With the endless hype surrounding the amazing features of every new camera, it’s easy to forget that there are plenty of incredible tools available for those on a tight budget. Cinematographer Caleb Pike has put together a list of 10 cameras that are great for video but cost less than $300.
Pike’s criteria are pretty simple: all of the cameras must be off the shelf and not discounted, and must shoot a minimum of 1080p at 24 fps. On the subject of 24 fps, notably, Canon decided to remove it from their latest full-frame offering, the EOS RP, preferring to give users only the option of 30 fps. Given that 24 fps is preferred by many filmmakers for giving footage a more cinematic feel, this was an odd choice by Canon, but is one of the basic requirements for Pike when compiling his list of recommendations. If you watch very carefully, you might spot Pike’s reference to Canon’s curious decision.
Obviously, in this price range, there are going to be some serious compromises, even if the 1080p is still going to be more than adequate for uploading in HD to YouTube (with the possible exception of the Canon T2i). Depending on what you choose and how much you want to spend, missing features might include a microphone input, a headphone jack, HDMI output, and in-body stabilization. Despite the age and the low price, some of these models offer zebras for checking your highlights and focus peaking for helping you to keep footage sharp.
Interestingly, there are four Sony cameras featured, all of which are quite similar admittedly, and only two Canon options. What’s missing from Pike’s list?