Best Hybrid Cameras for Photo and Video in 2022
posted Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 11:20 AM EDT
Cameras of all shapes and sizes these days capture both photos and videos. Most of them anyway. You'll still find a few new models here and there that capture exclusively still images, but the vast majority of digital stills cameras also capture video. And it's often not just basic video capture, but many cameras capture very high-resolution, professional-quality of video, such as 4K UHD or even higher resolutions, as well as have sophisticated video features such as advanced image stabilization, slow-motion video, audio controls and more.
More and more visual creators are expanding beyond capturing stills and exploring the world of video. With this growing segment of "hybrid" creators, manufacturers are designing cameras with more video features, creating "hybrid cameras" that are well-suited for capturing stills and videos. They aren't camcorders, nor are they just stills cameras. They are a blend of both worlds in many ways.
If you're interested in shooting more video, there are a vast array of options out there -- as we said, pretty much every camera records video these days in some fashion. However, there are stills cameras designed with high-end video capture in mind, and our handy guide with help narrow down the choices to some of our favorite picks.
As with most things, modern hybrid cameras can span the gamut of price points and the number of features and amenities. Some are more entry-level and more affordable, while others pack in everything but the kitchen sink, yet cost a pretty penny. That said, everyone has their own personal budgetary limit as well as needs and wants for certain camera specs and features. Our guide below will break it down between more affordable or entry-level options, offering high-quality camera suggestions for those looking to either mind the wallet or offer an easy-to-use experience, a mid-range selection that balances features and price, and then a few high-end or enthusiast-level picks -- these higher-end models will have lots of advanced and professional-oriented features. Nonetheless, we are still trying to be mindful of prices.
So, are you ready to dive into the world of hybrid cameras? Check out our picks for the best hybrid cameras for photos and video below:
We'll kick things off with a few selections that offer both ease-of-use and affordability, with price points coming in under the $1000 mark -- if not well under. For those looking perhaps for their first interchangeable-lens camera, and one that is well-suited for both stills and videos, these options offer an excellent combination of features, quality and a lightweight design at budget-friendly price points.
Canon really knocked it out of the park with the original Canon M50 crop-sensor mirrorless camera, so much that it was a smash hit in terms of sales numbers both here in the US and in Japan, for example. The combination of its compact size, excellent image quality, 4K video capabilities, mic input, and more made it a popular choice for hybrid creators. The second-generation model builds upon the success of the Mark I, adding several improvements while maintaining the same overall design, the same 24MP sensor and the same DIGIC 8 processor. We've not yet reviewed the Mark II version, but given the large similarities to the original model, we're confident that it's just as impressive -- if not more so.
What Canon added to the M50 Mark II, it turns out, is directly focused on the hybrid shooter, adding several new features and improvements to those creating video content in multiple formats and for various online platforms. The camera offers better autofocus, including eye-detection AF with video (and stills), vertical video support, an on-screen video record button for vlogging, web-cam functionality and wireless YouTube live-streaming support.
The camera's design is compact and light, yet it has a handgrip, lots of buttons and controls for good operability, a built-in EVF, and the overall great build quality that we've come to expect from Canon cameras. The image quality is excellent for stills and video, although the camera is not packed with all the high-end specs you see on pricier models, such as 4K 30p or 60p or niceties like in-body image stabilization -- 4K is capped at 24fps, for instance, but Full HD video can go up to 120fps for nice slow-motion videos.
With a body-only price of just $599 or kits starting at $699, the Canon M50 Mark II is a wonderful way to enter the ILC world if you're looking to create still images and video content.
When it comes to hybrid cameras, it's hard to ignore one of the most dominant names in the game: Panasonic. With a long history of excellence in the cinema camera and camcorder market, as well as wild success with their high-end GH-series of Micro Four Thirds cameras for video shooters, it's no surprise that Panasonic manages to create some excellent hybrid cameras in smaller, lighter and more affordable packages, as well. And one of our favorites is the compact Lumix G100.
In many ways, the Panasonic G100 is their competitor to the Canon M50/M50 Mark II, offering a similarly compact SLR-esque form factor with central EVF, a flip-out front-facing LCD screen and several video-centric features, such as automatic video selfie mode for vlogging, preinstalled V-LogL profile for those advanced users who want better video editing flexibility, several slow-motion capabilities, advanced audio settings and more. However, unlike the M50, the G100 does include in-body image stabilization, making handheld video shooting much easier and smoother.
