Please help me understand the new digital SLR Camera buzz at

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Old February 24th, 2010, 05:31 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Please help me understand the new digital SLR Camera buzz

Hello. Newbie here. Currently, I have a Canon Vixia HFS 100 Camcorder (bought this past summer for $1,200). It is an excellent HD for my needs, filming my kids on their special events. Because I want to upgrade to a " DOF " effect, I have been shopping around for a used quality 35mm DOF adapter for the camcorder. In addition, I would like to have it before my vacation to Asia.

I am not into photography that much but more of a video guy. I don't want cheap equipment nor the most expensive, something in the prosumer range. In my research, I can't help the buzz in regards to SLR / DSLR cameras that can also take full HD Videos and high pixel still images, and have DOF already built in.

Am I making a mistake by trying to upgrade my current camcorder?? Should I just go out and invest in a new Digital SLR?? I was very impressed with the video quality of the Canon Mark 2. Is that why there is such a market out there for used DOF adapters?

Another confusing issue is the pricing structure by Canon. I am assuming they came out with the Canon Mark 2 and priced it around 2k. And then they came out with the 7D for 1.5k. Furthermore, now they just introduced the Rebel series for half that price. To a simple Joe like me, all these cameras have the same features. Though some will have more bells and whistles. It seems to me that these new SLR's are now better still cameras but also got better because they added and increase the video recording features, is that correct?

I simply would like to be " future proof " from the technology for the next 3-5 years. My key requirements are 1920x1080 full hd recording, high bit rate, around 18 mega pixels for still images, and the DOF effect. That's it!

Any comments or suggestions on what model or type to look into would be greatly appreciated.

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Old February 24th, 2010, 08:37 AM   #2
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Over how long of a period are you going to be continuously recording video? In order to get zoom equivalent to that of a camcorder, you'll end up with a device that's a lot heavier than a camcorder. Also, the DSLR physical form factor is good for taking stills but not ergonomic at all for extended video shooting.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #3
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Video DSLRs have one HUGE advantage over traditional video cameras in the same price range: they give you access to a huge selection of high-quality interchangeable lenses and a large sensor size. (OK, maybe that's two advantages.) That translates into shallower DOF and better low-light performance.

On the down side, a DSLR is only as good as the lens connected to it and good glass is not cheap (from a consumer/hobbyist perspective). As Alan mentioned, the ergonomics of a DSLR are not designed for recording over long periods of time, plus I believe that some DSLRs limit the duration of each clip. They use h.264 compression, so you'll have to transcode your clips before you can edit them.

Based on your requirements, the biggest reason not to get a DSLR for video is that this is a new and rapidly developing market. That's why a Rebel has video capabilities equivalent to a D5 at a fraction of the price. The video features of a new DSLR will be outdated in less than 12 months, if that long.

That said, I would buy a the new Rebel today if I had the spare change lying around. It's cool technology; you just have to know what you're getting into.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 02:35 PM   #4
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If you purchase a T2i (like I just did) be prepared for a major change in the way you shoot video.
No continuous auto focus, zoom lenses to give you same throw as your video camera are pretty expensive, limit of 12 min shot at full HD, no image stabilization, no flip out/adjustable LCD, mono audio unless you plug in an external stereo source, no audio level control, and more...but you get the point.
Don't throw out your HFS-100.
If you want to create the DOF stuff, this is the way to go. Get a Canon 50mm f1.4 and be prepared for your chin to hit the floor. It's stunning. Beyond that, the image quality blows the socks off my HMC-150 which is not a slouch camera. Sounds like you also want good stills and the T2i in my limited hands takes the best pictures I've ever done!

I told a friend today to consider the DSLR a b-roll camera for beauty shots or as an old movie film-style camera where you have time to setup and plan shots. Run and gun/ENG style is not a reality unless you spend big bucks putting all the features together on a portable rig to make it back into a video camera.

My 2cents!
A7RII, C100, 1Dx, 5Dmk3, 70D, Kessler goodies, Adobe, Pro Tools and more!
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