If you’re searching for a 4K camera, you will probably find the choices available a little baffling. It used to be a headline feature only found on top-end models, but it’s now just about a basic spec on everything from top-of-the-line broadcast products all the way down to mobile phones.
However, it’s fair to say that just because a camera offers 4K features, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right model for you. There’s a lot more to good quality 4K video than just high image resolution, so you will also need to think about sensors, output formats, frame rates and so on.
Most mainstream models give you the opportunity to shoot 4K from a maximum of 30fps, but the higher-end ones can give you 60fps or faster for super-simple recording. If you’re planning to do some color correction, then you will also need a camera that supports log profiles.
There are other specifications to think about too – such as zebra patterning, while the range of add-ons that is compatible with your camera of choice is also an important consideration too. Throw all of this together and it becomes pretty obvious that not all 4K cameras are created equal.
So, with that in mind, if you don’t know where to begin, keep reading. We’ve brought collectively the best models you can buy, putting them all through a thorough screening to bring you our recommendations.
Panasonic has long been considered the brand of choice for filmmakers, but these days, the market is a little more varied. While Panasonic is still an excellent option, we’ve also got models here from other manufacturers including Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Fujifilm, Blackmagic and even Leica.
10 Best 4K Cameras in 2021
1. Sony NEW Alpha 7S III Full-frame Mirrorless Camera
4 used from $3,599.95
- 12.1MP1 Exmor R sensor, optimized for 4K, sensitivity and speed
- New BIONZ XR processing engine delivers 8x more processing power2
- Low noise images w/ ISO up to 409,6003 and 15+stop dynamic range4
- Up to 4K 120p5 10-bit 4:2:2 and full pixel readout in all rec. modes
- Up to 4K 120p5 in XAVC S (AVC), XAVC HS (HEVC) and XAVC S-I (All-I)
2. Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
6 used from $1,095.00
- Full-size 4/3 sensor/ 4096x2160 resolution
- 4K DKI video recording at 60 fps / 13 stop Dynamic Range
- Carbon fiber composite build / Black magic operating system
- 5" touchscreen LCD / 4 built-in microphones
- Authorized Black magic Design Dealer - Includes 12 Month Limited manufacturer's
3. PANASONIC LUMIX GH5S Body 4K Digital Camera
9 used from $1,595.00
- PROFESSIONAL PHOTO AND VIDEO PERFORMANCE: 10.2-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor and a significantly higher photoreceptive surface per pixel deliver an ultra-wide dynamic range; Dual Native ISO provides ultra-sensitive video capture with impressively low noise
- RUGGED SPLASH/FREEZEPROOF DESIGN: Durable magnesium alloy body withstands heavy use out in the field and is freezeproof down to -10-degrees; Splash/dustproof construction with weather sealing on every joint, dial and button
- UNLIMITED IN-CAMERA RECORDING OF C4K: Capable of internal SD card capture of 60p50p 8-bit, 30p25p24p 4:2:2 10-bit, 4K: 60p50p 4:2:0 8-bit, 30p25p24p 4:2:2 10-bit; 1080p up to 240fps and C4K 60p VFR
- ANAMORPHIC VIDEO MODE: 4K Anamorphic professional video production interchangeable lens camera system enables high performance, durability and mobility
- CONNECTIVITY AND PORTS: TC In/Out/Synchro Terminal (via included BNC cable), 3.5mm mic jack with line input, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2.5mm remote socket, HDMI Type A Socket and USB-C 3.1 Socket; Available twin SD Card slots (UHS-II U3 compatible)
4. Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K Digital Camera
$1,297.99 in stock
7 used from $1,149.00
- Professional photo & video: 20.3 Megapixel micro four thirds sensor with no low pass filter to capture sharp images with a high dynamic range and artifact free performance
- Splash/Freeze Proof Design: Freeze proof to 10 degrees the durable magnesium alloy body withstands heavy use in the field; Splash/dust proof construction with weather sealing on every Joint, dial and button
- Dual image stabilization: 5 axis dual image stabilization corrects all lenses, including classic lenses not equipped with O. I. S, to eliminate Blur and nearly eliminate body and lens shake in both photo and 4K video recording
- 4K video capture: Records silky smooth 4K 60P/50P (QFHD 4K: 3840 x 2160/ MOV or MP4) video with internal 4: 2: 2 10 bit 4K video recording, Plus exclusive 6K photo and 4K post focus records photos up to 60Fps
- Connectivity & Ports: 3.5 millimeter audio port, connect to devices with USB 3.0, an external monitor or external Recorder with a full size HDMI port; Available Twin SD card slots (UHS II U3 compatible)
5. Fujifilm X-T4 Mirrorless 4K Camera
6 used from $1,516.19
- Putting stability in your hands: A huge part of creating great photos or videos is making sure you are in the right place at the right time – and that often means making handheld images to get to the heart of the action. X-T4’s state-of-the-art, five-axis In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) provides up to 6.5 stops of image stabilization to make sure that, even in the midst of all the excitement, your images remain steady and sharp. Combine this with the new four-axis digital image stabilizer, and you have lots of room to maneuver.
- Performance you can rely on: For any serious image maker, having a tool that can be relied upon to perform flawlessly whenever it is required is extremely important. For this reason, X-T4 features a newly developed mechanical shutter that is the fastest and most robust in the history of the X series. Not only can it make images at 15 frames per second, but it is also rated for 300,000 actuations 2. When you combine this with its larger capacity battery that is capable of up to 600 frames per charge 2, X-T4 has the power and the durability to give you the peace of mind that you’ll never miss the perfect opportunity.
