I need some help, I am not a proffesional wedding videographer,
but sometimes I was doing that for my friends with my old Panasonic GS400.
Now I was thinking to switch to a new HD camcorder. At the moment my also old Nikod D50 resp. lens has broken down.
Now I am in front of the decision, buy some middle range DSLR with video capatibility or to buy a new lens for Nikon and new HD camcorder with manual settings.
I am a little bit confused how most of the people are switching to DSLR, what is the advantage.
How you film with DSLR for example a person or bride and groom coming to the isle, it must be hassle by manual operating of the lens on DSLR, don!t you? I have never tried DSLR thatś why these stupid questions.
Is option to have just DSLR for family vacation? I can!t imagine my wife operating DSLR filming my kids.
I will appreciate your comments
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 30 of 37
Thread: DSLR or HD camcorder
You've identified the issues very well.
Speaking broadly, the DSLR is theoretically capable of better picture quality -- mainly becasue of the better lenses. An HD camcorder is designed to shoot video, so the controls and handling make it easier to use -- for both you and your wife.
Video on a DSLR is a little easier if you use a "HoodEye" LCD eyepiece. But, as mentioned, a camcorder is even better.
Agreed budwzr. I can get wonderful hand-held results with the DSLR using the (optical) viewfinder, follow-focus and shoulder brace, but without them I may as well be using an iPhone.
Yeah, I gave up on DSLR video mainly because the codec used in my T3i is blocky. It's great for stills though.
I use the HoodEye now just to take stills in LiveView. It's much easier, and WYSIWYG.
Thank you guys for a feedback.
I am leaning towards a new camcorder.
I like DSLR for stills, then I will need to buy a new lens.
Since I need a new camcorder and want to take an advantage of manual controls as well as
sometime I do a weddings shots for my friends (just as hobbyist without pay) I ant something in middle price range
what I also can carry around on vacation with my Nikon D50.
I would appreciate your suggestions.
Asking for advice about buying a camcorder will get you a recommendation for everything on the market, eventually.
Some camcorders are long on features, but short on the quality of those features.
They all have a model at every price point.
The major brands have a reputation to live up to.
The others are hit or miss. They might do one thing way better to stand out more, but the other features might be lacking.
Some make up their own snappy buzzwords to embellish an otherwise minor feature.
Sony tends to exaggerate claims, or have some weasel clause in the manual.
Canon tends to lag in innovation.
The trend now is wifi, mapping, and remote control apps. None of that improves the capture.
I stumbled on a great deal for a Sony PJ710 display model for half of retail at a Best Buy electronics store. But you have to drive around and work for something like that. It still has a full warranty, and I checked EVERY function right away.
Canon has great optics and the G30 is an awesome camcorder, but pricey.
If you need XLR inputs, that will double the price, because they think you're pro.
Panasonic is sneaky with their specs. I have an older FZ35, and on the box it says "60p Recording", but actually it was 30p with each frame repeating.
Last edited by budwzr; 15th Sep 2013 at 12:27.
I find that the B&H Photo website (in NY) is a great resource to start paring down choices in terms of price, features, etc.
Their prices are pretty good too, but I assume you'll be ordering from someplace in Europe.
Camcorderinfo.com is a good site as any to go to for this purpose.This is the Tweedledee. And oh, there's the Tweedledum, too.
if you are going to shoot weddings, get a panasonic AG-AC90, it is the best budget camera for this type of work (yes i own one and yes i shoot weddings)
i considered the NEX VG900 interchangeable lens camera but it lacks so many features of the AC90, especially onboard OIS and AF systems, which panasonic build into most of their professional/semi pro cameras.
i dont shoot using a tripod, i use my own custom made shoulder mount and hand held camera rigs, so i need OIS and because i shoot all my video in hand held mode, i also need a very good AF system.
if you choose to buy a DSLR or M4/3 camera then make sure it has a pivoting/rotating lcd screen because a static screen is pretty much useless when shooting in hand held mode.
most DSLR type cameras do not shoot better quality video than traditional HD camcorders natively, but if you are able to hack the firmware on these types of cameras, then you can shoot in much higher bitrates, and using other formats such as ProRes, ALL-Intra or Raw CinemaDNG, but all need converting back to a suitable playback format such as h264 once you have edited the video, and for me, this just makes a lot more work for nothing.
buy a dedicated HD camera, shoot in 28Mbps avchd and your good.
when you say DSLR cameras have cinema quality images, what do you actually mean by this comment, because most DSLR cameras only shoot avchd at various modes and bitrates, and many are not capable of any other shooting mode unless they are hacked to shoot in other formats and at much higher bitrates, but at the end of the day, the video still needs to be edited and converted to a commonly used playback format/container for everyday playback on devices other than a computer.
