DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

Started Mar 23, 2015 | Discussions
Christian0710 Junior Member • Posts: 39
DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

Hi, I’m deciding on whether to get a DSLR or camcorder on a budget for filmmaking and I have some very specific questions which came to mind after some answers to an earlier thread I began, and I’d really appreciate some help.

Here are some questions regarding DSLR’s vs. Camcorders for film and post production .

· If the goal was to make a youtube video, what would I then have to do in post production with a DSLR compared to using a camcorder? Audiosync? fileformat changing? I’m trying to get a realistic picture of how much work and time it takes to use a DSLR for making A) A simple video were I talk on camera and B) A more cinematic film in nature. I’d really appreciate some comments on this (and please keep in mind that I’m a newb, so I might not understand all the technical jargon yet)

· Are there any video formatting issues with DSLR’s? Do they shoot in a video format that is not meant for a typical internet video?

· For those using DSLRS: What is your setup with respect to Audio?

· DSLR sensors can’t track fast moving objects as well as camcorders, is there a way to work around it? is it cumbersome?

· What makes DSLR’s so awkward with respect to filmmaking compared to camcorders?

· What camcorders could you recommend for less than $1000 (I’ll get it used) if the goal is

o Some Depth of field – and ability to make the cinematic film look.

o Good low light performance and color

o Not a Monster Battery life eater

lancespring Veteran Member • Posts: 3,974
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

Cinematic look generally refers to shooting in a 24 frames per second progressive format. 24 frames per second is what cinema film cameras have traditionally used. You are badly misusing this terminology in your statements.

As far as post production goes, there is really no difference at all.

As far as audio is concerned, both better DSLR's and lower cost camcorders use the same type of 3.5mm audio input jack. So they both can use the same type of external audio devices. There are some DSLR's and camcorders that also have proprietary audio devices designed specifically for them too. But that varies from individual camera to camera.

A camcorder under $1,000 will not be able to meet your stated goals. They have very small sensors, and thus cannot produce either shallow depth of field, nor match the low light performance of a DSLR or mirrorless camera that uses a dramatically larger sensor.

Cameras with larger image sensors will always have an edge in low light performance.  Cameras with small sensors will always have an edge in having a much greater depth of field.  With them, you can often have an entire scene in focus.

Even cameras and camcorders using the new 1 inch sensor size ( which is much larger than traditional camcorder sensor size, but still much smaller than a DSLR's image sensor ) will produce really deep depth of field.   Here is such a video in the link below.   As you can see, everything is sharp and in focus.

3 Sony camcorders, Sony's hybrid RX-10, and Panasonic's FZ1000 hybrid camera, all use this new sensor size.  They range in price from $900 for the Panasonic, to $2,300 for the most expensive Sony camcorder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wdR-78bo4M

So if you want shallow depth of field, and best possible low light performance, stay away from camcorders.

.

Christian0710 wrote:

Hi, I’m deciding on whether to get a DSLR or camcorder on a budget for filmmaking and I have some very specific questions which came to mind after some answers to an earlier thread I began, and I’d really appreciate some help.

Here are some questions regarding DSLR’s vs. Camcorders for film and post production .

· If the goal was to make a youtube video, what would I then have to do in post production with a DSLR compared to using a camcorder? Audiosync? fileformat changing? I’m trying to get a realistic picture of how much work and time it takes to use a DSLR for making A) A simple video were I talk on camera and B) A more cinematic film in nature. I’d really appreciate some comments on this (and please keep in mind that I’m a newb, so I might not understand all the technical jargon yet)

· Are there any video formatting issues with DSLR’s? Do they shoot in a video format that is not meant for a typical internet video?

· For those using DSLRS: What is your setup with respect to Audio?

· DSLR sensors can’t track fast moving objects as well as camcorders, is there a way to work around it? is it cumbersome?

· What makes DSLR’s so awkward with respect to filmmaking compared to camcorders?

· What camcorders could you recommend for less than $1000 (I’ll get it used) if the goal is

o Some Depth of field – and ability to make the cinematic film look.

o Good low light performance and color

o Not a Monster Battery life eater

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Raymond Bradlau
Raymond Bradlau Veteran Member • Posts: 5,721
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.
1

· Are there any video formatting issues with DSLR’s? Do they shoot in a video format that is not meant for a typical internet video?

