The 12 Best Video Cameras under $1000

best video cameras under $1000

Best Video Cameras under $1000

For even the most dedicated videographers, finding the right camera isn’t always an easy feat. A multi-billion dollar industry, there’s stiff competition between a slew of companies constantly aiming to out-innovate one another. And, as any experienced photographer can attest, gear isn’t cheap.

Without knowing exactly what each camera has to offer, it can be difficult to make an informed decision on which model best suits your personal needs and deserves to be called YOUR best video camera under $1,000

For all of the aspiring cinematographers out there, we went through and looked into the best video cameras under $1000 on today's market.

Broken down by camera type, this overview explains the edges each of these devices has over the competition.

MIRRORLESS CAMERAS

Increasingly so, mirrorless cameras have been growing in popularity among professional photographers. Lighter and more compact than traditional DSLRs, the omission of an internal mirror makes for a quieter shooting experience. As image makers continue to migrate to mirrorless, companies have begun to incentivize new developments in the growing field.

1. Panasonic Lumix GX8

Panasonic Lumix GX8 mirrorless camera

PANASONIC LUMIX GX8 Body Mirrorless 4K Camera Body, Dual I.S. 1.0, 20.3 Megapixels, 3 Inch Touch LCD;

Price: $1,197.99

Features:

  • 4K HD quality footage
  • Implements cutting edge dual-stabilization technology
  • Precision autofocus includes subject tracking algorithms
  • 20.3 MP MOS sensor

What makes it great:

As of now, the Lumix GX8 is one of the best options out there for videographers looking to delve into the mirrorless market. The picture quality Panasonic offers is difficult to argue against, with stunning 4K imagery and a 20.3MP MOS sensor that can reach up to ISO 25600.

The Lumix also includes an autofocus tracking algorithm capable of locking on to subjects in motion. But perhaps most impressive of all is Panasonic’s unique in-body image stabilization, which works in conjunction with IS lenses to produce dual stabilized imagery.

Needless to say, this sort of technology is coveted by any artist interested in producing the smoothest, steadiest footage possible.

Sale
PANASONIC LUMIX GX8 Body Mirrorless 4K Camera Body, Dual I.S. 1.0, 20.3 Megapixels, 3 Inch Touch LCD, DMC-GX8KBODY (USA BLACK)
45 Reviews
PANASONIC LUMIX GX8 Body Mirrorless 4K Camera Body, Dual I.S. 1.0, 20.3 Megapixels, 3 Inch Touch LCD, DMC-GX8KBODY (USA BLACK)
  • Capture moments with superb 4K imaging performance in both video and exclusive 4K PHOTO
  • Unique, in-body stabilization in combination with select optically stabilized lenses work together for class-leading Dual Image Stabilization results
  • Worry-free splash proof / dustproof rugged body. Fast and precise auto focusing tracks the subject
  • New 20.3-megapixel sensor achieves Panasonic's highest image quality
  • Over 20 Interchangeable lens options available

2. Sony Alpha a6000

Sony Alpha a6000 mirrorless camera

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens

Price: $598.00 

Features:

  • 24 MP CMOS sensor
  • Portable size perfectly designed for travel
  • Innovative contrast-detecting hybrid autofocus
  • Records at 60, 30, and 24 frames per second

What makes it great:

The Sony Alpha a6000 proves to be another excellent choice for those hoping to take advantage of developing mirrorless technology. With a compact and lightweight build, it’s small enough to fit inside of a pocket and weighs in at less than one pound. Despite its size, it retains an electronic viewfinder as well as an impressive 3-inch articulating LCD screen.

Equipped with an impressive 24MP CMOS sensor, it can capture up to 60 frames per second for slow-motion rendering. Like the Lumix, it also comes installed with advanced autofocus technology, complete with over 170 focal plane detection points.

Sale
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
1233 Reviews
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
  • 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-25600 (expandable to 51200)
  • Hybrid AF with 179-point focal plane phase-detection and 25 contrast detect points
  • Up to 11 FPS continious shooting
  • 3-inch tilting LCD with 921,000 dots
Related Post: 8 Best Mirrorless Cameras under $1000

ACTION CAMERAS

With the rise of Youtube and similar video-sharing websites, a market has developed for cameras capable of going where no camera has gone before. Built for durability, action cameras are compact enough for travel and discreet enough for run-and-gun videographers to capture whatever they need without drawing attention.

