There was a time when video cameras were so expensive you could only rent them. But those days are gone now. Even so, you might be wondering what’s the best prosumer video camera available on the market right now.
Today, getting a video camera is both easy and affordable. The only problem becomes choosing what video camera to get.
With a fiercely competitive marketplace, every manufacturer is trying to offer you something others don’t. Thus, it can get difficult and confusing to choose what video camera is suitable for you.
While consumer cameras are generally pretty basic and underpowered, professional cameras are expensive, complex, and sometimes over-engineered for your needs.
This is where prosumer video cameras come in they hit the sweet spot where they offer some special features for a more optimized experience while not being expensive enough to bankrupt you.
These cameras are for videographers who want to capture high-def videos that are just professional enough. So, today we compiled a guide on how to buy a prosumer video camera, what features to look for in addition to a number of our favorite video cameras.
And we have a guide after the list of cameras on what to look for when buying a prosumer video camera.
Best Prosumer Video Camera
Without further ado, let’s jump in and start out with a camera we know and love.
Sony has established itself as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to prosumer video cameras.
Their products offer solid performances, excellent build quality, and plenty of features to keep any videographer happy. The next line of their HXR cameras: the Sony HXR-NX5R is the latest addition to their legacy.
With the NX5R, Sony is targeting videographers shooting professional videos, ceremonies, sports events, and documentaries. The NX5R offers 3 ND filters which goes a long way in giving you the freedom to choose the depth of field depending on the situation.
Additionally, you can shoot continuously through the two memory card slots which make things a lot easier. That said, the NX5R can hold up to 6 hours of High Definition footage.
Sony has also streamlined the menu system and controls for an easier recording experience with the NX5R. The settings and functions are all listed on the display screen which makes it easy to scroll through them and find what you need.
Not only that, sony included the ability to control the camera’s settings through your phone or tablet.
The NX5R offers a built-in LED light and a microphone. It can shoot in full 1080p HD video at 60 frames. You also get 20x optical zoom that preserves detail and image quality even at its max.
Last but certainly not least, the NX5R has built-in Wi-Fi, FTP, and NTC which makes it convenient to transfer your files with speed and ease.
The only setback of the Sony HXR-NX5R is its price tag which will set you back quite a bit.
However, considering what you’re getting for your money, the features plus a lot of accessories straight out of the box, you will be getting your money’s worth and then some. This one comes highly recommended by us.
- Stunning pictures made easy
- Working smarter
- Everything you need
- Simple multi-camera shoots
Panasonic has been a giant of the industry since the 80s and 90s. With their new HC-X1000, they are hoping to bridge the gap between novice and professional use by offering a lean and versatile video camera that is perfect for all your recording needs. Let’s see if they have succeeded.
One of the HC-X1000’s greatest achievements is being the first video camera to record at a native 4K at 60 frames directly on the SD card.
Panasonic equipped the HC-X1000 with a 2.3-inch MOS sensor which benefits the overall image quality. They also added 20x optical zoom that similarly to the NXR5 maintains a high level of detail.
For slow-mo enthusiasts out there, Panasonic included slow-motion recording at full 1080p HD. There’s also a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen, making menu access easier.
Additionally, you have an interchangeable lens ring and built-in image stabilization for a smoother filming experience.
The HC-X1000 has an impressive Battery of around 4 hours of uninterruptible recording time. It supports dual SD cards to handle all that footage.
Additionally, the HC-X1000 supports dual XLR inputs. This makes the video camera able to use high-quality microphones for sound recording.
In terms of connectivity, there’s built-in Wi-Fi, and NFC support but no FTP sadly.
Overall, the HC-X1000 is a professional tier video camera that is streamlined and highly customizable thanks to its robust controls and an impressive array of features that make it a highly justifiable option for videographers looking for an excellent camera at a decent price.
- This version is originally intended for sale outside the USA
- Leica Dicomar 20x Optical Zoom Lens Switchable between NTSC and PAL
- Individual Focus, Zoom & Iris Lens Rings Power O.I.S, & Hybrid O.I.S.
- 0.45" EVF / 3.5" LCD Touch Screen Records MP4, MOV, AVCHD to SDXC Cards
- Simultaneous/Relay/Background Recording Wi-Fi / NFC Connectivity
Canon has been known to release some impressive if pricey video cameras. This has made their products desirable if a little unreachable.
