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Top 5 DSLRs For Video

UPDATE: Since posting this article last year, many new DSLRs have been released. I just posted an updated article on The 3 Best DSLRs For Professional Video In 2014 which can be viewed by clicking here!

Many people have asked me “what is the best DSLR for video?”, and although there isn’t a single best DSLR, there are a select few that have made a name for themselves and risen above the massive amount of cameras out there with video capabilities. The purpose of this post of course, is to look at a few of the best options out there today and discuss their strengths.

A lot of the recently released, high quality camcorders like the Canon C100/C300, Sony FS700 and Blackmagic Cinema Camera have taken away the spotlight from DSLRs, at least as far as shooting video goes. This is because in many ways represent a step up in quality from DSLRs and they typically have a form factor that is designed for video as opposed to stills (especially in the case of the Canon C-Line up) which is what many DSLR shooters have been waiting to have for years. Nonetheless, DSLRs are still exceptionally good tools to use and can often provide results that are close to (or in some cases better than) cameras with much higher price tags, and they can often still be the best possible choice for many tasks.

For example, DSLRs are excellent to use for documentaries where accessibility and ease of use can be more important than a slight increase in quality. DSLRs can also provide a certain level of anonymity and allow you to blend into the rest of the world with your little camera, making it really easy to shoot guerilla style. Even Aronofsky used a 7D on Black Swan for the subway scenes.

The other day I had to color grade a project that was shot on a very wide mix of formats, ranging from a RED camera to FS100’s to two DSLR’s (5D MKIII and GH3). What struck me while doing this was although the RED footage was obviously higher resolution, the DSLR material held up really well, especially from the GH3. And because the cameras were white balanced properly and the show was well lit, there was actually a decent amount of flexibility in post that allowed me to add a nice stylized look to the DSLR footage without having it fall apart. Now when I watch back the final product, I almost forget which camera was which entirely, as by the time they are matched and the video is mastered, everything started to look really close.

Where a RED or Alexa or Blackmagic or any other raw camera shines, is in the color grade. You have seemingly endless possibilities. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get very similar results in camera with a DSLR. As long as you don’t starve your camera of light and you get your white balance in the right ballpark, footage off of DSLRs can really still hold up well. The same goes for raw cameras. Just because they’re raw, doesn’t mean you don’t have to light/expose your shots properly – Raw can only save you to a certain degree. And although it’s great to have the flexibility of raw, 9 times out of ten if a project is well shot, you don’t need to push it much in post and your raw material is seldom used to its full potential. Just a bit of contrast and balancing. Seeing the results of this project actually inspired me to take out my GH3 and do some more shooting with it as it’s been in the Pelican case more often than not lately.

So I wrote this top 5 list because I feel in the last year or so, although some great new DSLRs have been released, a lot of these cameras didn’t get the attention they deserved as many of the new camcorders and raw cameras out there have stolen the spotlight.

The cameras below are listed in order of price, and this is not a comparison of these cameras, but rather a general point for information on what I believe to be the 5 best DSLRs for video today. Also, please note that while I’ve limited it to 5 cameras here, there are countless other DSLRs that are excellent tools and just didn’t make this list – mainly because of personal bias.

The other thing to note is that I wanted this list to be well rounded in regards to pricing and features, so that factored in to why some of these cameras made it on the list.

Before we get started here, I also want to mention that I’ll be doing a shootout in the next few months with quite a few different cameras and would love to hear from you on which cameras you’d like included. Please comment below and let me know which cameras from this list you’d like to see (and any that aren’t on the list too). It won’t be limited to just DSLRs.

Here we go:

TOP FIVE

Panasonic G6 – $749

So technically this is not a DSLR (nor is the GH3 on this list), but I lump them in the same category as they share an almost identical form factor, they are just mirrorless. The G6 is a brand new camera (won’t be in stock for about a month) and one that certainly deserves attention on this list. It’s the latest from Panasonic’s G-series of cameras and really packs a punch considering it’s low price point. The camera is reported to use the same sensor as the Lumix GH2, which is slightly larger than the sensor on the GH3, and anyone coming from shooting on a GH2 knows just how good that sensor actually is.

Here’s the list of specs on it:

  • 16MP Live MOS Sensor
  • Venus Engine Image Processor
  • Micro Four Thirds Standard
  • Focus Peaking
  • 3.0″ 1,036k-dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • 1,440k-dot OLED Live View Finder
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
  • Built-In Wireless and NFC Connectivity
  • 7 fps Shooting at Full Resolution
  • Light Speed Autofocus System

Considering that you get all of those features for $749, and the image looks as good as it does, is pretty amazing. What I love about Panasonic is they release affordable, video driven DSLRs. What their DSLRs often lack in the stills department, they make up for in video mode. Not to say the stills are horrible by any means, but I wouldn’t say they are the strong point of this camera or any Panasonic DSLR for that matter. For me, this is a non-issue as I don’t primarily shoot stills, however if you plan on using this as a professional stills camera and the video mode comes second for you, there are better options on this list. If you’re strictly looking at it for video functionality, bang for your buck it’s hard to beat this camera.

The G6 has some really cool and innovative features – some of which even it’s bigger brother the GH3 doesn’t have. For example, this camera has built in focus peaking which is absolutely amazing to have. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a pinch with no external monitor on my GH3 and wished I had focus peaking to help guide me through the shot. That is one of the biggest reasons I love this camera. It also has a 1080/60p mode, which the GH3 does have, but you won’t find in most DSLR’s including the 5D MKIII.

If you’ve never shot with a MFT mount camera before, there are some huge advantages to it, but it does take some getting used to. The biggest advantage is the fact that you can mount just about any lens on the camera because the short flange distance and the fact that it is mirrorless. The sensor size is smaller than APS-C and Full Frame, which many popular lenses are designed for so most popular lenses can be adapted to this sensor size without vignetting. The downside to this, is because of the smaller sensor size (and the 1.86x crop factor that comes along with it), you might need some new glass because a 24mm Full Frame lens on this camera will look closer to a 45mm.

Pros: It’s small, lightweight and inexpensive. Has excellent video quality and a great sensor. Feature rich with 1080/60p recording and focus peaking.

Cons: Mid-size sensor (smaller than APS-C), No headphone jack, build quality and stills quality are both mediocre.

Why it made the list: Incredible feature rich camera at a very low price point.

