The Best Cameras for Filmmaking in 2020

Posted by Grant Patten on Apr 1, 2020 7:55:11 AM


The Best Cameras for Filmmaking in 2020Source: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 685271140, Shutterstock

Let’s review some of the best cameras for filmmaking available on the market now. We’ll discuss:

THE BEST CAMERAS FOR FILMMAKING - Canon 90DCanon 80D and 90D DSLRs – affordable & excellent cameras for filmmaking / best DSLRs for filmmaking

The Canon 80D [Affiliate Link] is an excellent DSLR that offers a useful articulating screen and fast, precise autofocus in live view mode, making it great for video shooters. The colours look great, too.

The 90D [Affiliate Link] is the newer model, offering upgrades such as a higher-resolution sensor and a new electronic shutter/faster shutter speed (up to 1/16,000 second). For reference, here is an example video shot on the 90D:


The Canon EOS Rebel T7i [Affiliate Link] is another DSLR appropriate for filmmaking. If you purchase it as a kit, you can get a tripod, filters and other useful accessories included with it. It shoots HD 1080p video at 60fps and offers an HDR mode.

Arguably superior image quality to Canon DSLRs – Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

As great as the Canon DSLRs are, through, some filmmakers argue that other brands offer superior image quality in this price range, such as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. [Affiliate Link] This camera shoots 4K 4096 x 2160 up to 60 fps with 13 stops of dynamic range. For reference, decide for yourself by comparing this Blackmagic footage to the Canon footage above:

The Blackmagic Pocket 4K has many great attributes, including:

  • Raw recording / great dynamic range (roughly 1 TB per hour of recording)
  • Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) at 220 Mbps
  • Great colour science
  • Great ISO range
  • Large screen

The Panasonic G7 kit – great for low-budget filmmaking / best camera for filmmaking on a budget

With the Panasonic LUMIX G7 Mirrorless Camera and Accessory Bundle [Affiliate Link], you can get this camera with useful accessories included like a carrying case and memory card – all for under $750 CAD (at the time of this writing).

In the G line, filmmakers may also want to consider the GH5 [Affiliate Link]. This camera is a better choice if you want to look inconspicuous and do “run & gun” type work. And if you’re looking for cheaper options, the older models are still quite good filmmaking cameras, including the GH4.

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ1000 [Affiliate Link] may be considered for a “superzoom” option; this camera offers a high-res OLED viewfinder, 12 fps burst shooting and beautiful 4K video.

THE BEST CAMERAS FOR FILMMAKING - Sony A7 IIIThe Sony a77, Alpha A6400 and FDR-AX700

The Sony a7 III [Affiliate Link] is a camera to consider for filmmaking and videography as it lets you shoot 4K2 (3840x2160 pixels) up to 10 fps and customize a wide range of video-shooting options.

The Sony Alpha A6400 [Affiliate Link] is also an excellent filmmaking camera that shoots 4K video (24.2-megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor). This camera has no record time limit!

The Sony FDR-AX700 camcorder [Affiliate Link] is another reasonably priced option that shoots 4K and HDR videos. This camera has incredibly fast, hybrid autofocus (AF) technology.

The Fujifilm X-T3 and X-T30

The Fujifilm X-T3 [Affiliate Link] camera is easy to use, provides great image quality (4K recording at 60p) and is small enough that it doesn't draw a lot of attention. If you want a camera that captures great video & photos, the Fuji X-T3 is ideal.

You could also go for the X-T30 [Affiliate Link], which is essentially a smaller, cheaper version of the X-T3. 4K recording is limited to 30p on the X-T30. The X-T30 is reported (The Verge) to have a better autofocus system than the X-T3, though.

THE BEST CAMERAS FOR FILMMAKING - DJI Osmo PocketBest compact camera / best small camera for filmmaking – the DJI Osmo Pocket

If you need a really small and compact camera that can still record amazing image quality (RAW format photos and D-Cinelike videos), check out the DJI Osmo Pocket. [Affiliate Link] It can shoot 4K/60fps video at 100 mbps.

This camera is a popular choice for vloggers and travellers.


More of an investment – Professional cinema cameras / cine cameras

If you’re able to spend more, consider getting a cine camera / cinema camera, such as the Canon EOS C300 MK II [Affiliate Link] or the Canon EOS C200 [Affiliate Link]. Cinema cameras are designed to capture video with a dynamic range that matches or exceeds that of film: ~13 stops or so.

A key advantage most cine cameras have is continuous recording time – they’re generally able to record a lot longer without pausing. DSLRs usually have a 29:59 single recording max length timer.

The Sony PXW-FS5 [Affiliate Link] is a great “run & gun” cinema camera. It can shoot 4K RAW (records data directly from the sensor) and capture continuous HD video at up to 120 fps.

Get DigiGear Insurance | Film Equipment Insurance | Film Gear Insurance | Sound & Lighting Equipment Insurance

If you end up buying any of these above cameras (or any other gear) – you’ll want to have the right insurance coverage in place to protect that valuable gear.

Front Row’s DigiGear insurance policy is a good option for insuring your filmmaking gear, including your film camera(s). You can get a quote online, purchase a policy online in 5 mins, or read more about the coverages available here:

Refer a Friend to Front Row Insurance

Based on customer demand, we’ve setup our referral marketing program and if you refer a friend to Front Row, you could win a $15 Amazon eGift Card OR be entered into a random draw to win a $99 Amazon eGift Card! (depending on your province)

Related posts:




DISCLAIMER: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your broker for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

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Topics: DigiGear

How to choose between a DICE Insurance Policy and a DigiGear Policy?

Posted by Grant Patten on Nov 11, 2019 12:33:21 PM


DICE (docs, corporate videos, commercials, educational films, music videos)

The DICE Package Policy is intended to provide insurance for smaller budget documentaries, corporate videos, commercials, educational films, music videos and more. DICE is best suited for producers who are planning to produce projects other than feature films or TV series.

DICE can provide coverage for a full year for rented & owned equipment as well as Props, Sets and Wardrobe, Office Contents, Vehicle Physical Damage and more. Commercial General Liability coverage can also be purchased either together with the equipment coverage or on a standalone basis. If you would like more information or to request a free non-obligation quote, visit our DICE Policy website here. If you are a US based Producer, click here instead.

A DICE policy is available in ~4 hours by calling or emailing our office.

DigiGear (film equipment)

The DigiGear Policy is intended for owners of camera equipment, sound, lighting and other film equipment. All equipment is covered for: theft, damage, fire and loss of use. Like DICE, the DigiGear policy term is also for 12 months. A DigiGear policy is designed to cover owners/operators of production equipment whose operations or services fall within one of the below classifications:

  • Camera Operator
  • Director of Photography (DP) / Cinematographer
  • Videographer
  • Sound Recordist
  • Digital Imaging Technician
  • Grip

Unlike DICE, DigiGear is not a film production policy.

A DigiGear policy is available online in ~five minutes 24/7.
Note: coverage under DigiGear is only available to Canadian residents at this time.

For a visual overview of the two policies, view the infographic below:

DICE vs. DigiGear infographic




Topics: Documentary Insurance, DICE Insurance, DigiGear, Film equipment rental insurance, corporate video insurance, music video insurance, Educational Film Insurance

Preventing Film Equipment Theft – Tips & Tricks

Posted by Grant Patten on May 7, 2019 6:38:08 AM

All this lovely gear was stolen! Don’t let this be your gear. All this lovely gear was stolen! Don’t let this be your gear.

Thanks to cooperation between the FBI, the US embassy and Argentinian federal police, this massive haul of film production gear worth ~$3M was recovered in September 2018. The thieves had apparently targeted equipment in Hollywood and other US cities and then smuggled it into Argentina. As of May 2019, four people have been arrested in the US and 17 suspects have been identified in Argentina.

Film Equipment Theft – Prevention Tips

We’ve provided some tips & tricks for how to guard your film equipment, as well as some information on how to insure your equipment so you are protected in any worst case scenario situations.

