I am a film student and I have a cannon XL1 that has served me well but I would like to get into the HD arena, and I was wondering what would be better a DSLR or a prosumer camcorder. I am looking to spend 1200 and I have seen a few out there and was wondering which would be the better way to go. Plus I am running final cut X and don't want to deal with the hassle of changing up software.
Answer by Razor512 · Dec 08, 2012 at 03:30 PM
For your budget, I recommend getting a canon T3i then using the rest of the money to get a good lens. http://www.amazon.com/Canon-T3i-Digital-Imaging-18-55mm/dp/B004J3V90Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354992482&sr=8-1&keywords=canon+t3i
Camcorders in this price range will not give you to good control over depth of field and bokeh that you will get from a DSLR.
It also has support for an external mic and is supported by the magic lantern firmware which allows it to function more closely to a more professional video recording camera.
many sale prices basically knock off the the price of the kit lens.
(wanted to include a tip for those who are new to DSLR's, if you can get the kit lens for cheap, then go for it, while many don't recommend using them, they are great for when you are ready to learn better composition while out in the field. It will also get you experience with using the camera in various environments and dealing with the non perfectly clean air which will eventually dirty the lens thus requiring you to clean it. Better to learn from composing and cleaning a cheap lens than to jump head first into doing this with a expensive lens.
Answer by sfrancis928 · Dec 09, 2012 at 03:43 AM
As Razor512 said, there aren't really any dedicated camcorders worth going for in that price range, so I'd suggest getting a DSLR or mirrorless stills camera for way less, then buy a couple good lenses.
I love my Sony NEX-5N. The video quality stands up to the Canon lineup, the codec is better so the files are half the size (while keeping the same detail), and you can mount just about any lens you want to it because of the versatility of the E-Mount. Really a great camera, and you can get it for $500 with the kit lens. The newer NEX-5R is also a very intriguing option, just a little more expensive. I love the fact that the screen flips up and you can download an app for time lapse. But I imagine the video quality is similar.
The Panasonic GH2 is also a great option, but only if you want to hack it. If you do, it can produce some stunning results, with amazing detail. The GH3 was just recently announced, but it's slightly out of your price range, even without any lenses.
You might want to check out Philip Bloom's reviews. He always does a fantastic job. His Christmas Shootout last year helped me out in making my decision to go with the 5N.
At the end of the day, it's all about what's best for YOUR personal, very specific needs. So none of us can definitively say which camera you should get.
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