DSLR Buyer’s Guide

Collection of DSLR cameras



lidlbishop's picture

Good Article. I am surprised to see no review of Sony's "DSLR's" as they are in my experience above the rest for video. What differentiates Sony for me is:

-1080p @ 60fps (Great for slow mo. Sony has been doing this for years & few others can do this rate over 720p when it comes to Full Frame & APS-C sensor cameras. Buyers guide is actually wrong; shoots AVCHD in 24fps & 60fps

-In camera stabalization (life saver; real clean; so you don't have to stablize in post)

-True Continuous Auto Focus due to SLT technology (Quickest Autofocus for video on the market/allows you to do focus peaking and have a visual representation of whats in focus and out of focus; such a great feature that really helps make sure your in focus-especially for the 90% of what I do in Manual focus). 


Side note: for anyone wondering about Sony's quality where it counts, all of the image sensors in Nikon cameras are Sony. 


I have recommended the Sony a57 to many many entry level people who have been very pleased (the a58 is actually a downgrade from the a57), & for the more professional the a99 full frame is awesome for video... clean HDMI out, 1080p at 60fps, image stabilization, SLT continuous auto focus, headphone jack :) with audio meters... they just updated the a77 to the a77 markii, so there may be some updates to the other cameras in line around the corner. 


Obviously not as many lens options, but Minolta lenses work on the a-mount so there are a bunch of solid lenses that can be found in addition to the new. 


I hope that helps someone at least check out Sony before they buy, worth a look!

DSLR ergonomics . . .

plnelson's picture

I have a D800 and an XA20.    The D800 is fine on a tripod on a cloudy day.  Although it does have some frightening problems with moire  (here's some footage I shot in Provincetow MA last summer:



But it really can't be handheld with steady results so you need a Steadicam or rig of some kind.  And it's impossible to use the viewfinder in bright sunlight or at any awkward angles, so you need a hood or separate EVF.    And there's no good way to hook up a microphone.  So you end up spending a lot more money and having to carry around a lot more gear, and having to hook it all up when you want to start shooting.


This is fine for shooting highly-prepared material but if you're shooting documentary or events or anything newsworthy, when you're all kitted out like that. you draw a lot of attention to yourself and moving quickly or smoothly in a crowd is a lot more difficult.


So I think traditional camcoders will always have a place for documentary, journalistic or event shooting .  I expect in the next year or so we'll see some new camcorders that are only a little bigger than my XA20, but with bigger sensors to eliminate the IQ and DR issues that plague little handicams like that.



Buyers Guide

halfisher's picture

I realize the DSLR buyer's guide is limited due to space and probably intended to be used by "newbies", but I would like to have seen a list of DSLRs that can shoot 60p and better and an HDMI out that states whether they are true ProRes 4:2:2: or not.

Not the "E", just the regular D800.

plnelson's picture

@lotboss Nope, not the D800E, just the regular D800.    Because it's a 36MP camera (i.e., the photosites are tiny) Nikon can't get away with using a very aggressive low pass filter, so  moire problems have been widely reported with the regular D800.   One thing that makes the D800 particularly bad is that when it's in video mode it doesn't sample all the pixels, it only does alternate lines, which reduces it's spatial resolution to a point that would be well-below the cutoff frequency of even a fairly aggressive LPF.    Some other DSLR's (supposedly the Canon 5DIII) sample all the pixels, so they might not be as bad, but video moire is common problem with most DSLRs.   Just do a google video search for "moire" plus your favorite DSLR model and you will be rewarded with lots of examples.