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Best DSLR video cameras

10 Best DSLR Video Cameras in 2023 [Beginner’s Guide]

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Looking to buy your very first DSLR video camera? No worries, in this article we look at the best DSLRs for video on the market based on features, pricing, and footage.

Ultimately, filmmaking has never been easier or more accessible. If you’re just getting started, count yourself lucky to live in what is a golden era of filmmaking! Certainly, DSLR video cameras have never been better, or cheaper. So, what’s stopping you?

Strangely, the only downside is that actually, with so many options, it can feel a little overwhelming…

What To Look For in a DSLR Video Camera

So firstly, before we get into it, there are a few things you should look out for when choosing a DSLR video camera:

  1. Price – when you’re just getting started you don’t want to spend all of your money. Remember, this might not be the right hobby or career for you. Also, getting a more expensive camera doesn’t mean you’ll be a better filmmaker.
  2. Interface and controls – when learning the ropes, you want to ensure your DSLR video camera is relatively simple and easy to get to grips with. Some cameras may feature a lot of buttons and menus. As a result, it can become quite confusing and a little daunting.
  3. Manual mode – indeed, whilst auto modes are very convenient and get the job done without you having to do much at all, it’s really important that you can shoot manually. Undoubtedly, it will improve you as a filmmaker and take your work up to the next level.
  4. Footage quality – pretty obvious right? Whatever beginner DSLR video camera you opt for, you want it to be great in what it does! Footage quality will always be important, no matter what point you’re going in at.
  5. Lens options – having the option to change lenses is a big deal when it comes to DSLR video cameras for beginners. Understanding things like framing, aspect ratios, and knowing how to utilize different focal ranges will help make you a much better filmmaker. From wide to telephoto, lenses are almost as important as the camera itself!

How do you pick? Below, we’ve put together a list of our best DSLR video cameras for beginners.

1. Nikon D3500

  • Max resolution: 1080p (Full HD)
  • Lens mount: Nikon F (DX)
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Screen size: 3 inches
  • Max FPS: 60fps
  • Manual mode: Yes

Yes, the Nikon D3500 is basic and that’s why it’s perhaps one of the best DSLR video cameras for beginners. It’s an easy go-to and one of my top recommendations for anyone looking to get started.

The combination of its price point, great image quality, and ease of use make it perfect. It won’t take you long to get to grips with it. Also, having access to the Nikon lens family (F mount) is a real win.

ProsCons
✔ Long battery life✘ A little basic for some
✔ Affordable price✘ No touchscreen or LCD tilt
✔ Great image quality✘ No 4K

2. Nikon D5600

  • Max resolution: 1080p (Full HD)
  • Lens mount: Nikon F (DX)
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Screen size: 3.2 inches
  • Max FPS: 60fps
  • Manual mode: Yes

Basically, the Nikon D5600 is the big brother of the D3500. It’s a great beginner DSLR, boasting a bit more power than the previous option, as well as a few nice features such as a fully tilting touchscreen.

Similarly, the image quality is fantastic and we’re particularly impressed by the autofocus speed. It’s a real contender for the best DSLR video camera.

ProsCons
✔ Great image quality✘ No 4K
✔ Touchscreen, tilting LCD✘ A bit pricier than the D3500
✔ Solid autofocus 

3. Canon EOS 850D (Rebel T8i)

  • Max resolution: 4K
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-S
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels: 24.1MP
  • Screen size: 3 inches
  • Max FPS: 60fps
  • Manual mode: Yes

It can be a little overwhelming looking at all of the DSLR options on offer from Canon. However, the 850D really stands out as the best DSLR camera for beginners. As expected from Canon, the image quality is fantastic – really sharp and clear.

Also, you’ve got the option of shooting in 4K which is always useful! We think the button layout is It’s simple and easy to get to grips with making it perfect for beginners.

ProsCons
✔ 4K resolution✘ Pricey
✔ Touchscreen, tilting LCD✘ Plastic build
✔ Quick and reliable autofocus✘ Certain 4K limitations with frame crop

4. Pentax K-70

  • Max resolution: 1080p (Full HD)
  • Lens mount: Pentax K
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels: 24.1MP
  • Screen size: 3 inches
  • Max FPS: 60fps
  • Manual mode: Yes

The Pentax K-70 is a bit of a left-field option when compared to Canon and Nikon. However, we think it is a fantastic DSLR video camera. If you’re looking for slightly more advanced controls and useful things such as the flip-tilt LCD screen, this is the perfect combination.

What we love most is the weather sealing and really strong, rugged build quality – something that is often missing when it comes to beginner-level DSLRs.

ProsCons
✔ Competitive price✘ Video specs not quite as good as other competitors
✔ Solid, rugged build✘ Continuous autofocus in video is pretty poor
✔ Anti-shake capabilities✘ Lens options are not mainstream like Canon or Nikon etc

5. Canon EOS 90D

  • Max resolution: 4K
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-S
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels: 32.5MP
  • Screen size: 3.2 inches
  • Max FPS: 60fps
  • Manual mode: Yes

Although a little pricey, the Canon EOS 90D is certainly up there when it comes to the best DSLR video camera for beginners. Alongside the compatibility with Canon lenses (especially useful for improving on low-light shooting), it’s packed full of features such as the high-resolution sensor, tilting touchscreen, and really smooth, speedy performance.

Also, it punches heavier than the Canon EOS 850D in its ability to shoot 4K completely uncropped, making full use of that nice big sensor.

ProsCons
✔ 4K resolution (uncropped, up to 30p)✘ Very pricey
✔ Touchscreen, tilting LCD✘ A little bulky and heavier compared to other options
✔ Good, solid build and weather sealing✘ No image stabilisation

6. Nikon D7500

  • Max resolution: 4K
  • Lens mount: Nikon F (DX)
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels: 20.9MP
  • Screen size: 3.2 inches
  • Max FPS: 60fps
  • Manual mode: Yes

This budget-friendly alternative to Nikon’s flagship D500 is a great beginner video DSLR. The Nikon D7500 boasts impressive features such as weather sealing, the ability to shoot 4K, and digital image stabilization.

It offers the speed and power of a flagship model but at a much more reasonable price making it definitely one to consider when on a budget.

ProsCons
✔ Weather sealing✘ Video recordings limited to 29m 59s
✔ 4K✘ 4K is severely cropped
✔ Digital stabilisation✘ Poor autofocus

7. Canon EOS 250D

  • Max resolution: 4K
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-S
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels: 24.1MP
  • Screen size: 3 inches
  • Max FPS: 60fps
  • Manual mode: Yes

You’ve probably realized by now that Canon really is the king of the video DSLR game. There are so many models to choose from. Our third entry in our best DSLR video camera for beginners list, the 250D is another solid option.

It packs all the great features you’ve come to expect from Canon (including a very responsive LCD and 4K video option) into a very small, compact, and lightweight body. It’s proven to be a great beginner video camera since its release in mid 2019.

ProsCons
✔ 4K resolution✘ 4K video includes cropping
✔ Very small, lightweight body✘ AF system is a little out of date
✔ Great battery life 

8. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

  • Max resolution: 1080p (Full HD)
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-S
  • Sensor: Full frame
  • Megapixels: 26.2MP
  • Screen size: 3.2 inches
  • Max FPS: 60fps
  • Manual mode: Yes

Despite the fact it’s full frame, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is an exceptionally good beginner DSLR for video.

Thanks to its layout and Canon familiarity, it’s really easy to get to grips with and very user-friendly straight out of the box. A solid, reliable option that gets the job done.

ProsCons
✔ Impressive performance and plenty of features✘ No 4K
✔ Full frame sensor✘ Pricey
✔ Easy to use✘ Plastic finish

9. Pentax KP

  • Max resolution: 1080p (Full HD)
  • Lens mount: Pentax K
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels: 24.3MP
  • Screen size: 3 inches
  • Max FPS: 30fps
  • Manual mode: Yes

Another strong alternative is the Pentax KP. The layout of the controls on this exceptionally well-built body is very user-friendly.

Also, the in-house image stabilization is brilliant for the price point. Of course, the specs and performance may not be quite as good as some of the other Nikons and Canons here but nevertheless, the Pentax KP holds its own and is worth considering.

ProsCons
✔ 5-axis image stabilization built-in✘ Poor battery life
✔ Great build quality & weather sealed✘ Average autofocus system
✔ Nice control layout✘ No 4K or 1080p 60fps option

10. Nikon D5200

  • Max resolution: 1080p (Full HD)
  • Lens mount: Nikon F (DX)
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels: 24.1MP
  • Screen size: 3 inches
  • Max FPS: 60fps
  • Manual mode: Yes

Lastly, round off our list, this one is just for the sake of nostalgia. The Nikon D5200 may be a little outdated (the Nikon D5600 is better, undoubtedly), but this is still a great beginner DSLR video camera.

It has some great features such as the tilting LCD, it’s very easy to use and it produces really nice footage. So if you’re on a real budget and looking to keep things simple, it won’t let you down.

ProsCons
✔ Great image quality✘ No 4K
✔ Tilting LCD✘ Older, outdated model
✔ Very easy to use 

Best DSLR Video Cameras For Beginners – Wrapping Up

In short, there are a few different things you need to think about when choosing your first DSLR video camera. Obviously, it boils down to certain things like budget, features, footage, lenses, and brand.

Still not sure? try going down to your local camera shop and having a play.

Josh Edwards
Josh Edwards
Filmmaker. 25. I have a real passion for travel and documentaries
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