At this point, there are several choices for HDSLRs, but my philosophy is this:
If your budget is limited at all, spend the minimum on the camera and spend the money where it will really count– on the other goodies that really make an impact, like lenses, (especially lenses!), a decent tripod, mics, lights, stabilizers, dollies or jibs, and other valuable and essential tools of the trade.
If you are an expert cinematographer, the viewers of your final video project won’t have any idea whether you shot on a T3i, 60D, 5D or RED. But they will definitely notice the beautiful wide angle shot from the 14mm 2.8 lens, that sparking eye light, the crisp clear sound from that Rode NTG-3 or that sweeping jib move.
But the 60D and T3i are so close in price. Is the 60D worth $170 more than the T3i?
The two cameras are almost identical, both with the same sensor, processing, articulated LCD and most other features.
The T3i and 60D bodies are both made of polycarbonate, but the 60D has an aluminum frame compared to the stainless steel frame of the T3i, making it a bit sturdier. The 60D seems to be sealed a bit better, making it perhaps less susceptible to dust or sand getting inside the body.
The manual controls of the 60D are slightly more more accessible, some having buttons on the body for functions that must be accessed via menus on the T3i. Easy access to controls is a definite plus.
The 60D also has more menu features, allowing greater customization of controls, as well as allowing you to tweak some settings more, but nothing too important.
But the big thing is, the 60D uses the LP-E6 battery (same as the 7D and 5D) which stores more power than the smaller LP-E8 battery the T3i and T2i use.
Swapping batteries less often, along with the accessibility to controls, in my opinion, is worth the extra $170 (at the time of this writing). So I recommend the 60D for the best value in an HDSLR.
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