Different codec (file types) some better than others but not really worth worrying about... do your edit and make a version ready for web posting (honestly I would have a hard time seeing much difference between a $8000 video camera and a DSLR once it compressed for YouTube)  now, its easier to start with flat high bit rate ProRes video than a highly compressed codec but thats another world don't get hung up on all that, you would spend more than a grand for the memory to hold 20 min worth of that footage)

· For those using DSLRS: What is your setup with respect to Audio?

Just get a mic close to your talent, be it with a long cord or wireless... a cheap mic close sounds better than a great mic on the camera

· DSLR sensors can’t track fast moving objects as well as camcorders, is there a way to work around it? is it cumbersome?

Auto focus is the opposite of a "movie like" look,  you really need to focus manually... smooth, slow and deliberate.    Lots of stuff to help you do that but I would worry about that latter.   I do use auto focus to set focus (tap the AF button) before I start shooting but not really during (with some exceptions but $$$$$$ not worth mentioning)

· What makes DSLR’s so awkward with respect to filmmaking compared to camcorders?

For me its lack of built in ND filters, form factor and not being able to change exposure smoothly

· What camcorders could you recommend for less than $1000 (I’ll get it used) if the goal is

o Some Depth of field – and ability to make the cinematic film look.

o Good low light performance and color

o Not a Monster Battery life eater

I do not believe you have a ton of choices, used the Sony VG20 is less than a grand (maybe VG30) and actually has a really good built in mic... but its on the camera so it is what it is.  The VG20 has issues but would give you a good deal of fun for a little money.

basically same size sensor and a mega buck super 35mm cine camera

with $20 adapters you can use almost any lens known to mankind as long as it covers the sensor Nikon, Pentax, Canon EOS, Canon FD, Minolta, PL mount...... and the added bonus us the old manual focus lenses are MUCH easier to focus with than more expensive modern AF lenses

it will shot at 1080 60fps, so nice when you want to make smooth camera moves but without the gear to make perfectly steady/smooth moves.... do the best you can and play the clip in half speed... look pretty darn smooth.

Has a little EVF (eye piece) for bright sunny days and decent little screen for indoor and shade...  peaking to help you focus.

If you get an Sony E Mount lens you have autofocus... you may not use it much but it will track an actor walking at you 8 out of 10 times (cool to be able to add some subject movement once in a while) and the Sony 50mm 1.8 is a pretty cheap lens ($250 or so) and will give you those shallow DOF shots you want along with image stabilization

Cool thing is even if you went out and bought a "better" camera in a few months its nice to have a small easy to use cheap camera for scenes you may not want to risk a $$ camera

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Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,471
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

Christian0710 wrote:

· If the goal was to make a youtube video, what would I then have to do in post production with a DSLR compared to using a camcorder? Audiosync? fileformat changing? I’m trying to get a realistic picture of how much work and time it takes to use a DSLR for making A) A simple video were I talk on camera and B) A more cinematic film in nature. I’d really appreciate some comments on this (and please keep in mind that I’m a newb, so I might not understand all the technical jargon yet)

· Are there any video formatting issues with DSLR’s? Do they shoot in a video format that is not meant for a typical internet video?

IMHO the difference in post production between a DSLR and a camcorder is pretty minimal, assuming that you have a video editor that understands the video file produced by the camera. Since almost all cameras these days product h.264 video, that's generally not a big issue.

But you should go into this with the expectation that you will need to do at least a little editing using a video editor after shooting the footage with the camera.  Therefore, you should be thinking about what video editor you'd want to use and include it in your budget.   If you have an older PC you may need to think about upgrades as well.

· For those using DSLRS: What is your setup with respect to Audio?

I use a GH3 which isn't technically a DSLR.   When the audio that I'm trying to capture is important I use an external microphone - either the built-in mic on my Zoom H1 recorder, a cheap lavalier or a Rode NTG2 shotgun mic depending on the circumstances.

· DSLR sensors can’t track fast moving objects as well as camcorders, is there a way to work around it? is it cumbersome?

Again, I'm not sure what issue you're talking about here but if it's autofocus speed then the surest solution IMHO is to avoid the use of autofocus altogether.

· What makes DSLR’s so awkward with respect to filmmaking compared to camcorders?

