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We looked at the top digital cameras released over the last year and filtered the ones highly rated by the top cellphone reviewers from around the web to bring you this list of the best camera for documentary. Additionally, this list of the documentary cameras is filtered by the ones which support ISO speed of atleast 1000, sensor size of at least 10 mm, HD video recording capability.

The HD video recording capability of the latest digital cameras makes them viable for the documentary filmmaking. If you are buying a professional digital camera, i.e., a DSLR, HD video capturing feature is an inbuilt in most of these cameras. Also, preferring digital camera over a camcorder is economical sometimes if you need to capture high quality images and videos through a single device.

To convey or report the information effectively through your documentary and to view them in a widescreen format, your digital cameras should necessarily support 720p or 1080p video resolution. And the same resolution will useful when you want to upload your document on YouTube.

Another form of producing a documentary is the documentary photography where a series of photographs captured through a DSLR, speak about a informative thing.

Since it might be capturing of moving and distant things sometimes, it is better to opt a camera with great auto focusing and optical zoom options. A camera resolution of atleast 18 Megapixel would be great if you want to print the photos. Along with the mentioned features, the best camera for documentary should also support great battery backup and good storage options.

Browse All Top Camera For Documentary »

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D 20.2 MP Digital SLR Camera


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Canon EOS 70D
Nikon D5200
Nikon D600
Canon EOS 650D (Rebel T4i)
Olympus OM-D E-M5
Canon EOS 70D 20.2 MP Digital SLR Camera
Nikon D5200 Digital Camera with 18-105mm lens
Nikon D600 DSLR Digital Camera
Canon EOS Rebel T4i Digital Camera with 18-135mm lens
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Light Field Camera
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Release Date
Jun 2013
Dec 2012
Sep 2012
Jun 2012
Apr 2012
Camera Type
SLR/Professional, Mid-size SLR
SLR/Professional
SLR/Professional
SLR/Professional
SLR/Professional
Image Sensor Size
27.04 mm
28.2 mm
43.2 mm
26.7 mm
21.6 mm
HD Recording Format
720p (HDTV), 1080p (HDTV), 480p, 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps), 1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (59.94
1080i (HDTV), 1080p (HDTV), 720p (HDTV)
720p (HDTV), 1080p (HDTV)
720p (HDTV), 1080p (HDTV)
720p (HDTV), 1080p (HDTV)
Max. ISO Speed
25600.0
25600.0
25600.0
25600.0
25600.0
Resolution
20.0 Megapixel
24.7 Megapixel
24.3 Megapixel
18.0 Megapixel
16.1 Megapixel
Image Sensor Type
CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
Live MOS
LCD Screen Size
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.2 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.

  • An overall excellent camera, but one that fails to capture the best-in-class prize for image quality.


  • The Canon EOS 70D delivers the smoothest Live View focus we've seen in a traditional D-SLR, but it can struggle to lock that focus in dim light.


  • Indeed, until we see Dual-Pixel CMOS AF inevitably make its way across the EOS range, we'd recommend the new Canon EOS 70D as the APS-C camera to go for if you're currently considering a mid-range DSLR camera. It offers a winning blend of features, performance and image quality that is hard to beat, both by its EOS brothers and other manufacturers' offerings. The new EOS 70D marks a real step forward for both Canon and the venerable SLR camera.


  • The Nikon D5200 makes a great choice for family and vacation photographers.


  • The under-$1,000 Nikon D5200 is a capable D-SLR that delivers impressive image quality and continuous shooting at 4 frames per second, earning it our Editors' Choice.


  • The ultimate irony of these cameras is this: when the D5100 first came to market we awarded it both Camera of the Year, and Budget DSLR of the Year. It was just such an amazing deal, with rare levels of performance at the price point. But after two years and little improvement for the D5200, this great camera didn't hit us with the same impact its predecessor did. Like we've said countless times in the review, the D5200 is a fine camera, but it's not $300 finer than the old one.


  • The Nikon D600 is essentially a D7000 with an FX sensor, but lacks some of the extra features found in the Canon EOS 6D.


  • The Nikon D600 was one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry this year, and the enthusiast and prosumer crowd has been foaming at the mouth to see what an affordable full-frame camera from Nikon would look like. The Nikon D600 does not disappoint, offering nearly every bit of control that the impressive D800 offers, with comparable features.

    The D600 is an odd camera to write first impressions about, because it's clearly ready for public consumption, having already hit the labs of the folks at DXOMark.


  • If you think you can live with that and a few other limitations / omissions versus the D800; the smaller, lighter and cheaper Nikon D600 will serve you just as well as the more expensive model - and even give you faster frame rates and more manageable raw file sizes as an added bonus.


  • In summary the new 650D / Rebel T4i is the most complicated yet friendly mid-range Canon DSLR yet, truly a camera that you can grow into as your photography skills develop. It only misses out on our highest Essential award because of the still slow Live View auto-focusing and a small price increase over the 600D, but is more than deserving of our still-coveted Highly Recommended award.


  • Although it has an 18 million pixel sensor, Canon's EOS 650D/Rebel T4i doesn't use the same CMOS device as other cameras in Canon's range. It uses a new Hybrid CMOS sensor that is designed to facilitate a combined phase detection and contrast detection autofocus system that operates during video recording and when Live View is activated.


  • With the EOS 650D, Canon faced the challenge of taking an already successful camera line and finding a way to offer more than a token upgrade without stealing too much thunder from its higher-spec'd DSLRs. By maintaining what has long been very good image quality for both stills and video shooting and addressing operational handling with a remarkably well-executed touchscreen implementation, the latest addition to the Rebel lineup carves out a niche as one of the more enjoyable to use entry level DSLRs on the market.


  • If you're looking for something a lot better, faster, and more sophisticated than a point-and-shoot that can stand up to your adventures, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is a great choice.


  • The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is the best Micro Four Thirds camera we've tested. It's got a top-notch stabilization system, is fully weather sealed, can shoot in all types of light, and ships with a sharp and versatile kit lens. Add it all up, and you have our new Editors' Choice for high-end compact interchangeable lens cameras.


  • It hasn't taken Olympus long to speed into our hearts with their retro-inspired compact system camera lineup. The Micro Four Thirds PEN series was well-received not only for its style, but its image quality and usability. Seeing a gap at the top of their product line, Olympus now has the OM-D E-M5, answering the question: what would happen if you stuffed modern digital guts in a 1970s compact SLR body? The E-M5 is the first camera in Olympus new OM-D line, a direct descendant of their OM line of compact SLR film cameras.