Advice wanted

TonyCooperTonyCooper Major grinsOrlando, FloridaRegistered Users Posts: 2,243 Major grins

I don't shoot video, but my high school age grandson does on an old Sony Handycam. He wants to buy a DSLR with video capabilities,
but a used one at a budget price. He'll probably look on Keh, Adorama, or B&H for one. with flip-out screen.

What would be a good camera for this purpose?

Keep that word "budget" in mind.

Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
http://tonycooper.smugmug.com/

Comments

  • mathogremathogre Mathemagician Oakton, VA USARegistered Users Posts: 46 Big grins

    Here are some random thoughts for you.

    1. What's your budget? While you may not shoot video, you have a sense of DSLRs. "Used" means you're looking at what's available.
    2. In addition to a body, you'll need a lens. I only know Canon. Image Stabilized (IS) lenses make noise during stabilization. Normal EF lenses make noise during focussing. Their STM (STepper Motor) lenses are supposed to be quiet in autofocus for creating video. Focal length may matter to your grandson, so if you're considering this to be a surprise, it might be better to make the "surprise" before your purchase so he can advise on what he wants.
    3. Ask/email the companies you're considering. I have had very positive experiences with B&H and Adorama. I've heard excellent things about KEH. I've rented and purchased used gear from Lensrentals/Lensauthority, and have had very positive experiences from them. Tell them what you want in terms of what you said above. They are not likely to oversell you. Once at B&H during a visit to NYC, I was looking at a slide scanner for my wife. I told them what I wanted, and they made a decent recommendation. I could have spent more, but they said that for what she was doing it would work fine. It was perfect. They might even suggest something other than a DSLR, if it is mainly for video.

    I've shot video with a 5DMkIII with a Canon 70-200, tripod, manual focus. Hmmm... I also used a Sigma 12-24 and a Canon 24-105, tripod, manual focus with the MkIII. Worked fine. I also used a Canon PowerShot G16 on a tripod, combining video with the MkIII in cutaway sequences. The MkIII allows for a monaural external mic to be connected to the camera. The MkIII does not have a flip-out screen, however.

    Good luck! Video is a world unto itself.

  • TonyCooperTonyCooper Major grins Orlando, FloridaRegistered Users Posts: 2,243 Major grins

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciated your time in commenting.

    The "budget" is undetermined because there's a very good possibility that Grampa may kick in something, but his budget
    is about $150. Also, I have some unused kit that might be used as a trade-in if he uses Keh. I've bought several bodies
    and lenses from Keh and have been very pleased.

    That's a good point about lens focal length. I shoot Nikon, and have extra lenses if he goes the Nikon route, but I'm
    not steering him to Nikon. The brand choice is wide open.

    He's done quite a few videos with the Sony, but is interested in a DSLR because he's also interested in doing stills.
    He and his brother were asked to do one for a faculty meeting during "Teacher Appreciaton Day":

    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    http://tonycooper.smugmug.com/
  • mathogremathogre Mathemagician Oakton, VA USARegistered Users Posts: 46 Big grins
    edited May 9, 2020

    The video was very funny! Well made!

    Here's a little additional info on the Canon side as that's what I know. I looked at B&H, Adorama, KEH, and LensAuthority. Only B&H and KEH currently have cameras in your price range that are supposed to shoot HD 1080p video and that looked decent enough to recommend. The first one is $170 and the second is $158. Both are Canon Rebels, entry level APS-C cameras. My first DSLR was a Rebel, and it was a very good camera. If you're looking at used Canons that can do HD video, you're probably looking at one of the Rebels. As they're APS-C (ratio is 1.6 vs 1.5 for Nikon), you'll need to consider that for the lens. For a video lens, again you're probably looking at one of the STM lenses. The last link is to a new 24mm STM lens for the APS-C camera line. I'm sure you can find them used, but it's probably around the focal length he'd want. Effective focal length is 38mm.

    These are starting points for you, again, on the Canon side. Someone versed in Nikon and other lines can give equivalent info. Hope this helps!

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/802120564-USE/canon_4462b001_eos_rebel_t2i_digital.html
    https://www.keh.com/shop/canon-rebel-t5-digital-camera-body-18-m-p.html
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1081812-REG/canon_9522b002_ef_s_24mm_f_2_8_is.html

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 21,746 moderator
    edited May 10, 2020

    @mathogre said:
    The video was very funny! Well made!

    ... If you're looking at used Canons that can do HD video, you're probably looking at one of the Rebels. As they're APS-C (ratio is 1.6 vs 1.5 for Nikon), you'll need to consider that for the lens. For a video lens, again you're probably looking at one of the STM lenses. The last link is to a new 24mm STM lens for the APS-C camera line. I'm sure you can find them used, but it's probably around the focal length he'd want. Effective focal length is 38mm.

    These are starting points for you, again, on the Canon side. Someone versed in Nikon and other lines can give equivalent info. Hope this helps!

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/802120564-USE/canon_4462b001_eos_rebel_t2i_digital.html
    https://www.keh.com/shop/canon-rebel-t5-digital-camera-body-18-m-p.html
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1081812-REG/canon_9522b002_ef_s_24mm_f_2_8_is.html

    Thanks, mathogre, for some really good points!

    I'll add that the Canon EOS RebelT2i is the only one of those two cameras which supports an external microphone, which is a huge advantage for video production.

    I would stick with Canon dSLRs just because they can make use of the free Technicolor CineStyle Profile (yes, the real "Technicolor"), giving them a "flat" shooting profile to use as needed. Use Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve (editing software, available in a free version) to grade the CineStyle Profile.

    If they get really serious about video production, with a still-small budget, the Canon EOS 7D is a much better selection, both for video and as a stills camera. It's powerful enough to use Magic Lantern, a firmware overlay software, which allows things like RAW video and Dual-ISO stills. A level of magnitude better performance overall. I used my 7D for wedding receptions stills through 2015. I can find used 7D under $300USD.

    If they ultimately get a budget in the smaller thousands-USD (for both the camera body and a few desirable lenses) then the Canon EOS 5D Mark III makes the absolute best use of Magic Lantern, with Full-HD FF-35 format RAW video, similar to the the original ARRI Alexa (with XR module) video camera, and capable of Hollywood-style grading. (Granted, the ARRI has better ultimate DR but with some Spatial NR AND Temporal NR the Canon can get close.)

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • TonyCooperTonyCooper Major grins Orlando, FloridaRegistered Users Posts: 2,243 Major grins

    Thanks for the additional comments.

    Update: After considerable research into this, my grandson has decided to abandon the idea of using a DSLR for
    his future projects. A camera and lens(es) that would be suitable is going to be out of his reach budget-wise.

    He's now researching camcorders that will provide better footage. His Panasonic HCV201 is a bit dated, and he's
    going to replace that with a better camcorder.

    He's just subscribed to Adobe's Student Plan of $20 a month that includes Adobe Premier Pro. He's been
    using Adobe Elements Premier 12, and the Pro version will provide more editing options.

    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    http://tonycooper.smugmug.com/
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