Aside from technical issues like recording length limitations, I think for most people it's the ergonomics of the camera.   Camcorders usually have a screen that you can flip out and look down or up into as you shoot (depending on the camera position), and they tend to be a little easier to hold for continuous shots.   DSLRs are designed to be held up to your eye for shooting, but that can get pretty tiring for long shots.   That being said, cameras such as my Panasonic GH3 which have fully articulated screens can be cradled in your hand much like a camcorder and I find that to be a pretty easy and effective way to shoot.

Of course none of that is a big deal if the camera is mounted on a tripod.

There may also be issues with specific cameras such as the inability to connect external microphones or manually control the audio levels.

· What camcorders could you recommend for less than $1000 (I’ll get it used) if the goal is

o Some Depth of field – and ability to make the cinematic film look.

o Good low light performance and color

o Not a Monster Battery life eater

No camcorder for that price is going to give you all that much control over DOF.   As I mentioned in the other thread, your only option is to shoot long and with a lot of separation between your subject and the background.

I mentioned the Panasonic X920 in the other thread so I'll repeat that here as well.  Some people also swear by Sony or Canon camcorders, but I think that for the most part you can expect similar performance from like-priced camcorders from any of those manufacturers.

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,471
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.
1

Raymond Bradlau wrote:

Cool thing is even if you went out and bought a "better" camera in a few months its nice to have a small easy to use cheap camera for scenes you may not want to risk a $$ camera

Agree - and it's not just for "risky" scenes either.   When I shoot events I like to shoot uninterrupted "B roll" of the entire event with a fixed camera on a tripod while I shoot "A roll" from various positions or focal lengths with a different camera.   That gives me a lot of video and audio flexibility in post production and results in a far more interesting result.   It also lets me cover "goofs" or parts that I missed in the "A roll" footage by cutting away to the "B roll" instead.

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,471
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

lancespring wrote:

So if you want shallow depth of field, and best possible low light performance, stay away from camcorders.

I agree with this in general, but I just wanted to point out that some of the camcorders in the OP's price range have 3-chip colour splitting sensors which effectively give them three times the sensitivity of a single sensor of like size.   That, combined with their fast lenses lets them "punch above their weight" in terms of low light performance.   If you compare that to a DSLR and a standard consumer zoom with a typical f/3.5 or f/4 aperture, the difference isn't as great as one might first imagine.

One of the DSLR's biggest advantages is its ability to swap lenses - and if low light performance is really important that means you can use really fast glass.  But you have to be savvy enough to buy that rather than settling for a standard cheap zoom lens.

osv Veteran Member • Posts: 7,669
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

Christian0710 wrote:

· What makes DSLR’s so awkward with respect to filmmaking compared to camcorders?

camcorders have parfocal lenses with motorized zooms, controlled by a conveniently located rocker switch, that has multiple steps to it, that give multi-speed zoom capability.

you won't find that with very many dslr lenses; if you go that route, you'll basically be limited to shooting in film-style mode.

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dan

PenguinPhotoCo Veteran Member • Posts: 6,284
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

get this book...it's thick and full of all kind of knowledge you need.

I understand jpg and pixels and printing..video had me baffled, especially the first time I went to save a project, er, export it.

p vs i? 720, 1080, HD or not? 29.97 fps or 24, 25 or 50 or 60 or? AVCHD or one of 10 other formats? And lots of options. 'Compression" as we know it in the still world isn't stated that way.

It all depends on what your output (usage) is going to be. And then you have options too...

Pretty much ALL cameras will capture many formats/sizes - but you need to consider your end use BEFORE getting a camera. Like what continent maybe.

the book explains it all - that in film was almost always 24fps, video (tv) was 30 fps in the US because electricity here is 60 cycle and pictures were interlaced..then color came along and a lot more info had to be included in the signal and it was an issue...dropping the frame rate 1% to 29.97 solved the issue.
But digital (HD) is almost all P not I (not interlaced).
But do you want HD? or 2k or 4k? More data is great...unless you dont' need it but have to overbuy your computer and HD anc cameras and spend more time editing because you think you need it.

I don't have all the answers..but my take on your questions:

· If the goal was to make a youtube video, what would I then have to do in post production with a DSLR compared to using a camcorder? Audiosync? fileformat changing? I’m trying to get a realistic picture of how much work and time it takes to use a DSLR for making A) A simple video were I talk on camera and B) A more cinematic film in nature. I’d really appreciate some comments on this (and please keep in mind that I’m a newb, so I might not understand all the technical jargon yet)

Depends..you don't need 1080p for youtube, yo don't need huge bit rates. I've found 720p and lower bitrates (4mps if I recall) sufficient and file sizes that dont' kill you.

