DSLR cameras are no longer just for taking awesome pictures as almost all modern DSLR cameras come with video shooting capabilities. Today, there are numerous cameras capable of shooting High Definition 1080 p videos. The sheer number of camera options available to you can make the search for the best DSLR for HD 1080p video recording difficult and time-consuming, especially if you are on a budget. Fortunately, finding a good low-cost DSLR camera is very much possible. After sampling a good number of the DSLR options available, we have compiled a list of the best based on cost and general ease of use.
At just under $ 600 the cost of the Sony, NEX-F3K seems to belie the cameras amazing video recording capabilities. To start with, the camera features the same sensor found in larger and pricier Sony DSLR cameras, meaning that the NEX-F3K is 13 times more powerful than your ordinary point and shoot camera. The Sony NEX-F3 is a versatile camera capable of recording full 1080p in three different formats, 1080/601, 24 p AVCHD and the PC friendly 1080/30 p MP4 format. Although the NEX-F3K is bigger than its predecessor, the 5N its deeper hand grip and front placement of the shutter button makes it more pleasant to shoot with.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4
With a 16.05 megapixel digital live sensor capable of capturing high definition 4K 3840×2160 30p/24p and DCI 4K 4096×2160 videos, the Panasonic Lumix is the perfect low-cost alternative to some of the pricier DSLRs such as the Red Epic Camera. The Lumix has a magnesium alloy body that makes it ideal for outdoor video recording. The camera also features a 3 inch OLED display and a high speed 49 autofocus for both video and photo mode.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Pro: Fast autofocus, and weather resistant body
Con: Lack of detail and low-quality videos compared to some of its competitors
The Canon EOS 7D Mark might not be the best professional DSLR camera from Canon, but that is not to say that it should be counted out of the race. Designed to meet the artistic needs of videographers, the Canon Mark II has a dual pixel autofocus for a smoother video shooting experience. Additionally, the camera is fitted with a rugged shutter capable of shooting up to 10 frames per second for continuous shooting.
Sony Alpha a7S
Pro: Records awesome 1080p full HD video
Con: Lacks a touchscreen display and has a low battery life
Hailed as the smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera, the Sony Alpha a7S is another low-cost camera with features similar to those of high-end cameras. The camera is equipped with a large 35mm sensor that is unique to it. The sensor allows for recording of both 4K and 1080p HD videos in low light. Also, the Sony Alpha features an electronic shutter that eliminates shutter noise making the camera great for discreet recording of videos. The built-in Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication Technology allows for sharing of videos.
Canon EOS Mark III
The Canon EOS Mark III is another great shooter from Canon. The Mark III has the most sophisticated Autofocus of any Canon DSLR. Characterized by speed, accuracy, and consistency, the sophisticated autofocus of this camera works exceptionally well with almost every kind of lens you can find. The build of the camera is weather resistant thanks to a magnesium alloy covering and the added rubber is offers more grip for a better video shooting experience.
Canon C100 Cinema EOS
Pro: Has the same video quality as the more expensive C300
Con: Lacks a Dual Pixel upgrade
The Canon C100’s design is inspired by that of its pricier cousin, the C300. Thus, you get the same video quality you would get with the C300 but at half the cost. Additionally, the C100 is much smaller than its pricier cousin making it ideal for shooting documentaries, and events. Ironically, the C100 has additional features that the C300 lacks such as the one-shot autofocus, built-in microphone and push auto iris.
Nikon D4s 16.2 MP Digital Camera
Lastly but definitely not least is the Nikon D4s with a 16.2 Megapixel FX-Format Sensor. The Nikon D4s has increased ISO, which means that you can shoot videos in different light conditions. The ISO speed of the D4s stands at a mind-boggling 25,600, which is two times higher than that of the more expensive Nikon D800. The Autofocus of this camera is also fast and performs exceptionally well in low light.