When you encounter the words “professional camera,” a DSLR camera will always come to your mind first. There is no doubt about it. However, there is a variety of Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera (DSLR) out there.
What features to look for in a best DSLR for videography experience?
This article will guide you about everything you will need to know. This includes the comparison of the best DSLR cameras for videos.
A Comparison of 8 DSLR Cameras To Take Good Videos
The popular Canon 5D Mark III has great image quality. It has a full frame 22.3 MP CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5+ high-quality image processor.
Its full HD 1080p capacity at 30 fps and a 3.2″ 1.04m-Dot LCD ClearView II monitor gives great clarity to its videos.
It is superior in the field of autofocus points with its robust 41 cross-type AF points. This Canon DSLR also performs well in low light.
With these abilities, it has even been used in film and television.
We also have another review of this product on wedding photography.
2. Nikon D810
This is Nikon’s answer to Canon.
Nikon D810 has a total of 51 autofocus points. Of which, there are 15 cross-type. Guaranteed, this camera locks into focus in no time.
It is a very powerful camera. It can shoot at 60 frames per second (FPS) the videos having 1920 pixels in width and 1080 pixels in height (1080p). It even has a resolution of 36 million pixels (MP) for its full frame sensor.
3. Canon 80D
Canon 80D is a cheap camera but it still maintains an optimum quality. Because of this, it is popular among videographers and vloggers.
This camera has an APS-C or often called a crop-frame sensor. It can record 1080p at 60 frames per second. Its 45-point autofocus system helps it to be accurate and fast when focusing on things.
This camera is perfect for those with a tight budget but still aims for good quality. This is also helpful for those who are not in need for 4K recording or full frame sensor.
And in case you want to find the perfect lenses for this camera, here is our guide.
4. Canon T6i
Canon T6i is equipped with a powerful crop sensor. It is one of the new things in the Rebel line. It is a must-have for aspiring videographers.
With a well-priced value that comes with it, you can already avail of its flip-out screen. Plus, its 24 MP sensor records at 30 FPS the 1080p videos.
For easier reference, it has the same video capabilities and size of Nikon D3300. The obvious difference Canon T6i has is its improved autofocus and a flip screen.
5. Nikon D3300
Nikon D3300 is the cheapest camera on this list. However, just because it is cheap, it doesn’t mean that it is substandard. The build and overall quality of the camera are highly rated.
Its 24 MP sensor is capable of recording 1080p video at 60 frames per second, all at full HD. If you won’t opt for 60p (fps), you can even choose from 50, 30, 25, or 24p.
An optical low-pass filter is not equipped in the image sensor that is being used. The video quality is really crystal-clear. This camera is also very lightweight at 0.9 lbs. Traveling with it will always be easy.
Thus, this entry-level DSLR has a good quality at an amazing price.
Here is another comparison of Nikon D3300.
6. Nikon D3200
Nikon D3200 is another quality camera at an affordable price.
Its DX-format CMOS sensor at 24.2 MP is already equipped with an 18- 55 mm VR stabilization lens. With this, even shooting videos handheld will still produce a smooth product in its 3.0” screen.
Its 1080p full HD cinematic video quality comes in at 30, 25, or 24p. These specs are still considered norms of a good camera for videos.
Nikon D3200 is not just budget-friendly but it is also a good travel buddy. It has 1.11 lbs weight and has a good enough 540 shots battery life.
7. Canon EOS 6D
If Canon 5D Mark III is too expensive for you, then Canon EOS 6D is the answer to your problem.
It is equipped with a full-frame CMOS at 20.2 megapixels. It adapts well at low-light because of its 100 to 25600 wide ISO range. It uses a topnotch quality of image processor like that of 5D Mark III.
It has a maximum video resolution of 1080p at 30, 25 or 24 fps. It even has a better compression ratio as compared to others with the same video resolution.
Its built-in Wi-Fi transmitter helps a lot in the transferring process. It also has an awesome 1090 shots (viewfinder shooting) for battery life. This camera is definitely making one’s life easier.
8. Sony A77 II
Here is something not from Nikon or Canon. Sony’s single entry on our list should not be taken lightly. It is armed with 24.3 megapixels APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor and a resolution of 1080p up to a 4K video quality option.
With its sensor-shift image stabilization, or their very own technology called 4D FOCUS, you can now say goodbye to disruptions brought by a shaky hand.
Autofocus is not a problem as well. It has 79 phase-detection points with 15 cross-points. This is very ideal to be coupled in its 12 fps continuous shooting function.