the down side to traditional avchd video cams is that you cannot hack them to shoot in other modes and higher bitrates, but if you buy the right camera (such as the AC90) your avchd video @ 28Mbps is going to be so good you dont need to be messing with hacks to improve it that much anyway, and the lens and sensor on the AC90 is amazing, especially for a video cam that costs a mere $2000.
now, for those who do use a traditional style video camera (or DSLR & M4/3) you can invest around $700 and buy an Atamos Ninja 2 recording device that plugs into your camera via hdmi, and shuts down the internal compression system, and takes the image direct from the sensor into the Ninja and records it in ProRes 422, Prores Lite, ProRes HQ and Avid DNxHD formats at various bitrates up to 220Mbps, so you get the benefits of hacking as you do with a DSLR or M-4/3 camera but you gain a bigger recording screen, plus it acts as a battery backup system for your camera as well, and it records to a 2.5" SSD or laptop hdd up to 1tb in size.
i have one myself, and i record up to 10 hours of video onto a 1tb hdd in ProRes HQ @ 220Mbps, but the downside for me is that i generally shoot my avchd video in 1080/50p mode, but the Ninja wont do 1080/50p, it only records 1080/25p and 1080/24p so i have to alter my shooting style somewhat to allow for this lower framerate, or i can choose to shoot ProRes at 720/50p if i really wanted to maintain 50fps video and still conform to bluray spec video when outputting to h264.
the other downside is that the Ninja does not carry audio via the hdmi cable, so you need a 3.5mm audio cable to connect the Ninja to the Mic port on the camera to carry the audio from the camera Mic into the Ninja.
apart from that, it is a great device if you want a traditional camera, but want to shoot high bitrate ProRes rather than avchd at up to 28Mbps.
Supported Formats include HD 1080i59.94, 1080i50, 1080p25, 1080p24, 1080p23.98, 720p59.94, 720p50, SD 480i, 576i
Currently, D|Focus follow-focus, Cowboy Studios shoulder brace, Zacuto viewfinder. I like them all, but would not hesitate to use other brands. And frankly, it's all still fumblier than a well balanced camcorder.
if anyone is interested in seeing one of my custom rigs with my panasonic camera mounted, here is the link.
the photos also show my custom made screen hood that i had to make for shooting outside in the sun.
I agree. I can't justify owning a pro camcorder - I rent when I need one. But the DSLR is affordable with pretty decent image quality using the Canon lenses that I own or can rent cheaply.
glenpinn's rig is pretty cool. PVC pipe - once you have the design and accessories down it's very affordable.
as for camera rigs, there are hundreds of different types out there for various types of cameras, but i found the best way is to find videos on various types and go buy the pvc fittings and build your own via trial and error.
i originally made 3 rigs, i wanted all 3 to be different in the way they worked, but at the end of the day, after trying different designs, all 3 ended up being very similar to each other because this was the best setup for my own shooting style.
2 of them ended up almost identical, they are hand held rigs with a screw on shoulder/neck support, while the 3rd one is similar, but it has a fixed, full wrap around shoulder/neck support and this is the one that i use inside a church when shooting a wedding video and i dont use a tripod.
pics of all 3 rigs are here
DSLRs are superior, but only if tripod mounted.
So you're not going to want that for a wedding.
The choice is obvious!
A camcorder with a floating/stabilizing lens is the best choice for non-tripod shooting.
on dedicated video cameras, the AF and OIS is usually built into the camera body, mainly because these cams have no way of changing lenses, except for cams like the Sony NEX AG20/AG30/AG900 which all have interchangeable lens systems on them.
most DSLR or M4/3 cameras dont have onboard Image Stabilization built into the camera body like dedicated video cameras do, except the newer Olympus cameras, and auto focus systems for these types of cameras is usually only available on certain types of lenses.
most people who use DSLR or M4/3 cameras use them in manual mode.
Last edited by glenpinn; 19th Oct 2013 at 21:04.
at the end of the day, it basically depends on what you are shooting, where its being shot, what mode you need to shoot in, and finally what video format you prefer shooting in.
if you are a hollywood movie maker or serious Indy film maker, or you are a videographer who only wants to shoot video in full manual mode (including manual focus) and you want the option to use different types of lenses for each particular scene, then yes, a DSLR or M4/3 type camera would be a better choice, but they are hopeless unless they are used on a very good quality rig of some sort (shoulder mounted) or used on a tripod, and this comes down to the fact that these types of cameras are "ergonomically" an absolute nighmare to use in hand held mode, especially when using big, heavy lenses, and thats one of the reasons why i use a dedicated video camera, especially because they suit my style of videography, and AF and OIS is an absolute must for me.