· Are there any video formatting issues with DSLR’s? Do they shoot in a video format that is not meant for a typical internet video?

I've shot with 5D2, 3 and a canon video camera - when i drop teh clips into sony platinum it adjusts and it works...i don't ask questions beyond that. LOL

Export is where you need to know what you need...and where i found NO info or help. Or not enough to do me much good. got the book above and making headway.

· For those using DSLRS: What is your setup with respect to Audio?

its easier to watch bad video with good sound than good video with crappy sound. Get a good mic (150-200) and a recorder (75+) and record sound separately. with a clapper board (or clap your hands, bang two sticks, etc) you can sync sound in 2 seconds flat, easy peasy.

now sound editing software...still looking for something useful.

· DSLR sensors can’t track fast moving objects as well as camcorders, is there a way to work around it? is it cumbersome?

it's not the sensor its the focus system. follow focus systems and big add on screens...not cheap, makes a big camera - great for a crew, hollywood, etc. for run and gun shooting? sucks.

· What makes DSLR’s so awkward with respect to filmmaking compared to camcorders?

lots of things. it's not designed to do movies. it's basically a hack. bad audio, no good AF, small screen. Some are better than others. Most won't record long clips, some get hot if htey're on for a long time, big and heavy (with some lenses, with add on gear), not ergonimically designed for film use.

· What camcorders could you recommend for less than $1000 (I’ll get it used) if the goal is

o Some Depth of field – and ability to make the cinematic film look.

o Good low light performance and color

o Not a Monster Battery life eater

Like a still camera the bigger the sensor the better. I got a canon vixia g20 and compared to a 5D2 it's 1000 times easier to use - smalle,r lighter. Battery doesn't last long enough, no separate charger. Better audio but still sucks compared to external recording. Great focus. Not as good at low light...but I"m talking wedding reception darkness (camera still of 1/30th ISO 3200 at F2.8 or F2). In a darker 'normal' environment (iso 1600 2.8 1/100) it does pretty good.

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PenguinPhotoCo Veteran Member • Posts: 6,284
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

what I'm doing is using the camcorder as the main camera and a dlsr as a second camera - for closeups, special effects (like wide angle, tele, shallow DOF,etc).
considered a 7d as i hear they do better AF than a 5D but a camcorder was cheaper and offered more versatility - remote control, zebra stripes, touch screen for focus and control, ergonomics, etc.

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PenguinPhotoCo Veteran Member • Posts: 6,284
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

Raymond Bradlau wrote:


Auto focus is the opposite of a "movie like" look, you really need to focus manually... smooth, slow and deliberate. Lots of stuff to help you do that but I would worry about that latter. I do use auto focus to set focus (tap the AF button) before I start shooting but not really during (with some exceptions but $$$$$$ not worth mentioning)

I did some studio work with a 70-200 at 2.8 and even f4 on a FF 5D3 and the talent's movement (sitting or standing) was enough that the footage, while usable, isn't sharp.  Great shallow DOF look (the bg is oof and the talent pops). for youtube it's fine- for a 60" HD tv it would be a big fail.
Point being...it depends what youre doing and what your end use it.

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Raymond Bradlau
Raymond Bradlau Veteran Member • Posts: 5,721
Sony VG30 samples

I looked again and the most affordable big sensor video camera I could find was the Sony VG20 (used) well under a grand

These are VG30 samples but the image is exactly the same as the 20, the only changes are the

Addition of a zoom rocker for powered servo lenses, great for general use and run and gun doc work but not what your want for "movie" looking footage so not a good first or second lens anyway

Better EVF (eye piece) OLED on the 30 but not really night and day... side screen still better for focus

and the hot or cold shoe on the handle was changed

Its been a long time but after playing with it today I realized the auto focus may be more useful than I remembered.... the DSLRs I used would "snap" to focus... and again... and again and the talent moved. The little VG rolls along slow and steady more "human" like and not even close to as annoying as shaping in and out look. If I only had one take NO I would use it, If I had a large screen hooked up and a nice manual lens I would still rather go manual but if all I had was a stock VG and I could have my talent repeat the scene a couple times it would be a good way to add some tracking (movement)

same deal with exposure, 99% of the time manual is best... but if I shoot a clip moving from inside to outside or from inside a car to the outside I get the clip once in auto.... the VG rolls the exposure slowly up or down and it looks again "human" or "organic" vs. click click click brighter

