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Thread: Video Camera vs DSLR

  1. #1

    Default Video Camera vs DSLR

    I'm fairly new to video although I've had to do a very small element of videoing at work and it is something I'm interested in persuing as a hobby.

    I notice a lot of people seem to use DSLRs to shoot video rather than a specific video camera. Could somebody tell me why? I don't understand how a DSLR, whose primary use (and design?) has been for still photography, can provide a quality video to match that of expensive video equipment.

    Surely a video camera has way more to offer in terms of functionality and settings than a DSLR?

    Please feel free to tell me if I'm wrong!

    Many thanks!

  2. #2

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    Your not wrong at all, DSLR's are just a cheap way of getting full HD footage onto a large size sensor with a range of fully manual operating lenses to chose from. You could spend 5-10k on a DSLR and lenses where up until very recently a dedicated video camera with similar size sensor and a similar range of lenses would be well upwards of 100k.

    The video camera would be far more versatile.

    But it really depends on what you want to do and how much money you have on what's the right tool for the job. DSLR's are allowing for a great deal of creativity to be put into to budgets that wouldn't normally allow a certain level of production. They are a serious full manual, large sensor tool with a great control over depth of field, and you really need to know what to do with them. These video's are well worth a watch. The ad was shot using 12 7D's, plus POV cameras.





    David.
    Last edited by david walsh; 01-25-2011 at 01:03 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    As David says, the image quality and control on dSLR's is very good. Where the dSLR loses out is in the audio department, with many of the cheaper models not even having a mic jack, and then only a standard stereo jack on the better ones. This can be overcome by the use of adaptors, but adds to the price.!
    I have six honest, serving men. They taught me all I knew.
    Their names are What and Why and When. And How and Where and Who! (Rudyard Kipling)
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  4. #4

    Default

    There is also a problem on some DSLR cameras with aliasing, which basically means the camera having trouble with smooth curves and lines.

    Here is an example of this to help you visualise what I mean, look at the brickwork.
    Attachment 1078

    THE main reason people use DSLR cameras is either, they already have one for stills and it's cheaper to use it than get a video camera as well or it's currently cheaper to use than a camcorder that can take lens that will give a shallow depth of field. IMHO.

  5. Default

    yeah i am tossing up at the moment between a dslr and a video camera, it just depends what you want to do. dslr's are great and have a great image and dof, but for me i like to film skating/snowboarding so for me a conventional video camera would be much easier as it has handles, auto focus ect. Where as the dslr without added extras does not have a grip or a quality mic plus its manual focus so doesnt really work for me. I might pick one up second hand for cheap but that will be the only time i would really venture there for what i am doing.

  6. #6

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    The big problem at the moment is that the advantage to these cameras is in offereng a depth of field with more control (at a dirt cheap price compared to the alternatives), but many operators don't get that, so they do tend to be mostly used for shallow (and often unaceptable) ranges of DOF.

    In the past, when pro film sizes were large, and high light levels were necessary, camera men and directors often had problems trying to get their DOF wide enough to keep everthing in focus.

    Alfred Hitchcock played a nice perspective trick by having an oversized wine glass made to get his framing right, with his desired level of DOF.

    David.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks for replying people - some interesting info, I appreciate it.

    Do many pros use DSLRs then? Or, is it more for a certain affect rather than using them permanently? I can't see somebody using them 'full time' (for want of a better expression) as settings such as the white level cannot be altered and therefore accomodated to the surroundings - indoors, outdoors, dark room and such like. Or is this an option on a DSLR?

    I'm looking into getting my first video camera but OH has just bought a Canon EOS 500 & wonder if it will be worth playing around with this for a while before commiting to a purchase?

    Thoughts most welcome!

  8. #8

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    Yes you can set the white balance on DSLRs but this tends to be a menu setting rather than having a dedicated button. There are some pros who have made a good name for them selves through DSLR video, if you Google Philip Bloom and have a look at his work.

    I think it would be a great idea to have a play with one before you buy.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Countrygal View Post
    Thanks for replying people - some interesting info, I appreciate it.

    Do many pros use DSLRs then? Or, is it more for a certain affect rather than using them permanently? I can't see somebody using them 'full time' (for want of a better expression) as settings such as the white level cannot be altered and therefore accomodated to the surroundings - indoors, outdoors, dark room and such like. Or is this an option on a DSLR?

    I'm looking into getting my first video camera but OH has just bought a Canon EOS 500 & wonder if it will be worth playing around with this for a while before commiting to a purchase?

    Thoughts most welcome!
    I think it is a case of horses for courses. DSLR cameras are pretty good and extremely cheep way of getting pro looking results. However I would suggest that shooting stuff that is pre planned (ie not live) would be the thing to do. While DSLR do offer an entry to large sensor shooting, there tiny price does actually come at a price. Namely all the things you need to do to make it work properly
    (which I am sure is well documented).
    We shoot EX1 and EX3 with a nanoflash unit or a Z7 for live events and sometimes use DSLR for corporate work. However a "video" camera is pretty good for both, where DSLR does have a lot of impracticalness when shooting live.

    Modern wedding videos from London videographer

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I posted a thread on the forum as I'm also Thinking of switching to DSLR, and wondered what people's feedback is in regards to my needs.

    I'm still interested in getting feedback, but I'm very much swayed to DSLR.

    My back story is that I've had a Canon XL1 for a while, and it's a lovely camera for SD, and I've had it fully serviced and added a lot of extras. However, I'm considering moving to a HD format, and because of cost, and that I already have a pro Nikon DSLR with 5+ lenses, I'm considering getting a Nikon D7000.

    After carefully reading reviews, and watching videos like this:




    and this artificial light test:



    I'm going to take the plunge, selling my Canon XL1 and all the extra kit, to buy the D7000 and kit it out with the extra equipment I tend to use.

    The main reason for moving over is lenses. The Canon XL1 lens is not very good at all, and even though I've got a Nikon/Nikor adapter for the XL1, it adds a x2 to any lens I use, and wipes out the effect of my rather expensive fisheye lens. Couple that with the HD of the D7000 and it's a no brainer.

    That's not to say I've given up on camcorders. I do like the Sony PMW-EX3 and would love to get one. But at 5000 plus, it's a little out of the price range, and isn't easy to take that and a DSLR to club events for shooting. Whereas, 2 DSLRs in a good size professional camera bag is much easier.
    Matt

    "Given that God is infinite, and that the universe is also infinite... would you like a toasted teacake?"

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