I'm looking for a DSLR that shoots excellent video. I've tried some camcorders at my local Best Buy in the sub $500 category and was left unimpressed with the video quality and features.
I am making an action movie with my buddies and am doing it somewhat professionally. I always enjoyed making home movies but I want to try making a feature length film and hopefully submit it to a film festival.
I plan to spend no more than $600 on the body and lens of the camera. I'm looking for 1080p video recording at around 30fps with good auto focusing as well as optional manual focus. I would not mind purchasing a used camera. I take photos occasionally but they are not an important factor in my purchase decision. This will be my first DSLR. Ease of use is not important since I can quickly learn how to use the camera.
I will also be investing in a tripod with wheels and an external microphone, so if you have any recommendations for those, it would also be greatly appreciated.
The reason I would not recommend something like the T3 is the lack of a mic input, which if you want your work to look even a little bit professional you must have. Also note that i do not think that this camera supports auto-focus during video record (most DSLR don't), but don't quote me there.
As for the mic and tripod, i would not recommend one with wheels (they tend to be more expensive and more flimsy, as well as harder to use). Get a nice sturdy one, then if you need smooth movement steal a shopping cart and put the tripod inside.
And the mic situation, they tend to get pricy but you might be able to find a cheap shotgun mic/boom pole combo online and an XLR to 1/4 inch adapter.
I don't want to call myself a Canon fanboy, but in the DSLR market I kind of am. I've shot a lot on the 5D mark II and the 7D, and I really could not see myself buying a DSLR that is not made by Canon. That being said Sony and Nikon do offer comparable models (Sony is slightly more expensive for something comparable to the t2i, Nikon I'm not sure).
And the last thing I will say about the moving tripod is that it's not a bad idea if you will be shooting a lot on hard surfaces or indoors (concrete, hard wood, etc), but if you're on grass/dirt or anything fuggedaboutit.
If you have any additional questions about microphones let me know.