Question about Canon EOS70D vs Nikon D5300

IeolistIeolist MunichNew member Posts: 1 Beginner grinner
I use Panasonic HMC40 happily for video but have wanted to experiment with DSLR for video (shallow DOF, etc) as well as have a very good still camera. For instance, yesterday evening a thunderstorm moved through and then setting sun came out and highlighted fall color trees with black clouds in background. I could not capture full effect of light contrast with HMC40 which is not really what it was designed for.

So I started looking and found good buys now on Canon EOS70D and Nikon D5300 (with two lens--I know these will not be best lens but maybe good enough for me to get introduction to DSLR shooting). I would appreciate comments comparing these two cameras on following:

1. Which would offer best auto-focus in video mode for capturing fast moving objects like race cars and keeping in focus?

2. Which would offer best dynamic range for capturing scene like I describe above--sorry to say I don't know which spec in camera literature would allow me to compare?

3. Do they differ in terms of what features remain useable in video mode vs still photo mode (I have read that features can differ in video vs still photo mode, for instance, maybe in still photo mode you could select color temperature for white balance, but maybe in video mode you have more limited white balance adjustment)?

4. Other features I should consider for a dual purpose video/still photo camera?

Thank you, Robert.


  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,768 moderator
    edited July 20, 2019

    I believe that, in a Video-dSLR context, the very best selection/recommendation is the Canon EOS 80D with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (Nano), plus a PZ-E1 Power Zoom Adapter. In good light this yields the most "camcorder-like" experience but adds pretty good indoor performance too.
    For even better indoor and low-light results, the Canon EF-S 17-55mm, f2.8 IS USM has better light-gathering with a wide-open constant-aperture of f2.8. Not quite as quick to focus but it does work well in less light.
    Then, carefully selected prime lenses for the truly low, low-light scenes and best DOF control.

    Do add a nice external microphone (the internal mics are not suitable for most situations), and you have a fairly compact kit which works in a variety of situations. (I use both a RODE VideoMic and a Sennheiser MKE-series short-shotgun.)

    Add to this kit an external electronic flash, for still photography, and a few appropriate flash modifiers (depending upon the conditions of the scene and the intent of the shoot), ...
    Maybe a longer zoom for portraiture and more intimate/subject-isolated shots (I use an EF 70-200mm, f2.8L, USM for most of this) ...
    And finally you may need a decent wide-angle zoom or prime lens for context and establish video content and for some landscape, scenic and vista still photography.

    I also strongly suggest adding Technicolor's CineStyle Profile to the 80D for hard and harsh lighting conditions (yes, it's from "that" Technicolor) plus add a 3d LUT to use in post-production to return you close to Rec. 709 standards.

    Finally, you'll want to add some support and stabilization, like a nice tripod with a good video head (for really smooth pan and tilts), maybe a gimbal or other hand-held stabilizer.

    While the older Canon 70D can do some of video acquisition, it does not work as well with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (Nano) and PZ-E1. It is also much less capable in low-light situations.


    To be fair, many mirrorless cameras do a commendable job at video too, but I'm not aware of any video-specific zooms for those bodies which give the same feature-set as the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (Nano). The Sony SELP18110G Zoom Lens for Sony E-Mount - 18mm-110mm - F/4.0 and the Sony SELP28135G Zoom Lens for Sony E-Mount - 28mm-135mm - F/4.0 - Black, come closest, to my knowledge.

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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