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Need help selecting a digital SLR/video camera

Need help selecting a digital SLR/video camera

Old Aug 1, 15, 5:40 am
  #1  
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Need help selecting a digital SLR/video camera

looking to upgrade my camera. I have an old Canon rebel and a separate HD video camera. looking to get an HD Video camera integrated into a digital SLR.

my local Costco has 6 good options.

leaning towards the Nikon D3300. Its seems like once you get to that one in price, the additional benefits are marginal and very expensive. but maybe i am missing something.

$500 Canon Eos Rebel T5 with 18-55 and 75-300 lenses.
18 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with DIGIC 4 image processor
1080p HD video
3 fps
ISO max 6400
3-inch LCD

$650 Nikon D3300
24.2 MP CMOS DX-format sensor
5 frames per second continuous shooting
11 AF points with 3D tracking
ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps) HD video (MPEG-4/H.264/MOV)
3 inch LCD
Review says excellent battery life
Very small camera

$1000 Canon Eos Rebel T6iwith 18-55 and 75-300 lenses.
24 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with DIGIC 4 image processor
1080p HD video
5 fps
ISO max 6400
3-inch LCD
19 point AF
Reviews say weak battery, autofocus is poor for moving subjects.

$1100 Nikon D5500
24.2 MP CMOS DX-format sensor
5 frames per second continuous shooting
11 AF points with 3D tracking
ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps) HD video (MPEG-4/H.264/MOV)
3 inch LCD with 921,000 dots

$1250 Canon 70D with 18-55 and 75-300 lenses.
20.2 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with DIGIC 4 image processor
1080p HD video
7 fps
ISO max 12800
3-inch LCD
Large heavy camera with solid grip.
Reviews say weak battery, autofocus is poor for moving subjects.

$1250 Nikon D7100
24.2 MP CMOS DX-format sensor
6 frames per second continuous shooting
11 AF points with 3D tracking
ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps) HD video (MPEG-4/H.264/MOV)
3 inch LCD with 921,000 dots
Reviews say slow AF
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Old Aug 1, 15, 6:55 am
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To the extent that FlyerTalk is the right place to find the answer, and it may not be, I'd ask in the Travel Photography forum. If this were my post, I'd click the red "Alert a Mod" triangle below your name at the bottom of the post and ask that it be moved.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 9:27 am
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My Nikon D3100 is 4 years old and is perfect. Battery life is good. I don't really use it take video. I would judge the two zoom lenses as ok - nothing super sharp. If I were to replace it, I would look for a camera with built in wireless so I don't have to hook up the usb cable to transfer images. And I did get it at Costco during a promotion.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 9:38 am
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Personally, I wouldn't get a DSLR nowadays, because of the bulk and weight. I'd get a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. There are several excellent systems out there, including Micro 4/3 (Olympus and Panasonic), Sony, Fuji, and Samsung. Nikon and Canon have been late to this party because they have a vested interest in prolonging the life of the DSLRs that they dominate, but they are also starting to develop some interesting systems of this type.

There are several discussions about these systems in the Travel Photography forum. I personally use Micro 4/3 system, but the others mentioned also have merit. One comment I'd make is that Olympus and Fujifilm seem to have the most interesting offerings for mainly still photo use, whereas Sony and Panasonic seem to have the most capable offerings for video - while also delivering great stills. Samsung seems to be a leader in merging photo capability with wireless communication.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 11:31 am
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Need help selecting a digital SLR/video camera

I went mirrorless Sony A55 years ago and like the mix of capability and size (not too heavy/bulky). Also takes good video when needed.

Having said that, my recommendation isn't necessarily Sony (though I enjoy it) but rather echoing the above post to look at mirrorless and similar categories before buying. If only to reinforce your decision.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 11:41 am
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What's your budget? The prices on those cameras you listed are very different. If you are looking for something semi-professional, compact, and shoots good pictures and videos, go with the Fuji X-T10, X-T1, or, if you can afford to splurge, the A7II.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 11:42 am
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Do these all allow external mic? Hotshoe?
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Old Aug 1, 15, 2:29 pm
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I've been using Lumix "bridge" cameras (not a DSLR, not a pocket P&S) for years and think they're quite ideal for travel cameras. I also have a DSLR that has all the bells and whistles, but is a massive and heavy thing to schlep around. When I've gone on safari in South Africa, where you need everything from a wide angle to a long telephoto, and when you're in low light conditions half the time, the Lumix has always been easier to use than the SLR, with results that are hard to tell apart.

The DMC-FZ1000 (around $660 street price) is apparently about as good as it gets for combined video/still uses. The big sensor and fast autofocus really adds to its versatility in all kinds of lighting conditions. Here's the review - http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pana...mix-dmc-fz1000
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Old Aug 1, 15, 3:58 pm
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Look at Panasonic or Olympus mirrorless cameras. Much smaller and lighter, excellent still image quality and some (not all) are excellent for video.