NIKON D5200 – $796

This is a camera that is very quickly making a name for itself, and one of the cameras I’m most excited to test out in my shootout next month. For ages, Nikon had failed to come out with a decent video mode on any of their cameras. I love Nikons and prefer them for stills over Canon in many circumstances, but they never really seemed to care about implementing a solid video mode until the last year or two. They slowly started to release more impressive video functionality on their DSLRs, and the D800 was the first of their cameras that I used that really had a great video mode. But it wasn’t until the D5200 came out, that I was really impressed, as it became obvious that they were serious about implementing solid video functionality into their cameras.

 

Take a look at the specs:

  • 24.1MP DX CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 3 Image Processing Engine
  • 3.0″ 921k-Dot Vari-Angle LCD Monitor
  • 39-Point AF System with 9 Cross-Type
  • Full HD Video with Full-Time Servo AF
  • Expandable ISO from 100-25600
  • 5fps Continuous Shooting Rate
  • Scene Recognition System
  • Compatible with WU-1a Wireless Adapter

The two big highlights with this camera for me are the low light performance – which is fantastic and amongst the best of any DSLR, and the fact that you can record uncompressed 4:2:2 from the HDMI to an external recorder like the Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle. The stills on this camera are also superb, and it boasts a big APS-C sized 24MP sensor. This is my favorite sensor size as it is the closest to 35mm motion picture film. Full frame is great, especially for low light, but I find more often than not, the depth of field can be too shallow for my taste, and the wides go just a little too far for my liking. It’s a great thing to have for certain shooting scenarios, but to get the closest to motion picture film, APS-C is right in the sweet spot.

There are few downsides to this camera, one of which (like most DSLR’s) is that it doesn’t have a headphone jack. The other downside is that the Nikon mount is one of the least adaptable mounts, meaning that if you want to use PL glass, or any number of other types of lenses, you won’t be able to. Nikon lenses are great, and there are quite a few manufacturers like Zeiss that make excellent Nikon mounted lenses, but depending on your lens collection, many of your lenses may not be useable on this camera. The other issue many people have with this camera is the inability to change aperture in video mode. You have to actually leave the video mode, change aperture and then come back in, which gets the job done, but can be annoying!

Pros: Amazing price point, fantastic in low light, great stills, uncompressed 4:2:2 HDMI output.

Cons: No headphone jack, limited lens selection, need to change aperture from stills mode.

Why it made the list: Uncompressed 4:2:2 and amazing low light ability on an entry level DSLR is almost unheard of.

GH3 – $1,298

A personal favorite of mine as many of you that are regulars on this site will well know. This is a great all round camera with a phenomenal image and packed with loads of features. If the G6 seemed appealing to you, but you might be looking to go one more step up, the GH3 is your best best. Since it is a MFT mount it is highly adaptable to loads of lenses (as described above with the G6) and the image quality is amongst the best of all of the cameras on this list. I recently edited a project that was shot on GH3 and C300, and the GH3 in many scenarios looked just as sharp to my eye in a real world scenario.

It is a very well rounded camera and you’ll see what I mean from the specs below:

  • 16.05MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
  • 4-CPU Venus Engine
  • Micro Four Thirds System
  • 3.0″ 614k-Dot Free-Angle OLED Monitor
  • 1744k-Dot OLED Live View Finder
  • Full HD 1080p Video at 60fps
  • 20fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-In Wi-Fi to Link to Smart Devices
  • Full-Area Auto Focus System, Pinpoint AF
  • Magnesium Alloy, Weather-Sealed Body

While there are a lot of cool innovations on this camera (like wifi remote control), what is most impressive about the camera is the overall image quality. Every time I shoot with it I am more and more impressed. Compared to a 5D for example, the clarity, sharpness and general IQ of the image is much higher. This is largely thanks to the strong 50mbps/72mbps recording modes that the camera shoots in. It’s not a low light king like the 5D or FS700, but it still performs very well in lowlight and is very clean up to ISO 1600. I often will use it as a b-cam for my Blackmagic camera as the BMCC can not shoot 1080/60fps and this can. They also both seem to have a very similar threshold for low light, possibly because the sensor size is quite similar. Outside of other basic, but crucial features that the GH3 has (like the headphone jack and incredibly long lasting battery), the camera is also well built. It is weather sealed and I’ve shot with it in heavy snow and sub 0 temperatures, and it didn’t bat an eye. My older GH2 in that scenario, wouldn’t have functioned at all.

The biggest downsides to this camera are the little things that could have been implemented, but weren’t. Focus peaking is the biggest one for me, especially seeing as how the G6 has it, it’s kind of a tease that we don’t get it on the GH3. Although some are hopeful it will come in a future firmware upgrade. There are other little extras I was hoping for like a 120fps mode in 720p, but that was not something they implemented on the camera unfortunately.

Pros: One of the sharpest images of any DSLR. Great bonus features like wifi control, 1080/60p, amazingly long lasting batter, well built and weather sealed.

Cons: No focus peaking (although it technically should be possible), Sensor crop of 2x (compared to full frame), HDMI out limited to 4:2:0.

Why it made the list: Best all round camera on this list, highly adaptable and amazing overall value.

Canon 5D MKIII – $3,499

The one that started it all – well the MKII that is. While the 5D is no longer the obvious best DSLR for video (unless you are factoring in the new firmware hack), it is still an excellent camera that has improved since the MKII. One thing that I’ll mention before we get to the specific features of this camera, is that one of the greatest things about the 5D is the fact that it is industry standard. Nearly every professional shoot I’ve been on that utilized DSLRs, was running the 5D. It is the tried and tested DSLR that most producers and production companies trust, as they’ve used it before and seen it work time and time again. That is by no means the only reason you should buy this camera, but if you plan to use your DSLR in a professional environment or renting it out, it may very well help to land gigs as the majority of productions looking for DSLRs are requesting 5D’s still to this day.

Here is the official list of specs:

  • 22.3MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • 3.2″ Clear View High Resolution LCD
  • DIGIC 5+ Image Processor
  • 61-Point High Density AF
  • Full HD 1080/30p and 720/60p Formats
  • Built-In HDR and Multiple Exposure Modes
  • Extended ISO Range (50-102400)
  • Up to 6.0 FPS Continuous Mode
  • Dual CF and SD Memory Card Slots
  • Durable Magnesium-Alloy Construction

Much of what I can say about the 5D has been said many times by many others over the years. It has a very nice image, although relatively soft compared to other DSLRs, it is very good in low light or no light scenarios and the colors off of the camera are very pleasing. In fact, although I typically prefer to shoot GH3 over 5D, the biggest benefit of 5D footage to me, is the colors straight off of the card are a bit more pleasing to my eye. The other great thing about the 5D is that it is an amazing stills camera. Arguably the best on this list outside of the next camera (the 1DC). It’s also very well built and there are loads of accessories for it since it is the most widely used of any of the cameras on this list.