After you have taken such great videography, Sony A77 II’s built-in Wi-FI and NFC are also available for your easy sharing.
|Camera||Max. Video Res.||Sensor Size||Battery Life||Screen||Weight||Autofocus||Price|
Canon 5D Mark III
|1080p at 30 FPS||22.3MP Full Frame||950 shots||3.2″ rear screen||1.89 lbs||61 points, 41 cross-type||$$$|
|Nikon D810||1080p at 60 FPS||36.3 MP Full Frame||900 shots||3.2″ rear screen||1.9 lbs||51 points, 15 cross-type||$$$|
|Canon 80D||1080p at 60 FPS||24.2 MP APS-C||1390 shots||3″ articulating LCD||1.6 lbs||45 cross-type||$$|
|Canon T6i||1080p at 30 FPS||24.2 MP APS-C||440 shots||3″ pivoting LCD||1.2 lbs||19 cross-type||$|
|Nikon D3300||1080p at 60 FPS||24.2 MP APS-C||700 shots||3″ rear screen||0.9 lbs||11 points, 1 cross-type||$|
|Nikon D3200||1080p at 30 FPS||24.2 MP|
|540 shots||3.0” with 160° viewing angle||1.11 lbs||11 AF points, Phase Detect||$|
|Canon EOS 6D||1080p at 30 FPS||20.2 MP Full Frame||1090 shots||3.0” rear display||1.49 lbs||11 AF, 1 cross-type||$|
|Sony A77||1080p (4k option)||24.3 MP|
|530 shots||3.0” rear display||1.438 lbs||79 phase-type and 15 cross-type||$$|
Things to Consider in a DSLR to Have Great Videos
Choosing the best camera for taking videos is not really a difficult task. This is especially true if you already know what to look for in the first place.
Normally, different cameras were made for different needs.
It must be clear to you whether you’ll need a camera for slow motion video, for the low light environment, or whatever it is that you specifically require.
After that, these are the features of DSLR cameras you should always remember if you want to take great videos.
1. What is its type of autofocus?
Autofocus points of DSLR cameras these days are of two different types. These are the phase detection and the cross-type. They differ in the way they look for contrasts in a frame so as to establish autofocus.
Phase detection points are the most usual but the least efficient. This is because phase detection points are limited only in the detection of contrasting vertical changes.
Cross-type points, on the other hand, are able to detect both vertical and horizontal changes in contrast. This allows for a faster and better autofocus.
In conclusion, the more cross-type points a camera has, the more efficient the autofocus function it possesses.
2. What is its maximum video resolution?
Different cameras have different resolutions. A resolution is the measure of the number of pixels an image or a video has. Simply put, the more pixels there is in the camera specifications, the sharper images it could give.
A 4K video resolution is popular nowadays but it is really not that necessary. Even the top cameras in terms of video resolution in the above list are only capable of a maximum of 1080p. It is because this number is already a standard worth getting.
While it is true that a 4K video is great, however many available screens in the market cannot really use all of those pixels in the most effective way.
Thus, as a general rule, 1080p is already good enough. Only that a 4K video having a great number of pixels to deal with, provides for more cropping opportunities in the post-processing.
In other words, you’ll have more play in edits, be it for zooming in or wide angle. You can even take great images from your videos.
To sum it up, with 4K capabilities, there is more data, more editing flexibility, and the videos are a little bit clearer.
3.What is the type of sensor?
There are two types of sensors for the modern day DSLR: APS-C or crop sensor and the full frame sensor.
A full frame sensor, being larger allows more light to be captured. It is good for better low light performance, brighter viewfinder and shallower depth of field.
There is some disadvantage to this. That is, a full frame sensor is more expensive than a crop sensor.
There is another drawback. It will be discussed in the next number.
4. How heavy and bulky is the camera?
Cameras are not heavy the first time you pick it up. As we all know, it is supposed to be a handy gadget in the first place.
But we all love a little adventure. So, more often than not, we’ll be using our bare hands and arms. And eventually, you’ll strain.
In this scenario, a full frame DSLRs might really be heavy. This is why the size and weight of a camera matters.
Remember the key takeaway here when talking about the comparison of size and weight of DSLR cameras.
Crop sensor cameras having APS-C bodies are usually smaller and lighter. The counterparts of this sensor which are the full frames are generally bigger and heavier.
5. Are there plenty available output and input ports?
One of the things you need in a good camera for videos is its flexibility in connecting with your phone, computer, and other devices.
Basically, a good camera for taking videos must have ports for a microphone, USB, headphone, and HDMI for connecting to external monitors.
6. How long does it last?
The camera features can drain batteries at a fast rate.
Choose a camera which not only has longer lasting performance in varying weather conditions, but also those which are easy to charge and with ease in replacing for backup batteries.
7. How fast is the frame rate?
If you want to have a slow-motion effect in your video, then you’ll need a high frame rate. It helps you slow down your video more easily.
A camera of 60 frames per second will already do good.
8. Are there plenty of available lenses which will suit my needs?
The type of lens varies depending on what is your need.
The most important to bear in mind is that the camera body should suit the lens. So, it is more practical to buy a camera body which is suitable for a lot of available lenses.
So far we have covered up the basics and you already know the best cameras for videos.
As newer cameras may come, all you need to do is to apply the principles you have just learned. Then you can still avail for yourself the best camera that will satisfy your needs.