7 Best Mirrorless Cameras To Consider Buying For Independent Filmmaking – 2022

7 Best Mirrorless Cameras To Consider Buying For Independent Filmmaking

Are mirrorless cameras the best option for a fresh independent filmmaker just getting started? Are you a first-time filmmaker seeking for the best filmmaking camera to get started with? When you’re a novice filmmaker getting started in the industry, there are a lot of things to think about when putting together a filmmaking kit.

What kind of sound equipment is required to record incredible atmospheric sound on the set of a movie? What kind of lighting is required to create the vibrant atmosphere required to bring the audience into the scene? What lenses are required to capture a specific look for the film?

The list of questions about assembling the best filmmaking kit for any filmmaker is endless. The most important component of any filmmaking gear, however, is the perfect digital camera to capture the universe that any filmmaker wishes to create.

A mirrorless camera is the ideal spot to start any filmmaking kit when a filmmaker is seeking for the perfect filmmaking camera to symbolise the framework of filmmaking equipment.

But, in today’s market, what is the greatest mirrorless camera for filmmakers? That depends on the type of filmmaker you aspire to be.
In this article, I’ve split down which mirrorless camera is best for you into categories.

The mirrorless cameras listed here are excellent choices for a wide spectrum of filmmakers, from beginners to experts. By the end of this article, you should have a good idea of which mirrorless camera will help you make your next amazing feature film, whether it’s short or long.

Mirrorless Cameras

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What is a mirrorless camera?

Mirrorless cameras, unlike DSLRs, do not have mirrors. Instead, light passes through the lens and lands directly on the sensor.

The sensor analyses the image and shows it on the monitor, the back of the camera, or an Electronic Viewfinder practically instantly (EVF). As a result, when you press the shutter button, the camera records whatever is on the sensor at the time.

Things to look out for in buying a Mirrorless Camera

Before you see a list of the best mirrorless cameras for independent filmmakers, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your mirrorless camera:

Price

When looking for the finest mirrorless camera, remember that just because a camera is costly doesn’t imply it produces the best photos, films, or videos.

In my previous purchases, I’ve always assumed that if a product costs more, it must be of higher quality and contain more features, but this is not the case with a mirrorless camera.

You may have a camera that accomplishes everything you need it to do without breaking the bank if you do your study well enough.

Viewfinder

Photographers have long known that DSLR cameras are equipped with outstanding and gorgeous optical viewfinders.

While it took a long time for mirrorless cameras to catch up to DSLRs in terms of viewfinders, the latest mirrorless electronic viewfinders (EVFs) have narrowed the gap.

If you’re searching for the best results from a mirrorless camera viewfinder, don’t settle for anything less than 3.69 million dots and a magnification of roughly 0.76x or greater.

Autofocus

When it comes to autofocus, mirrorless cameras are known for their exceptional performance (AF). This is because they allow AF to be performed on the sensor itself.

In addition, higher-end models feature hybrid autofocus technologies, which combine the precision of contrast-detect AF with the quickness of phase-detect AF for a best-of-both-worlds approach.

It’s best to experiment with various systems to see which one responds and functions best for you.

Sensor-based image stabilization

Those who like to shoot handheld without a gimbal or stabilizer will appreciate sensor-based image stabilization. It allows users of mirrorless cameras to get a smooth, stable image right out of the camera, even if they’re shooting handheld.

Low-light performance

Some mirrorless cameras do very well in low-light environments, depending on the sensor size used. Some, on the other hand, do not perform as well.

A mirrorless camera that excels in low-light performance is essential for filmmakers who will be filming a lot with minimum lighting equipment.

If you anticipate doing a lot of shooting in low-light situations, do some research on the models that perform best and worst in this area.

Lens options

Your camera, in my opinion, is only as good as the lens you’re using. When looking for a new mirrorless camera, making sure it can swap lenses is critical.

You should think about the brand you’re buying and what kind of lens mount it has, as this will determine which lens family you’ll join.

In addition, some mirrorless cameras are full-frame, while others are Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras. All of these considerations will influence your lens selection.

Now that you know what to look for in a mirrorless camera, let’s look at our top picks for the best mirrorless camera in 2022.

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Sony A6400

7 Best Mirrorless Cameras To Consider Buying For Independent Filmmaking - 2021

The Sony a6400 is an outstanding video camera. 

Internal 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning collects approximately 2.4x the amount of data required for 4K movies, then oversamples it to generate high quality 4K film with clarity and depth. 

Thanks to enhanced Fast Hybrid AF technology, which keeps the subject in continual smooth focus even if an object crosses in front of the camera, focusing during movie shooting is quick and steady. 

