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Old January 28th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #1
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DSLR / Camcorder convergence?

It seems like we're getting closer and closer to the time when the rather arbitrary distinction between a camera designed for still photography and one designed for motion photography will completely disappear. Lots of digital still cameras offer some kind of video capture, and DSLR burst speeds keep getting closer and closer to film or video frame rates. Meanwhile, video cameras have all kinds of still image capture capability, and recently, HD camcorders have started saving video to the same Compact Flash media that their digital still cousins use.

Lately, I was very intrigued to see new DSLRs from Nikon and Sony offering HDMI outputs. Now, I realize that these are probably designed for viewing pictures off the flash card. But I find the idea of getting a live feed from a DSLR sensor (is this what is meant by "Live View?") over HDMI very interesting indeed.

How long, do you think, before I should be able to connect a DSLR directly to a solid-state video recorder (like the proposed Cineform "Solid") and record 1920x1080 (or greater!) video of exactly what I see in the viewfinder? Is this possible now? If so, how much would it cost?
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Old January 28th, 2008, 04:27 PM   #2
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It's only a matter of time as far as DSLRs having full video capture or streaming. A DSLR that captured 720p in Cineform RAW using their new silicon would be good enough for me to get one.

My Canon S400 digital point and shoot died about a year ago, shortly before I got the HV20. I haven't felt the need to get another digital point and shoot just because I love the still capabilities of the HV20 so much.
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Old January 31st, 2008, 07:02 AM   #3
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I have been getting surprisingly good still frames from my XDCamHD F350. Not quite DSLR quality, but pretty good.

I mostly shoot broadcast sports news.

The thing is, that for a professional video camera to be useful in terms of broadcast quality work, it has to have the audio features and ergonomics to facilitate good camera work. This brings the size back up to that of a shoulder mount camcorder. I know there are smaller video cameras, but they are severly challenged for long range shooting as in news and sportscoverage.

However, newspapers are starting to send their reporters and photographers out with both video and still cameras because they want video for their web sites.

My guess is that video cameras will eventually replace te need for DSLR's not the other way around.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #4
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One-chip video camcorders with 35 mm glass?

Are you saying we are on the way to a major technology shift regarding camcorder design?
Are producers like Sony, Panasonic, JVC or Canon considering sensor technology like RED and Silicon Imaging, one large sensor instead of 3 sensors and a prism? I guess this will include 35 mm SLR/film lenses. I agree that SLR cameras soon will shoot video through 35 mm glass! A simple, direct optical path will produce better images and better DOF control. A large sensor captures more light, they say 1 2 stops better. On the fly-Bayer processing, required for the TV-business, would be a major headache, but not impossible. And such camcorders should give more room for POST video processing. Will Canon be first?
By the way, I heard they used modified Nikon SLR lenses on the last Bourne film.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 08:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Arild Pedersen View Post
On the fly-Bayer processing, required for the TV-business, would be a major headache, but not impossible. And such camcorders should give more room for POST video processing.
As much as I like the idea of working in RAW, the reality that's coming out of the early adopters of Red is that for now it's a bit cumbersome. I fully expect that the Raw workflow will need to develop further, maybe a generation or two of collaboration between the camera manufacturers and software developers before it goes mainstream and is adopted by the masses if it ever is. With technology you never know what will be coming next. Maybe someone will figure out a way around the Raw workflow issues by developing something completely different.
My viewpoint is that of an event videographer who must deal with hours of footage. If your work is mainly :30 tv spots, then you may disagree.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #6
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Bayer alternative

There is one alternative to Bayer-sensor technology, the Foveon sensor, produced by National. The SIGMA SDS14 camera, uses a 14.1 Megapixel Foveon X3 sensor.
http://www.sigmaphoto.com/cameras/sd14_feature_01.asp
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:11 PM   #7
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Here's my (perhaps not-too-unrealistic) dream HD video kit:

- A Nikon D3 that could pump out 1920x1080 HD video out the HDMI port at 30 progressive frames per second, and

- A Cineform SOLID recorder that could take the HDMI video signal from the Nikon and mux it with the analog output of my SoundDevices MixPre and record it in Cineform codec onto Compact Flash.

Are we there yet? If not, will we be in a year?
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Old March 27th, 2008, 11:03 AM   #8
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No rolling shutter on camcorder with Foveon?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but a camcorder using the Foveon sensor should be using conventional shutter, not a rolling one? This because the color pixels are layer oriented and not beside each other as on i.e. RED cameras. Perhaps SIGMA is on to something here? I have seen still pictures from the SD14 DSLR and they have a color depth I have never seen on a DSLR before.
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