Cameras on a Budget in 2020

My photography and video journey started in 2017, with my first mirrorless camera, the Panasonic Lumix G7. I bought it with the intention of making short-films and other videos. Shortly after, I realized I’d much rather spend time with my kids so the filming took a back seat and OpenFilmmaker was created.

With the current quarantine situation, what better to do than reflect on my journey? I figured I’d put together a list of recommended cameras for both beginners and advanced shooters. Remember, this is a biased article. I love the M43 cameras for their portability and quality, especially for video.

You’re probably wondering why these cameras are so special? Well, take a look at the 25-Reasons Article. Long story short, these are great quality cameras delivering 4K at 100 Mbps (that’s pretty fantastic). With the exception of the GH5 which goes up to 400 Mbps.

Video (Filmmaking and YouTube)

I started with the Panasonic G7. It’s a phenomenal camera for YouTubers and short filmmakers. If you’re on a budget, this is the way to go. Now, the biggest issues with the Panasonic system is the Contrast-Based Auto Focus. For that reason, I need to mention the Sony cameras.

Sony A6xxx Series

If you’re expecting your video to always be in focus without putting any work into it, the Panasonic G7 is not the camera for you. For lazy focus-ers, you should check out the Sony A6100, A6400, or A6600. You will love their Auto Focus system.

Panasonic G7

For everyone else, there’s the Panasonic Lumix G7. While I used the G7 to take a lot of photography, it’s not really something I would recommend. This is due to my experience with it’s mechanical shutter. My G7’s mechanical shutter was starting to get stuck so I changed it over to electronic shutter, which has negative image quality results, but the beginner will likely not notice.

The G7 doesn’t feature In-Body Image Stabilization. The lenses have Optical Image Stabilization, which is better than not having stabilization. If you plan on moving the camera or need more of a vlogger setup, then take a look at the Panasonic Lumix G85.

Panasonic G85

The Panasonic Lumix G85 is recommended here because of the quality, features, and low price-point. Reigning over the G7, this camera includes an upgraded electromagnetic shutter, removal of the anti-aliasing filter, and In-Body Image Stabilization. It’s worth every penny of the upgrade over the G7.

I’d recommend the G85 over the G7 any day. Check the links in this article for the prices. If you’re on a budget, you could even get the G85 with the two lens bundle and sell the second lens (keep the 12-60mm). Just a thought!

Panasonic GH5

If you already have video skills and want to go pro, then the Panasonic Lumix GH5 / GH5s would be the cameras for you. I’ve watched many videos on these cameras and the GH5 is currently on my watchlist.


Whether you’re making vlogs, short films, or family videos, these Panasonic cameras have you covered. Most of the videos on my YouTube channel were shot with these cameras. Check it out to learn more on what these cameras can do!

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