Budget DSLRs

ChrisMurphy
ChrisMurphy Website User Posts: 61
Hi,
I am a film minor at my college, and also make many short films for leisure. I wanted to get a better camera then I have now.
I have been looking at the Canon T3i for a while and there are some decent prices out there.
I also have been told of the Nikon D3200 for similar pprices.
Any suggestions? Links? Tips?
Thanks!

Comments

  • GKDantas
    GKDantas Website User Posts: 133
    Hi Chris
    I use a T3i to film fullHD (you will need a faster SD card to get a good filming time, or it will stop sometimes, and this is boring).
    I really like that I can use Technicolor flat presets in T3i and also if you want more control you can use Magic Lantern (some kind of a second firmaware) to control a lot of things.
    Actually the problem inst the camera body but the lens, so I have the default 18-55 mm lens, but its very dark (F 3.5 this does a dark lens, and you will need light to do some good shots) and have also my beloved 50mm F1.8 that is a very clear lens but its almost a closeup lens.
    The only thing I would like to have in this body is HDR and 60 FPS to create better slowmotion scenes.
    Its a very good camera that you can use with almost any rig, external monitor and other stuff without problems. Take a look at T5i (I think is that, that have also auto focus when filming, nothing more then that).
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,961 Ambassador
    Can't speak for the Nikon, as I am a Canon man, but of the entire Canon Rebel lineup, the T3i is the sweet-spot camera for video. It's a good choice, and you can get great images from it.
  • dancerchris
    dancerchris Website User Posts: 76 Just Starting Out
    Used:  Panasonic GH2 with a Moon hack (T5, T7 and now T8).  $400
    New:  Panasonic GH4.  $1600
  • GKDantas
    GKDantas Website User Posts: 133
    Yes, last month the Pocket Black Magic was about $500 but I think that was without any lens...
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Website User Posts: 791 Just Starting Out
    edited August 2014
    I have a Canon T3i and love it. I'm a fan of Canon. I dont have the stock lens. I skipped it and bought the camera body only and one of the $100 50mm lenses to start with. I bought them together around a year ago and paid $500. 
  • RossTrowbridge
    RossTrowbridge Website User Posts: 423 Enthusiast
    edited August 2014
    I use a T3i for videos I shoot at work and it does great. I have Magic Lantern installed on it and it helps a lot.
    I've been using a Panasonic FZ150 for my personal projects, and it has done a pretty good job for me. But it really suffers in low-light situations.
    The camera that has my attention right now is Panasonic's Lumix FZ1000 superzoom. It has a 1" sensor, so it's still smaller than the one in the T3i, but it's 4x bigger than the FZ150 I'm using now and it's low-light and usable ISO range have been greatly increased. The ability to have access to decent 4K video for around $900.00 is very tempting. The main concern I'm hearing about it is that the small motors used with the optical image stabilization are audible and picked up by the on-board microphones. I have an external mic with a shock mount, so I have a workaround should I get one, but I'm surprised Panasonic let that slip through. It is a superzoom, so you're 'stuck' with the lens that comes with it. But the sample video I've seen so far is looking pretty good. 
    Graham Houghton has done some great videos covering the Panasonic superzooms. He's just gotten his hands on an FZ1000. Here's a link to a video covering his first impressions...
    http://youtu.be/QosCsSf2L0k
    If money weren't an issue, I'd go with a GH4 and a nice selection of lenses, or a Nikon full-frame camera.
  • Har
    Har Website User Posts: 401 Enthusiast
    +1 on Graham Houghton's videos.  :) I'm using a Panasonic FZ200 here and have been getting great results. It does have the smaller sensor as rtrowbridge mentioned, but for the kind of stuff I do that hasn't really posed a problem for me personally.
  • ChrisMurphy
    ChrisMurphy Website User Posts: 61
    What type of lens would be ideal for general moving making?
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,961 Ambassador
    The correct answer to that is "you need lensES!"

    If you're going to buy one lens, it needs to be a **** good lens. Unfortunately, lens choices vary greatly depending on what camera you get. In the Canon range, I would argue for the EF 24-70mm f/2.8-L. However, that's a $1500 lens. You could get two or three decent primes for the same money. Superzooms for DSLR's and BMCC are slow.... 24-70mm, or thereabouts is a good first lens. That's a "prety-wide-to-light-telephoto" range. Remember, you can rent lenses when you need them.
  • ChrisMurphy
    ChrisMurphy Website User Posts: 61
    The standard lens that comes with the T3i, that should be suitable for my needs? Student films, and short films. nothing of any real budget or anyhting
  • GKDantas
    GKDantas Website User Posts: 133
    Yes, use the standard lens without problem, but you will need light to get a good image.
    My advise is when you got the money get some prime lens, one 500mm (F 1.8 its a good lens but need a lot of room to get a large shot) and a 24mm (F2.8 to get  better interior shots with low space).
    Here is my T3i with a 50mm f1.8 lens in action inside a Mall here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj0YgtHP-_o
    I could use the standard lens but the 50mm give a better bright iomage without a lot of ISO and also a better DOF
  • GKDantas
    GKDantas Website User Posts: 133

