Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Village Idiot, Mar 4, 2010.
Why should I purchase a dedicated video camera if I want to do video?
Dunno... Not sure if this is a sarcasm thread, but I'm one of those who enjoys having the option if I want, without extra gear to pack along. These days the only time the video recorder comes along is for capturing a whole event.
One main difference between a dedicated video camera and an DSLR shooting video is sound pickup.
On the better video cameras you have a directional mic on top and perhaps also the setup to be able to connect a wireless mic. On the pro cameras you can even control the sound from 2 stereo mics.
On the other hand, sound may not be important if you are planning to do a later voice over or add music. Sound would also not be an issue if the DSLR is close to the subject who is speaking and there are no other sound distractions.
My general view is that "professional" video is done with a pro video camera, a production crew and a script, which is part of my background. Anything less complex, such as for youtube, weddings, speeches, and other family events etc. can easily be done with a DSLR in video mode.
From my research, the auto focusing when zooming in and out is not as functional with a DSLR camera as with the video units.
So you can take videos of yourself taking pictures.... duh.
But if you were seriously recording video with a DSLR, wouldn't you have a device that would let you record quality sound that could be attached to the DSLR rig? Is all "professional" video done with on board mics?
But if you're doing a real video project, aren't you going to have a follow focus setup either way?
That was the case, but Sony solved that problem with fast integrated autofocus on their newest DSLR cameras.
Related to your recording question above, what would be required is two stereo line-in audio jacks on the DSLR. I know of no DSLR that has that facility. As to "professional" video, it can be done with wireless mics with receivers tied in to the camera with the appropriate jacks. It can also be done with multiple mics tied in to a mixer and the output from the mixer cabled to the appropriate jacks on the video camera. I have even used a dish microphone connected to the jack on a video camera.
Related to focusing, manually you zoom in, focus, and then are able to stay in focus as long as the action stays in a certain area. For the National Film Board, I once had to manually pull focus and zoom out at the same time as a dancer was moving directly toward me while I was using a shoulder mounted video camera. Remember too, that most "professional" video productions involve more than one camera, so the camera person sets up the shot and focuses as the feed from the other camera is being recorded.
Of course, pro video cameras can edit in camera and stop and start instantly, so that focus problems can be easily edited out.
So without such features, using a DSLR for video has its limitations but it does work for some projects if you have the requisite skills, background, and appropriate equipment.
I'm not sure that the average still shooter is aware of just how extensively modified a Nikon D90 or Canon 5D Mark II or other d-slr can be modified in terms of auxillary sound ecording devices, shoulder mounting stocks, counterweights, matt boxes, auxillary video monitors that clamp onto the rails, follow-focus setups,and so on.
For around $3,790, a 5D Mark II can be turned into one heck of a "video camera" with a Zacuto kit. Zacuto has produced multiple videos that explain exactly how various products work--external stereo microphones, their "gunstock shooter" kits with eyepiece loupe over the LCD, on and on. There are hundreds of videographers now using the Canon 5D-II as a video capture device. Last week on the web, I saw two Hollywood DP's who were rigging a car with multiple 5D-II's for a car chase scene,and they were absolutely gushing about the 5D-II.
Introducing the DSLR Gunstock Shooters on Vimeo
Zacuto's "gunstock shooter" system
Zacuto DSLR Gunstock Shooter Gorilla Kits Photography Bay | Digital Camera Reviews, News and Resources
Zoom H4n Audio recorder and Canon 5D Mark II
So, $3,970 for the kit plus $299 for the audio for a total of $4,260 to make the Canon 5D Mark II into a reasonable video camera which has the advantage of being light in weight and small in size.
That cost factor however is equal to the Sony HXRNX5U HD video camera with 3 sensors for high HD quality. Panasonic has a HD video camera with a built-in wireless mic receiver. JVC has a pro HD videocamera at that price as well.
There are however DSLRs in the wings for this year with body stabilization that allows you to walk while shooting smooth video along with integrated fast autofocus. That makes the kit, weights, stock, shoulder pad all totally unnecessary.
Yes, the camcorders are less money, but the 5D mark II has a DOUBLE-sized frame compared to 35mm motion picture cameras, which are shooting to half of a 35mm frame...that alone seems to make the independent videographers and the Directors of Photography totally salivate for the Canon,turned into a small, 7-pound DOUBLE-frame 35mm camera capable of extremely shallow DOF effects....plus Canon d-slr's can utilize almost any lens from some of the best-ever lens systems--Leica R, Canon EF, Nikon F-mount, Olympus OM, to name the most prominent lenses.
Right now, some of the independent video directors around the world are moving to the Canon 5D for that gigantic, double-35mm-motion-picture sized frame and the ability to use, relatively speaking "affordable" Canon and Nikon and Zeiss 35mm still lenses, which cost less than the dedicated motion picture lenses.
I was surprised at how good d-slr video is; I saw a nice Nikon D3s rap video on YouTube last week,and it looked good. The absolutely HUGE sensor in the 5D-II, combined with its high ISO capabiliy, is giving world-renowed videographers like Philip Bloom a major 'woody', and he and others are staerting to think about candle-light video shot at ISO 800 as perfectly capable...the much smaller vikdeo camera models do not have "quite" the same capabilities in either format size, depth of field control, or ISO (gain). So, guys like Bloom are really starting to take to the 5D-II.
This season, NBC shot the opening sequences for Saturday Night Live with Canon d-slr's, and even did an entire commercial parody using Canon d-slr video (Bladderol, I think it was) for the season's first episode. Also, according to pop photo and some lens industry insiders, the insiders think that the in-body stabilization PLUS in-lens stabilizers might be able to be paired and used simultaneously, for ridiculously slow-speed video shooting under truly extreme situations.
Right now, from what I have read, videographers at ALL levels--independent, staff, TV network, and Hollywood motion picture production company levels are snapping up 5D-II's and going nuts on them--as an alternative not to small 3-CCD videocams, but as supplements to mega-cameras. It seems like we're just getting started right now with d-slr video--it's only been on the market what? A year now?
Review: Learn Canon 5D Mark II Cinematography with Philip Bloom DVD at DVInfo.net
Bloom started using the 5D-II, worldwide, within a month of getting his, on paying jobs. Apparently, he's not alone either.
The additional information was interesting. One of the main differences/weaknesses of the DSLR in video mode still seems to be audio control and synching, but that is better on the 7D than the 5D and may be eventually solved with audio control on the camera. Recording audio separately and synching it in afterward is of course possible, but that demands mics, perhaps wireless receivers and a mixer that run on batteries, as well a second crew person for audio and less mobility. The second one is that multi-cam productions are not possible, but that is important only on some projects.
As I suggested initially and you as well with greater expansion, they do work well as single camera set-ups for some projects. They will also improve with the integration of body stabilization and fast autofocus in video mode. They will also have built-in mics. like on the smaller digital cameras which will at least cover wedding vows and other simple and straightforward applications.
Ideally, I would like to be able to see a DSLR with audio control built-in for use with stereo wireless mics and a line-in jack to connect to a stage or outdoor sound system being used for a special event. I don't think that it will happen any time soon, but technology is changing fast.
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