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The 5 Best 4k Cameras - Winter 2023 Reviews

Best 4k Cameras

Once reserved primarily for professional-grade cameras, 4k recording capability has become the baseline for what modern stills cameras can do in the realm of video. While dedicated cinema cameras are still king for filmmaking, they're also incredibly expensive, and you can still get excellent 4k video performance out of more affordable mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Most of our picks are hybrid photo/video cameras, but you'll be surprised by the kind of results you can get with the latest cameras in today's camera landscape, even more affordable entry-level models.

We've bought and tested over 75 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best 4k-capable cameras for most people to buy. If you're looking more specifically for a vlogging camera, you can also check out our picks for the best cameras for vlogging. Or, if you want something light enough to keep up with fast action, you can try the best sport video cameras or best action cams.

  1. Best 4k Camera

    As far as enthusiast hybrid cameras go, it doesn't get much better than the Sony α7 IV. While its predecessor, the Sony α7 III, remains a popular camera for both photo and video work, the α7 IV steps up its 4k video capabilities to a whole new level. On top of staple video features like dual SD card slots (including one that doubles as a CFexpress slot), mic and headphone jacks, in-body image stabilization, and a fully articulated screen, you also get 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording, no recording time limit, and a wide range of Log and flat profiles to shoot with to get the most out of its sensor. And while it can only shoot 4k 60p video with a Super 35/APS-C crop, its 33MP sensor means you're still getting a very high-res image even with the crop.

    If all that wasn't enough, you also have Sony's reliably accurate autofocus and an excellent battery life that can last for long recording sessions without overheating. Taken with its excellent photography performance, this is easily one of the best 4k video cameras on the market, though its capabilities—and matching price tag—are probably overkill unless you're an enthusiast or amateur filmmaker.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range 4k Camera

    While the Sony α7 IV is an incredible camera, most people likely won't need all the features it offers. If you're looking for something a little more affordable, the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II is a great upper mid-range option and a good deal now that it's been superseded by the Panasonic LUMIX GH6. Unlike the Sony camera, it uses a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor, meaning you won't get the same results in terms of dynamic range and low-light performance. However, it has a fantastic five-axis IBIS system and comes with one of the widest arrays of recording formats and resolution options out there. Not only does it record both UHD and DCI (Cinema) 4k, but it also has an anamorphic video mode for a wider, more cinematic aspect ratio.

    Unfortunately, Panasonic has yet to adopt quicker phase-detection autofocus technology, meaning the AF on this thing pales a little compared to the Sony. However, it comes with a full suite of inputs and outputs. If low-light performance is a big priority, don't count out the Panasonic LUMIX DC-S5, either. It's the brand's first full-frame camera, and it has a lot of the same great video specs but falls a bit short in the range of resolution and recording formats it offers. Ultimately, the GH5 II is one of the most capable 4k video cameras for the price if you need more advanced video capabilities.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range 4k Camera

    If you don't need a lot of the bells and whistles of our top videography picks above—things like internal 10-bit recording and unlimited recording times—the Fujifilm X-S10 offers a great middle-ground for performance and features at a very reasonable price. It can record 4k video at up to 30 fps and has a great autofocus system to keep moving subjects in focus. On top of that, it has a super comfortable handgrip and a fully articulated screen that makes it a solid option for vlogging.

    Video quality is great, and if you prefer to color-grade your own videos, it supports F-log, as well as Fujifilm's well-loved film simulation profiles, meaning you can play around with the look of your videos in-camera. Best of all at this price point is the inclusion of IBIS, meaning you can get smoother handheld footage. Overall, this is one of the best-value APS-C cameras you can get, and it's one of the top 4k video cameras at this price point.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget 4k Camera

    While most of our picks above have tended towards more advanced videography, shooting high-quality 4k videos doesn't have to mean spending a fortune anymore. Look at how many smartphones these days come equipped with 4k video capability. So, if you're looking for a solid interchangeable-lens video option on a tighter budget, the Sony ZV-E10 will give you the most bang for your buck. While it's aimed at vloggers, this small, lightweight APS-C camera is versatile enough for a range of video work, especially if you're willing to invest in accessories like microphones and lighting.