The curveball with the 5D is the recent release of a new custom firmware by Magic Lantern. This firmware effectively allows you to shoot raw video on the MKIII, which is a massive breakthrough and something that has never been possible on a DSLR. The firmware is still being developed and is not completely stable yet, but in the coming months we are bound to see more and more Magic Lantern 5D’s on the market as the new firmware becomes stable. The biggest issue with shooting raw on the MKIII though, is the recording media that you need (which is extremely expensive as you need very fast cards. The other big issue is the raw workflow – It records to DNG files (not Cinema DNG), so you can’t bring that into DaVinci or FCP X or Premiere, or any NLE for that matter and just start working with it. It needs to be transcoded just like RED footage. For me personally, I wouldn’t mind doing this as the added quality in the image is well worth it. You get much more dynamic range, even better low light performance and an overall sharper and better image. That said, if you shoot events, corporate material or documentaries, you’ll likely never want to use this firmware, unless it is for the odd beauty shot here or there.

Pros: Industry standard, great stills, excellent lowlight, raw capable, headphone jack.

Cons: On the expensive side, no 60p in 1080 mode, relatively soft video even in 1080p, no articulating screen.

Why it made the list: Industry standard camera that keeps improving with new raw capabilities.

Canon 1DC – $11,999

This is a camera that I can not wait to test out in my shootout next month. It is the first DSLR to offer 4K video which is an amazing feature to have, although the 4K is still recording in 8bit not 10bit as I would have hoped. The camera is of course the most expensive on this list, and in my opinion way overpriced, although the image quality is the best of any DSLR on this list. The reason I say it is overpriced is simply because Canon also sells an identical camera (the 1DX) that is literally the same in almost every way, but its firmware doesn’t have a video mode. That camera is almost half the price of the 1DC at $6,799. Granted, I’m sure Canon didn’t want to take away from the sales of the C300 and other C-series cameras by offering a 4K alternative at $6,800, but it is still a bit of a slap in the face. Especially considering for $11,999 you could have a 1DX for stills and 4k Blackmagic Production Camera. The pricing just doesn’t make sense.

Regardless though, the specs speak for themselves:

  • 18.1Mp CMOS Sensor
  • 4K Cinematic Quality Video
  • 1920 x 1080 Full HD Video
  • Dual DIGIC 5+ Image Processors
  • 3.2″ LCD Screen
  • Eye-Level Pentaprism Viewfinder
  • Dual CF Card Recording Media
  • Canon EF Lens Mount
  • Magnesium Alloy Body
  • 61-Point High Density Auto Focus

Clearly the most impressive spec on the list is the ability to shoot 4K, which again is not available on any other DSLR. If 4K is a must for you and you like the ergonomics of a DSLR body for the type of shooting that you do, than this is your camera. The strange thing about the price point of the 1DC is that while it is the only 4K DSLR available, once you get into this price range there are several options for 4K cameras that will cost you less than this (Blackmagic production camera, Red Scarlet, Red one, etc.). So this may appeal to a very niche market – one that needs 4K but also needs the stealth form factor of a DSLR (although the body is still quite large). Documentary film makers and indie filmmakers looking to shoot guerilla style, may be the most helped by this camera, but unfortunately the price tag is very limiting. The other group this will appeal to are of course photographers, as this is one of the best DSLRs out there as far as still images go. So if you plan on shooting loads of stills professionally in addition to video, this camera is a great choice. If the price point was lower this is definitely a camera I would consider for myself, but the single reason I won’t buy it is because of the cost. I don’t have a problem paying for a camera of this price if I know that I get what I pay for, but knowing this has been marked up as much as it has, makes me not want to buy it. That is one of the reasons I support Panasonic so much. They take the opposite approach, packing in huge features to their cameras with much lower prices.

Pros: Amazing image (best on the list), 4K, incredible stills, very well built.

Cons: Way overpriced, 8 bit codec (for this price you should get 10bit at least), no articulating screen.

Why it made the list: The first and only 4K DSLR on the market, and the best image quality on the list.

UPDATE! By popular demand, I have added a camera that almost made the list initially:

Sony A99- $2,798

This fantastic camera almost made my initial list, but in the interest of keeping a Top 5 list (not a top 6!), I decided not to include this as it’s direct competitor, the 5D MKIII, had the benefit of being industry standard which gave it an edge. With that said, I have had loads of e-mails regarding this camera asking for it to be added to the list and have decided that it absolutely warranted an update to this post.  So the 6th spot officially goes to the Sony A99! It truly is a terrific camera by Sony that offers superb image quality (in both video and stills), a full frame sensor, 1080/60p mode and loads more. While the price isn’t as low as a GH3, which boasts similar specs, this will be preferable for many users that need a full frame camera, but are looking for something more more feature rich than anything from Canon’s lineup.

multicontroller_600x450

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Check out the impressive spec list:

  • 24.3MP full frame CMOS Exmor sensor
  • Translucent mirror technology
  • ISO range: 100-25,600 (ISO-low 50 is also available)
  • 102 points AF system
  • 3″ tiltable 921k dots LCD screen
  • Full HD video recording at 1920×1080/60p
  • Auto HDR capability
  • HDMI output
  • Built-in stereo mic
  • Headphone Jack
  • Selective noise reduction
  • Two memory slots: SD and SD+MS

The Sony A99 really has everything that you could ask for in a DSLR. The three most important functions for many shooters are of course the full frame sensor, 1080/60p and a headphone jack. I would assume that one of the only reasons this camera hasn’t completely stolen the spotlight from Canon’s 5D, is likely because of the price point. Sitting right around the same price as the 5D, most DSLR shooters are likely to go with the more familiar brand as it has become standardized to some degree. However, I would bet if the A99 was priced just slightly lower than it is, more Canon shooters would jump ship as the decision at that point would be a no brainer. If you are considering a 5D and do not plan on using it with the hack, I would definitely recommend taking a good look at the A99 before hand. In my opinion it is the better of the two cameras.

