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The Best Cinema Cameras for Live Streaming (2024)

This is a complete list of cinema cameras I use and trust for live streaming concerts, houses of worship, corporate events, sports, podcasts, education, Esports, and more.

Also be sure to check out my recommendations for The Best Studio Cameras. Now that larger sensors and additional cinema features have made their way into that category, there are many great ways to achieve cinematic results in a live production environment.

Sony FX30

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The best overall cinema camera for most users.

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Image Quality: 8/10 Dynamic Range: 7/10 Low Light Quality: 6/10 Live Features: 4/10 Overall Value: 8/10

Scores are calculated equally across all camera categories. Learn how I choose scores

Sony made a wise decision to simply add integrated cooling fans to their top performing mirrorless cameras for better video recording stability.

Boy howdy! Did that decision ever pay off...

Overheating concerns be gone and Sony be praised! 🙌

Which brings us to the Sony FX30, an entry‑level cinema camera with impressive features:

  • APS‑C / Super 35 sensor
  • 6K oversampling
  • Excellent hybrid auto focus
  • Dedicated zoom rocker
  • 5‑axis in‑body image stabilization
  • Record up to 4096 x 2160 at 119.88 fps in 4:2:2 10‑bit
  • 4672 x 2628 16‑bit HDMI RAW output up to 59.94 fps
  • Dual CFexpress Type A / SD memory card slots
  • Five 1/4"‑20 mounting points for accessories
  • 2 x XLR analog audio inputs (with optional Sony XLR‑H1 Handle Unit)

The two things I love most about this camera are the build quality (it's stout for such a compact form factor) and that it just nails the basics so well.

No frills, no marketing gimmicks, no useless fluff. Just rock solid performance and excellent image quality.

One major caveat is continuous power...

The only options are a supported dummy battery adapter (and removing the battery door completely) or using USB‑C Power Delivery.

For USB‑C Power Delivery, be sure to use a quality battery or AC adapter that provides the full 9V / 3A power the camera needs to run long‑term.


Pros

  • Value
  • Image quality
  • Lots of good lens options with Sony E mount and the Super 35 sensor

Cons

  • No SDI output
  • Limited power options
  • No synchro scan shutter

Sony FX30 Framing Distances
Full Shot 2.22mm per foot (7.29mm per meter)
100mm @ 45' (100mm @ 13.72m)
Medium Shot 5.41mm per foot (17.73mm per meter)
100mm @ 18.5' (100mm @ 5.64m)

Sony FX30 Specifications
Sensor APS‑C (Super 35)
Lens Mount Sony E
Recording Formats HEVC/H.265
H.264
Up to 4096 x 2160 at 59.94 fps
Recording Media 2 x CFexpress Type A / SD card combination slots
Video I/O 1 x HDMI output (Type A - Full Size)
Video Output Formats 4672 x 2628 up to 59.94 fps (HDMI RAW)
4096 x 2160 up to 59.94 fps
Audio I/O 1 x Integrated stereo microphone
1 x 3.5mm TRS stereo microphone input
2 x XLR audio mic/line inputs (with optional Sony XLR‑H1 Handle Unit)
1 x 3.5mm TRS stereo microphone input (with optional Sony XLR‑H1 Handle Unit)
Other I/O 1 x USB‑C port (file transfers, control, and Power Delivery)
Wireless 2.4GHz / 5GHz Wi‑Fi (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)
Bluetooth 5.0
Power 1 x Sony NP‑FZ100 battery (included)
1 x Sony AC‑UUD12 battery charger (included)
1 x USB‑C Power Delivery

Canon EOS C70

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The best value cinema camera for live streaming.

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Image Quality: 9/10 Dynamic Range: 9/10 Low Light Quality: 7/10 Live Features: 6/10 Overall Value: 9/10

Scores are calculated equally across all camera categories. Learn how I choose scores

Out of all the cameras in this list, I've used the Canon C70 the most.