Featuring a 20MP Four Thirds sensor with no low-pass filter, the G100 captures excellent still images, has up to 30fps burst shooting and captures high-res 4K video up to 30p. However, due to the compact size, 4K recording is limited to just 10 minutes at a time -- Full HD video can be recorded for longer. However, unlike the M50, the G100 does include is in-body image stabilization, making handheld video shooting much easier and smoother.
While this compact APS-C mirrorless might look like Sony's other A6XXX-series models, the ZV-E10 is a unique video-centric model designed specifically for hybrid creators. The camera features several design changes and new options to make it more suitable for video recording, yet it still packs a full complement of still photo features, too. The camera features a 24MP sensor, a fast processor, Real-time Eye-AF tracking autofocus, expansive ISO range, and more.
The camera's design is compact and lightweight, much like Sony's other APS-C mirrorless cameras, but the ZV-E10 has several tweaks designed for video creators, including a large, built-in 3-capsule mic with windscreen, Wide-Tele control for use with Power Zoom lenses, a large dedicated video record button, plus buttons for other video-centric options like Background Defocus and Product Showcase mode. In terms of video modes, the camera offers 4K UHD at up to 30p, Full HD at up to 120fps, HLG video for high-dynamic range videos, built-in S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3, S-Gamut3/S-Log3 profiles for better editing flexibility and more. The camera lacks in-body image stabilization, which is a bit of a bummer. However, you can use optically-stabilized lenses. Plus, the camera has electronic image stabilization, and its on-board gyro sensor data can be used with Sony's Catalyst Browse/Prepare software to stabilize footage in post-production.
The Sony ZV-E10 is one of the more heavily video-focused cameras on our list here of hybrid camera recommendations. Although it does shoot still photos very well, the design and features certainly lean more towards video creators. If you're a vlogger, YouTube creator or another multimedia artist who perhaps shoots more video than stills -- but still wants a camera that does both -- the lightweight, affordable and feature-rich ZV-E10 is a very solid choice.
This next segment of cameras offers higher performance specs, more features for both stills and videos, but meets or exceeds our earlier $1000 price point limit. These mid-level cameras offers lots of bells and whistles and can meet the needs of a wide range of users, from both intermediate-level creators to advanced ones -- both of whom are still looking for a fairly affordable options.
The Fujifilm X-S10 is one of Fuji's intermediate-level cameras, squeezing into their expansive X Series lineup underneath their higher-end models like the X-T4 but above the more entry-level options, such as the X-T200. And one of the X-S10's stand-out features -- and a big reason it's included on our list here -- is the inclusion of in-body image stabilization, with a rating of up to 6 stops of correction for stills. The X-S10 features the same fantastic imaging pipeline as the X-T4, with a 26MP X-Trans sensor and X Processor 4 imaging processor -- and IBIS. Yet, it's smaller, lighter and more affordable than its bigger sibling.
When it comes to video features, the X-S10 is fairly well-stocked, offering 4K UHD up to 30p, higher-quality 4:2:2 10-bit recording out via the HDMI, 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording, Full HD up to 240fps and F-Log support for better editing flexibility. Design-wise, there's a fully-articulated LCD touchscreen, dedicated video record button and mic jack (though headphone support uses the USB-C port rather than the usual 3.5mm variety). It doesn't, however, offer 4K 60p like the X-T4 or some other higher-end models.
The Fuji X-S10 is a solid choice for those looking for an all-around, easy-to-use camera for both stills and video. The design and control layout, in particular, are different than most Fuji X Series models, using more familiar controls like a PASM Mode dial that we see on many other cameras on the market. The X-S10 packs in an impressive imaging pipeline, which is capable of fantastic image quality, and the video features are versatile for a wide range of applications. Price-wise, the X-S10 starts at $999 body-only, but kit options start at just $1399 or thereabouts.
For those at all familiar with the mirrorless world and video production, you are sure to have come across the venerable Panasonic GH5. This high-end Micro Four Thirds camera used to be Panasonic's top-of-the-line Lumix model. However, it has since been "replaced" by the GH5 Mark II and GH6. That said, the GH5 is still a current product and is still for sale, offered now at a much more affordable price yet still packing in tons of bells and whistles.
Powered by a 20MP Four Thirds sensor and a speedy processor, the Panasonic GH5 is an excellent stills camera with very good image quality performance, fast burst shooting modes, better image processing than earlier models, improved in-body image stabilization and more. However, where the GH5 really stands out is with its video features. It feels like Panasonic included everything, and then some, with just how many options, video resolutions, formats, quality levels and pro-oriented video features this camera offers. The GH5 shoots 4K at up to 60p, has 10-bit internal recording, Full HD up to 180fps, and with later firmware updates, 6K anamorphic video, too!
