What sub-$4000 USD Cameras do we like (Jan 2023 edition)?

An added bonus for Nikon is that they have used the same mount continuously (unless something changed recently) so you have the advantage of using the entire lineup of Nikon lenses going back to the late 50’s.


The Z’s area a different mount but there are a million adapters and you’re spot on with the F mount lenses. I bought my wife a Leica M mount adapter in addition to the standard Nikon F to Z adapter so she can use pretty much every piece of 35mm glass we own on that Z6II—spanning easily 60 years—including her Elmar 135. Bananas.

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the problen with the Z6 (or any nikon)

→ Nlog not supported by ACES
→ Nlog still only avaiable with external recording
→ Z9 shoots nikonRaw which is barely supported…

Like dont get me wrong I love my Z6 for photography and all - but its really not such a great video camera compared to just getting braw from a blackmagic pocket.

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You can still get a Nikon D850 and an external recorder for under 3K. It shoots UHD 4:2:2 (Sadly at 24, but not 23.98) as well as amazing stills and it has bucket loads of other shooting features. Not to mention the use of the aforementioned full line of Nikon Lenses.

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While DSLR/mirrorless have come a long way since the D90, and there are now some (Panasonic GH series) that put video first, I still come out against that for any pro that is in the film business, and not the stills business. Too many compromises all around. The BMD pocket kind of straddles that line somewhat.

If you don’t need the latest and greatest, I would go on eBay and buy a used cine camera, which should be well in that budget range and you’ll be much happier with the pictures and ergonomics of it. No Frankensteining required. Especially, once you truly kit out mirrorless for proper work, you spend as much as the camera on all the accessories.

I still do camera work from time to time. Started on Sony cameras, but switched to Panasonic a while ago. Right now have a Varicam LT and two EVA1s, plus a GH5s and a collection of matching PL glass.


I’ve got the Blackmagic 6kPro, but that is because I already had a lot of Canon glass (Zeiss lenses) from my old 5D2. Even though it crops the lens I’m very happy to take the hit for the quality of the look and the BMRaw. I bought a Meike 18mm S35 lens and also invested in the new SmallRig MagicFiz. BM updates the firmware frequently and add really nice functions. I am a fan of the Gyro stablisation that was introduced in the last round of updates.


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Friends don’t let friends buy REDs :grin:


I 100% support this statement, and I wouldnt wish my wirst enemy to have to work with red footage.

Bur for shooting pickups and elements and private projects a 5K-6K redcode thingy for like $3000 is hard to beat, its pretty workable, tiny files with great support in every NLE on the planet while beign pretty small…

honestly would love to havena old scarlet just as a replacement for reference stills done with a dslr… just because I an fed up dealing with photography raw

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Just so we’re clear: it was a joke.

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/furiously cancels ebay bid.

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The Z6II uses the new Z-mount since it’s a full-frame mirrorless. But you can get a relatively cheap adapter and use older lenses - which I do!

I agree with ManChicken, ytf… RED should die.

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