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Best Overall - Editor's Choice - Sony a7 IV
Coming first on our list of best sony cameras for video is Sony a7 IV. It is a recent addition to sony alpha-series cameras; it has won the admiration of videographers as the best sony alpha camera for video. It may not have the same mouth-watering price as other Sony cameras, but it packs a lot of outstanding features for the price.
The first enticing feature of the camera is the 33MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor, which is a welcome upgrade to 24MP sensors. This sensor allows the model to work in low light conditions. Also, the ISO ranges from 100 to 51200, which can brighten footage in dark settings with little or no digital noise.
With an in-built BIONZ XR technology, this camera processes images faster and accurately while recording video up to 4k at 60p. Furthermore, with a build that dissipates heat quickly, recording can be done for a longer time.
To further prove this model is an improvement of the previous versions, Sony designed a7 IV with a vari-angle screen. This distinct feature allows the screen to be flipped at every possible angle to get enough footage, portrait, or landscape. In addition, the external mic port is located on the camera; hence, screen flipping can be done without any obstruction from additional inputs.
For videographers, who want their work to speak volumes of their artistic skills, this best sony alpha camera for video is easily the one for you. With the S-Cinetone mode, you add creativity while making it as natural as possible in your videos.
Best Sony mirrorless camera for video - Sony a7s III
Here’s the camera to beat when it comes to high image clarity, sensitivity, and rapid speed. Sony a7s III offers standalone features for your video, and for that, it has earned the position of best sony mirrorless camera for video. That said, what’s the big deal about this camera?
Sony a7s III is designed with a full-frame sensor of 12.1MP. Although, the MP value is smaller compared to other competitors. However, Sony has a sole purpose in mind, which the camera serves well. At 4k 120p video recording, the camera excels marvelously in high ISO and shooting in dim-light scenes. In addition, it can record for a long time without the hazard of overheating.
Another spectacular feature that makes this model the star of the Sony a7s cameras is its articulating screen. Being able to place the camera’s screen at different angles as video footage requires is a dream come through. This camera is popular among vloggers for this sole quality, especially for travel. Also, the LCD is a touch screen that allows for smooth navigation through the menus.
This model delivers a swift and remarkable AF system. You can personalize the autofocus for your peace of mind. Not only that, phase detection up to 753 points is available. Compared to its predecessor, this camera can track the eyes of man, animals, and even birds about 30% better.
Top Sony camcorder for video - Sony FDR-AX700 Camcorder
Looking for the top sony camcorder for your video? Here’s one for you. Sony FDR-AX700 Camcorder is designed with unique features that meet the video needs of video hobbyists and even pros in the field. At a reasonable bargain, this model has an excellent battery shelf life that allows for a long recording and can be used to shoot for an extended amount of time.
The camcorder features a variety of advanced AF systems, which place it higher than most digital video cameras. With a hybrid autofocusing plus a BIONZ X processor, the camera focuses fast at 273 to phase-detection. Hence, videographers can focus on fast-moving subjects like a racing car and still bring out the best footage in high-end quality.
This model provides filmmakers the freedom to shoot great slow-mo movies at frame rates between 1 to 960 fps. In addition, you can zoom footage up to 18 times in 4k or 24k in full HDR for a professional touch.
Another quality that makes this camera the talk of the show is the sensor type. Sony built this model with an Exmor RS CMOS sensor that enabled it to capture subjects and scenes as realistic as possible. Videographers can add a real-life perspective to their filming with this best camcorder for video.
Best value Sony camera for video - Sony a7 III
After the invention of the a7 IV, one would think the camera would become obsolete. However, it remains sought-after and is fit to be grouped as the best sony mirrorless camera for videos that offers excellent value.
Sony designed this model with specs that make it ideal for videography and even still photography. What are these specs? With a 24MP Exmor R CMOS sensor, a 693 phase-detection alongside 425 contrast autofocus points cover up to 93% of the subject’s image. In addition, the image stabilization has about a 5-axis that minimizes image blur as a result of shakes when handheld for shooting.
It is a typical quality of a Mirrorless camera to have a quiet shutter. With a7 III, the shutter is extremely quiet and can be customized for ease of use. For video shooting in a serene environment like weddings, you might want to add this camera to your gear. In addition, it has extended battery life. Hence, it can be used for extended video recording at high resolutions.
The ergonomics of this camera is also worth mentioning. Sony a7 III has a fairly small size you can easily carry for long travel video shoots. Not only that, the camera pairs perfectly with even smaller lenses.
Best Budget Sony camera for video - Sony ZV-1
Sony ZV-1 may be the last on our list; however, it is not the least of Sony cameras excellent for videos. This camera is relatively cheaper than other cameras and has a compact design. Due to its compactness, this model is popular among vloggers and YouTubers. Apart from being lightweight, the screen is fully articulated and can be used to shoot videos in selfie modes.
Despite being a cheap camera option, it offers 4k video recording up to 30p and Full HD at 120p. Combined with the filmmaker’s creativity, this camera will produce results with that cinematic touch as though it was a high-profile camera. Additionally, with an ISO range of 100-12,800, the camera performs the incredible task of producing high image quality during video coverage.
