Shooting long videos with a DSLR

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by macfilm, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2007
    Hey, my current Sony camcorder has broken and I'm not prepared to get it fixed so will just buy a new camera now.

    I make corporate styled videos for company websites and have had a lot of people saying I should shoot on DSLR's which I like the idea of.

    My question is as they are not dedicated video cameras do they still have all the manual control I need to shoot? Will they work with wireless bluetooth microphones for instance?

    I haven't looked a specifically which model I will go for at the moment but most likely a Nikon.

    Also an important question I have is are there any limitations on how much video content they can store?
    At times i will film corporate conferences and will need to film 5-6 hours worth in one day.

    Basically are they a truly great alternative to a dedicated video camcorder?

    Thanks for any advice :)
  2. macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    DSLR models vary widely in their video features and video quality, so you're just going to have to do your homework. Many of the models have limits on how long they can record, so you can't just set them up and expect to record for 5-6 hours straight. Most will stop recording after 20 minutes or so. The Panasonic GH3 has better features than any DSLR I'm aware of, and will record for 6 hours.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 9, 2012
    5-6 hours straight? Yea DSLR ain't your route.

    The camera will shutdown if the CMOS sensor overheats. for full 1080 recording, there are many limits. Time limits (for canon I think 12 minutes?), then size limits (i think 4gb clip?) etc....

    If you are filming here and there, (not continuous) DSLR is a great recording device, but 5-6 hours straight. Nope.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2011
    DSLR's Make Great Still Cameras, Video - NOT!

    I too took the bait of a single camera that shoots both high quality stills, and high quality video, and purchased a Nikon D600 to experiment with. It is indeed a spectacular still camera, but when I first tried video, I discovered that you must use "Live View" for your viewfinder. That means that you must use the little screen on the back of the camera to follow the action, and to keep track of the focus. This was a whole new world to me.

    I had done my research, and purchased a little rubber hood that has optics in it to compensate for my need to use readers to see anything as close as that little screen. Did I mention that the hood is held in place with fancy rubber bands?

    My first shoot was a soccer game, which was a disaster since the hood wouldn't stay in place, and I was short one hand trying to hold the camera, rotate the zoom ring on the lens, and activate the start/stop button. The shoot was a disaster. Fortunately it was just a granddaughter soccer game, rather than a "real" shoot.

    I see that you can buy different rigs that look like an octopus, but when I consider weight, cost, and other issues like rolling shutter - which I can fix, I went back to my video camera, and I have fallen in love with it, again!

    I could detail many other issues, but I admit I'm old, and have been doing things pretty much the same way for a long time, so I will spare you.

    In short, I would recommend you repair your video camera!
  5. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If the goal is video just buy a real video camera, get a professional model with good audio inputs with XLR jacks.

    You can shoot video with an SLR but the audio is not as good and they are better suited to film making than to events. Film makers have time to set up each shot.
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2007
  7. pski73, Aug 1, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2013
    I have a Sony A57 and it shoots 1080i or 1080p video @ 30-60 fps and I know for a fact that it will stop recording at 30 min. and just have to to hit record again to catch another 30 min. ( a real pain ) . I have heard of the sensor overheating but have not had any problems and have recorded 2 hours of video at one setting.
    The big plus with a DSLR is the different lens you can put on the camera.
    Hope this helps.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Dec 14, 2010
    I use a DSLR for video recording as its primary usage. Ive never had it shut down on me, even in the recent heatwave! Ive recorded for an hour or so before - the camera does not just stop recording - it continues to record but since the memory card is FAT32 it stops at the 4Gb file limit and continues a new file. You simply put these together in your editor afterwards and you have no break in video whatsoever.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    That depends on what DSLR you're using. I have a couple of T2i's that have the limitation. Yes, Magic Lantern overcomes that but ML isn't for everybody.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Dec 14, 2010
    Ah, Im using a T4i at the moment, which I'm selling and buying a 70D instead ;)
  11. macrumors 68040


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    Actually if you want to earn money with it and you like the full frame look go with a real video cam like the Canon C100 or C300 or Sony FS100.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    My camcorder (Canon) just died too, so I bought the Nikon D5200 three days ago and will test it out this weekend. I have no reservations about going with a DSLR for video. However, everything I shoot is relatively controlled (e.g., nature videos, interviews, etc), short format and the camera sits on a good, steady Silk tripod. The audio is recorded separately. It frightens me to death to even THINK about a long format shoot, like a wedding, concert, or formal lecture, with anything but a camcorder. If someone put a gun to my head and told me I had to use a DSLR for a long shoot, I suppose I would use at least two and stagger the recordings by 30 seconds, give or take. That way, when any one DSLR starts a new 4GB file, the other camera or cameras are still rolling.
  13. macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2009
    Not only the recording time limits, but also the shallow depth of field and lack of servo zoom, would make any kind of event documentation video very difficult to shoot on a DSLR camera.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    I saw a live music performance (I forget the artist) shot with 6 Canon Mark II cameras where the very shallow depth of field problem you mentioned was not an issue. I barely have my new Nikon out of the box and I'm a video guy, so I don't know how the the problem was resolved. The video looked great though! If I find the link in my bookmarks, I'll post it. It has been a while though.

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