top of page

Looking for a budget Cinema Camera?

Oh man - cinema cameras are FUN. They have awesome image quality, are built like tanks, allow for tons of customization, and are EXPENSIVE. What do you do if you're starting out in film, cinematography, or videography but you want the legit cinema camera experience? The short answer is to buy a used cinema camera! But which one? Here's a list of some of our recommendations for used cinema cameras that can still deliver a great image, and can help you grow! Indicated prices are approximations of what they are selling for at the time of writing this on eBay. You may be able to find these on other used sites like B&H Used Department, Adorama, Facebook Marketplace, and others.

1. Canon C100

Used Pricing: $700 - $1400 USD

Lens Mount: EF (supports EF-S lenses)

Sensor: Super35

Resolutions: Up to 1080p60

Pros: Includes top handle for audio, side grip for better handling - vast and inexpensive lens availability, great step up from a DSLR, good autofocus, built in ND filters

Cons: Mark 1 flip out screen is a little annoying to use, limited codec options, XLR inputs only on top handle, can still be purchased new for a ludicrous price - DO NOT BUY THIS NEW!

2. Sony FS100

Used Pricing: $500 - $1300 USD

Lens Mount: E-mount (non full frame)

Sensor: Super35

Resolutions: Up to 1080p60

Pros: Small form factor body, many manual controls on camera for easy access settings, great lens selection (both new and used) as well as easy adapting to other mounts, uncompressed 4:2:2 output over HDMI, cheap batteries available, articulating display with detachable eye loupe, adjustable side grip, XLR inputs on body

Cons: very boxy design - can be difficult to use in some scenarios, no internal ND filters, codec is limited to AVCHD internally, some of these issues are not present on this camera's bigger brother, the Sony FS700 - also a great cinema camera to get used

3. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Used Pricing: $900 - $1150 USD (new for $1295)

Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds

Sensor: 4/3"

Resolutions: Up to DCI 4K (4096x2160) RAW

Pros: Unmatched image quality, codec support, and resolutions for the price, incredible lens selection (both native and adapted), very easy to use touchscreen menu, flexible recording media, still a current-gen camera, compatibility with Blackmagic ATEM Mini switchers for live production, full-sized HDMI output, small form factor (DSLR-sized)

Cons: will likely require additional equipment to rig properly for best ease-of-use, battery life of internal battery is poor, display is fixed

4. Panasonic LUMIX GH4

Used Pricing: $400 - $650 USD

Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds

Sensor: 4/3"

Resolutions: Up to DCI 4K (4096x2160) 24p

Pros: Incredible bang-for-the-buck, was the camera that ignited the compact-mirrorless camera revolution, excellent image quality, vast lens compatibility, articulating touchscreen, cheap SD card media, includes a headphone jack

Cons: Battery life is not great, but replacement batteries are cheap, limited to compact-mirrorless form factor, settings are buried in menus, no image stabilization, autofocus is adequate but not great, limited to 3.5mm audio input, micro HDMI output connector - not a very reliable connector

(fun fact: we use 3 of this camera's little brother, the LUMIX G7 in our live broadcasts!)

11 views0 comments


bottom of page