DSLR to replace mini DV cam

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jshwon, May 13, 2009.

  1. Jshwon macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #1
    Do you think it is possible for a DSLR to replace my Canon vixia HF10? Of course it depends on needs and use. I bought the Canon to get into video/movie editing but I want a good camera also. The question is do I use the bigger vixia to record video and take "some" pics or the smaller DSLR for photography and take "some" video. Depending on what Nikon and Canon cams offer in terms of HD video I may be leaning towards the DSLR for the compactness and mobility.

    Any advice in this regard? What would you suggest Nikon/Canon, and what video capturing options do they have?
     
  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 17, 2008
    #2
    DSLR will cost you a lot more and will likely be much larger/heavier than the video camera equivalent (depending on the lenses you need with you to get the shot you want, video camera will have 20x (or more) zoom, getting that range on a DSLR will be at least 3 lenses (or one giant lens)). It does take much better pictures and the ability to change lenses for video can create some amazing things. The DSLR body is also not the ideal shape for shooting video, a tripod is almost required. I think the Canon 5DmkII can only shoot 3 minutes of video at a time too (although I could be wrong).

    IMO at the current point in technology, buy a DSLR if you want one, and if it happens to do video, that's great, but buying a DSLR to replace a real video camera is still a ways off.
     
  3. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #3
    Those are all good points thanks. It just seems that I may find myself needing/wanting to take pictures more than shoot video. The big issue would be the amount of video I can capture with a DSLR. Being on vacation it may be easier to just whip out the cam and take a quick shot or record a quick vid vs. pulling out the camcorder and shooting video. I guess I'm looking for which would be the better two in one solution.
     
  4. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #4
    You will find that DSLRs don't autofocus during video. Only the new Panasonic GH1 does it, which is technically an EVIL, not a DSLR. In this camera, the viewfinder might give you trouble in low light.
     
  5. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #5
    Yup, I agree with jampat, if you will do video recording more then photography, then forget it. dSLR w/ video function is more of for people who takes photo as primarily and occasionally shoot videos. But I guess this might change soon because people who buys the entry level dSLR (D5000, 500D) will assume they are into a bargain or something.
     
  6. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

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    #6
    Thats why I ask the question. I think I'm falling into the latter group. Since I've owned the mini dv I haven't shot a lot of video. Are the D5000 and 500D the best options when looking for a dSLR that shoots video?
     
  7. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #7
    You also have to look for a camera with a global shutter. I don't know if any have it, including the GH1.
     
  8. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

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    Oct 22, 2008
    #8
    The 5D Mark II will let you shoot for 12 minutes in HD or 24 minutes in SD.

    As of now, video in DSLRs is mostly an addon that isn't as functional as a dedicated video camera. Like it's been said before, lack of decent autofocus (or autofocus at all) would be a pain. The GH1 seems to be the first camera that's willing to take a legitimate stab at the feature though, as opposed to having it seemingly thrown in.

    As for the D5000 and 500D/T1i both shoot in 720p. The D5000 lets you shoot in 24fps while the T1i locks you into 30fps. You can step up to 1080p on the T1i, albeit at 20fps. The D5000 is manual focus only during video, and the T1i lets you hit the asterisk button to autofocus (it's slow, but it's there). While shooting in 720p, the T1i lets you record for 18 minutes and the D5000 for 5. I would guess that the D5000 has better still quality, given the lower density sensor but we'll have to wait to see.
     
  9. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #9
    Erm, from the price of dSLR w/ video, yeah cause the higher end will be D90 and 5D Mark II and the latter price is way beyond most people are willing to pay just to have a dSLR to record video.

    I tried using the T1i and the asterisk to autofocus does its job albeit really slow, I dunno but for me, the video function in a dSLR is only practical when we are recording something from a fixed distance and that the dSLR is mounted on a tripod.
     
  10. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

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    #10
    I think I've narrowed it down to the Canon xti and the Nikon D5000. The Canon with a lens kit is slightly more expensive and has 15mega pix but the Nikon also shoots video, has the swivel lcd while costing less but with 12 mega pix.
     
  11. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

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    Oct 22, 2008
    #11
    Do you mean the T1i, not the XTi? There's about a two-generation difference between the two.

    As I'm sure you'll hear about soon, megapixels don't mean much to most people. Once there are too many, they become crammed onto the sensor and high-ISO performance can suffer. The anti-megapixel movement has become just as strong as the previous megapixel movement, so I won't get into that too much. Something to keep in mind.

    Also, with the swivel screen, the hinge is at the bottom. I'm not quite sure how that'll work out on a tripod, and the D5000 screen resolution is also less than the T1i--230,000 dots as opposed to 920,000. Another thing to keep in mind.
     
