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Buying a camera is probably the most important step on the road to becoming a videographer. If your dream project happens to be a shooting a music video or diving into other forms of videography, you’ll need the right equipment.
One option is shooting a music video on your smartphone. iPhone 13, Google Pixel 6 and Samsung Galaxy S22 and other phones have amazing cameras that are exceptional enough to create video content, but there’s nothing like investing in a point-and-shoot camera.
Between the cost of cameras, microphones, lighting and other equipment and potential location fees, shooting an indie music video can get expensive. For those on a tight budget, we rounded up a handful of DSLR and mirrorless cameras that range from $500 to $1,500. Below, find the list cameras from Nikon, Blackmagic, Cannon and more.
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is the most affordable camera on our list. Designed for photography/videography and great option for beginners, this sleek little camera is equipped with a 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and a wide ISO range of 100-6400 that helps you capture high-quality images — even in low light. It also records Full HD video and features built-in Wi-Fi with NFC technology and optimal viewfinder. Another good thing about this camera: You can find it at Amazon, Walmart and other major retailers in addition to Cannon.
Buy: $479 at Cannon.com.
Nikon’s D3500 is another easy to use device that’s great for newcomers. This 24.2 megapixel camera produces great photos and vibrant video footage in 1080p/60p Full HD. The DX format camera captures up to 5 fps (frames per second) at full resolution and has an image sensor much larger than those typically used in smartphones. Nikon D3500 also has zoom capabilities and Bluetooth (use the SnapBridge app to pair the device to your smartphone or tablet for seamless content transfer). The camera is available at Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and the Nikon website.
Buy: $553.21 at Amazon.com.
Also good for newbies: Panasonic Lumix G95 gets great reviews because it captures awesome photos and great video. The 20.3 MP Digital Live MOS sensor camera has advanced technologies for photo and video, which includes unlimited recording time in 4K 30p and high-speed recording capabilities at 60, 90, and 120fps. The camera also has pre-installed V-Log L featuring log characteristics and 12 stops of dynamic range (for maximum editing freedom). There’s also a microphone/headphone jack for external sound capture and monitoring. If you’re looking for a cheaper Panasonic model, this Lumix DC-ZS200 (20.1 MP) mirrorless camera is on sale at B&H Photo for $647.99.
Buy: $797.99 at Amazon.com.
A step above its predecessor, the Blackmagic Pocket 6K is a versatile, handheld digital cinema camera that captures and records in multiple resolutions up to 6K. It’s equipped with a Super 35 size sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range, exceptional low-light performance and dual native ISO technology up to 25,600 to capture 50 fps, 6144 x 3456 video. A large 5-inch, LCD touch screen makes it easy to frame shots, focus and adjust camera settings. There’s also an EF lens mount, built-in microphones, XLR input, full-sized HDMI, Bluetooth and more.
Buy: $1,995 at B&HPhoto.com.
Sony’s a6500 mirrorless digital camera with 4K movie recording. The camera has a 24.2 MP Exmor CMOS sensor, in-camera 5-axis optical image stabilization and enhanced AF features, including intuitive and immediate touchscreen AF operation alongside pro video capabilities such as full pixel readout, no pixel binning and 2.4x oversampling with S-Log3/S-Log2, S-Gamut and gamma assist.
Buy: $1,384.65 at Amazon.com.