Top 3 Underrated Cameras For Video 2020

With all the talk recently of ‘game changing’ cameras, I wanted to bring you a quick piece outlining what are for me, the Top 3 Most underrated Cameras For Video in 2020. 

2020 has been an incredible year for camera releases, from the cool Sony A7S iii to the extra hot Canon R5, as video shooters we’ve been spoilt. But when I see these headlines, high price tags and eventually get to test these new cameras, (I’m looking at you canon) I’m often left a little underwhelmed and I’m more often than not, brought back to my time with 3 truly unsung heroes of the video world.

The three cameras I’m going to cover are ones that represent each major format that I use, and although these aren’t in a worst to best order, they are conveniently placed in price, size & how much I love them sequence!! 

And first on that list is the Olympus OM-D EM1-iii

So don’t shoot me, I know this is about as far from YouTube cool as you can get, and being an Olympus body who knows what the future holds for this brand, but this is a M4/3 camera that really took me by surprise. 

Now I’m not going to bog down with the specs too much, but it’s worth noting the key points. 20MP M4/3 Live Mos Sensor, Cinema 4k at 105MBPS, a incredible 7.5 stop IBIS system, Hybrid AF all crammed into a solid little mirrorless body. 

With that Cinema 4k recording, 120FPS in 1080 and even the OM-Log profile, this camera offers a lot, even for the more discerning video shooter. The footage it renders is a really great quality and importantly of a big enough depth with that OM-Log profile to be fully versatile in post. However it’s that 7.5 Stops of IBIS where this camera really shines, offering really rock solid handheld shooting experience. 

Coming in at around £1600 new, this is easily one of the most underrated cameras of the year. But taking a step up in form and size, next on this list is my favourite APSC camera for video to date…

The Fuji XT4

The XT4 is a camera I implore everyone to try. Especially if you’re in the market for a new hybrid in your kit bag. Admittedly this is the first Fuji Camera that I’d seriously considered or spent any length of time with and in all honesty it never ceased to impress me.

With that 26MP BSI CMOS APSC sized sensor we can get up to 4K 60FPS at a whopping 400MBPS. 240FPS is also available in 1080p, as is the phenomenal 5axis IBIS, 10bit 4.2.0 internal recording, F-Log, those extra special Etnerna picture profiles and 4.2.2 10bit if you’re willing to record out video the micro HDMI.

I loved everything about this camera, it was so easy to use. It felt like it was almost made for that faster paced environment of run-n-gun or vlog shooting, but with all the high quality sensibilities you need in a professional video focussed camera. The image rendered is not just gorgeous but super versatile and easy to work with in post, despite that whopping 400MB/PS bit rate. 

For $1700 new, I don’t understand why this camera isn’t in everyones hands. It is easily the best value release of the last year and one of the best quality ones too. In fact I’d say quality wise it maybe only surpassed by the final entry here. My favourite mirrorless or in fact hybrid camera ever…

The Panasonic Lumix S1H

A quick look to youtube or the camera communities on twitter and you’d be forgiven to think that this camera was never released. How could a Full Frame, Mirrorless 6k, Netflix Approved camera that costs under 4 grand not be in everyones hand, kit bag or wish list?

I guess theres no accounting for taste, but this is truly the best of it’s class, a Panasonic EVA1 given a full frame and shrunk into hybrid mirrorless body.  Specs wise, it’s got everything any video shooter could ever want and with the recent addition of the V2 firmware you can now record 5.9K RAW out via HDMI to the Atoms Ninja V. 

In truth 5.9k Raw footage is going to overkill for us mere mortals, but that doesn’t distract from the fact the Cinema 4k is incredible, not just in terms of quality, but almost equally importantly in terms of usability.  And that is true of the camera as a whole, it’s just very useable, In fact more than that, it’s a camera that spurs you on to use it and get out and film. 

Now considering all of this cinematic and Netflix approved potential is available to you, in this handheld form factor for almost A grand less than the Canon R5, leaves me wondering what a brand like Panasonic would have to do next to get people to using this camera in the vast numbers that we see people flocking to Canon & Sony. Hands down for me, this isn’t just my favourite camera of it’s class, it’s one of my favourite ever and is easily the most underrated camera for video in 2020.

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