    Also, take a look at Tom Antos tips about lenses:
    http://tomantosfilms.com/3355/lenses/

  • ChrisMurphy
    ChrisMurphy Website User Posts: 61
    Will the lack of continuous autofocus be a major downside to the t3i while filming?
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,961 Ambassador
    To be very blunt, autofocus is for amateurs, and you shouldn't be using it.
    Autofocus usually is looking at the center of the lens area. Composition for film rarely puts the point of interest dead-center. Put that together, you have a recipe for focus-hunting. While we're at it, auto-iris is also for amateurs. Learn to set focus and iris manually. There's more learning curve, but, in the long run taking control of your camera will give you better images..
    If you go Canon. (T3i or T5i) get the Magic Lantern firmware hack. Very useful, that.
  • GKDantas
    GKDantas Website User Posts: 133
    With sometime using a DSLR or any other camera you will look for things like a external monitor and a follow focus... never use a auto focus feature, yes is for amateurs.
    Triem23 said right: you need to control your camera, otherwise you could use a compact camera to do the job...
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,961 Ambassador
    Thing is, as a film maker, you want to control your images. Auto modes give the camera control. A few years ago I was shooting a band, outdoors, at night. I was manual iris/focus, the other camera op went auto. Every time he caught a light in-frame, or when fog went off his camera would step down the iris and start focus-hunting. Basically his shot would darken and blur to where you can't see the musicians. My shot may have blown out the background at times, but you can always see the musicians. Since the band was point of interest, no one cares if the fog and lights overexposed a bit--because we want to see the fingers on the guitar frets.
  • ChrisMurphy
    ChrisMurphy Website User Posts: 61
    Thanks for all the input!!
    Kind of off topic, but what would be the best sd card for HD video for the t3i?
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,961 Ambassador
    The main thing to take into account is the speed of the card--you're going to want something that's either "Class 10" (or higher) or "600x" (or higher). Different manufacturers use different speed measures (incidentally, the "600x" means "600 times the speed/data rate of a CD-ROM").
    The next thing to think about is how much "film" you want on your card. A 32 GB card will hold about three hours of footage. However, cards CAN fail. There is a school of thought that holds you're better off with several smaller cards, rather than one large one. First--if a card fails, well, you didn't lose as much footage. Second, if you have multiple smaller cards, you can take card A out on set and have someone back it up to a hard drive or computer (you can start editing on-set with a laptop) and put card B in to continue filming.
    Most of my cards are 32GB, but I shoot a lot of event video where I may shoot for 60-90 minutes in a continuous take. My cards also go back and forth between my DSLR and my Video Camcorders. I DO have a few 4GB and 8GB cards, usually used for stills, but I might bring those out if I'm shooting a short film or sketch--a 4GB card will hold about 20 minutes of footage, an 8 GB card, a little over 40 minutes of footage. Certainly more than enough to hold all the shots for a little 3 minute film. Additionally, having multiple smaller cards lets me have the option of keeping the footage on the SD card as long as possible (in case my hard drive backups fail... I have an event right now that has a MASSIVE problem. Hard drive backups 1 and 2 corrupted, and I wiped the SD card for one camera. I'm having to pull footage of a first-draft check-render.)
    That said, SanDisk is usually considered to be the highest build quality of SD card. I have also had good results from Trancend cards, which are as reliable as the SanDisk at a lower cost.
    Be careful with the "off-brand" cards. Sure, the SanDisk may be $60, the Trancend may be $50 and the no-name may be $25, but that no-name... I know several other photo/video folks who've had card failure with the cheapies....
  • GKDantas
    GKDantas Website User Posts: 133
    This is a good, really good paint. I got mine with a Sandisk Ultra SDHC 1 Class 10 with 32GB.
    When I did the first shots it work fine but I got some recording stop from time to time... I spend almost a month searching for the right SD card and saw those Extreme Sandisk that is very expensive, so I saw the light! Toshiba Exceria Type 2 SDXC 1 with a 60MB/s write speedy and it cost me about the half price of the Sandisk Extreme and now I only got the stop recording when it reaches the 4GB limit! So my point is to Toshiba series, good and for a very low price comparede to others.
  • Har
    Har Website User Posts: 401 Enthusiast
    I've been using the SanDisk Class 10 SDs with my FZ200 for a couple of years now and have been very happy with them; haven't run into any issues.
  • GKDantas
    GKDantas Website User Posts: 133
    Lucky you, mine T3i get a lot of stops recording with it....
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