Are video cameras out of style? at

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).

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Old July 20th, 2010, 02:32 AM   #1
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Are video cameras out of style?

Everywhere I look it seems short films, commercials, music videos, etc. are all being shot by DSLR's, namely the Canon 5D and 7D. Just after I bought my two XHA1's and a Letus 35 Extreme I realized my equipment is not in vogue. What's even more unsettling is that from what I've seen the video quality is better on these still cameras vs. dedicated video cameras due to 60p frame rate and 1080p scanning.

How many have you ditched your video cameras and film adapters for a 5D/7D? For live events they don't seem as useful as they have no audio inputs, short recording time, etc. From what I understand the recording times are increasing, too. Do you think these things will render video cameras useless? I hate knowing that I might look like a jackass bringing an XHA1 to a music video shoot, as the last couple of shoots I've been on set for used DSLR's.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 05:03 AM   #2
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I doubt the DSLRs will render real video cameras useless. It is my opinion (and as we all know everyone has themcso take it with a grain of salt) that FIRST; every tool has a place. Would I shoot an entire live event such as a wedding on a DSLR? Not on your life. I certainly would entertain shooting certain parts of the prep, preceremony and post ceremony with it though. SECOND; I've seen lots of things come and go in this business, so I have to ask, is it a fade? I don't know, maybe maybe not but regardless one has to ask 'why is everyone seeminly going to the DSLRs?' Some say they get a film look, some want a certain look using DoF, to some it's cool. OK all valid reasons, except if you want film look, shoot film. Want DoF control, get a 2/3 inch camera spend some money on a really good lense, light the subject properly and now you have control over DoF. Talk about looking cool. Whenever I used a fullsize camera, big honker on my shoulder, wires hanging off, light on top, receiver on the back big battery on it, people respected you, moved out of your way and they thought it looked pretty cool. OK maybe not but IMO you need to really be able to justify using a DSLR at a live event in lieu of a true video camera but again, keep in mind that;
Every tool has a job and every job needs the right tool.
As a disclaimer I do not use any form of DSLR. Would I? If I had one probably yes for certain aspects of work. Am I losing business because I don't use one? Not to the best of my knowledge? Will I invest in one? Chances are better than even I won't.
Again I doubt that DSLRs will replace video cameras in whole. I couldn't see shooting an all day seminar on one but then that's just me.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 07:48 AM   #3
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Search this board and you'll find many opinions. Chris Hurd assembled a good list of ways DSLRs fall short compared to camcorders. That said, peer pressure has little to do with technical merits and the wisdom of age. There are moves you can do with the A1 that are very hard if not impossible with a DSLR. Leverage the top handle and rock steady zoom motors of tool you have. Be faster on your setup. Have a cleaner rig....
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Old July 20th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #4
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I was thinking about your comment and remembered this 2 part video made by documentary filmmaker David W. Leitner. In it, he talks about the camera side of filmmaking. Not a DSLR in sight. Stick with it. Watch the whole thing (both parts). He is an entertaining speaker.

Sony VideON | David Leitner
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Old July 20th, 2010, 07:38 PM   #5
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I don't think the DSLR is going to replace the videocamera. It already HAS replaced it... at least in a limited role. But whenever I see these arguments, I think they are somewhat silly. The only way you could see one replacing the other is if you have a pretty darn narrow definition of what a "video camera" is. At it's core, a Video camera is nothing more than electronic device that records a moving image. In that sense the DSLR and the Camcorder are exactly the same thing.

If we look at the varying "levels" if you will of the tools we use to record the moving image electronically, we have:

1. The consumer handycam
2. The prosumer camcorder
3. The HDSLR
4. The high end prosumer camcorder
5. The professional camcorder
6. The digital cinema camera

The HDSLR is a FAR larger threat to the digital cinema camera than any of the others. It's very close already, lacking only in codec and perhaps in ergonomics

The common handycam format that we've all become accustomed to is really a niche player. It's a jack of all trades, master of none, and that is a VERY difficult thing to simply displace. The HDSLR has a LONG way to go to displace that market, and frankly probably won't ever do it.

The problem is that many of us have been using that common handycam to do the work of a digital cinema camera because we can't afford a proper digital cinema camera. And it is in THIS regard that the DSLR, has proven it's worth.
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