Many vloggers and video creators who routinely create and publish material online will find this camera to be a good fit because of the excellent AF and touch focus functionality.

This model also has an HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile, which offers an Instant HDR process, allowing HDR (HLG) compatible TVs to display gorgeous, true-to-life 4K HDR footage for the first time in a Sony APS-C mirrorless camera. 

Additionally, S-Log2 and S-Log3 color grading options are offered, as well as Zebra functionality, Gamma Display Assist, and proxy recording. 

The camera can also record Full HD at 120 frames per second at up to 100 megabits per second, allowing footage to be watched and eventually converted into 4x or 5x slow-motion video files with AF tracking in Full HD definition.

Quick Review: The Sony a6400 is the best pick for you if you want to increase your video and live streaming skills on a budget that everybody can afford. 

You can live stream with clean HDMI, run continually on a fake battery so you never have to worry about a battery dying midway through a shot, especially during a live broadcast, and capture high-quality video, ideally 4k recording, and photos. 

This camera met all of my requirements, and I’m quite pleased with it.

Fujifilm X-T4

7 Best Mirrorless Cameras To Consider Buying For Independent Filmmaking - 2021

The X-T4 is already a fantastic still camera, but Fuji went above and beyond with it. Internal DCI/UHD 4K recording at up to 60 fps and Full HD recording at up to 240 fps for extreme slow-motion playback are among the video features of the X-T4. 

The X-Processor 4’s speed improves overall video performance by allowing quick read speeds when recording video and reducing rolling shutter distortion when filming moving subjects. A micro-HDMI connector also allows for 10-bit 4:2:2 recording to an external recorder.

The X-T4 has the F-Log gamma setting, which gives a flat image for use in advanced color grading applications during editing, in addition to the supporting 10-bit color depth. This increases the dynamic range of tough scenes, and image modifications such as highlight tone, shadow tone, color, and sharpness can be applied. 

For more advanced audio options, the camera has a 3.5mm microphone jack and a 2.5mm remote port with an integrated headphone adaptor.

Anything you take with this camera, whether it’s images or video, will exude creativity and character.” I don’t even feel like changing the colors that come out of this camera because they’re so good. 

I can’t express how much having F-Log as a creative option has eased my workflow. You may put even 4k120fps A7SIII footage to shame once you shoot 1080p at 240fps with FUJI colors. 

It doesn’t get any better than this: DCI, 4K 60fps, support for external recorders like the Atmos Ninja for infinite 10bit 4:2:2, IBIS. 

Simply get it; you will be glad you did.

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Sony Alpha a7S III

7 Best Mirrorless Cameras To Consider Buying For Independent Filmmaking - 2021

The Sony Alpha a7S III increases the standard for what a full-frame mirrorless camera can do with enhanced video, sensitivity, and speed. 

A revamped 12.1MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and enhanced BIONZ XR image processor, as well as UHD 4K 120p video recording and internal 10-bit 4:2:2 sampling, provide faster performance, improved noise reduction, and a broader dynamic range. 

The a7S III’s main application is video, and improvements to the sensor and processor allow for faster readout speeds and reduced rolling shutter, as well as high-bitrate internal recording, 16-bit raw output via the full-size HDMI port, and flexible motion control with variable frame rate selection.

In addition, the a7S III eliminates recording time constraints and has HLG for direct HDR production as well as S-Log2/S-Log3 gamma profiles for advanced HDR production with editing. 

Customer feedback: “After many years in the RED ecosystem, I’m now working with the Sony Alpha a7s III in the mirrorless realm. 

It’s incredible – it checks a lot of boxes. Check that the rolling shutter is in good working order. Check for dynamic range. Check. Autofocus is excellent. Check for RAW. Check for a simple menu. It’s insane how dark it gets when you’re shooting in low light. Check. Ibis. 

For the greatest results in low light, you’ll want to shoot at 12,800 ISO (or above).”

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K

7 Best Mirrorless Cameras To Consider Buying For Independent Filmmaking - 2021

With the Super 35 sensor Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, Blackmagic Design raises the bar in tiny cine-style capture. Not only can the BMPCC 6K capture video at up to 50 frames per second at 6144 x 3456 resolution, but it also has an active Canon EF mount, allowing users to make use of the vast selection of EF/EF-S–mount lenses available. 

Record using the internal CFast 2.0 and SD/UHS-II card slots, or output lengthier clips to an external disc via the USB-C connector. The BMPCC 6K comes with a DaVinci Resolve Studio license and can collect raw data from the sensor using Blackmagic Raw.

There is no other camera in this price range that can match the capabilities of this highly rated mirrorless camera. 6K BRAW is incredible! Shooting is a lot easier with the smaller form factor (I used to shoot on a C100.) 