1. Exterior/Location Filming

  • Key individuals should be responsible and accountable for transporting equipment from trucks and trailers to the filming set/location
  • There should be a tracking process established for logging equipment in/out when transported between destinations
  • Securely store equipment when not in use, especially hard-to-replace items like custom props, sets and wardrobes
  • Station security personnel within sight of exposed equipment, ideally at all times
  • Heighten security presence whenever filming in crime-ridden neighbourhoods

2. Interior Filming

  • Always favour buildings that have a central security alarm system, and check with building facilities that the system is actually running properly
  • Favour buildings that have security guard personnel on site
  • The building ideally has a concierge who facilitates logging in/approval of visitors
  • If you need to store equipment in the building overnight, double-check that the room is secure and inform security personnel about it

3. Employee/Crew Theft

  • Have written policy in place informing cast/crew that it is unacceptable to take any objects from set as “souvenirs”; clearly communicate policy to cast/crew
  • Conduct reference/background checks on all new employees/crewmembers
  • All employees/crewmembers should wear highly visible ID badges while on set
  • Make use of sign-in/sign-out sheets for entering/exiting locations
  • Conduct inventory checks on regular basis

4. Vehicles (including rental cars, vans and trucks)

  • Ensure vehicles transporting valuable equipment are as nondescript as possible (don’t call attention to the vehicles)
  • Any equipment stored in a vehicle should always be locked and kept out of sight (e.g., covered with blankets)
  • Ideally have multiple drivers available to limit the number of extended stops and take turns monitoring the vehicle during stops
  • If overnight: ideally stay at reputable hotels; hotel parking lots should be well-lit and monitored by cameras and security guards

5. Air Travel (planes carrying production equipment)

  • Always have a clearly marked luggage tag and have a card with emergency contact information placed inside the luggage/container
  • Whenever possible, carry some valuable items onto the plane instead of checking them in, such as laptops and smaller cameras
  • Maintain an inventory listing the shipped items, along with planned shipping itinerary and equipment serial numbers

Consider Film Equipment Insurance – DigiGear

There seems to be no published information on whether or not the equipment involved in the Hollywood-Argentina smuggle was insured. If it wasn’t insured, no doubt, the owners of said equipment were likely kicking themselves after this massive theft occurred.

Avoid a similar fate by insuring your film equipment with Front Row under a DigiGear policy.






Chubb PDF T3-FilmEqTheft-3-19

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Equipment, DigiGear

Insurance for Theft of Camera and Film Equipment

Posted by Casey Budden on Oct 24, 2018 10:43:17 AM

Camera insurance Canada - woman on phone



You’ve finally gotten to the meat of the production: the principal photography phase. Much of the busywork is done; now for the fun part!

Unfortunately, as it so often does, disaster strikes at the worst time: a rented vehicle used in the production is stolen from the set. Worse, it contained an expensive piece of camera equipment (also rented). The vehicle is quickly recovered, but the camera equipment is nowhere to be found and there is damage to the vehicle. The cost of your production is suddenly mounting very quickly.

Could this have been prevented?

A commercial vehicle physical damage policy covers accidents mentioned above.

You’ll also want to ensure your production has production equipment insurance, which covers you against physical loss of or damage to, or destruction of, cameras, sound, lighting and grip equipment which are owned or rented by the production company.

A film production is a complex animal; you want the process to be as seamless as possible. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one less thing to think about?

Ensure that your production is adequately covered so that you can concentrate on filmmaking rather than financing.



Topics: Camera Insurance, Camera Insurance Broker, DigiGear, Film equipment rental insurance

What does online DigiGear Equipment insurance actually cover?

Posted by David Hamilton on Aug 2, 2016 4:03:51 PM

DigiGear Insurance Coverage for Film Equipment

This unique offering allows owners of camera equipment, sound, lighting and other film equipment the opportunity to get quick quotes in 20 seconds and purchase insurance for their gear in less than five minutes, 365 days a year, 24/7.

All equipment is covered for: theft, damage, fire and loss of use. This short animation explains the coverage:

Wait for the $50 discount code at the end!

The policy term is for 12 months.

Rental equipment insurance coverage is also available.

The online link ensures industry-low prices:

  • $10,000 equipment coverage: costs $80, plus a fee
  • $2,000,000 annual location liability coverage: costs $500
  • $1,000 deductible for gear

Available to Canadian equipment owners at:

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that works on behalf of the Canadian arts and entertainment industry to provide insurance for the lowest possible cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that clients receive the money they are owed per the insurance policy, as quickly as possible. Front Row has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Nashville and Los Angeles.