The downsides to this camera are pretty few and far between. The biggest complaint that most users have is that the battery life is quite short, which for me would not be a deal breaker. While I have been spoiled by the insanely long battery life from my GH3, I will always choose image quality over convenience so this should not be a huge issue to work around. The other problem is that the autofocus performance is less than ideal, however for most DSLR shooters, autofocus isn’t a major factor as they are often being used on a rig with follow focus, for more heavily planned shots.

Pros: Full Frame, Great in Low Light, beautiful stills, 1080/60p.

Cons: A bit on the pricy side if you are primarily using it for video, poor battery life, sub par auto focus.

Why it made the list: A viable competitor to the 5D MKIII and added by popular demand!

So who would use each camera?

All 6 of these cameras are excellent tools in their own way. I think most users will be torn between the 5D MK III and the GH3, as they both offer proven quality at a reasonable price. And deciding between those two really is a matter of how important stills are to you, and what kind of lenses you want to shoot on. Others like the G6 and D5200 will likely develop small niches for themselves, much like the GH1 and GH2 did years ago. These are great cameras but for one reason or another, such as the small form factor or brand name, these aren’t likely to become household name cameras like the 5D is. Regardless though, for someone shooting primarily their own content, and not worried about getting hired because they own a specific piece of gear, these two are great choices – especially the Nikon (if you don’t mind using mainly Nikon lenses). The A99 offers a fantastic alternative to the 5D, especially if you don’t need to shoot raw and need full frame slow motion. And the 1DC will be by far the least used because it is so costly, but may end up being a favorite for photo journalists that shoot video, rental houses as a cheap 4K option, and indie film makers looking for a stealth form factor with a high quality image.

As I mentioned on the top of this post, there are many, many more cameras that are close to as good as these, or in some respects better. There is no right or wrong camera, it is simply a matter of finding the one that suits your needs and budget and will get your story told. And it really isn’t about the camera in the end, it’s about what you do with it. More on that in my previous article – The Importance Of Story

For those of you looking to take the next step and develop your craft even further, be sure to check out my Guide For Capturing Cinematic Images With Your DSLR.

About Author

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!

72 Comments

  • Mejano
    December 3, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Hi, Noam. Any update about this list? Thanks. 🙂

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      December 7, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      Working on a new one as we speak!

      Reply
  • […] For you gear heads out there, if that trailer inspired you to take a second look at using DSLR for video, be sure to check out my recent list of my top 5 DSLRs for video. […]

    Reply
  • Hajar
    March 26, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Hi, I really found your article interesting. I need to buy a camera which I will be using mainly for video but I will also need to take stills. And I’m not really interested in buying extra lenses, I will just use the one that comes with the camera. So can you recommend Nikon d5300 or Panasonic g6. Unfortunately I don’t have the budget for a gh4 or a7s. Thanks

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 1, 2015 at 2:47 am

      For video I would say the G6, unless you need a lot of low light and then the d5300 will be better!

      Reply
      • Tom
        April 12, 2015 at 1:39 am

        Hi Noam, wich settings do you use on the G6, I have not found any indication of that on your website. What do you think about Portrait vs. Natural?

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          April 13, 2015 at 7:03 am

          I would say natural is the way to go!

          Reply
  • Jack McGovern
    March 11, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Noam,

    I’m having a tough time choosing between three cameras for video. I’m an amatuer filmmaker looking for a budget DSLR. I’m currently looking at the Sony A58, Nikon D5300, and the Panasonic GH3. I was wondering if you could tell me what would be best. I’m leaning towards Nikon because of low light capabilities but I know you said the GH3 is sharper. Is the image quality really that significant?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      March 13, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Hey Jack – I have used the GH3 much more extensively than the other two cameras on that list, so I would recommend it just based on my own experience. That said, it is definitely not a great low light camera so if you need low light performance and that is a priority for you, the D5300 might be the way to go.

      Reply
  • Hasiniavo Rasolohery
    December 18, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Hi,
    thank you for your answer.
    Last week , I am researching the GH4 , and I ‘ve found that with its 4K and above with 96 fps. This is certainly the best choice for dslr video.
    In addition , I find that the price is still affordable. And I really thank you for your precious help.
    I have a small favor to ask you, if you can of course 🙂
    If I could contact you one day , I would like more of your tips in my production.
    Thank you again.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      December 28, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks for visiting Hasiniavo! Yes the GH4 is incredible, and I included it on my updated list of the ‘Top 3 DSLRs for video in 2014). Feel free to email with questions any time through the contact page.

      Reply
  • mac
    December 16, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Noam,

    I am a TV-Journalist und I would like to buy a good but not too expensive camera that provides professional results. I know that the GH4 is excellent but can I also buy the G6 to get broadcast quality and invest in some fast primes rather than paying for a 4K-body I don’t need?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      December 28, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      Absolutely, the G6 is an option! However I would check with your broadcaster to see what their acquisition requirements are to ensure the G6 meets them.

      Reply
  • Hasiniavo Rasolohery
    December 9, 2014 at 10:34 am

    HI Noam!
    I really liked your post.
    I wrote something last week but i don’t see it now, but it’s not problem.
    I just want to know your advice, waht is the best choice if i want to buy a DSLR whit an professional video quality. Personally, i think that the 5D MK3 is so expensive. But i prefered between the Panasonic GH3 and the Sony A99 that i’m really in love. but i don’t know if it’s is an old choice.
    However, i see your post “Top 3 DSLR” and i want to know, it’s really the time to let fall my old choice? What do you recomand me?
    Thanks .

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      December 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Sorry about that! I just replied to it, so feel free to view my last comment.

      Reply
  • Hasiniavo Rasolohery
    December 5, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Hi
    Noam!
    Firstly, excuse me for my englih because im’not so advanced, but i tried
    and i use google translate sometimes 😛
    Iam starting at the DSLR’s video actually and i really liked your share,
    it help me for the choice when i will go to buy my new Dslr. But i have
    some questions if would like to reply me, i’ll be impatient to read
    your reply.

