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Old January 14th, 2017, 10:00 PM   #1
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Considering getting into the DSLR pool...

My primary cameras are still the HVX-200 and the HMC-150. I have no present need for anything beyond HD. In fact, I have one client who still requests DVDs, perhaps understandably, as it involves legal video and many attorneys and courtrooms aren't up on/don't have the budget for the latest tech. While most of my work is legal video, it's not depositions; most often, it's "Day in the Life" videos, with some promotional work, which I'd like to expand.. When shooting legal, I generally shoot in HD then export via AME then burn via Encore; promotional work is shot in HD, and often sent-off for others to edit.

With equipment like the various Movi and DJI models, I'm considering adding DLSR video to my offerings.
In the early days, I heard of the problems of overheating, and syncing audio, and just thought it was more trouble than it was worth. It seems like many of the early problems with DSLR cams have been overcome, though I'm still suspicious of the audio.
Before diving-in, I have 2 major concerns:
1) dealing with audio, and
2) new devices like the Movi and DJI gimbal devices.

Have the audio concerns been overcome? I've always been under the impression that XLR connections were "the only way to go" for "serious" work and avoided the smaller input jacks. I also seem to recall that often, it was almost necessary to record audio on a separate recorder.
Are those still valid concerns? Is separate audio recording still the recommended route?

As for the Movi and DJI gimbals, I see they often have weight thresholds much higher than the weight of the cameras that most people seem to be using, yet the physical size of the "cages" won't/can't accommodate something like my HVX or HMC. I'd love to be able to use both in whatever gimbal device I might decide on, but I don't understand why those devices can accommodate the weight of the larger cams but apparently not the size.

I'm considering the Nikon D850 as my DSLR, (I already own a D40X, and while I have DX format lenses for that, they will work on the D850, so I wouldn't have to start a new collection of lenses right away), but would really like to "share" a gimbal device with my other dedicated video cams.

I read a thread somewhere about a DJI Ronin fail, and how it ruined a planned trip through India, but that also mentioned that the light weight of the camera might have contributed to the problems. I think my video cams would alleviate the light-weight problem, but fear their size may prevent me from using them. (However, I buy almost all my gear from B&H, so I'd expect their typical good service if a return was necessary).

Anyone out there with experience, warnings, cautions, or advice on using the gimbal stabilizers with a larger/dedicated video camera?
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Old January 15th, 2017, 07:29 AM   #2
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Re: Considering getting into the DSLR pool...

What's your timeframe and your budget?

Audio is still a concern, but some cameras record better than others. The limited models that have a headphone jack is also a factor.

Some type of XLR interface or recorder or combo is still the norm for really good audio. Syncing is not very difficult if you stay organized and have the right accessories.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 05:16 PM   #3
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Re: Considering getting into the DSLR pool...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
...Syncing is not very difficult if you stay organized and have the right accessories.
It seems like you're in the Adobe suite. If you're on Adobe Premiere Pro CC, synching on audio waveforms was added a few versions back. Maybe in 2015.2?

In my limited experience with it, it's a fine tool for small volume work. If you're doing long takes it's fine. For many short takes, it doesn't offer much in the way of batching. PluralEyes has a strong following for higher volume syncing.

One must always record reference audio on the camera with these methods.

At the risk of offending some, since *everybody knows* that it's wrong wrong wrong, I've recorded many lav interviews direct on DSLR. Yeah, it doesn't look so good on paper, but in practice, if you have a good XLR interface, and a good lav in the right place it's a workable method. I've used one of the best interfaces, the Sound Devices MixPre-D mixer. Good metering, limiters, tone to the camera, good headphone amp, good preamps...

But I've also used an XLR->3.5mm Sescom cable adapter. Quality for the spoken word can be good, but it's a crapshoot if you don't have good metering and monitoring.

All in all, many people find it easier and less expensive to use an external recorder.
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