Which DSLR Camera

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#1 EmiBubble on 5 years ago

Thinking of buying a DSLR for picture and video taking (I would mostly be using it for video use) but I am also an avid cosplay photographer. My budget is about $800, but anything under $1,000 works too. Right now I am thinking about the Cannon t3i or t4i. Feel free to post any other suggestion.

#2 nathancarter on 5 years ago

The T3i is a decent choice for a starter camera. Bodies depreciate relatively quickly; a good used one will save you some dough, maybe enough to get the "nifty fifty" 50mm f/1.8.

The T4i has approximately the same sensor as the T3i (as do the 60D, 7D, T2i), so image quality will be approximately the same, though it has an improved processor. The T4i adds autofocus during video, but it's unreliable. Manual focusing with Magic Lantern firmware (for focus peaking) will be more reliable. The T4i also has a somewhat better focusing system for still photos. And, a touchscreen which I didn't find all that useful.

To be honest, for simple videos, DSLRs are a lot of work compared to a dedicated camcorder. It takes a lot of practice to be able to frame and focus simultaneously, and the ergonomics are terrible unless you add on a lot of extra equipment (shoulder rig, steadicam, etc). The major benefit is good image quality compared to similarly-priced camcorders, but if all your shots are shaky and out-of-focus, then image quality goes right out the window.

#3 WonJohnSoup on 5 years ago

Is video image quality actually better with DSLRs? I had prosumer level camcorders before like the HVX200 and I felt like the image quality from dedicated camcorders were better. The only real advantage with DSLRs was the larger sensor and resulting shallow DOF that everyone wants (it's the main reason I made the switch). That's really more of a composition thing and I think people are naturally drawn to composition and then mistakenly attribute it to image quality. Totally agree with you that it's night and day how annoying it is to work with DSLRs coming from dedicated high end camcorders.

If you're thinking more for video than photo, you may want to look at the Panasonic GH3 also. Video from that is definitely better than any Canon DSLR and without a speedbooster, it has a little more DOF but still gives you the ability to get some shallow shots if you want. It's photo ability doesn't touch the Canon DSLRs though, and in my opinion it's far easier to do photo setups with a DSLR. I currently shoot with a Canon 6D and 90% of my work is video but oh man, do I appreciate the photo capability when I need it haha.

#4 FootNote on 5 years ago

I cant say much more than Nathancarter did on the video side of it. I would buy something more dedicated if what you want video.

That being said as far as what camera to get, I would head to a local best buy or camera store and pick up different cameras, find out what feels best in your hand, play with the controls, what feels most natural and comfortable. Bottom line your buying into a camera system, not just a camera, so figure out what brand feels best for you (For the most part all nikon cameras have the same feel to them, same with cannon) and then figure out which camera specifically works best.

#5 nathancarter on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=WonJohnSoup;4831326]Is video image quality actually better with DSLRs? I had prosumer level camcorders before like the HVX200 and I felt like the image quality from dedicated camcorders were better. The only real advantage with DSLRs was the larger sensor and resulting shallow DOF that everyone wants (it's the main reason I made the switch). That's really more of a composition thing and I think people are naturally drawn to composition and then mistakenly attribute it to image quality. Totally agree with you that it's night and day how annoying it is to work with DSLRs coming from dedicated high end camcorders.

If you're thinking more for video than photo, you may want to look at the Panasonic GH3 also. Video from that is definitely better than any Canon DSLR and without a speedbooster, it has a little more DOF but still gives you the ability to get some shallow shots if you want. It's photo ability doesn't touch the Canon DSLRs though, and in my opinion it's far easier to do photo setups with a DSLR. I currently shoot with a Canon 6D and 90% of my work is video but oh man, do I appreciate the photo capability when I need it haha.[/QUOTE]

Maybe I'm outdated in my opinions. I'm comparing the 5D3/60D to our Sony FX-7, which isn't the newest camcorder on the block. In plenty of light, the FX-7 footage looks great. In low light, the DSLRs have a distinct advantage.

I haven't used the HVX200 or the GH3, but I've read good things about both of them.