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera comes with an incredible number of attachments, and I believe that if you invest in a good adaptable rig, you will have a fantastic filmmaking camera.

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S5

7 Best Mirrorless Cameras To Consider Buying For Independent Filmmaking - 2021

The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 is a well-rounded, lightweight, and elegant camera that combines capable video and photo capabilities with a portable body design. 

The S5 is differentiated by its full-frame 24.2MP CMOS sensor, UHD 4K60 10-bit internal recording, Dual Native ISO, and large 14+-stop dynamic range. With 7 fps continuous shooting, ISO 100-51200 native range, and even a 96MP High-Res Shot mode, it can handle a wide range of stills applications. 

The S5 maintains a rapid and accurate 225-area DFD autofocus technology with enhanced subject tracking, as well as 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization to eliminate the impression of camera wobble, whether dealing with photo or video.

Customer review: “With all the great cameras released in 2020, I stuck with Panasonic for these reasons. 

FYII rack focus and don’t rely on auto-focus, this has improved over the GH5 but AF doesn’t compare to Sony or Canon camera. 

(Not in order) 

  1. Price & footage. Nothing comes close at this price range to achieve the photos/video quality. 
  2. Their Menu is user-friendly so I can focus on shooting, instead of figuring out where that setting is to change something. 
  3. The Image Stabilization, nothing comes close yet. I’ve found myself not using my gimble. 
  4. I can use this as a B camera on film sets. You can load LUTS (works perfect with Pansonic cinema cameras), Anamorphic video, V-log, V-Gamet, 4k RAW, Vector scopes, etc. 
  5. The Timelapse mode: Avoid Flicker, Timelapse video in S&Q mode, resolution, low light, etc. 
  6. Lowlight shooting, Sony is still king but Panasonic is a formattable opponent. 
  7. S&G mode, I can easily switch the dial to slow or fast mode for B roll footage, etc. There is a crop but I usually cut to a close-up in slow-mo so it’s not a problem for me.”

Nikon Z7/Z7 II

7 Best Mirrorless Cameras To Consider Buying For Independent Filmmaking - 2021

Utilizing the sensor and processor attributes for more than just still imagery, the Nikon Z 7II is also a more-than-capable multimedia camera. UHD 4K video recording is possible up to 60p and Full HD 1080p video recording is also supported at up to 120p for slow-motion playback. 

Video files can be saved to the in-camera memory cards or as an uncompressed file to an optional external recorder via HDMI out. Advanced video functionalities have been added with the Z 7II, including the N-Log gamma for capturing flat-looking footage that maximizes dynamic range and HLG (HDR) for recording HDR-ready footage. 

The ability to export high-quality 10-bit data over HDMI and an Electronic VR mode for smooth handheld photography are also new features. Focus Peaking can be used to aid manual focus control, while Zebra Stripes can be used to identify overexposed areas inside the frame. 

The built-in stereo microphone can be used for audio recording, or an optional external mic can be attached via the 3.5mm stereo connection for better quality control, and live monitoring is accessible via the headphone jack. 

“I loved the Z7, but I’m having a lot of fun with the Z7 II now.” Low-light shots are fantastic, and the ease of use and custom settings have been elevated to new heights.”

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Canon EOS R5

7 Best Mirrorless Cameras To Consider Buying For Independent Filmmaking - 2021

Benefitting more than just stills, the 45MP full-frame sensor also enables impressively high-resolution DCI 8K 30 fps raw video recording internally along with 4K recording up to 120 fps in 4:2:2 10-bit with Canon Log. 

HDR-PQ recording is possible, too, in-camera HDR production and external recording, via the HDMI port supports a clean 4K output at up to 60 fps

Both All-I and IPB compression options are available, along with the ability to use Dual Pixel CMOS AF when shooting at up to 8K raw.

“I was quite hesitant to switch from the Canon 5Ds to the R5. I wasn’t a fan of mirrorless cameras and believed the Sony was too small, unintuitive, and untrustworthy in all settings.” But that’s the way things are going in the globe. So, to stay current with technology, I made the switch. I’m ecstatic that I did. I simply want to use this camera for photography. 

It’s larger than the Sony A7 series mirrorless yet still has some weight to it in low light. The user interface is excellent, as is the case with all Canon products. I haven’t tried tethering with it yet, but I’m sure it’ll be just as wonderful! Thank you, Canon, for destroying the new camera!”

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About the author: Trent (IMDB Youtubehas spent 10+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. He writes about his experiences to help (and amuse) others. If he’s not working, he’s either traveling, reading or writing about travel/film, or planning travel/film projects.

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