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Best DSLRs for Video: Our Top Picks for Beautiful Footage (2021)

Today, you can record high-definition video without the need for an ultra-expensive video camera. Instead, many DSLRs have outstanding video specifications, including 4K resolution and fast frame rates for slow motion.

In this article, we share the best DSLRs for video – including a host of high-spec cameras from Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic. So whether you’re a beginner looking for your first video camera or a more experienced filmmaker in need of an equipment upgrade, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s get started.

1. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Our Pick
Great for 4K video and professional photography

The 5D Mark IV offers the best of both worlds, featuring a 30.4 MP sensor and 4K video recording.

Fast Dual-Pixel AF system
Can record 1080p at 60 fps
Can record time lapse and HDR video
Touchscreen cannot be rotated for vlogging

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV was one of the first DSLRs to feature high-spec video functions and resolutions, and it remains a popular choice for videographers. It is also an amazing camera for still photography, thanks to a powerful 30.4 MP CMOS sensor that produces professional-grade photos.

For video, you can record in full 4K up to 30 frames per second. Alternatively, you can record in 1080p at 60 frames per second, which is great for slow-motion footage. And for super slow motion and other techniques, the 5D Mark IV also records at 120 frames per second at 720p.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera Body

The tilting LCD is nice for cinematography, though the lack of a fully articulating screen isn’t great for vlogging. You do get both microphone and headphone sockets, and you can record time-lapse footage and HDR videos, too. The autofocus is fantastic and utilizes Canon’s Dual-Pixel AF.

If you want a high-quality camera for professional photography, one that also has excellent video capabilities, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a good choice.

2. Canon EOS 90D

Also Great
Great for intermediate video recording

The Canon EOS 90D is a versatile camera with 4K recording and a fully articulating touchscreen.

Can record 1080p at 120 fps
Has a fully articulating touchscreen
Fast and accurate autofocus
4K is cropped

Next, we have the Canon EOS 90D. Yes, it’s an older model, but it’s still a great DSLR for video shooting, thanks to its 32.5 MP APS-C sensor and its range of video specifications. And while it offers less in terms of still photography compared to the 5D Mark IV, it actually gives a better range of frame rates.

You can record 4K video at 30 fps, plus 1080p footage at 120 fps. As a result, you can experiment with different types of slow-motion and super slow-motion footage.

Canon DSLR Camera [EOS 90D] with Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DIGIC 8 Image Processor,...

We also like the design of this smaller camera. It has a firm grip to help create smooth video; it also features a touchscreen LCD that can be rotated 180-degrees and flipped out. This means you can utilize different video shooting techniques and angles.

The camera also has Dual-Pixel autofocus, which is great for video recording. And the EOS 90D has decent still photography performance, too, with its 32.5 MP sensor.

It’s another powerful Canon camera that’s great for both photography and video recording.

3. Canon EOS Rebel SL3

Budget Pick
Great for beginners

The Rebel SL3 has some great features for video, including a rotatable screen for vlogging.

Fully rotatable screen
Dual-Pixel AF
Can record 1080p at 60 fps
Maximum recording spec is only 4K at 25 fps

The Canon Rebel series of DSLRs are great for beginners; they offer decent camera specs for video and photography without a hefty price tag. That’s why the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is the best DSLR for video shooting for beginners compared to the older SL2. It costs a fraction of the price of other cameras on this list, yet it still offers 4K recording and a great videography experience.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 has a 24.1 MP sensor, which is great for still photography. And it can record 4K at 25 fps (no 30 fps, sadly). It can also record 1080p at 60, 50, and 30 fps, so you can still create cool slow-motion footage.

It also has a decent autofocus system and uses Dual-Pixel AF. This means you can focus quickly and do video effects like transitions with ease. More importantly, this camera also has an LCD touchscreen that can be fully rotated and tilted, which is perfect for high-definition vlogging.

Canon EOS REBEL SL3 Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm Lens kit, Built-in Wi-Fi,...

You can also benefit from the vast range of Canon EF and EF-S lenses to experiment with various videography types. For beginners, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is a great option!

4. Nikon D850

Our Pick
Great for versatile photography and videography

The D850 is a powerful camera for still photos; it also has 4K uncropped video capabilities.

Powerful 45.7 MP sensor
Uncropped 4K recording at 30 fps
Ergonomic and easy to use
Does not have a fully rotatable screen

The Nikon D850 is one of Nikon’s most powerful DSLRs and offers pro-level video and still shooting.

It has a diverse range of video options. You can record 4K at 30 fps, as well as 1080p at 60 fps. Plus, the 4K video is uncropped, which is great for high-end videos.

Like the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, the Nikon D850 has a tilting (and not fully articulating) screen; in other words, it’s not the best DSLR for vlogging.

Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body (Renewed)

We like the versatility of this camera and its ergonomic design. It is comfortable to use and also has microphone and headphone connections. The Nikon D850 is primarily a camera for still photography – however, it provides a perfect platform to easily switch between still photography and video.

5. Nikon D780

Great for slow-motion recording

The D780 is a budget alternative to the D850, with better HD recording options.

Can record 1080p at 120 fps
Powerful 24.5 MP sensor
Ergonomic design and body
Does not have a suitable screen for vlogging

If you feel that the Nikon D850 is a little expensive, the Nikon D780 provides a slightly cheaper alternative. It’s a step down from the D850, yet video quality remains top-notch.

