Camera for everything

Hello pool of awesome peoples and TekSyndicate staff! I know most of us don't live on the best of budgets but every now and then we have some moneys to play around with and get a decent something.

So to the question I need a camera of camcorder that is a good all round piece that will do the following list


Low light, high def, portable(nothing super bulky that we need a bag to haul this guy), tripod, good in sunlight, decent night time, able to accept external mic (lights too but not a super up there thing) be on a decent budget not looking to push $700 area would like to stay in the sub $500.


Able to change out lenses.


Able to take decent stills, or pictures within video.

If I could get a Camera that could do all that I would rather have a better still shooter and good video taker, than a camcorder that is great at video and sub-par shots.

Again $500 is where I want to hit.

look at the T series cameras from canon they work great and have the features you are looking for. you will have to get a mic however as the one that is built in is not that great. Personally I'm using a t2i.

Yeah get something like the t3i. I have a t5i but that is the latest version.

Definitely go for the t3i, and install magic lantern to really bring out the photo and video quality of the camera.

I got a t1i, and it's great. Got it for $250 from ebay. 

The T series cameras are very nice but can be bulky and with an extra lens could start requiring a camera bag. You might look into something along the lines of a compact mirrorless camera. You can change the lenses and get great quality shots but are small and compact being not much bigger than a regular point and shoot. I have not used one but recently sat in on a beginners photography class and the instructor was showing some amazing shots he too with one of these. here is just one example of one I found.

The compact cameras can offer decent quality, but where they struggle, is with low light.


With the nikon one cameras, you will basically have trouble going above ISO 800, but on top of that, unlike larger sensor cameras, these smaller mirrorles cameras will have noise at all ISO levels (including color noise) while with a larger sensor camera, you will generally only be stuck with some luminance noise at low ISO's and a small amount of color noise at higher ISO, this makes sample based noise reduction easier, as many advanced noise removal programs which go beyond lightroom or other raw processing cameras, they can remove luminance noise rather easily, but color noise is always destructive , as the characteristics of color noise change based on the the light levels of each pixel on the sensor.

With aps-c sensor camera, you can generally control the noise very will up to ISO 1600 before you start having difficulty with color noise.


Many photographers who upload their photos on line, will often upload low res images, e.g., 1600x resolution when the original photo was around 5000x, so when they show the low res image, things will look clean and sharp, but the original image will be grainy at 1:1 zoom.

Other than that, those cameras tend to lack audio connectors, and phase detect auto focus, which means that focusing will be very slow in low light, and tracking may not work at all.



When it comes to entry level DSLR's if your main focus is still images, then something like the nikon D3200 (or 3300 if available) offers the best image quality for the money.


If you are focused on budget video, then the t3i and up are best as they work well with the advanced features of the magic lantern firmware. including the ability to record raw video from the camera. (this offers a similar dynamic range to the RED epic) though you will be spending at least $ 100 on an SD card as anything less than the 95MB/s write ones will cause choppiness (unless you are okay with recording at a lower resolution) (even with the fastest SD card, it may still have some issues with 1080p raw, so some experimenting will be needed where the resolution is slightly lowered little by little until the card is no longer overrun)


for example

 raw video comparison on the t3i


I was only suggesting the more compact mirror less one as the OP said he did not want to carry an extra bag for the camera and a compact mirror less wouldn't need much extra space. The Nikon I linked goes to an ISO 6400, so it should be able to handle lower light situations just fine. No it is not a perfect fit to all of his requests but just a suggestion as something he might look into.

@Razor 512 SD Card Bottleneck on T3i,even if you use 90mb/s cards,the transfer speed will be bottlenecked by the controller on the camera itself.

T4i and T5i uses a faster controller,but still,40mb/s maximum.

lilrockerdude : I would suggest buying either the T3i or SL1.Personally I have the T5i,and it serves me well,especially with magic lantern. I would suggest you to put in some picture style such as Technicolor CineStyle,Marvels Advance,and others.H.264 (.MOV) is decent,not comparable to RAW,but for general use (a little bit of color grading,and editing it appears to be quite decent.


You can also try mirrorless cameras,they are pretty comparable to dslr as they are using comparable sensors. (full frame,micro four thirds,APS-C etc.)

However,they generally offers lower bitrate in terms of video. And not many includes a mic input and a hotshoe. (unless you go for pricey ones)