This model is designed with a unique defocus system. Focusing on the subject critically while blurring the background in a beautiful bokeh is enabled by this feature. The defocus system further makes the production of cinematic effects possible in your videos.
The camera comes with an extra windscreen for its microphone. This windscreen allows the camera to cut down and filter unwanted noise from the video footage during recording. In addition, the battery life is durable and can record videos up to an hour before needing a recharge.
One unique talking point of Sony cameras used for video recording is the innovative features in-built by the manufacturers. You can count on these great cameras to give top-notch image quality while giving you room to express your creativity.
How to choose the best sony cameras for video: Choose right!
Video cameras are designed by the producers with unique features that help creatives tell their stories in the most appealing way ever. However, a concise understanding of each function and how to maximally optimize it for video is a must.
Generally, Sony cameras are user-friendly. However, here are some key factors you should know before acquiring the best sony camera for video projects:
The camera sensor type is the foremost factor to consider before using a camera for videos. What is a sensor? The camera sensor is simply the part that allows and controls the entry of light rays into the camera, resulting in image formation. (1)
When you think of a sensor and its effect on image quality, consider the size, ISO properties, and high resolution, as cameras with bigger sensors and ISO are ideal for low-light video shoot while resulting in high image quality.
Sony cameras are highly rated for remarkable sensors. However, you’ll be required to choose between a full-frame and APS-C sensor types. Full-frame sensors are capable of creating high-quality images with excellent resolution. Not only that, the sensor can work in varying ranges of lighting from low to high.
On the other hand, APS-C sensors are more compact and fairly cheap. They are also capable of cropping lenses which allows zooming.
What determines the sharpness of a subject is the focusing system. Even though some camera users prefer to focus the old-fashioned way (manually). The autofocus system is a welcomed development that helps you portray your creativity in your work.
Over time, Sony has upped its autofocusing game to the same category as other camera brands with equally excellent AF systems. Most Sony models now use hybrid AFs that are accurate enough to capture fast-moving subjects. Also on board is the auto-detection of humans, animals, and birds’ eyes, as seen in Sony a7 and ZV-1.
Also read: Best Lenses for Sony a7iii
Resolution is the primary determinant of how clear the image will be. It is safe to say high resolution will produce a high image quality and vice versa. Due to the various improvements on cameras, models that shoot below 1080p are presumably low-image quality producers.
In addition, the high resolution allows for enlarged zoom options that do not distort the subject’s image. Most Sony cameras can record videos at higher resolution at 4k, 6k, and even 8k.
Unstable and poor-quality videos/movies are displeasing and do not rate videographers well. For this reason, a camera with image stabilization property is grouped among the best cameras for video.
The best sony cameras for video are the cameras built with image stabilizers. Models like AX camcorders and alpha 7 series have optical image stabilization about 5-axis. They rid footage of unnecessary blur caused by shakes or bumps during shooting, especially in tight spaces.
You need to consider how light or huge a camera is before making a choice. Having to move around recording video is no fun with a massive camera. For this reason, Sony has added Handycam and compact cameras to their many innovations.
The compact cameras are super lightweight and can be easily carried in the pocket. On the other hand, the Handycam can be handheld during shooting and will not strain the hands of the filmer. Some Sony cameras also offer the freedom to customize rigs for ease.
Here is a crucial factor you must consider when selecting a camera for a video shoot. Cameras with a short battery span constitute a significant drawback, especially when shooting for an extended period. The best sony cameras for video have long battery life, and some models can record over 3hours non-stop.
Although, short battery life issues can be resolved by bringing additional charged batteries for a shoot. But changing batteries in-between coverage is not exactly peachy. Not only that, extra batteries and chargers mean additional luggage for the shoot.
Sony ZV-series cameras have excellent specifications, which make your vlogging experience great. The cameras have interchangeable lenses that help you achieve high-quality footage. Also, the screens are flippable and can be used to record front-facing videos. In addition, Sony ZVs are compact cameras.
Both cameras are excellent for filming videos. However, Sony a7 IV is an improvement of its predecessor Sony a7 III. The megapixels of the former are higher than that of the latter. Also, in image stabilization, Sony a7 IV offers correction at 5.5EV, an improvement of the Sony a7 III at 5.0EV.
Now that you know the fantastic features sony cameras offer for your video project. It’s time to make a choice. Remember, the best sony camera for video gives you the freedom to express your artistic and creative skills in the work done. Not only that, you are assured of top image quality.
Our overall best camera, Sony a7 IV, comes highly recommended in this guide. Despite being a recent creation, this model has proven itself a worthy asset. Sony a7 IV at 33MP sensor works perfectly in low lighting shoot, and it can record videos at 4k 60p. In addition, the S-Cinetone feature allows even skin tone, which adds real-life perspective to your subjects.
Which of these Sony cameras would you use for your videos? Feel free to air your view in the comment section below.
- Alyssa Maio. (2020, April 19). Camera Sensor Sizes Explained: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/camera-sensor-size/