The D780 can record uncropped 4K video at 30 fps. Even more impressively, the D780 also provides 1080p recording at 120, 100, and 60 fps, which even the D850 does not have. As a result, you can produce fantastic slow-motion recordings. It also supports a range of high-quality video specs including N-Log and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma).

Nikon D780 Body

In terms of handling, this camera suffers from the same screen limitations as the D850 (the LCD can only be tilted slightly). However, the D850 has all the connections you need to utilize a wireless microphone for vlogging.

You’ll also appreciate the wide range of professional Nikon lenses to create a variety of different cinematography styles.

6. Nikon D7500

A great budget option

The D7500 is cheaper than other high-end Nikon DSLRs, yet it still offers good video performance.

4K and 1080p recording
Powerful 20.9 MP sensor
Can utilize a range of Nikon lenses
Video AF can be a little slow

Next, we have the Nikon D7500. This is another mid-range DSLR that offers excellent quality for both photography and video. It is powered by a 20.9 MP APS-C sensor, which is great for still photography. It also has a decent contrast-detect AF system.

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You get multiple resolutions and frame rates for video recording, including 4K – with a 1.5x crop – at 30 frames per second, as well as 1080p at 60, 50, 30, 25, and 24 fps. This gives you excellent versatility and allows for different effects and formats.

Nikon D7500 20.9MP DSLR Digital Camera (Body Only) (1581) USA Model Deluxe Bundle Kit...

The video AF uses the contrast-detect system, which is decent and should allow you to focus easily. We also like the design of this camera, including its high-quality LCD touchscreen.

7. Nikon D500

Great for beginners

The D500 is better for photography, but it’s also decent for those wanting to test jumpstart their video recording skills.

Can record 1080p at 60 fps
Comfortable design
Great battery life
Does not have a rotatable touchscreen

The Nikon D500 is a well-rounded camera, featuring great still and video capabilities.

For video, you get 4K at 30 fps, though with a 1.5x crop factor. 1080p recording is uncropped and also available at 60 fps. In terms of autofocus, it uses the same contrast-detect AF as the D7500, which can be slow on occasion. You should still be able to focus on moving objects and people, however.

Nikon D500 DSLR Camera (Body Only) (1559) + 64GB Memory Card + Case + Corel Photo...

The Nikon D500 has a standard Nikon design with a comfortable righthand grip. It also has an LCD touchscreen, which is high quality but can only be tilted slightly and cannot be rotated outward.

Regardless, the D500 is a great choice for photographers who may also want to try their hand at video recording.

8. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Great for improving recording skills

The EOS 6D Mark II offers decent video recording and full 1080p HD at 60fps.

Can record at 1080p 60fps.
Has a great autofocus system.
Also brilliant for photography.
No 4K recording options.

Next, we move back to Canon with the popular Canon EOS 6D Mark II. This is a model down from the 5D Mark IV but is still considered an intermediate to professional DSLR. It is much cheaper than many pro DSLRs but still offers fantastic image and recording quality.

For still photos, the 6D Mark II has a 26.2MP sensor and is known for its sharp and clear images. However, it can also record in 1080p uncropped at 60, 50, 30, 25, and 24 fps. There is one downside, however – it has no 4K recording capabilities, which some may not like.

That being said, it still has great functionality for video recording. For example, for live AF it uses the powerful Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. This is excellent for action videos where there are continually moving subjects. We also like the LCD touchscreen that can be fully rotated and tilted. This means that it has tons of vlogging potential.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body, Wi-Fi Enabled

The EOS 6D Mark II is primarily for photography. However, it is another camera like the D500 that could also be used to dabble with basic video recording techniques.

9. Canon EOS 1D X Mark II

Great for RAW video

The 1D X Mark II can record 5.5K video (4K RAW), and can also produce 4K at 60fps uncropped.

Can create 4K RAW video.
Excellent AF system for 1080p.
Superior photography quality.
No Dual Pixel AF for 4K or 4K RAW.

If you want a premium, professional-grade DSLR for photography, that is also no slouch for video recording, the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II is a top choice. This is the best DSLR for Video Shooting if you want ultimate still photo quality, and RAW video capabilities. This is because the 1D X Mark II can record 4K RAW footage – also known as 5.5k HD.

It can also record 4K HD at 60fps uncropped. This means it has some impressive quality and you can easily create stunning videos with it. For autofocusing, it has Dual Pixel AF for 1080p, however, this is not available for 4K or 5.5K recording.

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR Camera (Body Only) (Renewed)

The camera also has an excellent design with a host of useful manual controls. It really puts you in control and combined with the interchangeable EF lenses; makes for a wonderful camera for both photography and video.

Which is DSLR is Right for You for Video Shooting?

We hope this guide on the best DSLR for video shooting has been useful for making an informed decision about your next big purchase.

Dependent on your level of interest, and what you intend to use the camera for, you might find some of these cameras more suited to your needs. For example, if you simply want to experiment with video, a budget option like the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 could be a good choice. Alternatively, if you want a high-spec camera that can shoot 4K video and amazing quality still photos, something like the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV or Nikon D850 could be an excellent option.


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