With the VIXIA HF G20, Canon is hoping to reach the prosumer market with a mid-priced video camera that will hopefully please those who felt left out before.
The VIXIA HF G20 boasts plenty of impressive features. For one, this video camera is equipped with an HD CMOS sensor which allows for great high definition video quality.
Additionally, 9 built-in cinema filters will give you some amazing footage thanks to features like background blur.
The VIXIA HF G20 is suitable for both videography pros and newcomers. This is thanks to its streamlined controls and menu system.
The ease-of-use makes HD video in multiple conditions and environments a simple task. The image quality is similar to or in some cases superior to professional-grade video cameras.
Overall, the VIXIA HF G20 is a solid choice for novice videographers looking for a good quality camera that won’t burn a hole in their wallets.
While you won’t get some of the features available in other video cameras we listed here, what you get for your buck is a solid, reliable video camera.
- 10x HD Video lens (5mm equivalent: 30.4mm – 304mm) with 8-Blade Iris, 3.5 inch touch LCD
- Canon HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor (1/3-inch, 1920 x 1080 image sensor) with 20% improved low-light...
- Up to 12 hours of HD recording to 32GB internal memory (2 additional card slots available)
- Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization and Intelligent IS automatically
- Cinama-Look Filter with 9 built-in filters
Let’s round out the list with another quality Sony video camera. This one is for videographers who need a portable video cam on the move.
It’s for those moments when you stumble upon a great shot and you need your cam by your side to capture right and there. For these purposes, Sony is offering the FDR-AX43.
The FDR-AX43 is a fantastic video camera that can shoot video at 4K. It is also an affordable camera for those of you on a budget.
After all, great video quality shouldn’t require thousands of dollars. There’s also 20x optical zoom. The sensor of choice for Sony, the Exmor R CMOS is thankfully quiet. Sony also included a multichannel 5.1 microphone.
The FDR-AX43’s greatest asset is its ergonomic design which makes it highly compact and easily portable. This makes carrying the FDR-AX43 around a less than cumbersome endeavor.
If you approach the FDR-AX43 with the right mindset and know what limitations are in place, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It is an easily manageable, portable, and impressive 4K video camera that will go easy on your wallet.
- 4K1 16: 9 video optimized 1/2. 5” Exmor R low-light CMOS Sensor
- Built-in gimbal - Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilizer
- 20x optical zoom and Clear Image Zoom of 30x for 4K1 / 40x for HD2
- Fast Intelligent AF tracks focus to captures decisive moments
- 26. 8mm2 wide-angle ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T zoom lens
What to Consider Before Buying
Before you purchase a video camera you need to know what features you’ll need from it so it could help you achieve the results you desire.
While there are many features offered by each brand and model, you can expect all worthy video cameras to include these.
Dual SD card slots
Footage, especially 4K, eats up a lot of storage space. Therefore, it stands to reason that you’ll need a camera the offers as much storage capacity as possible.
Video cameras utilize SD cards for storage. Therefore, you’ll want a camera with dual SD card slots, so you can record on both. That will save you a world of pain and frustration.
It’s become a joke that we use smartphones at the charging plug all the time, but the joke becomes less funny when you’re dealing with a camera. Videography is time-consuming and requires extensive shooting time.
There’s nothing worse than having to recharge and delaying the shooting schedule. Therefore, we recommend getting a camera with hot-swappable batteries to avoid this.
A camera above consumer level that’s not customizable is just a glorified and overpriced compact camera. No matter how many features your camera has, you’ll always want to upgrade and add accessories to suit different needs. Make sure the camera you choose is one that has wide accessory support.
Portability and Durability
Long gone are the days of huge cameras that needed an assistant to carry around. There are numerous, portable video cameras with an ergonomic design that enable you to carry them anywhere with you by just packing them in a small pack.
Durability is a must for your camera. Especially if you do a lot of shooting outdoors. Who wants to spend their hard-earned cash on a camera that has the durability of an egg? Video cameras specify if they are rugged or weather-sealed so make sure to read up on that.
Best Prosumer Video Camera – Wrapping Up
That concludes it for our guide on prosumer video cameras. Hopefully, by now you’ll have a solid idea of what prosumer video camera will suit your needs.
Remember that any camera you consider should at least have dual SD card slots, wide accessory support, long battery life, and is portable and durable to some degree. The rest is all dependent on what you want out of your video camera. Good luck!