ESSENTIAL GEAR is a regular feature produced in collaboration with StudioDaily’s exclusive retail partner, Adorama. 

The market for sub-$10,000 4K cameras is pretty crowded. That’s a good thing, as the quality of these affordable devices is relatively high across the board, but it can be a little challenging to figure out which combination of features and quality is best suited to your particular workflow needs. Here’s a look at three compelling options, with a summary of what makes each one special.


Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

More than a 4K update of the original Pocket Cinema Camera, this is a completely rethought piece of hardware. It boasts 13 stops of dynamic range (with dual native ISO up to 25,600), uses your choice of micro four thirds lenses, and has built-in card recorders as well as a USB-C port for external recording. With the latest update, it supports Blackmagic Raw, too — so you can record more than two hours of full 4K (4096 x 2160) footage to a 256 GB UHS-II SD card. Not quite brand new, the BMPCC 4K has been in demand and hard to find for some time — but our colleagues at Adorama report that the camera is finally well-stocked and ready to ship in quantity.

Learn more about the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at Adorama | SHOP NOW

Canon EOS C200

For the C200, a camera that sits between the C100 and C300 in the EOS line-up, Canon developed not just a new camera body but a new workflow, with the Cinema Raw Light format allowing DCI 4K raw files to be recorded internally to CFast cards at 30p (12-bit) or 60p (10-bit). That capability immediately made Cinema Raw Light, with a claimed 15 stops of dynamic range, an attractive choice for DPs looking to acquire in PQ HDR. Buying into Canon also gives you access to the company’s dual-pixel autofocus technology, which some shooters consider a critical aid, especially on hectic shoots. When full-on raw quality isn’t necessary, the C200 supports long-GOP 4:2:0 MP4 file recording for HD, 2K and 4K acquisition at up to 120fps in HD — but raw shooting is the clear appeal of this camera.

Learn more about the Canon EOS C200 at Adorama | SHOP NOW

Panasonic AU-EVA1

Panasonic AU-EVA1

Our reviewer called this “the trickle-down VariCam,” marveling at how much technology it borrows from Panasonic’s high-end cinema offering — dual native ISOs, VariCam-style color science, and an assortment of 10-bit 4:2:2 codecs, including a 400 Mbps all-intraframe version alongside more efficient long-GOP options. Further, for those who need the best possible picture, it outputs 5.7K ProRes Raw 10-bit log via 6G-SDI to a connected recorder, such as the Atomos Shogun Inferno. Be aware — the EVA1 is only available with an EF lens mount, but Wooden Camera has a PL adapter should you need it.

Learn more about the SmallHD Cine 7 line at Adorama | SHOP NOW