3. GoPro Hero 5

Price: $399.00

Features:

  • Water-proof build
  • 4K HD quality footage with automatic stabilization
  • 12 MP RAW image quality
  • Voice control capabilities

What makes it great: 

The GoPro brand has earned its title as the reigning monarch of action photography. For all those in the know, the name has become all but synonymous with the genre. Its compact build (it weighs in at just .25 lbs!) in conjunction with its rugged design makes it the camera of choice for many athletes and adventurers.

The GoPro Hero 5 keeps up the precedent set by its predecessors, featuring 4K footage strengthened by automatic stabilization for the smoothest shot possible. It also captures detailed RAW images for still photographers. One of the Hero 5’s most impressive additions is its ability to obey voice commands, allowing for hands-free filming. 

Sale
GoPro HERO5 Black
540 Reviews
GoPro HERO5 Black
  • Stunning 4K video and 12MP photos in Single, Burst and Time Lapse modes.
  • Durable by design, HERO5 Black is waterproof to 33ft (10m) without a housing
  • Additional GoPro HERO5 Black Features + Benefits below on item page.
  • Preview and playback your shots, change settings and trim your footage, all on your GoPro.

4. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera action cam

Price: $995.00

Features:

  • High resolution 3.5 inch LCD monitor
  • Supports open file formats
  • Lossless compression preserves detail and tonality

What makes it great:

Don’t be fooled by the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera‘s friendly appearance  – this little camera packs a powerful punch. The image quality and detail is hard to match, boasting a 13-stop dynamic range.

One of the most appealing features of the Pocket Cinema is its lack of proprietary file format, making the camera’s output easy to work with regardless of the tools in your arsenal. Although the camera requires speedier memory cards with plenty of space to storeRAW footage, the resolution of the output video makes this camera worth every penny. 

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount
98 Reviews
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount
  • Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera lets you use the most incredible range of Micro Four Thirds lenses. This product does not include a lens; compatible Micro Four Thirds lenses are available separately.
  • High Resolution Display: The extremely high resolution 3.5 LCD allows you to monitor while shooting and review recorded files on the SD card. The high resolution screen makes it easy to focus accurately and lets you zoom in to 1:1 size so you focus precisely every time.
  • Record to SD Cards: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera features a built in SD card recorder that captures stunning ProRes 422 (HQ) and lossless compressed CinemaDNG files to fast SDXC cards. As an open format, it's compatible with most popular NLE software so you get a digital camera that's perfectly designed for post production workflows.
  • Open File Format: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera records into high quality ProRes 422 (HQ) and lossless compressed CinemaDNG files so you retain fine image detail with wide dynamic range for amazing images. One of the few cameras to support true open file formats, so you're not locked into a strange file that your editing software can't handle.
  • Ultra Portable Design: The camera features a lightweight, elegant design that fits into your pocket. Produced from magnesium alloy for incredible strength, it includes a high resolution LCD for precise focusing and a built in SD recorder, so you get a complete solution without the need for expensive accessories.
Related Post: A Review Of The Top 5 Bridge Camera Systems

5. 360 Fly 4K

Price: $165.00 

Features:

  • Extremely durable; water resistant, dust resistant, and shock resistant
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity for efficient edits and instant sharing
  • 32 GB of internal memory

What makes it great: 

If you’re a filmmaker that wants to capture every moment of action, the 360 Fly is just for you. Claiming to sport the world’s widest single lens camera, it effortlessly creates 360 degree panorama footage – no stitching required.

With the ability to connect to the internet from the field, it can instantly create encompassing, interactive video suitable for social media. Making adjustments is easy despite the camera’s minimalistic design.

Using the 360fly app, it’s easy to control setting like exposure, color, and speed via smartphone or tablet.

Sale
360fly 360° HD Video Camera (Second Generation)
175 Reviews
360fly 360° HD Video Camera (Second Generation)
  • World's widest single-lens camera
  • Record and store up-to 3 hours of 360 Degree HD footage
  • Edit and share video in 90 seconds or less
  • Dustproof, shockproof and water resistant

6. DJI Osmo +

Price: $609.00

Features:

  • Superior stabilization capabilities
  • WiFi connection available
  • Can support timelapse and panorama footage
  • 2x lossless digital zoom

What makes it great:

Good things come in small packages, and the Osmo + is no exception. Sure, it may look a little strange compared to some of the more traditional looking cameras on this list. However, the 3 axis camera attachment allows users optimum stability with virtually no strain.

Despite its small size, it can be attached to smart phones and used to create impressive long exposures and motion time lapses. It can run at 30fps in stunning 4K, and can even zoom in on subjects without losing resolution.

