The Best Video Cameras of 2017!

Welcome to the innaugral edition of the BrokenSlate Podcast! Today, we present our guide to the best video cameras of 2017. We are profiling newly released and upcoming cameras that have a ton of hype behind them and can deliver the goods when you’re out in the world filming. We’re breaking down the best video cameras of 2017  in four different categories including Cinema cameras, DSLR’s, Ultra-Compacts and Action Cameras. So wether you are a Hollywood film producer or a vlogging enthusiast, this guide will help steer you in the direction on what cameras to consider when it comes time to investing your hard-earned cash on a purchase.

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Cinema Cameras

When it comes to the battle of ARRI vs RED – it’s not so much a matter of camera quality, but rather, the look that you are trying to achieve, the feature set you need and a bit personal preference. That’s why we’ve profiled both the RED Weapon 8K and the ARRI Alexa SXT as the best video cameras of 2017 in the Cinema Camera category.

RED WEAPON 8K S35

Red Weapon 8K

The RED weapon 8k is an absolute beast. Sporting a full frame, 35 megapixel sensor, the RED Weapon  records glorious 8k and features 16.5 stops of dynamic range. Slow motion isn’t anything to get excited about – but shooting 240 fps in 2K is pretty damn good; and RED’s HDR recording format is one of the best in the industry; only rivaled by … ARRI of course. If you don’t know why you need HDR video – you should probably check out our recent 60 Second Breakdown of HDR Video to learn what it is all about. Now when it comes to available recording formats; the RED Weapon 8k has an absurd amount of choice … too much to list here, but they do rely heavily on DNX HD and ProRes, and shoot an impressive 4K ProRes proxy.  The camera is sure to be a hit in Hollywood, and has already been featured as the choice camera for the upcoming mega-hit Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.

Alexa SXT

ARRI Alexa SXT

 

That said, the RED Weapon 8K does have some stiff competition, notably, the Alexa 65; and although the ARRI 65 may be the camera you want, the ALEXA SXT is the camera you need and will probably actually buy. It’s the successor to the ever popular ARRI ALEXA and utilizes a 35mm full frame sensor to record 4K cinema at up to 120frames per second. THE SXT is a great all-around camera that sports features such as HDR, a monstrously wide color gamut and can shoot the new Rec 2020 recording format. This camera does lack in the slow motion department … 120 frames per second is nothing revolutionary, but that is forgiven when you consider that the SXT features permanent filters in front of the sensor: optical low pass, UV, IR and also features improved on-set monitoring.

Now, before we get into the DSLR, ultra compact and action camera categories, I do encourage you to visit us online at brokenslate.com, visit our Facebook page brokenslateinc and of course like, comment and subscribe to our youtube channel. We are definitely working hard to help filmmakers just like you become better at their craft, and create some awesome tutorials that you won’t find anywhere else.

DSLR

Panasonic GH5

Panasonic GH5

 

Now moving in to the DSLR category, The Panasonic GH5 it is sure to be 2017’s biggest hit. As an update to the massively successful GH4, the GH5 will sport some of the same amazing formats and features that made the GH4 as impressive as it was; while also regrettably bringing along the same micro four thirds sensor that we didn’t really love. Please, just give us a full frame member of the GH family.  Now although there is not a ton of information available on this camera, we do know that there will be DCI 4K video recording at up to 60fps, a 6K photo mode for stills and of course – Panasonic listened to GH4 users and provided a massively requested feature – 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording … that’s right – no more external recorder required to get some great footage that you can properly grade.  More information on the GH5 should be coming anytime now, but from what we already know about it, we think that it’s competitor Canon has been sent a clear sign that it’s time they upped their game. Like c’mon … the 5D Mark IV could have been SO great, but instead, it is one of 2016’s biggest camera fails.

Ultra Compact

Sony RX100V

Sony RX100V

Ultra compacts – these small cameras have been a massive hit among budding videographers and established vloggers; and camera manufacturers haven taken notice. For 2017 we’re seeing some major competition …  and from what we can tell, the Sony RX 100V is going to lead the pack as 2017’s best ultra compact video camera. Now it’s important to note – we’re only profiling this camera from a video standpoint, and aren’t really concerning ourselves with some of the amazing photo capabilities.

Like most other compacts, the RX 100V shoots crystal clear 4K footage, has an articulating screen for all that selfie goodness, and shoots all sorts of frame rates up to a whopping 960fps. Let’s let that sink in … 960 frames per second. That’s unbelieveable. These are feature sets we would have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a decade ago – and now, the technology is readily available for a camera that retails for about $1000 USD. The RX 100V also sports digital image stabilization which works while shooting in 1080p mode. For obvious reasons, you lose that stabilization when shooting in 4k mode. We really do wish there was optical stabiliazation mode. The camera shoots superior autofocus, with over 315 AF points and sports a Stacked 20 MP 1″ Exmor RS CMOS Sensor and boasts 315 AF points and sports several different picture profiles – including Sony’s popular neutral format; which is perfect for quick color grades before publishing to youtube.

Action Camera

Arc Revl

Revl Arc 4K Camera

 

Last but not least – the nible action camera. We’re giving the title of 2017 best action camera to … the Revl Arc camera. That’s right, not the GoPro Hero 5. That’s right … although the GoPro is the leader of the pack in terms of quality and reliability – it just falls a bit flat in the innovation department. Enter the Revl ARC camera. Revl is the world’s first stabilized 4K smart action camera; and utilizes both electronic and digital stabilization for buttery smooth shots for when you want to light your wingsuit on fire and glide through the swiss alps. The camera also features an auto-horizion detector which means your footage will always stay level to the horizion. Say goodbye to lugging around that 3axis gimbal you’ve been carrying with you from shoot to shoot.

Even without the built in stabilization, The Revl Arc can hold it’s own in the action camera segment, The Revl Arc is equipped a 12-megapixel image sensor made by Sony that allows it to capture 4K footage at 30 frames per second, 1080p at up to 120 frames per second, and 720p footage at up to 240 frames per second. The Revl also has a beautiful rubber exterior that provides a stylish form of protection and grip for any adventure.

 

Runner Up:

The 12K, Fried Frame  T.A.T.E.R

 

Mashed, Fried, Baked? What Can’t this camera do? This 12K Fried Frame T.A.T.E.R. is  one of the best video cameras of 2017! T.A.T.E.R. is great for all spudding filmmakers and sports an optional upgraded mayonnaise mount for you potato salad lovers out there. Even better , retail comes in at just $0.39/lb. Just make sure to use it within a week of purchase, or your recording media will expire. This camera was developed by our friends at The Frugal Filmmaker. It’s an inside joke really … 😉

Well there you have it folks – Broken Slate’s best video cameras of 2017. Of course, this is a subjective list and everyone is entitled to an opinion and If you think we missed something, drop a note in the comment section, tell us how much you love our choices or absolutely hate everything about them. As always, be sure to visit us at brokenslate.com, follow our page brokenslateinc on facebook and subscribe to our youtube channel. Until next time … adios!

 

Looking for more? Read Broken Slate’s: Top 10 Mistakes Beginner Filmakers Make

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