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Author Topic: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder  (Read 5648 times)

Hillsilly

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DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« on: June 13, 2015, 02:15:28 AM »
Do consumer camcorders (let's say - something under $500) offer any benefits over a DSLR for making non-challenging videos - eg typical family situations, people giving presentations at work etc?

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DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« on: June 13, 2015, 02:15:28 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2015, 07:26:25 AM »
Better AF for video (or just AF, since only a few dSLRs can), better ergonomics, often a better zoom range. 
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Orangutan

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Re: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2015, 08:35:39 AM »
If you need to record something like a speech from a single location, DSLRs are often limited to 30 minutes of continuous recording, and may be heat-limited if you try to do successive 30 minute clips.

http://www.tested.com/tech/photography/44445-why-digital-cameras-have-a-30-minute-video-recording-limit/

Tinky

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Re: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2015, 08:42:21 AM »
Flexi lcd (not all DSLRs have this... so you can self record and monitor at same time...

Much easier to operate.  Depth of field far greater because of smaller sensor, so much more forgiving of slight focus inaccuracies.

Fast lens, flexinle lens... often f1.8 at wide and only f2.8 at extreme telephoto.

Cheaper.

For your situation I would go for a camcorder.  Get one with a mic in and buy a £20 lavalier / tieclip mic, and a  compact tripod with a ball level head.

I use dslrs extensively for video and they are my least favourite kind to use, and I have been professionally trained and with nearly 20 years experience.  The results can be great, but you have to take control.
2x Panasonic G7, Metabones .64 xl. EOS 3, 300X, 7D, 60D, 400D, 20D, 10D, M1, Arsat 80mm TS, Samyangs f1.4 35, 50 & 85, f2.0 20mm, ef-m 22 f2.0, 100 2.0, 70-200 2.8L, Sigma 18-50 2.8, 70mm f2.8, Tokina 11-16 2.8, 400 5.6, OSMO, P3-4K, and lots and lots of grip, lights, sound gear.

FTb-n

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Re: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2015, 03:39:36 PM »
My DSLR's don't have video AF.  Video image quality is fantastic, especially in low light.  But you do have to take control.  I've played with the SL1 and am impressed with it's AF video.  But, if you plan to zoom or change focus while shooting, you need STM lenses.  My L lenses can be heard through the camera's mic. 

My video needs are minimal and my favorite "video" camera is the G16.  The sensor is a little larger than most dedicated video cameras and the image quality is also great.  DSLR has an edge in low light, but this little camera is tough to beat.  It's a great match if stills are your primary interest.

But, I would expect more from dedicated video cameras in the feature, performance, and flexibility departments -- greater zoom range, better AF, more exposure options like Sand&Snow.  Although, I doubt that image quality would be better than the G16.
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jcarapet

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Re: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2015, 04:15:51 PM »
I still use my 7 year old hv30 for almost all of my conference, interview, and choir stuff. The longer record time and usable autofocus make all the difference. If you are going to be snapping photos more than video, the 70d would work more than fine. The price has come down on those.
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Hillsilly

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Re: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2015, 06:22:35 AM »
Thanks everyone.  Sounds like a camcorder might be a good option for what I want to do.  At worst, its a new toy to play with. 

I watched "Super 8" last night and gained some ideas about production values.  I'll start off simple and we'll see where things progress.
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Re: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2015, 06:22:35 AM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2015, 10:22:52 AM »
Camcorders have a lot going for them.  Autofocus means that as you zoom the lens, the image will still be sharp, as you pan or follow a moving subject, focus will adjust to match.

With a DSLR, focus is usually manual, lenses are not parfocal, meaning you must adjust focus as you zoom, and following a moving subject and keeping it in focus manually is very difficult, even when the camera is on a tripod.

All those limitations with a DSLR have solutions, and for professionally made Cinema, each shot is setup, actors positions are marked on the floor, distances are accurately measured, nothing is left to chance.  Then, a good photographer and the focus puller who is the person who focuses the lens can keep subjects in sharp focus.  Generally, zoom lenses are not used, but when they are needed, very expensive zoom lenses that are par focal are used. 

That's why the 70D seemed interesting, because it does autofocus video.  People expected better from the next generation of DPAF in the 7D MK II, but it stepped back a bit.  Apparently, DPAF has some limitations that are a bit difficult to handle for focusing on moving subjects, or else Canon is reserving the additional capabilities for high end Cinema cameras. 

neuroanatomist

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Re: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2015, 11:21:10 AM »
Thanks everyone.  Sounds like a camcorder might be a good option for what I want to do.  At worst, its a new toy to play with. 

I picked up a Canon Vixia HF M41 a couple of years ago, it's been great.  I have a hotshoe shotgun mic that does a very good job. 
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Tinky

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Re: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2015, 05:33:06 PM »
mt Spokane

Its just the age old problems of af... a trained camera man knows instinctively what way to rack a lens, and can do so creeping, fast but still with smooth ramping, even without set marks or lens marks...  nice smooth tracking.

With a dslr, even a cropped sensor dslr you are dealing with a massive sensor area, even compared to the 2/3" HDCAMs that were leading the digital charge 10 years ago...

And 10 years ago if you were fairly well off you might have had a 32" crt in your living room...  Now 40 or 50 even seems modest so any imperfections are enlarged also...



Bupt a human instinctively follows the subject no matter where they are in the frame, no matter what the background or foreground is.

If you shoot an 8fps with a fancy dslr you are not going to get every frame sharp every time with af.  So you don't show folk the ones where you had selected the wrong af point... and everybody things you are uber talented to capture the moment.

Video is a faster fps, and you have to show everybody every frame between your in and out points, you don't have to be in focus once, but always, or at least follow a focus logic.

I've not found a video af system that is there yet.

Its a big ask with huge sensors and huge viewing environments.

What is 'good enough' will vary by the demands of and upon the shooter.  If I wasn't confident using mf just yet I'd go for a small chip camcorder.

My old digibeta was miles and miles above the hi8 I used for holidays, but it wasn't always the best tool for the job (when other folk sere using it... )



2x Panasonic G7, Metabones .64 xl. EOS 3, 300X, 7D, 60D, 400D, 20D, 10D, M1, Arsat 80mm TS, Samyangs f1.4 35, 50 & 85, f2.0 20mm, ef-m 22 f2.0, 100 2.0, 70-200 2.8L, Sigma 18-50 2.8, 70mm f2.8, Tokina 11-16 2.8, 400 5.6, OSMO, P3-4K, and lots and lots of grip, lights, sound gear.

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Re: DSLR vs Consumer Camcorder
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2015, 05:33:06 PM »