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Thread: dslr and camcorder my thoughts....

  1. #1

    Default dslr and camcorder my thoughts....

    Just finished making another little film this one trying to capture individuals singing the dawn chorus. I don't think I could have given myself a more difficult challenge as trying to get good audio of a blackcap up a tall tree was a nightmare There are some photos in there too from my e-520
    YouTube - ‪Dawn chorus over Herefordshire HD by Alex Sally‬‏

    Also just because there's been a few posts on here regarding dslr video I thought I'd add my two pence worth after a bit of experience.
    Firstly I would have loved the E-5 but the price (for me to have video on board) is not affordable. I use an e-520 . I considered a canon 550d, which is the price of a good camcorder but the 550 doesn't have a great wildlife lens with the kit obviously....
    I used of the dslr 's that do video and have now used a fair few decent camcorders and have come to this conclusion:
    THe e-520 is for me a lovely camera to use. I have a 70-300 fitted and I find it a nice tool to use. I like the menu, the screen, and the handling. The results are ok too
    My camcorder was 550 and is better than the video on any dslr (the image stabilization is the 8th wonder) but that isn't its strength. You realise something when you go to take still pictures with it...It can probably perform great at photos but it isn't "built" for photos. The ergonomics just aren't right. its not intuitive... So although it might seem blindingly obvious the truth is that the camcorder is lovely to use "as a camcorder" . I think this is the biggest weak point of video in dslr. Its simply down to ergonomics..
    So after much experimenting and mucking about I have made another little film of birds singing the dawn chorus and my chosen tools are my olympus AND my camcorder. I'd love the next e-xxx to have video but I don't see it replacing the camcorder , oh and nothing would make me lose the DSLR.
    BTW I am not for one minute saying you can't use a dslr for good video (you can and many people do) in the same way you could take great photos with a camcorder but each is very much designed for its primary purpose imho..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Blog Entries


    In my experience, a camcorders ergonomic design lends itself well to getting creative shots in handheld. I've had to re-learn how to position my body and hold the camera by switching to a dslr. But it's been worth it for the ability to have just one piece of kit (for this hibbiest)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    Agreed, the two Diverging designs are a result of the Media - cine-reels v 35mm cassettes . . . and we are stuck with them forever, it seems.
    No doubt if there was a free-design we'd have something else. However, Manufacturers will provide what they think will be accepted by the majority of Buyers. Only rarely do they provide Innovation, and often that falls flat, due to some irritating bug, or poor spec somewhere.
    Personally I find having to undo the case to replace the battery and SD card is a stupidity of the design, for my little camera.
    If I'd had the money I'd have a camcorder AND a DSLR as they have different strengths, but for one-purchase it's difficult to beat the DSLR as it covers both rather well . . . . and so it should at the price!
    I have a "poor-mans" DSLR, the Sony NEX5, with interchangeable lenses, but no direct-viewfinder only an LCD-screen which is poor in sunlight.

  4. #4


    i have been looking at camcorders and dslr's i am trying to make a wildlife portfolio but i also film extreme sports. i have a budget of 2000 most an i just cant decide which i should buy a dslr or camcorder anyone got any opinions or idea's. i have looked at the canon 60d and 7d obviously would need a good lens and mic. Camcorder wise i have looked at the old hd Sony's second hand at the Sony vg10 which seems like it has alot of flaw's. If any one could help or give me any advice it would be greatly appreciated. thanks love the dawn chorus footage btw XD
    Last edited by Dale Grant; 06-21-2011 at 07:32 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    Extreme sports, I take that's like off-road cycling, - or are we talking motor-sport?
    If you are "in the action" ie on a bike then those helmet-mount cameras look good, some with waterproof spec. However, for quality video and great lenses the Canon often wins. But I suspect yr budget may need stretching.
    Unless, you have some Canon lenses, that is.

    The dawn chorus vid was very good, but there is someone with specialist (bird) knowledge.
    Last edited by vidmanners; 06-22-2011 at 02:29 PM.

  6. #6


    extreme anything my friend you name it i wanna try film it an do it. I love the head cams i have wanted a go pro for a while but that's going to come at a later date need my main camera first. i am willing to buy a dslr an slowly buy lenses but is it worth getting a dslr when my main format is video not images all thou i do love the odd snap. i mean is their a big difference between a pro camcorder and a brilliant dslr filming with focus and everything that could be involved.

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