Camcorder vs. DSLR: an indie filmmaker's perspective

Canon T3i / 600D, 60D, T2i / 550D, 1D Mark IV, 7D, 5D Mark II.
Panasonic DMC-GH2.
Nikon D7000, D5100, D5000, D90.
chrishull3
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Re: Camcorder vs. DSLR: an indie filmmaker's perspective

Postby chrishull3 » 26 Jul 2010 10:10

Sorry but for me the skin tones were too vivid.

northheart
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Re: Camcorder vs. DSLR: an indie filmmaker's perspective

Postby northheart » 25 Aug 2010 16:39

As a video enthusiast these DSLRs are an affordable alternative.
Having started with a lovely Cannon XM2 5 years ago, I went for HD and ended up with a Sony HC3.
Obviously, despite the HD 'upgrade', the camera itself was a huge disappointment compared to the Canon. So, looking for more manual control, DOF etc, the new hybrid cameras interested me.
While not a true DSLR, the mirror less micro 43 Panasonic GH1 seemed to foot the bill, giving facilities that would cost three or four times as much in a dedicated prosumer camcorder. Not only that, they take decent stills.

Now that I have purchased the GH1, the low light and DOF posibilities with the large sensor are a million miles from the HC3, a sort of an HD XM2. Yes, fast motion is a problem one has to bear in mind, but then, it enforces good filming practice, something the robust HC3 did not. The AVCHD can be an editing problem, but is easily overcome, and HDV has it's own issues. And now with the recent Hack, I am astounded at the quality I can get from this camera.... no wonder film makers see a place for these in their kit. Also, without the mirror, this camera now has a live view for video and an EVF.
The hybrids are an affordable bargain for people like me..... those that come under the high end consumer/prosumer demographic that want more than the point and shoot. And, a small point previously made by another poster, it doesn't look like a camcorder, that is most welcome for many reasons. The coming photokina will be interesting, and if these cameras continue to evolve, I cannot see me wanting to return to a camcorder... I am absoloutely delighted with my purchase.

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Doughie
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Re: Camcorder vs. DSLR: an indie filmmaker's perspective

Postby Doughie » 26 Aug 2010 06:51

northheart wrote: And, a small point previously made by another poster, it doesn't look like a camcorder, that is most welcome for many reasons.

Yes indeed northheart - i think the 'doesnt look like a camcorder' point is an often missed one. Certainly for a lot of scenerios that can be very useful indeed. MOST people who aren't familiar with modern equipment, make the assumption that a D-SLR for example will only do stills and, for while, that can be a useful 'tool'.

chrishull3
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Re: Camcorder vs. DSLR: an indie filmmaker's perspective

Postby chrishull3 » 02 Sep 2010 09:51

There is plenty of settings to get the picture look that suits you best as i have found out with my 550D, a tripod or monopod at least is a must for with these things otherwise the jellow a and other bad effects can kick in, a lot harder work to film video but it can be more rewarding.

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Doughie
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Re: Camcorder vs. DSLR: an indie filmmaker's perspective

Postby Doughie » 02 Sep 2010 16:27

chrishull3 wrote:There is plenty of settings to get the picture look that suits you best as i have found out with my 550D, a tripod or monopod at least is a must for with these things otherwise the jellow a and other bad effects can kick in, a lot harder work to film video but it can be more rewarding.
Yes indeed rolling-shutter effect with some of these CMOS sensors needs managing. I should have a Blackbird stabiliser in around a week or so and i should be able to test it with a 550D/T2i Canon D-SLR.

chrishull3
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Re: Camcorder vs. DSLR: an indie filmmaker's perspective

Postby chrishull3 » 04 Sep 2010 18:17

http://www.camotionllc.com/ one of these ? .do you have a 550D or just have use of one, which of the picture profiles do you use i like neutral best.

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Doughie
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Re: Camcorder vs. DSLR: an indie filmmaker's perspective

Postby Doughie » 06 Sep 2010 18:36

Yes that's what i have just got - a CMR Blackbird. I am on vacation in fact and have tried it briefly with my Nikon D90 (shoots 24fps video at various resolutions up to 720p). I will post up my first impressions in another thread so as not to hijack this one.

cansenyilmaz
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Re: Camcorder vs. DSLR: an indie filmmaker's perspective

Postby cansenyilmaz » 02 Jan 2012 06:40

Hi Guys,

interesting discussion, i'm currently studying my film production degree and passed the forum on some research for my DSLR-revolved essay. I'm looking at the the use of DSLR's over video cameras, the pro's and con's of both and consequently which comes to better use in a variety of different situations.

