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DSLR vs. Camcorder, which one should i get?

Last response: in Digital Camera
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June 2, 2012 1:55:04 AM

Please read entire post before answering. Thank you! :D 

QUESTION
Basically, which one should I get for video recording? DSLR or a HD Camcorder.

BUDGET
Budget for DSLR+Lens = $500
- Only one I can find is the CANON EOS Rebel T3... (NOT the T3i !!!)

Budget for HD Cam. = $500 (or w/e under 500 that is similar or better than the T3's recording quality)

PURPOSE/USAGE
- for fun. for making short films as a hobby or capture moments. or Something similar to Freddiew @ youtube.

ACCESSORIES
- Let's say recording it as is (w/o any external add-ons like mic, etc.)

(Before you start recommending accessories, I know it's good and better to have external plugins but ehh... not yet.)

EXTRA INFO
For picture taking, I'm not a fan of taking pictures, but I heard DSLRs with video mode feature are becoming quite good for recording (field of depth, etc.) So I want a DSLR or HD Camcorder using 500 as max budget *online purchase*.

Ideas on how to answer my question:
1. If you choose HD Camcorder, a tiny explanation will do, and choose a HD Camcorder that can outperform the Canon T3 in terms of video recording quality, etc. (would be great if it's 1080p).

- recc. low light friendly
- 1080p would be highly recc.
- good contrast
- doesn't matter if it has internal HDD or not (mainly going to rely on SD cards, or something that I can plug into modern 2010-2012 windows vista+ series computers)
- doesn't make annoying whirring sounds when zooming
- good audio or optional port to plug in external mic! :D 

2. If you choose Canon T3, why? I don't plan on upgrading the stock 18-55 lens.

LAST WORDS BEFORE INFO END

Basically, if you choose HD camcorder, better be worth it and be able to beat DSLR in terms of recording. Name the price or link to the site where I can buy it. I will purchase it in store IF it's necessary. If you choose HD camcorder, choose one that i can get what I want with a low price. Thanks!!!

((((Will not accept refurbs, used, etc., must be new))))

Thank you for considering this question.... :sol: 

More about : dslr camcorder

Best solution

June 3, 2012 4:35:22 AM

OK so I read down what you wrote, here are my thoughts.

At your low budget, I would not recommend the T3. It is the cheapest video DSLR for a reason, being a non-adjustable resolution (720p), and the biggest for me, lack of a microphone input. As is true on even much more expensive DSLR's (5D, 7D, etc..) the internal mic is garbage. And the T3 does not offer the option to attach an external mic. Also without upgrading the lens you're not taking advantage of the DSLR. Also note that this (as with many video DSLR) does not offer automatic focus adjust during recording, so you will need to pull focus manually.

I would say that if you wanted to do a lot of still photography with a small amount of video, the T3 would be for you.

If you want to shoot primarily video (which I think you do), go for something like what I have listed below. For 500$ you're not getting top image quality on anything, but it is solid enough that just posting videos to youtube for facebook the image quality won't bother you. It also has a decent optical zoom, shoots 1080p, and has a decent amount of built in memory in addition to accepting various SD cards.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Panasonic+16GB...

I believe there is also a V700 version which is identical, except without the 16GB internal memory. Saves you about 50$
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June 3, 2012 5:07:50 AM

revolution2718 said:
OK so I read down what you wrote, here are my thoughts.

At your low budget, I would not recommend the T3. It is the cheapest video DSLR for a reason, being a non-adjustable resolution (720p), and the biggest for me, lack of a microphone input. As is true on even much more expensive DSLR's (5D, 7D, etc..) the internal mic is garbage. And the T3 does not offer the option to attach an external mic. Also without upgrading the lens you're not taking advantage of the DSLR. Also note that this (as with many video DSLR) does not offer automatic focus adjust during recording, so you will need to pull focus manually.

I would say that if you wanted to do a lot of still photography with a small amount of video, the T3 would be for you.

If you want to shoot primarily video (which I think you do), go for something like what I have listed below. For 500$ you're not getting top image quality on anything, but it is solid enough that just posting videos to youtube for facebook the image quality won't bother you. It also has a decent optical zoom, shoots 1080p, and has a decent amount of built in memory in addition to accepting various SD cards.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Panasonic+16GB...

I believe there is also a V700 version which is identical, except without the 16GB internal memory. Saves you about 50$


Thank you for replying! ;) 
If you can do me one more big favor:

Including your reccommendation, which one do you think is best fit for my situation?
Panasonic V700
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Panasonic+16GB...
Sony HDR-CX190
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-HDR-CX190-Definition-Handyca...
Sony HDR-CX160
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-HDR-CX160-High-Definition-Ha...
Sony HDR-CX260V
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-HDR-CX260V-Definition-Handyc...
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June 3, 2012 5:54:13 AM

The Sony CX190 is a good option as well, and cheaper if thats a big issue. What you are paying for with the V700 that the CX190 doesn't have is primarily a Mic-in option, which i happen to think is very important if you want to make your video sound good, as well as a much larger video sensor which will deliver better image quality.

The Sony CX260 is very comparable to the Panasonic I recommended and either would be a good choice. If you own a lot of Sony equipment already (a Bravia TV for example), then you might opt for the Sony.
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June 3, 2012 11:46:38 AM

Panasonic is doing good as compared to Sony in the consumer camcorder ranges. But still it's the color production where sony wins A LITTLE.

I won't suggest Sony CX 260 [1/3.91"] as it's image sensor is double smaller than that of Panasonic HC V700[ 1/2.3] & Sony CX160[1/4"] is more less of it. . I would recommend panasonic due to it's more interaction in camcorder sections and it's double the size image sensor.
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June 3, 2012 5:12:48 PM

mailhull said:
Panasonic is doing good as compared to Sony in the consumer camcorder ranges. But still it's the color production where sony wins A LITTLE.

I won't suggest Sony CX 260 [1/3.91"] as it's image sensor is double smaller than that of Panasonic HC V700[ 1/2.3] & Sony CX160[1/4"] is more less of it. . I would recommend panasonic due to it's more interaction in camcorder sections and it's double the size image sensor.


So, the Sony CX260 has the smallest sensor of the four.
Can you list the other 2 sony in terms of sensor size from biggest to smallest please? thanks. That will conclude this question.
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June 3, 2012 6:08:04 PM

Image Sensor size from Smallest to largest.
Sony CX 190: 1/5.91"
Sony CX 160: 1/4"
Sony Cx 260: 1/3.9"
Panasonic V700: 1/2.33"
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June 3, 2012 6:48:37 PM

Best answer selected by drake123.
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