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Deciding on a first DSLR for video.

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Curtis Kreidler
Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Feb 23, 2013 at 8:03:31 am

So I'm in a video production class at my school and I'm getting tired of borrowing the school crappy handy-cams. I've know about people using DSLR cameras for video so I started to do some research, and saving money. But, after a couple months research and a budget 900ish dollars for the DSLR body only I've narrowed it down to the Canon 7d, Sony a65, and a hacked Panasonic gh2. I have read a lot reviews watched a lot of raw video files, but I can't seem to make a decision. So, I bring my problem to this forum. Could you guys point me to good thread debating these cameras, or possibly tell me at least which body assuming a decent lens would yield optimum video quality.


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Feb 23, 2013 at 10:02:49 am

This might help: http://wolfcrow.com/blog/your-first-video-camera/

Take a look at the GH3.

Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to Reds to the Arri Alexa.


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Teddy Juras
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Feb 24, 2013 at 1:49:40 pm

First question would be how much do you have for a lens?

Any of those bodies are going to give you amazing video.

Hacked GH2 is nice, but I would step down from the 7d and get the 60d myself. Then get a higher quality lens with the savings.

Teddy Juras
http://www.HDVideo101.com


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Curtis Kreidler
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Feb 24, 2013 at 11:58:27 pm

Thanks for the posts, guys. I'm looking at spending around 400 dollars on lens plus the extra if I don't buy too expensive of a body. Out of all the cameras mentioned I'm really liking the hacked gh2. The problems I see with it is doesn't have the largest image sensor and it doesn't shoot 60 frames like the Sony. That being said the Sony doesn't have the best lens. The Canons (60d and 7d) probally have the best lens line up, but still don't shoot 60 frames which I would like for shooting any sort of slow mo. So, I'm still not fully sure on anything.


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David Rehm
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Feb 25, 2013 at 3:25:08 am

Is Nikon out of the picture for you? The D7000 is a great camera with killer video picture results. Which leads me to my next question - What type of lens are you interested in getting? On the Nikon side of things you could get a 35mm 1.8 ($200) or 50mm 1.8 ($125) - for the price these are very great lenses. Or do you want something with a more flexible range?

If Nikon is out of the question for you I would recommend doing what another poster said - ditch the Canon 7D and go with the 60D and put the money towards glass.

A good site for info on cameras and lenses is kenrockwell.com

David R.


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Curtis Kreidler
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Feb 25, 2013 at 2:41:17 pm

I suppose Nikon Isn't completely out of the question. I just heard that Nikon wasn't as good at video shooting as Canon cameras. Although that D7000 doesn't look too bad. Also, as far as lens I haven't picked out specific lens yet, but just looked at lens available for each body. I do know that I would like a zoom and one or two prime lens. Any suggestions as far as Sony or Canon lens. Also, what kind lens mount on the Panasonic gh2? Sorry I'm all over the place with these questions, thanks again for the responses.


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Teddy Juras
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Feb 25, 2013 at 6:51:28 pm

As for the glass - I would start with the best prime you can afford. You are looking at cropped sensors, so I would stick with a 28mm. Nothing longer than a 35mm. I made the mistake of starting with a 50mm as my first lens and had a hard time with everything "looking" the same - crushed background with zero ability at getting wide enough.

You will have a better selection of shot choices with a wider lens. Not too wide or you will experience distortion close up.

Teddy Juras
http://www.HDVideo101.com


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Rob Manning
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Feb 28, 2013 at 10:20:08 am

Nikons typically have better DR than Canon.

They started the party with the D90, then let Canon run the table until the D7K, which would record for at least 20 minutes.

With proper technique, it becomes (Camera/lens) a Chevy, Ford, Buick, Chrysler issue.

Nikon also has arguably better glass across the range (not all).

If you are loading a flat picture control, outside of the usual moire and endemic artifacts in every HD enabled DSLR, Nikon does a great job. I never did use an off camera PC, haven't needed it.

We have 2 D7K's in the kit, one D800, one D3S for low light stills. My associate now has the A99 for (AF) based in the CPU which smokes Nikon and Canon's lens motor slack.

We shot a concert last April, 2-D7K's one T2I, one MK2, the footage is all good, but the D7K with a 24-70 f/2.8 was the choice for roam and close in on stage work because of DR. The Label released the DVD in December, and hits a world tour this weekend (merchandise kiosks at each venue).

No one cares which camera was what angle, except the operators who got line credit for their footage.

Whoever said the D7K is not good, may have had a bias.

The costs (used) may be headed down with the pending arrival of the D7100.

So, sure, Canon has a marketing edge, but there is no truth that the D7000, the D600, the D3100 are not up to the task, that sounds like uniformed opinion.

Rob Manning


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David Rehm
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Mar 1, 2013 at 4:49:40 am

hey Rob,
You seem to have more experience with D7K. I'm looking for some pointers on picture styles when shooting video. I'm never sure exactly what settings to use to shoot flat so I can have the most flexibility in post. Do you shoot flat and then fix in post?

Thanks for any help you can give


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Rob Manning
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Mar 2, 2013 at 10:22:22 am

Hi David,

Some people alter the picture controls in each brand. GoPro has a set of Technicolor profiles, Red Giant has some tools etc. and many Canon users use the Technicolor patch for Canon as well or Tassin Flatt profiles.

For Nikon, I was advised by Ric Kasnoff to shoot neutral way back in the stone age of 2010 when the D7000 first arrived.

Ric is here and worth following for gear to geek stuff: or http://vimeo.com/ricphoto

That being said, Alvaro Yus in the EU (Spain?) has an entire profile array for the D7000 and great video examples of deep tweak. He offers the profiles at no charge. Great stuff here: http://alvaroyus.com/

So far, shooting in neutral has been good enough for me however, I am looking at building a custom profile for the D800 when I want to experiment and have time. These can be loaded into the custom settings on both the D7K and D800.

