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The 7 Best 4k Cameras - Winter 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best 4k Cameras
71 Cameras Tested
  • Store-bought cameras; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
  • Supported directly by you via insider access and when you purchase through our affiliate links
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

Once reserved primarily for enthusiast models and professional-grade cameras, 4k recording capability has become a common feature on even beginner-oriented models. The best 4k cameras shouldn't only capture sharp well-rendered videos, but should also include features to make your recording sessions a little easier. These include effective autofocus systems, in-body stabilization, and a wide selection of inputs and outputs for different videography accessories, like headphones, auxiliary microphones, or external recorders.

It's worth noting that a camera's overall performance can vary drastically depending on what kind of lens you use. Your lens influences the amount of light entering the camera, depth of field, autofocus behavior, and stabilization performance. That's without mentioning the physical aspects of your lens: a larger lens with a longer zoom length and a wider maximum aperture might make it easier to record the kind of videos you want, but it could make your camera more of a hassle to carry around. For the sake of consistency and user-friendliness, we currently test each camera with its standard kit lens.

We've tested over 70 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best 4k cameras to buy for most people. These picks were selected not only based on their performance but also their feature set and price. If you're looking for alternatives, you can take a look at our list of recommendations for the best digital cameras, the best cameras for vlogging, and the best cameras for YouTube.


  1. Best 4k Camera For Studio Video: Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II

    7.5
    Travel Photography
    8.2
    Landscape Photography
    7.6
    Sport & Wildlife Photography
    6.9
    Vlogging
    7.9
    Studio Video
    5.2
    Action Video
    Body Type
    DSLR
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    4/3
    Tested Lens
    Leica DG H-ES12060 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Vario-Elmarit ASPH Power O.I.S.

    The best 4k camera for studio video of the cameras we've tested is the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II. This mirrorless camera has a Micro Four Thirds sensor and is packed with advanced video features, making it a popular choice for amateur filmmakers and videographers. It feels incredibly comfortable to shoot with, has a fully articulated screen to make shooting video easier, and features five-axis in-body image stabilization to reduce camera shake when shooting handheld.

    The camera supports a wide array of recording formats and video codecs, including All-I compression for those who prefer to do frame-by-frame edits with higher-quality video files. It can shoot 4k 60p 4:2:0 video internally, and it's also capable of recording in cinematic 4k and anamorphic 6k resolutions. It has a full set of inputs and outputs, with a full-sized HDMI port that supports clean HDMI output along with a headphone jack, microphone jack, and flash sync.

    Unfortunately, its autofocus system isn't the most effective, especially compared to competitors like Sony. It has 225 advertised detection points and supports subject tracking, but it only does a decent job keeping moving subjects in focus, though it's more consistent with objects than faces. Its video quality dips a bit in low light due to its smaller sensor, but it's still decent. Still, this is one of the most capable 4k cameras that we've tested, and it's a great choice for studio video.

    See our review

  2. Low-Light Alternative: Panasonic Lumix DC-S5

    Body Type
    DSLR
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    Full Frame
    Tested Lens
    Panasonic LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6

    If you'd prefer a camera with better low-light capability, check out the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5. It doesn't support All-I compression, and it doesn't have as many resolution options as the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II. However, its full-frame sensor makes it better suited to recording video in low light. It's Panasonic's first L-mount camera, so it's also compatible with Leica and Sigma L-mount lenses. Overall, the camera feels incredibly well-built, and it has a fully-articulated screen and in-body image stabilization. Its autofocus system is also more consistent at tracking moving faces. Its overall video quality is excellent, and it has fantastic internal recording capability. That said, it can only shoot 4k 60p video with a severe 1.5x crop.

    Get the GH5 II if you want more resolutions and recording formats to choose from, but if low-light capability and video quality are priorities, consider the DC-S5.

    See our review

  3. Best 4k Camera For Vlogging: Fujifilm X-S10

    7.5
    Travel Photography
    7.9
    Landscape Photography
    7.3
    Sport & Wildlife Photography
    8.4
    Vlogging
    8.0
    Studio Video
    6.2
    Action Video
    Body Type
    DSLR
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    APS-C
    Tested Lens
    FUJINON XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R OIS

    The Fujifilm X-S10 is the best 4k camera that we've tested for vloggers. Though the flagship Fujifilm X-T4 has more advanced internal recording capability, the X-S10 shares the same sensor and many of the same video features in a simpler, more portable design, making it a better option for vlogging. On top of that, it has in-body image stabilization to smooth out camera shake when shooting handheld, as well as a fully articulated screen so you can monitor yourself.

    This camera delivers excellent overall video quality, especially when shooting in 4k in more controlled lighting conditions. If you prefer to do in-depth color grading on your videos, it also supports F-Log shooting, and it outputs high-quality video files up to 204 Mbps. It can record 4k video at up to 30 fps, and it has a high-speed capture mode that records footage at 120 or 240 fps for slow-motion playback; however, this mode is only available in 1080p. It has a fantastic autofocus system, which reliably keeps moving subjects in focus.

    That said, its battery life only lasts for about an hour when recording 4k video continuously; however, batter performance can also vary a lot depending on your chosen settings and usage habits. Video quality also dips a bit when shooting in more dimly lit conditions since the camera only has an APS-C sensor. If you're looking for an affordable vlogging camera with advanced 4k video features and a simple, portable design, this is a great option.

    See our review

  4. Best 4k Point-And-Shoot Camera: Fujifilm X100V

    7.7
    Travel Photography
    8.1
    Landscape Photography
    7.4
    Sport & Wildlife Photography
    7.1
    Vlogging
    7.8
    Studio Video
    5.0
    Action Video
    Body Type
    Compact
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    APS-C
    Tested Lens
    Built-In Lens

    The best point-and-shoot camera we've tested for 4k video is the Fujifilm X100V. It's a compact rangefinder camera that has a unique hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder offset from its built-in lens, meaning you can have an uninterrupted view of your subject. It's relatively small and lightweight, and it should fit easily into a small bag or coat pocket, making it a good choice for shooting video on the go.

    Despite its compact size, this camera uses a larger APS-C sensor, the same 26.1-megapixel X-Trans 4 sensor found on the flagship interchangeable lens Fujifilm X-T4. It delivers fantastic 4k video quality in brighter lighting conditions, and video quality still looks great even in low light. It can record 4k video at up to 30 fps without a crop, meaning you can record natural-looking movement or slow things down to 24 fps for a more cinematic feel. It also has a decent autofocus system for video that supports both eye and face detection, though it does just an adequate job of tracking moving subjects.

    Unfortunately, the camera has a poor battery life when recording 4k video continuously. It may also overheat and shut down during longer recording sessions. Still, battery performance can vary drastically with real-world usage and settings. This camera also has a fixed focal length lens, so it's not as versatile as other options if you want to incorporate zoom into your videos. All in all, though, it's one of the best point-and-shoot cameras we've tested.

    See our review

  5. Alternative With Optical Zoom: Sony ZV-1

    Body Type
    Compact
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    1-inch
    Tested Lens
    Built-In Lens

    If you'd rather have a compact point-and-shoot camera with a zoom lens, take a look at the Sony ZV-1. Unlike the Fujifilm X100V, it uses a smaller one-inch sensor, resulting in worse overall video quality and especially low-light performance. That said, its built-in lens has a 24-70mm full-frame equivalent focal length, giving you some zoom range to adjust your framing without moving. Its 4k video quality is still excellent in more controlled lighting conditions, and it has a remarkable autofocus system that quickly and reliably keeps track of moving subjects. It has a 'Subject Detection' mode that can detect and track people or animals automatically, and a dedicated 'Background Defocus' button that can quickly toggle between a shallow and wide depth of field. That said, it also suffers from overheating issues and has an even shorter tested battery life in video.

    Get the Fujifilm if video quality and low-light performance are priorities, but if you'd prefer a camera with a zoom lens, the Sony is a great alternative.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget 4k Camera: Sony α6400

    8.0
    Travel Photography
    8.0
    Landscape Photography
    7.4
    Sport & Wildlife Photography
    7.6
    Vlogging
    8.2
    Studio Video
    6.2
    Action Video
    Body Type
    DSLR
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    APS-C
    Tested Lens
    Sony E 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS

    For those on a budget, the best 4k camera that we've tested is the Sony α6400. It's a crop-sensor mirrorless camera with a relatively small, portable body and a screen that can flip up for vlogs. Its weather-sealed construction, along with its portable size, makes it a good choice for shooting video on the go or while traveling.

    This camera offers a lot of value for its price, and it's especially notable for its amazing autofocus system. It does a fantastic job of tracking and keeping moving subjects in focus when shooting 4k video. You can fine-tune settings to adjust how responsive it is and how quickly it switches focus, or whether to prioritize keeping faces in focus instead of objects or other things that may be in frame. 4k video quality is also excellent and stays sharp and relatively noise-free even in low light. If you prefer to color grade your videos, it supports S-Log and HLG recording.

    However, its frame rate options are a bit limited in 4k. It can only shoot at 24 or 30 fps, and the latter incurs a slight crop. On top of that, it doesn't have in-body image stabilization, and with the Sony 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS kit lens attached, it does a poor job of reducing camera shake in 4k. Despite its flaws, though, this is one of the best cameras for filmmaking if you're looking for something lightweight and affordable.

    See our review

  7. Best 4k Action Camera: GoPro HERO10 Black

    4.8
    Travel Photography
    7.6
    Landscape Photography
    5.8
    Sport & Wildlife Photography
    7.5
    Vlogging
    6.0
    Studio Video
    8.9
    Action Video
    Body Type
    Action Cam
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    Unspecified
    Tested Lens
    Built-In Lens

    If you're looking for an action camera, the best 4k camera to buy is the GoPro HERO10 Black. This premium action camera is sturdy and well-built, and it's waterproof to an advertised depth of 33 ft. You can easily mount it to any number of action cam rigs and mounts, though it doesn't come with too many accessories in the box. It also features a front-facing screen with Live View, so you can monitor yourself while vlogging.

    It supports several frame rate and resolution options, including 4k at up to 120 fps, so you can easily capture smooth action footage or incorporate slow-motion sequences into your videos. If you like, you can also record video in 5.3k at up to 60 fps or 1080p at up to 240 fps. The camera's 4k video quality is fairly good overall, especially compared to other action cameras. It performs relatively well in low light, thanks to its upgraded processor. There's also no recording time limit, which is great.

    That said, the battery life on this camera is unremarkable. It lasts for approximately 80 minutes of video recording, which isn't bad but may not be enough for longer days of shooting. However, battery performance can also vary drastically depending on your usage habits and settings. Overall, this is one of the best action cameras we've tested, and its relatively good video quality and high 4k frame rates make it a great choice for 4k action video.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Canon EOS R6: The Canon EOS R6 is a highly versatile full-frame mirrorless camera that represents a great alternative to the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5, as it supports All-I compression and incurs a less noticeable crop for 4k recording at 60 fps. It doesn't support as many different recording formats and has a 30-minute recording time limit in 4k. See our review
  • Canon EOS 90D: The Canon EOS 90D is an APS-C DSLR that delivers fantastic video autofocus tracking performance and captures fairly sharp 4k video. However, it's limited to a maximum frame rate of 30 fps in this resolution, and it lacks an in-body stabilization feature. See our review
  • Fujifilm X-T4: The Fujifilm X-T4 is one of the best hybrid photo/video cameras we've tested, and it has more advanced internal video recording capability than the Fujifilm X-S10, although both share the same sensor. That said, the X-S10 is a bit better for most vloggers because it's still a very capable 4k video camera, and its more portable size makes it better-suited to vlogging at a fraction of the cost. 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 than the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II, lasts longer on a single charge, and captures less noisy low-light 4k video. It can only shoot 4k video at a maximum frame rate of 30 fps, which incurs a slight 1.16x crop. Its video stabilization performance is also notably worse. See our review
  • SIGMA fp L: The SIGMA fp L is a uniquely designed full-frame mirrorless camera with a remarkably small body. It offers poor overall autofocus performance and doesn't have an in-body stabilization feature, but connecting an external SSD to its USB-C port gives you an exceptionally detailed 12-bit 4:2:2 color video. 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. Its internal recording capabilities are more limited than the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5. 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 exhibits a noticeable degree of the rolling shutter effect when panning side-to-side and can only record in this resolution at a maximum of 30 fps. See our review

Recent Updates

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

  2. 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.

  3. Nov 16, 2021: Replaced the GoPro HERO9 Black with the GoPro HERO10 Black as 'Best 4k Action Camera'.

  4. Oct 26, 2021: Renamed 'Best Compact 4k Camera' to 'Best 4k Point-And-Shoot Camera.'

  5. Oct 08, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 4k 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.

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