- Find the best angle for your story: When chasing the perfect image, versatility is key, so the last thing you want is to be hampered by awkward angles. The 1.62 million pixel vari-angle touchscreen LCD featured on X-T4 can be adjusted to make it visible from a wide range of positions. This not only gives you a high-quality monitor to frame with, but also provides quick and simple controls when you need them most. On the flip side, there are times when you need to minimize the light and distractions that a screen can create. That’s why X-T4’s LCD has been designed to easily fold away so it is completely hidden from view, leaving the updated 3.69 million pixel/100fps electronic viewfinder to help you focus on the moment at hand.
- When your story needs movement: The modern image maker is blurring the lines between photography and videography, and X-T4 has been designed to celebrate this new generation of hybrid creativity. With the simple flick of a switch, movie mode is activated, meaning X-T4 is capable of recording both professional-level DCI 4K/60p and Full HD/240p super slow-motion video. It is also possible to record F-Log footage in 10-bit color, straight to the card. What’s more, the innovative AF-C subject tracking works in low-light conditions down to -6EV and the camera’s use of a new, high capacity battery lets you push your creative limits.
- Powerful image manipulation made easy: For over 85 years, Fujifilm has produced photographic films that have been used by some of the world’s best-known moviemakers to create some of the world’s most successful movies. This legendary reputation in color science is celebrated with their hugely popular selection of Film Simulations, which digitize some of the industry’s most iconic films and puts them right at your fingertips. X-T4 introduces Eterna Bleach Bypass, the newest addition to this much-loved collection of film simulation modes available in the X Series product line, which creates a beautiful de-saturated, high-contrast look that any image-maker will find irresistible.
6. Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless 4K Camera
7 used from $1,286.16
- World’s fastest AF at 0 02 sec W/ real-time AF & Object tracking
- 24 2MP APS-C Exmor sensor w/ front end LSI and ISO up to 102 400
- Wide 425-phase/425-contrast detection AF points over 84% of sensor
- Up to 11fps continuous shooting at 24 2MP RAW w/ AF/AE tracking
- Real-time AF Tracking Real-time Eye AF for human animal movie
7. Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera
12 used from $1,170.28
- Next Gen speed: experience the world’s fastest 0. 02 sec AF with real-time AF and object tracking
- Enhanced subject capture: wide 425 Phase/ 425 contrast detection points over 84% of the sensor
- Fast & accurate: up to 11Fps continuous shooting at 24. 2MP raw with crisp, clear natural colors
- Multiple movie functions: make time lapse movies or slow/quick motion videos without post processing
- Tiltable LCD screen: customizable for vlogging, still photography or recording a professional film. Lens compensation setting - peripheral shading, chromatic aberration, distortion
8. PANASONIC LUMIX G9 4K Digital Camera
$997.99 in stock
7 used from $949.99
- Professional photo and video performance 20 3-Megapixel (Plus 80-megapixel high-resolution Jpeg/raw in-camera image) micro Four Thirds sensor with no low pass filter to confidently capture sharp images with a high Dynamic Range and artifact-free performance
- Rugged splash/freeze proof design Durable magnesium alloy body withstands heavy use out in the field and is freeze proof down to -10-degrees splash/dustproof construction with weather sealing on every joint dial and button
- Class-leading dual image stabilization 5-axis Dual image stabilization corrects all lenses including classic lenses not equipped with O I S to eliminate Blur and nearly eliminate body and lens shake in both photo and 4K video recording
- 4K 60P video 4 2 2 10bit & slow-motion effects silky-smooth 4K 60P recording (QFHD 4K 3840 x 2160/MP4) in 4 2 2 10bit high-speed video recording yields a dramatic slow-motion effect in 4K (60 fps max 2x slower [30P playback]) or full HD (180 fps max 6x slower [30P playback]) quality
- Connectivity and ports listen to headphones with a 3.5mm audio port connect to devices with USB 3.0 and connect to an external monitor or external Recorder with a full-size HDMI port available Twin SD card slots (UHS-II U3 compatible)
9. Nikon Z6 FX-Format Mirrorless Camera
5 used from $1,999.99
- New larger Z mount for revolutionary optical performance
- Nikon designed 24.5mp backside illuminated image sensor
- 273 point on sensor phase detect AF system
- Up to 12 fps; 4k ultra hd video; 8k time lapse; 120/1080p slow motion
- Compatible with new z Nikkor lenses, over 360 f mount Nikkor lenses
10. Panasonic LUMIX S1 Full Frame Mirrorless 4K Camera
5 used from $3,097.98
- Full frame sensor – 24. 2-Megapixel full-frame (35. 6mm x 23. 8mm) MOS sensor that provides a wide dynamic Range and excellent performance at high sensitivity (is 51200 Max sensitivity)
- Lumix S camera lens – easy-to-use 24-105mm standard focal macro zoom F4 l-mount for Lumix S Series full-frame l-mount digital Mirrorless cameras
- 4K HDR VIDEO - 4K 60p/50p, 4K 24/30P unlimited recording, 4K60P 29: 59 min limited recording. HDR Mode and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). V-Log with Internal 4: 2: 2 10-bit 4k30/24p (4K60p output only) available via optional software upgrade key.
- 96MP high resolution mode – a sensor shift technology suitable for taking very high-resolution Landscapes and fine art photos via tripod with toggleable motion correction capabilities
- Rugged Mirrorless camera design – dust/splash*/freeze-resistant design withstands heavy field use under harsh conditions for high mobility