[Help] My first DSLR?

Anonymous (not verified)

Hi there,

I'm interested in getting serious with filmmaking and I'm planning on purchasing a DSLR to upgrade from an HD Camcorder. For the past month or so, I've been looking at the Canon T3i. It's not overly expensive and the tilting LCD is a big plus (coming from a camcorder user). The only thing that's making me hesitate is the new T4i which features autofocus. I've been using a camcorder for three years and it's all autofocus, so I've never had to use manual during filming.

Is manual focus when shooting videos that critical? Or should I pay the extra $200 and get the new T4i with auto video focus?

If it helps, I plan on doing a lot of different movies, some including action.

Any input is greatly appreciated.


garyjay's picture
Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
Joined: 06/10/2012 - 12:57pm

Hi Dan
I've just purchased the Canon 600d or T3i as you guys over the pond call it.

Anyway, upto now I have found it to be a very good camera, plus it has the added bonus of being able to take great photo's while on set should you need to.

I'm not sure about the auto focus on the T4i, but I haven't found any problems with test shots i've been taking.

Anyway, Its my first DSLR (Just moved from a Canon XL1) and have found it quite easy to use.

Good luck on your choice but I'm pretty sure the guys here will point you in the right direction because i've found them quite a helpful bunch of guys.

Woody Sanford's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 10/19/2010 - 7:33am

I rarely ever use auto focus and if I'm using a lens with a shallow depth of field it is impossible. There are times during run and gun type shooting that auto focus is beneficial but if you are in control of things its hardly needed. One thing I did find I did need was an external monitor when working with DOF to make sure I didn't shoot myself in the foot with soft focus. When using something like a 50mm f1.4 lens in low light DOF will be extreme.

So you will have some situations where AF won't work at all and maybe some where you can get away with it if you wanted to.