Best Camera For Documentary Filmmaking 2021

Documentary films showed their presence since the dawn of movies. Documentaries cover various topics and are a great way to show the true side of something. Filmmaking cameras play a great role in making a documentary film and in order to create a great documentary one absolutely needs the best camera for documentary filmmaking.

Documentaries fascinate everyone with their creation on various topics like documentaries on great personalities, history, incidents, etc and it is highly popular among all age groups and to maintain top position in such a competitive field you will need the best presentation of your content and for that, you will require the best camera for documentary filmmaking.

We have selected the best camera for documentary filmmaking for you. We selected them on the basis of their video quality, recording hours, ease of use, the capability of working in different environments, and many other factors that a camera must have to make a great documentary.

Our top picks of best camera for documentary filmmaking

S. NoImageProductCurrent Price
1Panasonic lumix GH-5Panasonic lumix GH 5 View On Amazon
2Black magic pocket camera 4kBlack magic pocket camera 4k View On Amazon
3Canon Eos c100Canon Eos c100 View On Amazon
4Panasonic HC-X1000Panasonic HC-X1000 View On Amazon
5Sony Pxw-Fs7Sony Pxw-Fs7 View On Amazon
6Canon XF 100Canon XF 100 View On Amazon
7Sony A6440Sony A6400 View On Amazon
8Nikon Z50Nikon Z50 View On Amazon
9Blackmagic USRA mini proBlackmagic USRA mini pro View On Amazon

1. Panasonic lumix GH 5

Panasonic lumix GH 5

One of the best camera for documentary filmmaking is the Panasonic GH 5.

The Panasonic Lumix GH 5 shares many of the capabilities of the other Panasonic cameras and Professional Camcorders, the GH 5 offers some exciting new features of its own. The GH5  is lightweight and extremely compact and is geared for a wide range of features.

As it is lightweight and extremely compact in size, it stands a very handy and portable, which is unarguably perfect while running after subjects while film making. Do not worry about the shakiness you would have done while filming your subjects at a fast pace. It also has an impressive stabilization technology, so shaky hands or moving subjects as well are not a big deal with these cameras.

Moreover, high image quality, extreme portability, and efficient workflow of the camera make it one of the best cameras for documentary filming. Further specifications are mentioned below.

Panasonic lumix GH 5 -
  • Type of camera: Mirrorless
  • Still resolution: 20 Megapixels
  • Video resolution: 4k Ultra HD at 60 FPS, Full HD at 120 FPS
  • ISO range: 200 to 25600
  • Sensor size: Live MOS Sensor
  • Display: 3.2″ 1,620k dots TFT LCD monitor with static touch
  • Viewfinder: Available
  • Built-in microphone(s): Stereo
  • Battery life: Up to 120 min approx.
  • Connectivity: WiFi, USB, NFC, HDMI

Product descriptions-

ManufacturerPanasonic
Model noDC-GH5KBODY Ritz Camera
Dimensions5.5 x 3.9 x 3.4 inches
Weight9.78 pounds
Pros
  • Dual SD cards.
  • The punch-in focus assist using joystick works amazingly well.
  • The camera gives you an accurate preview of the final image.
  • The ergonomics and handling are pretty good.
  • The EVF is large and bright.
  • The camera is able to autofocus even in very dim light.
  • Good battery life.
  • External headphone and mic jacks.
Cons
  • The area AF mode not as quick as video mode.
  • No built-in flash.
  • Menus are a bit challenging in terms of ease.
  • The buffer-clearing could be faster.
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2. Black magic pocket camera 4k Best camera for documentary filmmaking

Best camera for documentary filmmaking

Another strong candidate for the list of the best camera for documentary filmmaking is the Black magic pocket camera 4k.

We are making it clear before that this one might be so pricey as it also gives a professional quality performance in making videos. Black magic pocket camera is a 4K camera said to be a Cinema Camera and it is so. The magic pocket camera brings an expanded control set and increased functionality.