DJI 4K, UHD 3.5x Optical Zoom, 2x Digital Zoom Handheld 4K Camera Osmo+ Black
54 Reviews
DJI 4K, UHD 3.5x Optical Zoom, 2x Digital Zoom Handheld 4K Camera Osmo+ Black
  • 22-77mm zoom lens, 3.5× optical and 2× digital lossless zoom.(Digital lossless zoom only available when shooting at 1080p.)
  • 4K video, 12 megapixel photos, silent recording.
  • Professional 3-axis stabilization.
  • Take sharper selfies with a 50cm minimum focus distance.
  • Support for motion timelapse, panorama, long exposure and more.

DSLRs

Cameras can come in all shapes and sizes and function in a variety of ways – nevertheless, the SLR reigns supreme among the majority of working photographers. As the photo industry has evolved, so too has the equipment. Just as digital photography replaced film, the moving image has begun to replace the still photograph in some circumstances. Therefore, it's become increasingly necessary for the standard DSLR to take on the capabilities of the tradition camcorder.

7. Canon EOS 70D

Price: $899.00

Features: 

  • 20MP CMOS sensor
  • Articulating touch screen LCD panel
  • 1080P HD quality footage

What makes it great: 

For quite some time, Canon has been one of the leaders in marrying digital photography and film. The Canon 70D boasts specs that rival those of cameras specifically designed to create video. Equipped with a 20MP CMOS sensor, it can capture HD quality 1080p footage.

The camera’s articulating LCD panel is especially handy for making quick adjustments and getting a clear view of what’s being filmed in real-time. If you’re willing to go a bit over budget, the recently released 80D offers many of the same qualities that make for the 70D’s enviable videography.

Sale
Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm STM Lens
872 Reviews
Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm STM Lens
  • 20.2 MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+
  • 19 point cross-type AF System
  • Up to 7 fps shooting
  • ISO 100-12800, expandable to 25600
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF for fast focus in live view and video

8. Nikon D3300

Price: $446.95 

Features:

  • 1080P HD quality footage
  • 24MP CMOS sensor
  • Installed with WiFi and GPS

What makes it great: 

For cameramen looking to dabble in photography, many of the higher end DSLRs on the market can be intimidating. Lacking the exorbitant price and complicated workings of other cameras, the Nikon D3300 is a perfect solution. It can be easy to write off the Nikon because of it’s appeal to entry-level photographers.

Nevertheless, it offers some pretty impressive specs. Its 24MP sensor can record 1080P footage at 60 fps. Whats more, it includes the WiFi and GPS that come standard on many of the newest cameras on the market. With an affordable price tag to boot, it’s hard not to take the D3300 into consideration.  

Sale
Nikon D3300 1532 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Auto Focus-S DX NIKKOR Zoom Lens 24.2 MP Digital SLR – Black
1151 Reviews
Nikon D3300 1532 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Auto Focus-S DX NIKKOR Zoom Lens 24.2 MP Digital SLR – Black
  • 24.2 MP CMOS DX-format sensor
  • 5 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 11 AF points with 3D tracking
  • ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
  • 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps) HD video (MPEG-4/H.264/MOV).The D3300's 11-point Autofocus System locks onto your subjects as soon as they enter the frame and stays with them until you catch the shot you want.
Related Post: 6 Best Cameras for Vlogging

9. Canon EOS Rebel T5i

Price: $599.00

Features:

  • 18mp CMOS sensor
  • 3″ articulating LCD touch panel
  • 1080P HD quality footage

What makes it great:

Canon’s answer to Nikon’s D3300 is the Rebel T5i, and as you may expect, its video capabilities are pretty comparable. Though its sensor is a bit smaller, it still manages to capture the same 1080p footage. It makes up for its slightly higher price tag with an image stabilizer that Nikon’s model lacks. In addition, the Rebel features the same articulating LCD panel seen on the 70D, making it easy to view results in-camera. 

Sale
Canon EOS Rebel T5i EF-S 18-55 IS STM Kit
694 Reviews
Canon EOS Rebel T5i EF-S 18-55 IS STM Kit
  • 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 5 FPS continuous shooting,Dimensions (W x H x D):Approx. 5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in;Approx. 133.1 x 99.8 x 78.8mm
  • 9 point AF system, all cross type
  • ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
  • 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps) and 720 (60, 50 fps) HD video (29min limit, H.264 format)

VIDEO CAMCORDERS

Although video recording capabilities have become a standard on DSLRs and smartphones, it's hard to beat a good old fashioned camcorder. At the end of the day, their primary function is to capture footage. Their design is more conducive to taking steady video without the aid of the tripod. Often times they include features such as versatile zoom lenses and ample internal memory storage that simply aren't present on cameras specializing in still imagery.

