If DSLR's stink then what would you recommend? I sold my Canon HFS20 as it had a "soccer" mom feel to it with no DOF or cinematic quality. It did better with action shots, audio, and long filming.
I could see doing an interview with a 12-minute max be problematic. Are there any workarounds to this? Also are there any workarounds to moire/aliasing?
Or am I better off getting a GH2 and learning how to make it "cinematic" looking in post-production?
Hmm, I would've kept that HF S20, unless of course if you needed the money to purchase a Dslr. I was looking through the specs on Amazon and it looks pretty decent. I purchased the Canon HF G10 last week for a ice skating chrismas show because it would've been impractical to have my dslr video setup due to lack of operating room (I had to flim from a stairway), long range, and attempting to pull focus on fast moving skaters for 2 hours. So logically a small camcorder attached to a monopod was the way to go.
I have to say, judging from the footage I got in comparison from a high-end video camcorder I used to own - the JVC Gy Hm100 - which cost double of the G10, the G10 kicks it's ass. It's easier to use, lighter - don't be fooled by the advertisements of someone holding the Hm100 one-handed it gets damn heavy just after 5 minutes - and the images coming out of the G10 are far superior.
One thing I was surprised to note was in the cinema mode it produced imagery akin to the DSLR's picture style of Cinestyle - which is a flat picture style developed by Technicolor for folks not aware - this is great for post editing. Although I would've perferred bringing down the contrast a bit more, the lowest you are able to go is -2 on all picture style setting on the G10 - lowering the contrast in camera even more would've given me a bit more latitude in color grading. This makes me wonder, are people aware that the cinema mode actually is a flat setting and should be color graded? Unless you come from a DLSR background working with flat settings you probably won't know to do so and will post it directly to sites like youtube. There is probably a certain amount of truth to this because I've seen some pretty dull and drab footage when I did a search on youtube prior to buying the G10.
Now the downside, this brand new G10 started to overheat - in a 50 degree environment - after about an hour or so of constant filming, which is bad for the sensor. From my DSLR experience you start to get increased noise and overexposure so I quickly turned off the camcorder and let it cool down for 15 minutes and resumed shooting. But as you can see, I lost 15 minutes of performances. I can only imagine how much longer it would take to cool down if you weren't in an ice box as I was or how much sooner it would've heated up in a sunny outdoor setting.
Also the G10 would get slightly confused going from low light - which performed very well - to increased exposure, you could see the video start to stutter on the LCD screen. Minor gripe but it's a flaw which affects the quality of your footage. Because the video files are AVCHD, they don't require a file conversion and are simpler to work with. However, simpler file means it's capturing less data than my 5D would so it's a tradeoff.
I guess what it comes down to is what you need the equipment for and what you can afford to spend. To go the DSLR route is very expensive. Even the 5D body in comparison is cheaper (unless you buy a 1D Mark 4) when you add in the L glass lenses (I hope to purchase a couple of Zeiss CP.2 primes -gag- next year), follow focus, video rig, external monitor, audio equipment, tripod, fluid video head, and all the little accessories you'll need it's enough to make your eyes bleed.