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Re: ENG, low light, quick workflow, size, durability...which camera?!

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Mark SuszkoRe: ENG, low light, quick workflow, size, durability...which camera?!
by on Jan 18, 2011 at 3:19:16 pm

Noah: "Video cameras do not give you good sound".

...and the 7D does?

Look, I know we've been through this before, we each have our own preferences as to platforms for shooting. The point I'd like to make is that if you look at his other requirements, some of them are a little contradictory. Shooting in h.264 or AVCHD for example makes for easy uploading to the web, perhaps, but complicates editing. A DSLR rig has superior low-light performance, but it pretty much forces you to do dual-system audio to run sound on an independent recording system, now you have a bunch of extra work to do to deploy for a recording in the field, probably on short notice and short-handed, then more work in the edit to marry everything up, and you've lost the ability for a quick upload with good sound. I'd rather have it already in the camera, so I can throw down a wireless or use a fish pole hard-wired into the camera, and just know that I have the shot and the sound, already together, without wondering.

I do a lot of ENG type field work, and I can tell you I've only seen one DSLR be used for that style of fast and loose shooting in the last five years. It was so out of place that I asked the op about it. She told me she was actually the paper's stills photographer, and she was primarily shooting stills but was also grabbing a few very short clips of motion video for their web page. I expect these guys out trying to record street singers and such may easily come across songs that are longer than five minutes, heck, they may find jam sessions that go more than twenty. I am skeptical that the DSLR can "hang" with that in the same way a conventional camcorder system could.

But I'm willing to be educated about it.


I'm still going to say that for a run-and-gun type operation, in my own opinion, a purpose-built video camera form factor, with good on-board sound, and an editable codec choice, gives you the freedom, flexibility, and speed to deal with whatever comes up. Just how low-light do we need to be able to go, anyway: performances in front of a bonfire? In a coal mine? Where people gather, you are going to find light, generally. I'm saying between all the things that need to be factored-in, the low light would not be the primary factor in my own decision. Ease and speed of use, an editable codec, quality on-board sound, in my mind, are the more important/overriding issues. By the time you rig up a DSLR with all the peripheral doo-dads and a system to hold it steady, you've only managed to sort of copy what the camcorder form factor already does well, and you haven't saved any money.

Just one brain-in-a-jar's opinion, FWIW, you don't have to take it if you don't want to.


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