UPDATE: Check out my picks for the ultimate YouTube camera setup!
Looking for an awesome 4K video cam? You’ve come to the right place. Shooting in 4K is becoming more accessible/affordable every year. And that’s important because devices consumers can play 4K footage on, like TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones, are also becoming more accessible and affordable (see The 3 Best Affordable UHD 4K TVs You Can Buy Right Now For Under $1,000). While a professional 4K setup could cost upwards of $10,000, beginners can now buy an awesome entry-level 4K shooter for around $700. And I can personally attest that yes, these cameras are actually really decent (see Lumix G7 below). I suppose the main crowd interested in these cameras will be people interested in shooting vlogs, webisodes and other web content. In other words, I could have also named this post The 3 Best New 4K Cameras For YouTubers!
Panasonic Lumix G7K
We’ve got a Panasonic Lumix G7K 4K camera here at the office and I LOVE IT. The video quality is absolutely insane for the price which starts at just $799.99! It even has some advantages over more expensive cameras (including the Canon XC10 below) such as an interchangeable lens system. Yes, it has a plastic body that isn’t weather-sealed (unlike it’s sturdier older brother the G4), but I find that I like the lightness and the camera actual feels quite high-quality to me. The touchscreen panel (which flexes out for easing viewing at multiple angles — including swinging all the way around to the front for selfie shots) works well and is well thought out. 4K time lapse shots are also possible with the Lumix G7K. I’ll do a more full-featured review/test in the coming weeks. Needless to say: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by the DailyTekk team. One important note though: the Lumix G7’s 4K footage is compatible with FCP X (Final Cut Pro X) and plays nicely without the need for external conversion software.
There’s an awful lot to like about the Canon XC10. At $2,499 it’s the most expensive camera in this list but it’s still many thousands of dollars cheaper than other professional 4K camcorders. The benefit (and perhaps achilles heel, we’ll see) of the Canon XC10 is that it’s an all-in-one system. There is no interchangeable lens. That said, the lens it ships with is pretty awesome. Run and gun filmmakers are probably going to love this camera (at least as a B cam) and YouTubers who want a professional look without going broke will probably take to it as well. Why? The rotating handle is going to be really useful. It also has an articulating screen — although it doesn’t swing around to the front for selfies — and plenty of customizable buttons which can be set to whatever functions you use the most. Unfortunately it uses the more expensive CFast cards instead of the smaller, more standardized SD cards. One thing that sets it apart from the Lumix G7 above is that it can shoot better slow mo. In the box you’ll get a viewfinder unit for outdoor shooting which I think a lot of people are really going to like.
Now the E1 Camera has a far different form factor than the two cameras listed above. Rather than having a more DSLR-like casing, the E1 is actually closer in size and feel to a GoPro camera. But in no way is it limited in lens choices like GoPros are. And that’s what sets the E1 Camera apart — it’s the size of a GoPro but has an interchangeable lens system (works with Panasonic/Olympus MFT lenses). I absolutely love the idea of this camera and will be excited to try it out in the future. And the price is awesome: $699 MSRP. This product was recently funded on Kickstarter (more than 500 backers pledged over $300,000 to bring it to life) so it may be a few months before you can actually get your hands on one (depending on when you read this).