The best video performers are the Panasonic GH4 and the Olympus OMD-EM5mII but they are pricier than your sample set. In the under $1000.00 range, I'd suggest looking at the Olympus OMD-EM10.
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Old Aug 2, 15, 7:18 am
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Zack Arias purchased a GH4 system for video.
You can find his reasoning here:

http://dedpxl.com/moving-to-motion-pt-02-lumix-gh4/
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Old Aug 2, 15, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by lhgreengrd1 View Post
Personally, I wouldn't get a DSLR nowadays, because of the bulk and weight. I'd get a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. There are several excellent systems out there, including Micro 4/3 (Olympus and Panasonic), Sony, Fuji, and Samsung. Nikon and Canon have been late to this party because they have a vested interest in prolonging the life of the DSLRs that they dominate, but they are also starting to develop some interesting systems of this type.
thanks for the interesting suggestion

looks like these non-SLR cameras are generally more expensive, generally better for video, and generally inferior for photography (e.g. maximum aperture is about a stop less, etc.).

I don't really wan't to pay double, and my existing 1080p video is more than ample for my needs. aside from the weight/bulk, i'm not seeing much of an advantage. Am i missing something?
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Old Aug 2, 15, 5:15 pm
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Old Aug 3, 15, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by LemonThrower View Post
thanks for the interesting suggestion

looks like these non-SLR cameras are generally more expensive, generally better for video, and generally inferior for photography (e.g. maximum aperture is about a stop less, etc.).

I don't really wan't to pay double, and my existing 1080p video is more than ample for my needs. aside from the weight/bulk, i'm not seeing much of an advantage. Am i missing something?
Mirrorless system cameras are not weaker at all for still photos - unless you're comparing them to a pro-level full frame DSLR with pro lenses - and those are typically $2500+ setups that are really massive, at around 3x the size and weight. An APS-C Mirrorless system will give results that are directly comparable to an APS-C DSLR. Sony also makes full frame Mirrorless systems that can compete with the best of Nikon and Canon full frame DSLRs - but with less of a size/weight advantage than smaller mirrorless systems offer. And the smaller Micro 4/3 systems are really very close to APS-C sized cameras in image quality, with added benefits of much smaller size and weight - particularly of the lenses. And no reason to pay double for a good mirrorless camera. You can get a quality mirrorless camera and lens for as little as $500 or so.

Look at things like the Panasonic GX7 or the Sony a6000 - these were among the very best Mirrorless cameras from last year, and they are still extremely capable - and a basic camera and standard zoom lens of these will only set you back around $700. I'd put these up against any similarly priced DSLR system. But I would also set aside some of your budget (say $300-400) for a good fast prime lens since it sounds like you know what the advantage of a fast aperture can do for you.

Also, don't minimize the benefits of smaller weight and bulk. It's the reason these cameras are so great - I personally made the switch when I found that I wasn't taking my Nikon DSLRs on my trips, because of the bulk of a useful system. My Micro 4/3 system easily fits in my personal item carry-on bag, with several prime lenses. I made the switch to Olympus (I'm not much of a video-shooter, I primarily shoot stills - the cameras I listed above are better at video) and I've never looked back since I did so.

Just about any of these good mirrorless system cameras is more than capable enough to deliver superb still-image quality in the hands of a skilled photographer

Last edited by lhgreengrd1; Aug 3, 15 at 8:00 am
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Old Aug 3, 15, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by lhgreengrd1 View Post
Mirrorless system cameras are not weaker at all for still photos
looks like a lot of the mirrorless systems had a maximum aperture that was a full f-stop or two worse than a $500 SLR, up until a year or two ago. The Sony a6000 you cite looks to be on par with the Nikon D3300 which is my leading contender right now. I'm going to research the Sony more. Thanks for your post.
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Old Aug 3, 15, 8:32 am
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Every digital ever picture shot from before 5 years ago is with a setup less capable than today's top mirrorless system.

In sensitivity, dynamic range, resolution, etc.

There's nothing wrong with wanting more. Like a Ferrari 458 Speciale over a normal Ferrari 458.

But the limitation is the driver. And the car from 5 years ago is the V8 BMW M3. It's not a Ferrari, but when the everyman driver can't properly race a Mazda Miata, does it really make sense to scrutinize the car?



Considered the king of the hill for consumer/prosumer camera-body-videography are the Sony A7s and the Panasonic GH4. No consolation of "in the mirrorless category" -- they've straight up dethroned the Canon DSLRs. And because video is much more of a function of software/programming/codec, than pure physical attributes, Sony with its RX series is championing the compact body class
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