Best DSLR for filming?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by bluap84, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. bluap84 macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2011
    I am thinking of taking the leap of faith and going beyond my GoPro although i love it. It can sometimes be limited a little

    So after some research the top 3 cameras seem to be the Canon 5D & 7D with the Nikon D300s - Everyone i have seen, well 99.9% of them use the Canons apart from Chase Jarvis who uses the Nikon (maybe because he has too)

    So what are your thoughts? Which would be the better of the 3? Or is there another option completely?

    I really want to take my film editing to the next level, and to do that im going to have to film it.
  2. Traice macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2010

    I would recommand in your case for a 7D and decent glass.
    Chase Jarvis uses Nikon because he began with photography and that's still his core business.
    The Nikon D300s can only shoot at 720p so the Nikon D7000 would be better.
    Canon gives you for video more options with both the 5D and 7D. I would spend the money I save by going for the 7D on decent glass or a nice GlideCam HD 2000 :)

    Here is a small video I made with my Nikon D7000 at midnight ISO 1600:
  3. martinX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
  4. Traice macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2010
    haha it's from the movie Lost in Translation ;)

    AIR - Alone in Kyoto
  5. Sylonien, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011

    Sylonien macrumors regular


    May 21, 2011
    If you're just starting off I would say Canon 600D or 60D.

    Same pixels, same sensor (7D has dual-sensor, but the same. Just higher burst rate, but if you're shooting video anyway).

    60D and 600D is literally identical. b***h Canon released the 600D shortly after the 60D which is like the same now that it has the swivel screen and has a 10x Digital Zoom (*without quality loss). Which my 60D doesn't have.

    So really 60D / 600D / 7D is the same. The 7D is more suitable for sports photography. But for video, the quality is pretty much exactly the same. Might as well save the money for a better lens.

    Also, as far as I know 7D hasn't got manual audio control, but 60D has. (not sure about 600D)
  6. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    The 7d/60d/t2i/t3i line have an APS-C sensor so you'll have familiar focal length field of views and depth of field compared with super35 film, plus less skew than the 5d and better highlight rendering. Noisier, though, but still pretty clean up to 800ISO.

    The image should be similar from all four; I'd get a 60d or t3i for the swivel screen (60d if you plan to do stills, too; the optical finder is much better). The 7d's LCD is really low res, but if you must get an external monitor it's the only camera that supports it. It's a great still camera, though.

    I recently shot this with my t2i and some cheap lenses:

    A lot of contrast in the second scene, but the t2i handled it well. Nicer highlight roll-off compared with other video cameras I've used. Skew is annoying.
  7. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    Without question, get a t3i - as mentioned above same exact sensor as the 7D. Now, if you care about stills and want to really go deeper into photography - then by all means get the 7D. However, if not - go with the t3i... it's got the articulating LCD screen AND the best part is it has MANUAL audio controls. This is a HUGE addition, in my opinion. Again, there is NO difference between the t3i (600D), 60D and 7D when it comes to video image quality.

    You can get one HERE fro $713! SAVE your money and invest in GLASS and audio capturing equipment.

    Here is a video I made using my t2i (same imagine quality as a t3i... I recently upgraded to a t3i and handed the t2i down to my wife)
  8. bluap84, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011

    bluap84 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2011
    cheers guys, the rebel cameras look amazing. Ill def look more into those.

    The camera will mostly be used for filming and the odd photo. So its main use would be filming. So if i can get the same filming quality as a 7D for less im more than happy haha :D

    and the Glidecam wonder what it was till i googled it...and O M G theyre amazing. check this video out... just makes me want to buy one
  9. Sylonien macrumors regular


    May 21, 2011
    In your case, definitely 600D is a better option.

    Really does annoy me and beg the question, what the point is with 60D (the one I brought!).
  10. bubbagumpshrimp, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011

    bubbagumpshrimp macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2008
    I shoot music videos with the 5D, 7D and occasionally the T2i. I have to say nothing compares to the 5D with a great L glass. The biggest value of the 5D is the quality lens you benefit with a full framed camera...having said that, I love the 7D (and other APS-C cameras) and would recommend it to anyone on a tight bugget.

    As others have said...the glidecam can create wonders once you get comfortable with it. Here's a couple video I created with the glidecam HD 2000.

    "Desert Symphony" - 7D

    "Moonlight" - 5D, 7D, T2i
  11. stix666 macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2005
    Look at the Panasonic GH series too. The GH1 is unbelievably cheap, and outputs beautiful footage especially when hacked. Not as good in photography as the canons but doesn't overheat or have recording time limits (when hacked)

    The GH2 has ETC that effectively boosts the optical zoom range while filming by 2-3 times. Low light performance rivals the canons, uses b-frames which gives a v high quality avchd codec at lower bitrates, and now hacked

    Read dvxuser forums - they have dedicated ones for GH, canon and nikon dslrs and are focussed on their use in filming
  12. apeden macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    I was in the same boat about 6 months ago, I did a ton of research on SLR. And the best one that I came up with was the Canon 60D. The footage looks the same to a 7D (my roommate has a 7D), with the 60D you have a place to add an external mic, and you have the turning LCD screen (which comes in handy when you are filming). Getting a good camera is a good idea when you want to start filming but you need to get GOOD lens too. And the lens are the expensive part. It all really depends on your budget.
  13. mickbab macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    I've had a Canon 60D for about a month and though it hasn't been long, I'm loving the video capabilities of this camera so far. It took me a while to decide between a dedicated camcorder or a DSLR and I'm very glad I went for this option just for the sake of having that extra control over exactly what you want to do, even if you do sacrifice a little portability. Seems that you've already made that choice though and I'm sure you will be happy with it.