the format you need to shoot your video in, plus the resulting output video quality is also a key factor to consider when deciding on which type of camera to shoot with, but if you are someone like me who shoots professional video for the purpose of watching the finished product on bluray, or directly onto your HD tv from hard drive based playback devices, then shooting video in high quality avchd is as good as anyone needs, as long as the camera used is a very good quality one, that produces very good quality video.
a lot of newer dedicated video camera's now have wonderful lenses on them, and most have very good AF and OIS systems built in, making them perfect for every day use, and my AC90 camera is a good example of this, and like i mentioned earlier, if you want to shoot your video in much higher quality using high birate ProRes for example, then the Ninja 2 recording box takes these cameras to an even higher standard, putting them along side many other cameras that are able to be hacked via firmware.
everyone is different, there are many factors that come into play with videography (albeit photographers will have a much different opinion to this) but there is a time and place for all types of camera's, but certainly there will be times when one type of camera will be better than another.
Last edited by glenpinn; 19th Oct 2013 at 21:19.
A $1-3k DSLR can do what you'd need a $5-15k video camera for. But the DLSR only looks good on a tripod. The jello vision gets in the way otherwise. The DSLR lens are far, far superior to cheap video cameras, even ones that cost a grand are "cheap".
There's nothing "bold" or "broad" about that. My bag of SLR lenses cost more than most people's cars. The reason a DSLR is better is the glass. Even a cheap DSLR kit lens can outperform the glass on a crappy $1k camera. Again, yes, $1k is crap for a video camera.
It is what it is.
You have to make decisions about the subject matter. If I was doing interviews, I'd use a DSLR because it costs half (or less) of a comparable video camera. For weddings, it's the worst thing you could buy, as you'll be unmounted, and your shots will be horrid.
Given the amount of wedding videos I convert each year, I guarantee ONLY the ceremony is tripod mounted, and nothing else.
Ideally, you'd shoot non-H264 (AVC, MPEG-4), too.
The AC90 is a low-end prosumer cameras, but it work well as a camera. It's SD storage, fixed lens, AVC. A good serious starter camera for sure.
Some DSLRs shoot purely AVC also, and I don't care for those either. I want better output.
ProRes is also very popular amongst some videographers, and i have just started shooting some of my video in ProRes HQ @ 220Mbps using my Ninja2 recording device, but i am still getting used to not having 50p recording mode like i can have natively on my AC90 when shooting in avchd mode, however at the end of the day, the resulting edited ProRes video has to be converted back to h264 at a reasonable bitrate for supported playback support.
i am not saying that some of what you said is wrong, i do agree with some of what you say, but suggesting that the AC90 is a low end pro-sumer camera i think is a bit off target, and i will disagree with you about that point.
before i bought my new AC90, i was going to upgrade to the sony VG900 full frame interchangeable lens camera, but it has no OIS nor any AF system built into the body, it is all lens dependant, so by the time i bought the camera for $3500, add a decent lens for $1200-$1500 with Image Stabilization and/or AF built in, i was up for around $5000 with just 1 lens.
i bought my AC90 for $2000 + $650 for the Ninja2 device, and the camera has a great little sensor in it, the lens is quite decent for a fixed system, and i get to shoot ProRes video if i need it.
overall a dam good camera, and a camera that many many videographers out there are moving to, because it rivals many of the more expensive video cameras out there from other manufacturers.
again, each to their own.
Last edited by glenpinn; 19th Oct 2013 at 22:06.
Pros and cons. There is no clear "best" - it depends on the situation , and the type of shooting
When using most DSLR's models for VIDEO - The glass isn't the limiting factor. The sensor is. The majority of mid-high range DLSR's (esp. Nikons & Canon's) line skip or subsample the huge sensor (designed for stills) and produce terrible aliasing and moire patterns. Often they can ruin the shot but there are special techniques like defocusing and and shooting tricks and 3rd party filters you need to use to minimize them. They're designed for 18-25MP pictures, not for video. They skip every nth line to reduce it to 2MP (some exceptions like the 5DMKIII). While the sensor is great for stills, it's mediocre for video . Those are the 2 main achilles heels of DSLR's in terms of image quality - bad rolling shutter from slow scan rate of the sensor, aliasing/moire. You can have $20K Zeiss lenses but the picture is often butched by the sensor processing. It's the weakest link.
Most DSLR - type cameras produce very soft video, barely qualified as HD resolution when measured on charts ~600-650 lines . (Some exceptions like the GH2/3 have a few hundred lines more measureable resolution, but they arent "true" DSLR's - mirror vs mirrorless) . Some people think the low resolution and softness helps with the "filmic" qualities.