Shot this today (studio looks like a bomb went off so you get super tight angle LOL) I placed the subject in front of the window so you could see the VG (all affordable cameras) weakness, harsh blown highlights and blow rather abruptly (from good to WHITE hot fast) I used a Nikon 50mm 1.4 AIS I picked up on ebay for under $100 awesome lens but thats the reason you seem some purple fringe chromatic aberration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liyEtkc8DFI

This was the day I got the VG and I am 90% sure it was in full auto mode (100% sure AF and auto WB) this was under florescent shop lights with a 18-55 Sony E lens (slow at f5.6) so probable around 1000 ISO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHe_8139NHU

http://www.TheSBimage.com

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lancespring Veteran Member • Posts: 3,974
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

Sean Nelson wrote:

lancespring wrote:

So if you want shallow depth of field, and best possible low light performance, stay away from camcorders.

I agree with this in general, but I just wanted to point out that some of the camcorders in the OP's price range have 3-chip colour splitting sensors which effectively give them three times the sensitivity of a single sensor of like size. That, combined with their fast lenses lets them "punch above their weight" in terms of low light performance. If you compare that to a DSLR and a standard consumer zoom with a typical f/3.5 or f/4 aperture, the difference isn't as great as one might first imagine.

One of the DSLR's biggest advantages is its ability to swap lenses - and if low light performance is really important that means you can use really fast glass. But you have to be savvy enough to buy that rather than settling for a standard cheap zoom lens.

The only camera in that category is the Panasonic X920, and as I have mentioned before in other threads, I am not a fan of it.  I think that it is overrated, and that the Canon G series can perform  better in low light.  Besides, it is actually only using 1/4" of the sensor for image processing.  B&H Photo had to take back so many returns on the X920 when folks found that out, that they ended up putting a disclaimer on their X920 sales page, explaining that only a fraction of the sensor was actually being used.

Plus Christian also says that he wants to be able to get a shallow depth of field.  So that requirement rules out any small sensor cameras.

.

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DavidNJ100
DavidNJ100 Contributing Member • Posts: 514
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

What does the $1000 include? Audio recording? Editing software? Are you buying new or used?

First, cinema uses a Super 35 sensor size which is roughly the same as APS-C.

Second, the big issue in video has always been recording quality. In still we shoot RAW, and get 20-35MB files that get processed on a big computer taking as long as it wants. In video, the little battery-powered CPU in the camera has to process and compress 24 frames/sec in real time. 24Mb/s (the fastest AVCHD speed) means an average of just over 100kB/frame.

One big thing the Canon 5DM2 had was recording speed...50Mb/s. Now off camera recorders can do over 200Mb/s, some 4K is over 800Mb/s.

All of these go have their Bayer color processing done on camera. Many of the new high end cameras can also record RAW where the processing is done in the computer. All the Blackmagic Design cameras can do this, their single biggest advantage. Red, Canon C500, Sony FS7, and AJA Cion can also do do RAW. All way out of your budget.

However, some Canon DSLRs can do in camera RAW recording with the Magic Lantern software. The Magic Lantern software is a major reason to consider a Canon DSLR.

Third, lenses are a major expense. Many videographers used old manual lenses. Nikons were popular but many brands were used. Minolta and Canon FD lenses were the only ones that couldn't be adapted.

What software are you using? I use Adobe Preimier Pro, actually the Master Collection. Under their current licensing and looking for sales it costs about $400/year. Without the sales $600/year.

What computer are you using? Processing video is very CPU intensive. around the year 2000 in the early DV days I could let my computer run 10-20 hours or more processing a clip. Today it is faster but still favors a fast computer. Additionally, some software including Adobe's leverages the floating point processing of video cards. Most support nVidia cards with their Cuda interface. There is an open standard that ATI supports but I'm not sure which editing software does. Many lower end newer computers and most non-gaming laptops use the video capability built in the CPU chip and don't have these extra floating point processors.

