Entry level DSLR/DSLT or a hybrid. Good Full HD videos are important.

Started Aug 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Lukxxx New Member • Posts: 10
Entry level DSLR/DSLT or a hybrid. Good Full HD videos are important.


This is my first post, and I'm complete amateur when it comes to "higher" quality cameras . "Higher," because probably for most of you it will be even a low quality camera, but this depends from point of view. For this reason, I ask for your understanding and patience.

The best cameras I used are Canon SX10 Canon PowerShot G11 - advanced compacts. Each of them was lent for about 2 week trip, in addition, most of the images were made in a very good light, so I didn't experiment with them that much.

Right now I'm buying myself a camera and want to get into photography.
What I expect from it is:

1. Really good picture quality. For both pictures inside in natural and artificial light as well as outside on trips. Occasionally, some makro close-ups.

2. Good Full HD video quality. I want to have 2in1 device with high quality Full HD in a variety of lighting conditions.

3. Additional functions: high-quality LCD good for movies, flip-out LCD, HDMI output, in camera panoramas and/or in camera HDR.

One of the reasons I'm buying a camera is that I want to photograph and make movies of my newborn child.

Encouraged by positive reviews, and the initial budget constraint I bought Sony Hx9v. While I'm pretty happy with the quality of Full HD movie and extra features the image quality especially indors and low light are unacceptable and I'm returning it.

So I realized that I needed to expand the budget. First, I expanded the budget for 2000 PLN (about 600$) . However, after reviewing possible models: Nikon D3100, Lumix GF3, etc. I decided to finally afford the expense 2500 PLN (about 750$) - although the less the better. The extension of this budget at the moment is not an option. The WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) here is maxed out. Be aware that prices here in Poland might be somewhat different than in other parts of the world.

At current max budget I'm also considering Nikon D5100, Canon 550/600D, Sony A37, Lumix G3, Nex-5.

Now, as far as I am sure that the image quality will satisfy me in each of the 550 D3100/D5100 I'm not sure about quality of movies. In particular, loud automatic autofocus in these models worries me, actually disqualifying its use in low-sound situations. In models D5100/Canon 550/600 as I understand it can be solved using the external microphone or low-sound lens, but this is an additional cost - but you can always buy that later. Perhaps my fears are completely unjustified and the use of manual focus or non-constant auto focus will be a good solution and its not a problem? What do you think, what are your experiences here?

Another advantage of Canons is the ability to shoot extended scenes up to 30 minutes.

Problem of noisy constant autofocus is probably avoided in Sony A37. But my friend, who is into DSLR's photography categorically advised against it in term of image quality. What is your opinion here?

But if DSLR's have that many problems with Full HD movies, I'm considering buying a compact with interchangeable lenses - a hybrid. What camera do you recommend to fulfill my requirements? Do you think that the video quality on these cameras will be higher? Or maybe IQ is so much lower than DSLR that I shouldn't consider them? I feel completely lost in this topic, and unlike DSLRs I'm having problems drawing conclusions from the tests - how are comparing to the entry-level DSLRs. Advantage of these cameras is also their smaller size and weight. That makes them better for trips and making longer movies.

Anyway, please note that over the next months (or even a year), I'll probably with standard lens and at best will only buy a microphone. In the longer term, I will buy some longer lens, a fixed lens, some filters and a tripod.

I would be grateful if you would advise me which model should I look into. Should I go for DSLR or hybrid? And most importantly why do you think I should do that.

Canon PowerShot G11 Nikon D3100 Nikon D5100 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Sony SLT-A37
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