This camera is overall one of the best camcorders and it is incomparable in its price range and with long-lasting battery life it had been included in this list of best cameras for documentary filming

Black magic pocket camera 4k -
  • Type of camera: Mirrorless
  • Still resolution: 21.2 Megapixels
  • Video resolution: 4k Ultra HD at 60 FPS, Full HD at 120 FPS
  • ISO range: 400 to 25600
  • Sensor size: 18.96 x 10 mm CMOS sensor
  • Display: 5″ 1920×1080 LCD touch screen display
  • Viewfinder: Available
  • Built-in microphone(s): Stereo
  • Battery life: Up to 40 minutes of video recording
  • Connectivity: WiFi, USB, NFC, HDMI

Product descriptions-

ManufacturerBlackmagic
Model noCINECAMPOCHDMFT4K
Dimensions7.01 x 3.37 x 3.78 inches
Weight1.53 pounds
Pros
  • The User Interface (UI) is incredible.
  • Intuitive menu system.
  • High-quality 6k footage with excellent grades.
  • The quality of the output has a good balance with the file size.
  • The metadata handling is tight.
Cons
  • The camera has a lack of sensor stabilization.
  • EVF missing.
  • The touchscreen is fixed.
  • No continuos autofocus.
  • No flip-out screen.
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3. Canon Eos c100

Best camera for documentary filmmaking

It has a Super 35mm CMOS Sensor which gives you extra stability during taking photos and videos. It can record 4K Ultra HD videos with 1920×1080 quality 60/50i, 23.98/25p

This Canon camera has XF AVC H.264 Codec EF Lens Mount with Dual Pixel CMOS AF Technology and Rotating 4″ LCD Monitor for extra focusing on your subject without getting distracted.

It has 2 x 3G-SDI Output, 2x XLR Inputs 2 x CFast Card Slots for using SD cards for your storage.

Canon Eos c100 -
  • Type of camera: Mirrorless
  • Still resolution: 21.2 Megapixels
  • Video resolution: 4k Ultra HD at 60 FPS, Full HD at 120 FPS
  • ISO range: 320 to 102,400
  • Sensor size: Super35 CMOS sensor
  • Display: 3.45″ 1.23 million dot organic LCD display
  • Viewfinder: Available
  • Built-in microphone(s): Stereo
  • Battery life: Up to 275 minutes of video recording
  • Connectivity: WiFi, USB Mini-B, HDMI

Product descriptions-

ManufacturerCanon
Model noC100DP
Dimensions9.3 x 5.6 x 11.1 inches
Weight2.2 pounds
Pros
  • Excellent image quality and amazing low-light perfromance.
  • The camera is compatible with Canon EF lenses.
  • The camera has built-in neutral density filters.
  • Produce sharper images.
  • Dual SD card slot.
  • Gives better and more accurate colors and tones.
  • Battery life is longer.
  • To prevent overheating the camera has a built-in fan.
Cons
  • The camera requires extra attachment for shoulder use.
  • Lacks 50p, 60p or high-speed shooting.
  • Lacks slow-mo.
  • The camera cannot take still images.
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4. Panasonic HC-X1000

Panasonic HC-X1000

Making it to the list of best camera for documentary filmmaking is the Panasonic HC-X1000.

You can use the widest lens mount of any comparable camera system with the Panasonic HC gx 1000 mirrorless camera. It has a 20.9-megapixel image sensor and it has a high ISO of 51200 for super clean, noise-free videos in a low light environment. The HC – X1000 captures more light, meaning more of everything good—sharpness, contrast, low light performance, and overall image quality. The HC- x1000 has also featured a fast autofocus capability.

The Panasonic Hc- X1000 being amazingly small-sized and fully packer packed with all the major features you would need in a mirrorless camera. Further specifications of this camera are mentioned below.

Panasonic HC-X1000 -
  • Type of camera: Camcorder
  • Video resolution: 4k Ultra HD at 60 FPS, Full HD at 120 FPS
  • ISO range: Not mentioned
  • Sensor size: 1/2.3″ MOS Sensor
  • Display: 3.5″ 1,152k dots Wide LCD monitor
  • Viewfinder: Available
  • Built-in microphone(s): Stereo
  • Battery life: Up to 240 minutes of video recording
  • Connectivity: USB, HDMI, AV interface, Wi-Fi, NFC

Product descriptions-

ManufacturerPanasonic
Model noHC-X1000-K
Dimensions12.4 x 6.3 x 6.69 inches
Weight3.41 pounds
Pros
  • Compact and light design.
  • 4k ultra HD shooting at 60fps.
  • Provides plenty of manual controls.
  • Two 64 GB SD cards
  • Touchscreen bright enough for shooting outdoors.
Cons
  • Small sensor.
  • The build quality is average.
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5. Sony Pxw-Fs7

Sony Pxw-Fs7

Another stunning and best camera for documentary filmmaking is the Sony Pxw-Fs7.

This one is old and yet one of the very first camcorders with the capability of recording in 4k resolution and it is worth mentioning for the list of best cameras for documentary filming.

While this one would eat a lot of storage space while capturing at its highest resolution and frame rates, with two slots for XQD cards, it will not be such a big deal when you are getting a super fine and cinematic look to your footages.

