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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 September 30th, 2011, 04:25 AM   #1
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DSLR or New camcorder?

Id like to start trying my hand at movie style shooting. I need a camcorder that allows interchangeable lenses for those DOF clips, or purchase a DSLR that compliments the XHA1. Im looking at the new SONY nex VG-20 camcorder..available in November..

Im wondering if it would be better to keep the XHA1, and just purchase a DSLR for those DOF & close/wide shots that I cant get with the XHA1.

Id like your opinion and recommendation on which DSLR is best for video and a partner to the XHA1. I have a budget of $2000 for the DSLR but the Sony nex 5n..looks like a good deal for $699


Thank you,
Jeff

Last edited by Jeff Hinson; September 30th, 2011 at 05:15 AM.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 09:10 AM   #2
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

generally speaking - fall is not the best time to buy/replace your camera, unless you really have/want to,
CES and NAB will bring some amazing cameras so if you can wait - wait,
but if you want it now the bet DSLR for video within your budget in my opinion is 600D/17-55mm f:2.8 combo, and if you'll be able to add another fast prime lens to the set you'll be pretty much ready to shoot in any lighting conditions; nex5n is not a DSLR, it is point and shoot with interchangeable lens, but it has very good for the money PQ, note that with the stock lens you'll be limited to controlled light environment only; matching footage from different cameras is more question of your color grading skills, but canon to canon is always easier to match than any other camera/camcorder. I don't have any experience with Panasonic's GH series, so the guys who use them will hopefully let you know their opinion,
best.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 09:41 AM   #3
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

Had this discussion with a friend the other day. Personally I think the DSLR game is coming to an end. Now that there's affordable camcorders with interchangeable lenses and large sensors why would anyone want to piece together a rig with all the accessories needed to force a DSLR to work. And the pricing excuse isn't reality as when you add up lenses, rails, mounts, audio recorder, ND filters, etc. it's just about equal.
DSLRs arent going to disappear overnight but there's no way I'd buy another one knowing what's out there already and hearing the rumors of what's coming in november.
Wait til Christmas to buy your new camcorder. And if you need a stopgap, rent.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

Robert, from what I'm hearing from guys with the new cameras like the FS100, F3, etc is that the ergonomics are actually pretty bad, and they're still having to build rigs for them... So that cost doesn't seem to have gone away just yet.

I don't think DSLR video will "die" anytime soon. It's just another tool, and it isn't threatened by the development of better/different tools. DSLR's have their place in the video world, and those who want something "better" certainly have the option.

I would second the 600D/T3i & good glass recommendation... Lens options for the NEX-5N are very limited so far, and it doesn't have complete manual control.

And whatever Canon releases in October, it's not very likely to come in under the OP's $2k budget.

Last edited by Bryan Cantwell; September 30th, 2011 at 11:19 AM. Reason: added more thoughts...
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Old September 30th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #5
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

I appreciate all of your informative posts...please keep them coming. Im in no hurry to buy, so December sounds like a good time to me.

I know the limitations of my trusty XHA1 for movie type shooting. Id like to have a interchangeable lens camcorder. The only one Ive found in my price range is the Sony VG-20 to be released this November. I could shoot stills with that too. It's small and looks easy to handle. It would be nice to have a DSLR also.
Ive had such good luck with the Canon line Im reluctant to switch to Sony.

I hate these decisions....Im sure most of you do too ha
I change my mind every time I read a post. haha

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old September 30th, 2011, 12:27 PM   #6
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

I just watched some Vimeo clips shot with the Canon 5dmkii....beautiful.

Why would one need a camcorder? What's the down side of shooting video with the 5D DSLR vs an interchangeable lens camcorder? (FS100 or VG20)

Here we go...:>)

Jeff
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Old September 30th, 2011, 12:39 PM   #7
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

The biggest "problem" (IMO) with shooting on DSLR's is the audio workflow. The in-camera pre-amps are "not so good," and there are no XLR inputs...

Between Magic Lantern, a Rode VideoMic Pro, and a second audio recorder (H4N or other), it's pretty easily worked around, though.

Also, h.264 isn't the best codec for capturing video. (I usually transcode to Cineform.)
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Old September 30th, 2011, 12:45 PM   #8
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

Byran...
If you could only afford one...would you take the Sony VG20 over the Canon 5D ? XLR adapters are available to add to the 5d.
sony nex-vg20

thanks,
Jeff
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Old September 30th, 2011, 12:59 PM   #9
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

The VG20 actually has some interesting specs (1080 at 60p, potentially clean HDMI out), and beats the 5DmkII on price, but it doesn't do 30p, and I'd wait to hear about the performance of the recording codec... I'm kinda iffy on the AVCHD thing. A good lens adapter for Canon glass would be an advantage, since I don't really want to buy all new lenses.

I would still probably choose the 5DmkII, at least with the info available now. That big sensor kinda makes everything else look a little less important...
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Old September 30th, 2011, 01:41 PM   #10
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

Byran..
Thanks for the input...I missed it didnt shoot 30p..maybe that will change by release time. Although I will most likely be shooting 24p/48 most of the time.
I need all the input I can get, so please post if you have time.

I definitely need interchangeable capability...for my music vids. Most of the audio is pre-recorded anyway and the talent will lip sync. I sync it all up during edit. I do worry about the audio though for my occasional event vids. The XHA1 could be used for those.

Im leaning more toward the 5d at the moment...of course that may change with the next post :>)

Jeff
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Old September 30th, 2011, 02:19 PM   #11
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

For shooting music videos I'd choose the 5DmkII hands down, no question. I've used my T2i for a bit of that, and it was great. As for event shooting, I do the occasional wedding with my T2i & Z1U, that combo has worked well for me.

The 30p this is kinda important(ish) for me, since a lot of what I shoot is for broadcast. But that's just my circumstances... Doesn't necessarily go for every/anyone else.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 02:44 PM   #12
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

Yep, I feel you are right.
I dont see myself doing anything but music vids,some events, and some stills for schools etc.

I see the 5d could handle all of that well. I have audio gear out the gazoo (that's why Im broke ha).
The 5d for music vids and stills, both 5d and A1 cams for events...should work for me.

The 5dmk III(3)..is probably coming in November. There should be a lot of MKII's for sale.
I will wait and see before buying a new one. If you hear of one for sale, please let me know.

I think this closes my thread............I will check back though. So keep the advice coming folks.

and Thanks a million to all of you,
Jeff
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Old September 30th, 2011, 02:50 PM   #13
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

5DmkII's are already showing up for sale... 2 on the first page of the DVInfo.net classifieds alone!

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/private-...n-5d-mkii.html

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/private-...k-bag-etc.html
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Old September 30th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #14
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

Thanks!!!

Will start checking them out.
Jeff
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Old September 30th, 2011, 07:15 PM   #15
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Re: DSLR or New camcorder?

Magic lantern firmware does some neat things for the 5D.makes it a lot easier to deal with.
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