Best HDSLR Camera Buying Guide
Are you looking for the best HDSLR camera that will give you the best video image quality for those fantastic videos?
Are you confused with the many options available and not sure which ones are actually worthwhile?
Shopping online can sometimes be overwhelming due to the many HDSLR camera models available.
This blog was designed to help you with those exact issues!
I am serious hobbyist photographer. Shooting HD video is now available to us. We’re no longer limited to shooting still images. Therefore, we want the best HDSLR camera to shoot both stills and HD video.
I made this blog to help get the information you need to ensure that you are able to make the best decision when shopping for your own HDSLR camera, so you can make the best videos together with your still images.
What is an HDSLR camera?
Firstly, what is an HDSLR camera? It’s actually a new term coined to describe DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras that have HD (hi definition) video capabilities. Hence, HDSLR.
Other people call it a Hybrid DSLR. A hybrid between a video camera and a DSLR camera.
Either way, it’s a camera with video capabilities.
Although most point and shoot cameras come with video functions, this particular hybrid camera combines hi definition video capabilities with SLR camera capabilities.
Here are some of the things you need to consider when buying your own HDSLR camera:
Sensor and Image Quality:
The biggest difference between an HDSLR and an HD camcorder is the sensor size. A DSLR like the Canon 5D Mark II has a sensor that is big as a 35mm film strip (35 x 24mm) while a camcorder’s sensor is a lot smaller. The bigger sensor is able to collect more details as compared to the smaller sensor.
If you look at the diagram on the left, you’ll notice that the sensor of a full frame dslr is significantly bigger than a regular camcorder. That’s how much more details the dslr camera with video capabilities can capture.
Low light capabilities:
The newest DSLR sensors have very good low light capabilities. Their sensors have high ISO ratings which simply means they can capture clean video images even if it’s dark.
Often times, the problem with shooting at night is that the images become grainy. This is not so for most DSLRs.
DSLR’s have interchangeable lenses which means you can use the best quality lenses available to shoot video. You can get wide shots using wide-angle lenses or shoot sports with telephoto lenses. This means you’re getting the most out of your lenses because you can use them for both still images and video.
The lens on the left is the Canon 50mm f1.4 lens which creates pleasingly blurred background or foreground that gives your videos a more cinematic feel.
Dedicated HD camcorders have fixed lenses and you need to use lens adapters if you want different kinds of effects. In fact, one of the biggest issues I have with camcorders is that they don’t go very wide. You’ll need an adapter for that.
DSLR cameras by themselves are not light. You also need to consider the weight of the lenses and accessories that you plan to attach to the DSLR.
If you plan to shoot videos of wildlife, you’ll be using large and heavy telephoto lenses. So do consider investing on a sturdy tripod.
If you plan to shoot handheld, you’ll need handheld stabilizers or you can just practice a lot.
For a list of different accessories, check my other post on HDSLR Rig – What You Need.
HDSLR manufacturers offer a wide range of models with different price ranges. An entry level camera can set you back at least $1100. Semi-professional cameras can go as high up as $5000.
However, a seasoned photographer will always tell you to invest on the best lenses. You’ll need to add another $1000 for a good lens or two.
If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to get the entry level HDSLR camera and invest on one or two good lenses. If you’re experienced, it’s good to go for the semi-professional and professional camera models.
Knowing where you will use the HDSLR should already tell you what kind of functions you’ll need from an HDSLR.
For home use, an entry level HDSLR should be enough. If you capture videos as a business, it is a must to get those semi-professional or professional models.
This is just a quick guide for you. If you are still unsure, you can check out my post about the Best Canon HDSLR and choose from there.
To summarize, if you’re looking for the best HDSLR camera, then I urge you to check out the Canon 5D Mark II. This is the camera of choice by many wedding photographers and videographers.