Less expensive mirrorless camera for video?
April 30, 2020 2:01 PM   Subscribe

So what do you buy in 2020 if you want an inexpensive ILC that you're going to use primarily for video?

Panasonic? I'm thinking of buying used for less than, say, $850 with lens. Probably just leave the kit lens on there for the moment, probably just use it for family videos. I love the form factor of the GX9 but the lack of a mic jack is a bummer. But if I'm not shooting super serious video do I even need a mic jack?

Please don't suggest phones, I really hate phones.
posted by selfnoise to Shopping (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I failed to mention that I do already own a DSLR but it's a Pentax KP so while I love it the video output is TERRIBLE. Hilariously, it has a mic jack.
posted by selfnoise at 2:07 PM on April 30, 2020

Best answer: Panasonic split their camera lines into "cameras that can do video" and "video cameras". Only the latter have mic jacks. It’s annoying.

(If you care about the quality of your video at all, then honestly audio almost matters more than the camera. Check out this video by Matt Parker on the topic. But if you’re recording for family only then convenience trumps faffing about with audio devices :) )
posted by pharm at 2:56 AM on May 1, 2020

Is there something specific that you don't like about the video on the KP? I read some reviews that talk about rolling shutter but a lot of cameras that are still cameras first have that. The KP only came out 3 years ago, video has gone up in pixel count and framerate but not overall quality that I have seen. Scary that iPhone video seems to be better than SLR video, depending on what you are shooting.
posted by wnissen at 11:15 AM on May 1, 2020

I'm pretty sure you can find a used Panasonic GH4 with a lens for that price. Even new, the price might not be far off. It's made for video and is a pretty solid all-round device, much more so than the GX9. If you find one without a lens, do some research. Old lenses can be remarkably cheap and effective, and new, cheap lenses exist for that format too. The downside is there is no image stabilization of the sensor, but if you're not on long lenses, it is fine.
posted by kolendra at 6:51 AM on May 2, 2020

Response by poster: So, I figured I'd answer my own question.

Ultimately I did some research and found there were the same tradeoffs and gotchas with newer cameras as older cameras, so I bought a used Panasonic G85, which I was able to get for around $400 with the kit lens. So far it's working great.

To answer the question about the KP: the 1080 footage is incredibly soft, the stabilization doesn't work in video, most lenses for the camera are screwdrive which interferes with the mic audio, it doesn't do 4K, and doesn't provide gradeable footage.

The G85 footage is night and day and I haven't even learned how to use the camera yet.
posted by selfnoise at 5:49 AM on May 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

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