Another thing we would like to mention about this camcorder is that it has tons of connectivity. Besides mic and headphone jacks, it features 2 SDI and an HDMI out, XLR, and a mini remote jack and how we cannot mention USB.

Sony Pxw-Fs7 -
  • Type of camera: Camcorder
  • Video resolution: 4k Ultra HD at 60 FPS, Full HD at 120 FPS
  • ISO range: 320 to 102,400
  • Sensor size: Super35 CMOS sensor
  • Display: 3.45″ 1560k pixels LCD display
  • Viewfinder: Available
  • Built-in microphone(s): Stereo
  • Battery life: Up to 1 hour of 4k video recording
  • Connectivity: WiFi, USB, HDMI

Product descriptions-

ManufacturerSony
Model noPXWFS7
Dimensions15.69 x 13.5 x 12.38 inches
Weight12 pounds
Pros
  • The camera records from 1-180 frames per second (fps)
  • Has excellent ergonomics.
  • Internal 4kk recording with a 35mm sensor.
  • Slow-mo.
  • Internal 10 bits.
Cons
  • Cheaper eyepiece adapter.
  • Cheap plastic mounted LCD monitor.
  • Poor menu design and functionality.
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6. Canon XF 100

Best camera for documentary filmmaking

Canon XF 100 is great and even the best camera for documentary filmmaking.

This camera is incredibly compact in size, it is lightweight you can bring this camera anywhere you want. It has features of a Pro video camera.

The MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps Codec (Canon XF Codec) feature gives you more compatibility. It has a MXF file wrapper where you can wrap video and audio files in a single file with other data.

Also it has 4:2:2 color sampling by which it can give twice the color resolution. It has 10x HD lens it provides you the flexibility of capturing photos and videos in a zoom range even.

And, it has a 1920 x 1080 CMOS Image Sensor for capturing HD videos in compressed noise yeah it will compress nearby noise just to give you more specificities to your videos.

Moreover, it has features of multiple Bit Rate, Resolution, frame rate for precise photos, and videos. It has a DIGIC DV III Image Processor which will upgrade your photos and videos by upgrading their picture settings.

Canon XF 100 -
  • Type of camera: Camcorder
  • Video resolution: 4k Ultra HD at 60 FPS, Full HD at 120 FPS
  • ISO range: Not mentioned
  • Sensor size: ⅓” CMOS sensor
  • Display: 3.5″ 920k pixels LCD display
  • Viewfinder: Available
  • Built-in microphone(s): Stereo
  • Battery life: Up to 800 minuted approx.
  • Connectivity: USB, HDMI, Audio-Video

Product descriptions-

ManufacturerCanon
Model no4888B001
Dimensions9.84 x 4.76 x 5.83 inches
Weight2.25 pounds
Pros
  • The camera is lightweight and compact.
  • Amazing stabilization technology.
  • 10x HD video lens.
  • Slow and fast motion settings.
  • 1920 X 1080 CMOS sensor.
Cons
  • Footage can’t be natively used in iMovie and Quicktime.
  • Auto mode is not so impressive.
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7. Sony A6400

 Sony A6440

Here’s another best camera for documentary filmmaking.

This camera has  20.1MP with Exmor RS CMOS sensor  DRAM, a large aperture for capturing a wide range of pictures it has 24-70mm1 F1.8-2.8 ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens help you to focus on your subject very precisely.

It has wide 425 Phase contrast-detection points over most parts of the sensor just to provide you more enhanced photos and videos.

Also, this camera is so Fast & accurate because of its  11Fps continuous shooting at 24.2 MP raw with crystal clear colors.

Moreover, you can capture time-lapse videos with slow or quick motion videos. It has a Tiltable LCD screen which will help you to customize your settings for recording a documentary film. And it has a rechargeable battery (NP FW50) AC adapter with a micro USB cable

Sony A6400 -
  • Type of camera: Mirrorless
  • Still resolution: 24.2
  • Video resolution: 4k Ultra HD at 60 FPS
  • ISO range: 100-102400
  • Sensor size: APS-C type Exmor® CMOS sensor
  • Display: 3.5″ 921k dots wide LCD display
  • Viewfinder: Available
  • Built-in microphone(s): Stereo
  • Battery life: Up to 90 minutes of continuous video recording
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth

Product descriptions-

ManufacturerSony
Model noILCE6400/B
Dimensions6.1 x 5.6 x 4.5 inches
Weight1.35 pounds
Pros
  • Provides 4k video without a recording limit.
  • Autofocus is quick and accurate.
  • Built-in flash.
  • Built-in hot shoe.
  • Selfie LCD.
  • Compact.
  • 24 MP APS-C image sensor.
  • Large sharp EVF.
  • 11fps continuous drive.
Cons
  • External controls are limited.
  • External charger not included.
  • Battery life is limited.
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8. Nikon Z50

 Nikon Z50

This is one of the best camera for documentary filmmaking.

