4 Best Cameras for Music Videos

When shooting a music video, there are many camera options to pick from. Not all of these are good options, so figuring out which ones work best for your video shoot can be tough.

I’m Caleb, and I have five years of photography experience. My main specialty is sports photography, and I’ve shot plenty of events across most major sports over the years.

In this article, I’ll talk about the best video cameras for music videos and what to look for when shopping for one. If you’re unsure which camera fits your needs, keep reading for an easy overview.

Key Takeaways

  • The Canon EOS R5 and Sony a1 allow for an incredible 8K resolution but may be limited by overheating issues.
  • The Fujifilm X-T4 is an accessible mirrorless APS-C camera that punches above its weight in performance.
  • If you’re on a budget, the Sony ZV-E10 is one of the best options to get 4K recording quality.
  • When looking for a music video camera, you should consider both max resolution and other useful features, such as a good autofocus system and in-body stabilization.
What’s The Cheapest Camera for Shooting Music Videos?

Technically, you can shoot a music video on any camera that supports videos. The cheapest options for getting good results are likely entry-level DSLRs like the Canon Rebel T7i or budget mirrorless compacts like the Sony ZV-E10.

GoPros generally aren’t the camera to use for the bulk of the recording when shooting a music video. However, they can help get unorthodox shots or for mixing scenes of ‘action’ into a music video.

The bare minimum is a camera that supports video and editing software to process the footage after shooting. If you’re working with a larger budget, you can go much further by adding things like lighting, external camera rigs, and custom sets.

The amount of money needed to shoot a music video varies highly. It’s possible to shoot a video at no cost, just using whatever camera you already have. On the other hand, professional music videos may cost $20,000 or more when everything is said and done.

What Makes The Best Camera for Music Videos

You should look for these things when shopping for a camera to produce a music video with.

  • Max Video Resolution: Obviously, having an excellent video resolution is one of the first things any viewer will notice. Aiming for 4K is a good idea. If you’re working with a high-end budget, modern cameras also make it possible to consider 8K resolution.
  • Autofocus performance: Having both a camera and lens with good autofocus performance will make your job much easier when recording a music video. If you intend to shoot a video with a lot of movement, you should have a camera with some form of subject tracking.
  • Image Stabilization: In-body image stabilization can help you avoid camera shake, especially if you’re not using an external camera rig for recording.
  • Dynamic Range: If your music video will feature non-standard lighting, you’ll want a camera with good performance across different lighting conditions.
  • Flip-screen: Flip screens, especially those with a good amount of articulation, can be very useful for getting shots from different angles and keeping an eye on the footage while shooting.

The Best Cameras for Music Videos Reviewed

In my opinion, these are the best four cameras for shooting a music video. Each one fits into a different niche, so it’s likely that at least one of them will suit your needs.

1. Canon EOS R5 (Best Overall)

  • Max Video Resolution: 8K 30fps
  • Type: Full-frame mirrorless
  • Image Stabilization: Yes

The Canon EOS R5 is an excellent hybrid camera that you can use even outside of shooting music videos. The high-resolution sensor provides 45 megapixels of resolution, making it fit for a wide range of commercial photography niches.

Regarding video resolution, the EOS R5 tops out at 8K 30fps, standing above most of its current peers in the full-frame mirrorless camera market. The high resolution leaves plenty of room for making adjustments in editing without losing quality.

The EOS R5 also has a high-end autofocus system, with its 5940 autofocus areas covering almost the entire screen area. In other words, you won’t have to worry about losing track of the subject when in tracking autofocus mode.

Another thing working in the R5’s favor is its in-body stabilization. It’s Canon’s first camera to feature 5-axis stabilization, similar to Sony’s high-end full-frame cameras. It provides up to 8 stops of stabilization.

The R5 does have a major flaw as a video camera, however. That flaw is its overheating issues, which limits how long you can shoot in 8K mode without taking a break. If you plan on doing a lot of shooting non-stop, this might present a big problem for your production.

My Verdict: The Canon EOS R5 is one of the best hybrid mirrorless cameras on the market right now, making it an excellent choice for music video production.