  12. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

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    #12
    You're correct I meant the T1i. I am a admitted newb to photograhpy and kinda figured the difference in megapixels was null. That being said the Nikon might be a better option since it is a little cheaper and has the swivel screen (albeit less resolution). The appeal of the screen would be for "alternative" type shots where you might have it above your head or at waist level. I know I'll get opinions on both sides but who has the better reputation when it comes to dSLR's, build quality, etc Nikon or Canon?
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    I have yet to see any DSLR that allows even halfway decent sound recording. You would have to by a standalone audio recording or just plan on doing videos that don't have lip sync's sound (music and voice overs only)

    DSLRs also have a limit on the length of a shot but this is no big deal as a minute is a _long_ time to do one shot in video

    On the plus side the larger sensor on the dslr will have better DOF options then you can get on a small mini dv. In fact, the DSLR's "crop frame" is the same size as a 35mm motion picture camera.

    Some other big problems are that the dslr will not allow you to do things like change exposure while shooting and the image stabillization does not have logic for pans or other camera movment.

    That said, the two camera types are geting to be more alike as time goes on.
     
  14. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Well I would take a higher res screen then any low res swivel screen any day, besides you can turn on live view and get it correct eventhough you will face difficulties but seriously, how many times are you going to shoot at awkward angles, is it worth to sacrifice the higher res screen just for a little convenience of a swivel screen.
     
  15. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

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    May 20, 2008
    #15
    Why? it's such a small screen anyways. You don't really 'look' at your pictures until you go back to your computer, or bring along a portable player with a bigger screen.

    IMO, I'd rather have a swivel screen for those times WHEN you need to get those awkward shots, then a little better resolution on such a small screen.
     
  16. pdechavez macrumors regular

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    Dec 26, 2007
    #16
    You have to try them both. I had the Sony Alpha A350 with the tilt screen and now use the Nikon D300 with the 3" 920,000. I'd go with the nikon's screen anyday, meaning, HIGH rez screen anyday!
     
  17. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

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    May 20, 2008
    #17
    I see, good point:D

    But what if you need the articulating screen cuz you want to get those hard to get shots sometimes.

    IF you get the d90(or d300), you CAN'T do it.

    However, if you want the articulating screen of the d5000 and want a HIGH rez screen you CAN do it. Just hook it up to a portable dvd player or other portable player and look at it there.
     
  18. pdechavez macrumors regular

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    Dec 26, 2007
    #18
    Yep, good point. I guess for everything, theres a give and take situation.
     
  19. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #19
    Haha, I'm not sure if you tried it or not, a 3" High Res screen beat any 2.5" screen and in the D5000 2.7" which is bigger but the D5000 screen has the same resolution as its 2.5" D60 so nothing much can be said about it.

    Anyway I must admit that I am surprised by your answer, who the heck brings a portable player with a bigger screen just to check sharpness, that is just stupid, the only time I see people who bring "bigger screens" is those professionals who has a 15" notebook and assistant (and these are real pros with a real reputation), besides, even pros use the small screen to look at the picture to determine if they should have another retake or not (I don't recall seeing wedding photographers having another LCD screen with them to check the sharpness, they use the on board LCD screen and even before 3" high res came to the story, they still manage to capture remarkable photos with that small screen).

    Haha, this is just hilarious, why don't you add D700, D3, D3x, Canon 40D, 50D, 5D, 1D, 1Ds into that list of yours? Pros has been shooting awkward angle lots of time and I don't see having a swivel screen is a must for them. Also I would take D90 over D5000 any time, top LCD, more dedicated buttons. Its funny to see someone compare D5000 to D90 and even more surprisingly D300 just cause it doesn't have a swivel LCD and even give the suggestion of bringing a portable DVD player which is just impractical in most situation.
     
  20. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #20
    Granted the D5000 lcd may be lower res but I don't think it is so much that I won't be able to properly judge if the shot is good or bad. The swiveling lcd is just an added feature that I would find useful and to me offsets the the price difference that I would pay for a D90. Besides the display (swivel and res) there isn't a great deal thats different between the two.
     
  21. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

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    May 20, 2008
    #21



    First of all, there's no reason for saying stupid in your reply. To each his own. I never said for sharpness. I also didn't say a bigger screen.
    I actually saw a video tutorial by a pro who does use a portable player(7") hooked up to his camera so he can see a much BETTER representation of his photo and also so he can show his client right then and there a big and higher rez pic.

    That's where I got my idea. Plus the OP, Js, desired the articulating screen. So even if they weren't going to go 'pro', this is a good idea.

    Who brings a portable dvd player?
    Many people have them in cars, when they go on airplanes, etc. :D

    If not a portable dvd player(which by definition is EASY to carry around --portable---duh!), if you have a netbook(that can fit in a SMALL bag or purse if you're a female), you can use that as well. I was on a music video shoot and the still photographer had his notebook with him to transfer and show off his shots to everyone there.

    If the OP doesn't like my suggestion fine, but don't open your mouth and look like a fool by saying it's not practical. A small, PORTABLE dvd player, is easy to carry around and IS practical for a vacation.


    Btw, REAL pros don't rely on the pic on the LCD screen, they check the histogram. :p
     

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