In video making, 4K recording is a big deal. It was something only fancy cameras could do, but now even regular small 4K cameras can bring out the best videos. While super-expensive cinema cameras are still the best for making video content, more affordable options can give you great 4K video. Most of the compact 4k video cameras we recommend can take photos and videos, and you'll be surprised at how good the videos look.
We've spent much time testing more than 20 cameras in our lab and picked out the 15 best small 4k video cameras. We also have some camera suggestions if you're into vlogging, live streaming, or recording for online videos.
Due to various options and reviews, searching for the ideal small 4K camera for video creation can take time and effort. Thus, here we are listing five key features that can enhance your content production experience:
1. External Microphone Port
While many small vlog cameras with 4k have good built-in microphones, connecting an external microphone can significantly improve sound quality. A dedicated microphone plugged into your camera ensures accurate and precise audio capture.
2. Image Stabilization
Image stabilization minimizes shaky footage and ensures smoother results. Even if you use a tripod for static shooting, built-in stabilization adds a layer of steadiness, especially for moving scenes.
3. High Resolution
4K has become the standard for modern cameras, but it's worth watching for even higher resolutions. It ensures your camera stays up-to-date with the latest technology advancements.
4. Auto-Focus Performance
Quick and accurate auto-focus keeps your videos sharp and clear even during movement. Look for a camera with reliable and responsive auto-focus capabilities.
5. Compact and Lightweight Design
A lightweight and compact 4k video camera is preferable since creating videos may require you to hold the camera for a long time. If it is easier to handle and carry, you can focus on your content without the added strain of a heavy camera.
So, with these must-have features, you can find the perfect small 4k video camera to assist you.
Part 2: 15 Best Small 4K Cameras You Can Buy Right Now
So, here we are with the details of the best 16 small 4K cameras that will make content creation a perfect and quick task.
1. OBSBOT Tail Air
Meet the new small 4K camera from OBSBOT Tail Air, an AI-powered lightweight tool for all your online content-making needs. Capture every moment with precision and creativity using the auto-tracking camera to enhance your video-recording tasks. Open up new possibilities for dynamic and captivating content creation.
AI Auto Tracking at 120°/s: Seamlessly track humans, pets, and objects at an impressive speed of 120° per second. This ensures you never miss a moment, making it ideal for spontaneous and fast-paced vlogging scenarios.
4K Resolution: With its advanced features and technology, it captures stunning visuals with sharpness and clarity.
AI Director Grids: Experience intuitive video evaluation through real-time grids. With a simple click on a grid, you can effortlessly navigate and focus on specific video signals, refining your vlogging content and enhancing your storytelling.
Gesture Control 2.0: Take full control of your video shooting process with intuitive gestures. Dynamic gestures enable precise zoom adjustments, allowing you to explore new levels of creativity and control over your shots.
Wireless and NDI Support: The NDI|HX3 support with wireless facility offers high-quality, low-latency live streaming. Whether over Wi-Fi or Ethernet, you can quickly control and view real-time video signals on your mobile devices.
Easy Use Mobile App: Edit image parameters using the OBSBOT Start App. Bring your preset vlogs to life on the air with a single click, simplifying your video creation process for consistent and engaging content.
2. DJI Osmo Action 4
Never miss a beat with over 2.5 hours of usage time. And when you need to recharge, fast-charging capabilities ensure you're back in the action within just 18 minutes, charging up to 80%. Bid farewell to guesswork with dual water-stain-resistant touchscreens. Seamlessly switch modes, make parameter adjustments, and even easily record selfies. Save time by utilizing C1-C5 shortcuts and the Quick Switch button.
With the Osmo Action 4, there are no boundaries, only opportunities. Its many features empower you to shatter limits and explore new realms of creativity.
Pixel-Perfect Precision: Get unmatched color fidelity with the 10-bit D-Log M color mode. Dive into over a billion colors and craft breathtaking videos during post-production.
Time-Warping Slo-Mo: The best moments deserve to be savored. With 4K UHD at 120fps, the Osmo Action 4 offers you the power to bend time, capturing your adventures with a buttery smoothness that's unparalleled.
Expanded Perspectives: The ultra-wide 155° field of view draws you in, letting you relive every thrilling moment with astonishing clarity. Bid farewell to shaky footage with the Osmo Action 4's 360º HorizonSteady, no matter how many twists, turns, or flips you face.
Magnetic Quick-Release & Native Vertical Shooting: Adapt on the fly with the magnetic quick-release design, allowing seamless transitions to different setups. Capture lossless vertical footage effortlessly with the Horizontal-Vertical Protective Frame.
Price: $399.00 (price only for reference)
3. Sony Cinema Line Fx30 Super 35 Camera
Sony's prestigious Cinema Line small vlog cameras with 4k have redefined the art of filmmaking. The Sony FX30, a stellar addition, continues this legacy by offering filmmakers and creators an accessible gateway to the world of captivating visuals and storytelling. Be creative with new Log shooting modes for movie production, allowing enhanced flexibility during color grading and post-production.
Cinematic Brilliance: The FX30 captures stunning images through 6K oversampling, delivering true cinematic aesthetics that transport your audience into your narrative world.
Versatility: Designed for on-the-go creators, the FX30 small 4k camcorder empowers you to carry your cinematic tool anywhere. Its advanced autofocus and stabilization features allow you to focus on composition without the complexity of large crews or extensive rigging.
Sensor Technology: Experience outstanding imagery courtesy of the Super 35 format and APS-C size back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, ensuring high-quality visuals that immerse your audience in your creative vision.
Autofocus: The FX30 ensures dependable and accurate autofocus, granting you the confidence to capture the perfect shot every time.
Cinematic Color Science: Immerse your visuals in cinematic brilliance with S-Cinetone™, capturing the essence of cinematic color for rich and captivating imagery.
Price: $1,799.99 (price only for reference)
4. Panasonic Lumix Lx10 4K Digital Camera
The Panasonic Lumix LX10 merges a powerful compact 4k video camera with user-friendly design, offering you the tools to capture videos on your creative journey. Elevate your photography experience with the Lumix LX10 and a world of possibilities.
Sensor: The Lumix LX10 boasts a substantial 20.1-megapixel MOS sensor that, combined with the LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX lens and POWER OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer), delivers vibrant and artifact-free photos, ensuring your visuals stand out with exceptional clarity and color.
Tilting Selfie Display: The display tilts upward 180 degrees, providing convenient framing and allowing you to achieve perfect compositions.
4K Video and Photo: With 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160), the Lumix LX10 also offers exclusive LUMIX 4K photo and 4K Post Focus capabilities. So, capture images at up to 30fps and select your desired focus points even after the shot.
Manual Lens-Mounted Control Ring: Experience DSLR-like exposure control in a compact point-and-shoot body. The manual lens-mounted control ring lets you fine-tune your exposure settings, providing a personalized touch to your photography.
Connectivity: Enjoy the convenience of USB charging and Wi-Fi connectivity, ensuring you're always ready for your next adventure.
Price: $597.99 (price only for reference)
5. Panasonic Lumix ZS100 4K Digital Camera
Embark on a photographic journey with the Panasonic Lumix ZS100, where innovative technology and user-friendly design merge. Stay powered and connected on the go with USB charging and Wi-Fi connectivity to your mobile device. Additional connectivity options of this best 4K point-and-shoot camera, such as micro-HDMI type D and USB 2.0 micro-B, ensure seamless integration with your favorite devices.
Powerful 1-inch Sensor: With a large 20.1-megapixel MOS sensor and a 10X zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens (25-250mm), the Lumix ZS100 delivers vibrant, artifact-free photos that burst with color and Detail.
Enhanced Stabilization: The HYBRID OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer) ensures steady shots, enhancing image quality even in challenging conditions.
Viewfinder and LCD Brilliance: Enjoy clarity in any lighting with the high-resolution 1,166k-dot viewfinder and rear touch-enabled 3-inch LCD (1040K dots), making it effortless to compose shots even in bright sunlight.
4K Brilliance: Elevate your storytelling with 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160). The Lumix ZS100 also offers exclusive LUMIX 4K PHOTO and 4K Post Focus, allowing you to capture photos at up to 30fps and set focus points after the shot.
Manual Control Ring: Experience DSLR-like exposure control with the manual lens-mounted control ring, giving you precise adjustments within a compact design.
Price: $597.99 (price only for reference)
6. Leica D Lux 7 4K Compact Camera
When exceptional quality and unrivaled experiences are your pursuits, look no further than Leica Sport Optics. Crafted for those who seek to connect with their surroundings intimately, Leica optics redefine close encounters, setting higher standards where others settle for less.
Prepare to be captivated by the latest evolution of Leica's renowned enthusiast compact camera – the Leica D-Lux 7. This camera is more than a device; it's a travel companion, an image virtuoso, and a gateway to detailed video recording.
17-Megapixel 4/3 Sensor: Experience impressive low-light performance, allowing you to capture the essence of any environment.
Versatile Vario-Summilux Zoom Lens: This lens harmoniously complements the sensor for outstanding performance.
Innovative Features: Explore groundbreaking features such as the "post focus" 4K photo capability, USB charging convenience, and integrated Bluetooth to enhance Wi-Fi connectivity.
Video Excellence: 4K video recording at 24, 25, or 30 fps, along with various 4K photo capture modes, empowering you to capture every moment in stunning Detail.
7. Canon Powershot G7X Mark III Digital 4K
Explore the cutting-edge features of the Canon G7X Mark III Digital Video Camera, a compact powerhouse designed to capture stunning visuals and provide creative control. With a 1-inch photo sensor, 20.1 MP effective still resolution, and exceptional image stabilization, this camera empowers you to express your creativity with unparalleled clarity and precision. Capture photos or videos with the Canon G7X Mark III for impressive results, an ideal companion for many creative endeavors.
Advanced Imaging Excellence: The DIGIC 8 Image Processor and the 2.54 cm Stacked CMOS Sensor combine to deliver exceptional image quality, capturing every detail with precision and finesse.
Low-Light Brilliance: The f/1.8-2.8 lens, in combination with the advanced sensor technology, empowers the PowerShot G7 X Mark III to excel even in challenging low-light conditions, ensuring your shots are clear and vibrant.
Video Capabilities: Open doors to creative exploration, and your videography potential with 4K video recording sans crop.
Live Streaming: Experience instant connectivity with YouTube through the Live Streaming function, enabling you to share your moments with the world as they unfold.
Optical Excellence: Enjoy the versatility of a 4.2x optical zoom (24mm - 100mm), allowing you to capture wide-angle vistas and close-up details.
High-Speed Performance: Burst into action with Raw Burst Mode at 30fps, enhanced by One-Shot AF for quick and precise focus.
Price: $749.00 (price only for reference)
8. Nbd Digital Camera 4K 48Mp
NBD is the world of 48MP brilliance, 16x digital zoom, and 4K YouTube vlogging with the NBD Camera. Elevate your photography journey and preserve your most cherished moments in captivating Detail. Your NBD Camera package includes the following:
High-Resolution Brilliance: Enjoy clarity with 4K video resolution at 30fps and a 48-megapixel sensor. Witness your memories come to life with enhanced quality, outshining traditional 2.7K or 1080P cameras.
Diverse Perspectives: Find new angles with the 16X digital zoom, enabling you to capture every intricate Detail. With the wide-angle and macro lenses, immerse yourself in a world of creative exploration.
Precision in Your Hands: The manual focus functionality helps focus precisely on your subjects. Capture the perfect shot by gently pressing the shutter button halfway down to achieve focus, resulting in images that reflect your artistic vision.
Connectivity: Transfer your clips to your smartphone or tablet using the built-in Wi-Fi function. Share, edit, and upload your creations with ease, and even control your camera remotely through the "XDV Pro" app available on App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).
Price: $299.00 (price only for reference)
9. Sony Rx100 4K
With a 1-inch photo sensor, dual image stabilization, and an impressive minimum shutter speed of 1/32000 seconds, this compact marvel delivers exceptional image quality and control. Choose from various metering modes and exposure controls for artistic precision. The BIONZ X Image Processor, Front-End LSI, and the Fast Hybrid AF System with 315 Phase-Detection Points ensure impeccable performance. Elevate your photography journey with the Sony RX100 VII, where technology meets creativity.
High-Precision Sensor: The 20.1MP 1.0 Type stacked CMOS sensor ensures exceptional image clarity and depth. Coupled with the Zeiss Vario Sonnar T 24-200mm F2.8-F4.5 large aperture high magnification zoom lens, it captures everything with brilliance.
Lightning-Fast Focus: Experience lightning-speed focus with an incredible 0.02-second AF speed. The 357-point focal plane Phase detection AF and 425-point contrast-detection AF work harmoniously to ensure your subjects are in sharp focus.
Shooting: Enjoy uninterrupted shooting with up to 20 fps blackout-free capture. With AF/AE calculations occurring up to 60 times per second, every moment is effortless.
Intelligent Tracking: The AI-based real-time tracking for both stills and movies keeps your subjects perfectly in focus. Real-time eye AF for humans and animals ensures every shot is a masterpiece.
4K Brilliance: Immerse yourself in the world of 4K video with US Log3 and Interval Shooting.
Price: $1,298.00 (price only for reference)
10. Canon G7X Mark II 4K
Step into the Canon G7X Mark II world and experience photography like never before. With a 1-inch photo sensor, optical image stabilization, and an impressive max shutter speed of 15 seconds, this compact marvel empowers you to capture exceptional images in various settings. Choose from multiple metering modes and exposure controls for creative precision. Elevate your photography journey with the Canon G7X Mark II, where technical prowess meets artistic vision.
Video Capabilities: With the PowerShot G7 X Mark II, your moments are in the quality they deserve. The camera's advanced video capabilities ensure your memories are immortalized with precision.
1.0 Inch 20.1MP CMOS Sensor: Captures images and videos with remarkable clarity and a wide dynamic range. The autofocus system offers both quick tile autofocus and precise manual focus, providing creative control over your shots.
Aperture: The lens boasts an impressive aperture value of f/1.8 at wide angles and f/2.8 when zoomed, reaching a factor of 4.2x (24-100mm). From wide vistas to intricate details, this lens precisely captures it all.
Tilt-Enabled LCD Monitor: Which can tilt up 180 degrees and down 45 degrees, the G7X Mark II ensures effortless self-portraits and capturing shots from various angles.
Connectivity: Built-in Wi-Fi offers on-the-go convenience, allowing you to easily share your images on select social networking and media sites, expanding your creative reach.
Price: $629.99 (price only for reference)
11. Cinema Line FX3
The FX3 small camcorder 4k features a vari-angle LCD monitor, perfect for framing shots at various angles, whether handheld or gimbal-mounted. In-body optical image stabilization guarantees steady shots during handheld recording. Its robust magnesium alloy chassis and weather-resistant sealing make it reliable even in challenging environments.
Image Sensor: The FX3 has a back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R™ CMOS sensor that offers rapid data readout, superior sensitivity, and an expansive dynamic range.
High Sensitivity and Cinematic Slow Motion: Enjoy an extended dynamic range of 15+ stops without compromising highlights, providing flexibility for post-production magic. Record with 4K High Frame Rate up to 120fps for clear slow-motion sequences.
S-Cinetone Color Expertise: Natural skin tones, mid-range colors, and gentle highlight roll-off are effortlessly achieved, even without post-production grading.
Editing Workflow: Record low-bit-rate HD proxy files with higher-bit-rate formats for streamlined editing and previewing before final production delivery.
Tailored Creative Looks: Explore a range of Creative Look presets that emulate pro monitoring and post-production tools within the camera.
Tracking and Audio: Fast Hybrid AF for reliable focus, while Real-time Tracking and Eye AF ensure precise and intuitive focus control.
Price: $3,898.00 (price only for reference)
12. Sony ZV 1F 4K
The Sony ZV-1F 4K is a versatile, innovative camera designed to ensure your subjects remain sharply focused, delivering exceptional clarity and detail. With advanced features and technology, this camera works seamlessly with popular video editing software like Final Cut Pro X and iMovie. This compatibility streamlines your post-production workflow, making editing and enhancing quick.
High-Precision Focusing: The Eye AF feature accurately tracks faces, even in complex scenes with multiple subjects.
Low-Light Performance: Capture clear and low-noise video, even in challenging lighting conditions. Intelligent Auto mode allows background blurring, highlighting the main subject for impactful videos.
Touch-Controlled Step Zoom: Easily adjust your angle of view with a touch of the LCD panel. Choose from multiple zoom levels (1.0x/1.5x/2.0x/4.0x) to achieve the desired perspective and capture your best shots effortlessly.
Self-Timer Countdown: Whether filming dance routines or action sequences, the ZV-1F simplifies your shooting process.
Media Storage: The ZV-1F offers worry-free shooting by recording onto removable SD or SDXC media. This feature frees you from storage constraints, allowing you to capture extensive footage without concerns about space.
USB-Chargeable Battery: Enjoy extended shooting sessions with the convenience of a USB-chargeable battery.
Price: $499.00 (price only for reference)
13. Canon XC15
The Canon XC15 is a versatile and 4k tiny camera that empowers creators with exceptional capabilities. This camcorder features a 12-megapixel 1.0-type CMOS sensor and captures stunning visuals in the industry-standard 4K UHD format. Its performance is elevated by the DIGIC DV5 image processor, enabling low-noise shooting even at ISO speeds as high as ISO 20,000.
Preview and review your content with full 4K UHD video output and capture the finest details in bright and shadowy areas with the Highlight Priority mode.
Professional-Grade Audio: Including the Microphone Adapter MA-400 with XLR connections ensures balanced audio inputs and impeccable sound quality, meeting the demands of professionals in the field.
Optical Excellence: The 10x optical zoom lens covers a versatile focal length range of 27.3mm to 273mm (35mm equivalent for video recording), complemented by a robust optical image stabilization system that effectively corrects camera shake.
Recording Options: Record at 24fps in both 4K UHD and Full HD, offering adaptability for diverse filming scenarios. Slow and Fast Motion recording adds a creative touch to your videos.
Connectivity: Built-in Wi-Fi simplifies sharing and remote control, providing seamless access to your content.
Image Quality: Benefit from Canon Log and Wide Dynamic Range support, ensuring your footage is rich in detail and color accuracy.
Price: $1,899.00 (price only for reference)
14. Canon Xa60 Professional UHD 4K Camcorder
The Canon XA60 Pro Camcorder is a dynamic powerhouse that empowers you to shoot, record, and stream in stunning 4K UHD quality, transforming your stories into captivating visual narratives. With its compact design and remarkable capabilities, the XA60 Pro is your versatile companion for professional videography.
4K UHD Videos: Elevate your storytelling with 4K UHD videos in multiple formats.
Connectivity: Share through mini-HDMI video output, enabling smooth integration with external devices and professional setups for larger screen showcases.
Live Streaming: Share your real-time moments with USB Type-C output and UVC support, enabling HD live streaming to your PC or Mac for instant audience engagement.
Touchscreen & EVF: Use the 3.5" touchscreen LCD and tiltable OLED EVF and navigate settings, focus on subjects, and bring your creative vision to life.
Audio Control: Elevate your sound with 2 XLR terminals on the detachable handle and 4-channel linear PCM, providing pro-level audio options for pristine sound quality that matches your exceptional visuals.
Price: $1,799.00 (price only for reference)
15. Canon XA75 Camcorder
Experience the pinnacle of video recording with the Canon XA75 Pro small 4k camcorder, a robust device to bring your creative visions to life in stunning 4K UHD quality. Whether you're shooting, recording, or live streaming, elevate your visuals with the 1" CMOS sensor and DIGIC DV6 processor for unparalleled image quality, vibrant colors, and remarkable clarity. Bring your creative vision to life easily using the 3.5" touchscreen LCD and tiltable OLED EVF, providing intuitive navigation and precise focus for your subjects.
Connectivity: Effortlessly share your creations using the mini-HDMI and 3G-SDI video outputs, seamlessly integrating with external devices for larger screens and professional setups, ensuring your work shines on any platform.
Zoom Into Every Detail: The Canon XA75's integrated 4K 15x optical zoom lens allows you to capture a wide range of perspectives, from wide-angle shots to distant subjects, ensuring your videos are captivating and dynamic.
HD Live Streaming: Share your moments as they unfold with USB Type-C output and UVC support, enabling smooth HD live streaming to your PC or Mac, ensuring your audience is part of your story in real-time.
Stability in Every Frame: Say goodbye to shaky footage with infrared and optical image stabilization, providing steady, clear visuals even in challenging shooting conditions and preserving the integrity of your content.
Never Miss a Moment: Dual SD card slots enable relay and simultaneous recording, ensuring you capture every moment, whether a fast-paced event or a dynamic scene.
Price: $2,999.00 (price only for reference)
Thus, that was our article on the best compact 4k video cameras of 2023. What do you think is the best one from our list? Did we miss any of your favorites? Well, our primary purpose was to share how you can pick the ideal 4k small camera for your online content, and that's the reason we made the table listing the major specs of each.
So, guys, remember this is an exciting time for making videos, and you no longer need a super expensive camera. An affordable small 4K camera, can help you create superb videos you'll love sharing.