I just keep going back.

It does both video and audio so well with the least amount of fuss.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Super 35 DGO sensor
  • Canon's fast and accurate Dual Pixel auto focus
  • Built‑in motorized ND filters
  • Record in 4:2:2 10‑bit or 12‑bit Cinema RAW Light formats up to 4096 x 2160 at 59.94 fps (119.88 fps in slow motion)
  • Dual SD memory card slots
  • 2 x mini XLR audio inputs (with quality preamps that are actually usable)
  • Tons of control solutions including 2.5mm LANC‑compatible terminal, Canon's IP‑based XC protocol, and the Multi‑Camera Control App
  • Canon lens mount adapters add support for many popular EF lenses

For the curious, the DGO sensor reads each pixel at two different amplification levels, high and low, and then combines the two into a single image. What results is better dynamic range, less noise, and more detail in shadows and highlights.

Also, many of the early growing pains like limited RF lens options and lens/adapter compatibilities have mostly been addressed.

So now we're left with a remarkable camera that punches well above its price point and integrates so well into a live environment.


Pros

  • Image quality and dynamic range
  • Tons of native control solutions
  • Clear Scan shutter adjustment helps minimize flicker/banding from lighting and LED walls

Cons

  • No SDI output
  • Rolling shutter performance could be better
  • Many control solutions require USB adapters

Canon EOS C70 Framing Distances
Full Shot 2.22mm per foot (7.29mm per meter)
100mm @ 45' (100mm @ 13.72m)
Medium Shot 5.41mm per foot (17.73mm per meter)
100mm @ 18.5' (100mm @ 5.64m)

Canon EOS C70 Specifications
Sensor Super 35 DGO CMOS
Lens Mount Canon RF
Recording Formats Canon Cinema RAW Light
H.265
H.264
Up to 4096 x 2160 at 59.94 fps
Up to 4096 x 2160 at 119.88 fps (in slow motion recording)
Recording Media 2 x SD memory card slots
Video I/O 1 x HDMI output (Type A - Full Size)
Video Output Formats SMPTE formats up to 4096 x 2160 at 59.94 fps
Audio I/O 1 x Integrated stereo microphone
2 x mini XLR audio mic/line inputs with phantom power
1 x 3.5mm TRS stereo microphone input
1 x 3.5mm stereo headphone output
Other I/O 1 x BNC timecode port (in and out)
1 x 2.5mm remote port (LANC compatible and compatible with Canon RC‑V100 Remote Controller)
1 x USB‑C port (file transfers, control, and Ethernet/Wi‑Fi adapters)
Wireless N/A
Power 1 x Canon BP‑A30 battery (included)
1 x Canon CA‑CP200L AC power adapter (included)
Canon BP‑A60 battery (optional)

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

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The best budget cinema camera for live streaming.

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Image Quality: 7/10 Dynamic Range: 6/10 Low Light Quality: 5/10 Live Features: 5/10 Overall Value: 8/10

Scores are calculated equally across all camera categories. Learn how I choose scores

It's hard to argue with the popularity and performance of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K.

It has become synonymous with "budget‑friendly cinema camera", and for great reasons.

I will let its list of features speak for itself:

  • Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • Dual native ISO
  • Record in ProRes or Blackmagic RAW
  • Record up to 4096 x 2160 at 60 fps
  • Record up to 2688 x 1512 at 120 fps
  • Record to CFast 2.0, SD UHS‑II, or external USB‑C drive
  • Built‑in 5" touchscreen
  • Apply custom 3D LUTs to HDMI output, built‑in monitor, and even directly to recorded files
  • Clean HDMI output up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps

On top of all that, it offers compatibility with most of Blackmagic's robust and diverse ecosystem of products and accessories.

Get tally, camera and lens control, and record start/stop functionality when paired with compatible Blackmagic ATEM switchers.

And discover a vast array of third party accessories like cages, batteries, cables, adapters, and more.

