Ready to move up from 4K? Check out this roundup of the best 6K cameras (and beyond) for filmmakers.
While it's been a while since I've walked into a real stationary camera store, I'd bet fearful business executives – somewhere out there – ditch all of their "Full HD" services and replace "and" 4K "characters them by "6K", "8K" and maybe even "12K +".
The Recording Resolution Arms Race shows no sign of slackening. As mentioned earlier, 8K is here to stay. And while it powers some of your film and video workflows today, it's hands down the path of tomorrow. So if you are ready to take advantage of the future of the industry, here are some of the best options for capturing 6K video or higher right now.
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K
We'll start with one of the older (and also cheapest) options on our list – the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. Released just a year after the brand's popular 4K version, this upgrade has increased the stakes by adding an EF mount and 6K video recording. Impressive for a camera that retails for less than $ 2,000 and is not pocket-sized, but still very small and light.
The BMPCC6K shoots up to 6K (6144 x 3456) at 50 fps and offers the best Blackmagic features with a wide dynamic range and a Super 35 HDR sensor.
- Active Canon EF / EF-S mount
- Super 35-size HDR sensor
- Record 6K 6144 x 3456 at up to 50 fps
- Dual Native 400 & 3200 ISO up to 25,600
- 5 "1920 x 1080 touchscreen display
- Record up to 120 fps Windowed HD
- CFast 2.0 and SD / UHS-II card slots
- External recording via USB type C.
- 13-stop dynamic range, 3D LUT support
- Includes the DaVinci Resolve Studio license
price: $ 1,999
Panasonic Lumix S1H
Next up is another option on our list that has been in the market long enough to get solid reviews. The Panasonic Lumix S1H has a 24.2 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor which is great for video.
While the S1H can capture 6K video, it still can't capture more than 24 fps – a downside for those looking for that nifty 6K slow motion. Together with 6K, however, the S1H can also record with 16: 9 5.9K with up to 30 fps and DCI and UHD 4K with up to 60 fps.
- 24.2 MP full screen CMOS sensor
- 6K24p video, 4: 2: 2 10-bit DCI 4K / UHD 4K
- V-Log, Dual Native ISO, HFR with sound
- OLED LVF with 5.76 m point and 0.78 times magnification
- 3.2 "2.33 m-point tilt / clearance angle touch LCD
- 1.8 "top LCD, tally lamps, two SD slots
- ISO 100-51200, recording at up to 9 frames per second
- DFD AF system with contrast detection and 225 areas
- 5-axis image stabilization with sensor shift
- Weatherproof construction
price: $ 3,999
Canon EOS R5
The Canon EOS R5 hit the headlines as one of the most popular offerings for 8K video, and thanks to its compact body and aggressive price, it is a fan favorite.
Of course, I wouldn't call the R5 a cheap camera – in fact, it was announced along with a cheaper, stripped-down version – the Canon R6 – which is just solid but doesn't offer an 8K camera. That said, the R5 is an attractive option for anyone pursuing 6K + thanks to an impressive 45-megapixel full-frame sensor that records 8K RAW at up to 30 frames per second.
It's worth noting that there were some issues associated with the R5, namely reports of overheating and workflow points. If you're looking to read more, check out our in-depth guide on the pros and cons of the Canon R5.
- 45MP full screen CMOS sensor
- DIGIC X image processor
- 8K30 Raw and 4K120 10-bit internal video
- Sensor shift 5-axis image stabilization
- 12 fps mechanical shutter, 20 fps E. shutter
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with 1053 points
- 0.5 "5.76 m-point OLED EVF
- 3.2 "Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD
- Topic tracking with deep learning
- CFexpress & SD UHS-II memory card slots
price: $ 3,899
Z CAM E2-S6
If the Z CAM E2-S6 is on a list with Canon, Panasonic, and Blackmagic, some of the game's biggest camera manufacturers, it's a lesser-known wild card.
Even so, the E2-S6 offers some killer specs, including a Super 35 CMOS sensor with 10-bit 4: 2: 2 color recording and an impressive 14 levels of dynamic range. We also watch 6K videos at up to 60 frames per second for less than $ 2,500.
- Record up to 6K60 videos
- ZRAW recording
- 14 stops of dynamic range
- Super 35 CMOS sensor
- Canon EF lens mount
- 10-bit color recording
- 5G wireless support, timecode support
- Gigabit Ethernet for data and control
- Live streaming over Ethernet
- iOS app for control and live preview
price: $ 2,499
Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K
To round out our list, we're going to make it big. For example, not only in terms of camera size and price, but also in terms of the number of pixels. I'm talking about the recently announced Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K which – you guessed it – records 12K video at up to 60 fps!
While there are other high-end cinema cameras that can transmit similar numbers, we're including the URSA Mini Pro 12K because it's a cheaper option than the ARRI Alexa 65 to both rent and buy.
Much like the BMPCC6K, the URSA Mini Pro 12K has the best features of a Blackmagic camera, such as excellent color science and strong dynamic range. (Want a solid A-Cam / B-Cam combo? Pair the BMPCC6K with the URSA Mini Pro 12K.)
Together with the 12K with 60 fps you can work even more efficiently with the URSA Mini Pro 12K with DCI 8K with up to 100 fps. Just think of one thing if you've never worked with high-end cameras – you'll face pretty insane file sizes and processing speeds. So be prepared.
- 12K Super35 HDR CMOS sensor
- 12K 17: 9 to 60 fps, DCI 8K to 100 fps
- 14 stops of dynamic range
- User-replaceable PL lens mount
- 4K Super16 with up to 220 fps
- 80MP / frame Blackmagic Raw
- Dual CFast or SD card recording
- USB Type-C recording to hard drive / SSD
price: $ 9,999
This is our list! If you have a few honorable mentions to consider, check out the Sharp 8K and Panasonic AU-EVA1. And if you'd like to learn a few more camera overviews and resources for filmmaking, you've come to the right place: