I need a camera mostly for shooting short videos. Which one is better for this?

I know that the 500D does 1080 at 20fps, but would it make that much of a difference from the 24p in the D3100?

  • Thank you all very much for the answers, I went ahead and got the nikon d3100. Have a great day! – Sidd Nov 8 '10 at 7:14

If you're primarily interested in video, the Nikon option offers 1080p and 24 frames per second with autofocus. This exceeds the 500D all around, so if you have no lens investment in Canon, I'd have to advise the D3100.

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    As a recent owner of the d3100, the autofocus is nice, but makes ALOT of noise. If you're not in a noisy setting, its very noticeable on playback. And there's no external jack. The D3100 shoots great video, but the audio stinks unless you're going to record audio otherwise and sync later. – rfusca Nov 6 '10 at 19:17
  • @rfusca: Are you using a lens with a screw-driven autofocus? I would imagine that it would be much quieter with the Nikon "Silent Wave Motor" AF if it's anything like the Pentax SDM or Sigma HSM which I find to be basically noiseless. In any case, noise would probably vary by lens. – John Cavan Nov 6 '10 at 19:27
  • Very true, but the lens is a AF-S, which according to Nikon is a "Silent Wave Motor". imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/lens/glossary.htm#swm Check noises here (not me, but a good example): youtube.com/watch?v=LTGOHwGGd0U – rfusca Nov 6 '10 at 21:28
  • Hmm, yeah I heard it. I wonder if that is being transmitted through the body? – John Cavan Nov 6 '10 at 22:42
  • I don't think so, if you place your ear the approximate distance from the lens that the mic is, then its about the same level. My AF-S lens is definitely not "silent". Its very quiet under normal circumstances, but I don't find it any surprise that the noise is picked up as such on the camera. Video on DSLs seems to still kind of fledging (but thriving it seems) and as this is the first (or one of the first) with the auto focus, I'm sure they'll engineer around it in the future. – rfusca Nov 7 '10 at 20:36

I'd recommend reading an article from Philip Bloom, a professional filmmaker who uses DSLRs on a daily basis. Some time ago he reviewed a bunch of options http://philipbloom.net/2010/08/19/whichdslr/

I have no experience with Nikons, but for Cannons, if you can, I'd go one model up - 550D. It has 24p and overall is a ridiculously good camera.

Difference between 20p and 24p is pretty big. You won't notice it in a talking head video but as soon as you start moving the camera it 20p does not look smooth. Moderately fast panning will look terrible already.

  • Thanks for the reply, The 550d here is way out of budget, i might have to go in for the d3100 – Sidd Nov 6 '10 at 8:41