Am I missing something with DSLR video ?

Started Apr 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
Contributing MemberPosts: 980Gear list
Re: Biggest problem with DSLR video is unrealistic expectations
In reply to MaxIso, Apr 23, 2012

MaxIso wrote:

the second thing is there seems to be an apparent disdain for narrow depth of field. bokeh is an artistic tool, and although i dont prefer a narrow dof in my videos, i havent done any artistic video. the thing is, large sensors allow u to have a choice, with shallow or deep dof. dont want narrow? stop down and u have a camcorder look. but small sensor models cannot allow that choice anywhere near the level of apsc or FF, heck even mft. also for the person who was mentioning stills being taken with a camcorder, i dont know of any camcorder that has a 16mp sensor, which is required to match the rez on something like the d7000. in time i expect dslrs to match, in all areas, video specific camcorders simply due to the massive sensors. when that happens, camcorders will become obsolete, with exception maybe to the highest end hollywood video only designs.

I think you are misunderstanding the trade-offs. A large sensor does not inherently give you more DOF range, rather it is the combination of sensor size and aperture. You have to stop way, way down on a large sensor to get the same DOF as a small sensor, and that means you can't do it except in bright sunlight, and even then you may have distortion issues. Don't get me wrong, I love narrow DOF with my primes on my DSLR, but they are not competitive with my dedicated camcorder at f/1.8 in dim light.

Resolution is not the same thing with video as stills. More pixels just means you have to downsample, and it also greatly increases processing demands, which can be problematic.

I have a Canon Vixia M41, which is a fairly radical - and successful - innovation by Canon. They dropped their number of pixels to a native HD format, basically 2 mp, and it has the best low light performance of any consumer or semipro camcorder. Fewer, larger pixels with the same overall surface area produces higher quality low light results than more pixels on the same surface area, and this is something that is driving Canon's new pro videocams such as the C300 and C500, which are large sensor and low pixel count.

Lastly, at this time anyway, there are some things the mid and high end consumer camcorders do that DSLRs don't. I have wide range of audio control (two microphone jacks, headphone, manual volume, mixing, equalizer, selectable directional microphone), full manual control, face detection that I control just by tapping the touch screen for moving subjects, and dedicated video touches like selectable constant speed zooms - that give very nice looking results.

The Canon M41 (currently the M52) costs as much or more than most entry level DSLRs or m43s - and it isn't because the buyers are too stupid to understand DSLRs, I would guess most buyers already have DSLRs, there is just a different set of benefits at this stage of the great video/still convergence.

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