Film Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

Film Production Insurance: Why it is needed

Pre-Production Insurance

Film Production Insurance

How the Premium is Determined

Short Film Insurance

DigiGear Insurance

Props/Sets/Wardrobe Insurance

E&O Insurance

DICE Insurance

Third Party Property Damage

Crew Vehicles

Umbrella Vs. Excess Liability

Commercial General Liability

Negative Film / Videotape and Faulty Stock

Workers Comp

Cast Insurance

Extra Expense (EE)

Foreign Locations


Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Equipment, Camera Insurance, DigiGear

Filmmakers: You May NOT be Covered under a Homeowners Insurance Policy

Posted by David Hamilton on May 23, 2016 12:18:22 PM


You arrive back at your apartment to find your door pried open and your camera, sound and lighting gear missing. You take out your phone and call your insurance broker to report the claim under the homeowners policy that you purchased. An adjuster is assigned. The claims adjuster does a web search and sees that you have credits on IMDB for various productions. Because you are hired with your gear as a part of your weekly rate, your gear is now considered “commercial” equipment and as such, not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy which is intended to cover “personal” film gear that is not used for commercial purposes.

You tell the adjuster that you only worked  twice in the last 12 months on two low budget music videos and made less than $300. The adjuster shrugs, “It doesn’t matter, even if you shoot a birthday party for 60 minutes for $50, you are a professional and your gear is  considered commercial and is no longer covered under a homeowners policy”.

This is a difficult, pricey lesson that is better learned before there is a loss. Our experience tells us that many professionals assume they are covered by their homeowners insurance policy when in fact they are not.

If you use your gear to make money, check your insurance policy and make sure your coverage is appropriate.

We have created a 5-minute online insurance solution called DigiGear:

Available at:

The policy term is for 12 months and coverage is provided throughout Canada and the USA.

All equipment is covered for replacement cost for: theft, damage, fire and loss of use. Rental coverage is also available.

Industry-low film equipment insurance prices:

  • $10,000 equipment coverage: $80 plus a fee
  • $2,000,000 location liability coverage: $500.  Liability covers property damage and bodily injury to third parties. Pays legal fees, too
  • $1,000 deductible for gear

get $50 off!  Use code: $50discount at:

"We wanted to make the insurance process easier, faster and cheaper for musicians,” said David Hamilton, President of Front Row. “Given that an insurance company underwriter is not involved, the cost to process an online film equipment insurance policy is much less and we have passed the savings onto the gear owner. The savings is expected to be 30% compared to standard film equipment policies. Although the DigiGear policy is online, we are still available to answer questions by email or over the phone if required.”

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Camera Insurance, DigiGear

DigiGear Film Production Equipment Insurance from Front Row Insurance

Posted by David Hamilton on Sep 27, 2011 11:33:00 AM

DigiGear Film production equipment insuranceDigiGear Film production equipment insurance

Film production equipment insurance is available from Front Row Insurance.  We are specialized film insurance brokers with three offices in Canada.

Film gear insurance can be arranged quickly through us, usually over the phone.  Our program is very popular with new and established film makers because of the low cost and the simple process to arrange a policy. We can cover both owned gear and rented gear.

The fastest way to receive a quote is to complete the short application telling us about your gear on the short application HERE.  We will then call or email you with the cost within one business day or sooner. 

We can provide you with film equipment coverage with limits ranging between $5,000 and $10,000,000.  Premiums start at $75.

If you would like to add location liability, we can do so for an additional premium.  

We can also provide coverage for: 

  • Reshooting your lost or damaged data or film stock
  • Production Office
  • Rented Vehicle
  • Rented props, rented sets, rented wardrobe
  • Cast
  • And more-just ask.

If you would like an annual policy to cover multiple small productions as well as providing coverage for your gear, please click this link to take you to our D.I.C.E. (Documentaries, Industrial Films, Commercials, Educational Films – it also covers short shoots, music videos and feature films with low budgets) To obtain a quote, Click Here.

Our service is friendly and knowledgeable: please contact us.

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Equipment, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, Film Equipment, DigiGear, Educational Film Insurance