best camera under 1000
Production & Filmmaking
November 01, 2021

The Best Cameras Under $1,000 for Video Creators

By Jessica Peterson 8 min read

Highlights

  • Choosing a 4K video camera under $1,000 doesn’t have to be hard
  • Pay attention to size, resolution, stabilization, and price with our guide
  • Consider an action cam or a gimbal stabilizer if you already have the latest Android or iPhone

If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, there’s no reason you can’t get up and running with a cheap DSLR camera. However, cheap doesn’t mean lacking in features! Choosing your first camera is momentous and you will want to take into consideration the best types of video cameras and cinema cameras, depending on your budget. In the following article, we will show you the best cameras under 1000 at least 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second and 4K at 30fps.

Technology changes rapidly and that means three things: 1) You need to stay up to date with the Artlist blog for the latest camera recommendations, 2) Well-maintained beginner video cameras can be traded or sold in the marketplace to offset the cost of the next, bigger and better camera, and 3) Don’t worry about getting every single feature available on your first purchase; focus on the essentials such as resolution, stabilization, and price, just like we advised with our list of the best point and shoot cameras. So read on to our list of the best video cameras!

Best mirrorless cameras under $1,000

Since the launch of the first mirrorless camera in 2008, the market has been glutted with options and for good reason. There will always be a debate over mirrorless vs. DSLR (and we’ve talked a lot about the best DSLRs), but with mirrorless cameras, it’s easy to find a good mix of quality and affordability in a lightweight package. Here are the best mirrorless cameras under 1000.

Panasonic LUMIX G85 4K Digital Camera

panasonic lumix g85 camera under 1000

image via https://shop.panasonic.com/ 

 

Panasonic LUMIX G85 4K is another mirrorless camera that at $998 delivers a 16-megapixel micro four-thirds sensor and dual image stabilization. With an in-body 5 axis dual image stabilization, your 4K video will be smooth and crisp. Record up to 30fps in 4K and 60fps at 1080p. The LCD flip-screen display is great for vlogging. The G85 is weather-sealed and heavy-duty with great ergonomics for $998 making it one of the best mirrorless cameras under $1000,

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 III

sony video camera under 1000

Image via https://electronics.sony.com/ 

 

The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 III has long been up there as possibly the best mirrorless camera under 1000. It offers 20.1MP (effective) image quality, a dazzling ZEISS lens, and is super compact. The 24-200mm zoom lens is has a 0.02-sec. super-fast AF, Real-time Tracking, Real-time Eye AF, plus enhanced image stabilization and an external microphone jack. This Sony compact camera has a 2.9x optical zoom to get those faraway subjects close up and a 180-degree tiltable LCD screen perfect for self-filming. With the RX100 III, you get a large image sensor and bright lens—perfect for low-light, which is one of Sony’s hallmarks in most series. The flip-up LCD screen makes self-portraits a breeze and is known as one of the best vlogging point-and-shoot cameras. 

Fujifilm X-E4

fujifilm camera under 1000

Image via https://fujifilm-x.com/ 

 

Sure, the Fujifilm X-E4 has that slick, vintage body, but what’s inside? It has a tiltable LCD monitor that rotates 180-degrees and shoots 4:2:2 10-bit color at 4K/30fps. At less than 33mm thick and the flat design makes it easy to slide into a purse or jacket pocket. The top cover is constructed of magnesium alloy improving its durability and robustness while keeping it lightweight. Need to be incognito while you film? This is your camera at $849 and one of the best budget cameras for YouTube.

Sony ZV-1

Image via https://electronics.sony.com/ 

 

Rivaling its more pricey a6600, the Sony ZV-1 is only $698 has lots of improved features including a flip-out screen, built-in ND filter, and less rolling shutter than predecessors. The Sony ZV-1 also boasts increased autofocus and object tracking. So while more expensive slo-mo cams deliver smoother slo-mo 4k footage, the ZV-1 is an intermediate-level camera that shoots up to 119.88fps in 1080p. 

Best action cams under $1,000

Need to save even more on your first camera? It’s no surprise the best budget video cameras are action cams. The first GoPro HERO came out in 2004 and since then they’re just getting smarter and more feature-packed to compete with the bigger guys. Here are our picks for the best cameras under 1000.

GoPro HERO10 Black

gopro hero10 action camera under 1000

Image via https://gopro.com 

 

GoPro is calling the HERO10 Black “a new era of GoPro” and it is. It has a brand new front display that gives users a live preview for easy framing, 5.3K video resolution and a big rear touchscreen touch zoom for fast, intuitive control. It also has powerful new features like HindSight, livestreaming and Webcam modes and a new chip that gives it double performance. On top of all that, the HERO10 Black has increased battery life and waterproofness and HyperSmooth 4.0, built-in mounting, and will cost you $500.

DJI Pocket 2

dji pocket 2 action cam under 1000

Image via https://www.dji.com 

 

Much improved since DJI released the Osmo, the DJI Pocket 2 is a close second to GoPro as one of the best budget cameras for YouTube and costs only $349! This model 2 has double the frame rate of its predecessor to reach UHD 3840 x 2160p at up to 60fps in H. 264/AVC, MPEG-4 100Mb/s. On top of all that, it has a wider 20mm lens, improved AF and a larger sensor.

DJI OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer

dji om 5 gimbal

Image via https://www.dji.com 

 

Have the latest Samsung or iPhone? Then the DJI OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer might be your best choice at only $159. It’s the easiest gateway into vlogging and livestreaming. The three-axis stabilizer, known as a gimbal, is lightweight, easy to hold and operate and will give you buttery smooth movement for filming on the go. The Osmo has decent auto-tracking and allows for filming vertical or horizontal. The best part is that you don’t have to learn a more complicated DSLR. Simply point and press record. 

Wrap up

Now that you know the best cameras under $1,000, you realize you don’t need the latest 6K camera to create great video whether you're telling stories or shooting action sports. Stay tuned for even more info about the best cameras for YouTube beginners. And remember, the most important thing is to start shooting, so get out there with your new camera and start rolling!


About Jessica

Jessica Peterson is a travel and documentary filmmaker with a background in journalism and marketing. She has 20 years of experience producing content in 114 cities and 25 countries. In 2016, she directed and produced her own documentary about her then-home of Guam. Working under the name Global Girl Travels, her clients include CNN, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Matador Network, and Tastemade.

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