So the main "negatives" are overheating and short recording times in some models (might be an issue for weddings), aliasing, moire, lower resolution
The main "positives" large sensor / better low light performance (good for some dark shots - like certain parts of some weddings), shallow depth of field for a "low" price - those are the main benefits of DLSR shooting.
So if the style is filmic, shallow depth of field - DSLR is the way to go . If it's more documentary style, traditional camcorder would be the way to go
Yes. PDR speekum truthum. I experienced this myself on a Canon T3i. Blocky blacks too. And a little soft too like "Peed" says.
(Hahaha, "Peed")(That's rich)
The mushy , blocky shadow areas are almost solely from poor compression issues - they improve greatly with better recording
"Traditional" camcorders tend to suffer from this too unless recording to external recorder or "hacked" to record higher bitrates, AQ modes, or RAW e.g Have you tried recording with Magic Lantern ? Other cameras benefit greatly too e.g. GH2 hack
for "run and gun" shooting (journalist, sports events, weddings etc) or as i call it "roaming" mode, a traditional style camcorder is a winner, especially as most videographers will use the AF system with this mode of video shooting, and outdoors, i even set my camera to IA mode (intelligent Auto) most of the time because panasonic cams are well known for their wonderful IA feature, however indoors i use my AF system but i set my camera to Manual Mode for everything else, because dedicated video cams with fixed lenses are not always very good in low light, so manual ajustments need to be made in certain low light situations, even tho i can mount 2 LED lights to my rigs, it still isnt enough to allow me to set my camera to full IA mode.
my son shoots video using a hacked GH2 camera, and everything he shoots is done in full manual mode, and he has to shoot his video on this very cumbersome looking shoulder mounted rig, and i cant stand all the complication of it all.
he also shoots in 1080/24p mode because everyone is now wanting that "film like" look in their video, but for me, i hate it, i love watching video where everything is in focus.
im still coming to terms with having to shoot my ProRes video at 1080/25p instead of 1080/50p that i normally shoot in using avchd mode.
EDIT: Poison, whats your take on ProRes video, and do you know much about the Ninja 2 Recording device i refer to in my posts.
Personally, I would say DSLR type shot weddings look better (if done properly) . Just my opinion. The filmic style wedding shooters that do it properly tend to charge more , and are in more demand in most markets . It's more of an artistic look . Brides want to look like movie stars and are willing to pay the premium . Many request to be shot by DSLR specifically (same with music videos) . There is just something about video "live" look that looks more amateurish to me - I guess it depends on what type of story you're trying to tell
BUT - it's much harder to learn the techniques, assemble the gear. The cost of a DSLR is peanuts compared to the accompanying accessories, glass, stabilization rigs etc... But at least it's modular, you can add over time and certain purchases you can use over a lifetime (like good glass)
rbacevac - If you are starting out new and don't have a lot of time to learn the camera and techniques - I would get a "traditional" camcorder and shoot 1080p50 / 1080i25 (Czech Republic is 50Hz ? ) . They tend to be easier to use, higher framerates / fieldrates are more forgiving
ProRes is nice , you overcome a lot of the internal compression deficiencies. But for 99% of people the internal recording on most new generation (recent) camcorder AVCHD models just fine most of the time. Only for pixel peepers, and during taxing shots that stress the compression (eg. lots of motion) will there be an outcry to use external recorder . (In contrast, most DSLR's shoot ~40-50Mb/s h.264, but without b-frames, and using baseline profile - it's not very good encoding)
Also the other benefit is it edits much more smoothly than native AVCHD, especially if you're on the go with something like a laptop compared to your normal workstation
For heavy grading, green screen shots , the benefit is definitely there as well.
yes it only has a fixed lens, and shoots onto dual 64gb sdxc cards, but 2x 64gb cards can get you around 10 hours of 1080/60p video (averaging 26Mbps) but you can swap out one or both cards in between shots if needed.
if the OP prefer to shoot more in manual mode, but still want a a more traditional type of video camera, then something like the sony NEX VG900 could be the camera for you, it is full frame, and it has an interchangeable lens system on it, although it still has many failings side by side against cams such as the AC90, according to many who have tried it, and the main reasons for me not buying it was lack of AF and OIS built into the body.
also, the AC90 cam that i bought is actually an ntsc model that i shipped in from USA, shoots 1080/60p rather than pal 1080/50p that i would normally use here in australia, and i use a Rode VideoMic Pro either attached to the camera for close up work, or used on a Mic boom pole when shooting stuff like wedding videos inside a church where i cant always get too close to the subjects i am filming.
Last edited by glenpinn; 19th Oct 2013 at 23:19.