When it comes to making quality content on a tight budget, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras are worth consideration!


Pros

  • Price
  • Massive user base and accessory market
  • Integration with Blackmagic's ecosystem

Cons

  • HDMI output limited to 1080p
  • MFT lens selection can be tricky
  • Released in 2018 and due for an update (NAB 2024? 🤔)

Alternatives

If you want slightly better image quality, a larger selection of EF‑mount lenses, support for the Blackmagic Zoom Demand and Focus Demand, and have a bit more budget to work with then check out the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2.

And, if you want to go even a bit further and get motorized ND filters, a brighter screen, and better battery life then check out the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro.


Micro Four Thirds Servo Zoom Lenses

These are the only three MFT lenses currently being manufactured and that have built‑in servo zoom:

The Olympus 12‑50mm f/3.5‑6.3 EZ is another option. It's the lens most often used by Blackmagic Design for trade show demos and marketing photos. However, it has been discontinued for quite some time and has become increasingly difficult to find used in good shape.

There are currently no MFT lenses being manufactured that are both parfocal and have built‑in servo zoom. At least not that I'm aware of, and I've constantly been looking for the last 5+ years. If you are aware of any, please let me know.

Getting true parfocal servo zoom requires using a B4, EF, or PL mount lens with a compatible MFT lens mount adapter.

And unfortunately the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K does not support the Blackmagic Zoom Demand or Focus Demand, so control is also a consideration.

Which basically leaves us with the only other ideal possibility being a manual cinema zoom lens and a third party FIZ system.

One example I recommend:


Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Framing Distances
Full Shot 1.64mm per foot (5.38mm per meter)
100mm @ 61' (100mm @ 18.6m)
Medium Shot 4mm per foot (13.12mm per meter)
100mm @ 25' (100mm @ 7.62m)

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Specifications
Sensor Micro Four Thirds
Lens Mount Active MFT
Recording Formats ProRes 422 Proxy
ProRes 422 LT
ProRes 422
ProRes 422 HQ
Blackmagic RAW
4096 x 2160 (4K DCI) up to 60 fps
4096 x 1720 (4K 2.4:1) up to 75 fps
3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD) up to 60 fps
2880 x 2160 (2.8K anamorphic) up to 80 fps
2688 x 1512 (2.6K 16:9) up to 120 fps
1920 x 1080 (HD) up to 120 fps
Recording Media 1 x CFast memory card slot
1 x SD UHS‑II memory card slot
1 x USB‑C 3.1 port for recording to external drives
Video I/O 1 x HDMI output (Type A - Full Size)
Video Output Formats 1920 x 1080 up to 60 fps
Audio I/O 1 x Integrated stereo microphone
1 x mini XLR analog mic/line audio input with phantom power
1 x 3.5mm TRS stereo input (can also be used for timecode input)
1 x 3.5mm TRRS stereo headphone output
Other I/O 1 x USB‑C port (recording to external drives, and software updates)
Wireless Bluetooth (control)
Power 1 x LP‑E6 rechargeable battery (included)
1 x External 12V power supply (included)
1 x 2‑pin Weipu SF610/S2 locking connector input for use with third party power solutions (12V - 20V)

ARRI AMIRA Live

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The best premium cinema camera for live streaming.

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Image Quality: 10/10 Dynamic Range: 10/10 Low Light Quality: 8/10 Live Features: 10/10 Overall Value: 6/10

Scores are calculated equally across all camera categories. Learn how I choose scores

There is no denying that ARRI sets the standard for cinematic image quality.

As proof, here is just a glimpse of what the AMIRA Live offers:

  • The same ALEV 3 Super 35 sensor found in ALEXA cameras
  • Unrivaled 15+ stops of true dynamic range 🚀
  • ARRI color science
  • A variety of lens mounts including PL, EF, and B4
  • Record high quality ProRes or ARRIRAW formats up to 3840 x 2160
  • Fiber back and base station capable of transmission up to 2km
  • Remote control via Skaarhoj RCP Pro or Sony RCP‑1500

So if you want an unparalleled cinematic live stream or live recording, the ARRI AMIRA Live system is your answer.