    Unlike the Fujifilm X-S10, you won't find IBIS or a viewfinder here, if that matters to you. However, the camera has a fully articulated screen and simple accessible controls that are perfect for beginner shooters. Plus, plenty of customization options, a great battery life, and no recording time limit make this a very solid video camera for the price. It even includes Log profiles, but sadly it's limited to 8-bit recording, so you won't get as much out of shooting in Log. Still, if you want to shoot 4k videos or vlogs without breaking the bank, this is your best bet.

    See our review

  5. Best Compact 4k Camera

    If you'd prefer something smaller and easier to carry with you on the go, the Sony ZV-1 is basically a fixed-lens compact version of the Sony ZV-E10. It's less versatile since you can't switch out different lenses and uses a smaller 1-inch sensor, meaning video quality won't be as high; however, this is one of the best and most reasonably-priced compact video cameras you can get. It has a fully articulated screen and the same excellent AF system to ensure your subjects stay in focus. 4k video is slightly cropped, but it can record at up to 30 fps.

    The biggest trade-off here is battery life. A smaller camera means a smaller battery, which inevitably performs worse than larger alternatives. For that reason, the camera is capped to a very short five-minute recording limit in 4k to prevent overheating (by default; you can change this in settings if you wish). It's prone to overheating if you record continuously, but it's still a solid option if you stick to shorter takes and one of the best options for portability.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Canon EOS R6: The Canon EOS R6 is a fantastic hybrid camera. Unlike the Sony α7 IV, it can shoot 4k 60p video without such a large crop and feels great in the hand. However, it's capped at 30 minutes of recording time and tends to overheat in 4k. See our review
  • Fujifilm X-T4: The Fujifilm X-T4 is one of the best APS-C hybrid cameras we've tested. With internal 10-bit and 4k up to 60p, it's a step up from the Fujifilm X-S10, although both share the same sensor. However, it doesn't offer as many advanced video features as the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II. See our review
  • Nikon Z 6II: The Nikon Z 6II is a versatile full-frame mirrorless camera with great 4k video autofocus performance and impressively well-rendered video quality. However, its internal recording capabilities are more limited than the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II. See our review
  • Nikon D780: The Nikon D780 is a full-frame DSLR that captures very sharp, well-rendered 4k video and has an effective autofocus system. It's notably cheaper than the Sony α7 IV, but since it's more photography-oriented, it lacks video features like IBIS and 10-bit 4k. See our review
  • SIGMA fp L: The SIGMA fp L is a unique full-frame mirrorless camera with a remarkably compact body, especially compared to the relatively bulky Sony α7 IV. While it can output 12-bit ProRes RAW to an external recorder via HDMI, its modular design makes it feel niche, and it has a poor overall autofocus system. See our review
  • Sony α7C: The Sony α7C is a full-frame mirrorless camera with a relatively compact body. It has a more effective autofocus system and better battery life than the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II. However, it can only shoot 4k video at a max frame rate of 30 fps, and its IBIS isn't as effective. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Nov 29, 2022: Checked article for accuracy and clarity; no change to recommendations.

  2. Sep 30, 2022: Restructured the article for clarity and to align more closely with user expectations.

  3. Feb 23, 2022: Changed the Sony ZV-1 from 'Alternative With Optical Zoom' for the Fujifilm X100V to 'Compact Alternative' for the Fujifilm X-S10.

  4. Dec 20, 2021: Renamed the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 from 'Full-Frame Alternative' to 'Low Light Alternative'.

  5. Dec 07, 2021: Replaced the Fujifilm X-T4 with the Fujifilm X-S10 as the 'Best 4k Camera For Vlogging' and moved the X-T4 to Notable Mentions. Removed the Fujifilm X-E4 from Notable Mentions.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 4k-capable cameras for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews for 4k-capable cameras. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.