DSLR for Video

“I’m thinking about buying a dslr for video, which one is the best?”  This is a common question, but what is the answer?  The answer is in this ultimate table below giving you the best dslr according to your video needs and price range.  Please browse this table and search and sort the columns to find the right dslr for you.

Ultimate DSLR for Video Comparison Guide

Model
Full Frame or Crop
Low Light Ability
Flip Out LCD
Focus
Memory Card Type
Max
Recording
Length
price
Canon 5D Mark II
FullB+NoManualCompactFlash12 mins. HD$$$
Canon 5D Mark III
FullA+NoAuto ManualCompactFlash
SD
SDHC
SDXC
30 mins. HD$$$
Canon 60DCropC-YesManualSD
SDHC
SDXC
12 mins. HD$
Canon 6DFullA-NoAuto ManualSD
SDHC
SDXC
32 mins. HD$$$
Canon 70DCropA-YesAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
32 mins. HD$$
Canon 7DCropB-NoManual
CompactFlash12 mins. HD$$
Canon Rebel SL1CropC-NoAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto

SD
SDHC
SDXC
30 mins. HD$
Canon T3iCropC-YesAuto Manual
SD
SDHC
SDXC
11 mins. HD$
Canon T4iCropC-YesAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
11 mins. HD$
Canon T5iCropC-YesAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
30 mins. HD$
Canon 1DXFullANoAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
CompactFlash30 mins. HD$$$$$
Nikon D4FullANoAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
XQD
CompactFlash
20 mins. HD$$$$
Nikon D600FullB-NoAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
20 mins. HD$$$
Nikon D800FullC+NoAuto ManualCompactFlash
SD
SDHC
SDXC
30 mins. HD$$$
Nikon D3100CropD+NoAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
10 mins. HD$
Nikon D3200CropC-NoAuto ManualSD
SDHC
SDXC
20 mins. HD$
Nikon D5100CropC-YesAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
20 mins. HD$
Nikon D5200CropCYesAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
20 mins. HD$
Nikon D7000CropCNoAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
20 mins. HD$$
Nikon D7100CropCNoAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
20 mins. HD$$
Panasonic GH3CropCYesAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
240 mins. HD$$
Panasonic G6CropBYesAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
75 mins. HD$
Sony A77CropBYesAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
29 mins. HD$$
Sony A99FullB+YesAuto
Manual
Continuous Auto
SD
SDHC
SDXC
29 mins. HD$$$
Pentax K-5 IICropBNoAuto ManualSD
SDHC
SDXC
25 mins. HD$$
Pentax K-5 IIsCropBNoAuto ManualSD
SDHC
SDXC
25 mins. HD$$
Pentax K-30CropBNoAuto ManualSD
SDHC
SDXC
25 mins. HD$
Pentax K-50CropBNoAuto ManualSD
SDHC
SDXC
25 mins. HD$

Things to Consider

When you are shopping for the perfect dslr for your video needs, consider these 8 things.

Brand. Are you a Canon or Nikon? Panasonic, Sony or Pentax? Does your grandpa have a collection of Canon lenses? Then you should look into a Canon. There are adapters you can use to put swap brands, but keep in mind the levels and controls may not be fully functional in photography mode.

Full Frame or Crop –Full frame cameras tend to be much better in low light and have an overall better image quality. But is the price worth it to you?   A 50mm lens on a crop is like a 80mm lens.  This could be good or bad, if you are shooting from a distance and want to get in closer a crop could turn a 200mm into a 320mm without paying extra for it.

Low Light Ability – What are you shooting?  Will you always have the light you need or will you be in tight situations, run and gun style?  Often times it’s a must to have a camera that looks clean under low lighting conditions would be a must have.

Flip Out LCD – This is a must have for me because I try to keep my camera as light as possible, but if you want an external LCD monitor this is not important.

Focus – Manual focus often scares people and keeps them away from shooting with a DSLR.  But with practice and the magnification possibilities you’ll learn quickly to shoot manual.  Auto focus has been getting more reliable over the years

Memory Card Type – It’s important to know what memory you’ll have to purchase that fits your camera.  Although the price keeps dropping, CompactFlash cards are quite a bit more expensive than a standard SD card.

Max Recording Length – This could be extremely important when shooting live, long events.  It only takes about a second to stop and start again, but that could be an important second.

Price – We are all on a budget and need to be smart with our money.  You might want to think about getting a lower priced camera body in order to have extra money to put towards quality lenses.


Staff Picks

Best entry level DSLR for videoentry level dslr

The Canon 60d is a great camera for someone starting out. Not only because I own two of them, but here are several reasons why:
• low price point
• flip out screen
• SD card friendly


 

Best full frame DSLR for video  full frame dslr

The Canon 6d wins for the best full frame camera. This camera is like a beefed up version of the popular Mark ii.

• cheapest full frame available
• built-in Wi-Fi
• dual-SD card slots


 

Best all around DSLR for video  all around dslr

The Canon Mark iii was our choice for the best all around dslr. If you can afford the price tag, you won’t be disappointed.
• amazing low-light performance
• headphone jack
• improved auto-focus
• new full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ processor


Accessories

When filming with a dslr you’ll find the picture is amazing but things can be a little more challenging.

Stabilizationmonopod

There’s nothing worse then getting an incredible shot with a shaky image. Holding a dslr can be a little awkward at first. Buying lenses with built in stabilization will help a lot, but also consider shooting on a tripod on or monopod. I love the Manfrotto 561 monopod.  It can be used in so many ways.

Audioh4n

Most of the dslr cameras won’t have a headphone jack or a way to monitor the audio waves. I bought a Zoom H4N recorder and mounted it on top of my 60D. Watch this following video for the setup I did.

Lacking Built in ND Filternd

Everyone loves the shallow depth of field these cameras have and they finally made it possible and affordable for the average Joe to purchase. The problem is when going outside in bright sunlight you’ll need a ND filter to shoot wide open without cranking up the shutter speed. I’d recommend a variable ND filter that you can turn and adjust the strength.  Just be sure you get the right size.

 

There is a lot to consider when looking at all the options. I hope this information will guide you with your next camera purchase. Please leave a comment for any questions or advice of your own.


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