Just buckle up before looking at the total cost... 💰💰💰


Pros

  • Image quality and dynamic range
  • ARRI's unbeatable color science
  • Versatility and adaptability

Cons

  • Heavy Beefy Boy™
  • Price is out of reach for most
  • A decade old, so some features are showing age

ARRI AMIRA Live Framing Distances
Full Shot 2.22mm per foot (7.29mm per meter)
100mm @ 45' (100mm @ 13.72m)
Medium Shot 5.41mm per foot (17.73mm per meter)
100mm @ 18.5' (100mm @ 5.64m)

ARRI AMIRA Live Specifications
Sensor Super 35
Lens Mount PL (with Hirose connector and LDS)
EF
B4 (with Hirose connector)
ARRI LPL (with LBUS connector)
Leitz Cine Wetzlar M
Recording Formats MXF/ARRIRAW
ProRes 4444 XQ
ProRes 4444
ProRes 422 HQ
ProRes 422
ProRes 422 LT
MPEG‑2 HD
3840 x 2160 up to 60 fps
3200 x 1800 up to 60 fps
2880 x 1620 ARRIRAW up to 48 fps
2048 x 1152 up to 200 fps
1920 x 1080 up to 200 fps
Recording Media 2 x CFast 2.0 memory card slots
Video I/O 1 x 3G‑SDI monitor output (fiber adaptor)
Video Output Formats SMPTE broadcast formats up to 3840 x 2160 at 60 fps (base station only)
Audio I/O 2 x 3‑pin XLR mic/line inputs with phantom power (switchable to AES3)
1 x 5‑pin XLR mic/line input with phantom power
1 x 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
Bluetooth whisper track
SDI (embedded)
Other I/O 1 x D‑sub 24W7 (LTC timecode, ret/sync in, genlock, Ethernet, power in)
1 x 6‑pin LEMO EXT multi purpose accessory interface
1 x 12‑pin Hirose (on PL lens mount)
2 x USB 2.0 (user setup and look files)
Other control, intercom, and tally interfaces available on base station
Wireless Wi‑Fi (IEEE 802.11b/g)
Bluetooth (audio and control)
Power Camera power via base station and fiber adapter
1 x 3‑pin Fischer 24V RS output
1 x 2‑pin LEMO 12V output
1 x 4‑pin Hirose 12V output
1 x 6‑pin LEMO EXT 24V output

RED KOMODO

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The best value cinema camera with global shutter for live streaming.

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Image Quality: 8/10 Dynamic Range: 7/10 Low Light Quality: 6/10 Live Features: 4/10 Overall Value: 8/10

Scores are calculated equally across all camera categories. Learn how I choose scores

RED has created a solid reputation the last decade for beautiful cinematic imagery that often gives ARRI a run for its money.

And their recent venture into an even more budget‑friendly camera with the KOMODO has also proven to be a major success.

The KOMODO 6K offers some compelling features including:

  • Super 35 Global Shutter CMOS
  • An impressive 12.5 stops of actual dynamic range (SNR = 2, confirmed in CineD lab test)
  • 12G‑SDI output
  • Record in high quality formats like REDCODE RAW and ProRes
  • Record up to 6144 X 3240 at 40 fps or up to 4096 X 2160 at 60 fps
  • Tons of third party accessories, interfaces, and control solutions

I think the biggest highlight here is global shutter, which is essentially unheard of in cinema cameras at this price point.

Issues typically caused by rolling shutters like skewed footage during lateral movement, banding from flashing lights, and refresh rate artifacts on LED walls are essentially a thing of the past.

If you want performance to rival ARRI but don't have the ARRI budget, the RED KOMODO should be high on your list.