2. Fujifilm X-T4 (Best For Beginners)

  • Max Video Resolution: 4K 60fps
  • Type: APS-C mirrorless
  • Image Stabilization: Yes

If you don’t have the budget for the EOS R5 or another high-end full-frame mirrorless camera, the Fujifilm X-T4 may be a good choice for you. It’s significantly cheaper than top-tier cameras like the R5 but still offers 4K 60fps video resolution.

The X-T4 is a reasonably good hybrid camera that takes photos and videos. While it does have an APS-C sensor instead of a full-frame one, it provides 26.1MP resolution, which is above average.

The model also features in-body stabilization. It has a 5-axis stabilization system, and while this doesn’t provide the same eight stops of camera shake prevention as the R5’s, it is suitable for up to 6.5 stops of correction.

If you care about aesthetics, you may also like the build of the X-T4. While many cameras these days look similar, the X-T4 has a rather distinct retro-style design that contrasts nicely with its modern capabilities.

However, one notable drawback of the X-T4 is the lens selection. The camera uses the Fujifilm X-mount, and while there are some quality lenses using that mount, you won’t have as vast selection compared to something like the Canon EF-mount or Sony E-mount.

My Verdict: The Fujifilm X-T4 is a great well-rounded hybrid camera for beginners and others who want to avoid breaking the bank on a full-frame model.

3. Sony a1 (Best High-End Camera)

  • Max Video Resolution: 8K 30fps
  • Type: Full-frame mirrorless
  • Image Stabilization: Yes

If money is no object, the Sony a1 may be the best choice that doesn’t stray entirely into the realm of Hollywood video cameras. Like with Canon’s R5, one of the first things that stands out about the Sony a1 is the insane 8K 30fps max video resolution.

The a1 provides extreme quality when shooting stills, too. The full-frame sensor has 50.1 megapixels of resolution, and its excellent image quality and dynamic range ensure that it brings more to the table than just a high-res picture.

When comparing the a1 to the R5, one thing that stands out in the a1’s favor is its updated heat dissipation structure, intended to allow for 8K recording for more than 30 minutes without suffering from the common overheating problem.

The autofocus system is also advanced, with the points covering about 92% of the total screen area. It features modes for different uses, such as tracking the eyes of humans or animals, making it versatile.

The main con of the Sony a1 is the price point, which is higher than even the Canon R5. Additionally, despite the a1’s heat dissipation structure, there are still some reports of it suffering from a similar overheating problem.

My Verdict: The Sony a1 is the best hybrid camera if you need the very best in video quality, as well as other valuable features such as eye-tracking autofocus.

4. Sony ZV-E10 (Best Budget Camera)

  • Max Video Resolution: 4K 30fps
  • Type: APS-C mirrorless
  • Image Stabilization: Partial

The Sony ZV-E10 is arguably the best option if you’re on a budget. At its price point, it’s about as accessible as the average entry-level camera but is better suited towards video productions than most of its similarly priced competitors.

The main feature working to its advantage in the video area is its maximum resolution. The ZV-E10 can record up to 4K 30fps, which is better than most other options at a similar price. It also features full HD recording at 120fps.

The ZV-E10 has a very compact design, too. The camera was primarily designed with the vlogging crowd in mind, but depending on the nature of your production, the small size may still be useful to you.

While it doesn’t have the same 5-axis stabilization that other Sony cameras are known for, it does feature a form of stabilization where the camera stores gyro data that can be used to remove camera shake in editing.

As for weaknesses, a notable one is the lack of a full in-body stabilization system. While the gyro data workaround is useful, it’s not quite as comprehensive. And obviously, the ZV-E10’s APS-C sensor won’t give as much quality or low-light performance as Sony’s full-frame ones.

My Verdict: The Sony ZV-E10 is an excellent compact budget option that still packs a punch quality-wise.

Final Thoughts

As you can see from this list, there’s no shortage of options for picking a camera for music videos. From the high-end Canon R5 to the budget Sony ZV-E10, you can make a good music video at almost any price point.

What do you think? Is there another camera that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments.

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