In camera audio is awful. First you need a mic...but also a recorder with a good pre-amp and preferably a high quality (e.g. 24bit@96kHz vs 16bit@48kHz CD quality) recording. You will need the extra resolution to minimize artifacts in audio editing. Mics are a world on to themselves and can get pricey. However, audio is very important to final quality. People will watch a low quality video with good audio, but virtually no one will watch a video with low quality audio. You'd be better off getting a mic and audio recorder and shooting the video with your smartphone than ignoring the audio component.

All photography is about lighting. How are you lighting your videos? Without some control you will lose control of depth of field, harsh vs soft shadows, and can end up with grainy videos in lower light situations. Remember, in video you are pretty much stuck at 1/50th of a second shutter speed and want to use your aperture to control DOF not exposure. Fortunately you can get inexpensive AA battery powered LED lights for under $50/each.

How will you hold you camera. Video shows lots of shake in handheld shots. Documentary cameras usually have an over the shoulder mount. Most video is shot on a tripod with a video head that allows panning and tilting. There are other rigs that can mount a DSLR on your shoulder.

Using shallow DOF moving the focus is typically used to shift the viewers attention. These are done with follow focus attachments that mount on the rigs mentioned above. Without a follow focus of some sort you will need to shoot each focus position and edit them together.

How much is obvious in YouTube? YouTube handles 4k videos and even smartphones are now 1080p. It all shows.

For that budget you should first look at Magic Lantern and see which Canon cameras support which features, than browse eBay for a used camera, audio recorder, and microphone. Then make a decision on editing software. A student discount really helps.

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eFilm Senior Member • Posts: 1,096
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

Christian0710 wrote:

Hi, I’m deciding on whether to get a DSLR or camcorder on a budget for filmmaking

That sounds a bit odd to me. If you have no existing hardware to dictate your gear choices, why would you limit your choices to either a dSLR or a camcorder? I hope you are aware that those two extremes aren't your only option within your target budget.

Apart from those two, there are also cameras that combine the best features of each of those two extremes, and in you case might even be an ideal option. Especially if you wish to shoot both stills and video within that budget.

I'm not saying one is better than the others. I'm just saying there are more than two options. Keep your options open, until you really know what you need and what you want.

As for the difference in post production, like said, there is not much difference. Which kind of camera you get depends on what you wish to do with the camera.

eFilm Senior Member • Posts: 1,096
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

Plenty of good questions in your comment, and I can agree with most that you wrote. Except for this last paragraph:

DavidNJ100 wrote:

For that budget you should first look at Magic Lantern and see which Canon cameras support which features

Seriously?

I for one would strongly recommend against that, as long as we're talking about advising an aspiring filmmaker just getting started. Unless one is a hardcore gear nerd and a gung-ho Canonist, fiddling with some ML hack in some budget model Canon wouldn't make any sense.

If one is an aspiring filmmaker who wants to learn to make his/her own movies or commercial stuff, I'd recommend leaving the ML and other hacks for the gear nerds and brand loyal tinkerers. Even if his choice turns out to be a Canon dSLR.

I don't think a beginning filmmaker really needs to distract her/himself with RAW video, let alone some clunky firmware hacks right in the beginning. Life is too short. I think s/he should first concentrate on handling the basics. For that, almost any un-tinkered video capable camera will do nicely.

OP Christian0710 Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

Hi thank you for the info - What is the title of the book you mentioned i should get? I really want to learn about all this since i don't understand all the terms yet, and it's still very confusing for me.

OP Christian0710 Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

I really apprecite all the different opinion, help and questions, my only problem is that i just feel even more conused and stressed. There are to many options and I know too little about all the specifications and I know nothing about cinematography. However I want to learn photography and video shooting (and some day make it look cinema style - but i guess it can wait due to my budget limitations) and I really want to learn to do it with a DSLR is possible. I just don't know what DSLR is best for the purpose of video shooting and photography if the budget is $1.000 - I could buy more equipement later.
For now I have 3 goals 
1. Making good loking youtube videos, educational (whiteboard teaching) and humoristic 
2. Photography 
3. Practicing and larning about what Cinematography is, how to achieve it with a DSLR  and video editing with adobe premiere pro. 
For audio I willstart out with Zoom H1 and a lavalier microphone.

The reason i'm stressed l I just figured it out -  is because I just want to start learning using a DSLR for video making ( I think I'll skip the camcorder since it will not allow me to take photos) but I'm afraid of choosing the wrong DSLR for the money in terms of video options:
1. Can it shoot 10- 15 minutes of video wihthout the DSLR overheating?

