What’s the Best Camera for Video and Still Photography?

At, Mleates writes:

I do some HD videos that I upload to YouTube, plus I have kids. I want a camera that can do HD video and capture great stills. I’m more interested in still quality than anything else. I’m looking for an affordable camera that will handle my video needs as well. I’m currently using an iPad second generation for my videos with acceptable performance and the iPhone for camera and videos.

CamerasRecording HD video on a camera that does great stills would have been an extremely tall order five years ago. Today, it’s actually par for the course. As camera makers compete with smartphones that have all but replaced many of yesterday’s camera equipment, they have become masters at redefining the capabilities of camera standards like DSLR and even compacts.

These cameras are taking sharper still images than ever before, and on sensors that would previously have only been found in cameras that weigh a ton and cost far more than the average consumer can spend. Just about any still camera you see shoots HD video these days, and this isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, some of the best video coming out of Hollywood over the past few years was actually captured on a DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflective) camera.

One of the commenters at notes that the Nikon D5200 was an excellent choice. I couldn’t agree more. It not only takes excellent photographs, but it shoots 1080p video in a number of different settings and gives you the ability to use a wide range of Nikon lenses to change the look of your shot.

Canon, which started the DSLR video craze with its 5D Mark II, is still producing some of the most popular video-capable still cameras on the market today. The 5D Mark III is pricey, but it’s currently one of the best options you’ll find. It’s being used by major motion picture studios to capture essential footage for use in feature-length films. Not only that, but it offers an autofocus setting that is one of the best in its price range.

There is also the Canon T4i (650D), which gives you the advantage of stunning Canon optics and continuous autofocus without the high price of the 5D.

If you’re not looking for something big, then you may be best served by a slightly smaller (yet still quite good) Sony NEX 5R. This camera captures what some photographers have called world-class shots with the option to record excellent video. All of this is done in a camera that’s small enough to fit in one hand very easily.

To get even smaller, you’ll be looking at something like the Canon PowerShot S110. This little gem is a favorite among vloggers for its portability and crisp video. It’s a great compact camera, and one that can certainly get the job done for most users.

Whatever your choice, remember that the size of a camera doesn’t always translate to quality. Some of the best shots you’ll see these days are captured on hardware that fits right in your pocket.