The reason is we are (my associate has the A99/Zeiss) ramping up to get around the shark tank world of web promos, wish me luck, that means competing with design and photo grads from Brooks, Art Center, Otis and every college in between.

Opening up the range in a profile does allow better construct in post, to answer your question and shooting say a retail store opening, or party without a grip truck and lights means having latitude for reaching into the blacks or control of the white so yes that type of pre-shot adjustment can be very handy. It makes sense in ambient conditions, indoors at night.

We were at an APA seminar before Halloween and the instructor said shoot the profile which fits the subject matter because a profile on video, unlike a profile in raw, is burned in (arguably).

I disagree on that approach and prefer to have as much data availed after the fact without a color control choice (Landscape, Portrait, Standard etc.)

After all, if one owns an iJOBS or Google phone, loading in an incidence and color meter, slate, DOF chart etc. will get you into the set conditions that a DP would have a bead on.

This "science" is not something everyone does, but, the longer we are at it, the more edge we seem to gravitate to, in order to get our best results.

Up next, a couple of follow focus rigs.

Here is what I'll get. I've been stalling on this for months (budget 'doncha know) and I love the fact there is NO play: http://www.hondogarage.com/index.php/product/landing/follow-focus

If I can offer anything else, please let me know.

Best book: Rich Harrington and the lads, From Still to Motion.

HTH's

Rob Manning


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David Rehm
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Mar 2, 2013 at 12:47:25 pm

Thank you very much!!!

David


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charles meadows
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Feb 27, 2013 at 5:40:28 pm

You need to answer a couple of questions for yourself. What do you want to get out of your first camera? Once you start buying lenses then you're kind of like beholden to that camera manufacturer. All of these a great cameras. I do like the Nikon cameras and I think the D800 is better than the Canon 5D III, plus the lenses are excellent and the primes are easily available at good prices. I agree with the D7000 suggestion, it an excellent camera at a great price. If you're partial to Canon then find a cheap 550D, it's a 7D in a cheaper body. With you the money you save, get yourself a nice 50mm prime lens. The thing is the lenses are going to stick with you forever and a good lens makes a real difference to the quality of your footage. Like I said, start off with a good used camera and when you're ready to move up then you've already got the beginnings of a good collection of lenses. Have fun, get out there and film the crap out of things.

"There's no point in filming if you don't have fun"
Charles Meadows
Creative Director
Incubate Productions South Africa
http://www.incubatevideo.co.za


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Rob Manning
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Feb 28, 2013 at 10:22:58 am

Yes, yes and yes...


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Curtis Kreidler
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Mar 1, 2013 at 5:49:59 am

Hmmm man this is a lot to think about. I'm really liking the Nikon d7000. I found some good prices on lenses and everything. The only problem I see with it is the frame rates that it shoots. There's no 60p options even at lower resolutions like the Canon 60d has. Which like I said earlier, I want for doing slow motion action shots. Also, I was looking at some Carl Zeiss lenses (used of course). How do they compare with Nikor and Canon lenses?


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Bill Bruner
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Mar 1, 2013 at 12:20:47 pm

Hi Curtis,

Nikon and Canon are both adequate for video. One brand is not really any better than the other. The best brand for video in the DSLR/DSLM form factor is Panasonic. One major advantage for me - like camcorders, Panasonic GH cameras have viewfinders that continue to work in video mode, for example. Canon and Nikon do not, forcing you to buy a loupe or external monitor.

Panasonic cameras also have silent, autofocusing lenses that continue to work in video mode, while even the quietest Nikon lenses are noisy by comparison and Canon only has one camera where autofocus keeps working in video mode (the T4i). I came from film cameras and camcorders with autofocus to a Canon DSLR. The lack of autofocus in video mode was a shock to me, so I sold it.

Canon and Nikon DSLRs are also subject to a shot-ruining phenomenon called moire (as seen here and here), except for the $3000+ Canon 5D Mark III and the $12,000 1D C.

In addition, Canons are limited to 12, 22 or 30 minutes of continuous video before you have to restart the camera. Nikons are limited to 20 or 30. Again, coming from camcorders, this was a shock. Panasonics can shoot continuously for hours.

The GH cameras not only have superior video features, they also produce superior video images. Here is what the $1300 Panasonic GH3 can do:

Narrative:

Narrative:

Doc:

This camera also shoots 1080/60p, and features built-in wi-fi for phone or tablet control, a splashproof magnesium alloy body, a headphone jack, and a fully articulated LCD.

This camera is backordered at Amazon, but there are a few in stock right now for $1299 from Kenmore Camera via eBay and for $1298 at Adorama.

The GH cameras were designed from the ground up for video starting a few years ago. It is part of their DNA. It really is an "add on" capability for Canon and Nikon still camera designs that date back almost half a century.

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Miguel Morales
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on May 25, 2013 at 5:35:57 am

Helpful advise!!! I am currently looking to buy a DSLR primarily for video and from my research Panasonic GH3 is the way to go if one has a limited budget. For $3,000 or less you can get a GH3 body a couple of entry level lens, memory cards and a mic.


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Bill Bruner
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on May 28, 2013 at 2:13:10 am

You're right, Miguel. The good news is that, since I wrote the post above, they're no longer in short supply, and are in stock for $1298 at Amazon, Adorama and elsewhere. You can save even more by getting one used on eBay.

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Noam Kroll
Re: Deciding on a first DSLR for video.
on Jun 7, 2013 at 9:10:19 pm

I actually just wrote a blog on my top 5 DSLRs for video, if that helps! http://www.noamkroll.com/top-5-dslrs-for-video/


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