Best Camera for Documentary of 2024

Best Camera for Documentary

Creating films or documentaries has been a lifelong dream for many aspiring directors. Whether it’s a personal story or a compelling true event, capturing these visions requires the right equipment.

As passionate film enthusiasts, we’re excited to share our top camera picks for filmmaking and documentaries. With the right gear, you can pursue your passion and share your unique voice with the world.

So, grab your clapperboard and join us as we explore our favorite cameras for aspiring filmmakers. Who knows? You might just be on your way to joining the ranks of Spielberg and turning your dreams into reality.

Top pick

Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4

Editor’s choice

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K


Best value



Among the countless cameras available, we believe the Fujifilm X-T4 stands out as the best choice for filmmaking. Take a look at our comparison table below and see which camera suits your needs best.

1. Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4

While full-frame sensor cameras often attract the masses, the Fujifilm X-T4 stands out as a fantastic option for filmmakers, challenging many to rethink their preferences. Its lightweight and compact design make it less cumbersome than full-frame models, while still delivering exceptional performance.

The X-T4 excels in both videography and photography. Key features include 5-axis IBIS, a flip-out touchscreen, and the capability to shoot 10-bit 4K footage at up to 60fps, or even 240fps in Full HD. This versatility makes it ideal for those serious about embarking on a filmmaking journey. The autofocus system can track both eyes and faces, though its performance varies depending on the lens used. Overall, the X-T4 is an excellent choice for both filmmakers and photographers.


  • Great battery life
  • Excellent APS-C sensor


  • No headphone jack
  • Handgrip might be a little small

2. Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Despite its unassuming design, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K offers pro-level performance at an affordable price. While it lacks modern conveniences like IBIS, a viewfinder, or tracking autofocus, it more than compensates with features that cater to amateur filmmakers.

The camera boasts a variety of connectivity options, including HDMI, mini-XLR, and a DC power connection. It features a large 16:9 touchscreen, though it does not articulate or tilt. The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K allows for shooting in ProRes or raw footage across a wide range of resolutions and frame rates, making it a versatile tool for serious filmmakers and documentarians.

While it has its drawbacks, such as the non-articulating screen and limited features, the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K from Blackmagic strikes an excellent balance between price and performance. Its compact and lightweight design makes it a convenient choice for filmmakers on the go.


  • Great price
  • Small and light design


  • The screen doesn’t articulate
  • Light on features



The Panasonic Lumix S1H is the smallest and most affordable camera approved by Netflix for original productions. This powerful full-frame model is crafted for creators with high standards. While it might not match other options on our list in frame rate, the S1H excels in resolution, recording 6K at 24fps and 4K at 60fps, delivering remarkable detail.

The S1H offers 14 stops of dynamic range using Panasonic’s V-Log or V-Gamut picture profiles, and its AII-I mode delivers an impressive 400Mbps bitrate. Its large sensor size and Dual Native ISO ensure excellent low-light performance, and the robust IBIS system maintains stability. Despite its bulkier build, the S1H’s features make it a standout choice for filmmakers aiming for high-quality results.

If you aspire to see your work on Netflix, the Lumix S1H from Panasonic is an excellent starting point, providing the tools necessary to create professional-grade films.


  • Great low-light performance
  • Good IBIS


  • The build is a bit bulky
  • No raw video capture

4. Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5

The Canon EOS R5, equipped with a 45MP full-frame sensor, excellent autofocus, IBIS, and impressive battery life, ticks many boxes for filmmakers. It offers high-end video options, including 8K ALL-I or RAW, 4K at 120fps, and 10-bit 4K HEVC, making it an appealing choice for directors starting their next film or documentary.

However, it’s not without its drawbacks. To utilize the camera’s advanced video features, a CFexpress card is required, which can be quite expensive. Additionally, using intensive recording modes may cause the camera to overheat. This overheating can limit your recording time and necessitate lengthy cool-down periods.

Despite these issues, the Canon EOS R5 remains a powerful tool for filmmakers seeking top-tier performance.


  • Incredible autofocus
  • High-quality IBIS


  • Very expensive
  • Overheating limits recording time

5. GoPro HERO9 Black

GoPro HERO9 Black

If you’ve ever watched the X Games or any extreme sports event, you’ve likely seen a GoPro in action. Known for their compact and highly portable design, GoPro cameras are a fantastic option for filmmakers, and the GoPro Hero 9 Black is no exception.

The Hero 9 Black, GoPro’s flagship model, records in 4K and 5K at 60fps and 30fps, respectively. Its HyperSmooth Boost image stabilization excels at leveling and smoothing out footage, ensuring high-quality results even in action-packed scenes. While it’s tailored for a specific niche, the GoPro Hero 9 Black provides a unique and versatile way to capture the perfect shot.


  • Waterproof and compact design
  • Option for 5K video


  • Not the most cinematic footage


Becoming the next big director in film or documentary making requires many elements to align perfectly. One crucial component is having the right camera. Without it, audiences won’t be able to fully experience and immerse themselves in your vision.

Our list of the 5 Best Cameras for Filmmaking and Documentaries is designed to give you a head start on your journey to that potential Oscar statue.

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