Video DSLRs?

Are many photographers interested in the video features on the newer models?

I have seen quite a divide in the industry.

My view is that it is great. The price hasn’t changed and we now have a new creative outlet too.

I have a 5DII and have really started to enjoy the videos it takes.

What are your views?

With a DSLR, you get the freedom of an s35mm or full frame sensor and interchangeable lens. The result is beautiful, filmic motion… BUT, it comes at a price… and that price is aliasing and moire, no decent auto focus, no decent audio controls, wobble/jello and usually a 12 minute record time.

A video camera (say $3000 prosumer) will usually be fixed lens and will have a tiny 1/3" sensor, so you will get no interesting shallow DOF shots. The plus side is you will be able to pan quickly without jello/wobble (ccd sensor)… your shots should be free of aliasing/moire, you should get some control over audio, a decent zoom lens, record time will be limited only by your media (eg, 60 minute DV tape).

To conclude… it really depends what you want to shoot… if it is tripoded shots with minimal/slow pans and no run and gun shots… and you want that filmic look… I would get a Canon 60D (the new kid on the block).

If you do ENG, or will be running about filming fast action shots. Get a video camera.

OR… get both, the new Canon XF100 will retail at $2500 and can shoot 4:4:2 50mbit footage. Then grab a Canon 550D/t1 for about $500.

i have been debating on getting a dslr to replace the nikon d50 that i have. I want one that does video. BUT… my question would be is it worth getting a digital video camera strictly for videos or use a new dslr like the canon 7d or better for videos? Quality wise wouldn’t the digital video camera do a better job since it is designed primarily for VIDEO?

One other thing, if you can wait till Dec 2010 and can afford the $6k or so (without lens)… take a look at the Panasonic AF-100.

This camera, on paper, seems to merge the two and gives all the benefits of both without the pitfalls (i’ll believe that only when I see the footage though).

But, having used the DVX and HVX… i’m very excited about this camera,

Good advice jaybirch, I’d agree.

Spartinman, the video quality on a DSLR is great. I’ve seen a few videos (I don’t remember the site, but it was titled something like the DSLR video shootout) where film makers look at the quality of DSLR produced video and it is right up there with what they use. Plus, there’s the fact that they’ve already been used for television shows and I believe a movie or two.

I have an old Sony DV video camera, but didn’t use it as often as I would’ve liked, even before getting my Canon 7D. I didn’t see a reason to get a new HD video camera because of that. In addition, when I am traveling and will potentially want to take pictures and video, I don’t really want to carry two separate pieces of equipment. About the only reason why I would get a dedicated video camera right now is because I am lazy at times and don’t want to have to worry about focus, ISO, etc.

[FONT=“Georgia”]I’m getting a new SLR soon, and they all seem to be coming with video modes these days.

Started looking around on Amazon and came upon this shoe-mounted mic!

Well, it sits on the shoe. It plugs into the mic port.

Won’t be buying it (the mic) yet, but it seems like something worth checking out if I ever choose to explore the video mode in future.


DSLRs use live mode for video… the shutter is irrelevant.

I’ve not read the specific details of the dSLR shutter mechanisms but I do know that the film industry is using dSLRs as capture devices. Here in Wellington there is a big movie industry and for big budget shoots where they don’t need full rigs they are shooting with 5Ds. Another good friend who works in post production advertising is also receiving footage shot on 5Ds.

I do like having HD video capability on my Canon 7D. I also have a video camera (SD) that I bought a few years ago. I have a trip coming up soon and I did not want to have to carry around a camera and a video camera, so having the 7D do both is definitely a plus.

I’ve only played with the video on my 7D a bit and like the quality of what comes out. I haven’t tried doing any editing with it yet, though, but hear of extra steps that have to be taken for the video to work well in a video editor (mostly thanks to the video compression). So that part sounds like it will be a bit more difficult than just taking what I would have on my video camera and editing it.

[FONT=“Georgia”]The idea is interesting enough, but to me it’s mostly useless unless I can somehow record sound too.


my 5DII records 48khz sound… I can set sound levels in the camera.

The 7D records sound as well. You can do a search for the various videos that have been created with the 5DII and 7D - it’s pretty amazing.

You can also use an external mic on them, in case you want high quality sound.