    From my point of view the 60D is a great camera and I could easily recommend it. If you've done the research, got the extra cash and the reviews are good, then I'm sure the 7D and 5D would be just as good. But if you don't need to spend the extra then why not save the money and spend it on something else? The Glidecam mentioned here a few times sounds like a great investment, or grab yourself a nice new lens or two to supplement your starting kit - I grabbed the 50mm f1.8, super cheap but still churns out some lovely images and the shallow depth of field achievable with this kind of lens (and you could easily find better than this one) is a look that often works great for film.

    Good luck with your decision and have fun with whatever you end up with!
  14. Traice macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2010
    The Glidecam is nice indeed but may I remind you that it's very difficult to get good control over it. You need some time to practice;)
    And an alternative is the Flycam. It offers the same for a tiny bit cheaper.
  15. smetvid macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2009
    I would highly suggest a Panasonic GH series of DSLR's.

    1. No record time limit. They will record for hours non-stop as long as you have a large enough card. This is big if you are shooting a long live event such as a corporate meeting.
    2. Much less moire and aliasing issues then Canon cameras.
    3. Very clean 720p 60p mode for reality shooting or slow motion shots. Canon uses a horrible method of down scaling it's 720p video. The Panasonic is clean with very little aliasing.
    4. 4:2:2 color mode mjpeg recording. Isn't the best mode to shoot in since it is 30p only but if you don't mind it then having the 4:2:2 color is pretty nice.
    5. Hackable. The GH series of cameras are hackable. The GH1 is much easier to hack and people have shot video up to 75mbits/s. Now the hack isn't for everybody but the option is there. The GH2 hack is very new with only a few options right now.
    6. micro 4/3 cameras can have any lens adapted to them. I use a bunch of older Canon FD lenses with great results with a $30.00 adapter. People use Nikon, Canon and pretty much any other type of lens adapted to their GH cameras. The adapted lenses are 100% manual but this opens up a massive amount of affordable lens options for the GH cameras.
    7. Smaller and lighter if that matters to you.
  16. Renderz macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2004
    I've used the 5D mk2, 7D and (my eventual purchase) was the D7000.

    I used the Canons extensively and even though I'm a true blood Nikon user, if I were to shoot video I'd go for the 7D because it can shoot 60fps HD. Great for slow mo!

    Here's a short video I made for a friend of mine.
  17. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    I don't use video DSLRs but have a look at this, just for fun:

    You'll note (IMHO!) that the 5D is the worst DSLR of the bunch. Who cares about the VistaVision-esque sensor if it can't resolve as much detail as the others? What's more, it's noticeably worse even when down-sampled! You watch and compare it to the smaller sensor Canon and the Nikon.

    What's interesting is that m4/3 is more like 4-perf 35mm than DX or FX sensors. It's not a huge deal, but it's interesting. M4/3 has a lot going for it. Hypothetically my future workflow will be part film and part digital, and the digital part will be almost all m4/3.
  18. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    In what way?
  19. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    Quoting from the Wiki article on m 4/3, the sensor has

    Compare this to 1.85:1 with an aperture of 21mm x 11mm for standard 4-perf 35mm movie film. Those who say that the 5D has a more 'cinematic' look might not know that they are actually using an equivalent of the rarer, 8-perf, VistaVision format.

    Titanic was shot using Super 35, utilizing a 24mm x 10mm area of the 4-perf frame. APS-C (in a DSLR) is about 24mm x 16mm. APS-C and 4/3 are no less 'cinematic' than 8-perf 35.
  20. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    For Super 35, a 16:9 extraction would be 24.9x14mm. For a D7000 it'd be 23.6x13.3mm, and 22.3x12.5mm for a 7D. For the AF100 it'd be 17.8x10mm.
  21. jnash macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2007
  22. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    I've just bought a 600d (t3i?? in the US). It's replacing a 50d (Long, long story I won't go into here).

    I'm really impressed with it. Did consider the 60d but here in the UK the price difference is big. Non grey import 60d £840 600d £585...

    A few observations on the 600d...

    Viewfinder - big enough for me, works fine.

    Small and light - My 50d was a brick, it often became a focus of attention - with the plastic 50mm attached the 600 attracts a lot less attention weirdly.

    Flippy screen - brilliant.

    Lack of LCD on the top - don't miss this as much as I thought - the info is displayed very well on the LCD at the back

    Flash wireless - much better for a duffer like me than the 50d (I think the same if not better on the 60d). Had great success with this.

    Focus - one downside, doesn't feel quite as positive as the 50d (60d is better I guess?). The difference is tiny in my book and if you concentrate it's not an issue but it could be an issue if you take wedding shots or are a sports photographer (but then you'd be full frame anyway I guess?) If you're video'ing you'll be on manual focus anyway I suppose.

    Got mine from 1st Cameras - pretty good and cheap - UK version.
  23. Renderz macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2004
    THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting that video. It really was moving.

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