The GH5 is a bit larger and heavier than some of the earlier ones on this list, but it's still fairly compact and light. The camera is robustly built, though, featuring thorough weather-sealing. The camera is comfortable to hold with lots of controls and customization, too. What was once a $2000 camera can now be had for around $1400 body-only. That's a lot of camera for a great price!
Our last set of recommendations focuses on the higher-end models, with full-frame sensors, pro-tier features and performance for both stills and video, as well as the higher price tags to go with them. These recommendations are priced above the $1500 mark, yet we simply didn't just pick the top-of-line-models. These recommendations, while pricier than our earlier selections, are still well within the price range for an enthusiast-level user.
Though similar in look and feel to the higher-res Nikon Z7 II, the 24MP-powered Nikon Z6 II is the more hybrid-focused full-frame mirrorless camera built for enthusiasts and professionals. This second-gen model fixes some of the shortcomings of the first model, adding a second processor for better performance, dual card slots and more video features. It features the same sensor, which is fine by us, as the image quality was fantastic across a wide range of subjects and lighting conditions.
On the video side, the Z6 II now offers 4K up to 60fps, thanks to a firmware update back in Feb 2021. 4K 60p video is cropped however, not utilizing the full width of the full-frame sensor. However, 4K 30p video can be recorded in full-width (FX) or crop (DX) modes. The Z6 II also has higher-quality 10-bit 4:2:2 and N-Log recording out through HDMI. For even higher quality video, users can opt for a $199 optional firmware upgrade, which adds 12-bit ProRes RAW video and BlackMagic RAW support. Further, the Z6 II has other nice video amenities, such as support for Face and Eye AF tracking in video, Full HD video up to 120p, in-camera slow-mo, HLG video and more.
The Nikon Z6 II is a very solid camera with versatility written all over it, whether you're shooting stills or video. At $1999 body-only, the Z6 II isn't cheap, but you get a lot of camera for your money.
Similar to the ZV-E10, the Sony A7C is a uniquely hybrid-focused camera designed for multimedia content creators, yet instead of an APS-C sensor, this one uses a 24MP full-frame sensor. Despite the large sensor, however, the A7C is similarly sized to Sony's APS-C A6XXX-series camera. The A7C has a more compact, lightweight construction with a rangefinder-style design with a built-in EVF in the top left corner -- rather than a central one like Sony's other A7-series cameras. Many customers wanted a smaller, lighter camera like a Sony A6500 yet with a full-frame sensor, and Sony responded.
The A7C uses the same 24MP sensor as in the A7 III, which delivers excellent image quality at a wide range of ISOs. It also has the same versatile AF system, though with newer algorithms from the A7S III. For stills, the A7C is a powerful yet compact camera that's well suited for a variety of subjects, especially those where portability is key. On the video side, the A7C offers 4K at up to 30p using full pixel readout and offers unlimited recording time (given temperature limits and card capacity, of course). The camera also includes S-Log3/2 for better editing flexibility and HLG/HDR video. Real-time Tracking and Eye AF work in video modes, as well, and the A7C features in-body image stabilization for great handheld shooting.
Surprisingly small, light and versatile for both stills and video, the Sony A7C is a great hybrid camera if you want full-frame performance in a portable package.
The priciest camera on our list is the newest A7-series model, the Sony A7 IV. Though one might argue the A7 Mark IV is more stills oriented than a true hybrid camera, but when you look at all the video features the camera also offers, it makes sense to us to include it as a proper hybrid camera.
On the stills side, the new 33MP captures fantastic photos with lots of fine detail, good dynamic range and excellent higher ISO performance. And when it comes to video, the A7 IV is packed with features, as well. The camera can shoot 4K 60p in a crop (Super 35) mode, 4K 30p at full sensor width, and Full HD at up to 120p slow motion. There's also S-Log3 support, 10-bit and 8-bit recording internally, 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, and no recording time limit. Real-time Tracking AF and Eye AF work for both stills and video. There's in-body image stabilization, as well as new video features such as Breathing Compensation to help reduce focus breathing issues with certain lenses. The camera also has built-in live-streaming support through USB.
At around $2,500 body-only, the Sony A7 IV certainly costs a pretty penny. However, it is a feature-rich camera for enthusiasts and professionals, and it includes an amazing array of specs, performance capabilities and all-around excellent image quality performance.
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