Last updated: July 19, 2018

Video is becoming more important than ever, and video features have become an essential 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-GH5S / DC-GH5

The Panasonic GH5 and GH5S are the only stills/video hybrid cameras to shoot both UHD and DCI 4K at 60p and the only ones able to capture 10-bit video. And, crucially, their output is as impressive as these specs imply. Both offer a more extensive set of video shooting tools than any of their immediate rivals, including both waveforms and vectorscopes as well as zebras, focus peaking and corrected previews both for Log and Anamorphic shooting. For many photographers some of those terms may sound unfamiliar, but they're the tools videographers rely on every day.

With its slightly larger, dual-gain sensor, the GH5S is able to shoot excellent video in a wider range of lighting conditions than the conventional GH5. This and the processing flexibility of its 10-bit Log footage (VLog-L is a paid upgrade on the GH5), makes the GH5S our pick as best camera for video.

However, what the standard GH5 offers is sensor-shift image stabilization. As such, for run-and-gun shooting, it becomes the safer choice. Its 20MP sensor also makes it the stronger choice if you need to shoot stills as well as video. Autofocus isn't dependable enough for the highest-end work, but is generally very effective. This is the only significant downside of two hugely capable cameras.

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 GH5S is the best choice overall, the cameras on our short list are also worth considering.

We recommend taking a look at the following cameras for a detailed breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses, to see which best fits your needs.

Also consider:

Our Buying Guides cover virtually every major camera on the market, most of which we’ve tested in-depth. This includes testing of sensor performance and image quality, experience with the video shooting and extensive real-world photography in a range of situations. We selected our recommendations by prioritizing the features and performance aspects central to video shooting.