Last updated: November 21, 2017

Thanks to the proliferation of online media, video is becoming more important than ever. Whether you're shooting for your own social media page or producing a documentary film, video allows you to tell stories in ways that still photos can't. In fact, video features have become an important factor to many photographers when choosing a new camera.

The good news is that many stills cameras now have impressive video feature sets. What started out a few years ago as choppy 640 x 480 video reminiscent of animated GIFs has evolved into advanced technology that, in some cases, rivals that found in dedicated pro video equipment. If you're looking for a camera capable of shooting good video, consider these models before making your purchase.


Our pick: Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5

Panasonic's GH-series has always been known for great video, and the GH5 takes things straight into pro video territory with support for DCI 4K/24p and UHD 4K/30p recording with 10-bit 4:2:2 color, as well as 4K/60p with 8-bit 4:2:0 color (or 10-bit 4:2:2 if using an external recorder). It has pro-level video tools as well, including a waveform vectorscope, focus peaking, zebras, and the option to use shutter angle instead of speed. There's also anamorphic lens support with real time image squeeze, and Panasonic's 5-axis image stabilization with Dual I.S., which works in concert with image stabilized lenses for very stable and smooth handheld shots.

A $99 upgrade adds a professional VLog gamma curve along with a VLog View Assist function, which makes it possible to apply LUTs in-camera to preview graded footage while still shooting in Log. As a bonus, the GH5 is also a very competent stills camera with a 20MP sensor and a fast autofocus system.

Budget pick: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85

The GX85 is an affordable Micro Four Thirds camera with impressive video capabilities, capable of capturing 4K/30p or 1080/60p, using a 100Mbps codec. It includes useful tools like focus peaking, zebras, and microphone level adjustments, as well as a very useful touchscreen. Panasonic's 5-axis image stabilization with Dual I.S. makes shooting handheld a breeze.

It might not be the camera you'd choose for a demanding professional shoot, but the GX85 packs a lot of video capability into a compact and well-designed body. Whether you want an enjoyable camera that captures great-looking footage, or want to learn more about shooting video, the GX85 is a very affordable way to do it.


We considered the cameras below when picking our winner, and even though we think the GH5 is the best choice overall, the cameras on our short list are also worthy contenders. If you're not convinced by our pick, take a look at the following cameras for a detailed breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses.