Best body cameras in 2023: wearable cameras for protection, security, and fun
Keep yourself safe, collect video evidence and more, with the best body cameras for work, leisure and content creation
The best body cam can help you stay safe, by collecting video as you work. Law enforcement and security personnel have the most obvious need for them, but anyone wanting evidence for a potential insurance claim or legal battle will find them useful too. They might not be a bad idea if you have to walk through a bad neighborhood, either. Plus, content creators can use them to collect behind-the-scenes footage, or stream their process to followers in the most immersive and personal way possible!
• Best dash cams • Best helmet cameras • Best spy cameras • Best indoor security cameras • Best outdoor security cameras • Best PoE cameras • Best doorbell cameras • Best baby camera monitors
In other words, just like cyclists use helmet cameras , and motorists use dash cams , all sorts of people can find body cameras handy. But how do you choose the right one for your needs?
For most people, the best body camera will be compact, unobtrusive, easily attached to clothing, and have a lens with a wide angle of view. You’ll also want something that’s robust and, ideally, can be worn out in all weathers and conditions.
Other desirable features will be a long battery life (especially if you work a long shift), decent camera resolution, and large (possibly expandable) data storage capacity, so you don’t run out of juice or memory at that crucial moment. Plus if you're working in the wee small hours, you'll be looking for night vision functions such as infrared capture.
You should also think about how you want to transfer video. Some offer Wi-Fi links to phones, though you might have to pay more, while others accept a removable microSD card , and/or USB connection to your PC. Unlike most cameras, a built-in screen for composing and reviewing images is not always provided (or needed).
Most users, however, just want a wearable camera they can fix to their clothing and then forget about. So we've included a couple of candidates in this category too – including the remarkable little Insta360 Go 2 , and DJI’s magnetic Action 2 .
Best body cameras
Best for overnight shifts this no-nonsense, extremely-capable body camera pares operation back to a few simple well-sized buttons, offering a generous 24-megapixel photo resolution.
Best for lightweight This slender, ultra-lightweight body camera with a built-in back clip enables it to be worn by cyclists as well as unobtrusively by security services, office workers wishing to record business meetings, emergency services, and more.
Best for toughness Though not the cheapest option in our round-up, this Transcend camera features a robust construction. It comes housed in an IP67-rated enclosure for outdoor use and conforms to rigorous US military drop-test standards for shock resistance (the MIL-STD 810G 516.6 transit drop test, to be exact.)
Best body cameras in 2023
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1. Boblov PD70 1296P Wi-Fi Body Mounted Camera
Our expert review:
Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.
With a brand name straight out of Soviet-era Russia, this no-nonsense, extremely-capable body camera pares operation back to a few simple well-sized buttons, offering a generous 24-megapixel photo resolution.
There's an infrared night vision mode that activates automatically in the dark that can pick out faces at 30 feet, and the lens has a generous 170° angle of view. Attachment to clothing is via a rotatable clip, while video (1296P, 1080P or 720P) from the device can be streamed to your smartphone.
This updated model even features a built-in screen, giving the choice of how and where you review footage. The integral rechargeable lithium-ion battery is good for five hours of constant use in 1080P video mode or it can be stretched to 16 hours if the unit is placed in standby mode. It's a brilliant body cam package at this price, and while five hours of use might not cover a full shift, it's still way ahead of the recording time of most consumer 'wearable' cameras. Read our full Boblov PD70 review .
2. Boblov C18 1296P Mini Body Camera
This slender, ultra lightweight body camera with built-in back-clip enables it be worn by cyclists as well as unobtrusively by security services, office workers wishing to record business meetings, emergency services and more.
There's a choice of video resolutions with a maximum of 1728x1296 pixels (1296p), with a loop recording function kicking in when data storage is exhausted. The model can be found sold with 32GB or 64GB of memory.
The camera only has an OLED info screen, so you can't review footage on the device itself. However, it can link to your smartphone via Wi-Fi an unusual feature at this price. A full charge enables up to four hours of video. See our full Boblov C18 review.
3. Transcend DrivePro Body 30
Though not the cheapest option in our round up, this Transcend camera features a robust construction. It comes housed in a IP67-rated enclosure for outdoor use and conforms to rigorous US military drop-test standards for shock resistance (the MIL-STD 810G 516.6 transit drop test, to be exact.)
With built-in Wi-Fi, a 130° field of view and the ability to take snapshots while recording video, it ticks the necessary boxes. You also get Full HD video capture, a fixed aperture 2.0mm lens, a built-in mic, battery life of up to 12 hours, plus a useful 64GB internal memory to get you started out of the box.
If you're out at night, there are four IR LEDs for recording in low-light conditions. Operation is one-touch, although the loud activation bleep and recording light may not be ideal if what you’re looking for is a device for discrete filming.
4. Boblov W4
By stripping the camera concept to the bare bones, Boblov’s W4 becomes a flexible device for more casual users. If you want to see what your pet gets up to alone, for example, then you can record up to 5 hours of video from a camera small and light enough to attach to a neck collar. A pocket clip and a head strap also provide useful
While there is no screen, the device defaults to loop recording, deleting the oldest 15 minutes whenever more storage is needed. It’s simple to transfer video from the MicroSD card and charge up with the USB-C socket (though no fast charging is on offer, so it’ll take 3 hours to fill the internal 950mAh battery).
5. Losfom Z03
Designed more like a clip-on torch than a camera, the Losfom Z03 might not have the deterrent effect a bouncer or police office might need, but for others it’s a handy tool. Cyclists, especially, will be able to strap it round their helmet not only to record drivers’ transgressions, but at night the light provides visibility on the road. You can balance the battery by opting for one of 3 brightness options, up to 200 lumens.
Video is recorded to the included TF card (check the supplied size with the retailer as this varies). In the box are head and wrist straps.
6. Ordro EP8 4K Head Mounted Camera
The Ordro EP8 and its less-well specified sibling the EP6 offer, if not a unique perspective, then a very rare means of capturing it which will appeal to some. Body-worn cameras are often clipped to a chest pocket (beneath the eyes), while an action camera with head strap can be excessively distracting. Instead this camera can be charged up and worn at exactly eye height thanks to the head band. It’s not invisible, but it’ll get the ideal first-person angle for certain vloggers – driving or cycling videos for example – and the head band can be worn over glasses.
The EP8 (and the EP7 it replaces) have a 2-axis gimbal which serves to capture reasonably stable imagery. The app allows you to align your shot live, or you can just shoot ‘blind’ with the side buttons.
The 4K video is a little aggressively sharpened by the software, but nice and crisp for editing (or one-click sharing from the app). Sadly there's no night mode for bouncers, though there is IPX5 ingress protection for action fans. The cheaper EP6 lacks the powered gimbal, but might be a useful alternative if you’re pushed for cash.
7. Ehomful Mini 1080P Body Camera
Discretion is the name of the game when it comes to this personal security device or, cough, spy cam. It’s a small and lightweight body camera option that also comes supplied with a clip, or, alternatively, can be worn about the neck, pendant-style.
Chief among its enticing features is Full HD video up to 30fps, for which you’ll want to make use of the 32GB card supplied out of the box. Alternatively, a 64GB microSD card is offered. If there’s a compromise due to its diminutiveness, it’s that battery life can’t match others here at a comparatively paltry 180 minutes from a full charge.
What some may find useful here, however, is that the device features a built-in USB port for connecting directly to a laptop of PC for transferring footage. If you want simplicity, then this device delivers. Read more: Best spy cameras
8. Insta360 Go 2
The Insta360 Go 2 is not a long-lasting security device for law enforcement. In fact it's quite the opposite. It's a cute and tiny wearable camera you can clip to your clothing, snap to a magnetic pendant around your neck, prop up on our own desk in its own holder, stick to a car dash or window... and more.
Capable of unique immersive POV shorts and also worth considering as a minimalist rig for vloggers, the lightweight Insta360 Go 2 has some surprisingly big features for such a small camera. Excellent image stabilisation, ‘horizon lock’ and a multi-functional battery case make this versatile clip-on camera more than just a novelty item.
Is it a body camera? Not in the professional security sense. But it is a 'body camera' for the rest of us that's tiny, clever and a whole lot of fun.
9. Insta360 X3
Wasted on a breast pocket, but potentially amazing if head mounted, the X3 affords a 360˚ view from dual fish-eye cameras mounted back-to-back. It’s not cheap, of course, but the fact it also offers a 4K single lens mode means it can stands its ground against any action cameras (which can be body mounted). Moreover the possibility of a 5.6K 360˚ video which can be manipulated after the fact to re-aim the camera offers a lot not just for action but for cyclists, for example, to record in all directions.
The camera represents an improvement on the X2, already a fine device, and manages to cram a 1,800mAh swappable battery into the grip as well as a good-sized display. Insta360 have also been working on their software a while now, and it shows. It can do a decent job of removing a selfie stick.
10. Boblov A22
One of the biggest issues with body cameras is that the lens points in the direction your clothing chooses. This device helps provide a solution in the form of rotating lens on a simple friction mount. This also affords the ability to re-direct the camera and place discretely in different places, like the top of a fridge.
Despite its small size, the camera also manages to cram in a color screen for menus and playback, though we’d recommend viewing via USB on a computer. We also liked the physical sliding switch to start video capture. Though they’ll draw power faster, there are 4 IR LEDs for night use and the option of a pocket clip (included) or screw mount.
11. Veho Muvi HD10X Micro Camcorder
When is a body camera not a body cam? When it’s a ‘micro camcorder’ of course. Mere semantics, obviously, as this item can be worn ‘hands free’ thanks to a handy back clip and is one of the smallest options on the market. If it’s simplicity of operation you’re after, this one offers the core essentials of 1920x1080 pixels video capture at 30fps, removable 8GB microSD card for storing up to four hours of HD quality footage, plus easy plug ‘n’ play operation via USB.
OK, so there’s no Wi-Fi connectivity, view screen, GPS, personal alarm or other ‘frills’, but those looking for an affordable and discrete solution – or simply wanting something to clip to their lapel or cycling helmet – will want to investigate further.
12. DJI Action 2
The DJI Action 2 is not built as a body cam but, thanks to its compact design and magnetic mount it can serve as one-for-one in a certain scenario. If you need to capture video for a limited period and don’t want to wear more than a T-shirt or tank top, then the camera module of the Action 2 can be secured in place to a magnetic grip on a lanyard beneath the fabric; it’s much more discrete than a body belt or head mount yet gets quality first-person footage.
You can even review it on the unbelievably sharp built-in screen, or play it back on your phone thanks to its wi-fi connection. The camera’s range of attachments also makes it a great choice for cyclists (the classic helmet mount may be preferable).
The only worry is that DJI followed it up with a camera called the Osmo Action 3 which reverts to a traditional GoPro-like form factor, which is a bit too bulky and heavy to be used in the same way.
13. Rexing P1 Body Worn Camera
The Rexing P1 is a great option for bouncers and others working in the dark, thanks to its built in infra-red illumination which can light subjects as far off as 15m at night. What might seem a little silly to some – the siren and flashing lights – also offers a good panic button option in some less-than-salubrious working environments.
The 3,000mAh rechargeable battery is charged via USB and the connection weather-sealed securing an IP67 waterproof rating. There is also capacity to augment the memory with an microSD card, but despite that the casing is definitely successfully ruggedized and will survive a drop (possibly even a hammer blow).
The rear LCD displays useful info plainly (if not graphically); the time left and battery remaining, as well as allowing in-field playback, which is handy, and with no wi-fi you can’t be hacked.
14. Pellking Mobile Phone Chest Harness
Admittedly there isn’t a lot to say here in terms of camera specifications – those will belong to your phone – but a chest mount is an alternative to suing a body camera, at least in situations where getting some footage – perhaps for vlogging or live streaming – outweighs the need for battery life. It’ll take pretty much any phone; Pellking say 4-7 inches, which covers an iPhone Pro Max.
Setting up requires a little patience – a mini wrench is included, though the connectors will be familiar to GoPro users. The Pellking strap’s advantage over some others is the ability to use the phone in both portrait and landscape, as well the option to angle the camera downward to look down on what your hands are doing rather than forward.
The cost is a degree of bulk – it projects a little way from the body – but is nevertheless a more than adequate solution for many (in non-aggressive situations, at least – we wouldn’t want to come to harm while wearing this!)
How to choose a body camera
- Viewing Angle, or Field of View, is important because if a camera has a relatively narrow field of view important events can be missed at the sides of the frame. The human field of view is around 114˚ not counting peripheral vision, but most body worn cameras don’t turn with your head so a wider field of view is usually better.
- Attachment . How you wear your camera is crucial, so think about what you wear (a uniform?) when you’ll be wearing the camera and where you can attach the camera. Will the weight of the camera pull your clothing and make it sway? How will that affect the video?
- Battery life , or operating time, is important. It’s also worth remembering that features like night modes with IR lighting can use power a little faster, so better not cut this too fine.
- Cellular . It’s also possible to source cameras – like the Halo Connect and Reveal K-7 – with built-in streaming, but these devices are designed for large corporate installations rather than the average user. Hopefully, some of the features will trickle down soon.
- Infrared . A night mode with built-in lighting results in a slightly spooky red glow from ‘invisible’ lights but can capture details near you with no other light. It will draw more battery, though.
- Storage . Choosing between removable memory cards – useful for quick copying to a computer – or simple built-in memory for looped recording will depend on your needs. However, it is possible to record in a loop to removable cards too. In either case, when a significant event has occurred, you need to be sure to transfer and copy it before you use the camera again in case the data is lost.
• The best dash cams
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• The best helmet cameras
• The best spy cameras
• The best home security camera for home security and surveillance
• The best night vision goggles and binoculars
• The best thermal imaging cameras
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Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography.
His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.
He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.
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Photography Guides & Gear Reviews
Best Body Cameras in 2023 (Personal or Professional Use)
Our top picks for the best body cameras of 2023. Use them on the job, on the road, and whenever you need to document what's going on around you.
Camera Gear Guides | Camera Guides | By Jeff Collier
This is a guide to the best body cameras for recording interactions, evidence collection and protection.
You might also just want a body camera for fun, due to the unique first-person point of view they provide.
Body-worn cameras (BWC) were introduced in 2019 here in Australia to NSWA paramedics to record audio and video.
The best body camera needs to be small unobtrusive, easily attached to clothing and have great video and audio quality.
Ideally, it will have good low-light performance too, and if it’s to be used in law enforcement, it needs to be rugged and weather-resistant.
Capture up to 16 hours of high quality 4k video footage with this compact and robust GPS enabled body camera.
While action cameras may seem like a handy body-mountable alternative, a dedicated body camera is much better
(You’ll discover why in the guide below, along with some other FAQs.)
So whether you’re a police officer, civilian, or simply a content creator wanting some stealthy video footage, here’s a list of the best body cameras this year.
Table of Contents
What is the Best Body Camera in 2023?
1. boblov b4k2 (our top pick).
- Small and lightweight
- Easy to set up and use
- Sturdy design
- Infrared camera
- GPS capabilities
- No image stabilization
- Relatively expensive
The BOBLOV B4K2 is our top pick among the best body cameras because of its great range of features.
First of all, it can record at 4K, so you’ll be able to capture high-quality, high-resolution footage.
The device locks onto moving targets quickly, too, using a red laser light.
You can record at night, either with its powerful, in-built flashlight or with its infrared night vision camera. That’s good up to 50ft, and can be set up to engage automatically.
One particularly useful feature, especially for those who might be recording in volatile or quickly-changing situations is the quick start function.
When the device is off, you just need to press a single button, and the BOBLOV turns on and immediately starts recording.
It’s GPS-enabled, can stamp your footage or photos with map coordinates in real-time (at no additional cost), and track your video route.
You might think that with this many features, the body camera might not last for too long. But you’d be wrong. It can last for up to 16 hours on a single charge.
That’s more than enough continuous recording to take it through, for example, a 12-hour shift as a police body camera.
And it comes with two of those batteries, plus a micro SD card. No need to buy accessories, you’ll be good to go out of the box.
All in all, this is an excellent, robust, feature-packed choice for law enforcement, security professionals, and first responders.
2. BOBLOV M5 (Runner Up)
- Robust build
- Dual-use dashcam and bodycam
- High resolution
- Great battery life and memory capacity
- No 4K video
- Not particularly stable on the body without an accessory
These body cameras are police body cameras. Specifically designed for law enforcement use.
With that in mind, you can expect certain things from it (plus other perhaps more surprising things).
First off, it’s a tough device with excellent build quality. It can withstand drops of up to 2 metres and is waterproof to IP67.
It has GPS, so can record the exact position of your footage or images.
The footage is 2K (and can also be set to automatically record infrared for low light and nighttime), and the camera gives you a resolution of 48 megapixels.
Like the BOBLOV B4K2, it has a red laser that quickly locks onto moving targets, very useful for crime scenes , and unlike the B4K2, it has red and blue flashing alarm lights, which can be used as a warning, or to signal for backup.
You have the option of up to 256GB of internal memory and, whatever amount of memory you choose, the battery life is excellent, up to 15 hours of continuous recording.
So, whatever situation you’re called to, you won’t need to worry about your device letting you down.
This device is also dual-use. That is, you can attach it to your body, or use the suction cup to make it a dash cam. If you do decide to use it as a bodycam, though, it’s best to buy the magnetic clip to go with it, as it’s not stable enough without it.
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3. BOBLOV KJ21 (Best Entry-Level Body Cam)
- Good battery life
- Dashcam option
Very similar in look and design to the BOBLOV B4K2, but at around half the cost, the BOBLOV KJ21 is best for budget-conscious users looking for a reputable bodycam.
Although you won’t get the ability to record in 4K for up to 16 hours at a time, this entry-level option allows you to record in 1080p for up to 10 hours.
Which is probably more than enough for most civilian and even professional users.
You have an infrared camera (for up to 30ft away), a flashlight, a siren, a quick start function, and the possibility to have up to 256GB of memory using a microSD card .
It’s got a nice and secure clip to attach it to your clothing or a bag strap, and you can also use it as a dashcam.
It’s small, lightweight, robust, and has the basic features of its more expensive cousins.
But if you don’t need GPS and 4K video, and want a high-quality bodycam at a low cost, this could be your best choice.
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4. Transcend DrivePro Body 10 (Best for Windows Users)
- Sharp footage
- Quick Snapshot function
- Lower battery life than competitors
- LEDs can’t be turned off, so cannot be unobtrusive
The Transcend DrivePro Body 10 is made in Taiwan by a reputable, established company, and sold at an excellent price point for its features.
It’s our choice as best for Windows users as the latest model is Windows only, with no Mac compatibility.
It uses a 360-degree rotating mount and clip to attach itself to your body (or for you to attach it to your body), and its body is lightweight, with a small, sleek design. It’s tough too, both shock and water-resistant.
The footage quality is great. It uses a Sony sensor (well-known for their delicious images) and records crystal-clear 1080p footage.
A particularly handy feature is the Quick Snapshot function. If you need to take a photo, you can do it without interrupting your recording.
Just press the button and the device will snatch a frame and save it in a separate folder as a jpeg.
It can record in the night too, thanks to four infrared LEDs that surround the main camera. One thing to be aware of, though, is that these operate automatically, and can’t be turned off.
That means your daytime footage can have a slightly purple tint in low light, as there’s no infrared cutout filter in the camera.
That shouldn’t be a problem most (or any) of the time though, and certainly not if you’re using this for creative purposes.
Battery life is 5 hours. Although that doesn’t sound like much, you can record and charge at the same time. So put a charger pack in your pocket and you can record for as long as you want.
- What’s the cheapest video camera?
5. Boblov C18 1296P (Best Mini Cam/Spy Camera)
- Recording light can be switched off
- Can control from an app
- Buttons are a bit weak
- Menu can be difficult to navigate
This is our pick for the best mini cam or spy camera .
It’s just over four inches in length so, smaller than a pen, and can slip easily into a pocket and be securely attached there with its removable clip.
It’s discreet in another way, too, as its flashing LED recording light can be switched off. Something other body-worn cameras on the market don’t do.
It has surprisingly good picture quality for its size and price (don’t expect miracles – it has a tiny sensor), and can record at 1080p.
Memory size is not massive (32 or 64 GB), but that’s to be expected for both the size and amount of use its target market would get out of it – which is mainly you and I, the average consumer.
You can also control it directly from an app, as it can be connected to WiFi.
Connecting it to the internet will reduce its battery life by a bit though. And that battery life is between 3 and 4 hours of recording at 1080p with the WiFi turned off.
- What’s the best AI camera?
6. MIUFLY 1296P
- Built-in GPS
- Rugged design
- Password protected
- Heavier than competitors
- Audio can be muffled
The MIUFLY 1296P is a rugged option for those in the market for a body cam.
The ability to record up to 1296p gives you good quality, high-resolution footage and pictures. And you can start recording video and audio with one touch.
It has good battery life, up to ten hours of continuous recording, and that can be stored in internal memory of 32GB, all the way up to 128GB .
There’s built-in GPS, and infrared sensors for night recording. And, if you want to be discreet at night (or during the day), it also has a Covert Mode which turns off the blinking LED recording light.
All in all, it’s a no-nonsense piece of kit, that has a decent amount of features for the price.
- What’s the best thermal imaging camera?
22 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Body Camera
Choosing a body camera is a decision that should take several factors into account, especially when the primary goal is to enhance personal safety or collect video evidence:
- Video Quality : A good body camera should offer high-definition (HD) video recording. Look for cameras that can record in at least 1080p resolution. Higher resolution can provide clearer images which can be essential for evidence.
- Audio Quality : Clear audio can also serve as crucial evidence. Look for a device with a high-quality microphone.
- Battery Life : Depending on your needs, you might require a camera that can record for an entire shift or outing. Check the device’s battery life to ensure it’s suitable for your needs.
- Storage : Check how much internal memory the camera has and if it’s expandable. Video, especially HD video, can consume a lot of storage space quickly.
- Durability : The camera should be durable and resistant to elements like dust and water, especially if you’ll be using it outdoors.
- Size and Weight : Choose a camera that is compact and lightweight for comfort and convenience. It should be easy to wear without causing discomfort.
- Ease of Use : It should be simple to operate, with easily accessible controls.
- Night Vision : If you’ll be using the camera in low-light conditions, look for a model that includes infrared or night vision capabilities.
- Wide-Angle Lens : A wider field of view can capture more in the frame, which could be important in volatile situations.
- Security Features : Look for models that prevent tampering or unauthorized access to the recordings. Some cameras offer password protection and secure file formats that can’t be altered.
- Mounting Options : Depending on your needs, you might want to consider what kind of mounting options are available – chest mount, shoulder mount, etc.
- Pre-Record Function : Some body cameras have a feature that continuously buffers video and can include a certain amount of footage from before the record button was pressed. This can be extremely helpful in capturing unexpected events.
- GPS Tagging : Certain body cameras come with GPS functionality which allows the video to be tagged with location data. This can provide valuable context to the recorded footage.
- Field of View Adjustment : While a wide field of view is generally beneficial, there can be cases where a narrower field of view may be preferable to avoid distortion. Cameras that allow adjusting this can offer more flexibility.
- Stealth Mode : Some cameras have a stealth or covert mode, which allows recording without noticeable signs like LED indicators. This might be important in certain situations where you don’t want to draw attention to the recording process.
- Data Transfer and Storage Options : Depending on your needs, you might prefer a camera that can automatically upload its footage to cloud storage, or one that allows easy transfer to a computer via USB.
- Automatic Activation : Some body cameras can be set to automatically start recording under certain conditions, such as when the police vehicle’s emergency lights are activated.
- Battery Saving Features : Look for features that help to conserve battery life when not actively recording, such as motion activation or a sleep mode.
- Resolution Settings : Some cameras allow you to change the resolution settings . Lower resolution video uses less storage space and battery, which might be useful in situations where high-resolution video isn’t necessary.
- Image Stabilization : Some body cameras have image stabilization to help keep the video footage smooth even if the camera is moving.
- Durability Standards : Beyond general durability, it can be useful to check if a camera meets specific standards, such as military or industrial standards for shock, vibration, and extreme temperatures.
- Price : Finally, cost is an important factor. Ensure the camera provides the features you need at a price point that fits your budget.
Which is Better: a GoPro or a Body Camera?
It may be tempting to choose one of the best GoPros or a GoPro alternative instead of a dedicated body camera.
Take a look at this table to settle the GoPro vs Body Camera debate when it comes to protection, security and fun:
Are body cameras legal for civilians?
Anyone can use a body camera anywhere they’d be able to use a standard camera, as long as they’re not breaking any privacy laws.
As for those laws, they change depending on where you are, so you’ll need to check for your region.
What is the best body camera for civilians?
It really depends on what you need a body cam for.
I think for civilian use you need an unobtrusive body camera, so I’d go with either the Boblov C18 1296P or the BOBLOV KJ21 from this guide. Another option is the Transcend, although only for Windows users obviously.
What brand body cameras do police use?
Out of those in this guide, I’d say the BOBLOV M5, as they’re designed specifically as police body cameras, and has all the features they’d need in their work.
How much does a personal body cam cost?
Those in this guide range from $80 – $200. You can pay less for a body camera, although I wouldn’t recommend it, and you can pay more, $500, $600. But you can always pay more, can’t you?
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Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.
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While body cameras have become more commonplace among law enforcement, plenty of good options are available for the civilian market as well.
Many states and cities have laws allowing body camera footage to be admissible in court, making them popular among anyone needing to document their version of events.
Body cameras can also be used for generic recording and live streaming.
What to Look For in Body Cams
Best overall, miufly 1296p hd body camera.
5MP CMOS sensor
16x digital zoom
Motion detection feature
Not optimized for police and security guards
With a robust design, powerful audio-visual data recording capabilities, and many other features, MIUFLY 1296P is the best body-worn camera. Equipped with a 5MP CMOS sensor , MIUFLY allows high video capture in a variety of resolutions, ranging from 848 x 480p (30/60fps) to 2304 x 1296p (30fps).
The camera lens has a 140-degree viewing angle and up to 16x digital zoom. Videos are encoded using the H.264 compression standard and saved in MP4 format.
The camera utilizes its integrated microphone to record audio in WAV format and can even capture photos while recording video. MIUFLY 1296P can embed useful information like User ID, Time & Date stamp, and GPS coordinates (as a watermark) into recorded videos.
Thanks to a motion-detection feature, the wearable camera can automatically start video capture on detecting activity. A two-inch (240 x 320 pixels resolution) LCD lets you view captured videos, and you can set a password to prevent recorded data from being stolen/deleted.
The device has four infrared LEDs for capturing videos in dark environments. MIUFLY 1296P comes with a 2,900mAh rechargeable battery, allowing up to 10 hours of footage to be captured in one go.
Resolution : 5MP | Video Resolution : 480p, 1304x1296 | Waterproof : IP65 | Zoom : 16x | Connectivity : Cable
Akaso ek7000 pro 4k action camera.
Sharp photos and video
Easy to use in action settings
Wi-Fi control through the mobile app
Questions about long-term durability
Hot USB ports after prolonged use
The body cam category isn't different from the more general action cam category. Both buyers want good performance no matter what activity they're participating in — whether for safety or just for documenting a hike.
Of the budget action body cams that exist, the AKASO EK7000 is one of the most affordable, and best of all, it doesn't require you to sacrifice a whole lot of functionality in the process.
At 4K, for instance, it can shoot video at 25fps and up to 30fps at 2.7K (still a formidable resolution). These numbers are leaps and bounds ahead of hyper-specific body cams.
Lifewire / Scott Gercken
The EK7000 also has electronic image stabilization built-in, though according to our reviewer probably gets better action performance if you go for a camera with optical stabilization. That said, it can still shoot while submerged up to 131 feet underwater, meaning it doesn't have to be relegated to landscapes.
However, one drawback for body cam users is its roughly 90-minute footage cap. Anything over that, and you'll be reaching for the charger. But because it only weighs about two ounces, it has many accessories in the box.
And when you consider its Wi-Fi streaming and sharing integrations, it turns out to be a leading contender for the title of best body cam.
Resolution : 5MP | Video Resolution : 4K, 2.7K | Waterproof : To 131 feet | Zoom : 16x | Connectivity : Cable, Wi-Fi, SD card, Bluetooth
Best for Law Enforcement
Rexing p1 body camera.
1080p video recording
21x optical zoom
Some quality control issues
The Rexing P1 is a durable body camera ideal for law enforcement. It boasts a 1080p FHD camera and 21x optical zoom that supports night vision capabilities. It can capture crisp footage up to 50 feet in the way, even in dark conditions. It has 64GB of built-in storage for recording video, photos, and audio.
Battery life is solid, with a 3,000mAh battery that should allow 10 hours of video recording, more than 11 hours of audio, or 20 hours of standby time. It should let you use the camera for the average workday without recharging.
Other features include password protection, which encrypts files so they can't be stolen or deleted. The only way to delete files is by connecting through a computer with a USB cable.
Perhaps the most significant selling point is the IP67 waterproof rating, meaning the camera can survive complete submersion underwater. It's also shock-resistant to withstand drops, bumps, and scrapes.
Resolution : N/A | Video Resolution : 1080p | Waterproof : IP67 | Zoom : 21x | Connectivity : Cable
The best body cam should have a durable, compact design, good video resolution, and long battery life, so it doesn't need to be frequently recharged. Since body cameras are commonly used by outdoor adventurers, sports enthusiasts, and law enforcement, durability, and a waterproof and shock resistance rating are essential to consider.
The key things you'll want to have in a body cam are a resolution and video quality that's crisp and smooth. The most standard resolution is 1080p at 30fps, which should give you good, smooth recording without breaking the budget. You can step up to 60fps if you want smoother recording (or slow down to 24fps for slow-motion effects). Above that, you get 4K, usually at 30fps, which is much sharper, resulting in a corresponding price increase.
As with anything that gets worn and carried around with you all the time, durability is hugely important for a body cam. If you're in law enforcement, you'll want MIL-STD 810G, a certification that promises lab-tested shock resistance, drop resistance, and more. A waterproof rating is also essential, with IP65 meaning the device is protected against submersion in water up to 5m and also resistant to dust. There are higher and lower IP ratings, with IPX ratings meaning no dust resistance and just water.
If you wear it all day, a body cam can't be easily recharged, so battery life is essential. The size of the built-in cell can vary, with 1,000mAh to 3,000mAh being standard. Ideally, you'll want a device to take you through an 8-hour workday. Most body cams likely won't be able to last 24 hours since the battery size needs to be balanced against the compact and lightweight design. One option is to get a body cam with more than one battery so you can swap them out when one runs out of juice.
While there isn't anything stopping you technically, it's often better to ask permission before capturing video of anyone. However, if you are in a public area, you are within your rights to take photos or videos of your surroundings. Laws surrounding body cameras can vary by state, so if you are concerned about the legalities of constantly recording video, we recommend checking out the NCSL Body-Worn Camera Laws Database .
Things become more muddled when using body cameras to record law enforcement. While you are technically allowed to record law enforcement, some states have tried to regulate audio recording under wiretapping laws. We recommend checking out this ACLU primer for shooting videos of the police before going further.
While an increasing number of police departments are required to wear and use body cameras, those body cameras aren't continuously filming. In most cases, police officers can control when they have a body camera on. Officers can turn on the body camera before an encounter (or, conversely, turn it off). Moreover, even if the body camera is on, the footage isn't readily accessible to civilians.
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9 Best Body Cameras in 2023 (Protect Yourself!)
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The best body camera will protect the public and the user. It provides a record and context for incidents that happen at high speed . The good news for everyone is that body cameras are now very affordable.
We’ve put together a list of the best body cameras out there. Some we’ve chosen are action cameras . But all will work well if you match your requirements to the features. Our top pick is a traditional body camera. The BOBLOV M7 has a robust case, a color screen, and a rotating body mount.
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What Is a Body Camera?
Worn on your clothing, a body camera allows hands-free recording of what is happening in front of you. Typically, law enforcement officers, security guards, or door staff wear them. They provide clear evidence of what happened leading up to and during an incident.
Before we look at the details of the cameras we’ve selected, here is a summary of all our recommendations.
- 128GB of storage
- Waterproof and dustproof
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- 12 hours of recording time
- 1080p Full HD video
- HD 1296p footage
- Long-lasting battery life
- Durable, waterproof design
- 32 GB internal memory
- Easy-to-use recording interface
- High-quality 1080p video
- Rechargeable battery for up to 8 hours of continuous use
- Waterproof and dustproof design
- Wide-angle lens for clear footage
- Lightweight and compact design for easy portability
- 1080p Full HD recording
- Easy to use and lightweight
- Long battery life and rechargeable
- Waterproof housing included
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
- 160-degree wide-angle lens
- Up to 10 hours of recording
- Instant playback and sharing
- Ultra-lightweight and compact
- Hyper-lapse and time-lapse modes
- AI-powered stabilization
- 10-hour battery life
- Lightweight and easy to wear
- Night vision and motion detection
- 4K video and 20 MP photos
- Up to 8x slow motion
- Hyper-lapse and time-lapse
- Rock-steady stabilization
- Waterproof to 11 m
- High-resolution recording
- Wide-angle lens
- Long battery life
What Is the Best Body Camera?
We’ve looked at the features, specifications, and practicality of these cameras. All of them should serve you well. Work out in advance what your needs are, and then match the camera to your needs and budget.
1. BOBLOV M7 128GB Body Camera
The BOBLOV M7 is a sound choice if you need a recording device that can run for several hours between charges. It also has plenty of other features. A color screen to review your footage is a bonus. The clip allows up to 180 degrees of movement, which increases the number of mounting options.
The 179-degree viewing angle means there won’t be much that happens in front of you that goes unrecorded. And if the action happens at night, everything up to 10 feet (3.3 m) away will be captured in infrared.
The footage is time and date stamped for security. And these stamps can neither be removed nor tampered with. And for good measure, it also records the GPS coordinates. That can be a real bonus.
Loop recording and dashcam capability add to the camera’s versatility. You can connect it to a power source for uninterrupted operation. Overall, the BOBLOV M7 does everything you need in a bodycam. And it does it to a high standard at a good price.
2. CammPro I826 1296P HD Police Body Camera
The CammPro 1826 is a more expensive camera. You get improved battery life, but you lose Wi-Fi connectivity. It’s likely that these two things are connected. So the 11 hours recording time is impressive. But you’ll have to connect via USB to download the footage.
The IR performance is significantly better, with a 50-foot (15 m) detection range. The field of view is 140 degrees. This is less all-encompassing than the BOBLOV PD70. But it does bring you a little closer to the action being recorded.
One slight shortcoming is that it only has onboard memory. The proprietary software only works with Windows machines. Other than that, the CammPro is an attractive choice of camera.
3. BOBLOV KJ21 Body Camera
The BOBLOV KJ21 is one of the cheapest in this review. It has 1296p recording. If you lower the resolution to 1080p you can get up to 10 hours of footage. The IR lights will capture images up to 33 feet (10 m) away.
There’s no Wi-Fi, so you download via a USB connection. And you can always review the footage on the 2-inch color screen. That footage can be stored on a MicroSD card up to a maximum of 128 GB.
There’s a USB charging dock and dashcam mode. So the camera can be used as a dual-purpose dash/bodycam. To capture the start of any incident, the camera records for 1 minute before pressing the record button.
It’s not as well-connected as the PD70. And its IR isn’t as good as the CammPro. But the BOBLOV KJ21 is significantly cheaper than either of them. It makes a good case for a budget, entry-level bodycam.
4. Veho Muvi HD10X Micro Camcorder
The advantage of the Veho Muvi HD10X is its tiny size. It’s almost a spy cam rather than a body cam. It would easily slip into a pocket and is less obvious and obtrusive than any of the more typical bodycams. One of its target markets is the action cam user.
So it’s not a typical body camera. Its small size does come with some drawbacks. The video is only 1080p and there is no IR capacity. And there’s no screen or Wi-Fi.
That sounds like a long list of negatives. But if you’re looking for a body camera that can work with normal clothes, it’s worth considering. You won’t need a special harness. You could easily clip it to a shirt or jacket. The Muvi is perfect in those situations.
5. Rexing P1 Body Worn Camera
The Rexing P1 is built with the law enforcement of security professionals in mind. It is housed in a sturdy water- and shock-resistant body. There is a Panic Mode which activates a siren and flashing beacon. It’s perfect for alerting nearby colleagues. A 2-inch screen allows instant review of the footage.
Battery standby of 20 hours and recording of 10 hours allows a whole shift to be recorded. And if that shift is at night, the IR LEDs provide coverage up to 50 feet (15 m). To make sure the captured footage remains available, the files are password protected.
The 1080p video resolution and lack of Wi-Fi are perhaps subpar for the price. But the picture quality is actually perfectly adequate for its uses. The Rexing P1 is well worth considering if you want an all-day body camera.
6. Insta360 Go 2
The Insta360 Go 2 doesn’t pretend to be a bodycam. It is an action camera. As such it is a popular GoPro alternative . So it lacks some features that you find on a traditional body camera. There’s no IR and battery life is very short. Even with the charging case, you’re limited to fewer than three hours.
On the other hand, it has features that many body cameras don’t. Astonishingly good image stabilization means that footage will be steady. Even if the person wearing it is running. It is fully waterproof to 13 feet (4 m). And it has easy magnetic mounting possibilities. This means you don’t even need to clip it to anything.
Although this is an action camera, it could be what you need for a body camera. It’s far from cheap. The video technology and action camera features come at a price.
But, you might only need to record occasionally during a shift. In this case, the Insta360 will provide you with peace of mind. Its 360-degree sibling was our top pick for the best 360 camera this year.
7. BOBLOV A22 Body Camera
The BOBLOV A22 is very small for a body camera. And it is very inexpensive. Despite this, it has a decent set of features. There’s the night vision capability courtesy of the four IR LEDs. It has a one-touch video or recording. In fact, it looks more like a digital voice recorder than a bodycam.
The fixing clip has a tripod screw mount. Combined with the 180-degree rotatable lens, this increases mounting options. One limitation is the maximum recording time. Up to ten hours of recording is possible with the battery’s capacity. But each video is limited to ten minutes. So it’s not a camera you can set to record for a whole shift and forget.
That said, it’s easy to wear and gives a solid video performance. As a record-when-you-need-it body camera, the A22 offers unbeatable value for money.
8. DJI Action 2
The DJI Action 2 is another action camera that could double as a body camera. It has excellent video resolution. And its image stabilization is about as good as it gets. It’s also waterproof down to 33 feet (10m). Combine all this with a range of flexible mounting options, and it has a lot to recommend it.
It does have shortcomings as a body camera. There’s no IR capability, and recording time is very limited. This is true of any action camera. And it is very expensive.
However, it could be worth considering. Maybe you want an action camera and want to use it occasionally as a body camera. In this case, the DJI is worth a look.
9. Transcend DrivePro Body 30 Body Camera
The Transcend DrivePro Body 30 has a number of features designed to appeal to the professional user. There is a six-camera docking and charging station, for instance. This has ethernet for ease of file transfer. And a team of linked cameras will sync together. So if one is buffering its video, the others will make sure they are recording.
These features are in addition to high-quality video resolution and night vision. Wi-Fi streaming to smartphones and easy setup via Bluetooth are also handy features. You’ll get up to 12 hours of recording from the battery. And the internal 64 GB memory is more than enough storage.
The Transcend is a body camera with great features. It’s not the cheapest, but it is clearly targeted at the professional user. If you work in a team, it is a strong contender for the best body camera for you.
What to Look for in a Body Camera
Body cameras have revolutionized how we see law enforcement officers. Literally how we see them. And some features are more important than others. The best body camera for you will have the features you need for your situation. Here are some important things to consider.
How does the camera connect to the outside world? At the least, it will have USB. Wi-Fi is useful for monitoring what the camera is seeing. And it makes transferring files easy. It might also allow easy setup of the camera’s features. Bluetooth can also help set up the camera’s features and transfer files.
Memory and Storage
Some cameras have built-in memory, others use memory cards . The advantage of memory cards is that you can swap them out to transfer files. The camera is not tied up in the file transfer process.
On the other hand, it’s possible to lose the card. The same concern applies to file deletion. This is addressed by cameras that require a password-protected computer-linked process.
Ease of Use
Let’s face it, the body camera is not designed to be used in pleasant situations. It is there for when the trouble starts. And it is next to useless if you can’t quickly and easily activate it. Especially if it’s winter and you’re wearing thick gloves.
So look for cameras that have big, easy buttons. Or ones that can record continuously. This means you’ll never miss an incident.
Video Quality and Night Vision
If any of your work involves low light, then you need night vision. Look for a camera with infrared LEDs. The footage won’t look pretty, and it will be monochrome. But it will be usable and might even reveal details you didn’t see in the moment.
Conclusion: The Best Body Camera
Technology advances and becomes cheaper all the time. This means that there’s no excuse not to protect yourself with a body camera. Our recommended pick is the BOBLOV M7.
It has a great blend of features and affordability. We like the Wi-Fi connectivity, 128 GB of storage, GPS logging, and 12-hour battery life. The camera is also easy to use and very reliable. These are the reasons we chose the BOBLOV M7 as our top pick for the best body camera in 2023.
Closer Look at the FREEFLY Ember S5K Slow Mo Camera
Did you know that FREEFLY makes cameras? You know, the company famous for high-end gimbals and drones?
They make the Ember S5K – a compact camera optimized for drone and gimbal work that can shoot 5K at up to an insane 600 fps.
That’s an awesome spec for any camera these days and this one even has a Super 35mm Global Shutter sensor.
The Ember may have flown under the radar but it is time we took a closer look. CVP is just right for a detailed analysis and they have a video covering all the key specs.
Even though this is a relatively pricey camera most of us won’t ever use, it is always fun checking out slow motion.
Out for a few months now, the Ember is still an early model and FREEFLY is giving it updates over time. It’s main goal is to capture high-quality slow-motion footage easily.
For that, it seems like it does the job very well. It’ll even give you on-camera playback.
You can quickly record a lot of footage with these frame rates. In a few hours, the CVP team recorded 3TB worth of footage that had a runtime of 25 hours when set in a normal timeline. No pre-record function did result in a lot more takes.
Image Credit: FREEFLY
Sensor and Resolutions
Compared to something like the V-RAPTOR you will see that things like dynamic range are more limited in the Ember. The new S35 global shutter sensor is likely the reason.
The sensor itself appears to be of high quality, though it is a bit odd with a 5:4 aspect ratio and 5120 x 4096 resolution. Global shutter is a huge advantage for slow-motion recording as it eliminates any of those rolling shutter artifacts.
Plus, it’ll actually record open gate 5:4 footage at up to 436 fps. Lower the resolution and you’ll get even higher frame rates.
Moving down even to just 5120 x 3840 you’ll get 464 fps. Perfect for anamorphic. Moving to 16:9 will go above 600 fps. It just gos up and up and for 4K in 2.35:1 you can hit over 1000 fps.
The Ember records in ProRes LT to an internal 4TB SSD. This ensures no issues with media speed or limits to record times. The max bitrate is 2GB/s, which is a lot so be careful.
Even at these settings you will get 36 minutes of record time. Offloading footage can take a while though and the camera will be unusable during the process.
Audio isn’t available with the Ember, which isn’t a big issue since most slow motion needs different sound design to work. This could come in the future. Other potential updates are the ability to record in ProRes 422 and 422 HQ.
Currently, you can record in 709 or a beta HLG profile. That HLG is going to be the closest to log you can get and it is a slightly custom implementation of the HDR profile.
There is no low pass filter here, resulting in very sharp footage. The downside would be moire showing up with certain subjects. CVP did see this in some of their own footage.
Base ISO is 300, though the camera doesn’t actually offer that as an option. Only ISOs 100, 200, and 400 are available.
They all look good though you might need to use some noise reduction in post as darker areas can get noisy and there are instances where fixed-pattern noise shows up.
It is an expensive camera at around $17,000. Comparable cameras include the RED V-RAPTOR. When put up against other cinema cameras you can see the Ember hit its limits long before the other cameras.
You’ll have to be more careful with exposure as you won’t have as much flexibility as you might be used to.
Compared to the older Wave, the Ember is a very much improved design. It is compact, has some well thought out controls, and even has a slick Cerakote green finish.
That ceramic coating will keep the camera protected. Though, after the first 100 units this will change to a standard anodized aluminum.
It is super lightweight at 852 g without any extras. That makes it perfect for flying on a gimbal or drone. It is also IP52 rated for handling light rain and splashes without worry.
The top of the camera has some mounting point. This is going to be necessary for getting things like a monitor hooked up.
The bottom has a few other threads for getting things connected to a tripod or support. Locating pin holes will keep it from rotating.
On the front is a 3.5mm mic in and a 3.5mm mic output.
For lenses there is a removable Sony E mount. This isn’t an electronic mount, it is simply a mechanical mount so you can’t use any powered lenses.
You can replace the mount with plenty of other options or just use adapters. The recommendation is getting a hard mount replacement.
Looking at the side of the camera you’ll find a special connector for future accessories. Along with various threads. The opposite side then has some of your key controls. There are some fans to keep it cool.
The back has a few connectors, including an expansion port that doesn’t function just yet. There is a 4-pin molex connector for power and a D-tap cable is included.
There is then an Ethernet port for future camera control options, a full-size HDMI port for monitoring, a USB-C port, and a 6-pin connector for control.
Menu and Operation
The menu is fairly bare bones. You can control most of your settings very easily using the rear display. You can pick resolution, control the fan, turn on the Wi-Fi, and plenty more.
Firmware updates have been helpful to improving the camera’s functionality and more are on the way. The mobile app is currently in beta but it is very clean and nice to use. It’ll even do playback and trimming of your recorded clips.
There are also plenty of accessories to rig it up as you need.
This is a very interesting camera and if you need to get some slow-motion footage this is an enticing offer.
It is pricey and compared to high-end slow-mo cameras the Ember is potentially good competition at a relatively lower price point.
What do you think about the FREEFLY Ember?
[source: CVP ]
- Freefly Ember S5K Camera ( B&H )
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About The Author
Shawn studied both cinema and photography with a strong focus on photojournalism and documentary work. You can check out his Instagram, as well as most other social media accounts, @shawncsteiner to see more of his work.
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Exposure control, compatibility, connectivity.
Capture your subjects with beautiful results when you use the Sony a7 III full-frame mirrorless camera. A back-illuminated image sensor and evolved image processing system deliver high-quality images in a range of lighting conditions, while the five-axis stabilization technology provides steady shots for crisp, clear image capture. With 693 phase detection AF points, this Sony a7 III full-frame mirrorless camera allows for precise focusing, even during action shots.
24.2MP resolution delivers gorgeous shots with lifelike detail
The Exmor R full-frame CMOS sensor produces high-resolution photos with intense clarity.
ISO 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800)
Shoots sharp photos and videos in almost any lighting conditions, so you can capture brilliant sunrises, sunsets and nighttime images.
Don't miss a shot with high-speed continuous shooting
Take photos at up to 10 fps to easily create detailed photos of sporting events and other fast-moving action.
Fast hybrid AF with 693 phase detection and 425 contrast detection focus points
Ensures accurate tracking, and automatic, single-shot, continuous, direct manual and manual focus modes provide flexibility.
High-resolution 4K HDR videos
The camera features a new HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile, supporting instant HDR workflow that offers wide dynamic range for highly precise and lifelike movie images without color grading.
Wirelessly stream still images and movies to a smartphone, PC or TV
Built-in Wi-Fi allows simple connectivity.* The NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology supports remote operation via a compatible device.
2.95" TFT touch-screen monitor
The 921,600-dot resolution and five-step brightness control offer clear visuals for framing or reviewing shots, and the tilting design makes it easy to find the right angle.
New front-end LSI and BIONZ X image processor
These powerful components work together to allow the camera to shoot at faster speeds while also enabling its impressive ISO range and massive 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivity settings.
Electronic viewfinder makes it easy to frame shots
The XGA OLED viewfinder with 2,359,296-dot resolution, auto and manual brightness control, five-step manual color temperature control and 100% coverage provides a great view.
TTL (Through-the-Lens) preflash control
Helps you achieve optimal lighting conditions with a compatible external flash (not included).
Image sensor shift mechanism with five-axis compensation
Helps counteract the effects of camera shake and vibration for quality videos.
Face detection and eye AF
This camera detects up to eight individual faces, and its fast and accurate eye autofocus ensures stunning portraits.
HDMI output allows easy connection to HDTV
Easily connect your camera to an HDTV for immediate movie playback. An HDMI cable is required (sold separately).
Two media card slots for storing and transferring images
Accept Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro (M2), SD, SDHC, SDXC, microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC memory cards (not included).
* Requires high-speed Internet service.
Last firmware update - software version 3.0, enhances Real-time Eye AF performance and adds Real-time Animal Eye AF and interval shooting for time lapse. Available for download from the Sony website.
AC adapter (AC-UUD12)
Micro USB cable
Rechargeable battery (NP-FZ100)
Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless 4K Video Camera
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Rated 5 out of 5 stars
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- My Best Buy® Member
Such a great purchase and gets the job done for me. The Best Buy employees were very knowledgeable and helpful.
Posted 3 weeks ago by SolomonE
- Owned for 1 week
The Best Quality , for me is The best camera overall on the market today
Posted 1 month ago by NicoleG
- Owned for 3 weeks
Camera is amazing. New to photography and love it, camera is super easy to use. Quality from last camera to this is a BIG difference. Eye AF is insane. Definitely recommend
Posted 5 months ago by Dylan
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Recent updates, all reviews, the 5 best 4k cameras - fall 2023 reviews.
Once reserved primarily for professional-grade cameras, 4k recording capability has become the baseline for what modern stills cameras can do in video. While dedicated cinema cameras are still king for filmmaking , they're also incredibly expensive, and you can still get excellent 4k video performance out of more affordable mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Most of our picks are hybrid photo/video cameras, but you'll be surprised by the high-quality results you can get with these cameras. These days, even more affordable entry-level models come with video features that feel advanced compared to cameras from five to ten years ago, making it easier than ever to pick up a camera and start recording.
We've bought and tested over 95 cameras in our lab, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best 4k video cameras for most people to buy. If you're looking more specifically for a vlogging camera, you can also check out our picks for the best cameras for vlogging . Or, if you want something light enough to keep up with fast action, you can try the best sport video cameras or the best action cameras .
Best 4k Camera
The Fujifilm X-H2S is one of the best 4k cameras you can get for advanced video work. With uncropped 4k recording at up to 60 fps and a wide range of video formats and codecs, this is a great option for the price. 4k video is downsampled from the full 6.2k resolution of the sensor, resulting in excellent overall quality, with the option to record in 6.2k open gate, if needed. The stacked design of its sensor also keeps rolling shutter distortion to a minimum, which is great for action videos or anything with a lot of panning.
Beyond that, it comes with in-body image stabilization (IBIS), a sturdy weather-sealed body, a CFexpress card slot, and a full-sized HDMI port to connect an external recorder. But with internal 10-bit recording in F-Log 2, you'll get more dynamic range and plenty of leeway to color-grade your footage even without an external recorder. The camera even supports ProRes formats internally for lower-compression video files.
That said, if you're looking for something with better noise performance in uncontrolled lighting conditions, full-frame options like the Canon EOS R6 Mark II or the Sony α7 IV are good choices at this price point. However, the recording format support and 6.2k recording on the X-H2S give it a bit more value overall.
See our review
Best Upper Mid-Range 4k Camera
If the Fujifilm X-H2S is out of your price range, the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II is a great upper mid-range option and a good deal now that it's been replaced by the Panasonic LUMIX GH6. It uses a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor, so noise can be more apparent in low light. However, it has a fantastic five-axis IBIS system and supports a wide range of recording formats and resolutions. Those include UHD and DCI 4k and an anamorphic video mode for an even wider, more cinematic aspect ratio.
If low-light performance is a big priority, don't count out the Panasonic LUMIX S5 either. It's one of the brand's first full-frame cameras, and it has many of the same great video specs as the GH5 II but with a larger full-frame sensor. That said, it doesn't offer quite as many recording formats, like All-Intra recording, and native L-mount lenses can be very expensive. Ultimately, the GH5 II is one of the most capable 4k video cameras for the price.
Best Mid-Range 4k Camera
If the above cameras sound overkill, a mid-range camera like the Fujifilm X-S20 is a great middle-ground option with an amazing balance of performance, features, and price. You still get impressive features like internal 10-bit Log recording but fewer recording formats/codecs and a slightly simpler control layout. As the camera is aimed at intermediate users, there's just a single SD card slot and a Micro HDMI port, but it's a surprisingly capable video camera for the price.
Like the Fujifilm X-H2S , the X-S20 can record 6.2k video, as well as 4k and FHD, with 4k recording at up to 60 fps, albeit with a slight crop. It has IBIS to help reduce camera shake and includes an excellent battery life. Its predecessor, the Fujifilm X-S10 , is no slouch and is a great option if you want to save even more money. However, that model is limited to 8-bit internal recording and 30 fps in 4k. Go for the X-S20 if you need that extra bit of depth for flexibility with color-grading, but otherwise, the X-S10 is a steal among mid-range cameras.
Best Budget 4k Camera
Most of our picks above have been more advanced models, but shooting high-quality 4k videos doesn't mean spending a fortune. So, if you're looking for a solid interchangeable-lens video option on a tighter budget, the Sony ZV-E10 will give you the most bang for your buck. While it's aimed at vloggers, this small, lightweight APS-C camera is versatile enough for a range of video work and will leave more room in your budget to invest in accessories like a microphone and lighting equipment.
Unlike the Fujifilm X-S20 , you won't find IBIS or a viewfinder here. However, the camera has a fully articulated screen and simple, accessible controls that are perfect for beginner shooters. It includes many customization options, a great battery life, and no recording time limit. Ultimately, if you want to shoot 4k videos or vlogs without breaking the bank, the ZV-E10 is the best choice.
Best Compact 4k Camera
If you'd prefer something smaller and easier to carry, the Sony ZV-1 is basically a point-and-shoot version of the Sony ZV-E10 . It's less versatile since it uses a fixed lens and has a smaller one-inch sensor, making it less suited to low-light shooting. If you're looking for a compact video camera, it's the best option. The similar Sony ZV-1 II features a wider-angle lens; however, it's more expensive and lacks optical stabilization, so unless you need the wide angle for vlogs, the ZV-1 is an excellent choice.
It's one of the rare point-and-shoot cameras with a fully articulated screen that lets you monitor yourself while recording. It has an excellent autofocus system, and it can record 4k video at up to 30 fps, though with a slight crop. The biggest trade-off here is battery life—a smaller camera means a smaller battery and worse battery performance. Therefore, it's capped to a very short five-minute recording limit in 4k to prevent overheating (by default; you can change this in the settings if you wish). Though it's prone to overheating if you record continuously, this is still a great option if you stick to shorter takes.
- Fujifilm X-T4: The Fujifilm X-T4 is one of the best APS-C hybrid cameras we've tested. With internal 10-bit and 4k up to 60p, it's a step up from the Fujifilm X-S20, although both share the same sensor. However, it doesn't offer as many advanced video features as the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II. See our review
- Nikon Z 6II: The Nikon Z 6II is a versatile full-frame mirrorless camera with great video autofocus performance and impressive video quality. However, its internal recording capabilities are more limited than the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II. See our review
Sep 22, 2023: Replaced the Fujifilm X-S10 with the Fujifilm X-S20.
Jul 27, 2023: Replaced the Canon EOS R6 Mark II with the Fujifilm X-H2S as the 'Best 4k Camera'.
May 30, 2023: Checked article for accuracy and clarity.
Mar 30, 2023: Replaced the Sony α7 IV with the Canon EOS R6 Mark II as the 'Best 4k Camera'.
Jan 27, 2023: Removed the Nikon D780 and Sigma fp L from Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 4k-capable cameras for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews for 4k-capable cameras. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.
The 5 Best 4K Video Cameras Today
Posted: October 11, 2023 | Last updated: October 11, 2023
We’ve scoured the Internet for reviews and product descriptions to locate the best 4K video cameras today and curated this top five list to help you make smart buying decisions. We provide sound reasons for our recommendations, plus explain our top considerations for choosing the best 4K video cameras for different uses or buyers.
So, after looking at dozens of options, our ranking for the best 4K video cameras today are:
- Best Overall: Canon EOS R6 Mark II
- Best for Streaming: Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II
- Best for Action: GoPro Hero 11 Black
- Best Compact: DJI Pocket 2
- Best Budget: Sony ZV-E10
#1 Best Overall 4K Video Camera Today: Canon EOS R6 Mark II
Our pick for the #1 Best Overall 4K Video Camera Today is the Canon EOS R6 Mark II for its all-around user-friendliness and combination of features. This high-end 4K camera shoots both great videos and still images for the most versatile applications; simply flip a switch to go from shooting stills to video. Capture impressive video at 4K UHD 2160p and store it on dual SDXC UHS-II memory cards or stream via built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Take stunningly clear photos with a 20MP CMOS sensor, 12 fps mechanical shutter, and 20 fps silent electronic shutter. This camera also has a DIGIC X image processor with a 100-102400 ISO range.
Subject tracking technology uses over 1000 points of active phase autofocus to track human or animal eyes, faces, and bodies in all light conditions or speeds. Five-axis image stabilization technology uses up to eight stops of shake correction for the clearest action images possible. This 5.45 x 3.84 x 3.48-inch and 1.5-pound camera is constructed with a polycarbonate exterior and magnesium interior structures for exceptional durability.
The responsive and clear flip screen allows you to view your work in real time. The camera body is ergonomically designed and easy on the hands. Canon protects your investment in this 4K video camera with a one-year limited warranty and additional warranty options are available. Check out the Canon EOS R6 Mark II on Amazon.
Best 4K Video Camera for Streaming: Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II
Content creators can shoot 10-bit color 4K video and great stills with the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II, our Best 4K Video Camera for Streaming. Take this extremely durable magnesium alloy digital camera anywhere and enjoy unlimited live C4K/4K 60p 4:2:0 video streaming in 20.3MP maximum resolution and simultaneous output over HDMI or wireless connections. Connect to continuous power delivery via USB for seamless recording performance.
Handheld image or video capture benefits from image stabilization technology that provides slower shutter speeds when necessary. Photo editing is a snap with many preset editing styles or edit manually as you desire. This camera has two SD memory card slots for image storage and relay recording. View what your camera sees through a 3,680k-dot OLED viewfinder and review your data through intuitive menus on the three-inch color screen.
Connect headphones or an external mic with the 3.5mm audio port. Users can also connect this camera via USB to a computer for web conferencing. This Panasonic 4K camera weighs 1.6 pounds, measures 7.5 x 6 x 5.5 inches, and has an easy-on-the-hand design for hours of comfortable use. It is also splash- and dust-resistant and also resists freezing down to 14°F. Check out the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II on Amazon.
Best 4K Video Camera for Action: GoPro Hero 11 Black
Active content creators or outdoor enthusiasts need our Best 4K Video Camera for Action, the GoPro Hero 11 Black. Extremely durable and waterproof to 33 feet, this exceptional camera takes 5.3K60 Ultra HD video and 27MP photos in the most demanding environments and situations. HyperSmooth 5.0 image stabilization with Horizon Lock technology helps your images and videos be clear and crisply detailed in all sorts of recording scenarios. Plus, while your GoPro camera recharges , your footage is uploaded to the cloud for secure storage. Plus, the GoPro software automatically creates a highlight video of your footage and delivers it to your smartphone. Your incredible adventures are now ready to share with everyone!
This camera measures 2.64 x 1.34 x 1.85 inches and weighs one pound. Front and back LCD screens allow you to ensure perfect shot aiming and angles. A new GoPro Enduro removable 1720mAh Lithium battery lasts longer than previous models and up to 38% longer in moderate temperatures. An exclusive new digital lens takes 8:7 aspect ratio footage and shows an optional 16:9 ratio image for epic immersive recording results.
Do you need high-quality stills? Users can also grab 27.4MP photos from recorded video. Or set the timer for when you want to capture video and even how long you want to shoot. This camera also supports 1080p live streaming and webcam use. Additional protection plans are available for this product. Check out the GoPro Hero 11 Black on Amazon.
Best Compact 4K Video Camera: DJI Pocket 2
Take along our Best Compact 4K Video Camera, the DJI Pocket 2, and easily capture stunning footage on the go. Solo videographers or anyone else can slip this pocket-sized 4K video camera out and capture exceptional footage wherever you find worthy scenes or events. Light and comfortable to hold in one hand, the 1/1.7-inch sensor captures 64MP resolution footage with a 93° field of view. Preview your shots on the one-inch touchscreen or scroll through menus for various settings.
A 3-axis gimbal ensures 4K footage at 60fps is clear and crisp, even when filming in motion. Active Track 3.0 technology tracks even the quickest movements for the best images and video. Stream live footage to TikTok or YouTube and connect with Apple and Android phones and devices.
Measuring 4.91 x 1.5 x 1.18 inches and weighing only four ounces, this waterproof camera lasts 140 minutes on a full charge of its 875mAh battery. Record sound with your video with four built-in microphones incorporating audio enhancement and wind noise reduction technology. Great accessories for this camera make it even more handy for on-the-go content creation. Check out the DJI Pocket 2 on Amazon.
Best Budget 4K Video Camera: Sony ZV-E10
Buyers needing to limit their investment need the Sony ZV-E10, our Best Budget 4K Video Camera Today. Spending-conscious buyers don’t need to break the bank to shoot quality 4K video. While most high-end 4K video cameras are in the thousands-of-dollars range, this solid camera is small, lightweight, and versatile to serve a range of needs even for content creators or vloggers on a tight budget.
The camera features a fully articulated screen, interchangeable lenses, and easy compatibility with microphone and lighting accessories. The controls are simple and intuitive for even beginner videographers. You’ll be amazed at the many customization options, long battery life, and no limits on video recording. The built-in directional 3-capsule mic captures sound in front of the camera for accurate audio recording.
Shoot 24MP stills and 4K video quickly, and use the Product Showcase setting to grab clear, perfectly focused product review images. A one-touch control handles any background blurring needed, and autofocus tracking ensures you capture the object or action you want. Image Stabilization technology ensures you get the best footage even while on the go. Check out the Sony ZV-E10 on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best 4K Video Cameras Today: Step by Step
The best 4K video cameras today capture sharp, bright footage in many different environments and scenarios. As with any camera, the image and video capture specifics are critical, as well as other features that make it easy to use for your particular application. When choosing our list of the best 4K video cameras, we paid attention to the most desirable features online reviewers highlighted.
When choosing the best 4K video cameras, there are six main considerations for most buyers.
Frame rates, connectivity and sharing options, battery life and power options, image stabilization.
Let’s review each of these criteria in more detail.
The best 4K video cameras require a dynamic range, accurate color capacity, low-light performance, and high resolution for superior image quality. Of course, our standard for this article’s selections was 4K resolution, but some even capture in 8K. However, larger 6K or 8K resolutions require high-performance memory cards that can handle enormous file sizes. Also, streaming will require using 4K or lower for smooth transfers and viewing.
This measurement factor is how many video frames a camera captures per second. High frame rates create better-quality videos, especially when played at average or slow speeds. Today’s best 4K video cameras have frame rate capabilities that allow users to capture clear slow-motion footage even in 4K. Our selections all record footage at 60fps or more, and some reach 120fps.
How you connect to your video camera and share data is an essential concern. Today’s best 4K video cameras include removable SD memory cards, SDI, HDMI, and audio input/output ports. Users can expand their capabilities by connecting external microphones, monitors, lights, and other accessories. Some cameras also have XLR or 3.5mm inputs.
Content creators are all about sharing, so streaming and online connectivity are essential features. The best 4K video cameras allow direct streaming of your video and images to the cloud, smartphones, or other devices, and your favorite online platforms like TikTok and YouTube.
All the best 4K video cameras feature rechargeable removable batteries with a long battery life. Several hours of uninterrupted shooting is desired, and fast charging capabilities are a plus. External power options like USB or DC power adapters can help serious content creators set up for demanding filming situations without worrying over power failures.
Built-in image stabilization technology helps reduce the effects of camera shake to produce smoother footage. Many 4K video creators use handheld mode to record footage, so this is an essential consideration. Action footage or other mobile content creation will rely on internal image stabilization to get the best shots when using a camera stand is not feasible.
The best 4K video cameras today are not cheap. The newest 4K video technology is costly, and the best-quality equipment will require a sizeable investment. However, we’ve included a budget-friendly recommendation that includes many high-end features. Still, this product is over $600, so if an extremely tight budget precludes spending that much, wait and save until you can afford the best camera possible.
What to Know Before Buying the Best 4K Video Cameras Today
Buyers considering the best 4K video cameras today need to be sure they require high-resolution 4K footage and images. Just because it is 2023 doesn’t mean you need the higher resolution quality. It’s nice to watch crisp, clear family videos in 4K on a large-screen TV, but is it necessary? Does your viewing experience justify the larger investment into an expensive 4K video camera?
High 4K resolution allows you to zoom, crop, capture stills, and otherwise use your footage without harming the quality of the images. It makes for the absolute best viewing and streaming experiences. If pleasing your audience is important, like with vloggers and content creators, then the extra expense of the best 4K video cameras and related equipment is justified.
Buyers should also be aware that most high-end 4K video cameras include many technologies and tools to help you take the best videos and images with less knowledge and effort. Get ready to explore the various features of your camera. Learn what it does automatically to help you create the best content and learn what manual adjustments are available to enhance your creations.
Using the Best 4K Video Cameras: What It’s Like
The best 4K video cameras today are a breeze to use. Capturing professional-grade video footage and stills takes little more than aim and shoot. Multiple features and tools make taking steady, clear videos and images easy, and most cameras include editing tools. Of course, lighting and movement can require extra effort or experience to get usable footage. Learning all you can about filming and editing will elevate your final content to professional levels.
The post The 5 Best 4K Video Cameras Today appeared first on History-Computer .
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The best 4K camera 2023: top choices for video creators
The best 4K cameras for movie makers and content creators
- Best overall
- Best vlogging
- Best value full-frame
- Best professional
- Best pocket
- Best pro hybrid
- Best enthusiast
- How to choose
- How we test
1. The list in brief 2. Best overall 3. Best vlogging 4. Best value full-frame 5. Best professional 6. Best pocket 7. Best pro hybrid 8. Best enthusiast 9. How to choose 10. How we test
Whether you’re shooting video content for social or producing a full-length feature film, the best 4K camera will help you capture cinematic footage to impress your audience. From pocket recorders to flagship filming tools, we’ve extensively tested the latest and greatest 4K cameras, before recommending our favorites in the guide below. So whatever you’re working on, you’ll find the right 4K camera for your needs and budget here.
We think the best 4K camera for most people is the Panasonic Lumix GH6. Great to handle yet equipped with an arsenal of video modes and options, it’s a 5.7K powerhouse that undercuts the Sony A7S III . And while it’s bigger than the GH5 II, its Four Thirds sensor size means it’s still convenient for shooting on the move.
If 4K vlogging is on the agenda, we also highly rate the Sony ZV-E1. Pairing a relatively small form factor with the full-frame sensor from the Sony A7S III, it’s one of the best vlogging cameras you can buy. Compact yet highly capable, it comes equipped with cutting-edge AI autofocus and auto-framing tricks that simplify life for solo vloggers.
Our guide is designed to help you find the right 4K camera for your chosen niche. Our experienced reviewers have spent hundreds of hours using these cameras in real-world scenarios, recording sample video with different settings and setups, to check every aspect of their performance – from frame rates and stabilization to usability and durability. We’ve distilled the results of these in-depth reviews into the ranked list below, complete with useful buying tips to bear in mind when selecting your ideal 4K camera.
Tim is TechRadar's Cameras editor, with over 15 years in the photo video industry and most of those in the world of tech journalism, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with all things camera related. He’s also worked in video production with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi.
The quick list
If you want to get directly to the best 4K camera for every kind of videographer, the quick list below will give you an instant summary of our favorite options. When you find one that takes your fancy, use the links beneath each entry to jump to our full summary.
The best 4K camera overall
Relatively lightweight and lovely to handle, the Panasonic Lumix GH6 is a 5.7K movie machine that’s stacked with video modes and options.
Read more below
The best 4K camera for vlogging
The most capable vlogging camera on the market, the Sony ZV-E1 pairs a proven full-frame sensor with a compact build and AI smarts.
The best value full-frame 4K camera
Using phase detection AF and effective stabilization, the Panasonic Lumix S5 II is a versatile workhorse that shoots uncropped 6K video.
The best professional 4K camera
This movie maestro is a fantastic tool for professional videographers, with an unfussy design, solid battery life and superb 6K image quality.
The best pocket 4K camera
A stabilized gimbal that fits in your pocket, the DJI Pocket 2 uses automatic tracking to help solo videographers shoot sharp, steady footage.
The best professional hybrid 4K camera
A full-frame flagship with 8K skills, the Nikon Z9 employs an electronic-only shutter to deliver remarkable performance for stills and video.
- ^ Back to the top
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The best enthusiast 4K camera
Provided you don’t hit its recording limits, the Canon EOS R5 is a fantastic hybrid with outstanding video specs, including 4K/120p recording.
The best 4K camera in 2023
Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
1. Panasonic Lumix GH6
Our expert review:
Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.
If you're looking for a lightweight 4K camera with huge videography potential, the Panasonic Lumix GH6 is a Micro Four Thirds flagship for filmmakers first and foremost. More manageable in the hand than a full-frame heavyweight, we think the GH6 benefits from superb handling and a thoughtful control layout. It features recording buttons front and rear, tally lights and a multi-angle touchscreen, all of which made for easy framing and shooting in our experience.
Despite its relatively compact proportions, the GH6 is a video powerhouse. It offers a huge range of 10-bit ProRes and anamorphic video modes, plus built-in color profiles. It can shoot 5.7K footage at 60fps, supported by 7.5 stops of in-body image stabilization. In short, it’s a movie monster. Yet in testing, we ran into zero overheating issues. And while its smaller sensor could affect low-light performance, we captured good results at twilight.
We think its 25.2MP sensor and autofocus system are designed every bit with video in mind. If you need the fastest AF, other brands offer speedier systems, but the GH6’s contrast-based autofocus still proved reliable in testing. All this, in a package that weighs less than a kilogram and fits in a small camera bag.
Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix GH6 review
2. Sony ZV-E1
If you want a compact vlogging camera with class-leading video, we think the ZV-E1 should be top of your list. In our review, it delivered Sony’s best-quality 4K footage, harnessing the superlative 12.1MP sensor from the A7S III to deliver clean 4K/60p footage in any light. We found that its S-Cinetone color profile looks fantastic out of the camera, too.
Its compact body is also easy to carry and operate when shooting solo, weighing in as Sony’s lightest full-frame camera with in-body image stabilization. That said, while the vari-angle LCD display offers full touch functionality, we were slightly underwhelmed by it in testing, finding it hard to read outdoors. The camera’s proportions also come with compromises: there’s just a single card slot and no cooling vents.
But there’s no denying the video capabilities of the ZV-E1. Its image stabilization system proved superb at smoothing handheld footage, while class-leading AI smarts mean footage is almost always in focus. It can take care of framing too, courtesy of an Auto Framing trick that tracks the subject as if there’s a manual operator – a huge boon for vloggers working alone to capture 4K content.
Read our in-depth Sony ZV-E1 review
3. Panasonic Lumix S5 II
The original Lumix S5 was one of our favorite 4K cameras and things only get better with the second edition. Like its predecessor, we found the Lumix S5 II relatively small yet solid in the hand. It’s neatly packaged too, with direct-access controls making it an intuitive tool to use. We only wish it had a tally light.
Video is very much its forte. Results from our tests proved the quality of its 6K/30p footage to be excellent, with notably wide dynamic range and rich colors. We also welcomed the flexibility offered by open gate recording: because the S5 II shoots 6K using its full sensor area, there’s plenty of room for cropping in post-production. That’s not the case with 4K/60p, which has a 1.5x crop.
Panasonic has finally embraced phase detection AF for video with the S5 II, and it works very well. We also found image stabilization effective for handheld work, making the S5 II a top choice for recording 4K on the run. Serious videographers might be more drawn to the Lumix S5 IIX, with its live streaming options, SSD recording and native support for RAW output via HDMI. But with unlimited recording times, the S5 II is still a fantastic 4K camera for enthusiasts.
Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix S5 II review
4. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro
A substantial upgrade over the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, the 6K Pro is a fantastic, relatively affordable tool for the professional videographer. With improved battery life, a brighter screen that’s now tilt-adjustable, plus the option of adding an OLED electronic viewfinder, the 6K Pro is a compact yet adaptable maestro.
Its 6K sensor is the same as before, which means you still get exceptional 6K footage at up to 50fps. The Super 35 format is smaller than full frame, but large enough to handle low-light situations with ease, while built-in ND filters mean you can happily film in bright sunlight with wide open apertures. Plus the sheer breadth of formats, profiles and resolutions available make the 6K Pro a properly flexible camera for editors.
That said, it’s clearly not a camera for casual users: its controls might be simple, but there’s no image stabilization, no tracking autofocus and stills performance remains rudimentary. But as a first professional video camera, the 6K Pro is a fantastic package for the price, with superb image quality and relative accessibility making it one of the most rounded enthusiast options.
Read our in-depth Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro review
5. DJI Pocket 2
DJI ’s dedicated steady-cam puts a stabilized gimbal in your pocket. It’s light, comfortable to hold and features a small 1-inch touchscreen for previewing shots. The 1/1.7-inch sensor won’t trouble mirrorless models, but its 64MP resolution represents a big jump up from the original Pocket. It also offers a much wider 93-degree field of view for more reliable framing when you’re walking and talking. Its compact form factor is broadly the same as before, but pick up the Creator Combo for useful add-ons, including an external wireless mic and ultra-wide-angle lens.
The sensor struggles in low light and high-contrast scenes, but the 3-axis gimbal ensures footage is steady and automatic object tracking is incredibly useful if you’re recording yourself. 4K footage at 60fps isn’t the crispest, but the picture is still respectable and the D-Cinelike color profile makes it easily editable. Full HD slow-mo at 120fps adds welcome flexibility too. Paired with decent sound, it’s an appealing portable package for vloggers.
Read our in-depth DJI Pocket 2 review
6. Nikon Z9
With no mechanical shutter, Nikon’s new full-frame flagship sets a benchmark for professional hybrids. And while its blistering stills performance will make it a hit with sports and wildlife photographers, it also benefits from class-leading video capabilities. Thanks to a recent firmware update, that includes internal 8K video recording at 60fps.
Styled like the bulky DSLR models of old, this is every bit a modern powerhouse. Besides that headline high-res recording, the Z9 can shoot 4K slow-mo at 120fps, or standard 4K using the full width of its sensor. In testing, results were predictably sharp, a fact helped by decent image stabilization and reliable Eye AF tracking.
Supremely fast scan rates mean we didn’t experience any rolling shutter during our review, while solid battery life and generous 125-minute 8K recording times mean the only limitation is likely to be your memory card. That’s all in addition to remarkable stills performance, plus a new dual-axis tilting touchscreen that we think filmmakers will find handy. Built like a tank and priced more competitively than its Canon EOS R3 rival, it’s a top all-rounder for expert videographers.
Read our in-depth Nikon Z9 review
7. Canon EOS R5
On paper, the Canon EOS R5 is arguably the best hybrid camera available today. Adopting a tried-and-tested form factor that’s easy to handle, the R5 serves up blistering performance: a 45MP full-frame sensor is supported by the speedy Digic X chip, paired with Canon’s fastest ever autofocus motor.
Video specs are similarly outstanding. The EOS R5 can capture 4K footage at a silky smooth 120fps, with the option of shooting raw, while resolution maxes out at a headline-grabbing 8K/30p. Results are gorgeously sharp, while the combination of IBIS with stabilized RF-mount lenses delivers decently smooth handheld shots – plus log files provide incredibly flexible when it comes to color grading.
There is a caveat: the EOS R5 features recording limits to combat overheating, with a published maximum of 35 minutes for 4K/60p video. That’s a significant limitation for professional filmmakers, but there’s a good chance those who shoot a selection of shorter clips won’t ever encounter that barrier (we didn’t). Provided that’s the case for you – and you’re happy to shell out on CFExpress cards to unlock peak performance – the R5 is a fantastic 4K hybrid.
Read our in-depth Canon EOS R5 review
How to choose the best 4K camera for you
The best 4K cameras will allow you to record bright, sharp footage in a range of scenarios. Resolution is a key benchmark when selecting a video camera – and every model in the buying guide above can capture footage in 4K, with some going up to 6K and even 8K.
Though the biggest numbers generally translate into the sharpest footage, they may be overkill for you. 8K requires high-performance memory cards and editing tools that can handle the resulting file sizes. Most enthusiast videographers will find factors other than resolution more significant.
Frame rates, for example, are really important to keep in mind. The best 4K cameras can record footage at 60fps for slick real-time shots, as well as buttery-smooth 120fps for slow-motion b-roll – although many cameras can only capture slow-mo at lower resolutions.
You should also keep color profiles and output formats in mind. The top 4K cameras give you the flexibility to record in a way which fits with your workflow. Depending on your setup, that might mean a specific log profile, such as V-Log. Most of the top 4K cameras support log profiles, giving videographers the opportunity to tweak color grading in post-production. The very best models can also record 10-bit video internally for greater depth of color (but larger file sizes).
Other factors to consider will come down to your skill level and how you like to shoot videos. Image stabilization is a must if you want to capture video handheld, but it’s less of an issue if you use a gimbal. Equally, tracking autofocus is handy if you’re upgrading from a smartphone, but it’s not a dealbreaker if you’re already familiar with manual tracking.
A large sensor is great for those who like to record in low-light conditions. Physical design is also worth thinking about: if you tend to shoot solo, aspects like an articulating touchscreen and ergonomic handgrip are useful, as are accessible controls.
And don’t forget about accessories: most of the best 4K cameras include ports for connecting external microphones and headphones, which allow you to transform your 4K footage with professional audio. If your shooting style requires certain peripherals, such as a battery grip or hot-shoe attachment, check that they’re compatible before buying a new 4K camera.
Do you need a 4K camera for streaming?
Many streamers use a 4K camera to capture and share live content in real-time. The main benefit of using a 4K camera for streaming is that it generally offers a sharper, more detailed image than one with 2K resolution. You can also downsample footage to 1080p from the full 4K video feed, which gives you greater flexibility (especially if you’d like to crop in on part of the frame).
However, you don’t necessarily need a 4K camera for streaming. Due to bandwidth constraints, many people only watch videos at 1080p, so 4K may be overkill for your audience – especially if they stream your content on their smartphone’s smaller screen (and using a cellular data connection).
In addition, your own internet connection will need to be fast enough to maintain a steady stream of 4K footage, which is significantly more data-hungry than Full HD. It’s also important to note that, while several cameras support live-streaming, many 4K cameras will actually only allow you to stream at 1080p.
Other factors are usually more important for streamers than resolution alone. This might include in-camera support for direct live-streaming. Panasonic’s GH5 Mark II, for example, can stream 1080p footage straight to platforms like YouTube via Wi-Fi. Equally, aspects such as support for external microphones will be more useful for streamers and vloggers who talk to their audience while on camera.
How we test 4K cameras
Spec sheets can only tell you half the story. That’s why we take every 4K camera out into the real world, to see how it fares in the kind of shooting conditions that most users will encounter.
We usually start with an assessment of build quality and usability. That means checking how durable a camera feels, how easily it handles and what it’s like to carry around for a full day of filming. We check how straightforward it is to operate, whether the control placement feels natural and how intuitive the overall interface is to work with.
We’ll then run each camera through a range of performance tests. That means capturing lots of footage in a variety of scenarios, including high-contrast scenes, studio setups and low lighting. We also take every camera out for a walk, before reviewing the footage to analyze both the overall quality and the effectiveness of any image stabilization system.
Because different users will have different demands of the same camera, we also test how well 4K cameras hold up at different frame rates, shooting slow-motion footage, as well as testing out the color profiles and bit-rates that are available. Finally, we’ll record longer clips to see whether a 4K camera has any recording time limitations, and to assess how its battery will hold up for demanding videographers.
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Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.
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11 Best Body Cameras: Your Buyer’s Guide
- By Cory Loudon
- Updated Jan 11, 2023 at 8:56am
There are many reasons why a person would need a body camera . Whether it is for work, or for personal reasons, buying a body camera shouldn’t be a headache. There are a lot of options out there and a lot of research that goes into picking the right body camera for your needs. If you are in the market for a new body camera then the buyer’s guide we put together will make quick work of your shopping and make purchasing super easy.
1. CammPro Premium Portable Body Camera
- Night vision
- Protection plan not included
- Max 140 degree field of view
- USB connection only
When looking into getting yourself a body camera you most likely want something that is lightweight and has a ton of useful technology. Wearing a camera on your body for work or for personal use shouldn’t keep you from doing what you do. If you are a hunter or fisherman that wears one to catch all the action, you want to make sure you can still move and get the job done.
This camera has a ton of storage, a long battery life, and even features night vision. There are 64GB of storage in this camera which will allow you to film for hours without having to delete or erase anything. It films in 1296P HD and has night vision which means you can film in High-Intensity infrared with the LEDs inside the lens and can film in pitch black from up to 50 feet away. The camera features a powerful 2900mAh battery which will give you 10 hours of continuous battery life. There is also a GPS in the camera and it is a rugged and waterproof item.
Find more CammPro Premium Portable Body Camera information and reviews here.
2. Rexing P1 Body Worn Camera
- 170-degree wide-angle lens
- 10+ hour battery life
- Weighs over a pound
- Delete only when hooked up to USB
This specific body camera from Rexing features a 2″ screen to get a view of what is being filmed which will come in handy when you don’t have your phone and especially for setup. It has a super wide-angle lens that will provide a field of view of 170-degrees. The picture is 1080p Full HD and will capture everything within 50 feet in your field of view. The camera has built-in 64GB large storage & loop recording which is a ton of space and the loop recording will come in handy if you are letting it run continuously.
A powerful 3000mAh battery lets you record video for up to 10 hours, 11+ hours of audio-only recording or 20 hours of standby, and 21x optical zoom for recording video or taking pictures. If you are an adventurer or are using this camera as part of law enforcement or security, it is also waterproof, shockproof, and incredibly durable. Further, protect yourself with features such as Police Panic Mode with one button press which plays a loud audible siren sound and flashes light.
What is Included:
- 1 x Rexing P1 Body Camera
- 1 x Universal Metal Clip
- 1 x Epaulet Clip
- 1 x Charger
- 1 x USB Cable
1 x User Manual
Find more Rexing P1 Body Worn Camera information and reviews here.
3. DZFtech Body Spy Cam
- Price point
- 128GB of storage
- Max 3 hour charge
- Less powerful than other larger cameras
The days of mini spy cameras only appearing in spy movies and novels are over. You can not only buy a mini spy camera but they are incredibly affordable too. This camera appears to look like a pen or marker but actually has a ton of power filming in HD 1080p resolution. This camera is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery that lasts up to 3 hours of recording time which is longer than your typical spy camera. You can store and record up to 128GB of memory without having to delete and it also includes loop recording.
This camera is perfect for law enforcement officers, security, bouncers, and families that want to invest in a nanny cam. With its small size and tons of power, it makes for the perfect camera if you don’t want people to know they are being filmed. You can set it up on your dashboard for when you are driving and can take it with you on fishing and hunting trips to make sure you don’t miss out on that big catch.
Included in package:
1 x Mini body camera Camera
1 x Card Reader
1 x Clean Cloth
1 x Thanksgiving Card
1 x Lanyard
Find more DZFtech Body Spy Cam information and reviews here.
4. KONPCOIU Mini Body Camera Video Recorder
- 128GB of memory and storage
- Lightweight, just over 3 ounces
- Discreet design
- Maximum 6 hour battery life
- Max 130-degree view
- Protection plan not included past 1 year
If you are looking for a body camera that is sleek and sexy, something that isn’t as noticeable as the others, there is an alternative with some pretty neat tech that I think you’ll dig. The dimensions of this camera are what make it such a popular item, it is only 3.74 inches, weighing only 3 ounces. For such a small camera it sure packs a punch, it has an Ultra HD 1080p wide-angle lens. The lens gives a 130-degree view hitting most of what in front of you. This body camera comes with a built-in high-quality 1100mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can provide 6 hours of video recording without a recharge.
The A3 mini camera can be used almost anywhere, whether at home, in the office, in the corner of the backyard, or even as a car camera or an aerial camera. It holds a good amount of memory with 128GB. In addition, you can insert it into the portable battery and continue recording for more than 30 hours；Or you can insert the camera into the USB charger to keep it on. It’s one-button record is easy to use and it also features motion detection.
Find more KONPCOIU Mini Body Camera Video Recorder information and reviews here.
5. PatrolMaster 1296P UHD Body Camera
- 170-degree field of view
- Lightweight and compact
- 33 foot record distance
- LCD screen is very small
- Can only delete while hooked up to USB
If you are buying a body camera to assist with your job in law enforcement or security then investing in an item named the Patrolmaster is a good move. If you are buying a body camera for another reason the tech and ease of use of this item are going to make your life a lot easier. When attaching a body camera to your person you want something discreet that won’t weigh you down. The compact design of this camera and the 2-inch screen to view what you are filming on the back will make this your new favorite toy.
This camera features night vision technology, it is waterproof, can record images up to 33 feet away and uses high-intensity infrared LEDs to film. The ultra-wide-angle provides a 170-degree field of view that will capture nearly everything in front of you and your peripherals. With the built-in 3000mAh rechargeable battery, it provides 40 hours of standby duration, 18 hours 1080p footage, 20 hours 720p footage, 10000 Image shots, 10+ hours of audio recording on a Full Charge. The dimensions of this item are 3.43 x 2.44 x 1.36 inches.
Find more PatrolMaster 1296P UHD Body Camera information and reviews here.
6. Pyle Premium Portable Body Camera
- Built-in battery
- Water resistant not waterproof
- 32GB card not included
This body camera is the perfect addition to any hunting or fishing trip, makes for a great nanny camera, or can be worn on the body or fixed to the dashboard of your vehicle. The camera is compact and portable and films in HD for great resolution and finished products. If you work, fish, or hunt at night this camera features infrared night vision has a built-in rechargeable battery so you never need to take the battery out to charge and is incredibly easy to use.
The wearable camera features a built-in 16GB memory and rechargeable battery that will provide you with hours of recording time, allowing you to capture over 10,000 images or provide 6+ hours of audio recording. The body action camera features a 2.0 inch LCD display screen and a speaker that can automatically playback your recorded files that can help monitor any situation. The dimensions of this item are 3.26” x 2.6” x 1.1 inches.
Included with purchase:
- Body Camera
- Keychain Wireless Remote Control
- USB Wall Adapter & Charging Cable
- AV (USB-TV) Cable
- (2) Mounting Clips
Find more Pyle Premium Portable Body Camera information and reviews here.
7. Lenofocus Mini Body Camera
- Super discreet
- Powerful battery
- Films in HD
- No night vision
- Not waterproof
- 64GB memory card not included
If you are in the market for a body camera that is on the less expensive side then there is a great option from Lenofocus. This body camera will fill discreetly while being on your person, or you can set it up on your dashboard or secretly in your home as a nanny cam. This camera uses High-definition 1080P Video: You can set the mini body camera to record 1920x1080P or 1280x720P video. This mini wearable camera built-in 560mAh rechargeable battery which means you can get up to three hours of continuous recording before having to recharge.
This spy camera is 3.35 inch long and 1.38 inch wide, clip design with a magnet, you can clip it on pocket/bag/backpack, or attract it on iron. This personal body-worn cam supports up to 64GB micro SD card although the 64GB is not included with purchase. The camera only has 3 buttons so it is super easy to use and operate for folks that have an issue with technology.
- 1x Mini Camera
- 1x USB Cable
- 1x Cleaning Cloth
- 1x Reset Pin
Find more Lenofocus Mini Body Camera information and reviews here.
8. Transcend TS32GDPB10A Body Security Camera
- 160-degree viewing angle
- Max 3.5 hour battery life
- No protection plan included
- Extra SD cards not inlcuded
If you are going to be using your new body camera as a law enforcement officer, bouncer, fisherman, hunter, or security guard then you will want to invest in a product that can take a beating and keep working. This body camera is not only waterproof it is also shockproof and incredibly durable. This is the kind of body camera that you can accidentally drop and will keep on working. While being durable it is also incredibly techy, meaning that it has a lot of cool features for such a small device.
The camera films in 1080p HD resolution that will provide you with awesome videos and pictures. If you are using this camera during the day and at night it uses infrared LEDs for low light conditions and night vision. The camera also supports an 8-32GB memory card, the 32GB card is included with purchase. The clip it is attached with is a 360-degree rotational clip which just adds to its durability. Its dimensions are 2.06 x 0.77 x 3.48 inches and it weighs just 3.92 ounces. It also features a 160-degree viewing angle and the battery last 3.5 hours.
Find more Transcend TS32GDPB10A Body Security Camera information and reviews here.
10. Promnico Police Body Camera for Law Enforcement
- 75 foot field of view
- 11 hour recording time
- Bigger than some cameras
- Heavier than others
Sometimes bigger is better in the body camera world. This camera is slightly bigger than the others on this list but it still can be worn discreetly on your body or in your vehicle to record anything that goes on around you. Also, if you are looking for a body camera with longer battery life than the typical body camera this one will provide you with at least 11 hours of continuous use before a need for a recharge. Promnico’s camera records in 1440p [2560×1440 pixels] HD quality with the ability to recognize faces up to 75 feet away.
The camera features a built-in display to see images in real-time and has 32GB of memory so you won’t need to delete often. If you plan on filming at night this is the camera for you, it has built-in night vision and can film in low light or no light situations. When you purchase this package you won’t just get the body camera you will also receive 1x charging dock, 1x wall charger, 1x universal metal clip, 1x rotatable crocodile clip, 1x USB charging cable, and 1x complete user manual.
Find more Promnico Police Body Camera for Law Enforcement information and reviews here.
11. DEXILIO Mini Body Camera
- 2.75 ounces
- 8 hour battery life
- Discreet size
- 130-degree field of view
- USB required for deleting
Another great body camera for those of you that need something discreet that hides easily. This camera has all the power of bigger body cameras with a fraction of the size. This camera features a ton of cool features like motion detection and a 130-degree field of view. You can store and keep images and videos with the 32GB SD card and delete what you don’t want to keep very easily.
Includes a battery that lasts up to 8 hours of recording time which is longer than most body cameras of the same or similar size. This camera will film for an entire shift if you are using it for work, or while you aren’t home if you are using it as a nanny cam. IT is incredibly easy to use with one button record so you won’t fumble around with it before figuring out how to use it. This camera’s dimensions are 1.1 x 3.7 x 0.35 inches and it weighs just 2.75 ounces.
- 1x mini camera
- 1x USB cable
- 1x user manual
- 1x 32GB Memory Card
- 1x USB to Type-c converter
- 1x USB to micro USB converter (reading files via mobile phone)
Find more DEXILIO Mini Body Camera information and reviews here.
Why Purchase a Body Camera?
There are many reasons to purchase a body camera . Law enforcement officers can record everything that happens during an 8 or longer-hour shift. For hunters and fishermen, you won't need to fumble with finding your camera or phone while trying to capture your kills and catches. If you are a bouncer and there is an incident where you need to throw someone out of your venue you can use the footage to prove you did your job correctly. If you have a nanny or babysitter that you may think is stealing these cameras can be useful and discreet.
No matter the reason a body camera is a smart purchase. You can wear them on your body or attach them to your dashboard to help protect you and prove to your insurance that you were not at fault if you get into an accident.
Buying a body camera you want to go with an item that is popular and has great reviews. One of Amazon's best sellers is the Cammpro Premium body camera. It has night vision and a ton of storage so you don't have to keep deleting your footage.
If you are looking for something slender and more discreet than the bulkier options then I suggest this motion-activated body camera that is super thin and ultra-lightweight. It will clip right onto your shirt or can be worn in your pocket to keep it hidden. For its size, it definitely packs a punch and will film in crystal clear HD.
If you are looking for a body camera with a wide field of view, this Patrolman Body Camera has a wide-angle 170-degree field of view that will film everything in front of you. It has a super long battery and can film up to 33 feet away even in low light situations.
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Bodycam video shows police saving residents from Maui wildfire, keeping people out of burn zone
Maui police held a news conference on Monday to show 16 minutes of body camera video taken the day a wildfire tore through Lahaina town in August, killing at least 99 people. (Oct. 31)
This image provided by Maui Police Department shows police body camera footage taken the day a wildfire tore through Lahaina town on Aug. 8, 2023. Maui police held a news conference on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023 to show 16 minutes of body camera footage taken the day a wildfire tore through Lahaina town. (Maui Police Department via AP)
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HONOLULU (AP) — An officer sprinted from house to house in the historic town of Lahaina , Hawaii, alerting people to the approaching inferno. Another coughed and swore as he drove through thick smoke past burning buildings with people he rescued crammed in the back seat. With no ambulance available, one officer offered to bring a severely burned man to a hospital.
While police frantically tried to save people from what would be the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century, they also faced another challenge: keeping people from heading back toward the flames, newly released video from body cameras shows.
“No more waiting! Too much people have died already!” one frustrated officer shouted at a line of stopped cars. “Turn around and get out of Lahaina! Stop being stubborn and get out of Lahaina now!”
The roughly 20 hours of video depict the actions of Maui police officers on Aug. 8, when strong winds from a hurricane passing far to the south drove flames that quickly leveled Lahaina and killed at least 99 people. Authorities initially released 16 minutes of clips during a news conference Monday, before providing the rest to The Associated Press in response to a public records request.
The video helps provide a fuller picture of how the disaster unfolded and officers’ efforts to react. Earlier this month Maui County provided AP with 911 call recordings in response to an open records request.
It includes chaotic footage of officers north and south of town trying to block people — residents desperate to learn the fates of their homes or relatives, or tourists just looking for a place to sleep — from entering the burning area.
A man on a motorcycle tried to skirt police cars blocking the road into town. Stuck in traffic, a dozen people got out to ask what they should do or if they could abandon their vehicles and walk into town. “Absolutely not,” an officer responded.
FILE - A general view shows the aftermath of a wildfire in Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
One officer sat in a patrol vehicle and watched as his own home burned.
At another point, late at night, two officers decided that one of them should go back to the police station to gather additional ammunition — not because the bullets might be dangerous in a fire, as the station has thick concrete walls, but because they feared what the coming days might bring.
“I don’t know if we’re going to be dealing with civil unrest,” one said.
Another clip showed an officer’s arrival at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf shop at a supermarket on Front Street, an area that was devastated by the fire. He found 15 people inside.
“Come out! Come out!” he shouted. “Come with me!”
Some got in their own cars, while others climbed into the back of his patrol vehicle. Saying “Get in, uncle!” — a term of respect in Hawaii — he shoved one last person inside before driving off toward refuge at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Another officer found a badly burned man at a shopping center and put him in the back seat of his patrol car. “I’ll just take you straight to the hospital. That sound good?” the officer asked.
“Yeah,” the man responded.
The videos also show officers checking in with each other about their own families. Some responders discussed a coworker who worried that his son, a firefighter, had a medical emergency during the response.
People who made it to safety have recounted running into barricades and roads that were blocked by flames and downed utility poles. One video showed an officer tying a tow strap to a metal gate blocking a dirt road escape route, while residents used a saw to cut it open so cars could get through.
At times officers appeared flummoxed by traffic backups at dramatic moments. One patrol vehicle pulled through thick smoke, past a burning vehicle and onto Lahainaluna Road, only to encounter a long line of stopped cars.
“We have got to get all these cars down Lahainaluna Road. The fire is right next to the cars. We can’t see,” one of the two officers in the car told dispatchers, later repeatedly wondering aloud, “Why are these cars not moving?”
The videos also reflect confusion among residents about where they were supposed to go, even after most of the damage had been done.
One man, a resident of an apartment building downtown, spoke with an officer in a parking lot where his truck had run out of gas. The officer suggested he stay put because he’d be safe there, but the man had no food and asked if he could walk to town or to the shelter at the civic center.
“It’s dangerous man,” the officer said. “There’s power lines everywhere, poles, debris. It’s not safe in there.”
“I don’t even know where to go from here,” the man responded.
During Monday’s news conference, Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said his department faced a deadline to release the footage in response to an open records request and wanted to provide some context for what people would see before it came out.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. It may have been sparked by downed power lines that ignited dry, invasive grasses. An AP investigation found the answer may lie in an overgrown gully beneath Hawaiian Electric Co. power lines and something that harbored smoldering embers from an initial fire that burned in the morning and then rekindled in high winds that afternoon.
After warning residents to evacuate during the morning fires, one clip showed, an officer regrouped with colleagues minutes later and expressed concern that they could reignite and spread in the wind.
“The thing is, could start smoldering again,” he said, pointing toward an area of blackened ground. “Like, you see this kind of stuff right over here? I don’t want it — the wind gonna kick up, hop right over.”
Lauer reported from Philadelphia, Johnson from Seattle and Boone from Boise, Idaho. Associated Press reporters Trisha Ahmed in Minneapolis; Christopher L. Keller in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Becky Bohrer in Juneau, Alaska; Sara Cline in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Hannah Fingerhut in Des Moines, Iowa; Valerie Gonzalez in McAllen, Texas; John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas; Jennifer Sinco Kelleher in Honolulu; and James Pollard in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report. Ahmed and Pollard are corps members for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
'Saving lives': Maui police release dramatic body cam video of Lahaina wildfire rescues
Police in Maui released harrowing body camera footage from the day wildfires tore through Lahaina in August , leaving at least 99 people dead and thousands of people displaced.
The 16 minutes of video released Monday at a news conference showed officers urgently evacuating residents and taking a seriously burned man to a hospital while winds whipped debris and fire closed in on houses.
Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said the department was releasing about 20 hours of body camera footage in response to a public records request and wanted to share the 16 minutes' worth ahead of the deadline to provide "context" to all the footage.
"You saw officers saving lives. You saw officers going into houses and getting people out of harm's way ... You saw people doing everything they could," Pelletier said. "MPD did that because it was the right thing to do, because that's what they're trained to do."
Video shows officers racing door-to-door to evacuate residents
The video pieced together clips from throughout the day of Aug. 8, when a combination of powerful winds, dry vegetation and low humidity helped fuel wildfires in West Maui. The cause of the fires is still under investigation . Over 2,000 homes and other structures were burned. In the aftermath, many said power and cellphone outages along with blocked roads complicated efforts to evacuate.
One video showed an officer using a hose to spray water on a shed that caught fire. Others showed officers going door-to-door, sometimes entering homes to make sure residents left safely. Fire can be seen nearing homes as officers worked. Another clip showed officers evacuating about 15 people who had "barricaded" inside a coffee shop.
'HER HEART WAS TIRED': Woman who ran through Maui wildfire to reach safety succumbs to injuries
Other officers were seen in the videos directing traffic and helped people break or cut open barricades blocking roads. At one point in the videos, an officer puts a severely burned man in the back of his car to take him to the hospital.
"I'm sorry, dude," the officer tells the man. "I'll just take you straight to the hospital."
Some of the law enforcers who were working that day evacuated people while not knowing if their own families were safe. Eleven officers "lost everything, to include family members and their homes," Assistant Chief Keola Tom said Monday.
"This body-worn camera footage makes it very clear and convincing that the Maui Police Department ... went above and beyond," Pelletier said.
Contributing: The Associated Press