Top 5 DSLR cameras for video - Image #1

If you're superstitious, you might want to give this one wide berth as it provides startlingly good image quality in such a tiny package. This little winner captures images of a quality to rival the huge and ridiculously expensive cameras used in Hollywood to produce feature films. It does this by capturing 14 stops compared to the standard DLSR of around 10. That means a richer, fuller image that is ideal for evoking mood and delivering a narrative cinematic effect. Where it falls down, is mostly in battery life. However, even if you take filmmaking seriously, it's not difficult to imagine tight situations where this little guy wouldn't be very handy indeed.

If you know much about photography, then you've probably got a soft spot for DSLR, and if you also want to shoot high-quality video- you're in luck because there are a lot of terrific DSLR cameras on the market that are capable of shooting video. There are so many, in fact, that it can be difficult to settle on the right camera for your needs. Never fear, we've enlisted the help of our resident photographer to help compile this list of the five best DSLR for video cameras on the market.


5. Sony Alpha 77 M2


Top 5 DSLR cameras for video - Image #2

This camera features 79 autofocus points, a very wide ISO range of ISO 100 to ISO 25,600, and performs well in low light. It's a steal for a 24-megapixel camera at just under $600 and is excellent for entry level photographers who want to get their first taste of the power of DSLR.

Pixels Actual: 24.7 Megapixel
Effective: 24.3 Megapixel
Max Resolution 24 MP: 6000 x 4000
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100-25600
Video File Size 1920 x 1080p (Full HD)
1920 x 1080i (Full HD)
1440 x 1080 (HD)
1280 x 720 (HD)
640 x 480 (SD)
Frame Rate @ 1920 x 1080: 60 fps, 24 fps
@ 1440 x 1080: 30 fps
@ 1280 x 720: 30 fps
@ 640 x 480: 30 fps
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Exposure Control Auto
Manual: Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO
Continuous Shooting Up to 12 fps
Wi-Fi


4. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

If you're superstitious, you might want to give this one wide berth as it provides startlingly good image quality in such a tiny package. This little winner captures images of a quality to rival the huge and ridiculously expensive cameras used in Hollywood to produce feature films. It does this by capturing 14 stops compared to the standard DLSR of around 10. That means a richer, fuller image that is ideal for evoking mood and delivering a narrative cinematic effect. Where it falls down, is mostly in battery life. However, even if you take filmmaking seriously, it's not difficult to imagine tight situations where this little guy wouldn't be very handy indeed.

Sensor Size 12.48 x 7.02 mm (effective)
Dynamic Range 13 stops
Lens Mount Active MFT
Recording Formats Lossless Cinema DNG RAW
Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) (QuickTime MOV)
Frame Rate 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p
Effective Resolution 1920 x 1080
Built-In Microphone Integrated stereo microphone
Built-in Speaker Integrated mono speaker
Wi-Fi


3. Panasonic Lumix GH4 Mirrorless Camera

This game changer overturned the DSLR market with its internal 4K recording capabilities. Most DSLR cameras require an external device to record onto. The Lumix GH4 does not. That alone makes it a standout performer, cutting the operator's gear burden down by at least half. For those who like to be light on their feet, that is a very big deal. Add to that the fact that it does not suffer quality for lightness- and you have got a real champion camera on your hands. It manages this by capitalizing on the space offloaded by going mirrorless, which also means fewer moving parts to break and less noise.

Pixels Actual: 17.2 Megapixel
Effective: 16.05 Megapixel
Sensor Size MOS, 17.3 x 13.0 mm
Max Resolution 4608 x 3456
Focus Mode Continuous-servo AF (C), Flexible (AFF), Manual Focus (M), Single-servo AF (S)
File Formats Still Images: JPEG, MPO, RAW
Movies: MOV, MP4, MPEG-4 AVCHD
Audio: AAC, Dolby Digital 2ch, Linear PCM
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 16:9
ISO Sensitivity 200-25600
Continuous Shooting Up to 40 fps frames
Focus Type Auto & Manual
Shutter 60 - 1/8000
60 minute in Bulb Mode
1/24 - 1/16000 in Movie Mode
Wi-Fi


2. Sony Alpha a7S

Top 5 DSLR cameras for video - Image #5

If you thought that Nikon and Canon are the only companies with serious territory marked out in the DSLR market, well- Sony is here to say otherwise. The a7S stormed the market in 2014 with a host of amazing features in a compact frame. It is a real stunner when it comes to putting out quality cinematic footage, and it can shoot in almost complete darkness. This makes it a great choice for recording evening events or for creating stunning effects with light and shadow. On top of that the a7S is a full-frame camera, which means whatever lens you're shooting with, the sensor records every bit of light that comes through it. Sticklers for quality images will be thrilled with this camera's ability to shoot in high ISO modes while suffering only minimal noise.

Pixels Actual: 12.4 Megapixel
Effective: 12.2 Megapixel
Sensor Type / Size CMOS, 35.8 x 23.9 mm
Max Resolution 12 MP: 4240 x 2832
Video Format 1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (50 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 30 fps (50 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (50 Mbps)
1280 x 720p / 120 fps (50 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28 Mbps)
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (24 Mbps)
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (17 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (24 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (17 Mbps)
1440 x 1080p / 30 fps (12 Mbps)
640 x 480p / 30 fps (3 Mbps)
File Formats Still Images: JPEG, RAW
Movies: MP4, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Audio: AAC LC, AC3, Dolby Digital 2ch, Linear PCM
Resolution 1920 x 1080: 60 fps, 30 fps, 24 fps
1280 x 720: 120 fps
1440 x 1080: 30 fps
640 x 480: 30 fps
Aspect Ratio 3:2, 4:3
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100-102400
Continuous Shooting Up to 5 fps at 12.2 MP for up to 200 frames
Up to 2.5 fps at 12.2 MP for up to 200 frames
Wi-Fi


1. Canon EOS 70D

Top 5 DSLR cameras for video - Image #6

The Canon EOS 70D is our top pick for its superior admixture of quality photography and unparalleled reliability. DSLRs are known for being tough and reliable, but failures on the EOS 70D are so rare as to be virtually nonexistent. It uses the venerated Canon EF lens mount which fits so many lenses that you'll never run out of options. It features Canon's own Duel Pixel CMOS Auto-Focus, which enables you to follow a subject selected by you using the touch screen. From then on the 70D will track your chosen target until it either falls out of frame or you tell it not to. It has also got an unusually long battery life, standard SD card comparability and is wi-fi capable- making this, the Excalibur of cameras, the top DSLR for video.

Pixels Actual: 20.9 Megapixel
Effective: 20.2 Megapixel
Sensor Type / Size CMOS, 22.5 x 15 mm
Max Resolution 20 MP: 5472 x 3648
Resolution 1920 x 1080: 60 fps, 30 fps, 24 fps
1280 x 720: 120 fps
1440 x 1080: 30 fps
640 x 480: 30 fps
Frame Rate @ 1920 x 1080: 30 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps
@ 1280 x 720: 60 fps, 50 fps
@ 640 x 480: 30 fps, 25 fps
File Formats Still Images: JPEG, RAW
Movies: MOV, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Audio: Linear PCM (Stereo)
Aspect Ratio 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100-12800
Continuous Shooting Up to 7 fps
Wi-Fi


Canon C100 Mark II Cinema Camera

Top 5 DSLR cameras for video - Image #7Ideal for documentary filmmakers who want that professional Super 35 look and feel. To be fair, this camera is not really a DLSR- but we felt the list would be incomplete without it. This is an entry-level film camera for filmmakers and is a good illustration of the difference between a photographer and a filmmaker. At the bottom of the pile of Canon's film cameras, it is far and away more expensive than most DSLR cameras. As a photographer, you're somewhat like a poet- where the filmmaker is more like a novelist. Keep this in mind as we go over the DSLR video capable cameras below.

Pixels Actual 9.84 megapixel (4206 x 2340)
Effective 8.29 megapixel (3840 x 2160 pixels)
Sensor Type / Size Super 35mm CMOS (24.6 x 13.8 mm) (28.2 mm diagonal)
Recording Format Compression: MPEG-4, AVC/H.264, MP4 Maximum bit rate: AVCHD 28Mb/s, MP4 35Mb/s
ISO Range 320 to 102,400 in 1/3-step increments
Frame Rate AVCHD
1920 x 1080p: 59.94. 50, 23.98
1920 x 1080i: 59.94, 50
1920 x 1080PF: 29.97, 25
MP4
1920 x 1080p: 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 23.98
1280 x 720p: 29.97, 25, 23.98
640 x 360p: 29.97, 25, 23.98
Built-In Microphone Monaural microphone in camera body Stereo microphone in Handle Unit
Signal System NTSC and PAL
Wi-Fi