    I am starting at the DSLR ‘s video Actually and i really liked your share , it help me for the choice when i will go to buy my new DSLR . But i Have some issues if Would like to reply me , i ‘ll be looking forward to read your reply .
    When I read your post , I found that I liked the Panasonic GH3 and the Sony A99 more than the Canon 5D MkIII .
    If I class, I would say
    1- Sony Alpha 99
    2- Panasonic GH3 or 5D MkIII

    In fact, I realized that the 5D video was not as good as the Sony A99 , especially with these ideal 60fps for slow motion .
    In addition, for a personal reason , I preferred the other brands because I did not like that everyone had the 5D MK3 and I should have it too. I think it’s for his celebrity and his name ” Standard ” but not in overall quality. And it is more expensive.

    But when I ‘m doing more research , the largest Critique on the Sony A99 was his viewfinder was not optical and let me know your opinion. What is the biggest flaw of the viewfinder , you take it to an advantage because it is movable .

    If not, what brand /model you proposed to me ?
    Did I could have your ranking on these three ?
    Thank you .

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      December 15, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      Hi Hasiniavo,

      I also really like the Sony A99, but the only reason I never bought one was because I already owned a lot of Canon lenses and didn’t want to switch systems. That said, if I were to buy an A99 today, I would instead go for the Sony A7S due to it’s amazing low light ability. Alternatively, have you considered the Lumix GH4? Right now, that’s probably the single best DSLR for video – especially if you need 4K.

      Reply
  • Marco
    August 19, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Hi Noam,
    I’m searching for a good camera that can also make some very good video.
    I hope I’ll become a pro with video, but for now I’m just a beginner, not at my first experience, but first time thinking seriously to do something with video and movies (not only shooting with friend).
    But I wanna also take the camera with me during my travel or my holiday, so I’m pretty scared about the DSLR for their weight, ’cause they’re pretty big cameras, etc.
    So I thought about mirrorless and my research (and also my budget) take me to this choice:

    Lumix g6 or Canon 700D or Nikon 5200?

    Some advice? Some other option??

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 21, 2014 at 12:57 am

      Hi Marco, thanks for checking out the site. The lumix G6 is really an amazing camera. I haven’t shot much with the other two so I can’t really comment there, but with regards to video quality the G6 is probably the way to go!

      Reply
  • Ling
    August 17, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    hi Noam, awesome blog! Thank you for sharing your knowledge! Any advice to an amateur on videos? I travel to video natural scenery and interior spaces, highly relying on natural light. Would you consider Fujifilm xt1 for that purpose? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 17, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      Hi Ling, thanks for the feedback! I can’t say that I’ve used the XT1 myself, but I’m sure it’s very capable. The best advice I can give you is just keep shooting as much as you can. The more you shoot the better you’ll get, so just keep at it and pick up the tools and knowledge that you need as your requirements grow.

      Reply
  • Ro
    August 8, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Howdy Noam!
    How are you?
    Trust your well. Great to read your blogs……just ace.
    Just a quick query if I may…
    Can you recommend some lenses for the G6 lumix that ive bought? Im looking to use it mostly for video for landscape in potential low light & also action video (kayaking)
    Cheers & I look forward to your response!
    Ro 🙂

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Many thanks Ro – things are good over here. Have you checked out the Lumix 20mm 1.7 pancake lens? That’s an excellent choice for low light. The 12-35 Lumix is also an incredible lens, although a bit pricey. If you like manual lenses, check out some manual Nikkors. You can get them really cheap and they are great quality. You just need a Nikon – MFT adapter.

      Reply
  • […] have been so many fantastic DSLR releases that I felt it was about time to write a follow up to my Top 5 DSLRs For Video article. This time around though, I decided to narrow it down even further, and give my picks for […]

    Reply
  • Simon
    April 12, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    I suspect that the Sony RX-10 may beat the lot of them – even with its one inch sensor!!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 28, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Could be! I will need to update this post soon since there have been a lot of changes in the last few months…

      Reply
  • John
    February 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Hey Noam, great review on the cameras!

    I’m starting a movie making course soon and I wanna buy a decent and versatile camera for shooting video. I was almost sure about the Nikon D5200, but my friends here in Brazil told me to consider the Canon T3i because of Magic Lantern. Recently I checked the Nikon D7100 (one site says it is “the long awaited upgrade to the D90”). I was told to buy a 50mm lens and a 70-300mm lens too. I believe I could spend $1400 on it all and the Nikon D7100 already comes with a 18-140mm lens included in its package. Could you please help me to choose the best option for my needs?

    My needs are:
    – video should look as closely as possible like film quality (I mean professional movie quality, cinema, etc).
    – excellent low-light performance.
    – affordable lenses
    – versatility
    – durability

    Thank you,
    John.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      March 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Hi John,

      I think one of the best options might be the Lumix GH4 as it will meet many of your requirements and can also shoot 4K. It might not be as good in low light as some of the Canon’s with slightly larger sensors, but it won’t be bad by any stretch! Otherwise, the D5300 is a great option too.

      Reply
  • Bjørnar Knutsen
    February 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Hello

    I am trying to figure out what equipment to buy for making vidoes of people flying in wind tunnels.

    I am a tunnel instructor, and I would like to start making some good quality videos.

    Been thinking about the Canon 70d, because of all the good things people say about it’s autofocus in video. And a sigma 18-35mm f1.8, or a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L, or a 24-105mm f/4 L, but now I just don’t know. This article made me look at the Panasonic G6

    Would really apreciate some advice!

    Here is a video of some people tunnelflying:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55u3_kqi0Wg

    Thank you.
    Bjørnar Knutsen

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 15, 2014 at 2:20 am

      Both are great options, but if you already have some Canon glass, then I would go for the 70d. Regardless though, I would wait until NAB before purchasing anything as there may be some really innovative cameras around the corner. Also, check out the Lumix GH4 if you haven’t already…

      Reply
  • Matt
    February 4, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Hey Noam, thanks for those great reviews! I’m wanting to purchase my first dslr to hopefully get me started into a videography career, but have a limited budget. So I was wondering your thoughts about the Sony A58 (if I’m correct, it’s the newest Sony Alpha-series dslr). One recommendation for me was the G6 as you mentioned here, but two other people have recommended the A58 over it and I was wondering what your thoughts would be on it. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 15, 2014 at 2:13 am

      Hi Matt, Sony makes some excellent DSLR’s, but I haven’t used their line as much as Panasonic. If you need a trusted name go with Canon (maybe a T5 or similar) as clients most often request shooters with Canon gear, but if you’re using it mainly for your own work, you can go with anything that fits your budget! I would demo them both in store to see which one feels best… Both should be capable of a nice image in the right hands.

