What are the advantages of using a DSLR like the Sony A77 to shoot video vs a camcorder like this Sony HDR-CX700V?
I sure can't think of any. I think putting video on a DSLR is a waste of electronics. All you hear from everyone is that the camera is overheating. I don't believe that you can shoot a video of much length either. But then I believe that a phone is for talking, not taking pictures or emailing.
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The only thing I've heard is that some folks are using a camera like Canon's 5D, Mk II to do time lapse high dynamic range stuff. As I recall ol' Bob up in Canada gave us a link sometime ago to see some of the incredible results people are getting with the technique. Not sure you couldn't do the same thing with a video camera, but I doubt it. Maybe Bob can give us more info. Hey, Bob, chime in here.
The camcorder sensor is only 1/3" in size, approx 8mm. The cameras with the larger sensor are able to give better dynamic range and they can benifit with the shallower DOF that the DSLRs provide as well as their lenses. After all they did film an entire episode of "House" with a 5D MarkII and were ectsatic with the results. I believe that it was not the camera so much as it was the large sensor. Canon has obliged them and in November announced a new video camera wit a FF 35mm format sensor for $10,000. But if you want to hold it and have a larger viewer plus a having conections for a ssound system it will cost $14,000 sans lens.
The on-the-scene reporter has the ability to take stills or if breaking news the same camera will be utilized for a short video of action as it happens which can be sent to the TV stations almost immediately.
Aside from that I use a cell phone for talking, DSLRs for photography, a hand calculater to balance my checkbook, pencil/pen and paper or cards to write to people with a real signature. Yes I even purchase the stamps. Only emergency notifications or very short notes are done via email.
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Thanks everyone! I have to research more about this. My nephew wanted me to buy him a Canon 2Ti to shoot video. He is studying movies in college. He said that it would be even better than the pro/semi pro cameras they have for him to use in the school.
The advantages are creative and technical. The larger sensor allows for better creative use of DOF. The larger pixels allow for more light to be gathered producing greater dynamic range. The lenses are better quality. The cameras are still relatively compact (compared to full-fledged video cameras).
There are some downsides. Focus is still an issue. Sound recording generally requires an accessory mic. But sound recording on small camcorders is pretty bad too without an accessory mic.
Reputedly one of the best, perhaps the best, cambocam on the market right now is the Panny GH2. Michael Reichmann loves it. There are some firmware hacks available that increase the bitrate for higher quality video.
In addition to the episode of House a couple seasons ago, and putting aside Vince LaForet's work (since he promotes for Canon), the new Showtime doc. A Game of Honor was shot with DSLRs (Canon, I believe). You can see the cameras in the behind the scenes making of the video.
The ability (or lack thereof) to shoot long segments of video is a red herring. Productions aren't shot in long sequences. They're shot in short takes that are edited together afterward to look seamless. Most combocams can shoot 8 or 12 minutes or so of continuous video. That's plenty long enough.
You could get a Rebel T3i with lens (successor to the T2i) plus a microphone for a few hundred less than the Sony camcorder.
I do understand that unlike reportage type of shooting, making a movie doesn't involve very long shot.
I thought highly of DSLR video, until I got my D90. Admittedly I didn't use it enough to be an expert, but even so I think there just isn't enough control over the quality of video. It's pretty much automatic. Focusing is a hassle and mine at least over exposes no matter what I do. Okay a Canon 1 DX might be different, but for my needs the Sony Digital 8 is still pretty good.
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