Once reserved primarily for professional-grade cameras, 4k recording capability has become the baseline for what modern stills cameras can do in 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 high-quality results you can get with these cameras. These days, even more affordable entry-level models come equipped with more advanced video features, making it easier to pick up a camera and start recording.
We've bought and tested over 80 cameras in our lab, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best 4k video 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 the best action cameras.
If you're looking for a hybrid enthusiast camera with stellar 4k video features, look no further than the Canon EOS R6 Mark II. It takes what was great about the original Canon EOS R6 and adds some improvements that make it a no-brainer for 4k video work. With better heat management than its predecessor, along with a now-unlimited recording time limit and uncropped 4k 10-bit recording at up to 60 fps, it can handle almost any video project. On top of that, you get in-body image stabilization for smoother handheld recording.
That said, lens selection is still somewhat limited compared to competitors like the Sony α7 IV. That's a great alternative if you want more third-party lens support. However, it can only record 4k / 60 fps video with a significant crop and doesn't support RAW video output to a compatible external recorder like the Canon does. Ultimately, these are both fantastic hybrid cameras, but the Canon has a slight edge for video work, making it our top mirrorless camera for 4k video.
While the Canon EOS R6 Mark II is an incredible camera, it's also quite expensive. If you're looking for something that costs a bit less, the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II is a great upper mid-range option and a good deal now that it's been replaced by the Panasonic LUMIX GH6. It uses a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor than the full-frame R6 II, meaning you won't have as much dynamic range and less low-light capability. Its autofocus also is less effective than the Canon camera's. However, it has a fantastic five-axis IBIS system with an incredibly wide range of recording formats and resolution options. It can record UHD and DCI 4k and has an anamorphic video mode for an even wider, more cinematic aspect ratio.
If low-light performance is a big priority, don't count out the Panasonic LUMIX DC-S5. It's one of the brand's first full-frame cameras, and it has many of the same great video specs as the GH5 II but with a larger full-frame sensor. That said, it falls a bit short in the range of resolution and recording formats it offers. Ultimately, if you need advanced video capabilities and don't mind the smaller sensor, the GH5 II is one of the most capable 4k video cameras for the price.
If you don't need all 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 is a great middle-ground option with an amazing balance of performance, features, and price. It's one of the few cameras in its price range to feature in-body image stabilization, which can help smooth out camera shake in handheld videos. It also has a super comfortable handgrip and a fully articulated screen, making it a solid option for vlogging.
Video quality is great, and if you prefer to color-grade your own videos, it supports F-log and Fujifilm's well-loved film simulation profiles, meaning you can play around with the look of your videos in-camera. On top of that, it has a great autofocus system to keep moving subjects in focus. Frame rate options are also solid, with 4k recording at up to 30 fps and a high-speed recording mode for 1080p slow-motion. Overall, this is one of the best-value APS-C cameras you can get, and it's a great option for those interested in 4k video.
Most of our picks above have been more advanced models, but shooting high-quality 4k videos doesn't mean spending a fortune. 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 and will leave more room in your budget to invest in accessories like a microphone and lighting equipment.
Unlike the Fujifilm X-S10, you won't find IBIS or a viewfinder here. However, the camera has a fully articulated screen and simple, accessible controls that are perfect for beginner shooters. It includes many customization options, a great battery life, and no recording time limit. Ultimately, if you want to shoot 4k videos or vlogs without breaking the bank, the ZV-E10 is the best choice.
If you'd prefer something smaller and easier to carry, the Sony ZV-1 is basically a point-and-shoot version of the Sony ZV-E10. It's less versatile since it uses a fixed lens and has a smaller one-inch sensor, making it less suited to low-light shooting. If you're looking for a compact video camera, it's the best option.
It's one of the rare point-and-shoot cameras with a fully articulated screen that lets you monitor yourself while recording. It has an excellent autofocus system, and it can record 4k video at up to 30 fps, albeit with a slight crop. The biggest trade-off here is battery life—a smaller camera means a smaller battery and worse battery performance. Therefore, it's capped to a very short five-minute recording limit in 4k to prevent overheating (by default; you can change this in the settings if you wish). Though it's prone to overheating if you record continuously, this is still a great option if you stick to shorter takes. Its portability and vlogging functionality are unmatched among point-and-shoot cameras.
Mar 30, 2023: Replaced the Sony α7 IV with the Canon EOS R6 Mark II as the 'Best 4k Camera'.
Jan 27, 2023: Removed the Nikon D780 and Sigma fp L from Notable Mentions.
Nov 29, 2022: Checked article for accuracy and clarity; no change to recommendations.
Sep 30, 2022: Restructured the article for clarity and to align more closely with user expectations.
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.