Just know that a full KOMODO configuration can get costly rather quickly, especially when attempting parfocal servo zoom.


Pros

  • Global shutter
  • Outstanding RED customer support
  • Tons of third party accessories and support

Cons

  • Almost useless audio and no XLR inputs
  • Top touchscreen size and location can be awkward
  • Overall cost, after adding accessories and lens, can easily blow past many budgets

RED KOMODO Framing Distances
Full Shot 2.22mm per foot (7.29mm per meter)
100mm @ 45' (100mm @ 13.72m)
Medium Shot 5.41mm per foot (17.73mm per meter)
100mm @ 18.5' (100mm @ 5.64m)

RED KOMODO Specifications
Sensor Super 35 Global Shutter CMOS
Lens Mount Canon RF
Recording Formats REDCODE RAW
ProRes 422
ProRes 422 HQ
6144 X 3240 up to 40 fps
5120 X 2700 up to 48 fps
4096 X 2160 up to 60 fps
2048 x 1080 up to 120 fps
Recording Media 1 x CFast 2.0 memory card slot
Video I/O 1 x 12G‑SDI output
Video Output Formats SMPTE broadcast formats up to 4096 x 2160 at 59.94 fps
Audio I/O 2 x Integrated mono microphones
1 x 3.5mm TRS stereo microphone input
Other I/O 1 x 9‑Pin EXT Port
(Additional I/O possible through RED EXPANDER MODULE, KOMODO LINK ADAPTER, and other third party accessories)
Wireless 2.4GHz Wi‑Fi
5GHz Wi‑Fi
Power 2 x Canon BP‑9XX battery slots (batteries not included)
1 x 45 watt AC Power Adapter (included)
1 x Integrated 2‑Pin DC Port (7V - 17V)

Sony FX3

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The best value full frame cinema camera for live streaming.

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Image Quality: 8/10 Dynamic Range: 7/10 Low Light Quality: 10/10 Live Features: 4/10 Overall Value: 7/10

Scores are calculated equally across all camera categories. Learn how I choose scores

It's only logical that the big brother of my top pick will also make its way to this list.

And just like the FX30, the Sony FX3 also boasts solid features:

  • Full‑frame sensor
  • Excellent hybrid auto focus
  • Dedicated zoom rocker
  • 5‑axis in‑body image stabilization
  • Record up to 4096 x 2160 at 119.88 fps in 4:2:2 10‑bit
  • 4264 x 2408 16‑bit HDMI RAW output up to 59.94 fps
  • Dual CFexpress Type A / SD memory card slots
  • Five 1/4"‑20 mounting points for accessories
  • 2 x XLR analog audio inputs (with included Sony XLR‑H1 Handle Unit)

But the major selling point here is the low light sensitivity and the low noise images that come at higher ISOs.

The FX3's full‑frame sensor provides such clean images.

And just like the FX30, I appreciate the FX3 build quality (it's stout for such a compact form factor) and that it just nails the basics so well.

No frills, no marketing gimmicks, no useless fluff. Just rock solid performance and excellent image quality.

One major caveat is continuous power...

The only options are a supported dummy battery adapter (and removing the battery door completely) or using USB‑C Power Delivery.

For USB‑C Power Delivery, be sure to use a quality battery or AC adapter that provides the full 9V / 3A power the camera needs to run long‑term.