2. Does One DSLR have a different video format than a other DSLR so it is harder to handle compared to other DSLR's on a computer ((I think I'll choose Adobe premiere pro)? For making youtube videos I don't want to spend to much time post editing, but for the cinematic looking videos and photos (wiht photoshot and after effects which i also need to learn) I'd love to spend some extra time when i can afford the gear. 
3. Should I choose Good autofocus - Canon 70D - For making educationa videos or can i do without? I really don't understand the impact yet, and how handy autofocus is compared to manual focus because I've never tried it.

I really just want to buy a good DSLR and get started.

If i had the choice between

GH3, Canon 7D or 70D, t3i, t4i or t5i.

Which one would be best suited for video - educational blackboard - and later on when i get lenses - cinematic looking videos? I don't think i can afford a DSLR that can run the magic lantern RAW fotage hack, so I'm afraid I'd have to skip the dMark II and III

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,471
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.
3

Christian0710 wrote:

I really apprecite all the different opinion, help and questions, my only problem is that i just feel even more conused and stressed.

Do you currently own a camera that can shoot video?   Perhaps even a cell phone?   If so, you should consider trying to create a short production just using it.  The most important part of video production isn't the equipment but rather your vision of what you want to create and the steps you take to create it.   You can hone that skill using just about anything and, as you're doing so, come to understand what kind of equipment features and capabilities would be important for you.

I suggest you get a copy of Steve Stockman's "How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck" - a book that I can't recommend highly enough for someone just getting started.  It'll tell you what's really important for video production, knowledge that will last you through your career no matter what equipment you end up using.

DavidNJ100
DavidNJ100 Contributing Member • Posts: 514
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.

eFilm wrote:

Plenty of good questions in your comment, and I can agree with most that you wrote. Except for this last paragraph:

DavidNJ100 wrote:

For that budget you should first look at Magic Lantern and see which Canon cameras support which features

Seriously?

I for one would strongly recommend against that, as long as we're talking about advising an aspiring filmmaker just getting started. Unless one is a hardcore gear nerd and a gung-ho Canonist, fiddling with some ML hack in some budget model Canon wouldn't make any sense.

If one is an aspiring filmmaker who wants to learn to make his/her own movies or commercial stuff, I'd recommend leaving the ML and other hacks for the gear nerds and brand loyal tinkerers. Even if his choice turns out to be a Canon dSLR.

I don't think a beginning filmmaker really needs to distract her/himself with RAW video, let alone some clunky firmware hacks right in the beginning. Life is too short. I think s/he should first concentrate on handling the basics. For that, almost any un-tinkered video capable camera will do nicely.

The DSLRs don't provide adequate tools for exposure and focusing of video. The standard in 2015 is false colors for exposure with waveform monitors and peaking for exposure. It is pretty much de rigueur for off camera monitors and recorders with monitors.

They don't need to us Magic Lantern at time zero, but having it available will be a big advantage.

What I probably left out is that they use a camera that supports uploaded picture styles. It is also de rigueur to use a flat picture style to give the most latitude in the shadows and highlights in post. I believe all of the X0D (50D, 60D, & 70D) and Txi (T4i, T5i) models support that. The Technicolor picture style is still a free download.

Some of the new monitors and recorders with motors support a LUT to reverse the flat pictures style on the monitor while recording so the cinematographer can see the colors.

Video isn't simple. It is heavily constrained compared to still photography, has a lower quality image that is more susceptible to artifacts, and adds audio to the mix. Some people create videos with smart phones. Some people leverage inexpensive gear to produce cinema equal to a year 2000 commercial movie or commercial.

We didn't even talk about editing, scripts, etc. There is a huge advantage doing video in 2015. Now, lighting is done with LEDs, eliminating the huge power requirements and heat produced in video lights. I still have the pairs leather gloves in my bag needed to adjust and handle hot video lights.

 DavidNJ100's gear list:DavidNJ100's gear list
Samsung TL350 Canon G9 X Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 300mm f/4.0L IS USM Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM +21 more
Bobby49 Senior Member • Posts: 1,919
Re: DSLR vs Camcorder - Questions for film making and post production.
1

Sean Nelson wrote:

I suggest you get a copy of Steve Stockman's "How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck"

I recently purchased that book, and I found it to be somewhere between worthless and totally worthless.

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