#6 figment1986 on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=nathancarter;4831093]The T3i is a decent choice for a starter camera. Bodies depreciate relatively quickly; a good used one will save you some dough, maybe enough to get the "nifty fifty" 50mm f/1.8.

The T4i has approximately the same sensor as the T3i (as do the 60D, 7D, T2i), so image quality will be approximately the same, though it has an improved processor. The T4i adds autofocus during video, but it's unreliable. Manual focusing with Magic Lantern firmware (for focus peaking) will be more reliable. The T4i also has a somewhat better focusing system for still photos. And, a touchscreen which I didn't find all that useful.
[/QUOTE]

I shoot with a T3i and it is a great starter camera for anyone just starting to get into photography. I used to use it for video too, which as said, can be great if you can figure out how to use it. Nathan has a lot of great points here!

#7 VisualRemix on 5 years ago

Probably the Nikon D3300 or D5300. You're looking at 12 stops of dynamic range, 1080p at 60fps with decent bit rate for a DSLR under $1,000.

Pick up some old Nikkor AF-D lenses and you're good to go.

I'm assuming you want to create videos like the ones you see on YouTube in slow-motion. If you are, then that's what you want, higher FPS and 1080p for resolution. Not even a Canon 5D3 or my D800 can do that. Sure, it's not full frame, but you'll get the shots you want with a little compromise.

#8 WookieeGunner on 5 years ago

You might also look at the Panasonic G6. It's a micro 4/3's instead of APS-C, but it's still a good sensor and is rumored to do video better than the Canon T4i (but less well than the GH3 which is the current flagship). Adorama is running them right now for a bit under your budget as well.

#9 lurry on 5 years ago

I like the Nikon D5200. It's great. Nikon makes really good things. This DSLR is great for sports and wildlife photography. I have done an in-depth review of the Nikon D5200, with key comparisons of competitors and feedback from actual owners. You can read it all [URL="http://thedigitalcamera.net/nikon-d5300-vs-nikon-d5200-whats-the-difference/"]here[/URL]

#10 lurry on 5 years ago

If budget allows, consider the Nikon D5300, it's better than Nikon D5200, compare the features

[URL="http://thedigitalcamera.net/nikon-d5300-vs-nikon-d5200-whats-the-difference/"]http://thedigitalcamera.net/nikon-d5300-vs-nikon-d5200-whats-the-difference/[/URL]

#11 Dark Photog on 5 years ago

The biggest difference between the T3i and the T4i in my opinion is the auto focus. On the T3i, only the center point is cross-type, on the T4i all 9 points are cross-type.

You may be able to find a used 7D in your price range which has a much better auto focus system (19 point, all cross-type). If you could go a little higher, you could get a new 70D, which has the same auto focus as the 7D.

If your budget is firm, I'd go with the T4i (body only) and spend the rest on a good lens.

#12 KVN on 5 years ago

I don't see any point to all those cross type focus points if you're doing portraits.

#13 Ashurachan on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=KVN;4853744]I don't see any point to all those cross type focus points if you're doing portraits.[/QUOTE]

You don't always shoot in a well lit studio, and with a prime at full aperture you can't really focus then recompose.

#14 Dark Photog on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=KVN;4853744]I don't see any point to all those cross type focus points if you're doing portraits.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Ashurachan;4854036]You don't always shoot in a well lit studio, and with a prime at full aperture you can't really focus then recompose.[/QUOTE]

Exactly. The vast majority of my work is on location, and some of it is very dimly lit (I've had times where I've needed a flashlight to get the camera to focus). It all depends on what, and how you shoot. If all you shoot is in well lit areas at f9+, then no you probably don't need all those cross type points. But I'd rather have more options, and more cross type makes that easier. Certainly you can work with less, but it does take a little more effort.

#15 KVN on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=Ashurachan;4854036]You don't always shoot in a well lit studio, and with a prime at full aperture you can't really focus then recompose.[/QUOTE]

If you're taking pictures in a dark area wouldn't the focus assist lamp on your flash or flash trigger take care of that?

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