Pros

  • Image quality
  • Low light performance
  • Top handle with XLR audio inputs included

Cons

  • No SDI output
  • Limited power options
  • No synchro scan shutter

Sony FX3 Framing Distances
Full Shot 3.33mm per foot (10.94mm per meter)
100mm @ 30' (100mm @ 9.14m)
Medium Shot 7.69mm per foot (25.25mm per meter)
100mm @ 13' (100mm @ 3.96m)

Sony FX3 Specifications
Sensor Size Full‑frame
Lens Mount Sony E‑mount
Recording Formats HEVC/H.265
H.264
Up to 4096 x 2160 at 59.94 fps
Recording Media 2 x CFexpress Type A / SD card combination slots
Video I/O 1 x HDMI output (Type A - Full Size)
Video Output Formats 4264 x 2408 up to 59.94 fps (HDMI RAW)
4096 x 2160 up to 59.94 fps
Audio I/O 1 x Integrated stereo microphone
1 x 3.5mm TRS stereo microphone input
2 x XLR audio mic/line inputs (with included Sony XLR‑H1 Handle Unit)
1 x 3.5mm TRS stereo microphone input (with included Sony XLR‑H1 Handle Unit)
Other I/O 1 x USB‑C port (file transfers, control, and Power Delivery)
Wireless 2.4GHz / 5GHz Wi‑Fi (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC Forum Type 3 Tag‑compliant
Power 1 x Sony NP‑FZ100 battery (included)
1 x Sony BC‑QZ1 battery charger (included)
1 x USB‑C Power Delivery

Why You Can Trust Me

I started my career over 24 years ago as a freelance live and ENG camera operator for broadcast television networks including ABC, FOX Sports, and Speed Channel. I've been using digital cinema cameras since early 2007 before RED ONE and ARRI ALEXA. Since then, I have spent countless hours with hundreds of different cameras throughout 25 different countries. Additionally, I have spent the last decade running this website and consulting with organizations to help them find the right cameras and maximize their results. Learn more about Joel


How I Choose Scores

Every camera on this site gets scored for performance and overall value. Scores for each camera are calculated in the context of all other cameras and camera categories.

As a result, you may see lower or higher average scores for some characteristics in certain categories. For example, camcorders will typically receive lower than average scoring for image quality, dynamic range, and low‑light performance and higher than average scoring for live features, while mirrorless cameras typically receive the opposite.

Image Quality

Image quality takes into account many factors including image noise, sharpness, color science, color accuracy, dynamic range, the ability to adjust the image to a specific style, etc.

Considerations include:

  • Accuracy of skin tones
  • Accuracy of saturated colors
  • Amount of details visible in highlights and shadows
  • Amount of noise in the final image
  • Amount of ghosting, chromatic aberration, and distortion in the image
  • How much work is required to achieve a pleasing final image
  • How much light is required to achieve the cleanest image

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range refers to how much detail is retained in highlights and shadows. The higher the dynamic range, the more detail that remains in bright highlights and dark shadows.

Dynamic range can also affect color saturation. A low dynamic range can cause unwanted clipping and/or smearing of saturated colors, as well as inaccurate shifting of colors in some situations.

For context, the ARRI ALEXA 35 currently sets the standard for a perfect 10/10 dynamic range. So if you wonder why these scores may seem low, it's because the bar has been set very high.

Low‑Light Performance

This one is fairly self‑explanatory.

But, first of all, I want to be clear that I always recommend providing adequate quality light if at all possible.

However, it does help knowing just how clean of an image to expect with less‑than‑ideal lighting, and is often a good indication of how clean the image is in general.

You will notice that camcorders and PTZs generally score much lower for this characteristic while mirrorless, cinema, and studio cameras score much higher. This is simply due to the nature of how camcorders and PTZs are made, with smaller sensors and built‑in lenses that have variable apertures (an aperture that closes as the lens is zoomed in).

Live Features

Live features include remote control of camera and lens settings, built‑in on‑air tally indicators, built‑in intercom for communication with director and crew, ability to add external viewfinders and monitors, remote power, and the ability to do everything through as few cables as possible.

Studio cameras and camcorders usually score higher while mirrorless cameras and cinema cameras might score lower.

Overall Value

This is the most subjective score, and is my overall opinion of the camera.

You may see lower scores here from cameras in both price extremes, with higher scores coming from cameras that tend to provide more performance and features for reasonable prices.

"Bang for the buck" is the key phrase here.

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