Nikon Z50 is so Compact in size lightweight you can carry anywhere very easily and it is durable also.

Also, it is the First DX-format mirrorless camera with a large 55-millimeter lens providing you a high photo and video quality even in low light conditions.

It has a 20.9 MP sensor which provides the feature of capturing 4K Ultra HD video. It has in-built Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connectivity you can easily connect with your smartphone.

Additionally, it has a flip-down touch LCD Screen, which is awesome for capturing videos of Self and helpful for documentary filming.

Moreover, it has NIKKOR Z lenses which is also compatible with F Mount NIKKOR Lenses but you have to buy  FTZ Mount Adapter for using that lens.

Nikon Z50 -
  • Type of camera: Mirrorless
  • Still resolution: 20.9-megapixel resolution
  • Video resolution: 4k Ultra HD at 29.9 FPS, Full HD at 59.9 FPS
  • ISO range: 100 to 204,800
  • Sensor size: APS- C CMOS sensor
  • Display: 3.2″ 1036.8k dots touchscreen LCD display
  • Viewfinder: Available
  • Built-in microphone(s): Stereo (Only jack for external mic only. No jack available for headphones.)
  • Battery life: Up to 90 minutes of continuous video recording in 4k
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth

Product descriptions-

ManufacturerNikon
Model no1633
Dimensions9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches
Weight14.4 ounces
Pros
  • Great ergonomics.
  • Great image quality.
  • Good dynamic range.
  • You can charge it via USB.
  • 4K video-11fps continuous shooting.
  • Compact size and handling.
  • Large 3.2-inch articulating touchscreen.
  • Amazing user interface.
Cons
  • The autofocus point selection is not optimal.
  • No built-in image stabilization.
  • 300-shot battery life.
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9. Blackmagic USRA mini pro– Best camera for documentary filmmaking

Best camera for documentary filmmaking

One of the best camera for documentary filmmaking is the Blackmagic USRA mini pro.

Blackmagic USRA mini pro camera is one of the world’s most advanced digital film camera and the best camera for documentary filming.

This camera has a 4.6K Super-35mm CMOS Sensor which is very excellent for capturing Ultra HD videos accurately there will be no room for mistakes.

It has 4608 x 2592 Video up to 60p at 12k Cinema DNG That means you can record your videos on Raw footage, and it has a super 35 12k sensor that has a native ISO of 800.

Additionally, this camera gives a full Set of External Controls which means you can adjust the settings manually according to you. Maybe at some point of view, it’s a disadvantage.

And,  you can capture videos at 4k up to 240ps and 8k up to 120fps and as I mentioned earlier you can capture even in 12k at 60fps. It has inbuilt ND Filters.

Blackmagic USRA mini pro -
  • Type of camera: Camcorder
  • Still resolution: 20.9-megapixel resolution
  • Video resolution: 4.6k Ultra HD at 29.9 FPS, Full HD at 59.9 FPS
  • ISO range: 100 to 204,800
  • Sensor size: Super-35 CMOS sensor
  • Display: 4″ 1920 x 1080 pixels large touchscreen LCD display
  • Viewfinder: Available
  • Built-in microphone(s): Stereo (Only jack for external mic only. No jack available for headphones.)
  • Battery life: Up to 3 hours in 4k
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C, Bluetooth, SDI

Product descriptions-

ManufacturerBlackmagic Design
Model noFBA_CINEURSAMUPRO46K
Dimensions8.2 x 8 x 5.8 inches
Weight5.1 pounds
Pros
  • Dual native ISO.
  • MFT (Micro Four Thirds Lenses) lenses.
  • Better option for shooting shoulder-mounted footage.
  • The menu is simple and easy to navigate and it’s very easy to find the settings.
  • Produce a very beautiful, a natural image with great color.
  • Exceptional slow-mo.
Cons
  • Autofocus takes a long time to lock in and focus.
  • No IBIS.
  • Heavy.
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Conclusion- Best camera for documentary filmmaking

It’s time to conclude our article on the best camera for documentary filmmaking. The cameras listed above are the best choices for filmmaking. We listed every feature and every details that are required for documentary filmmaking.

Now that you have gone through our article, for sure you have got your best camera for documentary filmmaking. So hurry up the world of documentary films awaits you and with your camera, you have unlocked infinite potential in great filmmaking.

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