[dropcap]I[/dropcap] would recommend you take a look at the Panasonic GH2 and GH3. Being a Micro 4/3s camera, you can adapt almost any lens to the body (including ridiculous things like PL mount cinema lenses), which means you can buy older photography lenses for much cheaper than new lenses.
Best DSLR Camera for Videography Work
Many of the older lenses don’t have auto-focus, but if you’re shooting video you wouldn’t want to rely on that anyway. Another camera I would look into is the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. It’s not really a DSLR per se, but it’s under $1,000, has a M 4/3 lens mount and shoots either RAW CinemaDNG files or ProRes 422 (HQ) files, which would go directly into Final Cut Pro. In my opinion, Canon really blew the doors off the DSLR video market with the 5D Mark II, but since then they haven’t really tried to innovate. Instead, they’re trying to push people into their much more expensive Cinema line (C100, C300, C500). They also keep releasing the same camera (essentially) in different camera bodies.
The 7D, T3i, 60D, T4i, etc. all have the same exact sensor. And their lenses are way too expensive. Nikon cameras are great for stills and they’ve been lagging behind for video, but apparently their new D5200 is really great. I haven’t used it personally, but EOSHD seems to love it. The GH3 (body) costs about $1,300, but the GH2 (body) is now about $600-700. B&H is no longer carrying the GH2, but I’m sure you can find it on eBay. One of the biggest differences between the two is the build quality — the GH2 is plastic and the GH3 is magnesium alloy, which is weather sealed. Once hacked, the GH2 is a real beast. Shane Carruth shot Upstream Color on it. The overall image quality of the Pocket will undoubtedly be way better than the T3i, but from what I’ve read, I can’t tell if the Pocket is capable of taking stills or not.
I find it hard to believe Blackmagic would not include that feature, but it is a video camera as opposed to a DSLR that happens to take video.