10. Panasonic HC-V770 HD

Price:  $897.99

Features:

  • 20x optical zoom
  • noise supressing Back Side Illumination sensor
  • Connects to phone for real-time broadcasting
  • 1080p HD quality footage

What makes it great:

Panasonic’s HC-V770 Camcorder is an easy choice for users seeking something that hits every mark. It captures its surroundings in 1080p and features an above average internal sound system. It comes downloaded with an array of applicable filters, making it possible to get the look that you want in camera with very little effort.

It’s BSI sensor reduces noise and bright spots, preserving details that might otherwise be lost using other cameras. It even features a 20x optical zoom, capturing subjects far off in the distance and blowing much of the competition out of the water. 

Sale
Panasonic HC-VX981K Ultra HD Camcorder with Wi-Fi Twin Camera and 4K Photo Features (Black)
136 Reviews
Panasonic HC-VX981K Ultra HD Camcorder with Wi-Fi Twin Camera and 4K Photo Features (Black)
  • Ultra-sharp 4K Ultra HD recording, plus in-camera editing for 1080p displays
  • LEICA Decoma Lens optical 20x zoom, 5-axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization
  • 4K in-camera post cropping, panning, zooming and subject tracking stabilization features eliminate the need for complex editing software
  • Wi-Fi connected mobile device Twin Camera feature adds multi-camera scene picture in picture recording
  • 4K PHOTO captures high-quality photos from 4K video frames
Related Post: Corporate Portrait Photography Tips

11. TomTom Bandit

Price: $169.95

Features:

  • Bandit app allows for instant playback
  • Long lasting battery
  • 4K HD footage

What makes it great: 

Some may argue that the Bandit is more of an action camera than it is a professional grade camcorder. However, TomTom manages to mingle the best of both worlds into this little gadget. It retains the handheld design of many camcorders, but can also mount to just about anything. Its long lasting battery allows for over three hours of continuous shooting – a feat that many action cameras simply cannot compete with.

Aside from recording 4K video, this camera also records information such as speed, g-force, and altitude. For avid adventurers concerned with getting a great shot, the Bandit gets the job done.

Sale
TomTom Bandit 4k Action Video Camera
54 Reviews
TomTom Bandit 4k Action Video Camera
  • 4k HD video camera provides the highest resolution action footage
  • Long battery life allows for 3h of non-stop filming with cable-free Batt-stick
  • Sport action camera contains built-in sensors to monitor Speed, G-force, Altitude, and Rotation and appears on playback videos to prove your performance
  • Use the Bandit App (iOS & Android) for instant playback and to easily drag, drop and share all action footage
  • Easily mount the action camera with the Go-Pro Mount Adapter (included)

12. Canon Vixia HF G20

Price:  Out of stock

Features:

  • HD CMOS sensor
  • 32GB internal memory with 2 memory card slots
  • Intelligent optical image stabilization
  • 10x optical zoom

What makes it great: 

The Vixia HF G20 is sure to satisfy enthusiasts on a budget. Between the camcorder’s CMOS sensor, touch screen LCD, and HD wide angle lens, it retains much of the same hardware that fuels more expensive models.

It contains a staggering 32 GB of internal memory, plus two slots for external memory cards. This sort of space equates to about 12 hours worth of film storage.

Equipped with optical stabilization and a superb dynamic range, you can rest assured that every moment of footage captured with the Vixia is bound to be beautiful.

Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder with 10x HD Video lens (30.4mm-304mm), 3.5 inch Touchscreen LCD, HD CMOS Pro and 32GB Internal Flash Memory (Certified Refurbished)
8 Reviews
Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder with 10x HD Video lens (30.4mm-304mm), 3.5 inch Touchscreen LCD, HD CMOS Pro and 32GB Internal Flash Memory (Certified Refurbished)
  • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box. Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
  • 10x HD Video lens (5mm equivalent: 30.4mm - 304mm) with 8-Blade Iris, 3.5 inch touch LCD
  • Canon HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor (1/3-inch, 1920 x 1080 image sensor) with 20% improved low-light performance
  • Up to 12 hours of HD recording to 32GB internal memory (2 additional card slots available)
  • Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization and Intelligent IS automatically; Cinama-Look Filter with 9 built-in filters

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Meghan

Meghan

A photographer turned writer based out of Boston, MA, Meghan is an ambitious individual whose work has been featured in a number of gallery exhibitions and art publications.
Meghan

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Meghan

A photographer turned writer based out of Boston, MA, Meghan is an ambitious individual whose work has been featured in a number of gallery exhibitions and art publications.

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