellent bang for buck. 

Don't buy it if:

You want a video-first hybrid camera: The Cinema Camera 6K is practically useless for still photography. 

❌ You're into run-and-gun filming: The Cinema Camera 6K lacks user-friendly features like tracking autofocus and in-body stabilization.

Lacking many of the niceties most users would expect, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K requires a high degree of video knowledge. But the pay-off for this barrier to entry is an impressive set of capabilities: in our review, we found it produces superb raw video quality at 6K resolution. Its big sensor and dual native ISO also allow the Cinema Camera 6K to capture clean footage in dark conditions, while Blackmagic’s proprietary 12-bit codec offers the potential for endless tweaking in post. 

Factor in L-mount lenses and ND filters and it quickly becomes a chunky camera. It’s not cheap, either, and you don’t get user friendly features such as tracking autofocus or in-body image stabilization. That said, the price is relatively low for the pro-grade video spec. You need to know how to color grade to unlock its best, but serious filmmakers will appreciate the flexibility. If you want sublime 6K from a handheld camera and you have the requisite editing skills, the Cinema Camera 6K is a serious contender.

Read our in-depth Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K review

The best all-rounder video camera