April 17, 2016 at 9:33AM

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Best DSLR (under $600) for Film?

I want a good DSLR under $600 that has a good selection of video setting and a video mode instead of just a record button. I saw the Nikon D series or come of the canons because of the "hack"/software to add more video settings.

11 Comments

In your price range I would look at Nikon D5300 or Panasonic G7 cameras.

Nikon D5300
- Shoots good quality 1080p video
- Almost no moire/aliasing in the video image
- Has a good dynamic range for still photos and video
- Shoots very good quality still photos

Panasonic G7
- Shoots 4K and 1080p video
- Almost no moire/aliasing in the 4K video image
- Produces a very sharp video image
- Has a good dynamic range for still photos and video
- Can use almost any lens with the right adapter, so you can use Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Minolta, Contax, Leica, etc...

April 17, 2016 at 10:47PM, Edited April 17, 10:48PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30059

Either the aforementioned Panasonic G7 because it's like a baby GH4.

Or a Canon EOS 700D (T5i) which is better to start out in case you have less experience.

April 24, 2016 at 9:25AM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
1734

I'm going to echo the good advice that both Guy and Eric have given you and look at the G7 or the Canon mentioned. I would add, however, to really consider the cons of each and really ask yourself what you're willing to compromise in terms of your storytelling and camera work. Almost all of these cameras have issues with rolling shutter, some more so than others. For some people, these small cons are things we just deal with and work around. Just make sure you narrow down your list to a couple cameras and then really weigh the differences in each. Happy hunting. :)

April 25, 2016 at 10:17AM

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Bryan Tosh
Director of Photography
481

I have shot a ton with the Nikon 5200 series and have been really impressed with it. The 5300 I have only limited experience with but have been very happy with what I've shot. Picture quality is very nice and there is a ton of room to color correct stuff in post.

If budget is an option, snagging a used or refurbished Nikon with a couple of decent lenses will get you up and running pretty quickly. There are thousands of inexpensive Nikon lenses that will give you great results.

Now, having said all of that...the G7 is also a great little camera. Having the option to shoot 4k and down sample is great. It really is a great B cam to the GH4. Just remember that the G7 isn't as solid as the GH4 and you're good to go.

April 25, 2016 at 11:59AM

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Jay Kilburn
Production Manager
102

T5i (700D) is the best answer . The EF Lens mount will carry you for a long time in your indie film career. The T5i is a fantastic camera out of the box, but the guys over at Magic Lantern turn it into a beast adding a ton of features turning it into a workhorse of a indie film camera

Magic Lantern: http://magiclantern.fm/

T5i : http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/945049-REG/canon_8595b001_eos_rebe... (You can get it for cheaper... goes on sail a lot and theres a bunch on E-Bay)

April 25, 2016 at 12:39PM

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Panasonic G7. The absolute cheapest way to get good 4K video. Reviewed here: https://www.macprovideo.com/hub/review-2/review-panasonic-lumix-dmcg7

I still like the quality of the image from the Blackmagic cinema cameras, but there's more detail in the G7 footage, and handling is much easier too.

April 25, 2016 at 8:01PM

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If you get any of the cameras listed you will be fine. T#i series will get you alittle ahead and a mirrorless would do some great things to help you lens for cheap. Buy a speedbooster if you get a mirrorless camera.

April 25, 2016 at 8:03PM

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Chris Hackett
Director, Director of Photography, Writer
1057

For the best image get the G7. Its harder to use but the end result is gang be the best.

The Canon T5i is the most stable, and has the most lens selection. Its the easiest to use but you will have limitations down the road.

The Panasonic GH2 you can hack and also get a good result but its going to be more complicated than the Canon t5i.

April 26, 2016 at 9:35AM, Edited April 26, 9:37AM

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The canon h264 codec is absolute garbage, it's terrible, no matter what people tell you.
Whilst magic lantern is ok, you'll need the storage to deal with the raw footage and the post processing tools which CAN be a ball ache.

Go for the g7, just trust me

April 26, 2016 at 12:13PM

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for this price range, I would go for a canon with magic lantern. I personally have a rebel T2I and it really does the job... more recent ones t#i might slightly be better in low light (check that cause the t2i is only usable until 1000 ISO) but it does a heck of a job and you can find some for a very tiny price. maybe 300$ then you have 300$ for a very good lens, like a 50mm f1.4 which will also make a huge difference (and you won't even have to worry about low light !)
So of course the bit-rate or format aren't ideal, but one cannot compare that with what you get with a 2000$ cam ...

April 27, 2016 at 12:36AM

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Xavier Munch
Director
93

Used canon 70D. It produces a good image and you wont find a better AF in the market. The Moire isn't that bad, Ive shot multiple things and never had a problem with it.

April 28, 2016 at 6:06PM

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Michael Militscher
Director / Commercial Producer
1998

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