Top 3 Cameras I Recommend Over the Canon T3i in 2020 for Under $500

Back in mid 2019, I release a video called “Is the Canon T3i still worth getting in 2019?” with the ultimate answer being “If you can get it for under $300, than maybe.”

Don’t get me wrong, the canon t3i is a good camera that has done me well over the years and if I didn’t need something like the Sony A6400 for my videography business, then I’d still be using the T3i and probably be sticking with it for as long as it functions. But I got to thinking, If I were looking for a camera today that was under $500 for the body, what would I go with? Here is what choices I personally would go for if I was in that situation today.
Disclaimer: This article is going to include affiliate links to Amazon.com. If you decide to use these links to buy something, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Sony A6000 ($300-$400 Body Only)

This one I’d personally would go for if you also are interested in photography due to how high res the photos can be. This can shoot up to 60fps in HD (Awesome if you want slow motion) with a pretty decent bit depth of 50 MB/s. It also allows you to power the camera via it’s micro usb port. Pretty useful in situations where you can’t change batteries for what ever reason. Just rig up a battery bank to it and you’re good to go. They also use the same batteries as the Sony A6400, so you do have an upgrade path later on if interested.

Canon Sl2 ($400-$450 Body Only)

I wish the canon SL2 was available for rent when I rented the sl3 to film a wedding. I would have gone with that without a second thought. Sorry. I’m still not happy with my experence with the canon sl3. Dispite that (and the crop in 4K), I did like the picture quailty I got from the Canon SL3. So when I discovered that the sl2 pretty much has the same picture quailty minus the 4K as the sl3, I was thinking to myself “Cool”. Now, it might be tempting to go with the SL3 since it’s only $50 more body only on Amazon. But the thing with the Sl3 is not only the crop in 4K, but also the fact if you want to shoot 24fps, you have to in the cropped 4K mode. Where as the SL2, no 4K, but at the same time, no crop. Pretty fair trade if you ask me.

Now, both cameras are solid cameras for filming in 1080p, but what if you need 4K? Well, this last choice will be one to consider.

and Lastly The Panasonic G85 ($425-$450)

If you do event videography (or know you’re going to be in situations where you need to be recording for longer than 29 minutes 59 seconds.), this might be the camera to go for. You can shoot 4K up for 30fps, and 1080p up to 60 fps (Like the other two cameras mentioned on this list). It also comes with in body stabilization if you need to have steady shots (I personally just use a steady cam for my shots, but to each their own). Only down side is that since it is a micro 4/3s sensor, it’s not going to do that well at high iso. You might be able to get away with it if you shoot 4K and deliever in 1080p, but I recommend using lights and fast lenses to make up for it.

But at the end of the day, no matter which camera you get, it’s just a tool. A tool that if you learn to use well, can get some good results from. So, get out there, learn to shoot and make something great.

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