Digital technology has blurred the lines between photography and video forever, with dedicated video cameras looking increasingly obsolete for most users. The average DSLR camera on the market can shoot in 1080p, and manufacturers are increasingly including advanced focusing technology to help you produce slick, professional videos on your compact camera.
So you can have the best of both worlds with a camera that can meet your video needs. To find the right one for you can be a little difficult and the best way to figure it out is to read reviews. Below are a few cameras that are well reviewed and may suit your needs.
Best Rated Camera under $600
The market leaders here are Canon, who have been looking to differentiate themselves from the competition with a series of cameras with high-end video functionality. The Canon EOS Rebel T3i has been a huge hit in the consumer market, and while it’s a superb tool for still photographers it is the video shooting features that have really caught the public eye.
The innovative software offers users a terrific suite of options for capturing video, including variable frame rates of 24, 25 or 30 per second. The EOS Rebel T3i also allows for shooting in small bursts of 2-8 which can be sequenced into a longer video, allowing movie editing to be done on the fly. It’s no wonder that this camera has been so popular with home users.
Top Rated Canon Camera to Buy
At the more technical end of the spectrum, the Canon EOS series offers some ferocious hardware for the serious videographer. The 18.0-megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor in the Canon EOS 60d not only offers exceptional image quality but also highly responsive focusing, and users have generally been blown away by this camera’s ability to maintain clarity even in high movement and variable light environments. More experienced users can also use the manual exposure and focus tools allowing immense control over the final video quality.
Canon have also put a lot of thought into the audio hardware for this camera too – something that’s normally an afterthought on this type of camera – with an impressive automatic adjustment facility that filters out unwanted background noise. It’s probably the best camera of its kind for video, and will remain so until the EOS 70d is launched in August 2013.
Best Digital Camera under $500
The only problem with the EOS range is the price, and they may be beyond the humble budget of your average home user. There are plenty of options for every pocket though, and the Sony Cybershot range is terrific for home and family use. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V takes all the features of a basic compact and adds some video functionality.
With a high-performing CMOS sensor and HD quality, it will give you great results while being small enough to carry in your pocket. There’s also a novelty feature allowing you to take photos in 3D, although sadly this feature hasn’t yet made it to 3D video. Give it time though.
Best Camcorder for the Money
So what if you do want a dedicated video camera? Although this market is increasingly coming under pressure from cameras such as the ones mentioned above (not to mention the rise of smartphone videography), there are still plenty to choose from. The Panasonic V520 has been hugely popular in the home market. The 1MOS 1/5:8″ BSI Sensor offers really sharp and responsive quality while the 5-axis Hybrid+ Power O.I.S. reduces shake.
Cameras such as these are also increasingly looking at connectivity as a way of staying relevant, and this particular model offers the ability to livestream your footage over wifi using the Ustream service. So it’s not just for recording, it’s also for broadcasting.
Across the board in the world of image capture technology, we are seeing huge amounts of cannibalization. Phones are becoming cameras, cameras are becoming video cameras; the first choice for you as a user is to decide exactly what type of device you really need.