      Reply
  • shipa
    January 23, 2014 at 7:59 am

    i heard that nikon camera does not give look like a film .but canaon camera give. please tell me which one canon or nikon

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      Hi Shipa – The film look really comes more from how you as the DP create the shot, rather than the camera itself. I don’t think Canon or Nikon look particularly filmic right out of the camera, but you can make them look great with good lighting and color correction.

      Reply
  • Shipu
    January 23, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Please help me can you tel me which camera i should buy. i just want to shoot small home based studio interview video . i am so confused. please help me
    1. Nikon D5100
    2. canon 600D
    3. Panasonic lumix GH6
    4. sony alpha 65

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 27, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      I would go with the Canon or Lumix depending on what type of lenses you prefer. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Shish
    January 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Great review of a lot of the cameras I’ve been looking at purchasing. I’ve been trying to nail down the one that will best suit my needs and thanks to your reviews, I’ve almost settled on the D5200. I mainly film in-car video tutorials using ambient light. I need a good auto-focus, excellent low-light capability and as wide a field of view as possible. Except for the frame size, the D5200 is at the top of my list. I just wanted to see what your thoughts on this were, considering the type of filming I do.

    Again, thanks for your time in reviewing these cameras, it’s been a huge help at getting educated on the latest and greatest!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 14, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      Sounds great Shish. The D5200 would be an excellent choice for you as would the Canon 5D MK III (although it’s much pricier) or the Canon 70D. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • John M
    December 30, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Hi Noam,

    I am wondering if you have looked at the Nikon D5300? It seems to do 1080p/60p recording from what it looks like. Although I can not for the life of me find out what bit rates it records at, or if it does intra frame recording, or what color compression is used. Would you happen to have any idea about that?

    Also, Is the GH3 the only DSLR camera that you know of that records at higher bit rates? If so, does the GH3 Perform Autofocus while recording? I think I’ve come to understand that it definitely does not auto focus while recording, but I wanted to ask to be sure.

    I’m in the middle of doing as much research as I can to find a good camera for around $1,000 and it’s very difficult (even if I didn’t have a budget, it seems the more expensive ones always leave out features that should probably be there). I’m running around everywhere trying to piece together as much information as I can. I like to know what I’m doing before I do it! Very time consuming, but it pays off in the end 😛

    Thank you very much for such a great article, btw! It has served as one of the more useful pieces of information so far in my quest!

    Reply
    • John M
      January 3, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      After some more recent reading, I’ve actually started to understand that the GH3 does perform Autofocus while recording. My mistake! I misread or misunderstood something. I still would definitely like to know if there are any other camera’s out there that do higher bit rate recordings. I must say, I’m very impressed with the 50/72 Mbps recording features! I believe Panasonic has (or had) a (dedicated) media and format at one time for some of the low end professional video cameras called AVC-Intra 50 and AVC-Intra 100. So that fact that this camera can do Intra at 50 Mbps at 24p and 30p (apparently the 30p is actually 60i with some extra math magic involved) is very impressive and while I may not need it…I definitely want it 🙂

      Reply
      • Noam Kroll
        January 14, 2014 at 6:38 pm

        Yes it is quite an amazing piece of gear! The GH4 (which I hope will be out next month) is going to be even better, so keep an eye out.

        Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 14, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Hi John, Thanks for the kind words.

      I have heard some great things about the D5300 – especially in low light situations, although I haven’t used it myself yet. I’ll have to double check the codec that they are using, but as far as I remember it isn’t an ALL I codec, and is probably around 17 – 24 mbps.

      The GH3 can autofocus and does have one of the highest bit rates of any DSLR today. The 5D MKIII is also quite good, and there are a couple of others that are starting to offer higher bit rate recording. Right now though, the best two and GH3 and MK III.

      Have you looked into the Blackmagic Pocket Camera at all? It might be a great option for you given the image capabilities and the price point!

      Reply
      • John M
        January 14, 2014 at 8:25 pm

        Hi Noam,

        Thanks for the reply! I was concentrating a lot on video features, and completely forgot to mention that I’m highly interested in using the camera as a stills camera also! So while I’m very impressed with Blackmagic products in general (I browsed their site and I couldn’t believe the prices! Everything was very low cost relative to traditional cinema equipment!), I am looking for a great hybrid camera. I almost want to say I’m primarily looking for a stills camera, but it’s more of a 50/50 thing. I am looking for a great balance of both stills and video. I’ve looked at several cameras and none of them have everything I’m looking for (within my price range), but considering the camera I will be coming from and how pleased I was with it (Olympus E-500), I realized I could concentrate primarily on the video features, and the GH3 just has the best video features that I’ve been able to find (that also shoots stills). Every other camera (including the 5D Mark III) has limited recording lengths for many different reasons (including limited clip sizes) but the GH3 seems to only be limited by the speed and size of the media card that you use. Which is great because I would be interested in doing extended recording for different reasons. I am a little disappointed in the HDMI output color compression, but I don’t see why that couldn’t be fixed or changed with a firmware update. I just keep coming back to the GH3 and so I think that’s the camera I’m going to grab! 🙂

        Thanks again for the valuable reviews!

        Reply
      • John M
        January 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm

        Hi Noam,

        Thanks for the reply! I was concentrating a lot on video features, and completely forgot to mention that I’m highly interested in using the camera as a stills camera also! So while I’m very impressed with Blackmagic products in general (I browsed their site and I couldn’t believe the prices! Everything was very low cost relative to traditional cinema equipment!), I am looking for a great hybrid camera. I almost want to say I’m primarily looking for a stills camera, but it’s more of a 50/50 thing. I am looking for a great balance of both stills and video. I’ve looked at several cameras and none of them have everything I’m looking for (within my price range), but considering the camera I will be coming from and how pleased I was with it (Olympus E-500), I realized I could concentrate primarily on the video features, and the GH3 just has the best video features that I’ve been able to find (that also shoots stills). Every other camera (including the 5D Mark III) has limited recording lengths for many different reasons (including limited clip sizes) but the GH3 seems to only be limited by the speed and size of the media card that you use. Which is great because I would be interested in doing extended recording for different reasons. I am a little disappointed in the HDMI output color compression, but I don’t see why that couldn’t be fixed or changed with a firmware update. 🙂 The GH3 just seems like the best choice for what I’m looking for atm. I just wish it cost a little less, but considering it’s feature set, it’s really nothing to complain about (personally, even if the Mark III was within the same price range, I’d still opt for the GH3 for several reasons; built in flash, auto focus while recording, 60 FPS recording, unlimited clip size and record time (obvious limitations aside) and a few other things that I remember reading about, but can’t quite think of atm 😛 ) Anywho, thank you again very much for the great article!

