Canon 70D vs Nikon D5300 for APS-C DSLR videographers: the waiting has just been started

Started Oct 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
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havanna60 Senior Member • Posts: 1,640
Canon 70D vs Nikon D5300 for APS-C DSLR videographers: the waiting has just been started

I have a nice collection of Nikon 1 camera system, which I like very much. Still, I am planning to buy an APS-C camera for advanced DSLR videography. In the weekend we had a two-day photo expo here with a number of exhibitors, where I had the chance to try both the Canon 70D and Nikon D5200. I want a camera with a swivel/articulated monitor, definitely. I liked the Nikon D5200 very much, just like I love my Nikon V1, but the Canon 70D is an immensely capable camera, too; near-perfect for videos. I was on the point to buy a 70D when today I read that Nikon announced D5300; perfect timing. Since I use Nikon 1, I am biased towards the D5300, and now I have tough decision to come, and a number of weeks to wait until I am going to have a chance to test D5300's new AF-F and Subject Tracking performance.

In the meantime here are a couple of pros and cons for Canon 70D vs Nikon D5300:

Pros for Canon 70D (only video features)

  • The touch screen worked extremely well when I was testing focus pulling, and it was very intuitive. It is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, the Nikon D5300 has no touch screen. Since I use Nikon V1, I got used to changing the focus area with the dial/wheel knob; with some practice it is quite doable, but using a touch screen is way much more convenient and real fun.
  • The Canon 70D's autofocusing (especially Servo AF) worked incredibly perfectly in video mode. I liked my Nikon V1's autofocusing, but autofocusing with the Canon 70D was completely different world. I did not expect such a big difference in favor of the Canon 70D. I am a Nikon 1 enthusiast, but Canon made an excellent job here. I was experimenting with the autofocus capabilities of the Nikon D5200, D3200, D7100, D600 with a number of lenses, but, just like Nikon V1, they were far behind Canon 70D's smooth and seamless video/live-view autofocusing. The challenge is very hard for Nikon D5300, I am very eager to try the new improved AF-F of the D5300.
  • I can connect the Canon 70D to a slim Windows8 ultrabook or tablet with a USB cable, and I can start and stop video recordings while watching and controlling the camera via the free EOS Utility. Unfortunately, this does not work over the Wi-Fi connection. I wonder if Nikon D5300 supports starting and stopping video recording via USB cable or Wi-Fi.
  • Canon 70D does not support 1080/60p videos, but it supports high bitrate with uncompressed (ALL-I) as well as compressed (IPB) format. I wonder what bitrate Nikon D5300 supports?
  • On the Canon 70D it is possible to change the the aperture while in video and Manual exposure mode. When the aperture, shutter-speed or ISO are changed, the monitor is changed to show the exposure accordingly. Unlike with the mirrorless Nikon 1, changing the aperture in live view mode is not possible with Nikon D5200 and number of other Nikon DSLRs, unfortunately.

Pros for Nikon D5300

  • 1920x1080 at 60/50 fps progressive video recording is supported by the Nikon D5300. The feature was supported only by Panasonic mirrorless cameras. The D5300 is the 1st DSLR that supports 1080/60p.
  • Nikon D5300 has a slightly bigger screen.
  • Nikon D5300 is (significantly) smaller and lighter.
  • Nikon D5300 is (significantly) less expensive. I wonder, if Canon drops the price of the 70D after Nikon D5300 is going to appear in stores.
  • I already have a Nikon 50mm/F1.4 lens, which I bought for my Nikon V1. All lenses that I would buy for the Nikon D5300, I could be used on my Nikon V1 cameras with the FT1 adapter, too. If I'd go for the Canon, eventually I should buy a mirrorless Canon EOS-M, too.

Cons both for Canon 70D and Nikon D5300

  • No focus peaking neither in Canon 70D nor in Nikon D5300. Focus peaking could be very useful for manual focusing in video mode. Practically, it can completely replace the arcane and cumbersome mechanical follow focus solutions on video rigs. I experimented with the focus peaking features of newer mirrorless cameras: Panasonic GX7, G6, Olympus E-P5 and E-M1, and I found them great. Nikon D5300 could have been the 1st DSLR that would have supported focus peaking, but Nikon missed this feature. On the other hand, when recording action events no time for focus peaking and robust autofocusing (with reliable subject tracking) may be much more useful.
  • I cannot control the microphone level while recording a video on Canon 70D.
  • No headphone output on a Canon 70D.
  • Some reviewers ( for example) found Moiré and aliasing noticeable on Canon 70D, while stating the Nikon cameras handle these problems (much) more efficiently. Many Canon 70D owners say, that this is significantly exaggerated and not really a problem in reality, though.
  • In video mode Canon 70D does not support Aperture (Av) nor Shutter (Tv) priority exposure modes. These exposure modes work exactly the same as the P mode. In Manual exposure mode, I was able to set bot aperture and shutter speed.
  • No silent operation. When a DSLR is switched to video mode, the mirror is opened with a loud snatch. Starting a stopping video recording is silent, though.
  • Most DSLR lenses, even excellent quality expensive lenses, produce more-or-less clearly audible noise when the autofocus motor is working. Many lenses, however, are quite silent. On the other hand, all lenses made for mirrorless cameras are totally silent when autofocusing.

Pros for both Canon 70D and Nikon D5300 vs mirrorless cameras:

  • These APS-C cameras have (much) better low-light performance.
  • Dozens of reasonable priced excellent lenses are available for Canon and Nikon APS-C cameras that are perfect for low-light videography.

I hope many of you are interested in reading these comments. I learned so much useful and practical from the posts on this forum.


 havanna60's gear list:havanna60's gear list
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Nikon D700 Nikon 1 V1 Sony a7 Sony a5100 +9 more
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