I am currently looking for a DSLR that shoots 1080p Video at 24fps. I have access to a Canon 5d and typically shoot most project on that, but am in the market for a lower end DSLR that I can essentially use as a "crash cam." I have been looking at the T2i, T3i, and the Nikon d3100. Just wondering which entry level camera gives me the best video for the best price. Any suggestions or other cameras to consider?
Canon T2i with Magic Lantern is amazing bang for the buck. T3i will eventually get Magic Lantern and adds articulating screen which in my opinion is critical for DSLR video. Another great cam though hard to find is the Panasonic GH2. Finally I happen to love Nikon for stills but their video offerings are much less developed than Canon or Panasonic as far as video-suitable ergonomics and camera operation go.
You might also want to look into the GoPro (http://gopro.com/) Hero cams if its just gonna be a crash cam. At $300, you really can't beat it - uber-wide-angle, shoots 1080/960/720P at 30 and 60 fps (60fps is only available at 720P and WVGA). They work well for action shots and have a rapidly growing set of accoutrements and attachments (underwater, various mounts, sports, helmet mounts, etc.). I love these for mounting discretely on a car dash, car bumper, bicycle, as a hidden camera, and they rock underwater! Not so great if you want DSLR bit rates (gopros only do 15mbs which is low- to mid-level AVCHD). Then again, these are tiny cameras: Dimensions (H x W x D): 1.6” x 2.4” x 1.2” (42mm x 60mm x 30mm)
Weight: 3.3oz (94g) incl. battery, 5.9oz (167g) incl. housing. Also, they shoot 30P, but you can easily convert to 24P.
Pluses and minuses abound, but the same is true for DSLRs.