        Reply
    • John M
      January 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      Hi Noam,

      Thanks for the reply! I was concentrating a lot on video features, and completely forgot to mention that I’m highly interested in using the camera as a stills camera also! So while I’m very impressed with Blackmagic products in general (I browsed their site and I couldn’t believe the prices! Everything was very low cost relative to traditional cinema equipment!), I am looking for a great hybrid camera. I almost want to say I’m primarily looking for a stills camera, but it’s more of a 50/50 thing. I am looking for a great balance of both stills and video. I’ve looked at several cameras and none of them have everything I’m looking for (within my price range), but considering the camera I will be coming from and how pleased I was with it (Olympus E-500), I realized I could concentrate primarily on the video features, and the GH3 just has the best video features that I’ve been able to find (that also shoots stills). Every other camera (including the 5D Mark III) has limited recording lengths for many different reasons (including limited clip sizes) but the GH3 seems to only be limited by the speed and size of the media card that you use. Which is great because I would be interested in doing extended recording for different reasons. I am a little disappointed in the HDMI output color compression, but I don’t see why that couldn’t be fixed or changed with a firmware update. 🙂 The GH3 just seems like the best choice for what I’m looking for atm. I just wish it cost a little less, but considering it’s feature set, it’s really nothing to complain about (personally, even if the Mark III was within the same price range, I’d still opt for the GH3 for several reasons; built in flash, auto focus while recording, 60 FPS recording, unlimited clip size and record time (obvious limitations aside) and a few other things that I remember reading about, but can’t quite think of atm 😛 ) Anywho, thank you again very much for the great article! (I wrote this a few days ago, but I replied to your comment instead of my original, so it didn’t show up 😛 at the time of writing, I hadn’t received my GH3 yet, but I now have it and I love it so far, but I’m still learning the camera. I have a lot of reading and playing to do. I’m excited to really use it though on some projects that I will hopefully finish! )

      Reply
  • Max
    December 20, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Hi Noam,

    I am looking for a new camera to shoot video with (I am upgrading from the 550d) and am stuck between the 5d mk3, the 6d and the GH3. I am going to primarily shoot nature, documentary and video in urban environments. I enjoy photography but the main focus would be video. Let’s say budget is not an issue for arguments sake, which camera would you recommend?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      December 30, 2013 at 12:41 am

      Hi Max – I would say either the MK III or GH3 is the way to go. If you plan on doing any stills professionally, go with the 5D, but if you really want to focus on video I definitely think GH3 is the best choice!

      Reply
  • ralph braseth
    December 18, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Thank you. I get so tired of “top camera” lists where there is an obvious bias. I have a Sony A99 and thanks to you picked up a Panasonic GS3 which has spectacular video by the way. Here’s to a guy who writes online to helps others like me. Cheers to you sir. Your views are on the money and without a hidden IOU to a Sony or Canon, etc.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      December 19, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Thanks very much Ralph – I sincerely appreciate your feedback. Glad to hear I helped you make a decision and congrats on the new camera!

      Reply
  • john
    November 22, 2013 at 6:05 am

    DO you think there is a big difference in the video from the full frame canon 5D lll and the lumix GH3
    ? since the Gh3 has a 17.3mm x 13mm sensor and the 5D M lll has a 36 mm x 24mm sensor?
    Mostly interested in video ,price plays a big part but hate to upgrade again for awhile. Would think the larger the sensor the more accurate the video quality ,along with image process speed.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 23, 2013 at 8:07 am

      Hi John,

      I’ve always preferred the look of the GH3 over the Canon 5D as the image is much sharper and more detailed. The Canon 5D’s full frame sensor won’t actually make the quality better as HD video is still only about 2 megapixels, but it will give you a different look. If you want super-wide angle shots and ultra shallow depth of field, you’ll want a 5D. But if you just want the best overall image and the ability to use just about any lens in the world on the camera, then definitely go with the GH3.

      Hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Danillo Whesley
        January 31, 2015 at 2:33 pm

        deixa eu entender , a GH3 aceita todos tipos de lente ? mais pressiza usar metabones ?

        Reply
  • arussellh
    November 16, 2013 at 1:24 am

    I own a 70d (canon), and I have been thinking of returning it for the pansonic gh3. The 70d autofocus is amazing.. But I think I’d rather have a slimmer camera. I like the fact that it can record in 1080 60p, and I really like the fact that the camera is weathered proof.

    So lost not sure.. Ive been too all the stores looking for the gh3 so i can examine it in person, but there is not a single camera store in my area that carries panasonic..

    Have you personally examined the new 70d? and if so which camera is the better one for video shooting???

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 19, 2013 at 4:15 am

      The 70d is a great camera, but for my personal preference I would still take the GH3 as the autofocus feature is something that I rarely (if ever) use. That said, if you do a lot of events and need a good autofocus feature – stick with your cam! Both are capable of great images in the right hands…

      Reply
  • Pawel
    November 11, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Hi Noam,

    Great article, quick question. I am about to get a new camera and because of the type of the photography I do I have chosen D800 (eventually D800E). What’s your opinion on their video capabilities? Will it suffice for family clips and some short films?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 11, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      Thank you Pawel – To answer your question, yes for your needs the D800 is an excellent camera! I wouldn’t worry about looking at any other options unless you are shooting a specific type of professional video. You’ve got a great camera on your hands.

      Reply
  • Ora
    November 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you for this great article. Only thing that I disagree is Sony A99’s low light capabilities. Actually, it is not very good in low light, which was surprising for me. Otherwise I like it very much. It is very easy to get good looking footage with it.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 6, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Good to know Ora – I haven’t shot much with it in low-light, but I will do some homework on this…

      Reply
  • Drew
    July 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Noam,

    Just wondering if you had an opinion on the new AF system for canons upcoming 70d and its implication for videography?

    Regards

    Drew

    Reply
  • Drew
    July 29, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Noam,

    Great article(as always).

    Just wondering if you have an opinion on the upcoming canon 70d and its new AF system and it’s implications for videography? I’ve read elsewhere that it’s touted to come up directly against the gh3..?