Although never owning a video camera my 550D and use of 5D's MKII's in our department leaves me astonished at their video capabilities as many have already mentioned. I was interested to read although a little baffled about the downsizing and converting of the full frame sensor's image quality for it's video output- I always assumed that video produced was shot at 1920x1080 or the corresponding HD sizes rather than cropped from the original size that you get from images.

Having used my DSLR for wedding videography I must say it's a tricky feat until you know what you're doing. I recently purchased a Hague DMC Motion Stabilizer (glorified as a steadicam) which works well with the 5D MKII and the wider angle primes, and if you know how to correctly balance it (which surprisingly doesn't take too long) you can achieve some amazing results. As for the Jello effect i try to keep movement static when possible and slow movement fluid tripod or motion stablilized movements only when needed. Closing up my aperture and keeping to a fairly wide-angle means that focussing becomes easy to work out using calculations of distance by eye. Ofcourse when i want that lovely DOF i'll prop my camera on a tripod and get as much as i can whilst it's on there.

As for 'The Speeches' previous posters are correct when it comes to battery/memory capacity. This is, for me, the main flaw, as even with my 32GB/16GB Class 10 Sandisks (Capable of 30-45mbps), on my 550D after around 10 minutes the camera will stop recording. It's a pain when this happens and i miss something priceless, so far i've been fortunate enough during the edit to workaround these cut-outs. I completely understand that these 'video modes' do not make the DSLR's 'video cameras' and although the 5D MKII performs better than the 550d using CF cards for storage it's still an area for improvement if Canon are willing to progress in this area as I'm sure they are.

Until these weddings I seldomly wish for a video camera, but their stability and longer lasting life appeals to me in these wedding situations. Having said this lumbering a hefty video camera around and having to come to terms with understanding that the church will know that i'm shooting video and will act accordingly will also come to take effect on the footage i'm able to get. It's a perfect example of how DSLR's size, photographic nature and relatively unknown video capabilities benefit users like myself, allowing me to get that CU of the bride waking down the aisle.

Wondered what everyone's thoughts were on the topic today, a bit further along the timeline,

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Doughie
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Re: Camcorder vs. DSLR: an indie filmmaker's perspective

Postby Doughie » 03 Jan 2012 05:19

hi

totally agree it does take some getting used to when using DSLR to shoot video. its quite different than a camcorder and you really have to work at it and think quite hard about focus a lot, exposure, camera-shake, etc. I have a D90 and that is much harder than the canon's as it will not ramp exposure smoothly AT ALL, you have to set manual exposure and even then it STILL tries to alter exposure (crazy) so you have to use AE (lock). So exposure is fixed. so yes, White Balance is another thing, and of course follow-focussing keeps you busy. Unless you want to shoot smaller apertures and let deeper-DOF help cover up small focussing errors.
550D is quite nice (apart from it being a bit small and light for my taste) and 5D is obviously now a bit of a legendary camera.

I agree most people still associate that SLR shape with stills, so it does allow you to take a few liberties as far as shooting video without looking like you're shooting video. I have an LCDVF and that works fine. I follow-focus on a 50mm lens (75mm equivalent on a crop sensor) and its fine. You have to be practice a bit to do that, and of course with shallow DOF any errors are instantly visible, to the viewing audience. The LCDVF helps see if any OOF issues when filming.

I would like a 60D to shoot video with and Steadicam with. articulating screen makes that a good idea. 60D or a T3i.

I think you're quite brave shooting weddings on DSLR. If its commercially then the pressure is on not to screw it up, and obviously its a wedding so its important... But if you get it right its quite a special image for sure.

If you want to see two past-masters at this sort of DSLR Wedding videos, then check out Jason Magbanua, and also Abraham Joffe.
Jason :
http://vimeo.com/jasonmagbanua
http://jasonmagbanua.com/

and Abraham Joffe, based in Australia. He runs Untitled Film Works.
http://vimeo.com/abrahamjoffe
http://www.untitledfilms.com.au/

Some of their stuff is amazing. They charge big for it, but yeah, its very very well done.


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