Question: Hey guys. I’m not sure if this is the best place to ask but here we go. I wanted some input on what camera to buy. I’m willing to spend $700. My main focus is to take good quality videos. My smartphone is acting up and has no more storage left for me. I wanted to know what do you guys recommend for a beginner. I’ve heard Cannon is better for taking photos, but not videos. I’m looking into Sony as well, but I’m not sure if that’s the best option. My primary focus is to have good video quality. I would only take photos sometimes. I would love to know your suggestions.
Reply: If I had to purchase a device exclusively for video right now, I’d take a good hard look at some of the available GoPro cameras. I’ve owned them in the past and they are of excellent quality. Although, I’m not sure how much customization is available with those cameras in the way of narrowing or widening the shots. With a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you can obviously change lenses and settings, so you have much more flexibility when it comes to making the scene appear as you want. As far as brands go, I’ve only shot with Canon. I’ve had good luck taking video with my Canon, but only on the newer models, such as the T7i. Check out the brand new Canon T8i. Read this:
There’s faster burst shooting, better video formats and upgraded autofocus, with Face Detection even in viewfinder shooting, as well as Eye Detection in Live View.
4K UHD video at 24p; 4K UHD timelapse at 30p
Full HD video up to 60p
On the video side of things, the T8i offers improved features over the T7i thanks to the new image processor. The camera now features 4K UHD video at 24p, whereas the predecessor only offered up to 1080p video. Additionally, the T8i includes a timelapse movie feature that can create high-res timelapse movies directly in-camera (offered at both 4K UHD and 1080p at 30p). Of course, Full HD and 720p HD video modes are also offered, with frame rates for 1080p offered in 24, 30 and 60p for NTSC, while 720p is available at just 60p. Furthermore, there is an HDR Movie option for 1080p30 as well as the ability to shoot Full HD videos using Creative Filters (offered in both 24p and 30p).
The majority of video resolutions and framerates utilize the IPB compression scheme (inter-frame compression). And a more compressed IPB Light option is also available for 1080p30 video. Both 4K and 1080p Timelapse movie mode uses the higher-quality ALL-I intra-frame compression scheme. All video modes other than timelapse movie use the MP4 format (time-lapse is .MOV) with MPEG-4/H.264 encoding. Stereo audio is recorded in AAC format.
Autofocus is available in video mode, with Dual Pixel CMOS AF offered for Full HD and HD modes. However, the camera uses contrast-detection AF for 4K video; Dual Pixel CMOS AF is not available.
As with most Canon cameras, continuous video recording time, regardless of video resolution, is limited to 29 minutes, 59 secs.
This upgraded Canon seems pretty awesome for video.
I have a buddy who is getting into shooting video and has used both the GoPro as well as a Canon DSLR. I’ll send this post over to him so he can chime in with his opinion on both.
Reply: It all depends on your style and how much gear you want to lug around. The newest Gopro Hero 8 ($299) is very good for action, obviously, but can also be used to get nice cinematic footage by changing the wide angle to a more linear view and utilizing it’s high frame rate for slow motion. It has hyper stabilization (you can sprint with it on uneven ground and the footage comes out smooth as butter). If you were to attempt that with a DLSR handheld, you would have nauseating footage from the shakiness. As stated above though, the DLSR gives you much more artistic freedom as you can narrow and expand the aperture, allowing you to adjust depth of field (getting those nice blurred backgrounds while focusing on your subject), and the sky is the limit with lens configurations allowing you to manipulate your focal length. My favorite thing to do with the DLSR is time-lapses; the Gopro can accomplish this too but with greater limitations. The biggest limitation I’ve found with the DLSR is that when you start moving quickly, it is very hard to keep footage smooth, unless you were to invest in a gimbal which is big $$ and a big space taker. The biggest limitation of the GoPro is the focal length is set and there is no zooming options. It’s all situational. I end up taking them both with me and using each for different things. At the end of the day, if your style is “run and gun” shots, the GoPro is probably better, and if you want to be more engaged and artful with your footage the DLSR is probably a better choice. My advice, get them both! Good luck!