    Cheers
    Drew

    Reply
    • Noam
      August 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Drew,

      Thanks for visiting, and sorry for the delayed response. I have heard very good things about the autofocus on the Canon 70d, however this particular camera hasn’t been of much interest to me personally. Outside of the autofocus (which I typically wouldn’t use because I mainly shoot narrative), the IQ of the camera and the rest of the feature set hasn’t done enough for me to consider it over a GH3 or 5D MKIII for example. THat said, I’m sure it is capable of producing some great images in the right hands, as are most DSLRs!

      Reply
  • Justin
    July 24, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Why no love for Sony A99? It has everything you need including hdmi out, silent audio wheel, evf, high iso, full frame, 60p and 24p, zeiss lenses with af if ever needed.. Prices came down.

    Reply
    • Noam
      July 25, 2013 at 2:13 am

      The A99 is a fantastic camera and definitely deserves a mention. My intention with this list was to cover a wide range of prices and types (hence the G6) rather than just the top of the line DSLR’s if that makes sense. In my opinion the A99 outperforms the 5D, but I left the 5D on the list for a number of reasons including the new raw hack (although I’m not a huge advocate of it) and the fact that it is industry standard.

      In the near future I would like to do a shoot out with the top 10 DSLR’s for video and base it strictly on performance and no other variables. I’m sure the A99 will shine!

      Reply
      • Justin
        July 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

        Thanks Noam for the article. I owned the 7d and now have the a99 the only think I miss is some of my lenses. But a99 is a pleasure to use with my 24-70 zeiss. I use af to set approx focus then dial in manually with peaking. Works like a charm and I can output to hdmi yet still use camera LCD. Things I could not do with 7d. My how things change so quickly though. I still look at those gh3 with curiosity. But I’ll probably get an Oly and use it for stills and street photo stuff.

        Reply
  • Jeremiah B. Mathis
    July 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I was really excited when I saw the Nikon on your list. So, I went to check out the Nikon specs for it and the 7100. (I currently use a D7000 right now for everything, but it only shoots 24fps.) It turns out that they only do interlaced at 1920 x 1080. It was a bummer.

    Other than that, I love the article!

    Reply
    • Noam
      July 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks Jeremiah. Yes unfortunately it only does 1080/60i or 1080/24p, although a lot of the early press releases on it seemed to say otherwise!

      Reply
  • Gustavo A. Garzon
    July 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks, Noam.

    Thank you for your kind answer, man. I wish you all the best in your projects. Godspeed.

    Reply
  • Gustavo A. Garzon
    June 19, 2013 at 3:29 am

    Hey, Noam

    Cool, informative and very thorough website you have. Thx for putting it all out to the world. Good karma!

    I have a question which might seem stupid since I’m gonna pit three cams against each other but only one has been out and tested, especially by you.

    Lumix DMC-GH3 vs CANON HFG30 vs Blackmagic pocket, the future darling of indie filmmaking.

    Ok, so DSLR with 24 and 60p vs one camcorder with same specs and the lossless RAW minus 60p. I gotta shoot a doc and LOVE 60 fps (I just got a go pro Hero 3 which does shoot at 60 fps.) Which one would you pick? Think about doc, following someone all over the place.

    The problem now is we do not really know if Blackmagic is gonna do another faux pas and come out late with its pocket jewel as opposed to late July (and backordered???). I am hearing great things about the canon camcorder too…

    btw, would u recommend micro 2/3 for the GH3? or old ones one can get at EBAY. If so, which ones? I come from the ALEXA, RED EPIC, etc -rented of course- and wanna dive into personal, affordable filmmaking.

    Any advice BRIEF OR NOT will be helpful.

    Thanks, bro

    Good luck and all the best with your projects!

    Godspeed,

    Gustavo

    Reply
    • Noam
      July 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Hi Gustavo –

      The great thing about documentary film making is that you can almost get away with using any camera as long as your story is still told well. With that said, I have worked on documentary projects that shot on Red Epic (landscape/nature oriented pieces), and worked on some that used a mix of gopro/iphone/dslr. So it really comes down to which camera best serves your story. If your content requires the best possible visuals out there (and you aren’t shooting in the next few months), I would definitely say go with the pocket camera. If you need something immediately with good image quality and slow motion capabilities, the GH3 is the way to go. Or if you need a camera that will be a workhorse and be the easiest/most efficient to use – go with the HGG30, however the image quality will take a hit.

      Sorry this answer wasn’t as clear cut as just giving you a single camera, but the truth is any of the 3 could work for your purposes, and if you really think about what you need (in terms of image quality and ease of use), that will help you make your decision. The same goes for lenses. I prefer vintage glass or high end lenses (like zeiss) whenever possible. But I also mainly shoot narrative, so for documentary, you may be best served with lenses like the Lumix 12-35 or Lumix 35-100 as they are sharp and will work natively with either of the m43 cameras you’re looking at.

      Reply
  • […] in the market for a DSLR that shoots great video, but don’t know where to start – check out my article on the top 5 DSLRs for video today. Please share and help support the […]

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  • […] If you’re in the market for DSLR options for you film, check out my recent post on my top 5 DSLRs for video. And if you’re torn between the GH2 and GH3, here is my recent comparison between the GH2 and […]

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  • The Importance of Story | Noam Kroll
    June 11, 2013 at 3:58 am

    […] you to take a second look at using DSLR for video, be sure to check out my recent list of my top 5 DSLRs for video. Please share and help support the […]

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  • Sittipong Kongtrong
    June 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    This was a great article. I had used and tested some of those you mentioned above. Here was the tested I had done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LFScYvOqD4
    I used my GH3 as a second camera for movie, the 1 cam was Epic. Only the tiny GH3 thaw has more quality to match the Epic than any other top end DSLR.

    Reply
  • antonio
    June 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Great article ! I just bought the Panasonic G6, I think is great step up from GH2, a part for the multi aspect sensor, I can really notice it. Better banding è, DR, no moire (GH3 has it). Not sure about the iso performance. I did a test with, but still unsure with the result.
    https://vimeo.com/67939595
    would be great to have your opinion about it

    thanks a lot

    Reply
    • Noam
      June 8, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks for sharing this antonio! And congrats on your G6. The camera is really amazing, especially for the price. Your test was great, I find it interesting that some of the higher ISOs are less noisy than the increments under them. For example 1250 seems cleaner than 1000. Might have to do with the base ISO of the camera.

      Reply

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