I'm buying a new camera and im deciding on two cameras with the main difference being that one shoots with automatic focusing while taking video and the other has manual focus while taking video. Do you sacrifice freedom by taking the camera with automatic focusing or is it too helpful to pass by?
I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade... And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party. - Ron White
We know it's not always easy to manage both, the focus and the focal ring and that's one of the main disadvantage DSLRs have but on the other hand, you ought to concentrate more on getting a nice focus than always zooming in and out.
- "There's a thin line between adventure and suicide, the thinner the line the better the adventure"
I'd say it's quite the contrary. Having manual control over focus is one of the biggest benefits to a DSLR, in that you have full control over the image. This is why so many folks, including myself, swear by vintage glass, because it gives you a fully manual focus ring that's absolutely superior to anything anyone is coming out with today besides perhaps Rokinon...
continuous autofocus on the gh2 is neat, on the gh3 it can be great with some lenses, but I do almost only manual focus. I find it easier, because you don't have to worry about it missing/changing mid shot, and while you can do touch to focus to do focus pulls on the gh2, it has to hunt (by nature of contrast detect af), so it isn't something to rely on. And I would get the t3i, it has magic lantern and a shorter flange distance, but if it works for you, you may wnat to look into a gh2 or gh3, for video they both blow just about anything else out of the water.
treadmills are the trick to everything. fat chicks, skiing on grassy flat back yards, OK GO videos.. - jibnut
Get the T3i, I dont know anything about the sony, but I love my T3i. And get a wide angle/ fisheye lens (ex. any Rokinon lens or a tokina 11-16mm, preferably the tokina.) My tokina is awesome. It really helps with focusing, because of the infinity focus thing on the focus ring.